Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Wednesday, October 29, 2014: Updated .... Still bummed over failed rocket ... so I considered taking a cat for a walk

Walking the cat for some relaxation .... 

Afternoon update: Lots of casts and very few hits -- and no fish landed, though I fought two small bass in Holgate. I saw a couple small bass taken on artificials and was told about  couple more caught out of a Holgate slew. 

Winds swung offshore and temps dropped a bit -- showing signs of the upcoming real chilly Sunday. http://youtu.be/JkXUMrve4LE


I need some help ID'ing this sight, videotaped today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVEmep87QLE&feature=youtu.be


Dolphin were out and about today off Holgate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrMSoc_fyAg&feature=youtu.be


Refuge cleanup today, tip of Holgate ... 



Wednesday, October 29, 2014: Still bummed over the blow-up of the rocket I was so anxiously waiting to videotape as it took off from Virginia -- and displayed over the AC skyline.

 I also feel this uneasiness over the way I sorta anticipated what might befall the mission. I was truly just showing the mere possibility of bad things when I put a photo of an exploding Indian rocket in here – 24 hours prior to last evening’s insane launch pad blast. The problem is my precursory warning made it into the hard copy version of The SandPaper, further publicizing that either I foresaw bad things -- or brought bad luck to the launch. I promise I cannot affect the fate of rocket launches hundreds of miles away.  


To calm myself down, I’m headin’ out to get me a slew of stripers. I’m using the upbeat method of prepping … positive thinking and all that stuff. To help my cause, I got me a new bag of Fin-S Fish along with some GULP!, shaped like Fin-S.

(Below: I prefer #2 ... followed by #1 and # 10. When bassing, the spots and sparkles don't work as well.) 

I prefer jigging with GULP! when doing a super slow retrieve, making it little more than a form of bait fishing; barely allowing the jig to crawl across the bottom. In those angling instance, fish will bite out of “Hmmm, this smells good” thinking, more than, “I gotta nail this thing that’s jumpin’ around all cocky like” thinking. 

When using regular plastic tails, non-scented, a lot of hopping and jumping motion is  essential, evoking reactionary – even territorial or angry -- strikes by fish.  When there is both shape and scent/flavor involved, you can take it slow and easy -- even to the point where the jig is sorta laying on its side, moving through the sand, all wounded-like. Of course, even the flavored and wounded  look profits from some hops and jumps.  

Interestingly, the slow bottom-running of a jig often leads to ferocious pick-ups, possibly due to the fact an attacking fish is likely hitting both the line and the jig. It feels like a genuine bite. When high-jumping a jig, a hookup is most often a dead-weight feel, as if you’re suddenly snagged on a log or a rock.

I’ve noticed with Fin-S Fish and similarly-shaped plastics, a steady, straight-in retrieve (with just a touch of jig) allows different water levels to be explored, based on the speed of retrieve. It’s always good to test the water column this way. Since this shape is sand eel-like, a gamefish is accustomed to seeing straight-swimming eel prey zipping through all parts of the water column. Obviously, a scented/flavored plastic is preferable when straight-retrieving a jig.

GULP! looks: 


Fin-S and such trick: After carefully centering the jig hook through the very middle of the top of the plastic, stomp it one good. I kid you not. Place it on the ground/sand and give it the heel, a couple/few times. That smooshing action not only settles the hook in just right but it also takes some of the factory rigidity out of the tail, giving it a fine finesse. Hell, it might even de-scent it a bit

(10/2914 Below: Gannets have returned to nearshore waters. A sure sign that bassing is close at hand.) 



            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 air temperatures have the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association believing that fall has actually arrived. The water temperatures, however, are a bit of a different story. The bay water temperatures in Little Egg Harbor and Great Bays have dropped into the 50’s, but the ocean water temperature still remains in the low 60’s. 

The net result of this is a late arrival of striped bass from the north. There have been a few stirrings of bass over the past week which does have the captains thinking positive thoughts. Some bass are appearing in the bay waters and the white water of Little Egg Inlet. In addition, the surf anglers have begun to pick up a few bass on the beaches of Long Beach Island. The Sea Shell Club in Beach Haven held its annual Striped Bass Derby for boats last weekend and weighed in some 20 fish. One of these was a 37-pounder caught in the bay on clams. If there is one of these cows around, there should be more. 

There is currently plenty of bait around with huge schools of spearing and rainfish to be found along with schools of peanut bunker. The mullet run seems to have run its course already. There are reports of bass being trolled up on bunker spoons to the north of Long Beach Island, and these fish should be on the Beach Haven radar very shortly. These bass are feeding on schools of mature bunker and will be prey for anglers live-lining bait and trolling spoons. 

