Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Below: Fishing The Rip. Important: Vessel is not nearly as close as the image suggests. Just an odd telephoto angle shot on my part.
Friday, November 27, 2020: On LBI we savor catching stripers more than certain other areas just to our north. Landing a bass on our beaches is more significant and meaningful.
In case it’s not obvious, that’s my new approach to mentally compensating for the insane bass hooking continuing at Island Beach State Park.
I guess I should mention that a number of our Island surfcasting regulars have temporarily abandoned our amazing beaches to go northing, if you get my IBSP drift. They’ll be back, for sure, likely bearing tales of brave basstistics, i.e. number of bass caught.
This is not to imply we haven’t seen our own striper mini spurts or two, including a couple more trophy throwbacks taken on bait. You put in enough time and your Island rod tips will activate. Nonetheless, I’m not hearing of single surfcasters besting stripers by the dozenload, as is happening just across Barnegat Inlet.
Boat fishermen are still having their catch-and-release way with bass, many, many trophyesque hookups, though the average size is dropping off, as is expected during the last days of Nov.
Ross Gilfillan 44” Striped bass released for the future of our fishery!
KIND SKIES, THANK-YOU: One thing we can easily match with other areas is our weather. It continues to play favorites with most of NJ, though this Monday might see an interesting bout of wind play if sky factors align.
In the longer weather look, we will be spot on with temps, quite close to average, with daytime highs in the low to mid-50s to start Dec. However, a few night will be in the low 30s, which is slightly below the average of 40.
Overall, the beach beckons to holiday surfcasters. And there’s a load of fishing folks hanging here to answer the call. This evening, there were casters packed in for long sections of the beach, for the umpteenth weekend in a row. There was only a handful of us down Holgate way.
The number of non-permit people buggying the beach was through the ceiling, though I can't blame folks not wanting to pay the full piper for just the month of December. I'm anything but the permit police, though I do ask interlopers to positively drive the straight and narrow.
The same ass-wipe who went joyriding on the big dunes at the far south end seems to have gone on again. A fresh set of tires tracks with identical tred leads me to that conclusion. However, Mister Baja seems to have made a very short trip this time, possibly having seen approaching headlights -- since his jaunts are surely happening after dark. I'm trying to get some more Refuge signs to place there, hoping to increase the warnings in that vicinity.
Not that it's of much evidentiary value, but here's the tire tracks:
I know I do the LBI coyote thing to death, though hopefully not to the death of yotes. There are plenty of them going to wild canine heaven via hunters around the state, most of whom kill coyotes for fun. They're not real edible.
The spotting of coyotes during the day had me writing the following in Facebook, though further below I have some additional info to bandy about among ye of a blog readership:
The coyote thing has gotten so dramatic that it can’t end well. I can make note in here that driving to Holgate regularly I have seen road-kill cats. I fret the yotes might be mis-blamed in some missing cat cases, though I’ve noticed the carcasses haven’t hung around long. Either the road department is on them quickly or something is nabbing them.
By the by, coyotes are famed for taking a meal far from the point of capture. Over on the mainland, I stopped by to see the signs of what was thought to be a coyote taking down a Guinea fowl. Nope. Absolutely a fox take, right down to defeathering on the spot and easily seen tracks leading off to a nearby piece of woods, where the fox then dined.
A phone call I got only a couple days back led to a gal sending me a night recording (video) of "a horrible sound of animals fighting" that she feared was a coyote v. cat conniption. Nope, again. I’m not sure how she mistook the famed sound of two tomcats going at it tooth and nail. In fact, once I pointed out two distinct cat "voices" she was relieved. (Unsaid: Such cat fight noises will be a dinner bell for any yotes within ear range - and they hear quite well.) The gal then asked if she should worry about her dog (she owns no cats) with coyotes around. I asked what type dog she owned and she in all seriousness said "a big Doberman." I said, "Uh, that would have to be a coyote on a suicide mission." She felt better. That said, I can't ignore stories of small dogs being attacked by coyotes -- with larger dogs coming to the rescue on a number of YouTube videos.
More data: The state of NJ strictly prohibits the relocating of trapped coyotes. They must be euthanized, no other options. That would further disprove the theory of them being purposely introduced here. Such a placement would seem highly unlawful ... unless it was done by state authorities, taking the natural pest control lead, with feral cats in mind. However, that is so unlikely that I only throw it out there in a what-if fun way. Face it, the yotes got here all on their own.
The Society goes on, “Often, coyote attacks are preventable by modifying human behavior and educating people about ways to prevent habituation. In many human attack incidents, it turns out that the offending coyote was being fed by people. In many other instances, people were bitten while trying to rescue their free-roaming pet from a coyote attack."
Before departing the subject -- as if it won't come up again by weekend's end -- I have to say I'm surprised at the high number of folks on the side of the coyotes. Sure, tons of feral cat folks are up in verbal arms against them, but many a Facebook commenter wants them left alone, as a form of wildlife worthy of having an LBI presence, vis-à-vis foxes. I'm assuming they'll agree there must eventually be some natural limits to such a presence. The Island shouldn't be made so wild that dog walkers must carry bear spray along every time Missy needs to pee -- which she'll do in abundance if a hungry or (sorry for the off-colorness) horny coyote enters her walk zone.
Note: I've been told of nighttime dog walkers who suddenly find their pups, who usually go gonzo for long walks, suddenly all but pulling their masters back to the house. I think we can nix that being extraterrestrials landing in the hood. Coyotes issue both a scent and also a far more ethereal presence that even chubby household pets can detect.
On final coyote tale came to me from a gal whose older dog heard some coyote vocalizing in the middle of the night. "He actually climbed under the covers. He's never done that before, ever." The upside: He was ready and rarin' to go for his morning walk. Coast was likely clear.
I know snow geese aren't rare but they're not overly common in the Holgate skyways. Gorgeous -- and noisy even from a goodly height up. I'm guessing hunters have driven them out this way.
... Our very own American Angler Frank Lenetti just landed this Bass at 40 inches from LBI. Now is eligible for our “Give back” tournament. Too big for the dinner table. Nice fish Frank!