Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, January 22, 2016: There's a storm coming. Looks like some snow and moderate flooding. Oh, you heard already, eh?!

 I need to bring up an important storm point. We have a serious pinch-point when heading on (and more importantly) off LBI: the two trestle bridges.

We’ve all seen how freaky-close the east and west lanes are on those trestle bridges, being worked on for the Causeway project. Now, add snow, ice, freezing rain and sleet – plus winds to maybe 50 mph. Eeeks, is right. 
I’m just humbly suggesting that any folks who are even remotely thinking of leaving the Island NOT wait until the storm actually starts. I realize the Causeway bridges are being brined and salted but should the snow – or ice or sleet – get crazy, no preparations will save the side-slipping day.

Jay Mann's photo.

A sure way to transport beverages while awaiting the storm ... 

I don't know that I've ever seen such a hyped and highlighted coastal storm. Such is the new realm of social media, within which even the experts now reside. I go with the National Weather Service: See http://www.weather.gov/phi/. I do go above and beyond when trying to translate Weather Service info into something LBI-centric. The main issue epicenter to us is just how the all-telling winds will hit us, recognizing that LBI lies northeast to southwest. We want to avoid ENE, E and ESE winds. Those won't be happening this storm. The surprise flood event of Dec. '92 had 65 mph ESE winds ... the worst of the worst for blowing water into the bay. 

I'll offer the oddest advice you'll hear: Why not sit back and enjoy the storm? Hey, you won't be doing squat about it, especially by worrying. So, lighten up and hunker down. This is not a world-class weather event ... except maybe on the snow front to our west. Take it all in. If you can help others, do so. Maybe do some binge watching to pass the time. Make sure to get some pics. No, I'm not being insensitive to the stormy situation, I've just noticed throughout my life that freaked out people make freaked out mistakes. Playing it cool is cool. 

WHAT TO DO NOW: There is a certain predictive positiveness that we'll soon be awash in snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain. For LBI, this storm's precipitation could be all over the board -- wet one minute and white the next. Therein lies the unpredictability of the total snowfall.  

By the by, freezing rain is not sleet but rain that freezes on contact with objects holding sub-freezing temps; might be the most dangerous stuff related to winter storms.

More importantly for us, we could see as much as 36 hours of NE winds with gusts to 55 mph. But, here I go bucking many forecasts by saying it will likely only be 18 to 24 hours of onshore NE winds, followed by a slow shift to plain northerly winds. That's a touch of good news for sure-to-be-ravaged beaches. It's also great news for folks who want more snow. The slight wind tilt to the north ushers in colder air, changing rain to white. 

As to flooding. I'm blinded by the light of optimism and believe moderate flooding -- which is still a bitch and a half by my measurements -- should rule the flood day. Again, by my measurements, moderate could also put low-lying properties at risk. 

I drove to the Holgate parking lot. Hideous road conditions from the ongoing sewer work. The refuge is closed. 

I worry about places like Holgate. The Boulevard there is already messed up by the roadwork -- with deep and gaping holes/trenches. Imagine that work zone flooded -- positively a collapse danger -- or hidden from view by a foot of snow, covering over pitfalls? There's no guessing what you might be driving into if you're forced to drive any of the under-construction roads thereabouts. What's more, imagine the guys trying to plow the torn-up roads in Holgate? Let's hope this all ends up being nothing more than an inconvenient mess -- though I see no way out of it being some sort of mess in the work area.

Below are some tips that are NOT meant to add to the already over-alarmed state-of-mind that sundry predictions have fostered. These are a few smart things that are good to have in mind when spending any winter on LBI.  

GOT IT?: Well, any storm preparations are either made or are in the process of being last-minuted. I just loaded up on a dozen giant-sized boxes of Gobstoppers. Hey, they're "everlasting" right. So, I now have a dozen-times everlasting. That should last until Monday.

Also, I’m doing a few locals-only last-minute storm preps. One of the more important readyings is getting my chestwaders cleared for rapid deployment – or on-ployment. These famed all-weather boots are indispensable, even if we only see good-old moderate flooding. I also combine mine with watertight upper-wear, making a fairly seamless water-protection unit. Under the infinitesimal chance you have to abandon ship (home), you better have a way to keep legs separated from the icy caress of 30-degree water.

