Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday a.m. Nov. 23, 07 -- Another wind whacking and tragedy on Rte. 9

Friday, November 23, 2007: Waves: Finally settling down, 3 feet and wind blown.

Off-shore winds took their time getting here yesterday. Southerlies had the beaches blustery, downright frigid for those of us yet to get our winter skin on. Despite tons of anglers off for the holiday, the weather had the angler count down a bit, especially compared to recent Thanksgivings when the beaches were neck deep in surfcasters. The dozen of so regulars I talked to were not having it there way, many prepared to catch that last-minute bass to invite home for holiday dinner.

Messages for bass placed by anglers on their chunk lines: “Hey, good to see you. The family was wondering of you’d like to come to dinner today.”

Scrawled message they got back: “Sorry, previous engagement with a ball of my bunker buddies out at the drop-off. Maybe next year. Tell kids I said ‘Hi.’ ”

Per usual, there were fish being taken though, mainly by chunkers. However, a bit of an oddity were the smallish blues being caught in the suds on plugs. These were, like, 2-pound fish that you’d think would be long gone by now.

The bass were primarily low-tiders taken on the lee side of jetties by clam chuckers. However, as the south winds howled, hitting the sizeable north ground swell, both sides of the jetty were stirred – not the worst thing for bassin, of course.

Today seems primed fro small to just-keeper-sized bassing, though water clarity is messed up.

Here’s some recent reports:

Hey Jay. Fished the Brant Beach area today. Finally caught my first striped bass of the 2007 calendar year. It only took me 11 months! I was getting real nervous. Caught 2 bass on clam, lost one in the wash, and missed 4 other hits. Fished the incoming tide. A fellow
fisherman to the south of me (who generously took the picture below), caught 6 bass (2 on clam, and 4 on plug with teaser combo). Going to try again on Friday… Nick H

On Wednesday morning I headed north out of the inlet along IBSP. My weapons were plastics and 5 spot. Tried jigging at various drops on the way up to the coast guard station. Saw some birds in tight to the beach and headed in being careful to not get caught in the big swell and and up surfing myself onto the beach. Another boat and I were throwing plastics and metal he had a few small bass hookups, I did nothing until I tossed a spot into the surf. Two seconds later I had a 24". Did nothing else so I moved out and back toward the inlet. There were a few boats in a cluster, some trolling, some clamming. I through a spot on and dropped to the bottom. As I reached for my jigging rod off went the spot and I landed a nice 28" dinner. Droped another spot and the same results. Ran out of spots and tried my spot "look-a-like" plastics. Not a touch. Headed back to the inlet and carefully worked the edge of the bars on the south pocket. I landed another five bass, all shorts. Tried to do some blackfishing on the north jetty at 1:00 but the wind was coming up strong out of the south and it made it too hard to stay on the rocks. Called it a day. Walt P.


Sad end to Thanksgiving. I was heading northward up Route 9 after a dinner in Tuckerton (maybe 9:30) and was approaching the Parkertown Road turn-off, at My Three Sons fruit and vegetable stand. Up in the distance I saw some panic-stop brake lights and an what I thought was an object seemingly fly out of a truck (my first thought). Then I saw other cars swerving.

I pulled over at a distance and was going to detour around the scene by turning left onto Parkertown Road. However, when I saw people all running toward the scene, I immediately got that sinking feeling. I pulled over well away from the scene and ran up until close enough to see what I had dreaded. It was a person struck, horrifically struck. A northbound medium-sized sedan had struck her. I was told by a bystander that the car was not speeding at all. I didn’t witness any of that.

I ran back to my truck and tracked down the LEHT police department number on my cell (I keep every local PD stored in there) but I, at first, couldn’t get a cell signal (as is VERY common on that stretch of Route 9). Just as finally got a signal and was calling the accident in, it came over the scanner in my truck. I then ran over to join a small group of first-aiders. There was not a whole lot that could be done by way of immediate on-scene treatment.

The victim was a younger female (teen?) face down and unconscious. I only advised what the first-aiders knew already: That no one should move her since she had obviously suffered life-threatening head and neck injuries from being hit and thrown, landing many feet from the impact point in the northbound lane. She was, at that point, lying just beyond the southbound lane, toward the shoulder, her feet still on the road. It was still very dangerous, traffic-wise.

I then went to help traffic control, made up of one fellow trying to stop fairly fast-moving southbound traffic. There were no emergency vehicle lights at this time, making standing in the street quite spooky. The area is poorly lit and the southbound Route 9 drivers were bearing down; many wouldn’t slow down until me and the other guy waves our arms frantically. I had moronically forgotten to grab my flares when I got out of the truck the second time. I usually always grab them first in any situation like that, day or night. Actually, I was a bit shook, especially by the crying and screaming of the mortified middle-aged female driver, alone in her vehicle, who had struck the girl.

Within mere minutes of the scanner alert, the first emergency vehicles began arriving, led by a first aid vehicle with overheads, helping to finally alert southbound traffic to the accident.

The emergency response after that was astounding. I don’t just routinely say that. I’ve been at many accidents scene where it takes forever for any response units to get there. But in this case, in less than five minutes there were police cruisers, first aid vehicles, fire trucks and paramedics literally all over the scene. Astounding effort. At the same time, Medivac (helicopter) was alerted so other fire and rescue vehicles headed to secure the landing zone. I believe it was at the school on Frog Pond Road. The landing had to be hairy (I’m not 100 percent sure it finally did set down) with winds approaching 45 miles an hour and gusty as all get-out.

I went back to my truck since I wasn’t serving any purpose on-scene. A fire truck had blocked all southbound traffic. I really wanted to go up to console the lady who hit the girl. I could just tell it was a tragic accident on a dark stretch of highway. I stood next to her and she did not seem to be impaired in any way that I saw. She was horror-struck though. Then, after I left the scene, I heard on the scanner that they needed another ambulance right away. She had gone down. I sensed the stress was becoming too much and that shock was setting in. I felt rotten that I hadn’t helped her since I have enough training to have calmed her, especially by moving her away from the scene, where she just kept staring down on the girl.

For those folks not local to this area, we’ve seen an almost unfathomable run of tragic vehicle-related accidents, many involving teens, over the past couple months, so much so that special safety classes are going to be offered at regional high schools.

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