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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Friday, March 04, 2016: More snow on the mainland than I expected ... drones go fishing ... Coyotes gather

Does being a cattle rancher ever get boring ??????

Kansas farmer Derek Klingenberg creates a huge smiley face using his hungry cattle and a feed truck, and films the entire process with a drone. 

Friday, March 04, 2016: More snow on the mainland than I expected. Saw three-ish inches. Got reports of four inches in eastern Burlington County. LBI toyed with two inches on some surfaces, though the snow was so wet and heavy it pressed down on itself, quickly reducing the measurable snowfall. By water weight it was .2 inches.

There is another batch of chilly precip over the weekend. That will not be playing out like this last batch.

TRACK TALES VERY TELLING: Since I won’t be treasure hunting tomorrow, I’ll do some tracking. Not only is this perfect snow to follow wildlife tracks but the end of the winter season is drawing more and more animals out.

I enjoy following rafts of wild turkeys. After a snow like this, they tend to gather in very large groups, seeking out melted areas -- where they are often very stubborn about abandoning, even in the face of an approaching photog, like myself. 

I also want to check on what seems to be a family group of coyotes very close to a newer housing development. I know I’ll either get calls or hear about pets going missing around there. 

Just to show I’m not the only one in-the-know about coyote and suburban sprawl, here’s a comment from an expert at a website (www.straightdope.com) with a thread dealing with such matters: “… If there is a pack in your woods, they are feeding on something, meaning there is a temporary food source that when it is gone, the pack will move on. Sadly, the neighborhood percentage of cats and small dogs will have been dramatically reduced once the pack deems it is time to move. This is a sad by-product of urban sprawl, new developments and decreasing habitat for the coyotes.”

"My neighbour's cat. I cried, watching the coyote carrying it off, it helplessly looking back at me, like it was trying to say, "Save me! Please save me! hat whole night all I could think of was how it was served to the coyote's pups." Via http://dogbrindlebarks.blogspot.com.

Such is my point about wanting to possibly warn folks near that development that something evil this way comes for their pets. No one knows better than me that pets are family members. Losing one is tragic. 

Below: Kiss “Mr. Fluffy Whiskers” good-bye. 

THE DRONES OF FISHING: Over the weekend, I watched a remarkably disturbing documentary called “Drone: Point, Click, Kill.” It hit home like a UAV-launched missile.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV, is the military’s acronym for what the world prefers to dub drone.

In flight: The X-47B has a claimed unrefuelled range of 2,000 miles and

I cringed upon seeing and hearing what is being droned out by our military – providing you allow the CIA into the “military” mix.

It seems the usually covert CIA folks homed at the George Bush Center for Intelligence (true name) in Langley, Va., are getting a lot more overt these days. From the CIA folks I’ve known, I wouldn’t trust them with a remote-controlled Mickey Mouse toy much less aerial weapons of fast destruction.

The documentary displayed how enemy – or thought “enemy” – forces could be, often duly, dispatched by mere screen-watchers sitting in the great beyond, i.e. the D.C. vicinity.

One got-your-back scene had a silent seeing-eye drone focusing on the back of an oblivious man fixing a motorcycle. On the all-seeing computer screen it sure seemed as if the handyman was right next door and not in Afghanistan – and suspected of being either a bad guy or such a lousy mechanic he deserved to be “lit up.” Hey, I told you, some of those Langley sorts would “take out” a Disney toy if the urge suddenly struck them.

But enough of the ominous point/click/kill aspect of this show. I mainly want to pass on how the show began with … the tuna drone. This workingman remote aerial device was developed by Alejandro Pita, an Argentinean-born naval architect and engineer. He dubbed it ScanEagle.

Pita was familiar with the use of choppers and spotter aircraft in the tuna fleet. He was certain that an unmanned, fish-finding aircraft would be gobbled up by the industry. Through backers, he pumped out a massive squadron of fish-seeking drones. The nasty-large fiscal venture went sour faster than sushi in the sun. He literally couldn’t find one single buyer for the tuna drone. He was photographed with a factory’s worth of drones going nowhere fast.

Oh, but others saw the device’s more menacing potential. The once-shunned ScanEagles began flying off the shelves, thanks to Uncle Sam and its Boeing contractor. Pita literally got our military into the drone business with an innocent intent to design a low-cost, easily-deployed eye-in-the-sky for the commercial fishing realm.

