Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
(Donations are graciously accepted – and badly needed. A Huge thanks to Bill in NC. Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ 08008-4418)
Thursday, October 28, 2010:
The buzz remains in effect over yesterday’s bass bonanza. Along with the weigh-ins for the Classic, I began hearing of dozens of non-entered bass or bass taken by anglers not in the Classic. The surf line lit up with stripers, north to south. It wasn’t a blitz, mind you. It was just exceptional rogue bass bite. Making things better for bassing was the somewhat odd absence of bluefish. Not one got weighed in. It really makes striper seeking a ton more fun when a rod bending double is almost certainly a striper.
There were some residual bass today but I fear the west wind will quickly take the steam out of the bass bite, though it might very well usher in slammers, as baitballs get reorganized off the beach – ready to be corralled toward the surf.
RUMOR SQUASH: There WAS NOT a 58-pound Classic bass taken by a woman fishing the Rip in Holgate today – or was it yesterday? The closest I can figure was a confirmed big bass taken by a teenage lass down in Cape May. Using the fast lane on the Parkway, a random rumor took off – that the fish was an LBI catch -- and arrived here in nothing flat. I had two calls, a few emails and was asked about it at Two Shore Birds collectibles and tool shop on Rte. 9, where I frequent.
Congrats to our buddy Joe. H for taking a 34.56 bass on a plug. I swear, if there was some way to handicap the Classic, I’d have a plug-caught fish awarded a bonus 5 pounds “contest weight.” No, that’s not going to happen but plugging bigger bass is surely one of the hardest ways to attract, then land, a trophy cow.
No horn tooting here at all, but when I won the striper division of the Classic many years back with a 50-pounder, I took it on a school bus yellow Bomber – just after dark. However, that was pure happenstance – as was the choice of plug.
I had pulled to Holgate area I had been faithfully working for days on end. After throwing in my one mongo bait rod, I realized the water was alive with big bunker, flush against the beach. Some were beaching themselves. I then grabbed a clunky Peen rod (all white) and reel. It actually had a plug used earlier in the day for bluefish.
The plugging was like shooting ducks in a barrel. The first cast I hooked up, fought the fish for a short time, lost it and before I could even get the plug back in I hooked up the biggy.
Despite the amazingess of that catch, I best remember an enemy angler driving past in his buggy, just as I was bringing in the fish --and was unhooking the yellow plug. Blood was so bad between us but I still pointed to the water and gave a thumbs up to indicate fish. He drove by glaring daggers.
I left immediately with my trophy in tow. Somewhat oddly – and I can’t recall this completely – the bait rod I chucked out first did get touched. It was a huge rod and I most likely threw way beyond the near-beach action. Since I fought my bass while standing in shallow water, I’m guessing I carried out the battle beneath the line of the chunk rod, which was also spiked high up on the dry sand.
Anyway, I’m wondering if that fish I lucked upon is the only winning Derby/Classic bass taken on an artificial. And, I’ll repeat, it was truly luck of the highest order -- and bizarre circumstances -- that I took that fish on a plug.
On an absolutely unrelated note, for you outdoors folks who easily switch gears from the beach to the Barrens, there is a hatch (for lack of a better word) of mushrooms like I haven’t seen since when. The variety is off the charts -- and the size of some of these often wild-looking fungi is worth scheduling hikes to simply track them down. While moist deciduous-heavy woods are best, even the core Pinelands is showing off.
Perish the thought that you know which fungi are toxic, which are hallucinogenic, and which are delectably delicious. When they mushroom up as they are now there is no way you can sort through them. Even those few eaters you think you know by name, there are some rare ones out there that just might look exactly like the one you invite home for dinner.
Best fun thing with a mushroom explosion like this is to finally use that 15 megapixel camera of yours to use. Have a blast seeing how many different shrooms you can import into your computer’s photo section. Once monitored, that’s when you can take a long-shot at ID’ing them. If you’re still at a loss even after mulling over Peterson’s and Audubon guides, slide into one of the many mushroom aficionados websites. Send in pics of tough to tell shrooms and the eggheads will trip over each others emails trying to be the first to show how smart they are at fingering fungi.
[Washington Post] By Juliet Eilperin Oct 28, 2010 - A growing number of creatures could disappear from the earth, with one-fifth of all vertebrates and as many as a third of all sharks and rays now facing the threat of extinction, according to a new survey assessing nearly 26,000 species across the globe.
In addition, forces such as habitat destruction, over-exploitation and invasive competitors move 52 species a category closer to extinction each year, according to the research, published online Tuesday by the journal Science. At the same time, the findings demonstrate that these losses would be at least 20 percent higher without conservation efforts now underway.
'We know what we need to do,' said Andrew Rosenberg, senior vice president for science and knowledge at the advocacy group Conservation International and one of the paper's co-authors. 'We need to focus on protected areas, both terrestrial and marine.'
The survey, conducted by 174 researchers from 38 countries, came as delegates from around the world are meeting in Nagoya, Japan, to debate conservation goals for the coming decade.
The researchers analyzed the International Union for Conservation of Nature's 'Red List' - a periodic accounting that classifies mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish along a spectrum depending on how imperiled they are.
