Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
See glass eel news story further below ... Saturday, July 18, 2009: Waves: Strong 2- 2.5-foot south swell. Water clarity: Fair to poor; cold water is in place, cleaner warmer water not that far off beach but won’t be in today. Winds: Brisk offshores. Oddity: Virtually no flying/biting bugs at all on the beach despite the winds right out of the Pines, which have been as buggy as any summer in recent memory. Hopefully, the winds will swing to light onshore, keeping flying wildlife at bay. Some stretches of large fluke out in deeper water. Don’t worry about where everyone else is going. Give it your best guess/drift since folks are only now starting to figure where the larger schools are at once outside the inlets. West winds making it iffy on ocean drifts for fluke. West winds are generally gust-oriented instead of steady. That means you’ll be picking sinker weight for one wind speed then get whisked along to where you have to add on just to hold bottom. Then, once leaded heavy, the winds back off and you’re slugging it out with too much weight on the bottom. It’s tough enough feeling some fluke pickups but when you’re loaded with lead all skill is out the window and dead weight and blind luck takes over. Email: “Jay, I’m kinda pissed. I had the family out for three fluking trips (bay) and everyone caught as many fluke as we’ve ever seen but the stupid regulations wont let us take one. Also, we heard that boats were being closely checked by the wardens. I read your columns and agree that there might be too much attention paid to saving just certain fish. I disagree with your comments that maybe we’ll see relaxed rules by next year. It won’t be until the fluke start dying of overpopulation before they’ll wise up… J.M.” (I hear ya, J. And you’re absolutely right to disagree with my comment that next year could see better regulations. I based that on new efforts to better count fluke along with promises made by management in recent years, all but assuring that things will, in fact, get better for recreational fluking. I know all too well that some new factor could jump in (most often it is estimates that we took too much fluke poundage) and all bets are off for sensible size limits. Truth be told, I’d much rather see bag limits held down with lower minimum sizes. I think the average person would like at least something to take home as opposed to a filled cooler worth. Finally, try to make the most of the fact you’re out there on the water and the family is feeling fish. And keep some crabbing gear onboard. Nabbing some tasty blue claws can make for dining fun that night. J-mann) Reef and structure fishing remains hugely popular this year, likely due to the angler frustration with too-small fluke taking such a chunk of a day’s effort. The average daily seabass count is definitely showing the fishing pressure. Technically, the one-a-day tog regulation means a single angler can keep a single fish of legal size. However, that regulation usually translates into a fish per every person on a vessel, including three-year-old sleeping below board. Whatever. Bassing just isn’t there. Even residential fish seem to be in some other neighborhood. Per usual, a few early-day anglers are getting a single fish here and there. Small jigs are kinda fun. Late-day has higher tides this weekend so there could be some arriving over-the-bar stripers showing toward dark. (((((((((((())))))))))) July 17, 2009 - HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Three-quarters of Nova Scotia's clam fishing beds are closed because of a red tide algae bloom that makes shellfish toxic. The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans ordered the closure of recreational and commercial harvesting of clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, quahogs and whelks because of the algae bloom, The Chronicle-Herald newspaper in Halifax reported Thursday. Commercial clam harvester Ken Weir told the newspaper some 280 licensed clam fishermen are affected by the 'devastating' closure, further damaging the $9 million industry. 'We can't recover from stuff like this,' he said. 'We're left with either welfare or starving to death.' The clam and shellfish industry in the province is also facing 20-year lows in prices, with soft shell clams selling for between 80 cents and $1 per pound, the report said. ((((((((((((())))))))))) (The following story is very interesting since it makes no mention of the origins of the smuggled glass eels. Since almost all of them come from the coastline between Maine and the Carolinas, I'm wondering about some odd creek night activity I saw during herring season. ( [ Japan Economic Newswire] July 17, 2009 - Japanese customs authorities have uncovered the illegal smuggling of glass eels that has been going on repeatedly between late last year and this spring, their sources said Wednesday. Exporting glass eels, or juvenile eels, is banned from December to April to conserve resources. It is believed that the smugglers exported them to China and Taiwan, where eel farming is prosperous, the sources said. But even if they are caught, most eel smugglers end up just paying the penalty, making the illegal business less risky than smuggling drugs, they said. The authorities are investigating if domestic and international crime syndicates are involved in the illegal activity, they added. On March 9, four Taiwanese were caught at Narita international airport when they tried to smuggle out 140 kilograms of glass eels by packing them in small plastic bags with water and oxygen and putting them in suitcases, according to the authorities. In addition, authorities found 10 cases for illegal export until April, involving Japanese, Chinese and South Korean smugglers, and confiscated a total of more than 600 kg of glass eels, they said. The authorities also found cases of eels being smuggled at Kansai international airport and other areas. Their destinations included Macao, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, according to the sources. ((((((((((((())))))))))))) [Deutsche Presse-Agentur] - July 17, 2009 - Johannesburg A British and a South African journalist were due to be brought before court in the south-west African country of Namibia on Friday after being arrested while filming the controversial annual seal cull, police confirmed. Jim Wickens, a journalist with British investigative agency Ecostorm, and Bart Smithers, a South African cameraman, were arrested Thursday at Henties Bay, north of the coastal resort of Swakopmund, a Namibian police spokesman said. The two spent the night in police custody in Henties Bay and were due to appear in Swakopmund magistrate's court Friday on charges of contravening the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act, spokesman Angula Amulungu said. Asked how they might have contravened the act, Amulungu said: 'They ought to have permission to film in that area.' Asked about reports that the journalists were assaulted by seal hunters, Amulungu said: 'As far as I know one of them got a slap from one of them (seal hunters)' but said he did not think he had been seriously assaulted. The British High Commission in Windhoek said it was in contact with Wickens and providing him with consular services. Canada and Namibia are the only countries where seals continue to be culled. The season in Namibia officially opened on July 1. The Ministry of Fisheries has issued a quota of 86,000 seal pups and 6,000 bulls per year for three years starting in 2007 to contain the population of an estimated 650,000 seals currently inhabiting Namibian waters. Animal rights activists says the cull is inhumane and claim that it has led to a dramatic decrease in Namibia's seal population. The Namibia government says that seal populations need to be controlled to protect fish stocks. The fur, skin, meat, fat and genitals of the seals are all harvested and sold.