Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Wednesday, June 13, 2012: If you’re off-Island this week you’re sure as hell not missing much, fishing-wise. There is something of a spectacle to behold: More deceased and washed-ashore meadow grass than you’ll ever see in your life, especially on Surf City’s beaches. I’m going on half a century hereabouts and I’ve never seen quite this much deceased salt march cord grass. Sure, I’ve seen mild-mannered eelgrass covering the entire beach, to a few feet deep in some areas, but seeing this thick, pithy, hay-like salt marsh grass is utterly odd.

I did get some logical answers from knowledgeable folks. Most respected is George G, who has the unenviable task of keeping Queen City (Beach haven) beaches shipshape – and grass-free. His crews have been working for days now to keep up with the arriving meadow grass. Other Island towns are unadvisedly letting it accrue.

George surmises that our mild and relatively storm-free winter prevented flood tides from entering the bay and gradually carrying off the dead grasses, which can break off in winter. Recent weathery stirs in the bay have loosed the lingering grass stiffs. A vegetative funereal procession, of sorts, has now come shore along the coast. And it’s not the best timing either, as this weekend is a “school’s out” celebration for many families champing at the bit to finally hit the Shore. There’s no simple brushing aside this type of grass.

As to whether or not this grass will just keeps coming, there’s no guessing. If it does, surf fishing will surely suffer. And boating could get clobbered. Down Sea Isle area, entire lagoons are nearly impassible due to the grass. 

Then there's the unslight matter of the winds -- now gusting out of the north, after honking out of the south. Things are going to take a while to settle down, though I'm hoping the weekend is relatively doable, fluking-wise. One thing is sure, the water will remain way-mild, into the 70s. 





            Enclosed is this week’s fishing report for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association. It is pasted below and also attached as a file. If you have any questions, my cell phone number is 609-290-5942 and my e-mail address isjamesghutch1@aol.com

Thanks for your help,

Jim Hutchinson Sr.



The boats of the Beach haven Charter Fishing Association are finding a wide assortment of fish on their trips out of Little Egg Inlet and into the ocean.


Captain Jimmy Zavacky of the “Reel Determined” recently fished the Greater Atlantic Bluefish Tournament with his family and found some nice bluefish northeast of the Barnegat Ridge. They boated 16 bluefish which was good enough to earn them a third place finish in the tournament. Captain Zavacky termed it “a fun day of fishing with family which benefitted a good cause.


The “Miss Beach Haven” under Captains Brant Whittaker and Frank Camarda has been finding some decent fishing for black sea bass. One recent day John Cheeseman was the pool winner with a nice 3.5 pounder. Keepers are ranging from three to the teens per angler with plenty being returned to grow larger. Another day they had Paul and the rest of the crew from Wexcon Utilities on a bluefish trip, and the fishing was hot. All hands on deck were swinging the gaffs to keep up with the hectic action. There was a crew of 15 men and one woman, and she was the pool winner.


Captain George Finck had the Linert family out on the “Spare Time” fishing the inshore artificial reefs. The group enjoyed a beautiful day on the water in addition to a nice catch of black sea bass and a goodly amount of undersized summer flounder.


Captain John Koegler had another good shark fishing trip last weekend on his charter boat “Starfish.” He headed out some 33 miles and started a chum slick. Very quickly they had a small mako on which they released. They the released several blue sharks, one of which was estimated at over 200 pounds. As they were washing the deck and getting ready to finish for the day, they had a larger mako in the chum slick and investigating the baits, but he refused to hook up.


Additional information on the association can be found at www.BHCFA.com or by calling 877-524-2423.




Truly weird story out of Sitca, Alaska. 



Sitka salmon troll skipper charged with endangerment, refuses to leave after grounding vessel

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [KCAW] by Robert Woolsey June 13, 2012

A Sitka fisherman is facing charges of reckless endangerment after running his boat aground in Sitka's Eastern Channel Wednesday evening (6-6-12).

52-year-old William A. Walder was arrested by Troopers at the scene after refusing to comply with rescue personnel to leave his troller “Yankee,” as the boat listed on the rocks near Error Island. He was also charged with boating under the influence.

Walder also apparently failed to radio the Coast Guard. A female passenger aboard the Yankee notified a friend via text message that the boat was in trouble. The friend called Coast Guard district command in Juneau, who were mistakenly informed that the distressed vessel was near ANB Harbor, in Sitka's inner channel.

Harbor personnel, and Sitka Search and Rescue captain Don Kluting, went to ANB to look for the Yankee, but found nothing.

“It was at that point that we realized we had an actual search and rescue mission.”

The troller Yankee aground on Error Island 10 minutes from Sitka harbor. (Sitka SAR Photo/Don Kluting)

Kluting says it took a while to narrow down the Yankee's location. In cell phone conversations with the female passenger she described a sailboat passing by, and a house on an island - fairly common circumstances in the Sound.