The inshore reefs are still holding very good numbers of black sea bass and porgies for bottom fishermen. Anglers fishing these reefs will experience excellent action even if the ratio of shorts to keepers is on the high side.         

Additional information on captains and boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.org



FDA finds wholesale seafood products are labeled correctly 85% of the time

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [SCOM] October 27, 2014

A two-year long investigation by the FDA into seafood mislabeling among wholesaler distributors found that fish products are labeled correctly 85 percent of the time.

The FDA's study (the report can be found here) tested seven hundred DNA samples collected from wholesalers in 14 states, prior to restaurant or retail sale. Part of the study had the FDA target seafood that is most often suspected to be mislabeled including cod, haddock, catfish, basa, swai, snapper and grouper. Of that group, the FDA said a majority of the mislabeling was found in two species, snappers and groupers, which represent less than two percent of total seafood sales.

“This extensive federal analysis brings the challenge of mislabeling into a much clearer focus,” said John Connelly, President of the National Fisheries Institute (NFI.) “While at the same time calling into question other mislabeling ‘studies’ that suggest the issue is widespread and in need of a legislative fix.”

The NFI has previously called for more enforcement of federal and state labeling laws, rather than new legislation, noting that multiple anti-fraud laws already exist.

“What the FDA found reinforces the need for implementation of rules already on the books,” said Lisa Weddig, Secretary of the Better Seafood Board (BSB.) “We don’t need more regulations and rhetoric, we need more enforcement.”

Along with releasing the findings, the FDA also released its first-ever online seafood labeling training module designed to instruct industry participants, retailers and state regulators how to properly label seafood items throughout the supply chain.

"Proper identification of seafood is important throughout the seafood supply chain to ensure that appropriate food safety controls are implemented and that consumers are getting the type of seafood they expect and for which they are paying," the FDA said.

Meanwhile, the BSB and the National Restaurant Association will work together on the labeling issue through a memorandum of understanding that includes educational outreach and even menu audits.

“Eighty-five percent of seafood was labeled correctly and the mislabeling was focused on two species,” said Connelly. “Our job is to work with companies and focus on those problem areas.” He continued, “This type of information gives regulators important insights and helps them focus their resources. New laws don’t do that.”


Opposition to USDA designation of "Organic" for ocean farmed fish continues

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Take Part] By Steve Holt - October 29, 2014 - 

You can find signs of the increasing availability of organic food all across the grocery store—from the organic beef at the butcher counter to the organic apples in the produce section. Still, the booming sector, which has climbed from around $20 billion in sales in 2008 to an estimated $35 billion this year, has yet to touch every aisle. Consumers looking for certified organic seafood, for example, are perpetually disappointed—because it doesn't exist. The United States Department of Agriculture has yet to establish the standards for domestic seafood raised organically.

That could change as early as next year, when the USDA’s National Organic Program is expected to finalize an organic standard for seafood. Some organic advocacy groups, however, believe that while an organic label for fish is absolutely necessary, it should not apply to seafood raised in ocean-based farms. That’s the gist of a 44-page report released last week by the Center for Food Safety—Like Water and Oil: Ocean-Based Fish Farming and Organic Don't Mix—which asserts that aquaculture endangers both the environment and human health.

“Organic in the U.S. gets its brand and value from integrity,” says Dr. Lisa Bunin, organic policy director at the CFS and the report’s coauthor. “That’s what consumers want—the gold standard of the United States organic seal. We don’t want products that use less rigorous standards in the U.S. That, in our view, tarnishes the value of organic.”

Farmed seafood has boomed in the last decade, countering the decline of wild fish stocks that have been depleted by overfishing and the effects of climate change.

But Bunin says that because ocean-based aquaculture exists within a vast ecological system and cannot be contained the same way, say, an organic tomato farm can, it can never meet U.S. organic standards.

Sea water flows in and out of these farms, and Bunin suggests fish farmers are not monitoring any contamination coming into the system from the larger ocean. Similarly, waste, feces, and unused food flow out of the fish farms, “altering the aquatic ecology, changing [wild] fish’s behavior, and changing the food that [wild] fish eat,” she says. Furthermore, migratory fish, such as salmon, cannot be farmed organically, the report asserts, because “their confinement in fish farms would curtail their need to swim far distances, causing stress” and undermining the organic principles of animal welfare. The report also documents international instances of fish escaping from farming systems, a problem Bunin and others say results in the spread of parasites from farmed salmon to wild stocks and changes in the wild salmon gene pools.

