Jersey mob's idea of livelining for sharks ---
Weekly column is online ... stop on in.
June 14, 2019: That sudden soaker yesterday and its impressive (short-lived) winds put the screws to what was likely a departing slammer bluefish bite.
With these truly honking west winds – gusts to 32 mph – should back off nicely by tomorrow. The 6- to 8-foot storm surf from the NE winds was quickly knocked down, though get a short distance from the beach today and the wind whacking via chop begins in earnest.
The weekend should be highly fishable, though more so tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday a.m. Keep an eye and ear on the horizon by Sunday p.m.
I see a couple in-bay boats doing lee-side fluking off sedges. Bay fluking always means the ratio monster rears up to the eenth degree. Throwbacks are as high as 10-to-one over keepers. There could also be a negative impact from rain runoff in the west side of the bay; known to spook fluke toward inlet until affected waters clear – and warm.
PLEASE (!) be gentle when releasing short flatties. Better anglers/captains do flick releases off the gunnel, not even bringing obviously undersized flatties on-board. That’s how you minimize C&R mortality on a species that truly does suffer severely when even slightly mishandled.
I was recently asked if it’s good to revive an unhooked fluke by placing it in a landing net and holding it overboard. I asked a marine biologist and he said there’s too much stress and even danger of injury to the head region as the fish tries to swim against the net’s mesh.
Another top fluke-ist I know mentioned how healthy and revitalized fluke are when he pulls them out of the livewell when culling. I imagine there are some restorative benefits to a quick stay in a good dark livewell. However, the act of grabbing and squeezing an about-to-be-freed fish is wrought with dangers to the fish’s entrails. Also, livewells vary greatly in quality – and aeration.
(The current world record for flounder was caught by Captain Charles Nappi in Montauk, NY back in 1975 and was a huge 22.7 pound fish. If it qualifies Captain John's fish will eclipse the current record by over 5 pounds. The big flounder weighs in at a whopping 27.9 pounds!!Apr 1, 2017)
As to bassing, post blow, this churn means little to them. They just sulk off into deeper bottom waters, then inch back into the suds and shallows to look for upturned goodies – though surf clams went out long ago due to what might be near beach environmental factors, like freshets (freshwater intrusion) or forms of pollution, per the late Bill Hammarstrom (of Carolyn Ann iii fame).
Obviously, the migratory spring biomass is always inching northward. We're now on the bottom edge of the main body of on-the-move fish. Here’s hoping there’s a slew of breakaway stripers, which will become “local” bass, hanging for the summer. For as long as I’ve been bass watching – more than fishing – I see no pattern or indicators when it comes to how many fish will find NJ the furthest north they want to go.
NEED TO REPORT THIS: I’m getting more critical input about the many big-ass bass currently coming to the scales. I keep bringing this hot issue up mainly to keep folks abreast of the going-nowhere-fast controversy. Keepage is truly the essence of pending (2020) regulation changes.
Note: I apologize for being slow getting back to those folks who have contacted me about this subject, many of whom are siding with a ban on keeping upper end cows.
My rote stance: I can scientifically refute the idea that the biggest bass make more “biggest bass.” Any and all spawning bass -- of any size! -- can carry genes capable of fostering trophy fish, providing those fish live long enough to achieve their genetic legacy.
Might fish bound for eventual cowish glory grow faster? I can easily see that, though I’m not sure where to go with it, short of finding the best way to let them grow to completion.
Oft noted of late is the enormous number of eggs produced by the biggest bass. While true, I have god scientific backing to suggest that the fecundity of those eggs is suspect, based on proven reproductive problems from long-term toxic absorption common to long-lived bass. Most troubling to me, is the quiet destructiveness of chemical imbalances/abnormalities in spawning waters. Harmful chemicals taken in by bass include human hormones that can total ruin the natural reproductive processes of fish of any size. We can conserve all the bass in the world via regulations but if their spawns go sour, there’s no gains to be made. In fact, data proves how few bass it takes to produce huge spawns.
I fully admit that being forced into releasing huge trophy bass (via regulation) generally keeps them in the system for rehooking – and re-releasing. I don’t buy that 50 percent mortality rate of caught and released bass …and neither do many marine biologists.
