Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Kids are so smooth nowadays ...
This week's reason not to let uncles babysit ...
Are you ready for electric cars ... well are ya? ...
"That was cool. Let's do it again, mom!"...
Monday, September 10, 2018: That was a certified crappy weekend. And we’re on a slow track toward more crapification should the remnants of H. Florence – and hopefully nothing more than her remnants – angle up our way.
Pre-pity the fine folks of the Carolinas, as of today they are in the crosshairs of the Cat-4/5 cyclone. What’s more, some pre-pity should be passed onto the Appalachians areas of the inland Carolinas. Those Blue Ridge and Great Smokey Mountain regions could be rained upon like never before, at least in terms of modern times.
Pennsylvania mountain dwellers know all too well the havoc tropical deluges can have after a Mid-Atlantic/East Coast ‘cane allegedly winds down after coming ashore, dropping its guts upon the likes of the Lehigh Valley, to the tune or a foot of rainfall … or way more. That scenario is setting up to happen in spades from middle North Carolina and maybe as far north as Pa.
Returning to what hurricane returns we might see from sure-to-be-retired (in name) Florence. It would be a backdoor dowsing by as early as this weekend. Again, the big water offload would be to the west. Per always, a jog here and veer there could carry this cyclone’s juicy impacts all over the map.
I’ll go old school by noting the flood tracks of landed tropical system coming ashore to our south historically take the worst northwardly moving weather up the Delaware Valley, though extended as far east as NJ’s I-95 corridor. Here’s hoping this track record holds true to that course.
GORDON'S GHOST: Now to what has been meteorically abusing us for the past four days, via unusually steadfast NE winds, day and night. It comes compliments of the remnants from the Gulf’s Hurricane Gordon. Acting like a low-pressure system more than a well-marked advancing shield of highly unsettled weather, it drenchingly moved in on us, stronger than first forecast, wind-wise. In fact, the 20-mph winds have not only gotten monotonous but have munched upon the most recently replenished beaches. While those eroded sands would quickly move back to their assigned beachfront position, another drawn out NE blow from Florence could be more deeply erosive. Any eat-away could add watery fuel to the Holgate terminal groin affair.
I’m hoping it’s just me, but I swear the bay water in Manahawkin Bay is off tint, as in algal red/brown. It might simply be the blow down effect from the winds, pushing surface algae north to south through Barnegat Bay – and, ideally, out a fading-fast Little Egg Inlet.
LEI Note: The dredging of the Little Egg Inlet last winter was a one-time fix. I’ve already been asked about any scheduling of a re-dredge of the inlet’s highly dynamic east portion, toward the shoals. That would apparently take a re-doing of the entire permitting process, though I’m sure something of a permitting template was established after the first successful effort. I should also note that the Army Corps would love dredge access to the massive amounts of crystal-clean sand accruing daily on those outside shoals. I’ve oft spoken of a self-contained replenishment setup, where south end beaches are bulked up with shoal sands that migrate back toward the shoals (over the years) to eventually be returned to the beaches. It looks so good on paper, advancing shorelines notwithstanding.
RUDDERFISH STILL A-FLAP: I got a tad of feedback regarding the now omnipresent showing of banded rudderfish, being caught from beaches all the way out to reefs and other near-in structures. On fellow whose family has long fished the area said there is no record of them coming in like this, “going back over a hundred years.”
Interestingly, an email from North Carolina way said they haven’t seen more than one or two at a time all summer. That throws me. One would think a bloated population of this near-shore species would first show in a big way along the Outer Banks. Might, therefore, the rudderfish schools be spinning in from the Gulf Stream, after hitching a ride up this way? If so, offshore anglers should be finding them in the bellies of tuna, billfish and such. Any offshorers seeing that?
Still reading highly mixed opinions on their edibility, with one LBI catcher saying they’re not bad but with “too much waste” due to complex bones structures. I’ve been reading the same thing from down Florida way, -- where commercialites have bag limits on rudderfish, meaning they’re being dined upon in some manner.
Here's another YouTube taste test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3ZCy0uQibY
Needless to say, I didn’t get fishing for rudders this past weekend, seeing I’m in my fair-weather angler mode … until fall sets in, when anything goes, weather-wise. And this year I'm gearing up to go old school, facing any and all elements, except those stinkin' radioactive ones, i.e. uranium.
EIGHT BELLS FOR CAPT. BILL: Capt. Bill Hammarstrom, a longtime buddy of mine, passed away last week. What a great man and a tireless activist, especially when it came to keeping the bay and ocean clean – and exposing ways they were being badly abused through human misuse.
Bill and I spent many an hour in intense chat sessions. He was passionate about the waters in which he plied his trade as a headboat captain, offering highly educated and insightful reads on near-beach ocean pollution from outflow pipes. He was the first person to alert me to a die-off of nearshore marine life, a die-off still apparent today.
Bill was also a dedicated writer on environmental themes. His book, “To Save a Bay” remains one of my favorite eelgrass-roots reads. His “Letters to the Editor” were a mainstay at The SandPaper. He was also famed in political offices for his willingness to ably bring problems straight to legislators, mano a mano.
