Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Friday, August 24, 2007: Waves: Still very sizeable. Water clarity: fair. Winds: Around to the south – where they’ll stay parked for the entire weekend.
Well, the sun broke through late yesterday and since then it hasn’t wasted any time calling in its buddy Mr. Torrid – of torrid, hot and humid fame.
I had a nice a.m. session in the deep Pines, figuring I’d tap into the last semblances of coolness from the storm. Fat chance. No sooner had the sun risen than the mercury climbed up my back and through my forehead, drip by drip.
I t was sweltering by 10 a.m. but that led to a good day for searching pine snakes, which only come out (from burrowing) in the early a.m. after decent rains and rising air temps. I measured three pine snakes in under two hours. The largest was 56 inches! That size was common by old time standards (60s and before) but large for nowadays.
By the by, it is fully illegal to keep any NJ wildlife not controlled by Division of Fish and Wildfire permits. In the herptile realm, you can only keep bullfrogs, painted turtles and snapping turtle – though the huge overabundance of red-bellied turtles would seem they could be a candidate for occasional collecting. I only “detain” a herptile long enough to get a length and a look – for diseases, parasites or scarring that might indicate ecological conflicts, like deer hoof marks. I fully agree with the state’s wildlife regs against collecting and I have turned in hertile poachers on a couple occasions – and will do so to anyone I find collecting out there. I also had a vicious fisticuffs with a couple collectors I corners near Chatsworth (R.R. tracks) years back. Some day I’ll write about that misadventure – misadventure for them, that is.
Anyway, today I also observed a gorgeous just-shed kingsnake of near 45 inches and saw a slew of black racers as the sun rose higher. The racers were all in the typical 50-inch range – and, as always, full of utter piss and vinegar. They are now our most common larger snake species and actually seem to be more abundant over the past 20 years. Also, racers are far-and–away our attackingest snake species, with water snakes a distant second, though water snakes put up a decent hissy-fit when corned, however, water snakes are never much more than a couple feet long while black racers easily push 5 feet and are one of the few snakes anywhere that can strike up the entire length of its body (and then some) when picked up by the tail.
Back to LBI, the weather will be a huge factor temp-wise over the weekend, with the shore being a bastion of coolerness against what will surely be record-shattering high temperatures on the mainland, especially up toward Trenton. The down side is the south wind that could kick in intermittently – heat of day type gust.
The ocean will surely calm enough for drifter to re-find those huge biomasses of fish. I doubt very much there will be any bass to speak of. No reason for any outside fish to come here and the resident fishery is all but nonextistent. There are some kingfish in the surf but the swell will make them hard to target. Lots of filefish being reported from nearing to way out, mainly grays with a couple queens.
This is a half-day report and I’ll have some more stuff in here alter – including some more input about the fluke lady.