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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Wednesday, August 06, 2014: The Bertha swell factor is a bit lower today

 

Wednesday, August 06, 2014: The Bertha swell factor is a bit lower today but there are still 4- to 5-foot set waves on occasion, making inlet transits a tad tricky.

As is the always the case with cyclone swells, they pulsate. There could be periods of larger waves, especially right at the change to rising tide.

Unfortunately, the water has gotten churned up along the beachline, becoming a tad turbid. That can make fishing tougher, though I checked the beach in a few areas and saw no surfcasting going on. Lots of beach folks, though.  

FLUKE TIMES: Bayside fluking remains hot, in terms of number of fluke taken. It remains cool to frigid in keeper counts.

Whenever someone catches a single bigger fluke, everyone begins asking what secret bait or rig was used. Face it, in the bay, there is no rhyme nor reason why a keeper suddenly shows.

I have often seen when one larger fluke indicates other keepers are nearby -- thus the quick throw-over of a marker buoy the instant a better fish is taken.

While many folks say that larger fluke school together, that’s highly suspect. When feeding, fluke are loners. What most likely happens is larger fluke power away smaller fish from a prime feeding zone. Considering fluke are very cannibalistic adds merit to the idea that smaller flatties quickly give way to larger ones.

POKES ARE PURE: Now to a way trickier matter, namely the two truly world-class fluke being taken by spear fishermen in our area. See Fisherman’s HDQ website for a look at these plush doormats, both in state-record and beyond territory.  

We all have to be thinking: Why aren’t those monsters going for my baits? The same area where those huge fish were shot is being fishing constantly by boat anglers – and even jetty anglers.

I’m betting those mega-fluke have mastered the look of the hook – and won’t have any part of such human attractions.

So, are these shooters violating some inner sanctum by going seeking gamefish, by sight and shot?  Absofrickinlutely not! Not only are these sportsmen working their asses off to nab maybe a fish or two but their insider/in-water techniques are essentially identical to commercial netting, which also bypasses any intelligence a fish develops for rigs and baits. I find it wild just knowing such massive fluke are out there -- and just might lose their cool and bite a bait someday.

Yes, I was a commercial diver for decades and have a sensitivity to the occupation/hobby but if I thought some terrible injustice was being done via the absolute minimal number of fish taken by divers, I’d be a-screamin’. Such thinking is absurd when considering that just a couple small boats in the bay take more fluke than all the state’s divers combined. What’s more, if you feel spear fishing is some sort of end-around, why not jump on in. I guarantee that the first thing that will enter your mind when the shivering starts is “Screw this! They can have their frickin’ fluke.” 

Fisherman's Headquarters

August 4 via Instagram
We had another monster FLUKE-ZILLA hit our scale today late in the day!


Robert Davis of Bamber Lakes weighed in this 33" 15.3-lb  #doormat 
#fluke. He caught it 
#spearfishing 
#barnegatlight today at 3:15pm. It looks like one the paperwork is submitted and verified this will top the recent new state record. Congrats on an epic catch!!! 
#njfishing 
#fishlbi 
#onthewater@onthewatermagazine 
#fishermansheadquarters
Photo: We had another monster FLUKE-ZILLA hit our scale today late in the day! Robert Davis of Bamber Lakes weighed in this 33" 15.3-lb #doormat #fluke. He caught it #spearfishing #barnegatlight today at 3:15pm. It looks like one the paperwork is submitted and verified this will top the recent new state record. Congrats on an epic catch!!! #njfishing #fishlbi #onthewater @onthewatermagazine #fishermansheadquarters

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TOM-THIEVERY: Jim V's photo of a large black-backed gull brazenly stealing a bunker from the very talons of an equally large osprey, which was likely flying food back to the nest. While the osprey would usually have the upper hand, make that upper talon in a fair fight with the gull, this tricky black-back knows it has the angle of assault in its favor. Should the osprey decide it wants to pay back the gull, the chase would be on and gull would be flying for its life. 

This photo from http://exit63.wordpress.com/ -- check it out and make sure to checkl out past post by Jim V. on this Readings fro  the Northside blog. 

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Deliveries in the AM and flunking in the afternoon. A good day.

Deliveries in the AM and flunking in the afternoon. A good day.

If you like fish pranks this one is excellent!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykNKB4vey9I

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            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 is jamesghutch1@aol.com

Thanks for your help,

Jim Hutchinson Sr. 

The tuna bite for the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association continues to be top shelf provided the weather cooperates enough to allow the boats to make the trip out. 

Captain Bob Gerkens on the boat “Hot Tuna” has been riding a streak of some pretty good tuna fishing. After one disappointing day last week in the southern bluefin areas in 30-40 fathom of water that only produced a mako on the troll, he headed offshore the next day to the canyons. He found the area marked by hundreds of pilot whales and free jumping yellowfin tuna chasing flying fish. His party was making their first ever offshore trip and did it well. They brought home 10 yellowfin tuna with three in the 70-pound class. They also caught and released half dozen others. A big eye tuna was also fought for about 15 minutes before it pulled the hook.  The party consisted of the Cuff family from Switzerland and Beach Haven, and the Stackpale family from Mamaroneck, New York.  

