Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Tuesday, April 07, 2020: It’s fairly official: No surfcasting on LBI until further notice.
To make that a tad less dreary, “further notice” might come before the big COVID “All Clear” is sounded in Trenton. Based on scant input, I see where Island mayors somewhat agree that surf fishing should be allowed, though only for card-carrying local Island anglers.
If you hadn’t heard, beach usage in BL, Beach Haven, Harvey Cedars and Beach Haven is limited to walking the sand and only if you have – on your person at all times -- a reentry placard specifically for the town you live in, i.e. you can only use a Beach Haven placard on the Beach Haven beach. If you accidentally wander-walk into the township, you can and likely will be shot on sight by marksmen in well-manned concrete COVID bunkers. Problematically, even when walking in your placarded town, itchy-fingered COVID cops might mistake you for what they’re calling “placard jumpers.” Even though it’s called friendly fire, it hurts.
Playing Switzerland is Surf City, which remains open to one and all, even surfers and surfcasters. That doesn’t mean borderline LBT and SB COVOD cops won’t take long distance pot shots at you. Ship Bottom is playing just plain bad-ass by disallowing any beach usage by anyone – except the cops who get to whiz along the beach on quads, throwing their legs out to the side when jumping sand mounds.
Since I’m rolling in the deep (shit), I’ll also let you know that no bayside bank fishing is allowed unless it’s from your own dock or bulkhead. I’ll guess that the so-called Morrison’s Dock bulkhead and parking area in Beach Haven is closed. I don’t know that for a fact, though. If it is open, you won’t hear it here.
Technically and officially, the High Bar Harbor “Dike” is fully off limits, meaning some of the area’s best spring plugging and fly fishing has gone the way of today’s park closures. Word to the wise, there is a homeowner in that area who could find no greater pleasure than turning in anyone trying to illegally take in the fresh air of the Dike’s mile-long beachline.
Email: “Jay, Are the public fishing areas along the Causeway open?”
I’ll go rogue by saying absolutely. Just don’t blame me when no fewer that six state police cars simultaneously come flying into the parking area, with infuriated staties jumping from their vehicles with sundry weapons drawn, all “Are you outta your mind boy!?” If I’m right about those public areas along the Causeway being open, this is the perfect time to see if any fish can be taken from those areas.
I cannot imagine the Forsythe Refuge closing the Bonnet Island Nature Trail – he says without even asking refuge manager Virginia Rettig. I’ll do that asking tomorrow. By the by, there might be one small fishing area just south of the East Pavilion on the trail. Not sure of the water depth, though.
I’ll also be seeing if the Road-to-Nowhere, Manahawkin, is open. I used to have some very fun fishing what we called the “canal,” -- a 25-foot wide, north/south, arrow-straight waterway located on the south side of the road about ¾ of the way to the end. I believe it requires a freshwater fishing license. The larger “impound” lakes along that road can have some fun fishing though every fish there has been caught and thrown back many times over. Please, drive the road slowly. There have been accident and even an awful fatality caused when speeding vehicles have hit potholes or corduroy surfaces and careened out of control. There used to be a monument where the victim died.
I gave it my best shot -- to keep beaches open, that is. But, science and sensibility fell prey to what amounts to shutdown hysteria. The near Island wide shutdown of “water activities” was admittedly fueled by some folks not displaying proper quarantining etiquette when beaching it.
I’ll stand firm – and defeated, momentarily – by persisting that there is absolutely no science proving any infectious/communicability danger from surf fishing and waveriding in Jersey waters. Please, do not try to roundaboutly usher in recent California findings of communicability in the Golden State. That data is strictly based on dangers within some of the West Coast’s pathogenically suspect ocean areas. It’s downright incomprehensible to overlook thousands upon thousands of people packing into supermarkets, big box marts and liquor stores while simultaneously insinuating a small cross section of people seeking healthy outside air -- by riding waves and pursing stripers -- present an unacceptable COVID risk?
I know I’m beating a dead beach here, but I simply want to go on the record as being among those disgusted with this beach ban syndrome. In the distant future, as generations look back and laugh their asses off at many of the current COVOD responses, someone will happen upon this column and note: “Well, at least not everyone was bamboozled.”
Taking a deep breath, these draconian beach actions will not last all that long, especially when public outrage goes off the charts, i.e. soon. For now, coastalites from as nearby as Stafford, Eagleswood, Little Egg Harbor, Barnegat and Tuckerton Borough, are out of luck when it comes to fishing, surfing or even walking LBI beaches. It’s so wrong. Just imagine those mainland towns fighting back by carding anyone entering their local stores, turning back anyone with LBI addresses. Hey, fair is fair.
Striped Bass Bonus Program is tentatively scheduled to open May 15 (due to the unprecedented situation with COVID-19, the opening of the 2020 Striped Bass Bonus Program may be delayed.
Growing up trout fishing the NJ rivers often led to lost sleep from the excitement of hitting the stream in the morning. Chris, a professional fly-fishing guide, did a great job brushing off the dust on me. Dust that accumulated from literally decades. The end results were: I took away a book's worth of knowledge: I can ride a bike after not being on it for years; and I caught, photographed, and released 9 rainbows. Some video from this adventure can be seen here Trout fishing, NJ
BTW: I have been going through old videos I have of fishing that I never edited and uploaded to my YouTube channel: Fishing Barnegat Bay Since may have free time why not stop on by, subscribe to my channel and watch some of my videos. You never know, you may be in one of them!
(CNN)Sixteen named storms, including eight hurricanes, are forecast for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, according to early predictions released Thursday by experts at Colorado State University.