Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Monday, September 22, 2014: It’s a workday beauty out there. I hope to take an afternoon break to check out the south end – though I’ll then have to make up for it at my desk, after dark.
Below is a video of the large groundswell attacking the LBI sandbars. There are some thick and powerful six-foot waves, with larger faces. These waves will make things a tad difficult for surfcasting, though the fishing pressure is always kinda low on Mondays, since the emphasis has shifted to folks taking off Fridays instead of Mondays. Of course, there is then the leaving work early on Thursdays to enhance that Friday offage. That all adds greater must-work demands come Monday. Don’t ask why I know that so well.
I’m getting reports of stripers working their way to LBI from the north. The only problem there is the fact that fish north of Barnegat Inlet often don’t make it here. I’ve seen (via binoculars) full-blown blitzes up on Island Beach State Park and absolute zilch on this side of the Great Barnegat Inlet Divide. Oh, I’m not saying we don’t have our very own striper days in the sun, I’m just assuring it’s hard to take info from, say, Betty and Nick’s and translate it into future LBI fishing terms.
It seems the bunker pods aren’t up to recent showings. That could be due to the stirred surface conditions of the ocean.
I’ll alienate some boat fishermen by saying it is actually way better surfcasting for stripers when the bunker pods aren’t all balled up off the beach. Gospel truth. When the bunker schools are neck-deep, out a few hundred yards, our suds-side stripers quickly move out of surfcasting range to leisurely dine. Nix those baitball and the big bass sidle in to feed on spearing and mullet – or, most of all, crabs. As I continually note, hundreds of belly content studies indicate that crabs are, far-and-away, the most common foodstuff for stripers. So why aren’t whole lady crabs used to fish for stripers? I’ve tried it a bit and got squat. I have had astoundingly good luck catching jetty bass by using sandcrabs, usually meant for tog.
Below: Lady crab, Ovalipes ocellatus
The main question in LBI fishing circles: Where in bloody hell did all the eelgrass come from? The stuff has put a hurting on many fishing zones.
The famed grass is obviously coming out of Barnegat Bay. It might be the higher tides and occasional gully-washers loosing the anti-angling grasses. But why so much? I have to wonder about the ongoing Double Creek dredging work. I’m not being bitchy about it. The work needed done. I just have to think there is some serious bottom hacking that has been done. Such work can truly let old and new eelgrass fly. By the by, the main cutters of eelgrass are boat props. So maybe we're just seeing the accumulated fallout of a heavy boating summer.
Eelgrass is the most important subaquatic vegetation we have. Without it the bay is a goner, as are nearly all the fish species we covet. Here’s hoping the majority of the bay’s eelgrass beds do not end up sleeping with the fishes due to human abuse.
As for eelgrass and fishing, talk about a plug killer. A single strand of eelgrass can kill the action of a plug. And it just might be me but it sure seems a lone strand of eelgrass actually scares fish from a plug. Could it be a gamefish knows real baitfish don’t get entwined in eelgrass or is there something so distasteful in eating eelgrass that gamefish won’t get near even a single strand of the stuff?
Historical perspective: Back in the day, eelgrass washups, oceanfront and bayside, were so extreme that an entire eelgrass industry thrived on the beached grass. Many of the earliest automobile seats -- dating back to the Model T -- had eelgrass as stuffing. Gospel truth.
Here's a video I sent ot the Weather Service to show the size of today's swell:
What a mixed bag! Yesterday we caught 15 different species of fish on my boat. The seven species that made it to the fillet table were cod, pollack, white hake, ling, blackfish, winter flounder and mahi. The species that were released were pout, sea robin, sea raven, blue runner, sea bass, bergalls, skates and fluke. All or my crew members broke the boat rules by catching bigger fish than me. I suspect they must have been talking to that trouble maker Kyren Dooley. Anyway, Steve Meikama caught a 16.7 lb cod and a 9.9 mahi, Mate Sean Smida caught a 12 lb. cod and Bill Browne caught a 13.85 lb mahi.
