Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, April 13, 2015: Just plain gorgeous out there, though with a chilly south wind picking up off the ocean. Ocean water temps are toying with the mid-40s, however, these real cool nights of late…

Monday, April 13, 2015: Just plain gorgeous out there, though with a chilly south wind picking up off the ocean. Ocean water temps are toying with the mid-40s, however, these real cool nights of late (32 degrees in the pines a couple nights back) quickly knock the mick out of the beachfront’s efforts to warm up – and stay up.

Despite less than toasty water temps, stripers are in the swash. Surfcasters are using bloodworms, clams and even some artificials.

Reports range from lone hookups of a schoolie here and there to some serious banging, with one “dozen or more shorts” report arriving from a couple folks fishing an unnamed LBI beachfront, I believe to be southward. And don’t tell me that saying “southward” is burning a site.

NOTE: A wad of sand eels was regurgitated by a surfside striper, hooked near the beach. Stripers often empty their gullets, technically the esophagus, very quickly during a fight. That regurgitating fish must have been into sand eels right next to the beach.

By the by, so-called stomach contents are often located deeper in the stomach (than the gullet), where the material is not as easily regurgitated. That is why stomach content found when cleaning a fish is often heavily digested. Yes, that also makes it tougher to fully compute what a fish has recently been eating based on stomach content alone, unless the stomach items are clean – and not stomach-acid etched.

Below: Semi-digested stuff from a striper stomach. Materials looks to be at least four hours in-stomach. Mantis shrimp might be fresher. 

BLOODWORM SEASON: Bloodworms are shining on the spring striper front. The supply seems decent.

The digging of these so-called sea worms is in full swing up Maine way, where something like 900 licensed harvesters will supply the state’s 38 worm dealers.

In a good year – seemingly this year – nearly 500,000 pounds of worms will be dug with an in-state value of – steady now – well over $5 million. A digger gets twenty-five cents per bloodworm, regardless of worm size.

Below: What basser doesn't salivate over bass worms like these? 

“This is a fishery that is very under the radar,” says Peter Thayer, a scientist with the Maine Department of Marine Resources “By combining the landings of both bloodworms and sandworms, it is the fifth-most important fishery in the state.” This year it will likely become the fourth most important fishery in Maine.

One of the prime East Coast suppliers of bloodworms is the Eastern Sea Worm Company out of Hancock, Maine. Those folks buy the just-dug worms in the a.m., bundle them in seaweed, and, by that afternoon, have them aboard refrigerated trucks bound for Boston.

In Boston, the worms are quickly sorted and shipped to the next layer of wholesalers, who further market the worms along the entire East Coast.

By the time the worms reach the retail level, including our local tackle shops, they’re costing shop owners a pretty penny.

Surprisingly, attrition (die-off) is not that high considering bloodworms can easily die from thermal or toxic shock. Toxic shock can come from the blood of damaged worms and also the exploding fluids from gravid females. Freshwater is like acid to bloodworms.

It should be noted that the wholesalers in Maine sort out any small worms to return to the mudflats, a form of conservation. Considering any two bloodworms can produce as many as 40 million eggs, a little conservation can go a long way. I can’t resist getting weird with that data, by computing that 40 million four-inch worms, if hooked end-to-end, would extend from Maine to Florida – and nearly back again. “Days Inn … 3 Miles Ahead … Exit 56 …Bloodworms Welcome.”

Below: These guys fight for bloodworm turf .. make that mud. 

I’ll be digging bloodworms during the next decent low tides, later this week With the new moon and other astronomical effects, he have some real low tides arriving starting Thursday and bottoming out with a  -0.9 low on Saturday afternoon. That is really low, even if west winds aren’t a factor.

I haven’t dug bloodworms in ages, I think not since Sandy – which hit the area I dig real hard, removing some of the essential muddiness bloodies need to live. However, before closing, the Holgate mudflats had bloodies like I had never seen before. While clamming, I was turning them over left and right, including plenty of mediums – the minimum size needed for bassing, unless combining a bunch of smaller ones on the hook. There was really no need to keep them back then, short of limited winter floundering. Now is a different story … and Holgate is tightly closed.


Bruce Hoagland: 

Struggling with the loss of my buddy and mentor Bruce Hoagland of Bruce and Pat’s fame.

