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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, June 28, 2019: There will be many a fluke meeting their maker this weekend

Jax still not captured ... but is being seen over on Cedar Bonnet Island ... 

While Jax the scared and wayward pooch, holed up on Cedar Bonnet Island refuge area, isn't in the bag yet -- speaking metaphorically -- he might be close to capture ... or not. The disoriented albeit way-wary dog is toying with the humane trap set out for him -- drawn to nearby water, vittles (and a covert trail cam), placed where animal control knows he's been hanging out. Here's the Stafford PD-released night-vision image of Jax, suspiciously approaching the put-outs in the dark of night. Check out the story on The SandPaper cloud:https://www.thesandpaper.net/p/tremendous-progress-…/1821295

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This is getting to be an odd summer, species-wise. 

Gary Adair is with Kirsten Holloway.
Backbay cobia on the magictail hoochie
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Friday, June 28, 2019: There will be many a fluke meeting their maker this weekend. It’ll be a flattie weekend in the truest sense of the summer word. Tomorrow’s hot skies – a bit less so along the shore – and thick air will offer the traditional feel of flattie fishing. Lighter west winds should offer decent drifting by midday. Early day could be almost too calm tomorrow, before winds pick up and begin cycling by Sunday – west to north to west to south.

A couple reports of small (sub-pound) bluefish in the ocean and bay. Haven't seen them that size in a while. Thy're a tad too small for smoking but great for deep frying in breading. Very clean. 

Below: Being readied for cobia or sharks. 

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Our very own Cam yesterday
“Got this hound fish, a fluke at 18 and a handful of cocktail blues”

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Trying to get a photo of a near record-breaking ten-pound smooth back pufferfish/blowfish taken this week in Manahawkin Bay by Dr. Bob Hervert. The world record for the smooth puffer is 11 pounds, seven ounces. NJ record in 9-10. Doc's fish wasn't taken seriously so no record-applying paperwork actions were taken with it. 

The hefty puffer put up a decent fight on lighter fluke gear. It then become a case of ID’ing the rather ugly brute. Some book learnin’ proved it was the oft-called “Southern puffer,” more exacting the smooth back gulf pufferfish.

The exotic species, even in the south, has become a somewhat regular Barnegat Bay visitor over the last few summers. Upwards of a dozen have shown up in NJ tackle shops. Down in the deeper south, where they also sorta showed up out of the blue, a couple areas of the Gulf dub them an “invasion,” alluding to their though point of origin, Asia.

Smooth puffers and related species are famed as the death-by-sashimi species of Asian hara-kiri legend, known as fugu. If not perfectly cleaned, the tetrodotoxin toxin, the most powerful neurotoxins found anywhere in the world, can leach into the raw fish presentation and doom the consumer -- almost before the check even arrives. If emergency treatments aren’t tried within 60 minutes … its sayonara, baby. The chef is then bound by tradition of de-gut himself ... as a busboy lops off his head. Nothing is worse than seeing that take plac after you've just downed a big chunk of fugu dreneched in wasabi mustard. 
Try the fugu, they said. Best tasting fish in the world, they said ..." Clunk! 

Are our southern puffers deadly? Nope. But who’s going to test them? El nobody, that’s who. Nonetheless, there are a number of YouTube video on how to clean and cook the American smoothies.

As an after-note, it’s highly likely this species is on the rapid increase hereabouts, based on their bursting on-scene just to our south. Unlike our tiny northern blowfish, smooth puffers are sleek swimmers and seem inclined to cover long distances just for the hell of it.

Below are just a couple of many write-ups about these invaders-of-sorts.

smoothback pufferfish

smoothback pufferfish

I’ve been fishing Florida’s Gulf coast for about 60 years, and I’ve never seen one of these puffers.  What we usually see, especially inshore, are the cute little “porcupine blowfish” that are less than a foot long, and are known to cut perfect notches out of soft baits.  However, this year, there seems to be an outbreak of these bigger, heretofore rare in inshore waters, smoothback pufferfish.  They’ve been found in the past month from Tampa Bay to Panacea and are ready and willing to eat jigs, soft baits, live bait, hard plugs, topwater lures and even popping corks.  Structure doesn’t seem to matter either.  They’re over rock piles, oyster bars, mud bottom and grass flats.

WORLD RECORD FLORIDA PUFFER FISH RELEASED BEFORE ANYONE KNEW WHAT IT WAS


Florida puffer fish

A group of buddies out of St. Augustine, Florida caught something recently that threw them for a loop. As it turned it out, they knew the fish they caught was a big fish, but what it was exactly was a mystery. After a few pictures, they let fish go with nothing left but the story. Coincidently, this is where the story actually begins.

They described the fish as around three feet long and weighing close to 20 pounds. The pictures of the fish circulated through a few groups of scientists and outdoorsmen, and yet still there were no answers as to what it was. Eventually, a Florida biologist identified the fish as a either an oceanic puffer or a smooth puffer. There weren't enough identifiers in the picture of the fish to be sure, but the odds were on the oceanic variety.

