jaymanntoday

Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

IS IT REGISTRY TIME YET?: Email: “Jay, Are the authorities checking for the federal saltwater registry?”

Yes, but not really.

Huh?

I was told by two different state (marine) enforcement agencies that they are and aren’t checking for saltwater registry forms.

“No,” one trooper said, almost with distain, “We’re not looking for them (registry forms).”

However, another enforcement officer, different agency, said, “It’s mandatory,” though he did not offer info on how strongly it was being enforced by his guys.

Face it, there are a ton of bigger matters during a busy on-water enforcement day, ranging from BWI (boating while intoxicated) to boating safety certificates to PFDs to complex rules and regulations regarding fish sizes and bag limits.

By the same token, there’s no getting by the “mandatory” side of things. Though even that gets odd when it’s essentially “free” but mandatory. I see anglers easily playing the “pay to not play” card, meaning they feel things aren’t official to them until money is forked over.

I realize that doesn’t offer much of an answer but that’s because there really isn’t a full-blown enforcement at this time.

As easy as it is to register, I’d do it just to be on the safe side – in case you happen to run into an officious officer who’s having a bad day.

I should point out that anglers fishing the Oyster Creek bridge have been asked to show their registry paperwork. Yes, technically the registry only covers federal EEZ waters (three to 200 nautical miles out), however, anadromous fish, like striped bass and herring, are looked upon as EEZ fish that are simply visitors to that creek. Truth be told, there are no virtually fish species common to our nearshore waters that don’t utilize EEZ waters. Also, there is no way of telling if angling boats returning to port have taken fish inside the EEZ.

SHOOTING STRIPERS: Things will be hot in Harvey Cedars this Saturday, as that town’s High Point Volunteer Fire Company holds its 4th “Striper Shootout,” an all-boat bass shebang.

The tourney’s epicenter will be at the fire hall, West 80th Street, Harvey Cedars. The captain’s meeting will take place there this Friday, 7 p.m.

The entry Fee $150 per boat for two anglers, $30 each additional angler.

The bass fishing goes from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday. Boundaries run from Seaside Ferris wheel to Little Egg inlet, out three miles. It is an all-tackle event.

Weigh-ins run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Verizon cell time) and are done exclusively at the fire hall. Fish can be brought (driven) there. During the contest, there will also be temporary dockage allowed at the borough’s public dock at West 78th Street. A shuttle will carry anglers and fish to the firehouse. To come ashore there, hail VHF Channel 69.

The event cooks up the day’s catch, which is donated by the participants, and invites the public to attend the fish fry. That runs from 2 pm through the awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Costs for the fry event: Adults-$25.00, Children-$8.00.

To get more info, go to http://www.harveycedars.org/HCcalendar.html, or,

Google “Striper Shootout HC NJ.” That gets to the borough’s calendar (check out other goings on), then cursor down to the large “Shoot Out” display and click.

JUST HOPE AND SPRAY: “Jay, You seem to be in the woods year around and don’t seem too concerned about mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers. What kind of insect repellent do you use?”

I have a veritable regimen of insect repellents, used in varying amounts under different circumstances. Of late, I simply climb into this large witch’s caldron and soak for hours in steaming hot 100 percent pure DEET. That keeps me bug-free for, say, the first ten minute out of caldron. Not recommended.

It’s bug hideous out in the outback.

If mosquitoes were the lone bloodsucker to go up against, I’d be pest-free, day and night, thanks to top DEET-based repellents, like 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent 12 Lotion and, every outdoorsman’s default repellents, OFF! Deep Woods and Cutter’s Backwoods Unscented.

Of course, the old bugaboo of proper overage enters into the full body armor picture. Miss one body area, most often along your backbone, and the mosquitoes and flies driven away from DEET-ed areas will converge there. It often comes down to a total insecticide treatment to fend off bloodsuckers. That soak-and-saturate approach sparks severe hesitancy by many folks not wanting to drench themselves and family members in anything with a name like N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET).

One way to minimize DEET-ization is to spray it mainly on clothing. To accomplish that, always wear lose-fitting, light colored long pants. Also, wear loose long-sleeve shirts. Hugely important. No, you won’t die of heat. People who live in the world’s hottest deserts wear loose clothing, covering every inch of their bodies.

Interestingly, there is now a new kick-ass repellent, chemically speaking. Picaridin is a clear nearly odorless fluid that seems damn near as effective as DEET, per advancing studies. It is easier on clothing (which DEET loves to eat) and is far less irritating to skin -- good news for the legions who find the skin reaction from DEET is worse than the bug bites. I’ve order some Picaridin-based repellents to see how they fly.