I feel I often fell short when journalistically passing on Bill’s genuine – and often glaring -- concerns for the planet. I often lived his frustration when authorities were unwilling to heed his warnings to clean things up or face the likes of further die-offs. For decades, he kept on keeping on, even in the face of frequent political indifference.
Bill’s frustration finally got the best of him. I recall when he stopped by my office to say he was moving to the mountains. We exchanged understanding smiles.
I’m proud to say Bill's activism left a mark not only on me but also upon many political leaders and budding environmentalists, who have since picked up his causes, leading to changes toward the betterment of the bay and ocean. We should all leave such a legacy.
I need to extend my ongoing US Weather Service rip current and wave reporting to this site. Waves and currents will be getting hairy, quickly, worsened by astronomical conditions.
The Island will soon be getting serious long-period hurricane groundswells to go along with the 8- to 10-foot short-period northerly wind swells now showing.
While the weather will be highly crappy early this week, keeping beachgoers off the sands and out of the water, we'll soon see a modest return of sun, very mild air temps and more ocean wave-age than any sensible person should mess with -- unless they’re experienced, duly leashed or ready to have a near-death experience. I’ll venture to say we will see some very scary, if not deadly, rescue scenarios along the Jersey shore this coming week and into the weekend. Many folks are still around, knowing it’s better in September, except during the waves conditions descending upon us.
With a greatly reduced lifeguard force patrolling LBI beaches, it’s tough for them to cover 20 miles of beachfront. It therefore becomes imperative that waveriders, SUP folks, other beachgoers and surfcasters keep a lifesaving eye on any bathers in their vicinity. Any problems … dial 911 -- keeping in mind there might not be enough time to track down an on-duty lifeguard. 911 usually gets word out very quickly.
IMPORTANT: When calling 911 … stay calm. Establish what beach/street/town you’re calling from. During the call-in process, 911 operators will also need to know any other details you can offer, i.e. number of distressed swimmers, distance from the beach, your name, cellphone number, etc. Again, take a deep breath, stay calm and answer as best you can. Remember, the operator is usually getting information out as you speak, so don’t panic or get enraged thinking you’re being over-questioned as vital seconds tick away. And, believe me, I know it’s easy to go that enraged route.
Never attempt a bodily rescue of a struggling swimmer unless you are highly water-rescue qualified -- replete with some sort of buoy. In certain critical cases, folks who are very experienced/proficient on a bodyboard or surfboard can head out to assist struggling swimmers. However, even when competently paddling out to secure a victim, thing can go south fast, as I found out once when a panicked person grabbed my surfboard's leash ... and almost hung both of us out to dry.
During many a big-ocean lifesaving effort, it is often best not to attempt coming back to the beach through heavy surf. This is most applicable when swimmers are caught in rip currents that have already pulled them beyond the surfline. Once in deeper water, await arriving emergency responders. Virtually every rescue requires a slightly different and strategic approach, best left in the hands of those in the know. I recall a case where the surf was so dangerous that rescuers on PWCs had to transport victims back through a nearby inlet instead of taking on grinding 8-foot waves.
SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Jiji Press, Ltd.] September 10, 2019
Fukuoka, Sept. 7 (Jiji Press)--Japan failed to win approval at an international meeting ended Friday for its proposal to increase overall catch quotas for Pacific bluefin tuna.
The proposal was supported by Taiwan and South Korea. But the United States and the Cook Islands opposed it, saying that catch expansions are too early as the numbers of such tuna are still extremely small.
The Japanese proposal called for a 15 pct increase each in catch quotas for small tuna weighing less than 30 kilograms and for larger tuna.
The proposal was put forward at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission's Northern Committee, where any proposal requires unanimous approval.
"It is extremely disappointing that any quota increase wasn't accepted at all, despite resources recovering," Shingo Ota, councillor at Japan's Fisheries Agency, told a press conference after the end of the committee's four-day meeting in the southwestern Japan city of Fukuoka.
A fisheries cooperative official in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Miyazaki voiced disappointment, describing the outcome of the meeting as "the worst."
"While I didn't hold expectations for larger quotas, we continue to face a difficult situation," said an official involved in coastal fishery operations in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.
Another proposal by Japan, which would allow part of unused quotas to be carried over to the following year, was also rejected.
Other committee members apparently viewed the Japanese proposal for larger quotas as being just for domestic reasons, people familiar with the situation said.
The proposal partly reflected the Japanese government's consideration for domestic small-scale fishermen, who blame the depleted tuna stocks on overfishing by larger rivals, the sources said.
Referring to the U.S. opposition to the Japanese proposal, a Fisheries Agency official said the United States apparently thinks that the number of larger tuna will rise naturally if the current quotas are maintained for a few years. U.S. fishermen mainly target larger tuna.
The volume of adult bluefin tuna stocks plunged to around 12,000 tons in 2010 due to factors including overfishing after peaking at some 170,000 tons in 1961.
The figure recovered to about 21,000 tons in 2016 after fishing regulations were fully introduced in 2015.
The WCPFC has set up a provisional target of boosting the stocks to approximately 43,000 tons by 2024.