Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Daily blog-about : Coldwater times; Free Beach Badges or what?

As to nearshore fishing, that is a little tough to tout. It just ain’t overly happening. But that’s summer angling at its iffiest. 

They’re still getting fluke off the beach but nothing like in weeks past. According to Fishermen’s HDQ there has been some fair fluking bayside. Bill’s Bait and Tackle in Harvey Cedars is busily making up its own “Bucktail and Teaser Fluke Rigs,” which seem to be working well. Bill is suggesting folks go with GULP on the bucktail and real squid on the teaser. I always like hearing squid is in play. Squid is always offers an unbeatable fluking presence.

A big bring-down for anglers and beachgoers alike is the 55-degree (at best) water temp in the surf? The upwelled water, sparked by south winds, really throws a wrench in the getty-up of surf fishing. We should be seeing some kingfish, which hang around near the beach. Nippiness is a shocker for them, as they move up from the south. They slow down their eating, or move further out.

Even fluke, which kinda like briskish water, can be thrown off their eating game, as their metabolisms gets bounced around by colder water.

Report from Walter P: Tried some fluking this morning. Caught the outgoing 64 degrees and drifted the inlet with nothing to show. Turned the corner and headed up IBSP about ½ mile. Headed into 15’ of water and drifted out with nothing, not even junk. Water temp was a frigid 53 degrees, which probably explains why nothing was interested.


There are small bluefish near the inlets – and offer at least something fillet-ish for the cooler. These are that just-usable size, between a snapper blue and a lower-end cocktail blue. I don’t consider snappers proper table fare and have long been stumped by there being no size limits on this very important species.  I refuse to even acknowledge the nonsense that “little kids fish for little snappers.” How many little kids catch a tiny snapper and say, “Let’s eat?!” None.  In fact, most snapper-catchin’ kids I’ve seen enjoy the hell outta letting the snapper go.

Sharks are still hanging heavily in the hood. However, they are yet another species that can lose its eating edge in cold waters. Nonetheless, some near-in brown sharks are being caught -- but nothing like what’s coming.  Just wait until the seas calm down and typical summer waters (70s) move in. You are going to see a veritable shark conga line along the sandbars. 



I was taught by former state senator and ongoing Surf City Mayor Len Connors that the worst possible thing for any LBI municipalities is having even one bit of home rule removed from their hands.

Here’s where I’m going with this. There has been an effort to get county-level government to take over the running of beaches – all beach matters, in some instances. I believe this stems from never-ending efforts to get what might be called a unified state-wide beach badge. It seems to some politicos that the backdoor to such a takeover of beachfront responsibilities would come with a shift from local to county control.  

By the by, I’m absolutely in lockstep with any efforts to consolidate beach badges – but only if we can do so in an orderly, Island manner.

Note “Island manner” carefully. A one-badge-fits-all effort has to be done in-house, not up at county or state levels.  

I’ll also note such an LBI omnibadge ain’t soon happening, not until new faces and attitudes are in office. That’s not to remotely suggest we oust anyone at this point. It just indicates that certain local political powers-that-be -- I’ll point to the above-mentioned Surf City – feel a solidified beach badge could not only cost them a tanned arm and leg in the short run but also impinge on absolute hometown rule in the longer jog. Will an ultimate LBI beach badge ever grace our suits and towels? I think it could happen, especially with replenishment efforts being looked upon as local/state/federal gifts to the entire state.

In that case, what about no badges at all? Nope. It costs astronomical amounts to guard and clean up after beaches have been swarmed upon daily – by state and out-of-state beachgoers. No coastal town, make that its taxpayers, can pick up the multimillion dollar tab, short of the considering the unthinkable – tolled bridges onto LBI. 


If you haven't been Ship Bottom fired to death from various sources, here's the vids I took. Fire began in an outside cigarette receptaclehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptdoRMJFrco&feature=youtu.be

and: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFl3ILwXGM4&list=UURw6vS2_fvx5K...



Photo by: Ruben Perez

Atlantic striped bass stocks may be in trouble again, as they were in the early ’80s. Then, the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act (1984) established a unique state-based, federally backed management regime that successfully rebuilt depleted populations. But now, spawning stock numbers have been in slow decline again since reaching an astronomical level in 2004.

These fish are highly managed and regulated. Every state in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has been conducting abundance surveys and tagging programs for decades, and we know more about the stock size and age composition of striped bass than possibly any other fish species. Yet the complexity of their life history makes developing management regimes difficult.

Stripers are long-lived (up to 30 years) and slow to mature, and they spawn in freshwater rivers, where environmental conditions have a major impact on spawning success. The rivers feeding Chesapeake Bay produce between 65 and 75 percent of the Atlantic coastal stock, so spawning success there is extremely important for maintaining a healthy coastwide population.