In the end, Kluting says rescuers relied on technology.

“Her cell phone was starting to die, she had one bar left on the battery life. Per Coast Guard sector recommendations, she called 9-1-1 and we used the E-9-1-1 system to determine her GPS coordinates and plot them. She was on the east side of Error Island, just right out here in Eastern Channel.”

The aptly-named Island is about a 10-minute boat ride from the harbor in calm conditions. Kluting and a SAR team - including a state trooper — responded in his own skiff; harbor personnel took their boat.

Kluting says the Yankee's situation was precarious.

“Arriving on scene, we found and interesting situation. The vessel was hard aground, about mid-ship. Bow down, stern up, and the stern was significantly out of the water. We were concerned about the stability, and any weight shifting on the vessel. It was in jeopardy of rolling on to the port side. Certainly a situation where their life safety was at risk. They needed to be rescued from the vessel.”

Search and Rescue took the female on board, but, according to police dispatch reports, Walder refused to comply. Once the woman was safely delivered to town, Kluting and the trooper returned to the Yankee, where Walder was arrested. Sitka police later visited the boat and documented the scene. Details of his arraignment were unavailable by deadline for this story.

Kluting says Search and Rescue's maritime role has increased over the past two-and-a-half decades. Almost exactly a month ago, Kluting responded to the troller “Igloo,” which had run aground on rocks off the end of Sitka's runway.

Kluting says SAR trains for its maritime roll, and just as the Coast Guard supports his team on land, he's happy to help the Coast Guard on the water when he can.

“In a case like last night, it's a quick run for us to get on scene and be able to stabilize the situation, and assist the Coast Guard. So it's a win-win situation.”

A Coast Guard marine safety officer inspected the scene Wednesday evening. The wooden hull appeared mostly undamaged. The boat was expected to be refloated on the next tide.



Sealing on against public opinion -- 


[The Telegram] by Daniel MacEachern - June 13, 2012

Not every business’s grand opening features a Mi’kmaq smudging ceremony, a sealskin ribbon-cutting and the provincial leader of the Opposition agreeing with a cabinet minister.

But NaturaL Boutique on Water Street carries the weight of a provincial industry tied up in Newfoundland’s historical identity — not to mention one that is the target of environmental and anti-animal-cruelty groups the world over.

The boutique — owned by Jennifer and Kerry Shears, who also own the Gros Morne Wildlife Museum and Gift Shop in Rocky Harbour — cut the sealskin ribbon with a traditional ulu Tuesday morning. The shop opened its doors June 7.

Tuesday’s event featured speeches by former fisheries minister Clyde Jackman and Frank Pinhorn, president of the Canadian Sealers’ Association. Both spoke of the province’s sealing heritage and expressed hope that the store — which sells high-end clothing and accessories, especially sealskin — will lead the charge in promoting sealskin products to a global market that has largely rejected them.

Jennifer Shears and her husband are Newfoundland Mi’kmaq, which is why the official opening kicked off with a smudging. She said she’s not worried about sealskin product bans by the United States and the European Union, among others.

“What we’ve found is it’s governments that are potentially against the seal hunt, and not the individuals, so that’s encouraging, because individuals form governments and can sway governments,” she said.

“Apart from that, Newfoundlanders, Canadians are fully on board, from everything we’re seeing. We’ve gotten nothing but great reviews and great comments, so it just bodes well for the future,” said Shears.

Education Minister Jackman attended on behalf of the federal government. Current Fisheries Minister Darin King was supposed to attend, but his duties as deputy house leader kept him at the House of Assembly amidst filibustering over the government’s proposed changes to access to information regulations.

“We’ve shown over the past number of years how important the sealing industry is to this province,” he said. “We continuously have had to battle the outside interests who are condemning our hunt.”

With steps and programs undertaken to ensure the hunt is as humane as possible, said Jackman, and a hiring of a law firm to fight the European Union ban — as well as a $3.6-million loan to a seal-processing plant — the government has proven its commitment to the industry in the province.

Ball said the Liberals support the government’s investment in the sealing industry, and added the store is an important show of strength by the industry.

“No. 1, we see two young entrepreneurs in Newfoundland and Labrador having the confidence to open a business in St. John’s in this case, and a business too on the west coast of Newfoundland. That’s important,” he said. “More than that is to see that they actually believe in the seal industry to the point that they’re willing to look for this business opportunity to advance the seal industry.”

Ball said the province needs to make sure the sealing industry has a successful future. “Not only when you look at the harvest, but when you look at the opportunities in the secondary processing just like you’re seeing here today.”

Pinhorn noted that the industry hunted 70,000 seals last season, almost double its catch of 38,000 the previous season. Next year, he said, they’ve got their sights set on 200,000 to 300,000, which is still far less than the provincial quota of 400,000 seals.



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