But concerns about inbreeding from escaped fish is not based in science, according to George Lockwood, the USDA-appointed chair of the aquaculture working group, which has advised the National Organic Standards Board and the NOP on the development of organic aquaculture since 2005. He says no study has shown that escaped salmon—the largest category of farmed fish—mate with wild fish or otherwise affect the wild population. He adds that the number of fish escapes from ocean-based farming operations has decreased over the years, and CFS's own escape tallies appear to bear that out—showing a drop from a 10-year high in 2007 of 2.6 million escapes worldwide to just shy of 400,000 escapes in 2013.

The aquaculture industry has improved in other areas too. Addressing parasite problems with “cleaner fish,” reducing farmed salmon’s reliance on forage fish as feed, and finding solutions for preventing escapes has improved salmon farming's poor environmental reputation with advocacy groups. Any environmental harm an ocean-based aquaculture operation causes is mitigated in the proposed standards by annual inspections more rigorous and frequent than those of organic facilities on land, Lockwood says.

“If there are any significant environmental changes, they must be dealt with,” he says. “One of the penalties would be that you lose certification.”

But according to Bunin, problems still exist, and the potential for any cross-contamination from ocean-based fish farms or other adverse environmental impacts by definition undermines the “high bar of the certified organic.” (Inland aquaculture facilities, with their ability to more closely control the quality of seafood and lack of an impact on oceans, are not included in the CFFS report.)

Fifty-three organizations have endorsed the aquaculture report—including the Organic Consumers Union and Seafood Producers Cooperative—in an attempt to influence the National Organic Standards Board ahead of its finalization of the organic seafood standards as early as next year.

“We want them to take [aquaculture] off the table,” Bunin says. “We believe we make a scientifically rigorous, compelling case, which has not been made the other way.”


Ocean acidification among NOAA's top priorities under agency's newest director (Fish Radio)

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Fish Radio with Laine Welch] October 28, 2014

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Climate change and Acidic oceans - a chat with the nation’s top fisheries official after this

Know what the second leading cause of death is among commercial fisherman? Falling overboard. Know what would have saved many of them? Personal Flotation Devices. Today’s PFDs are built to be comfortable, stay out of your way and keep you from drowning. Find the right PFD for you atlivetobesalty.org

Check out ASMI’s new web store! Find mugs, t shirts, beanies and more at www.alaskaseafood.org/ 

The changing climate and chemistry of our oceans is definitely on radar screens of federal planet watchers. That’s the assurance of Kathryn Sullivan, new director of the National Oceanic, Atmospheric Administration.

"I don’t need to tell Alaskans – you are living it, you see it all around you. And the consequences that have societally, economically, ecologically-- you all are living it every day."

Sullivan calls NOAA the nation’s environmental intelligence agency. For example, increased and ongoing intelligence being gathered by monitoring programs are providing more and better science on the impacts of ocean acidification. That, she says, will guide actions that lead to better decision making.

"Our focus again is to try to translate that into information that can help Alaska fishermen, fisheries, fishing communities be more adaptable and resilient in the face of these kinds of changes that are coming at us."

Ongoing NOAA studies near Washington reveal that the protective shells of tiny, snail-like pteropods are corroding from acidic waters. Pteropods make up 40% of juvenile pink salmon’s diets.

"It’s not just pteropods feeding into finfish stocks health, we also are finding early and worrisome indications of consequences for red and Tanner crab, for example, with shell viability and survivability prospects of young crab." 

Sullivan – who was formerly NOAA’s top ocean scientist, says impacts from a changing climate and ocean chemistry are happening fast in Alaska.

"A focal point is to look at driving forces in the world where we see really rapid, major scales of change – trade and investment, innovation, and environment data are the four focal areas for our dept. level strategic plan. In Alaska we see such an intersection and interplay of a number of these dimensions of change and are happening on a large stage and even more rapid rate and in some cases even more vivid consequences than you see in other part of the world or the country."

That’s new NOAA director Kathryn Sullivan – who also is in the Astronaut’s Hall of Fame.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods. Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America. www.oceanbeauty.com

Views: 680

Comment by Jim De Francesco on October 29, 2014 at 8:59pm

Cat .gif not funny, Jay.

Comment by jaymann on October 30, 2014 at 10:37am

That is a totally living, breathing cat that refuses to take a walk. 


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