Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Check out this video to get a look at the fog -- and stuff. Never know what you'll find in the mist.
Friday, October 04, 2013/Saturday Oct. 05:
The surf fishing remains hideous; I’m talking epic bad for October – a month known by locals as a perfect fit to end the phrase “It’s Better in …”
Sure, the famed touristy saying says “It’s Better in September” but that’s a let’s-extend-summer concept. For those of us content and/or condemned to linger hereabouts, ad infinitum, it most often is “Better in October,” particularly on the fishing front. Not so far this year.
However, reports of bad bassing in October is as old as the Striped Bass Derby hills. As proof, I offer the October 26, 1955 issue of the short-lived newspaper/publication called Long Beach Island Derby News. That front page bemoaned how slowly the Second Annual Long Beach Island Striped Bass Derby was going. Despite over 2,000 sign-ups, the biggest fish was a 9-pounder. I kid you not.
The first line of the headline story in that issue strikes close to our alleged global warming, it reads “Warm water and sunny skies … have kept the competition down.” Again, that was friggin’ Oct. 26.
Imagine jumping up back then and announcing it’s the fault of global warming?
As most of you know, global warming – or, more impactfully for us, sea level rise – is not panning out, whatsoever.
Oh, I’m believing in and am bugged by the warming of ocean surfaces around the world. That heat-up is very real and documentable freak-out phenomenon. In fact, it’s already starting to kick the crap out of marine life. However, you likely read the unprecedented increase (not I don’t mean decrease) in ice coverage in Antarctic. Despite it only being fall in the northern hemisphere, our arctic is already experiencing a huge ice buildup. Hell, the Northwest Passage, unfrozen in winter for nearly a decade, is already frozen solid, trapping untold numbers of vessels – captained by folks who totally bought into scheduled polar ice melts.
Believe it or not, I’m not fully denying dire atmosphere problems are troubling our planet. What I’m sure as hell panning is the highly-publicized nonsense that scientists have nailed down the schedule of warming-related sea rises and polar meltdowns. They don’t and are ineffectively guessing their asses off. It’s not just unscientific but socially irresponsible. In fact, just look at the needless worry and concern we’ve been saddled with here along the coast. When wild global warming guesses were first being made over 15 years ago, they warned the sea rise, by now, would literally be forcing us to abandon our coastal lifestyles -- taking flight to somewhere safe from deadly flooding, like Colorado. A pox on the quacks who parlayed utter conjecture into dangerous social commentary.
Back to our current sunny stretch, including 15 days without significant rain. Lingering beachgoers have been loving this way-late summerishness. Unfortunately for mobile anglers, many lounging beachites are, per usual, staring stingray daggers at us as we carefully buggy the beach. I hear the famed, “They shouldn’t be allowed to drive on the beach!”
Does it ever end? We should be banned from a century-old mobile fishing tradition just in case some unusually warm fall weather shows up and a handful of folks decide they just might hang out on the beach for an hour or two? And what happens if that the weather is cold or windy or rainy (i.e. fall-like), or, the beachites have gone back to their “main home,” or, they really don’t feel liking doing the beach this or that day? We’re not supposed to drive the beach in memory of their former hereness?
It’s brutally frustrating dealing with these self-servers, especially since we of a mobile angling ilk are not even remotely suggesting that folks, one and all, shouldn’t have fun using/sharing the off-season beach. Have a blast. But, please, don’t go oozing bad attitude. There are more than a few of us who, when oozed too far, are willing to ooze right back – in abundance.
Two buggying incidents of note; one Friday, one today.
As I drove the beach, I had an obviously beered under young man flip me the bird as he lounged on a blanket with a very comely gal. I’m not sure why I got birded, though it was very likely the above-mentioned aggression some beachers show toward mobile anglers. In response, I touched the brakes, pretty much just a mock response on my part. Any realer responses I had in mind vanished quickly. Gospel truth: the gal clocked him. I kid you not. She laid a serious-ass sideface slap on him. I heard at thirty feet away. Heads on the beach turned. I then came to full stop, worried things might escalate. Not a bit. She hastily grabbed a few of her things and stormed off the beach. Drunken dude quickly had bigger headaches than me to deal with, as he pleadingly chased after her. For some bizarre reason I felt kinda bad as I drove away.
Now, here’s one for the jetty-possessing record books.
I drove up and stopped on the north side of a jetty -- one of dozens I was stopping at, mainly looking for mullet but also throwing out s plug or two.
On the other side of the jetty – and a goodly distance from the rocks -- was a middle-aged surfcaster sitting on one of those taller folding chairs. He was fairly intently holding a rod.
I walked to my side of the jetty and launched a T.W. popper.
Before it even hit the water, I hear, “Whoa! Whoa! What the hell ya doin’?,” hurled my way by the still-seated angler.
“Uh, I think I’m pluggin’,” I offered back, admittedly spiced with a wise-ass flavor.
“My line’s out there!”
“What the f***,?” I yelled, thinking WTF?
Get this: He was sitting on the south side of the jetty but had his baited line over the rocks and in the water on the jetty’s north side. I hadn’t seen the friggin’ line, but still, WTF?
I’ve never seen that. I’ve seen tons of anglers -- way too often, in fact – put separate rods out on both side of the jetty, to prevent anyone else from using their jetty. But, until then, I had never seen anyone take over both sides of a jetty with a single rod.
I reeled in without fouling his friggin’ line.
Walking back to the truck, I issued one of those incredulous out-loud laughs, climbed in and drove on. I went behind him but he didn’t turn around. Weird.
(I have a feeling I might be hearing from this fellow but I just had to share this.)
BUGGY BANTER: A huge word of caution to mobile anglers coming off the beaches of Long Beach Township from Brant Beach down to McEvoy; that’s the stretch where Ocean Boulevard (adjacent to the beach) is right there, as you exit the sand area. You must literally inch forward onto the asphalt to make sure no northbound cyclists, pedestrians or vehicles are coming. The bikes are the worst. Remember: Inch out only.
Video on prime drive-on point in Brant Beach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtyDPvfIkzA
Today’s fog had the beaches only lightly used by beachites. If tomorrow, Chowderfest, is sunny, do not even try to drive the beaches from, roughly, Spray Beach through Beach Haven.
As I reported earlier, there is some seriously loose sand on unreplenished beaches. It’s not getting any better near the entrance/exit near Nebraska. I had half hoped to get some serious rain from the Gulf tropical system but that hope is fading. Rain truly does harden up the beaches for driving – or even walking across.
CLASSIC: This is the perfect week to sign up for the LBI Surf Fishing Classic, starting Monday.
I’ll be the first to admit there are damn few bass being caught. However, that can actually make it easier to win daily “first” bass prize money – and cover the sign-up cost. Even a small bass, or blue, will loom large for, I’m guessing, the first two-week segment of the Classic.
We will likely have a weigh station on the north end of the Island, at Viking Outfitters in Historic Viking Village, Barnegat Light. The logistics are still being worked out. I’ll let you know when that gets finalized. A scale up there will sure help north-end Classic entrants with weigh-ins.
Sign-up stations for the Classic are (North to South) Surf City Bait and Tackle, Fisherman’s Headquarters, Captain’s Quarters (formerly Val’s Oceanside Bait and Tackle) and Jingles Bait and Tackle. They are all also weigh stations.
(Please overlook typos in these reports. I’m on the extreme fly and just can’t reread the blogs before the go in.)