Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Wednesday, August 25, 2010: (Registry stuff below) Waves: Still sizeable, pushing 5 to 6 feet on sets with an average of 4 to 5 feet. Strong N to S current running the beach. The storm is exiting, t…

Wednesday, August 25, 2010: (Registry stuff below) Waves: Still sizeable, pushing 5 to 6 feet on sets with an average of 4 to 5 feet. Strong N to S current running the beach.

The storm is exiting, taking it’s good old time in the process. It’s fishable in the bay today though the run-off factor is the highest it’s been all summer. In fact, there is surely a ton or two of deleterious chemical matter being washed off the land and into the bay, thanks to human activities. If we get the forecasted hike in temps by next week, we’ll be ripe for algae blooms. In the interim, we’ll face the usual cool-off of fishing related to temperature and water chemistry changes after rains. The up side is the likelihood of a quick recovery around the inlets, where water exchange is high. That’s where the fish are focusing anyway.

The weekend is looking to be a classic, weather-wise. With both the summer season and fluking season winding down concurrently, don’t be surprised to see some serious fishing pressure in the bays and inlets. The ocean will be a lot trickier. We’ll see the slow drop in surf from the recent blow but we’ll have to be on the lookout for some ass-kicking swells from Danielle. It now seems she’ll move more to the southwest than first predicted -0- before turning east and back out to sea to hopefully die. That means we’ll get swells generated from the storm’s northeast quadrant, always the strongest in tropical systems in the Northern Hemisphere.

While open sea swells from a hurricane are not a biggy for most boats, traversing inlets is a whole other matter. Keep close tabs on wave reports if heading outside – and always remember that hurricane swells are indubitably marked by what we call clean-up sets, dangerous waves far larger than the average. These are NOT rogue waves, which are an entirely different phenomena. Rogue waves are one sea occurrences, when opposing or piggybacking swells meet and instantly jack up, like A-frames, creating insanely large breaking waves. Set waves from hurricanes, while not predictable as to when they’ll show, are a certainty. They do not jack up, per se, but arrive somewhat slowly in well-marked highly visible swells on the horizon. They also come in groups of three to as many as nine waves. In fact, guesstimating you can make it over one approaching set wave often leaves you facing a battery of more waves, each one large than the former. Take it from someone who has learned this the hard way.

IMPORTANT:::: I had a lengthy discussion with Forbes Darby, one of the head honchos involved with publicizing and educating folks on the National Angler Registry. I’m getting yet another write-up together on that subject. I’ll have it done this week.

I learned a number of interesting elements regarding the data collecting part of the registry, most importantly the fact that NOAA is not an ogre when it comes to collecting data. In fact, the data-giving is essentially voluntary on the part of anglers. The data collecting procedures have been going on since the 1970s.

I was told that the data gathering methodology won’t change much after the registry is fully in place. Information will come from phone calls to registered anglers, asking about how many fishing trips he/she made, Those calls do not ask what fish were caught. The actual catch data is taken on-scene, i.e. docks, beaches, headboat forms, etc. That data is major, by my thinking – and is also voluntary.

The enforcement side of things kicks in when states or NOAA take over the responsibility of paying for the registry, most often via a license. As is the case with any license, you have to have it – and someone will check on that.

The most amazing thing I found out from my interview was how many NJ anglers aren’t yet aboard. I’ll offer this follow-up email from Forbes:

“Hi Jay,

Nice speaking with you today. Just wanted to follow up with the latest registry figures. As of this week, New Jersey only has 173,000 registrants. That's far below what you or I would reasonably expect.

Even though registration isn't voluntary (it's federal law), many anglers seem to be taking a "wait and see" approach. And although the emphasis this year is on education, not enforcement, there is the potential for fines for anyone who doesn't register. Perhaps more important however is this - failing to register this year is the same as not having your catch count when it comes to making regulations and management decisions. So whether folks support it or oppose it, the fact is that the registry is a law and we'll all benefit if everyone participates.

So thank you for all your help in spreading the word!”


BLOG: That ridiculously lowball figure of registered NJ anglers could seriously impact our fall fishing events. It makes it even more apparent that many tournament participants will not be properly papered. And, yes, there is an alphabetical list of all registered anglers. In this day of speedy computers it is not hard to instantly check if an angler is or sent onboard the registry, i.e. is an anglers fishing legally. I surely hope it doesn’t get to that Big Brother approach but I, as someone who took the few minutes out to properly register, don’t like the concept of scofflaws. It’s not totally unlike driving a buggy on the each and know other vehicle haven’t got their permits. Push comes to shove, I’ll loose that vital point in an argument. J-mann.

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