The following is an important read:::::
In summary, GAO found that differences exist in the number and frequency of regional fish stock assessments conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). For example, GAO’s analysis of NMFS data from 2005 through 2013 found that the Alaska Fisheries Science Center conducted 467 fish stock assessments, the Southeast Fisheries Science Center conducted 158 assessments, and the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center conducted 25 assessments and jointly participated in 17. According to NMFS officials, these differences are due to several factors, such as regional differences in the types of fish stock assessments conducted, data limitations, workload, and staff capacity. For instance, the majority of the fish stock assessments completed by the Alaska Fisheries Science Center between 2005 and 2013 were update assessments, which are less time-consuming to conduct.
NMFS’ regional fisheries science centers collaborate with regional partners to set regional priorities for fish stock assessments, and these regional partners have significant flexibility in setting fish stock assessment priorities in their regions, according to NMFS officials. Furthermore, GAO’s review of three regional fish stock assessment priority setting processes found that there was no standardized approach for how regional fisheries science centers set targets for the fish stock assessment level (i.e., how comprehensive the assessment needs to be) and frequency (i.e., how often the assessment needs to be updated) to help set priorities. However, NMFS issued a draft protocol to help standardize regional fish stock assessment prioritization processes in February 2014. Key features of the draft protocol include establishing an objective, standardized, and quantitative approach for setting regional fish stock assessment priorities and developing a national reporting system to compile and track the results of regional prioritization decisions.
A major source of annual funding for fish stock assessments and related activities is the Expand Annual Stock Assessment budget line. In fiscal year 2013, NMFS received $64 million for this budget line, which supports ongoing activities such as data collection, stock assessment modeling, staffing, and research to improve fish stock assessments. The Expand Annual Stock Assessment budget line has also been used to address critical regional needs. For example, in fiscal year 2010, NMFS provided additional funds to the Southeast Fisheries Science Center to initiate a new data collection effort offshore from the South Atlantic states and to hire additional assessment staff and biological technicians to process sample data. Funding for fish stock assessments and related activities also partially comes from several other budget lines. According to a senior NMFS official, the agency does not separately track how much of the funds from each of these budget lines are usedsolely to support stock assessments and related activities.
NMFS considers several factors in making funding decisions to support fish stock assessments and related activities. For example, NMFS allocates funding based on past funding amounts and makes adjustments to address national fish stock assessment priorities and needs, critical gaps identified through program reviews, and needs identified in regional fish stock prioritization processes. According to NMFS’ draft prioritization protocol, decisions about allocating national resources between regions can be guided indirectly by the results of regional fish stock assessment prioritization processes. For example, NMFS’ draft prioritization protocol establishes a new quantitative scoring system to rank regional fish stock assessment priorities that may allow NMFS to determine the extent to which the regional fisheries science centers can meet their fish stock assessment needs with available resources.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the Department of Commerce, U.S. marine fisheries contribute over $100 billion annually to the American economy and provide recreational fishing opportunities to millions of Americans. As part of its responsibility for fishery conservation and management, NOAA’s NMFS conducts fish stock assessments to estimate the size of the population of a fish stock and provide support for management measures, such as limits on how many fish can be caught annually, among other things.
GAO was asked to review issues related to NMFS’ fish stock assessments. This report (1) identifieddifferences in the number and frequency of fish stock assessments conducted by NMFS’ regional fisheries science centers and the causes of those differences, (2) identified how NMFS sets priorities for conducting fish stock assessments, (3) determined the funding NMFS receives annually for conducting fish stock assessments and related activities, and (4) determined how NMFS makes funding decisions to support fish stock assessments and related activities. GAO reviewed and analyzed relevant agency documents and fish stock assessment and budget data for available years and interviewed NMFS officials and other key stakeholders.
I never saw so many sea robins come over the side and this one was a trophy-size specimen.
DID YOU EVER HAVE ONE OF THOSE NIGHTS WHERE YOU KNOW RIGHT WHERE THE FISH ARE .... AND HITTING RIGHT NOW.. and ONLY a mile away ..but you're just feeling pretty comfy and say well maybe later..
REALLY... just waiting for the tide to start it's outward flow... and the band to start it's second set .....
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September / 22 / 2014 Subscribe
1 Fishery closed at 11:30 p.m. local time on June 2, 2014 (79 FR 31227).
2 Fishery closed at 11:30 p.m. local time on May 20, 2014 (79 FR 28849).
3 Fishery closed at 11:30 p.m. local time on September 9, 2014 (79 FR 53344).
4 Fishery closed at 11:30 p.m. local time on July 28, 2014 (79 FR 43267).