When it comes to the cruelest of biters of all, chiggers (jiggers), I spray my clothes like there’s no tomorrow. Everyone who has suffered from the ravages of these immature harvest mites joins me in professing there is no more irritating a parasitic bite, anywhere. Imagine a mosquito bite that lasts for days. In fear and loathing of jiggers, I use a veritable slurry of 95 percent DEET (by Repel) and the strongest Permethrin, the anti-tick stuff, to treat mainly pants and footwear. Yes, that is just this side of chemical warfare. And this slurry is surely not meant for long-term skin exposure. In fact, mere leakage of this repellent cocktail -- through clothing to skin – is bad news and requires a vigorous showering off once done an outback session. To rid m skin of all toxic residue, I use a salt-based body scrub on my legs, where I really saturate my clothes.

I do use some organic repellents but only in conjunction with my killer slurries. Sorry, Mr. Green N. Clean, but the organic route never even approaches the bug-free zone, regardless of the herbal wizardry tried by even big name companies. Admittedly, on low-bug days (early spring, late fall), I’ll use “100 percent organic” Bite Blocker Xtreme. Works fairly – but you can forget the “Xtreme” part. Also, a huge whiff of that stuff can choke out a human.

Although I’m getting itchy just writing this stuff, I’ll note (again) that we’ve had a horrific gnat hatch this spring. Appropriately known as no-see-ums, these cruel creatures secretly and silently arrive when winds are down, early a.m. and late day. They love hair -- and arms and legs. It astounds me how such a minuscule creature, one-third the size of a freckle, can chomp down so frickin’ hard. And they’re insanely hard to ward off, chemically. I don’t care what the label on your repellent says, gnats will always find a way to scalp skin. I swear they lap up 100 percent DEET.

I’m sure that quick and chemical rundown will discourage just about everyone from going woodsward, but I always find the rewards are well worth the repellents.

E-question: “Jay,
Caught 2 Stripers (30" range) in the North End surf over the last couple of days both of which had most of their scales missing from the dorsal fin back to the tail. Hoping you would have an opinion on the cause, sickness or predation ? Have you heard of any similar occurrences? Safe to eat ?? Thanks for your time in responding, Walt"

(Sadly, I’ve heard of many such cases, mainly as the Chesapeake stripers move northward. It is the stubborn mycobacteriosis problem, one that has scientists down that way studying the problem every which way but loose – without coming up with an airtight explanation on the whys and wherefores of the potentially lethal (to fish) disease.

As was first suggested a decade back, it still appears that degraded water quality, lack of adequate forage and even an overpopulation of smaller bass in the Chesapeake system (including source rivers) are at the root of the problem.

I always have to asterisk that “overpopulation” angle. That does NOT mean there are too many stripers in the world, it only means that the damaged Chesapeake ecosystems can’t healthfully hold the young-of-year load.

That said, there seems to be an infectivity based on the rubbing together of tightly packed striper schools. However, that closeness is simply the nature of a schooling species, not some massive buildup to where the fish are forced to bump into each other because they’re so jammed in. Also, close-in contact is just as likely due to a mad dash to prime forage areas, where bumping and nudging is a survival mechanism. Whatever the bump-and-grind reason, the disease is likely spread by this contact.

The good news is the infected fish you ran into are out in the open waters – and have possibly gotten the upper hand on the disease within their systems. However, some scientists in Maryland say that infected stripers do not fully overcome the disease or the damage already done, even when better forage and cleaner water are found. That is born out in numerous studies that have found catastrophic damage to internal organs from ongoing mycobacteriosis, even when the outside manifestations of the disease are scarred over.

As for eating scarred fish, I have to say I don’t think it’s a good idea. By the same token, login dictates cooking SHOULD kill all bacteria. For me, I’d rather wait for a mint-condition specimen.

WILDLIFE LOOKS: I was using night-vision binoculars near the Causeway bridges and saw not only the expected showing of antsy otters but also a slew of scurrying minks. I had been told of a marked influx of these fine-furred fish eaters, which have been eating yard-pond fish. However, I didn’t expect to see four or five zipping around the spans and cruising the bulkheads of some Ship Bottom lagoons. I won’t mention the rat activity I saw with night vision.

Email:

Jay,
No bass today but we had a good bluefish bite in the south BH surf tonight. Plenty of junkfish as well. Fishing tomorrow.

Hutch report: . “Miss Beach Haven” with Captain Frank Camarda fished for black sea bass last weekend and found a good number of fish, but putting keepers on the deck took some work. Most of the keepers on Saturday were in the 1-3 pound range. Pool winner was Ray from Waretown with a 3-pounder. Sunday’s fishing was hampered by strong winds and high seas of 4-6 feet. Most fish were 1-2 pounds. The pool winner Sunday was Richie with a 2+ pounder. Next week the “Miss Beach Haven” will be targeting fluke as well as sea bass.

Captain Lindsay Fuller has announced that he has brought his boat, “June bug” back to Beach Haven from its winter quarters in Manteo, North Carolina.

Captain Fran Verdi of the “Dropoff” is continuing to run open boat trips for wreck fishing, fluke drifting, and striped bass fishing. This is a good way to go fishing with a pro without paying the price of a full charter.

Additional information on the association can be found at www.BHCFA.com

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