Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
"Gonna bop you, girl!"
Monday, May 23, 2016: Well, it’s back to fine fishing weather, though winds are alternately frisky and laid down, as systems battle for seniority. This a.m. was quite brisk out of the NE but my midday had shown times of backing off. The bay is doable for fluking – who can take some bumpiness.
Overall, fluking is fair to slow. Things should perk up as the week goes on and the weather warms a bit. Actually more than “a bit.” The mainland will get well into the 80s for a time. Don’t expect that sultry sky-feel around here. The heated air will be on the wings of SE winds, which is a real chilly direction for LBI in the spring. I can see near 90 degrees on the mainland and barely into the 60s hereabouts.
As for those winds, we are amazingly in for a second week of low winds. I promise that’s rare in the spring.
The west and variable winds over the next couple/few days will make for exceptional a.m. angling. I’ll go counter so forecasters by saying that late-day south winds later in the week, could get way harder than the predicted 10/15 mph. It’s the land-sea syndrome, with such extreme temp differences between mainland and ocean.
Also, we will very likely see some fog moving in and out as the week goes on. It could even be boater-dangerously thick. If on the water, keep an eye open for thickening fog or even fog banks, neither of which show on radar. It definitely helps to listen in on radio chatter to get a read on fast-approaching fog.
The traffic signals are back on summer cycling ... meaning you have to slow on yellow (not speed up) and stop on red. Believe me, it is a full-blown bitch of a change for me and other Islanders. I don't know how many I blew through on the way to work this morning. I'm adjusting ow but that's because I'm concentrating. When I'm brain groggy, I fear I might miss a red or two. Here's hoping someone is doing the same from the side ... Yes, I'll also likely be stopping on green when going east/west. Anyway, the light get the big test this coming holiday weekend.
By the by, I'll be mulling over weather maps more than usual as we approach Memorial Day Weekend. By Wednesday I'll be making my call ... and tweaking it right up to Friday.
Here are couple looks at the work being done inside the Forsythe Refuge on Cedar Bonnet Island. As you'll see, it is going to be an amazing overlook/nature-watch area. I wrote about watching lightning storms there -- and I still say that will rock. However, I have a wonder if the area will remain open to the public after dark. That all remains to be seen when it is finally open to the public -- maybe within a couple years. I was pressing my luck a bit driving out there. I discourage anyone doing the same, especially not in a non 4WD vehicle. The stakes are to keep geese from eating newly placed plants. I was told that via Facebook. I was clueless upon initial inspection.
I spent Saturday’s fluke season opener with Jim Farrell and his son Liam from PA. Finding the warmest water possible at an early season spot we had steady action with shorts. Released about a dozen and a half with none of them worth taping. Mixed in Jim landed a small bass on a minnow. After that we switched over to blues having fun with some of the big variety that have been ever so present this season. Behind the inlet the birds showed where to fish. The bluefish rounded off a Barnegat Bay Slam (bass, blue, and fluke). Nice! All in all it was a great morning on the water. Picture attached of Liam with one of the blues. This weather pattern has really kept the ocean, and bay for that matter, from warming up. With bunker schools present and a nice showing of bass around the 3 mile line I think a few degree rise in the ocean temp and snag and drop should really get going and more consistent. Fluking will only get better from here on.
On the nature side of things: the past week marked the tail end of the neotropical (Caribbean, southern Mexico, Central and South America) songbird migration. These birds, which include such species as those in the wood warbler family, have arrived to their northern summering ground to breed. While here they must set up and defend territories, attract a mate, build a nest, raise young, only to fly back south starting mid-August. The struggles are real. Also attached is a picture of Baltimore oriole and rose-breasted grosbeak getting a meal at one of the feeders in my yard about a week ago.
Next opening is Friday for a magic hour trip and Saturday. Targets are fluke, bluefish or bass. Either one or all three, the spring run continues.
Screaming drags, Capt. Alex
Barnegat Bay, NJ
Good friend and one of the fishiest dudes I know!!! Putting the MagicTails Mojos to work!!
Two more monofilament bins installed today in Long Beach Township. Thank you Dan at Captains Quarters Bait and Tackle and Steve Kemp at SBYC for your participation and Alliance for a Living Ocean for maintaining the bins. At least another 7 to go so stay tuned for locations throughout LBI and learn more about my project and how you can help at the LBI Cup Captains meeting this Friday at Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club. Keep our waterways tangle-free and clean!
An extended hold down and a resuscitation.
Hawaii’s Aaron Gold is currently in stable condition after suffering a wipeout at Cloudbreak today that nearly stole his life.
With the biggest swell of the year steadily filling in at Cloudbreak, Aaron was reportedly the first surfer in the water this morning. Taking off on the first wave of the day, which was also the first solid set of the new swell, he went down about halfway down the face.
It’s unclear whether Aaron was held down for two or three waves, but whatever the case, he disappeared underwater for an extended period of time. It was local Fijian Uri Kurop that eventually found Aaron floating face down near the reef’s edge. Cinematographer Larry Haynes was also in on the rescue.
Mark Healey was the first to begin resuscitation efforts. Aaron was then brought onboard a waiting boat where CPR continued, before he was eventually transported to the island hospital on Tavarua. By the time he touched down on the sand on Tavarua he was conscious again and huge cheers went up as he was ushered up to the medics.
“My brother @therealaarongold had a heavy wipeout this morning at cloudbreak, got a two wave hold down, and then blacked out unconscious underwater for 2 mins,” reported Benji Brand on Instagram. “Currently in the hospital checking the amount of water in his lungs. He wouldn't be alive without @ukfiji grabbing him with the ski or @healeywaterops resuscitating him. God bless you guys.”
It was reported that within 40 minutes of the near-drowning Gold was back up, walking and talking. He will now be taken to a hospital on the Fijian mainland for continued treatment and observation.
At this time the swell continues to fill in at Cloudbreak, but after seeing one of their own almost meet his maker at the start of the day, there’s definitely an air of caution in the water. Stab reached out to a number of surfers who are on Tavarua, but for obvious reasons nobody’s around their phones at the moment.
Gold won the Biggest Paddle Wave title at the recent WSL Big Wave Awards for his 63-foot wave at Jaws on January 15, 2016.