If we get into mandatorily releasing all larger bass, it could quickly mimic the largemouth bass fishing realm, where the same Bubbas are pulled out with regulatory, while getting larger with each successive pull-out. Just don’t think for a minute that freeimng cows is a cure for screwed up spawns. It is primarily a cure-all for all the woes of trophy striper hunters.
By the by, there is absolutely no easy way to tell the sex of a bass. Researchers capturing bass suggest only dissecting tells. As to the general body shape – with females being rounder and often larger – even male bass can achieve portliness. However, a bass's sex gets more obvious during spawns. If a simple means of determining a striper's sex be found, it could make for an interesting catch-and-release regulation.
Email: “... But, Jay, you claim the bass biomass is just fine!”
Actually, I’ve said it’s healthy enough. It is not being overfishing in the traditional sense. There are more spawning stripers than is needed to keep stocks in tiptop shape … for decades to come. What many anglers want is an awe-inspiring presence of bass.
Wish there was more lovin' like that for all other species.
And I guess that's why they call it the blues. That’s my report. Hmm, that sounds like some good lyrics for a song. LOL Blues from 1-10 pound + are around the inlet and bay, and out front. You just have to look for them. Sometimes the birds give them away. The higher percentage of them are in the smaller class, 1-3 lbs., buts that OK, because they are the ones that taste the best. Just bleed them, ice them and eat them in a day or two and they taste fine. When not seeing them, I like to blind cast with poppers. Otherwise, metals, bucktails and plastics will do the trick. Fluke fishing had a spark of life to it early week when the ocean warmed up to the low 60’s. I did fairly well on one trip when we targeted fluke and even boxed a 19’ fish for dinner. Bass in the feisty schoolie size, to over 30” are still to be had when the tide, temperature, and time of day are aligned. Still no sign of snag and drop action off our beaches even though the water temperature is right, we are past the spawning moons and the bunker have showed up. Keep your fingers crossed, as my records show that we have had some explosive action in years past at the end of June into July. Not much to report on the weakfish front, which is strange since I’ve read some promising reports from the Long Island area. I’m booked through Saturday but have lots of open dates after that if you want to get hooked up! Screaming drags, Capt. Alex
Make sure to do the quick nature trail walk at Barnegat Light State Park. Just an amazing look at what the woods once looked like in BL.
Watch for High Flyers at Little Egg, Sea Girt, and Manasquan Inlet Reefs
Blessing of the Fleet at Viking Village this Weekend
Blessing of the Fleet
The Blessing of the Fleet takes place every year at Viking Village. The fisherman of Viking Village gather their vessels to be prayed over to ensure good weather, safe passage and a bountiful harvest for the year to come. Admission is free.
Viking Village, Barnegat Light
Lucky Stripes was the First Place finisher in last Saturday's Striper Shootout sponsored by the High Point (Harvey Cedars) Fire Company. Pictured (from left) are Captain Mike Greene and anglers Bobby Bowden and Chuck Manny. Their first place striped bass weighed in at 42.7 lbs.
Event coordinator Jason Marti said fishing was a bit slow but it was another hugely successful tournament & fish fry for our volunteer fire company...
" Being our 12th year we are proud of how this event has turned into one of our top fundraisers behind the dog the Road race... Fun was had by all with over 450 people attending this years event & we couldn’t be happier with the results..Special thanks go out to all our sponsors... Without these local restaurants, businesses, artists, tackle shops and corporate donations this tournament and fundraiser would never be able to exist helping to mold this event into such a great success for our volunteer fire company."
Entire Jersey Shore concert series canceled after discovery of threatened shorebird nest
National Park Service photo
A piping plover photographed at another beach (National Park Service photo)
The discovery of a federally-protected shorebird nest has led officials to cancel a free summer concert series at Sandy Hook, the National Park Service said Thursday.
This summer will focus on educating people about the new ban, park spokeswoman Daphne Yun said. Rangers will issue fines for repeat offenders, which start at $50 and jump to $100 on the second ticket.
Officials tried to find another location for the concerts, but could not locate a site that “meets the Foundation’s needs or the spirit of what this program has become,” according to Nersesian.
