Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday Nov. 13, 07 -- Better bass are back -- landmark tower to fall

Tuesday, November 13, 2007: Waves: 1-2 feet. Water clarity: Very good. Plugability: High.

There were some serious bass caught today. I got half a dozen reports of surf stripers to 38 pounds., with three over 20 pounds. I don’t know of these were Classic fish or not but it is one of the better showings of cows since the Classic began five and half weeks ago. Bunker bait is the main attractant though I got word that schoolies bass are taking plugs. On my Surf City street, a regular took three sub-keeper bass in short order this a.m. using artificials.

Bluefish remain heavily in the beach mix. They’re running into the low teens of pounds. Most of those choppers are rogues or close to it. Once in a while you’ll see rods take hits going down the angler line but mainly it’s one chosen caster who gets the knock.

A LANDMARK NO LONGER: As coastal folks rage over the mushroom-ish rising of cell tower after cell tower – seemingly fingering the skyline in a gesture of obscene overdevelopment -- a huge tower is actually coming down this week.

That visually famous metal tower adjacent to the Rutgers University Marine Field Station at the end of Seven-Bridges Road is downward bound, per facility head honcho Ken Abel.

It’s gonna be kinda weird not having that protrusive 150-foot-plus tower in its usual place. It’s been there since something like 1974.

Boaters who ply the semi-tricky waters of Little Egg and Beach Haven inlets are going to miss the looming landmark. It is heavily utilized when approaching inlet waters. Also, it is topped by a red aviation warning light, meaning a familiar night bearing will also be lost to mariners.

Those of us who faithfully fish Holgate have gotten used to the look and feel of the far South End layout. Taking that landward point of reference is going to give a lingering sense that something is missing over there.

Why is it going down?

A SandPaper writer attending a recent meeting at the field station told me erosion and rotting is at the root of the takedown. The structure’s metal where it meets the base, has been eaten to the critical point. At the same time, the bay water adjacent to the tower, known as Grassy Channel, is over 30 feet deep and is slowly undermining the entire tower.

By way of historic reference, the tower was built around 1974 as a prelude to – are you ready for this, Willie? – a planned floating power plant inside the inlet. It was intended to collect data about weather conditions in the area. It is currently doing nothing at all.

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