In a playfully ironic sound bite, Pita was quoted as saying, “We had other fish to catch.” What’s more, the fish were in the desert. His UAVs were rushed to Iraq, although the aircraft had logged only 300 miles of actual flight.

“We went there. We helped (the Marines) in the siege of Fallujah. We’re still there,” said Pita.

I’ll stop short of telling the entire sanguine “Drone: Point, Click, Kill” saga, though I somewhat recommend seeing it on Netflix or the likes. Maybe follow it up with the eye-opener, “He Named Me Malala” – during which you’ll wish you had a couple Taliban-seeking UAVs under your command.

Anyway, I just had to bring up the initial fishing aspect in the birthing of UAV warfare, which will rule our planet for untold military battles to come – not unlike the UAV-riddled skies portrayed in countless sci-fi movies.

But revisiting Pita’s original notion, let’s look at UAAVs, as in Unmanned Aerial Angling Vehicles. There are already drones exclusively geared for fishing. One seen on YouTube is rigged with quick-release devices, designed to carry an angler’s line and bait well out to sea, far beyond any conceivable manly casting distance. Once it has reached sight’s end, it remotely releases its payload, dropping a baited hook into formerly boats-only territory. It’s the revenge of the surfcaster. What I need to know is what size reel we’ll soon be needing to hold line – by the mile!

Also, how does a sand-based angler handle a rip-snortin’ fish so far out at sea? Hell, ocean liners in the shipping lanes might be cutting the line. Maybe we can send the drone back out to fight the fish from above, as we and the gang watch on a Wi-Fi computer screen. Of course, it’ll be tough disguising a hot bite with a drone hauling a huge fish back to shore through the air. “Hey, Hal, it looks like some surfcaster down in Holgate is into huge fluke, maybe a mile out. I knew we shouldn’t have come to fish here in Harvey Cedars.”

By the by, the notion that you can’t solidly hook a fish that far out because of the play in the line has been fully debunked by commercialites. For decades, longliners have successfully used circle hooks on untended main lines.

If anything smacks of impossibility, it’s UAAV-assisted anglers reeling a big, juicy fish in through shark-infested waters. “Wow, Jim, just look at the head on that sucker. If it only had the rest of its body that would be some fish.”

Then, there’s the far more practical side of UAAVs, like aiding and abetting anglers during money tournaments. And that is hardly a pie-in-sky issue. The list of big-name events that have banned assistance from drones is growing daily. The prestigious, big bucks Fishing League Worldwide is among the latest in grounding drones during its fevered competitions.

(No fair, you caught that fish with a drone - Statesman Journal

Statesman Journal
No fair, you caught that fish with a drone ... One can envision the potential of scouting drones for high-stakes events such as tuna and bass tournaments. ... In the case of drones and hunting, and fishing for that matter, ...)

But what’s to fear from drone usage within the largemouth bass fishing circuit?

While remote flying devices can’t help spot an individual fish, they sure as hell can pick out schools of baitfish, underwater structures, areas of water turbidity and even the secret locales where other anglers can be seen scoring fish. That last one alone is enough to change the rulebooks.

I imagine we’ll soon have to eliminate the possible usage of drones in our local fishing tourneys. Organizers of offshore contests have already taken action, many clubs simply adding language to the existing ban of spotter planes. Just last year, the Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Club added to its rules: “Use of spotter planes, drones or any other types of aerial surveillance is also prohibited.”

Below: Tarpon caught by drone ...

A: OG Drone x BaitBall Tarpons workin on a baitball. 

A hookup assisted by drone. 

As to the likes of the famed Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic, I know the event’s committee has mentioned that drone use is out of the surfcasting question. I’m not sure it has officially made the rulebooks. I’d be far more worried about UAAV’s carrying out baited gear than simply fish spotting, though using sky-vision to track down a close-in school of bunkies or mullet would sure put a Wi-Fi angler on the action.

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A New Angle for Fishermen: Will drones change fishing forever?

 

Recently anglers have been experimenting using drones like the ones in the DJI Phantom range to help land more and bigger fish. Following that success there are now drones in development such as the forthcoming AquaDrone which have been designed for the sole purpose of helping fishermen.

The primary benefit is that by using a drone you can carry the bait out much further than you could possibly cast with a rod. This is a big advantage when fishing at a beach or estuary. At the moment you are either limited to your casting distance or someone has to paddle out in a kayak or boat to drop your bait. Having a drone do this saves a lot of effort paddling out, speeds the process up and saves a huge amount of time organizing a boat/kayak for each session.