“We are disappointed right alongside our visitors, but appreciate everyone’s support in helping to save a species on the brink,” Nersesian added.
There are less than 1,879 nesting pairs of Piping Plovers along the Atlantic coast, according to wildlife officials. This year, the birds built more than 20 nests on beaches at Sandy Hook, which has had 40 to 50 percent of the nesting plover pairs in New Jersey over the past decade. Of 145 chicks from New Jersey, 59 came from nests at Sandy Hook, the park service said.
“Noise scares the birds so much they can’t focus on what they flew here to do: live on Sandy Hook for a couple of months, then move on,” the National Park Service and the Sandy Hook Foundation said in a joint statement.
“We want them to thrive and lose the moniker of being threatened,” the organizations said.
A Piping Plover nest was found at Sandy Hook’s Beach E last week in the same area used for the Sandy Hook Foundation summer beach concert series, according to park officials. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommends a 1,000 meter buffer to protect the Nest for certain activities outlined by the agency.
Regulations ban any activity, including outdoor concerts, that occurs within 1,000 meters of the protected bird nest.
“In order to fulfill the park’s legal obligations and give the birds the greatest chance possible at nesting success, this year’s concert series has been cancelled,” a statement from park officials said.
“We want these special birds to thrive,” Gateway National Recreation Area Superintendent Jen Nersesian said.
N.J. bill would grant veterans, active duty military free access to state beaches
Monmouth Beach (Emma Lee/WHYY)
A bill pending in the New Jersey legislature would allow veterans and active duty military personnel to access the state’s parks, forests, and beaches for free.
The measure, known as A834, seeks to amend the 2016 law that limits free access to state residents who are active members of the National Guard, disabled, or veterans who are 62 and older.
The bipartisan legislation, which is awaiting action on the Assembly floor and pending in the Senate, expands on the current law, allowing free access to all veterans and active military personnel of any branch, including reserves, who are residents of the state or stationed in New Jersey.
But the bill, which will go into effect immediately upon signed into law, only applies to state-owned beaches. Numerous municipalities allow free beach access to veterans and active duty personnel.
Bill co-sponsor Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, R-Morris, tells NJ101.5 that veterans “should not be charged for a beach badge to enjoy the shores they defended.”
I & I Editorial
Lake Erie and Lake Superior — two of the five that make up the Great Lakes — broke records for water levels this May. Lakes Michigan and Huron could follow suit.
Naturally, climate change is getting the blame. “We are undoubtedly observing the effects of a warming climate in the Great Lakes,” says Richard Rood, a University of Michigan climate scientist.
But just a few years ago, climate scientists were insisting that a warming climate would cause water levels to decline.
In 2008, Science Daily reported on a study that attributed the decline in Great Lakes water levels to global warming. The researchers who conducted the study said that the drop “raised concern because the declines are consistent with many climate change predictions.”
In 2009, Columbia University’s Earth Institute informed us that “most climate models suggest that we may see declines in lake levels over the next 100 years; one suggests that we may see declines of up to 8.2 feet.”
In 2011, the Union of Concern Scientists said that “scientists expect water levels in the Great Lakes to drop in both summer and winter, with the greatest declines occurring in Lakes Huron and Michigan.”
In 2013, the Natural Resources Defense Council said that “it’s no secret that, partially due to climate change, the water levels in the Great Lakes are getting very low.”
That same year, Think Progress reported that “Several different climate models for the Great Lakes region all predict that lake levels will decline over the next century.”
Since the Great Lakes account for 21% of the world’s surface fresh water, these stories were all wrapped in doom-and-gloom scenarios about the impact on drinking water, shipping, recreation, and so on.
The very next year, however, water levels started rising.
So what are scientists saying now? Simple. They’re now claiming that the fall and rise of Great Lakes’ water levels are due to climate change.
“Climate change is driving rapid shifts between high and low water levels on the Great Lakes,” is the new “consensus.”
The truth, of course, is that water levels in the Great Lakes vary over time. And, as a matter of fact, they varied far more in the past than they do now. A U.S. Geological Survey notes that “prehistoric levels exceed modern-day fluctuations.”
