Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Saturday, September 18, 2010:
Well, hopefully you had a better fishing day than me – and everyone I talked to. Angling in many areas, beach and nearshore, simply sucked. I will note that some stellar reports were coming from anglers working closer in wrecks, where black seabass were showing in goodly numbers.
Larger waves have the beach pound making things doubly tough on surfcasters already dealing with increasingly murky water. With many hardcore casters seeking to nab some incredible edibles via the always short-lived kingfish run, the currents and crashing waves make that panfish pursuit untenable. What’s more, it seems to be a banner year for ocean crabs – mainly calico crabs. If a fish doesn’t grab bait in nothing flat, the crabs do. When your essentially dangling dollar signs in the form of seemingly solid gold bloodworms, each pinch of the greedy crab hurts the wallet. Right now, I know of nobody catching kingfish, anywhere. Let me know if you’ve heard differently.
Dolphin down email:
“I was surf fishing in North Beach behind the tennis courts last night at high tide when we noticed a large dolphin struggling in the surf. She was clearly in trouble rolling over on her back in the waves. She seemed to revive and swam back out but within a couple of minutes she was right back in front of us washing up. She remained there with the waves rolling over her and for the next 15 minutes we watched her as she died.
“Officer Keller from the LBT PD responded and she got in touch with the Marine Stranding folks at Brigantine. They transported the carcass down there last night.
“Officer Keller and I measured the dolphin at 9 feet. It took four of us to try and drag her up up above the water line to ensure no sharks got after her. She must weigh several hundred pounds. Magnificent creature...very sad thing to see.
…Photos clearly show an old shark wound on her right side that had healed. She looked so old and weathered that, in our uneducated option, we think she might have died of old age. Officer Keller also took photos that are much better quality if you want to follow up.
I plan to call the Brigantine folks later this week to learn the results of the necropsy. Packed up my fishing gear and went home after that-didn't seem like much fun at that point.”
(Sad indeed, Tom, but I’m impressed with your observational skills in noting the age of the marine mammal. They absolutely age in the face, same as humans. I read something about the need to “employ” various dolphins for longer running Hollywood movies and TV series because of the obvious aging process displayed by the marine mammal.
I can see why you’d take that experience so personally. It’s very much like trying to save a human, especially when you make eye contact and feel the instant bond. I’ve been through such dolphin rescues and know of no other creatures, except possibly dogs, that transmit such powerful emotion (psycho-communication?) through their eyes.
HOLGATE HAPPENINGS: One can now literally see the sad end of Holgate as we’ve known it. The ocean’s dissecting of the far south end is in its final cutting phase. In fact, it might be a trisecting action.
As expected, the beach zone just north of the former Osprey Next is the largest breaking point. Although the entire front beach area of Holgate is being eaten away, the Osprey Nest area is suffering worst from the cruel wasting disease symptoms related to terminal erosion. It no longer has any uplands whatsoever. That is hugely serious. For a stretch of maybe 100 yards, there is now (east to west) the ocean beach, the slightest semblance of a sand dune and then a quick transition – on a downward slope -- to nothing more than bayside meadow grass. Meadow grass is far from a sign of solid ground. It thrives on mud flats marked by tidal flooding action.
The next really big storm will create an ocean to bay gash at the osprey Nest. It won’t be a 24/7 inlet but, instead, will become a veritable walkway from ocean to bay, possibly holding water during all higher tides.
Seemingly no one, outside some diehard Holgaters, registers that over 200 hundred yards of uplands at the Osprey Nest have disappeared in the past 15 years. The loss was horribly eco-significant. There had been a thriving maritime forest covering a huge chunk of real estate there. That vibrancy is why the famed osprey nest was erected there, almost 150 yards in from the beach. That structure was undermined by ocean erosion last year.
A smaller ocean to bay cut-through point is about two-thirds of the way to the Rip, the far south end of Holgate. That breaking point is actually more acute than the Nest. Even higher ocean tides now wash across to the bay.
The fact that over a mile separates those two breaches shows the unilateral erosion of Holgate. This is not a case of a new inlet forming, as it has in the past. This is the total and complete eroding away of two miles of natural wonderland, made wonderful by the way that small area fought off the developmental advances of humanity -- only to die due to human indifference and a vehement refusal by uplands owner, the Forsythe Refuge, to allow replenishment.
Yes, I’m blame hunting.
The sad thing is I just know that global warming and alleged rising seas will enter the picture if replenishment efforts are suggested for Holgate.
I should add that a new Tucker’s Island is forming. Sure you’ve heard that a dozen times, whenever we get sand spits and overnight islands rising up off the end of Holgate. But you never heard it from me, until now. The sandy landmass down toward the inlet, has gained significant acreage, primarily dunes, becoming grass covered. You’ll note that refuge border signs, which had been just north of the Rip, are now well back in among large building dunes. That makes geological sense. While much of the sand from an eroding Holgate is going out to the shoals between Beach Haven and Little Egg inlets, a decent amount of grainage is gathering at the south tip. I foresee that area becoming much larger as most of Holgate withers.If only Jim Saxton was still congressman. That man could have had dredging replenishment equipment down there in a week’s time.