The inshore fluke and bluefish bite also continued to be very good even if it was tough to find keeper sized fluke. Captain Tim Knorr had the Decotiis party our on the “William Knorr,” and they had great action on throwback fluke along with a few keepers. They also boated 5 bluefish that bit on the fluke baits drifted on the bottom. The Marcalus party fished the Barnegat Reef for a nice catch of fluke and bluefish topped by a 27-inch fluke. 

Captain Fran Verdi has been fishing the ocean for fluke on the “Francesca Marie” and has been putting keeper fluke in the box most trips. He has also had some good action on Taylor bluefish in the inlet. 

The Ben Wilson family fished on the “StarFish” with Captain Vic Bertotti for a nice catch of fluke.   

 Additional information on the association can be found at ...

The tuna bite for the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association continues to be top shelf provided the weather cooperates enough to allow the boats to make the trip out.

Captain Bob Gerkens on the boat “Hot Tuna” has been riding a streak of some pretty good tuna fishing. After one disappointing day last week in the southern bluefin areas in 30-40 fathom of water that only produced a mako on the troll, he headed offshore the next day to the canyons. He found the ar...

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Brian Coen

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New study shows East Coast dogfish a much bigger predation threat than previously thought


SEAFOODNEWS.COM [MPBN] By Tom Porter - August 6, 2014 -

A study, authored by University of New England professor James Sulikowski, suggests that a voracious predator known as spiny dogfish may be far more prevalent in the Gulf of Maine than originally thought, and could be more of a threat to other species.

Sulikowski used satellite tagging technology to track the movement of some 40 dogfish, from the Gulf of Maine down to the mid-Atlantic, something that had never been done before.

He says conventional wisdom is that dogfish in East Coast waters move around in one huge population, in packs of 10,000 or more.

"The old paradigm on their moving patterns was that essentially they would spend the summers and fall up here in the Gulf of Maine and then travel like snowbirds down to North Carolina and then back up here in the spring, and so that was old paradigm, sort of this big long packlike movement of these moving on the bottom," Sulikowski says.

But satellite tagging data indicate there are two distinct sets of dogfish — one in the Gulf of Maine, and one in the mid-Atlantic, off North Carolina — and they don't tend to mix. And Sulikowsi says this means spiny dogfish are a year-round presence in New England waters, devouring other fish right through the winter months. The study also finds that population estimates could be underinflated. That's because dogfish do not only dwell at the bottom of the ocean, as widely believed.

Sulikowski's research shows them moving vertically, up and down the water column, which means current trawler surveys may not be giving the whole picture.

"There could be more dogfish out there, and that's what we think is going on," he says. "You see these increases in population because a large portion are being missed."

Sulikowski says it's also important to bear in mind just how destructive dogfish can be. They're hardy, opportunistic and they move around in very large numbers.

"Imagine a pack of 10,000 dogfish coming down into an ecosystem," he says. "What do you do if you're a fish there? Either you leave, you find another place to stay, or you are outdated or even eaten.

"These are very powerful fish," he says. "They can chase down anything else and bite it, and eat it."

Mike Breton is a commercial fisherman from southern Maine with more than 30 years in the industry. He says the latest research on dogfish reinforces his own observations — that dogfish are more prevalent than official data suggest. Even after they were declared overfished in the late 90s by regulators, Breton says he witnessed dogfish in large numbers — especially when fishing for tuna.

"When we fish for tuna fish, we use live bait, or a chunk of bait, put that bait anywhere from 80 feet down in the water column, down to 200 feet, and over last several years our baits have been taken by the dogfish, so it was almost impossible to fish for tunas with that method," he says.

Dogfish are keen predators of groundfish, such as cod and haddock, and this has implications for fisheries policy, says Sulikowsi, because it means factors other than overfishing could help explain the decline in groundfish numbers.

But Sean Mahoney of the Conservation Law Foundation says overfishing is still the main culprit when it comes to falling stocks, and he says it's essential that protected areas remained closed to fishing.

Mahoney acknowledges that factors such as dogfish predation and climate change are affecting groundfish such as cod, but, he says, "All of those just exacerbate a problem created by overfishing, and the bottom line is that we just don't have enough cod and dogfish are definitely adding pressure on that."

Last year catch limits for Gulf of Maine cod were cut by nearly 80 percent. And just last week the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, released numbers indicating that cod stocks worsened last year, despite drastic quota cuts. Mahoney says encouraging fishermen to catch more dogfish would be a good idea — but there's one key factor working against that: lack of demand.

"It would be great if we could find more markets for dogfish because there's lots of them, but so far we've been challenged by lack of an effective marketing strategy by the states," he says.

UNE's professor Sulikowski agrees. Annual quotas for dogfish have increased by about 300 percent in the last few years, but could easily go even higher. In addition to being good to eat, Sulikowsi says dogfish can be used both as fertilizer and bait.