It says that “Prehistoric variations in lake levels have exceeded by as much as a factor of 2 (that is, more than 3 meters) the 1.6-meter fluctuation that spanned the 1964 low level and the 1985-87 high level.”
And, as anyone who’s ever lived near the Great Lakes knows, the lakes themselves were formed in the wake a massive change in the earth’s climate — when the glaciers receded at the end of the Ice Age roughly 14,000 years ago.
So if the lakes’ huge fluctuations in the past weren’t caused by mankind’s burning fossil fuels, why are scientists so convinced that the far more minor changes happening today are?
The reason is simple. Climate scientists can blame anything they want on global warming. The climate models are imprecise enough that no matter what is happening they can point to it as proof that man-made climate change is happening. Too much rain, too little rain, bitterly cold winters, mild winters, more snow, less snow, rising water levels, falling water levels — they can attribute “climate change” as a cause of it all.
But if nothing can disprove a theory, and every event, no matter how contradictory, is proof that the theory is valid, is that really science? Sounds more like a religion to us.
— Written by John Merline
Venomous copperhead snake bites man in N.J.
A Passaic County man was bitten by a venomous snake Saturday night, officials said.
Police and local animal control responded to a call of a Paterson man who suffered a bite from a copperhead snake on Saturday night, an animal control official said.
The man was bitten on his index finger and transported to St. Joseph’s Medical Center for treatment.
The Paterson man is expected to recover, the animal control official said. Because the snake was small, it did not produce a lot of venom, he said.
It is unclear if the man owned the snake, but animal control officials believe it may have come from a nearby river and was not a pet.
Phillies-obsessed hacker with white supremacist past nearly died from cobra bite in his snake and spider horror house
Six months after a man nearly died from a bite by his pet cobra, state wildlife officials have released the skin-crawling details of his Vineland horror home, a creepy den with more than a dozen cobras, pythons, tarantulas and mysteriously barricaded doors.
Copperhead snakes are extremely rare in Paterson, and it has been reported to the state Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish & Wildlife.
According to the DEP, the copperhead snake is limited to northern parts of New Jersey and a few isolated, hilly areas of Hunterdon and Somerset counties. However, it’s one of New Jersey’s least common snakes -- residents have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than being bitten by these snakes.
Jersey Outlaw Garvey Racing Returns
Photo by: Jersey Outlaw Racing AssociationSpeed garvey racing is a local tradition and it returns to Tuckerton and Parkertown this summer.
After three years of quiet because of a lack of insurance coverage, the Jersey Outlaw Racing Association has been able to secure sponsors and two venues for a full summer schedule of boat racing off Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton.
The racing schedule starts in Tuckerton off South Green Street Park on Sunday, July 7 from noon to 3:30 p,m. Parkertown Docks at the end of Dock Road in Little Egg Harbor is the site for racing on July 21.
The Sunday schedule continues through the summer: July 28 at Tuckerton, Aug. 4 at Parkertown, Aug. 18 at Tuckerton, Aug. 25 at Parkertown, and Sept. 1 also in Parkertown. The championship race is Sept. 8 at Tuckerton with a rain date of Sept. 15. All races are subject to weather conditions with starts at noon.
Boat owners who want to register their craft for the races must participate in a boat inspection held on Sunday, June 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Parkertown docks.The registration and inspection are done by the engine committee of the Jersey Outlaw Racing Association.
Garvey races have a rich history in the Barnegat Bay area. The garvey is a traditional wooden work boat for baymen. In 1953, the community-minded baymen started a 4th of July race to raise money for local fire companies.
Over the years the fiberglass speed garvey was developed. There are no purses or prize money offered in the races; the owners race for the pure joy of it. The events are free to spectators.
On July 7, for the start of the season, Tuckerton Mayor Susan Marshall will be the grand marshal and will announce the “hot laps.”
The Berkeley Dive Team will sell 50/50 tickets and local businesses have also donated gifts for a chance auction. Go to the Jersey Outlaw racing Association Facebook page for more information. To be a sponsor or to donate gift cards, contact Paul Hulse at email@example.com. —P.J.