Monster puffer fish! Angler hooks potential world record-breaker off Port Canaveral , Florida Today

Adhem Saleh of Cocoa caught what may be a record-breaking oceanic puffer fish Malcolm Denemark, FLORIDA TODAY

The bizarre-looking sea creature Adhem Saleh brought back to Sunrise Marina puzzled veteran fishermen and charter captains: "Everyone was like, 'It's a crazy parrotfish or something,'" he recalls.

Turns out Saleh had reeled in a potential world record-shattering oceanic puffer fish. The Cocoa resident caught the 9.65-pound whopper Monday offshore near Port Canaveral.

"I thought it was amazing. It was the biggest puffer fish I've ever seen in my life," said Jason Fifer, who runs Reel Trick Charters and boasts 22 years of offshore fishing experience.

Cocoa angler Adhem Saleh was fishing offshore from Port Canaveral Monday when he caught this whopping oceanic puffer fish.Buy Photo

Cocoa angler Adhem Saleh was fishing offshore from Port Canaveral Monday when he caught this whopping oceanic puffer fish. (Photo: MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY)

"It was so large, people really didn't know what it was. We've never seen one that big before. When he showed it, we were all just like, 'What is that?'" Fifer said.

"Speechless. Seriously. It was crazy," he said. 

Saleh has submitted notarized paperwork and evidence documenting the behemoth blowfish to the International Game Fish Association for consideration as a possible world record. The organization does not ratify final decisions until 60 days after date of catch, said Jason Schratwieser, IGFA conservation director. 

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Hi Jay,
Hope you are doing well. To follow up on last week article in the sand paper about the missing channel marker...
To follow up on the the article from last week..  On Friday , June 28th, Laura Bair and Yaron Avitov from Harvey Cedars, while exploring the bay on their jet ski, were able to locate the missing marker WR71 drifting west of the Harvey Cedars water tower. They reported their finding to the Barnegat Lighthouse  coast guard station. 

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Wow what a day today! Bob caught the big fish of the morning, which weighed 5.25 pounds, at just nearly 24 inches long. The other fish pictured here are 19 and 20 inches. Everyone who came fishing today had a great time as the bite was pretty consistent all morning. In the second photo I placed the water bottle in the flukes mouth just to show a scale of the size of the fish. Very fortunate to have such a great day fishing with such a nice group of people. One for the memory books today! Come fishing with us tomorrow! 

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Bill Ambrose

First fluke of the year turns up as a 22”. I’ll take it!
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Jim Hutchinson Sr. 

There is action to be had in the Beach Haven area in both the ocean and bay waters, and the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association have been on hand to take advantage of it. 

Captain Gary Dugan on the “Irish Jig” reports nonstop action at one of the local reefs. A recent trip resulted in 6 nice fluke and 3 snapper blues for dinner along with many fluke just under the 18-inch limit. 

Captain John Lewis on the “Insatiable” reports fighting the wind with the Studner family recently. They stayed in the inlet and back bay and managed some short fluke, sand sharks and some very small sea robins. Captain John blamed the slow bite on recent rain, but now that the weather has been dry, the bay bite should pick up.  Captain John has heard of boats catching fish on both the mid-range and canyon grounds.  

Former BHCFA Junior Mate Nick Perello reported that he trolled Toms Canyon last Sunday with friends and had 2 bigeyes first thing in the morning within10 minutes after putting the lines in the water. One was 90-pounds and the other 106-pounds. Other boats in area had a steady pick of small yellowfin and decent longfin. 

Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing had the Reigles out on a bay fluke trip and despite wind against tide boated close to 30 fluke including three keepers to 4.5-pounds. On another morning trip Captain Brett started in the inlet without much success and moved to the bay waters for 25 fluke to 6-pounds. His afternoon trip that same day produced over 40 fluke with four keepers. The S&S bucktail jig and custom teaser tipped with fresh baits worked the best.

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Miss Beach Haven
3 hrs · 

Wow what a day today! Bob caught the big fish of the morning, which weighed 5.25 pounds, at just nearly 24 inches long. The other fish pictured here are 19 and 20 inches. Everyone who came fishing today had a great time as the bite was pretty consistent all morning. In the second photo I placed the water bottle in the flukes mouth just to show a scale of the size of the fish. Very fortunate to have such a great day fishing with such a nice group of people. One for the memory books today! Come fishing with us tomorrow! 

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, bird, sky, outdoor and water
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 Steve George

Perfect timing , check out this months Kingfish article by: Joe Mairo in the July issue NJ\NY edition of @onthewatermagazine
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Nice day with Dad on Great Bay, finally a little bigger fish at 22”, not a monster doormat but pretty good.

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Mike Pritsch checked in to Barnegat Bay, New Jersey.
15 hrs · 

Beautiful evening on the bay with my kids and look who showed up. Tuckerton doormat!!

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing, cloud and outdoor
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Local guys here in Little Egg everyone's asking where to find the Hoochies. Scott's Bait and Tackle in Mystic is fully loaded. Stop by see Branden. Zachary Michot Gary Adair Kirsten Holloway

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Kris Kristofferson's Lyme disease misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's BY MARY BROPHY MARCUS

Articles in Rolling Stone and the entertainment magazine Closer Weekly reveal that the 80-year-old -- whose songs have been covered by the likes of Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin and Elvis Presley -- has struggled through a years-long medical odyssey.

been telling him that his increasingly debilitating memory loss was due to either Alzheimer's or to dementia brought on by blows to the head from boxing and playing football and rugby in his teens and early twenties.