There was overall strong spawning success there from 1993 through 2003, with slightly lower levels from 2004 through 2010. The spawning stock biomass (SSB) peaked in 2004 at an estimated 80,000 metric tons of fish and has declined to about 60,000 metric tons today. Back in the bad old days, the SSB was estimated to be less than 5,000 metric tons, so there are plenty of spawners available. In fact, the young-of-the-year (YOY) index for 2010 was the fifth highest since 1970, but for 2011 it was one of the lowest, and 2012’s was slightly under the median. Scientists haven’t been able to pinpoint specific environmental problems that are responsible, and there is growing suspicion that angler harvest of 40-plus-inch bass has played a role. The current assessment indicates that the SSB is large enough to sustain the stocks, the stocks are not currently overfished, and fishing mortality has already been declining over the past few years.

So, yes, there is reason for concern, but there is not yet reason to panic. The stocks are much larger than they were prior to the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act, and the scientists and managers at the ASMFC are on the case. A new addendum to the Striped Bass Fisheries Management Plan to reduce fishing mortality is in the works. A spate of possible regulatory actions will be presented by the time this is in print; a public comment period ran through July. The addendum should be made final at the ASMFC August meeting, with implementation likely occurring in January 2015.


(Below: Always worrisome for striped bass ...)

Dead zone from runoff is growing in Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay ...

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [WTOP] By Kathy Stewart - July 8, 2014 - 

WASHINGTON, Each year scientists and natural resources mangers study the size and duration of so called "dead zones" in the Chesapeake Bay in an effort to figure out the impact on life in the Bay.

But the dead zones in the Chesapeake are growing. Scientists who predicted the increase aren't surprised. Tom Parmham, a scientist with the Maryland Department of a Natural Resources, says, "It's nothing to be alarmed about. It's slightly higher than average."

Dead zones are areas deprived of oxygen and that means crabs, fish, oysters and other Bay life can't survive there.

"Dead zones are caused by excessive nutrients from farms, sewage plants, fertilizer and sewage plants," says Parmham.

Dead zones are influenced by pollution and weather conditions. In fact, Parmham says the slightly higher increase in dead zones came as no surprise because of heavy rain and the runoff associated with it. A June study shows that Maryland's portion of the Bay has the 8th largest dead zone in 30 years.

"The rain comes down and runs off the land and eventually makes its way to the bay. What comes off the land are the fertilizers," says Parmham

That provides the fuel for algae to grow and that algae blooms cause the dead zones.

"What this means for the bay is that we are still working towards restoring the bay and we're not there yet."


Peru downplays El Nino chances, as waters begin to cool


According to Peru authorities, cooling sea temperatures are bringing back schools of anchovy.
Temperatures in the Eastern Tropical Pacific off Peru peaked in June, at 5.4 degrees F above average levels, but have since declined, and Peru authorities predict a return to normal temperatures by August, according to the State Committee monitoring El Nino.
"The possibility of us seeing an extraordinary Nino is ruled out," said German Vasquez, the head of the committee.
Cold-water anchovy that swam south to escape warmer sea temperatures that arrived in April are making their way back now, Vasquez said.
"Anchovy are coming north," Vasquez said. "There are already fish in the center of the country, but they're still very close to the coast and not yet at their usual depth."
Vasquez said sea temperatures off Peru's coast could rise again slightly at the end of the year.
Such forecasts are also echoed by NOAA, that says there is a 70% chance of an El Nino beginning this summer, and an 80% chance of one beginning next winter.  However, the current El Nino index stands at .2, when a level of .5 generally indicates an El Nino is occuring.  In March and April these levels were reached, but since then temperatures have cooled.  
NOAA says that a trough bringing lower than normal temperatures is partly responsible. 

Photo Credit: Instituto del Mar del Peru


Obama's proposed massive marine sanctuary will be tough to police

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Saving Seafood] - July 8, 2014 - 

When President Obama announced his intention June 17 to expand a marine sanctuary west of Hawaii, many environmentalists praised the move as a needed protection, but the region’s main fishing group says it could do more harm than good.

According to the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, composed of representatives from the fishing industry as well as some state and federal officials, the federal protections would unfairly penalize and economically harm the area’s fishermen, and the conservation effort may not even be enforceable.

“The NGOs push the president to make these monuments, then the NGOs leave, and the local government and the federal government are held to try to live up to the promises,” Sylvia Spalding, spokeswoman for the council, said. “But without the resources, we can’t.”

The extended Pacific Remote Islands Marine Sanctuary would be the world’s largest, covering seven islands across nearly 782,000 square miles of federal waters and prohibiting energy exploration, fishing and other activities. The current sanctuary zone extends 50 miles around each island’s coast, protecting marine life like coral reefs. The extension, which is not specified yet, could cover up to 200 more miles, areas Spalding says contain only open-ocean, highly migratory fish like tuna.

“They’re penalizing the U.S. fishermen even after the president recognized that through our management system we have reduced illegal fishing,” she said. 