Bruce offered me incredible insights into fishing, in particular how to not overthink it – or take it too seriously. Fishing with him was always relaxing and astoundingly informative.

Back in the 80s, Bruce showed me how to break into the mullet business, buying my fish. He taught me many tricks of the mullet trade, including how to best sort and freeze them. He even showed me how to fillet, salt and freeze the larger mullet, something only Bruce did. He and I used the same method on seasonal Boston mackerel.

Bruce also allowed me to look over his shoulder as he was making his classic rigs – a single nail and know-how being the main ingredients.

Most of all, Cousin Bruce had that uncanny ability to know when I needed a boost in my spirits -- or a kick in the ass.

He was simply a tireless philosopher and a family man of the highest order. I always felt I was part of his family. 


Just got back from making arrangements for Bruce.
We will have a memorial serive on April 18, at Riggs Funeral Home 12th. St & Blvd. in Ship Bottom. time is 1 - 4 PM. Thee well be an OES Service and Masonic Service starting at 2:30 PM. There will be a repass that will be announced later. Thank You everyone for all of your thoughts and prayers at this time.

Is this for real? Try it. I did. 


April 13: Drones on Duty

At Point Piedras Blancas on the California coast, researcher Wayne Perryman's annual cow/calf count is underway. Expecting their northbound rush to begin any day, he tells us: "This year we hope to use a small drone to collect vertical images to determine size and shape of moms and babies as they move up the central California Coastline." Read below photo to find out why!

Drone being launced by scientists who will use it to count migrating whales

Image: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Researchers are trying to figure out why the whales appear to be doing well. "We've seen really good reproductive levels the last four years—lots of calves."

A shifting environment may be the reason. Is warming changing the ocean ecosystem by extending how long the whales can feed up north? Watching gray whales helps scientists get a window into what's happening in that rapidly changing environment.

Mr. Perryman and fellow Southwest Fisheries Science Center researcher John Durban are pioneering the use of drones to track the whales. The team's small hexacopter has already captured amazing images of killer whales.

The hexacopter hovers at about 100 feet, compared with small planes that get pictures from about 750 feet. Best of all, whales don't even know it's there. The fantastic photos it captures show general health conditions as well as markings unique to individuals. Mr. Perryman also wants to use the drones, which can hover just a few feet over the ocean, to collect biological samples. Guided by the live video, the drone could follow the back of the whale and be right over the blowholes to capture the exhaled breath. Scientists could get DNA from the captured epithelial cells use it to identify individual whales, their gender, and many details about their health. Wayne Perryman and John Durban will photograph the gray whales in May. If they succeed in collecting biological samples, the researchers hope to learn more about the whales and the environment they rely on.



Sailing for trash vortices

Hello Jay,

The Race for Water Odyssey, a scientific expedition that will draw up the first global assessment of marine litter with a 300+ day sailing tour around the world, is docked at Liberty State Park in New Jersey until April 15, when the next leg of its global journey continues.

The R4WO team takes a 300-day trip around the world to make the 
first-ever global assessment of plastic pollution in our oceans.   NYC is the 4
th of 22 around the world stop-overs of the R4WO. The journey had started in Bordeaux on March 15
thand will end after 300 days in Bordeaux in December this year. The team already made stops at the Azores and Bermuda. The expedition is organized by the 
Race for Water Foundation, United Nations Environment Programme and the Consulate General of Switzerland. Research partners include 
Duke Universityand 
Oregon State University. Researchers are using drones to map debris at beaches during their journey.

The crew will continue its journey on April 15. Please let me know whether you'd like to stop by at State Liberty Park to take pictures of the Race for Odyssey catamaran.I can also arrange a phone interview with a spokesperson about the expedition. Please see more information in the press release below. Here is also a video about their arrival.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2EescUeEW0&feature=youtu.be

Katja Schroeder, 917-607-6567, katja@expeditionpr.com


The Swiss expedition “Race for Water Odyssey” reaches New York

The Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO) reached New York City on Thursday, concluding its Atlantic crossing in a journey that will take its six-man crew over 40,000 nautical miles as they attempt to draw up the first global assessment of plastic pollution in the oceans. The crew members will be participating in numerous outreach events including two United Nations (UN) conferences organized by the UNEP about the issue of plastic litter. 

