Wednesday, August 12, 2009: Waves: Small. Winds: Light early then NE to maybe 10 mph.
Look for some of the warmest ocean waters in years. We’re already pushing 77 and light NE winds for the next few days will lead to more downwelling, the pushing in of warmer water. This will keep the baitballs very active. Bunker become very animated in ultra warm water. Of course, stripers and blues aren’t wild about the balminess but the lure of foodstuff should compensate for them being put of by sauna conditions. Fluke could move into slightly deeper ocean water, though even at 20 feet deep, the ocean bottom water is plenty comfortable enough for them.
Divers continue to report loads of small stripers near inlets and jetties. Loads of larger triggerfish near Barnegat Inlet, though numbers are down a bit. Sheepshead mixed in. Tog at every turn.
Still talk of better bass along the beach and out to a few miles. Seemingly related to bunker balls but not always being caught beneath them. If you have a few a.m. minutes before work, definitely give the LBI jetties a plug or two. More bass than we’ve had in weeks. Small white jigs will also coax them to hit. Expect fluke to grab jigs.
Email: “Jay, please identify this ugly little fish my wife caught while fluking.”
That’s your everyday lizardfish, a very common bottom dweller that buries itself in the sand, much like a fluke or stargazers, and lunges upward at passing prey. Like other burying fish, they are ravenous feeders and attack things much larger than they are. Not that life is easy for them. I have found them in the bellies of fluke, bass and blues. Yours is about as large as they get (six inches). I believe I actually saw a record for one caught in Jersey. J-mann.
Stripers in the surf!
There were huge schools of full size bunker passing by all morning just beyond the breakers, with blues on them. And in the white water of the breakers, the stripers were hitting my Hopkins. Ah, just waiting for the run to begin. If today were any sort of sign for the fall.., it was a good one. Scott L.
Some of the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are reporting very good action in the ocean on fluke and sea bass. For the most party the fish are biting very well, but the keeper fluke are still tough to come by.
Captain Frank Camarda on the headboat “Miss Beach Haven” reports the fluke fishing has been pretty good in the ocean for the past week with a good mix of keepers and shorts. The water temperature is currently right around 73-degrees. Captain Frank adds that the bay fishing has also been decent as the fluke are making their way to the ocean. He has also seen a few cocktail sized bluefish and some croakers around.
Captain George Finck of “Sparetime Charters had Phil McNeil out last week with son Carter and daughter Sidney for a day of bottom fishing. He reports the kids especially enjoyed the nice weather along with a nice catch of both sea bass and fluke. Another day he had Kevin Kernan and son Jack out for a nice catch of sea bass and short fluke. Captain George reports keeper fluke are hard to come by some days.
Over the weekend he had the McCauley’s and Smiths out for bottom fishing. The fishing was great despite a lack of keeper fluke, but they were happy to put a mix of sea bass, fluke, and bluefish in the fish box.
Captain Dave Wittenborn had Sarah Brown and family out last Friday on the “Compass Rose” celebrating Dad’s 60th. The conditions were excellent in the ocean, and the fish cooperated with practically non-stop action for some five hours. The happy party returned to the dock with six nice keeper fluke, several sea bass, and released at least 20 shorts.
Captain Dave had even better action on Saturday for Dave Nyre and his crew. He said he did not even have time to eat lunch the fishing was so constant. Besides well over 50 throwbacks, they had 16 keeper fluke. He went through extra bait he had brought and was cutting up strips of sea robin and fluke bellies which produced well.
For additional information on the BHCFA go to their website at www.fishbeachhaven.com
Weakfishing in the bay remains slow, even for those of us still working the grass shrimp slicks, and it's beginning to look like this year is going down as the worst one in a long time. We're going to continue fishing for them on each trip for another week or so, but plan to switch over to fluke if they don't make an appearance after an hour or so.
That strategy worked out well on Friday's trip when Steve Mastej brought out his son Oakley and his dad Fred out hoping to get in on some fast weakfish action. When the weakies failed to show by mid morning, we switched over to fluke and the guys absolutely bailed fish at the end of the incoming tide, landing between thirty and forty fluke in two hours. Gulp swimming minnows and our custom teasers were again the hot baits. Most of the fish were in the 16-17" range, but we still ended up with plenty of fish in the box by the time we headed back to the dock.
Early in the week we made a run out to Barnegat Ridge, and found mixed schools of bonito and spanish mackerel feasting on the small sandeels that are on the Ridge right now. These fish aren't huge, but they're still pretty sporty on light tackle and make excellent table fare. A quick stop to drift one of the wrecks on the way back in added some tasty sea bass to the box before the winds picked up and sent us heading back to the dock.
Until next week.
Capt. Jack Shea
Barnegat Bay Fishing Charters
[EUobserver.com] August 11, 2009 - by Lisbeth Kirk
Greenpeace boats sailed on Monday (10 August) into Swedish waters and began dumping 180 two-three tonne granite rocks on the seabed to prevent fishermen from using bottom trawling in areas under European Union protection.
The area in Kattegat, between Denmark and Sweden, is mainly used by Danish fishermen but is listed under the EU's Habitat Directive because of its unique and rich sea life.
Local authorities in Sweden would like to stop bottom trawling in the area, but the decision falls with EU authorities, which have allowed the practice despite the habitat register.
'Today it is nearly impossible for the responsible authorities in EU member states - in Sweden, the County Administrative Boards - to regulate fisheries which take place in areas designated as marine protected areas,' said Greenpeace in Sweden in a briefing.
