Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday, December 19, 2011: Easily the coldest air of the season pushing its weigh around out there – but it’s already on its way out. I just saw the possibility of 60s for a quick spurt in coming days.


Fishing-wise, I chatted with some early a.m. pluggers who had been skunked for the first time in many moons. However, just today one of those guys bested a 31-incher. How about the girths on many of this fall’s bass? One guy put it “They got guppy bellies.” While that might at first seem absolutely opposite-ish


The water is still stirred and slightly off-color but highly workable, though switchable winds – 20 mph SW as of midday today -- are adding some SCA sass when casting lighter lures. I was told the metal aren’t working as well as they had been. The upcoming winds and weather – some rain and blow -- might require bringing out the hard stuff – Avas, Hopkins, Dicks, and such.


How about these ocean temps still holding in the low to mid-50s in some areas? Makes no sense. The downright frigid air over the past 36 hours should have shaved it down a bit. Now we’ll be seeing some onshore winds into Wednesday. That will actually hike the water temps. Anyone for some January schoolie fishing? I’ve oft seen that bite hang on as long as the water temps stay comfortable. In fact, bass like it down as low as mid 40s.


Although Holgate is open it might be closing again soon. There is a moon rising and we have some sky slop and associated side shore and onshore winds to 30 mph. That has erosion written all over it., at least as far as the Holgate entrance is concerned. As for the beaches from Harvey Cedars south to Beach Haven, they remain astoundingly drivable. All that pumped in sand continues to perform long-distance magic. Despite some nonsense to the contrary, the Brant Beach one-mile fix will get done. Considering where it being placed – a high erosion nodal junction area (essentially a kink in the island ) – that sand will move south in nothing flat, meaning that next spring’s striper launch to the 2012 season will be on solid ground, if you get my drift.


By the by, even if the sands of time were to run out on NEW phases to the federal/state/local LBI storm repair project, the above-mentioned beach zone from HC to north Beach Haven is in good sand hands for many years to come, considering the federal commitment is something like 50 years. Unfortunately, that long-term sand certainty is no solace to the borough of Beach Haven and the Long Beach Township from south Beach Haven down to Holgate, where the erosion remains awful. Queen City folks can thank a few beachfront homeowners – many of them absentee landlords -- who feel they can endanger everyone else in town just to have their arrogant beachfront ways.

Their day will come.


WADING FOR LAST-MINUTE GIFTS: I had emails regarding chestwaders as holiday gifts and I think a couple of you might be getting them.

I did warn that waders do not fully fit based on boot size alone. It takes some experimenting with waders rated at slightly smaller or larger than a recipient’s known shoe size. I checked with shops and everyone said they’d gladly exchange one size for another.

Being a shorter guy, I run into that wader pitfall whereby my somewhat larger foot size (10.5) gets me an upper portion of chestwader seemingly based on the height of your average Watusi warrior. With some 10.5 chestwaders, I’ve been tempted to cut holes through the upper part of the material for my eyes to look through. I have noticed that wader companies seem to vary upper body (heights) under the same boot size – the main measurement on the box.  Again, this all points to giving a token pair knowing there may be some time spent going through various waders to find a fit.

And take it from someone who chestwades for hours and days in environments ranging from surf and bay to swamp and deep outback, you always go with what feels best on foot. There are tricks to getting that upper portion to work/fit but having toes jammed into too-small boots or swooshing around inside too-large boots can be totally ruinous to a day outdoors. The pain and blistering of a bad boot fit keeps on misgiving, sometimes for days after being used.



Runyan Urges Key House Committee to Bring Up Job Saving Fisheries Legislation


Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jon Runyan (R-NJ) led a bipartisan effort to encourage the House Natural Resources Committee to mark up H.R. 2772, the Saving Fishing Jobs Act of 2011.  The Congressman and several bipartisan co-sponsors sent a letter to Chairman Doc Hastings urging him to bring the bill before the full committee as soon as possible.


“I was pleased that Chairman Hastings held a legislative hearing on my bi-partisan bill,” said Rep. Runyan.  “I, as well as the co-sponsors of this legislation, believe that time is running out for fishermen in coastal communities throughout the country.  Our nation has an unemployment rate of over 8.5% and Congress has a duty to protect the jobs our citizens currently have.  This bi-partisan legislation should allow the fishing industry to return to fiscal success and help sustain many coastal communities.”


H.R. 2772 seeks to re-evaluate the process of instituting controversial catch shares instituted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The bill would require the Secretary of Commerce to terminate a catch share program if it reduces the total number of fishermen in the program by 15% or more.  The bill would also give local fishermen the opportunity to vote for or against catch share programs via a referendum vote.  The legislation is endorsed by the non-partisan consumer watch dog Food and Water Watch.   


“I am hoping that the Natural Resources Committee understands the importance of this legislation,” said Congressman Runyan, “and sets a full committee mark-up on this bill as soon as possible.”



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