After completing the crossing of the Atlantic—which was turbulent due to several large depressions—the expedition has now arrived in New York, where it is welcomed and supported by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Consulate General of Switzerland, among others.   The crew members will be in New York until April 15th, participating in numerous outreach events including an open forum organized by UNEP to highlight the issue of plastic debris in the oceans.
The R4WO will be the guest of honor this afternoon at a plenary session regarding the “Global Partnership on Marine Litter” (GPML), organized by UNEP at the United Nations (UN) headquarters—undoubtedly the defining moment of the New York stopover. Launched at the Rio+20 Conference in 2012, the GPML aims to coordinate and support private and public action in the fight against marine pollution. During this session, an open forum will take place in honor of the R4WO, with remarks by Patricia Beneke, Director of the Regional Office for North America, UNEP, Nancy Wallace, member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Chair of the GPML; and H.E. May-Elin Stener, Deputy Permanent Representative of Norway to the United Nations. At the same time, outreach activities for young audiences will be held aboard the “MOD70 Race for Water” trimaran.
“The world’s oceans receive an enormous amount of litter each year, much of which is persistent and creates marine pollution that is global and intergenerational,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director. “Collaboration between governments, the private sector, civil society and academia is key to stemming the flow of waste into this fragile environment.” Achim Steiner added: “The Race for Water Odyssey is a pioneering and inspiring expedition that is helping to uncover the true impact of pollution in the world’s oceans, 80 per cent of which comes from human activities. Through their bold mission to extend our limited knowledge of waste gyres, and the major environmental threat they pose, the Odyssey’s crew are inspiring us all to take action and speak up for the oceans, the lifeblood of our blue planet”.
“Race for Water, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is a pioneering initiative to clean up plastic waste in the world’s oceans. This pollution concerns all of us, as consumers, as producers and as authorities, no matter whether we are an alpine country like Switzerland or a country with a vast shoreline,” said Switzerland’s Consul General, Ambassador André Schaller. “Environmental protection and sustainable development are essential to ensuring our children’s future. I am proud to welcome the pioneer team to New York City, a place where sustainability is a high-priority for government and citizens alike.”

After leaving Bordeaux, France on March 15th, the R4WO made an initial stopover in the Azores before heading to the Bermuda islands, located in the center of a plastic gyre, to conduct the first of 11 scientific analyses.
Watch the conference live (10:00 am GMT) here: http://webtv.un.org/
Heading for Necker Island, Panama, then Valparaiso (Chile)
The R4WO crew will remain in New York before heading to Necker Island (British Virgin Islands). The expedition is invited there to participate in the Leadership Program developed by Virgin United and
its famous founder, Richard Branson. The “MOD70 Race for Water” will subsequently enter the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal and continue on to Valparaiso. A second series of analyses will be conducted on the island beaches, which are found in the trash gyre of the South Pacific. 
Follow the R4WO’s progress live atwww.raceforwater.org/race_for_water_odyssey/map
More information about the program at http://www.raceforwater.com/steps/new-york-city

About the Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO)
Initiated by the Race for Water foundation, the “Race for Water Odyssey” is a unique expedition that aims to draw up the first global assessment of plastic pollution in the ocean by visiting island beaches situated in the 5 trash vortexes. In less than 300 days, over 40,000 nautical miles will be traveled, punctuated by 11 scientific stopovers and 9 outreach stopovers, involving a total of 13 countries. The Race for Water Odyssey benefits from the support of ISAF, Duke University, Oregon State University, senseFly, Swisscom and Swissnex.

About the Race for Water Foundation
Founded in Lausanne in 2010, the “Race for Water” Foundation’s mission is to preserve our planet’s most valuable resource: water. The foundation is an officially recognized non-profit organization seeking to implement concrete and sustainable actions, focusing on two main themes: protecting oceans and freshwater. “Race for Water” initiates projects aimed at raising awareness and taking concrete action on the ground. These actions are directed at four target audiences: economic players, political bodies, the scientific community, and the general public—with particular emphasis on future generations. “Race for Water” collaborates with organizations such as UNESCO, UNEP, IUCN, WWF, and WBCSD.

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