Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, October 13, 2015: Here's a bit from my upcoming weekly blog

Anyone get one of these emails??? 

Dear Angler,

You have been selected to receive this email based on your willingness to receive emails through the NJ Angler Registry Program. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, in conjunction with the University of Florida, is conducting a study to understand people's awareness of, access to, and attitudes toward the NJ Volunteer Angler Survey (VAS), and we need your assistance to fill out a short questionnaire. Even if you have never used the VAS, your input is important to us to help improve awareness of and participation in the survey. Please submit responses to the questionnaire by October 23, 2015. We are limited to only 10,000 questionnaire responses, so respond early in order for us to get your input!

For more information, or to participate in the study, please click the following link:

Thank you for your participation!


Maryland Striped Bass Juvenile Index is Eighth Highest on Record

October 13, 2015

American Shad, White Perch, Herring Reproduction Strong

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced today that the 2015 striped bass juvenile index is the eighth highest on record. The survey, a measure of spawning success, found an average of 24.2 juvenile fish per sample, approximately double the long-term average of 11.9.

“This year’s survey demonstrates that striped bass are a very resilient species when given favorable environmental conditions for reproduction and survival,” DNR Secretary Mark Belton said. “The robust reproduction should give Maryland anglers hope for a successful striped bass season in a few years time.”

The survey also documented healthy reproduction of other species. DNR fisheries biologists counted record numbers of juvenile American shad, which have been under a harvest ban in Maryland since 1980. The white perch juvenile index was the third-highest on record.  River herring reproduction was also above average.

The annual survey is conducted throughout the summer to track the reproductive success of Maryland’s state fish. Annual reproductive success can be highly variable due to environmental factors, such as water temperature, precipitation and river flow. This year, DNR collected more than 70,000 fish of 50 different species, including 3,194 young-of-year (less than one year of age) striped bass in 132 sweeps of a 100-foot beach seine at 22 sites.

DNR has monitored the reproductive success of striped bass and other species in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay every year since 1954. The present day survey covers sites in the four major spawning systems—the Choptank, Potomac and Nanticoke rivers, and the Upper Bay. Biologists visit each site monthly from July through September to collect samples.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science conducts a similar survey in Virginia’s portion of the bay, which can be viewed here.

Graph Showing Maryland’s Annual Striped Bass Juvenile Results (click to enlarge):

Graph Showing Maryland’s Annual Striped Bass Juvenile Results

Tuesday, October 13, 2015: Here's a bit from my upcoming weekly blog at thesandpaper.villagesoup.com: We all know the ho-hum motto, “It’s Better in September.” But, there's a seldom-used sub-maxim, one the chamber of commerce is not wild about this year, is “It’s Iffy in October.”

Ya think!

This past weekend, there was a super showing of going-with-the-flowness in the wake of the Chowderfest. Visionary folks actually tapped into the October's sky rowdiness. They held a kite-fest, satisfying that old saying: “If life gives you lobster ... make bisque -- or, maybe, one of those lobster tacos with shredded romaine lettuce and a special sauce made from …” Uh, it’s a kinda long saying.

The LBI FLY International Kite Festival blew away everyone who saw our beach skies light up with wild colors, whipping tails and, face it, some serious airborne freakiness. It was a bit like a hot-air balloon thing … but less hot air.

Here I was expecting careening, kid-grade kites with tails made from shredded T-shirts -- and maybe a few box kites. Instead, there were artistic and animated kite-like things that would have wowed them at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And tons of ‘em. Coming over the Big Bridge, it looked like Ship Bottom was under air-attack by Hanna-Barbera.

I’m hopin’ and bettin’ this new season-appropriate event will hereafter soar annually, adding another hang-around weekend after the Chowderfest. Just don’t let it get so soaresque that we have to keep the traffic lights cycling an extra week.  

The high-faluttin’ kite wowness wasn’t the only game in town over the weekend. We had the perennial 18-Mile Run, which October’s iffiness treated with kid gloves by lowering winds just long enough to let the grueling event run its Holgate-BL course. When the last of the runners crawled across the finish line -- gasping “Dial 9-11!” -- the winds began to honk out of the south for, dare I say it, the benefit of Mr. Kite.

Last weekend also saw the more subtle start of the eight-week Long Beach Island Surf fishing Classic, which got kick-started with a $500 “first bass of the classic” winner on Saturday.