For those that fish inland on lakes for carp, drones offer a very viable alternative to the ‘bait boat’, a device commonly used to deliver ground bait and a hook bait very accurately to a specific spot.

As well as by the hobby angler, drones will also be used by commercial fishing operations to increase efficiency when looking for shoals of fish on the surface.

Fishing agencies have been using drones in the Mediterranean since 2013 to monitor what fishing boats have been catching and to check on net types/sizes. Not only has it enabled the authorities to spot check more boats at a fraction of the cost, it’s been a huge deterrent. Previously unscrupulous fishermen could destroy the evidence before being boarded for an inspection and inspections were quite rare. As agencies around the world start copying the example in the Mediterranean, the conservation of our fishing grounds and species are going to benefit.

There will no doubt be those that will claim using a drone takes away from the skill of fishing as you no longer have to have the best cast technique to reach a good distance or be deadly accurate. However, this is the same argument that occurs every time there’s a new technology that starts getting used for fishing. There are numerous examples of this such as when fish finders started becoming more affordable making it much easier to find a shoal. There were claims that it took some skill away, but now it’s been in use for many years and is just accepted as a great tool.

In the coming years we will see an increased selection of drones purposely designed for fishing on the market with a longer battery life and at several price levels. There are a lot of fisherman that won’t be put off spending to give them an advantage over others, and once that happens it will be a common sight to see people using drones at your local beach or carp lake.

 

By Paul Marks

Paul is a keen fisherman and drone enthusiast. He started FishingDrones.uk to share ideas and help identify which drones perform best for fishing.

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Pit bull fans will understand the verbal greeting comments by this BIG boy.

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Boring day game: Name this nearby treeline (LBI and mainland vicinity).


Too cold for human dip today ...
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Digging in dank dirt yesterday, these bright flashes of green showed up. Hey, St. Paddy's Day isn't far off. They're only pests certain times of the year.

Jay Mann's photo.
Jay Mann's photo.

I'm insanely wildlife oriented but I've drawn a line-in-the sky when it comes to these damn in-house Plodia interpunctella, aka Indian meal-moths. These small, hyper, ultra-fast moths are TV-ruiners of the highest order. Try watching anything when one of these are flitting around, all but shouting, "Look at me! Look at me!" Then, there are the cobwebish mess they loose upon grains in the cupboard. What's worse, they are drink-divers, constantly crash-landing in tea, water, soda, coffee ... anything wet and about to be consumed. I recently mouthed one, via an until-then delectable herbal tea. I now fear that officially makes me an insectivore. Try living that down on a small island.

Jay Mann's photo.
Jay Mann's photo.
Jay Mann's photo.

NJ SETS 2016 SEA BASS & FLUKE REGULATIONS

By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.  |  March 3, 2016

The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (Council) voted this afternoon in favor of new 2016 regulations for summer flounder and black sea bass, while also supporting the continuance of the Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) beginning on September 1.

The summer flounder (fluke) season in New Jersey marine waters will begin on May 21 and run through September 25, with a five fish bag and 18-inch size limit for most coastal waters.

A new initiative to help provide improved fishing opportunities for New Jersey anglers fishing on Delaware Bay was also approved, which allows a 17-inch minimum size and four fish bag limit west of the COLREGS line in the Delaware Bay.

Through the efforts of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), its Bureau of Marine Fisheries and the enforcement personnel, anglers will also be allowed to transport 17-inch summer flounder through Cape May Canal and up the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) as far north as the Route 47 (George Redding) Bridge, so long as all fishing gear is stowed and anglers don’t stop to fish on the way back to port.

“A lot of people have worked very hard on this,” said Capt. Mike Rothman of the Bonanza II out of Fortescue. “For us to be closer to the Delaware limit (four fish at 16 inches) is very important.”

“This will be beneficial on a conservation level and an economic level,” Rothman said at the Galloway Township meeting, explaining that many sub 18-inch fish previously thrown back as too short often resulted in higher mortality rates, while excluding opportunities for many Delaware Bayshore anglers.

In addition to the Delaware Bay options, the two fish at 16-inch measure at Island Beach State Park in Ocean County will also be in place again for the 2016 fluke season.