While many industrialized countries have undertaken conservation efforts at home and helped fund this work overseas, 'the reality is we're still exporting degradation across the world' by taking food and other resources from the developing world, according to co-author Nicholas K. Dulvy.
'We've transformed a third of the habitable land on earth for food production,' said Dulvy, who co-chairs the IUCN's shark specialist group. 'You can't just remove that habitat without consequences for biodiversity.'
Southeast Asia's animals have experienced the most severe hit in recent years, stemming from a combination of agricultural expansion, logging and hunting. Species in parts of Central America, the tropical Andes of South America and Australia have also all suffered significant population declines, largely due to the chytrid fungus killing off amphibians. Forty-one percent of all amphibians are now threatened with extinction.
Norway's environmental minister, Erik Solheim, who is attending the talks in Nagoya, said in an interview that this sort of accelerating biodiversity loss, coupled with climate change, should compel nations to act boldly: 'Very clearly, there's an increasing sense of urgency here,' he said.
The grim study underscores the failure by parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to fulfill a 1992 pledge to achieve 'a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss at the global, regional and national level' by this year. The convention's 193 signatories meeting this month in Japan will set a conservation target for 2020; a U. S. delegation is attending the two-week session even though the United States has not ratified the pact.
Environmental groups are pushing for a goal of protecting 25 percent of all land on earth and 15 percent of the sea by 2020. At the moment, roughly 14 percent of terrestrial areas and less than 1 percent of the ocean enjoy some degree of environmental safeguards.
The new study documents the impact of such policies - 64 vulnerable species have begun recovering due to concerted conservation efforts, the article says. It provides a snapshot of how the world's birds, mammals and amphibians has evolved over three decades.
Two American species that had become extinct in the wild, the California condor and the black-footed ferret, have both made gains after being reintroduced, while several island species have boosted their numbers after humans took steps to shrink populations of invasive predators that were targeting them. The global population of the Seychelles Magpie-robin, for example, rose from fewer than 15 birds to 180 between 1965 and 2006 after the island's brown rat numbers came under control.
In some cases, a disparate combination of policies have helped species regain a foothold: the Asian crested ibis went from critically endangered in 1994 to endangered in 2000 due to protection of its nesting trees, controls over chemicals used in nearby rice fields and a prohibition of firearms.
In some instances, policymakers and scientists are just beginning to grapple with the challenges faced by some species - such as sharks, skates and rays. Jack Musick, professor emeritus at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, helped oversee a global study that suggests roughly 33 percent of cartilaginous fishes are threatened.
Musick, who started studying sharks in the Atlantic a half-century ago and began a shark survey in the Chesapeake Bay and Virginia's coastal waters in 1973, said he started seeing declines in the 1980s.
While the United States has cut back on shark fishing off its coasts, Musick said, 'I can't say the same for international management.'
Researchers in the IUCN's shark specialist group made assumptions about the state of some shark species because data is lacking for nearly half of them; they extrapolated what they knew about well-studied species and applied the same ratio of threats to lesser-known ones.
Sonja Fordham, the group's deputy chair and founder of the D. C.-based Shark Advocates International, said that gaps in data should not hold the world back from protecting sharks. 'Around the world, we see similar cases of boom and bust fisheries, and management that is too little, too late,' she said.
Morning News Beat] By Kevin Coupe - October 28, 2010 - The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced yesterday that they have “joined forces ... in the fight against obesity and announced their commitment to develop a new front-of-package nutrition labeling system. The unprecedented consumer initiative will make it easier for busy consumers to make informed choices when they shop.
“This program will add important nutrition information on calories and other nutrients to limit to the front of the packages of many of the country's most popular food and beverage products. To appeal to busy consumers, the information will be presented in a fact-based, simple and easy-to-use format.”
FMI and GMA said that it will take a few months to finalize “the specifics of the initiative, including the technical and design elements. In addition, details will be finalized on how to provide consumers with information on nutrients needed to build a ‘nutrient-dense' diet and on ‘shortfall nutrients' that are under-consumed in the diets of most Americans.”
[Los Angeles Times] By Irene Virbilla, Restauarant critic - October 28, 2010 - 'Take one,' the waiter says, proffering a vase sprouting savory lollipops. Each stick holds a round of squid sitting on a cube of dark red chorizo. 'Eat them in one bite, so you get both tastes at once,' comes the further instruction. I do. The sweet meaty squid and the spicy paprika-streaked chorizo are terrific together.
These savory lollies are the opening flourish in a beautifully paced tasting menu at Providence, the Los Angeles seafood restaurant that celebrates its fifth anniversary this year.
[Associated Press] - October 28, 2010 - KEY WEST, Fla., A Florida Keys man has been sentenced to nearly two years in jail for possessing nearly 300 undersized lobsters.
Monroe County Judge Ruth Becker also stripped 50-year-old Angel Cancio of Big Pine Key of his commercial fishing license for three years after his release.
It took a jury about an hour Monday to convict Cancio of possessing 277 undersized wrung lobster tails while fishing with his 28-year-old son near No Name Key in September 2009.
State wildlife officers said the men threw a box containing the lobsters into the water and tried to flee when confronted by authorities.
Cancio's son is serving an 18-month sentence at the Monroe County