Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Saturday Sept. 20. 08 -- Winds such -- short break then more NE gusts

Saturday, September 20, 2008: Winds: Calm (6 a.m.). Water clarity: Fair to good; still a lot of stir from wave action. Waves: Slowly dropping 5-6 foot (larger sets) north swell. Loads of N to S current.

The winds played a total spoiler yesterday but have dropped off the map overnight. They will reappear today but not to the degree (direction) of yesterday, which saw sustained 25 mph NE right through to sunset – it was also seriously chilly (due mainly to the fact we’re so acclimated to the hot summer weather that hung around until right before this chill-snap.)

Fishing, except for the south tip of Holgate, was gusted off the map.

In Holgate there were the typical small blues, residual fluke, dogfish, small black seabass, an occasional rare weakfish, a couple striper swirls (allegedly) and every junkfish on the books (including your always ugly stargazers.. The large sharks are not biting like a short time back though a couple more significant dorsal fins were seen near Little Egg Inlet.

Dolphin have been frequently seen around the Holgate tip – and surely play the spoiler. Per usual, any hooking falls instantly off the table when the dolphin show. Their high-pitched emissions, used to disorient forage fish, can clear the entire marine life block. A few days back while I was throwing net, I had a couple dolphin doing the full lift-off displays, coming way out of the water, turning in mid-air and landing on their backs. I was chatting with Bob Schoelkopf of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center and had my thinking on such displays corrected. I thought the airborne dolphin were splashing down to confuse forage fish. Turns out this behavior is most often reserved for cleaning parasites off fins and such. I’ll have to remember that the next time I get a load of parasite hanging onto me.

Another large sheepshead was taken near Barnegat Inlet. (Called: Please send that email picture. Thanks).

Mullet run is very poor to this point. Spearing and rainfish are mixing together for some reason. I’m getting a lot of both fouled on my castnet.

The big surf from this past blow -- and coincidental spring tides -- have hauled away much of the sands gained along the Holgate beachfront. The sucked-out sand won’t have much time to come back since no sooner will this batch of bad wind lay down than some serious NE winds could kick in by next week. A slow and nasty storm may be forming just off the SE coast could really louse things up for the first week of fall. A lot has to happen for that to form but there is also serious tropical potential – though it appears it might remain extratropical.


Jay, what will the north east winds we have for the next couple of days do to the water temps just off the shore line? thanks Alex

Water was very mild today -- 73 near the beach, but chillier near inlets. It was generally 70 just off the beach (mile or so). There is no chance of cooler ocean water for the weekend -- or even next week . However, the bay will fluctuate drastically. These night air temps near 60 will knock the backbay water down into the mid-60 near the shallows. Then the 80s by Sunday will bounce it quickly back up. If that seems very fast for bay water changes thank the steady shallowing of the bay. Solar and ambient air temps effect it almost instantly -- not unlike a backyard pool.

AP story:

[Associated Press] - September 19, 2008 - WASHINGTON, One way to help prevent overfishing may be to guarantee each fisherman a specified share of the catch, according to a new report.

Collapse of fish stocks is much less common in areas where 'catch share' fishing is practiced than in other regions, researchers say in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

The reason, they say, is that the system increases the incentive to protect the fishery rather than causing fishermen to compete against each other to see who can bring in the largest catch.

In a catch share system, individual fishermen, or fishing cooperatives, are allocated a share of the catch based on what they have caught over a prior period, say five or 10 years, explained Christopher Costello of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

For example, if someone averaged 1.5 percent of the catch in a fishery in the past, they would be guaranteed 1.5 percent of the total in the future - regardless of what the total take is.

Thus, a healthy fish stock allowing for a larger total catch means each share is larger, Costello said, so fishermen tend to protect the stock by using less damaging methods.

Using catch shares to manage fisheries is common in some parts of the world and is currently under consideration for some U.S. fisheries also.

The finding was welcomed by the Environmental Defense Fund.

'The trend around the world has been to fish the oceans until the fish are gone,' said David Festa, vice president and oceans director at EDF. 'The scientific data presented today shows we can turn this pattern on its head. Anyone who cares about saving fisheries and fishing jobs will find this study highly motivating.'

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