"Some days, Kristofferson couldn't even remember what he was doing from one moment to the next," the site said of the actor who starred alongside Barbra Streisand in the 1976 film "A Star is Born," and who's known for his roles in the Blade movies and other films.

Earlier this year, though, a doctor decided to test Kristofferson for Lyme disease, which can cause neurological problems, including memory issues and what some describe as "brain fog," as well as a broad range of other symptoms. The test came back positive.

His wife told Rolling Stone she believes he picked the infection up from a tick as he crawled around the forest in Vermont during six weeks of filming the movie "Disappearances."

"He was taking all these medications for things he doesn't have, and they all have side effects," she told the magazine. After the Lyme diagnosis, he dropped those medications and went through three weeks of treatment for Lyme.

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"It's like Lazarus coming out of the grave and being born again," Kristofferson's friend, Nashville singer-songwriter Chris Gantry, told Closer Weekly.

Gantry, who's known Kristofferson since 1964, said he was heartbroken when he thought his longtime buddy seemingly had Alzheimer's.or the past six or seven years, there was this slow realization that he was becoming forgetful. It was apparent," Gantry said. "For the past six or seven years, there was this slow realization that he was becoming forgetful. It was apparent."

Bucky Kahler, Kris' best friend since middle school, weighed in in the Closer article, too. "[Kris is] in great spirits," he said. "He's getting better and better."

While Lyme disease can sometimes mimic Alzheimer's with dementia-like symptoms, there are effective treatments available for Lyme, including antibiotics -- unlike Alzheimer's, for which there is currently no cure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are about 329,000 cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year. Only about 30,000 are officially confirmed and reported to the CDC.

Doctor's often look for a hallmark bulls-eye rash around a tick bite, but not everyone infected has an obvious mark. Symptoms may include a fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis. Other severe problems sometimes linked to Lyme include heart and brain issues and can appear months or even years after being bitten by an infected tick.

"Kris is as sharp as he's been in the past 20 years because of his treatments," another longtime friend told Closer. "His wife, Lisa, and his eight children see a different Kris now. It really is a modern-day medical miracle."

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Monster Muskie: St. Lawrence guide says he videotaped world record fish
By David Figura | dfigura@nyup.com


Capt. Bob Walters, of Water Wolf Charters, based out of Clayton, has been guiding muskie fishing charters on the St. Lawrence River for 30 years. He’s a firm believer that the next world record fish – a monster muskie -- is swimming right now in the river.

His biggest muskie out the St. Lawrence to date measured 59 inches. The fish was landed by one of one of his clients, Ed Beers, of New Jersey, on the river back in 2010.


Last summer, Walters captured what he believes is a new world record muskie on film, estimating it to be nearly 70 inches.

The current IGFA all-tackle world record muskie was caught by Cal Johnson on July 24, 1949 at Lake Court Oreilles near Hayward, Wis. The fish weighed 67 pounds, 8 ounces. Johnson's fish reportedly measured 60 1/4 inches.

The fishing season for muskie on the St. Lawrence River opened June 15 and lasts until Dec. 15. The minimum length to keep one is 54 inches, and only one per day can be kept at that size or bigger.

Muskies are elusive. They’re known as the fish of 10,000 casts because they’re so difficult to catch. Walters charters last up to 8 hours and it’s not unusual to come back empty handed. His clients know that, however, and keep coming back – hopeful for that one big fish. Hopeful that their name will be attached to the next world record.

Since the 1990s, Walters has attached video cameras to a couple of his downriggers and at times has captured on film eye-opening underwater strikes or misses by the massive fish as they go after his lures.

His clients can watch the action on 10-inch screens connected by WiFi to his SeaGypsy underwater camera attached to one of his downriggers. Walters also keeps eye open himself on a couple of screens he has on the dashboard of his 36-foot long boat.


This fish, which measured 59 inches in length, was caught by one of Walters' clients in 2010 on the St. Lawrence River.
This fish, which measured 59 inches in length, was caught by one of Walters' clients in 2010 on the St. Lawrence River.

The video above shows two clips of muskie going after lures.

The first is of a 46-inch muskie that was caught by Bob Gorman, of Syracuse, one of Walter’s clients last October. The fish initially went after the lure attached to a downrigger with the video camera. About five seconds later, it switched its focus and then hit the lure on a downrigger without the video camera.

Walters said the fish was brought on board, quickly measured and released.

And the alleged World Record fish? Is it just a fish story?

The video above includes a slow-motion clip of a huge fish following, attempting to strike and then missing a Berger Believer lure rig.

As you watch the video, keep in mind that the Believer lure measures 13 inches and another “attractor” lure is attached to it with a leader (a length of line). In total, the rig is 54 inches long.

Is it a world record fish? That’s for the viewer to decide.


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