Local fishermen tried on Monday to block the port of Varberg, where a large cargo ship loaded with tons of heavy granite blocks headed out for the action.
Head of the regional fishermen's association Hallandsfiskarna, Viking Bengtsson, declared at an earlier hearing that the placement of stones was 'unnecessary,' but he agreed that reformed fisheries management is needed in the region.
The Danish minister responsible for fisheries, Eva Kjer Hansen, said the action was 'unacceptable vigilantism' and called on her Swedish colleague to stop Greenpeace.
'It is for the authorities to decide where it is authorized to fish and were it is not authorized. The Greenpeace move is pure vigilantism, imposing losses of fishing opportunities on law-abiding Danish fishermen,' Mrs Kjer Hansen said in a statement.
She contacted her Swedish colleague Eskil Erlandsson and pointed out that it makes no sense to strike bilateral Danish-Swedish agreements about closing fisheries in certain areas to protect threatened spices, if organizations take the law into their own hands and simply close areas to fishing.
Sweden's fisheries minister Eskil Erlandsson has not stopped the dumping.
He said in a comment published by Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter that 'fish do not recognise any borders' and added that problems had to be solved between countries and through internal bodies.
'The demand from Greenpeace of a unilateral ban in the area concerned is without effect as the areas are covered by the EU's common fisheries policy. It means all countries in the EU hold rights to fish in the area. A ban on just Swedish fishermen would not work', he said.
So far only Ireland has managed to introduce local restrictions on fisheries to protect marine environment, while Germany has launched a process to get more areas protected.
[Associated Press] by CHARLES J. HANLEY Aug 10, 2009
The Arctic Ocean has given up tens of thousands more square miles (square kilometers) of ice on Sunday in a relentless summer of melt, with scientists watching through satellite eyes for a possible record low polar ice cap.
From the barren Arctic shore of this village in Canada's far northwest, 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) north of Seattle, veteran observer Eddie Gruben has seen the summer ice retreating more each decade as the world has warmed. By this weekend the ice edge lay some 80 miles (128 kilometers) at sea.
'Forty years ago, it was 40 miles (64 kilometers) out,' said Gruben, 89, patriarch of a local contracting business.
Global average temperatures rose 1 degree Fahrenheit (0.6 degree Celsius) in the past century, but Arctic temperatures rose twice as much or even faster, almost certainly in good part because of manmade greenhouse gases, researchers say.
In late July the mercury soared to almost 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius) in this settlement of 900 Inuvialuit, the name for western Arctic Eskimos.
'The water was really warm,' Gruben said. 'The kids were swimming in the ocean.'
As of Thursday, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center reported, the polar ice cap extended over 2.61 million square miles (6.75 million square kilometers) after having shrunk an average 41,000 square miles (106,000 square kilometers) a day in July -- equivalent to one Indiana or three Belgiums daily.
The rate of melt was similar to that of July 2007, the year when the ice cap dwindled to a record low minimum extent of 1.7 million square miles (4.3 million square kilometers) in September.
In its latest analysis, the Colorado-based NSIDC said Arctic atmospheric conditions this summer have been similar to those of the summer of 2007, including a high-pressure ridge that produced clear skies and strong melt in the Beaufort Sea, the arm of the Arctic Ocean off northern Alaska and northwestern Canada.
In July, 'we saw acceleration in loss of ice,' the U.S. center's Walt Meier told The Associated Press. In recent days the pace has slowed, making a record-breaking final minimum 'less likely but still possible,' he said.
Scientists say the makeup of the frozen polar sea has shifted significantly the past few years, as thick multiyear ice has given way as the Arctic's dominant form to thin ice that comes and goes with each winter and summer.
The past few years have 'signaled a fundamental change in the character of the ice and the Arctic climate,' Meier said.
Ironically, the summer melts since 2007 appear to have allowed disintegrating but still thick multiyear ice to drift this year into the relatively narrow channels of the Northwest Passage, the east-west water route through Canada's Arctic islands. Usually impassable channels had been relatively ice-free the past two summers.
'We need some warm temperatures with easterly or southeasterly winds to break up and move this ice to the north,' Mark Schrader, skipper of the sailboat 'Ocean Watch,' e-mailed The Associated Press from the west entrance to the passage.
The steel-hulled sailboat, with scientists joining it at stops along the way, is on a 25,000-mile (40,232-kilometer), foundation-financed circumnavigation of the Americas, to view and demonstrate the impact of climate change on the continents' environments.
Environmentalists worry, for example, that the ice-dependent polar bear will struggle to survive as the Arctic cap melts. Schrader reported seeing only one bear, an animal chased from the Arctic shore of Barrow, Alaska, that 'swam close to Ocean Watch on its way out to sea.'
Observation satellites' remote sensors will tell researchers in September whether the polar cap diminished this summer to its smallest size on record. Then the sun will begin to slip below the horizon for several months, and temperatures plunging in the polar darkness will freeze the surface of the sea again, leaving this and other Arctic coastlines in the grip of ice. Most of the sea ice will be new, thinner and weaker annual formations, however.
At a global conference last March in Copenhagen, scientists declared that climate change is occurring faster than had been anticipated, citing the fast-dying Arctic cap as one example. A month later, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted Arctic summers could be almost ice-free within 30 years, not at the century's end as earlier predicted.