Below: This is a better model chestwader, i.e. kinda costly but they rock when surfcasting or in an emergency -- when price doesn't matter as much. 

For me, I like to be at the ready to quickly wader-up to help folks. There’s no helping in galoshes – if anyone still remembers what they are. 

I, like many folks, also keep a thick neoprene wetsuit at the ready. That is not my first choice of wading gear, mainly because they are meant to be submersed in-water to be most effective. They don’t work as well when they’re repeatedly in and out of water, which causes the neoprene to get mighty cold. I know this from firsthand experience.

Below: A winter wetsuit prefers to be in the water ... not the wind. 

Hopefully, everyone has stocked up on batteries. In my just-after-Sandy LBI days, “good” batteries became pure gold. Yes, rechargeable loose batteries are great – providing you think them through. Firstly, charge them to the hilt – as in doing it now.

Here's the battery type I keep fully charged ... It goes to my videocam. 

When it comes to loose non-rechargeable batteries, The "Quantum" series by Duracell is my new favorite. They last extra-long in use and, even more importantly, last years on end in the package. Hey, many low-cost batteries actually lose power on the shelf. 

Items that have internal recharge power sources should also be fully charged. But that’s just the start of proper rechargeable battery management.

A survival trick – again, learned from Sandy – is to make totally sure you have the proper rechargers for essential items that can be recharged in-vehicle. Virtually any item that can be charged in-house can now also be charged in-vehicle ... with the right adapters. 

In-vehicle rechargers are a mainstay of mine. Electric outages are far too common. Vehicle DC outlets are more reliable emergency power sources than household AC -- providing said vehicle is filled up on gas, has a good battery and you run the vehicle if charging a slew of items. ... using a device like this.

What?! You don’t have a multi-charger that allows simultaneously charging three or more items at once – along with USB port outlets for computerized recharging? These devices are cheap. Go grab one. Again, importantly, when multi-charging, make sure to keep a wary eye on the vehicle battery.

Which is why everyone should also have a “jump start” backup battery. Hey, this is not just for this storm but any other storm and other emergency situations.

Below: A bugger like this one is pure salivation when needed. 

Jump Start Kit Antigravity Batteries XP10

Jump Start Kit Antigravity Batteries XP10


Antigravity Batteries Micro-Start XP-10 PPS (Personal Power Supply) is the most powerful of the Micro Start Jump Starters. Rated Best by Consumer Reports, the XP-10 is the top Mini Jump-Starter and Personal Power Supply on the market. Powerful enough to jump a car, powersport vehicle, V8 truck, even a diesel motor! Perfect if you have a family, larger vehicle, or truck.

With a built-in Extreme Power Lithium battery, just charge it once and have your own power supply wherever you ride or drive. No longer do you need jumper cables or a power outlet. Sized to easily store in a trunk or glove box. Includes a powerful built-in LED flashlight with a selectable S.O.S. Beacon pattern. Provides hours of essential backup power to juice all your USB powered electronic devices like smart phones, tablets, PSP's, GPS, MP3 Players, Bluetooth headsets, GoPro camera, even your laptop computer! Offers two USB ports and several laptop charging options.

Kit includes: Sim-leather CARRY CASE, MICRO-START XP-10 Unit, mini detachable JUMPSTART CLAMPS, HOME CHARGER (compatible with 110V and 220V), MOBILE CHARGER, Universal DC CABLE, 4-into-1 USB CABLE (fit most all 5V USB-chargeable electronics), and 8 TIPS (Assorted Laptop Charging tips)


Big Tip: Place your lawnmower somewhere high. I lost mowers with '92 and Sandy. Costly. You don't realzie how low to the ground lawnmowers sit. It only takes moderate flooding to ruin them. Again, this is good advice for any flood event, regardless of the severity.  

WHY SWEAT IT TIP: I see folks worrying that the fridge might go out with an electric outage. Uh, it's 30 degrees outside. Outside offers the fridge of fridges ... in a crunch.  

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