Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report


Monday, December 26, 2011:

Reminder: Only 364 shopping days lest until Christmas.


Hope all ya’ll had the best Christmas since sliced bread. I had one of the better ones in a long, long time – and it was a dud. That’s utterly fine for folks like me. No parties, no long drives, no heavy lifting, no paper cuts while wrapping (t’weren’t no wrapping to be done).


I spent hours of luxurious do-absolutely-nothing time finishing up custom knives I’ve been designing and building for the past few years. I’ll put a photo or two in here to show the final products -- a couple of them made almost from scratch, meaning I cut and shaped a billet (raw piece of metal) into a blade, crafted the tang (handle metal) and, my one specialty, made scales (outside handle material) with complexly inter-laid vintage bakelite materials. Load of time at the grind.


While keeping the Gospel Music Channel’s “Yule Log” program of Christmas songs burning in the background, I finally got around to sharpening about a dozen blades to surgical sharpness. And anyone who knows knives can tell you it’s absurd to think you’ve put on an adequate edge by doing a few quick swipes on a sharpening stone or (perish the thought) running the blades through some knife-sharpening contraption.


REPORT: Anyway, I also got some fun beach and outback time in. For me, very little luck fishing – as in very small stripers if any. I’ve done mainly short sessions, maybe an hour or two, tops. Still, the ocean water is looking incredible. Color and clarity are perfect. Makes ya wanna jump in for a dip.


I had verbal reports (in Wawa and such) of a few decent bass still being taken. Somewhat oddly, it remains single fish being caught (to well above keeper size) but nary a touch more. It’s mainly bait-caught bass.


While bass are still out there, do not take this as a ringing endorsement of stripering. I haven’t heard or seen anything close to steadiness. It is a ringing endorsement of getting out there and taking in some of this brisk clean west wind. In case you’ve missed it, we’re about to exit December – and the ocean is still in the upper 40s in places.


Make sure to re-register with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program: http://www.nj.gov/dep/saltwaterregistry/index.html.


Yes, it’s already a pain to do the re-registering and we’re only into our second year. However, keep reminding yourself that you’re not pulling twenty bucks (or more) out of your pocket to purchase one. When I get back to work I’ll be doing a check with the state to see how the first year of NJ’s registry went -- and if any tickets were handed out. Most of all – and way more importantly – I want to mull over what the “free” program might have cost the state of NJ. If it dipped too deeply into the state coffers I can assure you our bean counting (and obviously bean eating) governor will have to part of it, regardless of how loud anyone screams. For now, frolic in the freeness – and take 60 seconds to re-register. 

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