Per the Jingles website: “Congratulation's to Merle Van Liere on his 34 pound bass caught in Beach Haven on bunker. It did not take Merle a long time on the beach (10 min) to catch his bass using a 10 ounce sinker. He said he fought this fish for over 20 minutes.”

Merle’s bass is a perfect lead-in to the potential for ideal fishing conditions for a goodly distance into the storm-free future --which is a knock-on-wood statement if ever.

The current sky idealness is the smiley side of October’s iffiness, which means there’s no better time than now to sign up for the Classic. Stop by any participating tackle shops: Jingles B&T, Captain’s Quarters, Fisherman’s Headquarters or Surf City B&T. 

Holgate report from Ed McA. Ed McAllen at Holgate Beach

There is finally a sign of life! Tony C. had a short bass this morning on soft plastic around the back. Tim was fishing the rip and had a half dozen blues on cut mullet. No big guys, 1-2 pounders.

Peanut Bunker showed at the rip and there were small pods of mullet just around the corner of the rip. I netted a couple dozen, but could not get any hits.

Will give it a shot again in the a.m. as tomorrow looks like a beautiful day.

It is also a clear run to the end of Holgate at high tide.


As to boat fishing, well, the bay's your oyster. 


Just crazy I tell you. It's the middle of October - middle of the night plus it's 64 degrees out and I can't keep these things off the hook.
Steve George's photo.

Here's a cool beach find made over the weekend. Also, my read on this large artifact. 

A truly fascinating artifact!

Carol's find is a futtock (curved bottom beam) from a wooden sailing vessel.

Where things get odd is the mixed tale the metal tells. There are obviously holes for wooden dowels, potentially dating it as far back as the 1600s … though such wooden spikes were used into the mid-1800s.

However, I’m shocked (and confused) to see both a rounded copper spike (the longer one protruding outward) and the cut-off remains of a square brass or bronze spike (just showing). Then, only a few feet away, is the steel or iron piece. Hard to say what the rusted piece is/was. There was no shortage of metal on this “wooden” ship.

The hard metals (brass, bronze, copper) indicate not just a better-made vessel but one of expense to build – either high-end trade or military. But why were wooden, brass/bronze and copper used as connectors so close together? Possible repair work … as could be indicated by the manually cut-off look of the bronze spike might indicate. The copper was the later connector. The wood it held onto has rooted or burnt away.

By the by, this is the second futtock artifact bearing brass spikes and bolts found this week. Vince B., Planet Blue, found a ship floor timber with a huge protruding brass bolt. I'm waiting for a photo of that. There was also a large metal sheathing sheet found on the beach. I believe that was made of Muntz metal, dating it to the mid-1800s -- which would be my guess on when Carol’s find went down … though it was likely built earlier. 


This is a very intriguing concept offered by Greg C. 

"Hey Jay, As a long time reader of your column in The SandPaper and a long time resident of Barnegat Light, I saw your recent mention of the demise of our local surf clams. I was wondering if you knew of or might know how to go about starting an effort to re-clam the surf with those big old surf clams that used to be all over...I think the dredging and dumping of sand just off the beaches may have hurt the local population here in bl. Perhaps some of those ReClam the Bay guys can culture some surf clams as well as quahogs..? It would help our fisheries and water quality which is very important. I would be interested to hear your comments/ideas."

(I can't see why it couldn't be done, though distributing the seed clams in the ocean could be tricky. I believe the seeds could go into a no-clamming zone where they would grow and become a viable breeding stock. Clam larvae go far afield, so to speak, meaning the surf clam birthing fields would resupply far-and-wide, including legal dredge areas. Of course, I can make quantum physics sound easy as long as I don't have to do it. j-mann)


Dave Bentley ...  50 pound leader and 6/0 circle hook= 175 pound swordfish


Here's a video look at the clean water muscling out the dirty water we've had since the big blow. It marks exceptional fishing conditions for days to come.

I'll often mention bunker in baitball formation. Here Mike Laptew captures the look in video.

Bob Misak
Outta bait...time to skate..
Bob Misak's photo.
(Wow, that's a bucket-mouth bass, Jersey-style! Congrats, Emma!)
She got bubba
 — with Emma Roman.

Would like to say we hammered them. But this was the only one yesterday. And a few albies. Ran out to 30-fathoms. Dirty green cold water. Supposed to run offshore today. Bailed.
John McMurray's photo.
Thinkin' Christmas gifts ... with next summer in mind???? 

Powered by a five-watt solar panel and a built-in thermal fridge, the Beachill waterproof mattress lets beach-goers keep their drinks cold and their portable

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