On the black sea bass front, not much could be done by Council members or state officials to lessen the impact of restrictions mandated by NOAA Fisheries through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). As part of the Northern Region which includes states from Massachusetts to New Jersey, ASMFC called for a 23.2% reduction in 2016 over 2015 regulations, forcing anglers this season to take a rather drastic hit beginning in May.

The black sea bass season in New Jersey in 2016 will be from May 23 to June 19 with a 12-1/2-inch size and 10 fish limit, reopening from July 1 through August 31 with a 12-1/2-inch size and two fish limit, followed by a final third open period from October 22 to December 31 with a 13-inch size and 15 fish bag limit.

“This is the poison pill we have to swallow again this year,” said Capt. Eddie Yates of the Hunter out of Barnegat Light and a representative of the United Boatmen of New Jersey. “I’m not sure how much longer we can stay in business like this,” Capt. Yates said of the ever-diminishing black sea bass seasons.

Many charter and party boat captains in attendance expressed dissatisfaction with the handling of black sea bass by NOAA Fisheries and the impact on the recreational fishing industry. “The system for managing recreational fishing and counting the fish is broken,” said Capt. Adam Nowalsky of the Karen Ann II out of Atlantic City. “At this point I just look at these measures and I look at it as an extension to find a way out (of the industry),” Capt. Nowalsky said

Most of those attending the meeting at the Galloway Township library who spoke publicly were members of the recreational fishing industry, including several South Jersey business folks who were hoping to see an earlier start to the summer flounder fishery. Some, like Dave Showell of the tackle shop Absecon Bay Sportsman Center, had reviewed his past sales records to make a point before the Council.

“The first week of flounder fishing in May was worth four times as much as any in September,” Showell said in support of an earlier start to the season. “An extra week of flounder season at the beginning makes a big difference,” he added.

“We catch our biggest fish before the season even begins,” added Mike Clark of the Strathmere Fishing Club. “And then we’re crying and throwing those fish back in the water.”

Regrettably, because of fatal flaws in the recreational data collection and a predominance of harvested fish tabulated in the government data in their Wave 3 data compiled in May and June, NOAA Fisheries has implemented restrictions on when states in the New Jersey, New York and Connecticut region are allowed to begin fluke fishing.

“I’d like to see it open on May 1, but we’re only allowed 45 days in Wave 3,” said Capt. Yates. Based on that government restriction, the earliest New Jersey could’ve opted to open was May 17; that's the Tuesday just four days prior to the start approved by Council.

Many of the North Jersey for-hire boats and tackle shops prefer to open a little later every spring in order to extend the season later into the fall when big fluke are sometimes more prevalent in coastal waters there, as well as for surfcasters who sometimes target big fluke in the wash during the coastal run of peanut bunker and mullet. “Our group supported a later season into October, but this is a good compromise,” said Paul Haertel of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association.

The Council vote will still need to be finalized by the NJDEP, but you can effectively begin setting your charter trips and circling your upcoming sick days now

- See more at: http://www.thefisherman.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&am...

http://www.thefisherman.com/

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SCIENCE SATURDAYS
Saturdays, January 9 - April 16 
11:00am -12:30pm
Non-members: $5
Science Saturday at the LBIF tackles today's most pressing scientific, environmental, and sustainability issues that directly affect our shore community and the Barnegat Bay. Science Saturdays are interactive and informative hands-on presentations in an informal atmosphere.

 
3/5: SCIENCE SATURDAYS:  
THE AMERICAN OYSTER in the  

BARNEGAT BAY   

with Matthew Gregg, Owner of 40 North Oysters     
Matthew Gregg will enlighten you in the legacy of the oyster and the oyster's importance in our waters. Oyster hamlets were once littered along the mid-Atlantic coast. Hamlets turned to Villages. Villages turned to Towns. Towns turned to Cities. It was the mighty oyster that built it all. In this case, the botany of desire proved to be lethal. A victim of its own success, oyster stocks collapsed and with it, a way of life. We are digging up that legacy and sharing it with a society poised for its return. Picking up right where our  
predecessors reluctantly left off.
Get here a little early to get your seat! First come first serve



I received these certificates from the state today. Last year was good, but I'm going to turn it up a notch this year.
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Views: 609

Comment by J. Terhoon on March 5, 2016 at 12:52pm

Lake Absegami?

Comment by J. Terhoon on March 5, 2016 at 3:14pm

or Manahawkin Lake

Comment by jaymann on March 6, 2016 at 12:50pm

Stafford Forge ... 

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