"The resource is there and it's available, so now it's up to us as scientists, working with NOAA and other management agencies, to build an infrastructre so we can sell the dogfish," he says.

He says that could help New England's struggling commercial fishing industry.

Sulikowski's study was published in the Public Library of Science. NOAA, which helped fund it, says the findings will be considered during the next full stock assessment.

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We had quite an afternoon. 

We had quite an afternoon. #lifeonasandbar @a_crofty @jg_21_nj #pangadays
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Good day of cobia fishing off Virginia Beach. Zack Hoffman and I scored five out of six fish.

George Poveromo's photo.
George Poveromo's photo.
George Poveromo's photo.
George Poveromo's photo.
George Poveromo's photo.
"Da ya think I'm sexy, Jay??"
"No, actually, I'm just suddenly hungry for a big slice of watermelon. Sorry."
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This is Australian amazing ...
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Crazy fish.

CHECK THIS OUT! We headed south on our Sogioka / Stires trip to fish for yellowtail at the island and ended up catching three opah in shallow water. Armando Castillo 151#'s, Joe Ludlow 180#'s, and Travis Savala 124#'s!!! We hooked five of them all at the same time. Oh by the way, yellowtail fishing was good too.

CHECK THIS OUT! We headed south on our Sogioka / Stires trip to fish for yellowtail at the island and ended up catching three opah in shallow water. Armando Cas...

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This is disturbing in a number of ecological ways, be it not enough food and/or an overabundance of the species due to mankind's intervention. : 

Starving Baby Sea Lions Flood Southern California Shores

April 09, 2013
 2:57 AM ET
More and more starving sea lions are being found stranded on California shores, and animal rehabilitation centers are at their maximum capacity. Experts say there are fewer fish for these mammals to feed on, but they don't know why.

More and more starving sea lions are being found stranded on California shores, and animal rehabilitation centers are at their maximum capacity. Experts say there are fewer fish for these mammals to feed on, but they don't know why.

Gloria Hillard/NPR

In recent months, more than 1,000 starving baby sea lions have been found on Southern California beaches, from Santa Barbara to San Diego. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just declared the crisis an "unusual mortality event."

On a recent early morning, Peter Wallerstein is on the job on a beach near Marina del Rey, Calif. His white truck is a familiar sight along this coastline. Next to him, a small blond dog named Pumpkin rides shotgun.

Wallerstein, the Marine Animal Rescue director for Friends of Animals, gets a call. A woman tells him she spotted a sea lion at the Fisherman's Wharf at Cabrillo. "He's just laying there; he doesn't look good," she says.

Peter Wallerstein uses a large fishing net to grab a sea lion pup that was stranded on a nearby dock.
i

Peter Wallerstein uses a large fishing net to grab a sea lion pup that was stranded on a nearby dock.

Gloria Hillard/NPR

The phone rings every five minutes, and it's always about the same thing.

There's another call. This time, it's a man telling Wallerstein that there's a sea mammal that looks hurt.

More Pups On Shores

Since the beginning of the year, Wallerstein has picked up more than 300 sick and dying California sea lion pups. In 27 years of doing this work, he says, he's never seen anything like it.

"We wonder why there's no fish in the water, why the pups were born at such a low body weight. So they started out weak and cold and hungry, and it hasn't got any better when they're already weaned by mom and trying to find food, and they're not finding it," Wallerstein explains.

For two days, a baby sea lion has been stranded on a nearby dock. The people who made the call are relieved to see Wallerstein.

He gently places a large fishing net over the pup. Normally, there would be some resistance, but this baby sea lion hardly moves. Wallerstein is asked the same question he hears more than a dozen times a day: "Will it be OK?"

"I'm going to do the best I can for her," he says.

His next stop is a crowded pier. After navigating a rock wall, Wallerstein carries another weak pup back to his truck and gently transfers it to a dog crate.

'Broader Concerns'

"To date [since Jan. 1], we're at 1,100 California sea lion admits to rehabilitation, and the historical average for the same time period is about 130," says Sarah Wilkin, a marine biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

She says the main theory scientists are investigating is that the prey — the smaller fish these animals feed on — are just not available. The mystery is why.

It breaks my heart to see these little skinny pups being left here. And you could see they don't want to go into the water, they want to come back to the beach. I don't think they're going to make it on their own.

"These sea lions might be our sentinel that tells us something else is going on that's going to be affecting other fish, that's going to be affecting sharks, that could have much broader concerns throughout the ocean," Wilkins says.

Sick Pups' Fate

It's late afternoon. There are six baby sea lions in the back of Wallerstein's truck. In recent weeks, marine mammal centers that have been rehabilitating the pups have reached maximum capacity.

He takes a deep breath and makes the call.

The center can only take the two most critical baby sea lions. So Wallerstein drives the others to a more secluded beach where he hopes they won't be bothered by people.

"It breaks my heart to see these little skinny pups being left here. And you could see they don't want to go into the water, they want to come back to the beach," Wallerstein says. "I don't think they're going to make it on their own."

From the shore, people cheer when the young sea lions move toward the cold waves. But within minutes, the weakened pups come back, trying to find warm

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