(This story is important because of the acidity angle ... something we have to really worry about. See my weekly column this week -- jmann)

SFP expert tells New Zealand their shellfish industry could be obliterated by ocean acidity

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Marlborough Express]  July 8, 2014  

New Zealand shellfish could be obliterated by greenhouse gases.
An American expert told a University of Otago conference a "massive shellfish extinction event" could be on the cards.
Todd Capson speaks with government officials and scientists today on what must be done to prevent their rapid disappearance.
"It's not always a gradual change. If you exceed a certain threshold, things die."
The issue arose because CO2 in the ocean transformed into an acid, Capson said at the weekend.
Rising levels of the gas from carbon fuels meant more of this acid - "the same thing that makes Coca-Cola fizzy" - dissolved the substance oysters and other shellfish needed to make their shells.
Without enough calcium carbonate in the seas to make a fully developed shell in their first days of life, the baby creatures died.
Coral, which builds its reefs using the same material, is also under threat.
Capson said in 2007, seafood farmers off the coast of Oregon and Washington states lost nearly 80 per cent of their shellfish stock through this "ocean acidification".
Once-thriving habitats suddenly became dead zones, leaving a NZ$340 million industry that employed 2000 workers on the brink of collapse, Capson said.
Last year, affected American aquaculture workers visited their Kiwi counterparts with a chilling warning: "This happened to me and it's going to happen to you."
During his time in New Zealand, Capson, of the US Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, will also meet with the seafood industry to discuss how ocean acidification can be monitored and farmed shellfish protected.
Globally, the ocean has become 30 per cent more acidic since the industrial revolution, he said. There were also hotspots - like the Northwest coast of the United States - which had become even more acidic.
New Zealand's aquaculture industry was yet to be affected, but tests by National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research scientist Kim Currie showed acidity was rising, Capson said.
Close monitoring of the changes in the seas was the first step. Shellfish were also put at risk by run- off from the land that led to algal blooms on the coastlines, Capson said. When these blooms decomposed, they added even more CO2 to the water, making temporary acidic hotspots in which shellfish could not grow.
Radical change, including preventing run-off and reducing carbon emissions long-term, was needed to ensure such species did not vanish, he said.Fairfax NZ

Photo Credit: Aquaculture.org


What Is Your Freedom Worth?

Hope you enjoyed the long weekend with family and friends this Fourth of July.  Your friends at the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) also hope you took a moment or two over the weekend to remember what this American holiday is all about - specifically, certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


Ours is a nation of freedom, built upon the fundamental belief that government is instituted among men, deriving powers from the consent of those who are the governed.  In order to secure our individual rights as free Americans, we must be assured that our government is one of the people, by the people and for the people.  

As a recreational fisherman, do you believe that our government agencies are working with your best interests in mind? 


Do you have faith in the federal process by which seasons, sizes and bag limits are implemented? 


Are you confident that the recreational data collection used by our federal government to make fisheries decisions is the best available?


Most importantly, do you think the folks in Washington DC are motivated to act upon items of your best interest at the federal level?


If you've answered 'no' to even one of the above questions, then perhaps it's time that you celebrated Independence Day by agreeing to fight for your right to fish!


Join RFA today and together let's defend our freedom to fish!


We created the RFA as a 501(c)(4) political action organization in 1996 specifically to give saltwater anglers a stronger voice in the political process.  With a very clearly stated mission "to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs and ensure the long-term sustainability of U.S. saltwater fisheries," RFA is the only organization in the United States federally recognized with the non-profit mission to stand up on behalf of your freedom to fish.


You've seen the national news headlines about 501(c)(4) organizations like ours - truth is, some politicians and bureaucrats are afraid of grassroots political action groups designed as 'C4' because we are allowed under federal law to openly express political views while directly participating in the process on behalf of our members.  


After nearly 20 years in the trenches, RFA is still here - and we're not going anywhere.  We continue building a national army of saltwater anglers, one member at a time, who believe in the right to fish. 


We're hoping you're one of those proud patriots, willing to carry the RFA card, to wave the flag, and to help mobilize and support state chapters around the country, we would like to hear from you today.    


JOIN RFA - let friends know that you do believe in sound conservation, in proper balance with your right to fish, while supporting the local businesses that depend on our active fishing participation. 


RFA members believe in the mission - to protect the fish, the fishermen and the recreational fishing industry.  RFA members also understand the need for political action, actively participating in the fight through support of the mission. 


Today, continue the celebration of national independence by supporting the one U.S. organization chartered specifically to defend your right to fish.


 JOIN RFA NOW, and together let's fight to secure those unalienable rights that's make each and every one of us proud to be American!


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Comment by Dave Nederostek on July 11, 2014 at 10:49pm

Beach Badges. So how were the beaches cared for prior to 1978 ? That was the year this nonsense started. And I can assure you those tags have COST you visitors. And income.


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