Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

I’ll Take the Boo Boos Any Day; From Whence the Flood Cameth


PRAISE FOR THE BOO BOOS: The Honey Boo Boos rock. I often check in on those hunka-hunka burnin’ rednecks when surfing from ghost shows to playoff games. I like what I see. Admittedly, that could stem from a humanistic inability to turn away from train wrecks and steaming pizzas. Still, I salute their saltiness.

I’m serious as pickled pork rinds here, for one multi-toothed reason: The entire Boo Boo clan smiles and laughs more before lunch than I do in a week of meals – and I like to think of myself as something of a laugher, or something like that.

While the majority of mesmerized Boo Boo watchers gawk at them in rapt disbelief, I’m way more inclined to smile along with the Boos. Looks like they’re havin’ a damn good time to me.

I just as often chuckle, be it far more cynically, over the way divorcedly disenfranchised and fully unfunctional families look on to ridicule the Boo Boos. Those glib mockers are lucky to have a single fun family day in a year’s time.

My Boo Boo tolerance is surely a throwback to my golden days of ’60s social protest and alternative lifestyling. Back then, I truly lived, breathed and surfed the existential premise of different strokes for different folks.

Face it, the decidedly hogacious Boo Boos are doing their own thing. And, to coin a famed phrase from the late, great Wladzui Valentino Liberace – a sophisticated gent who definitely did his own lacy thing (ahem) – the Boos Boos are laughing all the way to the bank. Hells bells, Honey’s cut from her viral cable TV hit – being put into a trust for when she gets older – is already pushing seven figures. That’s a load of tutus and tiaras.

Last and foremost, the Boo Boos aren’t hurtin’ a soul.

Do I expect you to adopt the Boo Boo lifestyle? Hell, no. They’re obviously crazy people. But as to those roly-poly, hard-fartin’ rednecks forwarding a glaringly unhealthful and uncouth lifestyle, just click over to the allegedly perfectly appointed spectacles being highlighted in a slew of TV series all beginning with “Wives of … .”  Talk about a leap to the other end of the ugly stick spectrum. One look at those plasticized, liposuctioned, Botoxified bitches (excuse my French) and I’ll take the Boo Boos any frickin’ day.

BOBCAT FROM ABOVE: Now to jump from Boo to bob – as in bobcat.

Absolutely no disrespect to the billions or so Bobs out there, but, face it, the name doesn’t routinely spark a fight-or-flight response. A “Beware of Bob” sign would likely prove highly ineffective. However, combine a lower-cased bob with a first-rate cat and out springs a formidability factor you don’t want wrapped around your face. More on that below.

Despite their famed kitty cat cuteness, bobcats are bundles of sheer ferocity. I know bobcats only from trapped specimens. But that’s plenty enough. I’ve seen creatures as large and insane as wolverines fully infuriated when suddenly finding themselves behind bars, yet nothing comes anywhere near the sheer insane ferocity of an ensnared bobcat.

It’s with a lingering recollection of trapped bobcats trying to shred me into jerky strips that I go beyond sympathetic with a fellow who was recently put upon by not just an extra-large bobcat, but a rabid one, to boot!

Being a word person, I’ve oft used the adjective “rabid” in a benignly colorful way, to portray something as being out of control, as in the way Honey Boo Boo goes after foodstuffs. Well, add some claw-wielding real life to “rabid” and you have the fight for dear life faced by Roger Mundell of Brookfield, Mass.

Walking into his workshop garage, Mundell was put upon by a crazed bobcat weighing over 30 pounds. If ever the term “hellcat” was profoundly applicable, it was during this feline’s headhunt in rural New England.

Launching itself from the rafters, it sprang onto the man’s head and shoulders, instantly launching into a bite, rip and gouge routine usually reserved for taking down prey. To give a feel for a big bobcat’s takedown potential, they annually kill about 11,000 sheep in the United States.

Somewhat oddly, Mundell later described the bobcat’s four-legged, face-gouging grasp as being a “like a bear hug.”

Really, Roger, a bear hug? Maybe he was suffering from post-traumatic bobcat attack stress syndrome.

Somehow disenfranchising himself from the bear-hugger, Mundell flung off the cat and bolted for his bolt-action rifle. However, the bobcat’s bloodletting was far from finished.  It ran into the yard and resumed its sortie on Mundell’s 15-year-old nephew. In a show of better-late-than-never get-evenness, Mundell shot – and re-shot – the crazed cat one good.

Now, don’t go getting all snappy at me for condoning this killing. It was what even those of us in the wildlife-appreciating realm call a righteous kill. That cat just wasn’t right, and the tests proved it had rabies out the kazoo. In fact, even Mundell’s wife had to be treated for the disease after she got blood all over herself trying to clean up the boys.

As for what to take away from this real-life freak-out event, I, for one, will hereafter be donning a helmet and shoulder pads every time I approach the garage – and I don’t even have a garage.

NO PARKING: Apologies to Bob Dylan, but: Can this really be the end? To be stuck inside a mobile with the Sandy blues again?

I’m singing the blues over word that the LBI Trailer Park in Holgate will be closing, per the owner.

If you think I’m singing the blues, you oughta hear the sounds coming from the folks about to be displaced from there.

Shortly after Sandy, I was among the first folks to see the worst storm damage on LBI, namely Holgate – and, specifically, the trailer parks there. I was blown away – as in devastated – by the accordioned homes, forced by wave action into an instant condominium of sorts.

Making bad matters worse for me, I know a co-owner of the LBI Trailer Park – longtime surfing buddy Bob Muroff.

I’m also close with a slew of folks who call the park home. And, yes, a trailer is not only every bit a home but an ultimately cool and quintessential American dwelling. I’ll also note that trailers in Holgate parks have sold for more than $250,000 – and seasonally house doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs.

For me, the park also presents a flash into my past. I frequently partied heartily in those movable homes – more than 50 years ago. Powered by youth juices, I would go from party patrol to dawn patrol, surfing the nearby “Suicide Jetty” and “Wooden Jetty.”

Back then, Bob’s quite-cool dad, Joe, ran the family-owned park.

As a young’un, I thought it was so cool hanging out there. You couldn’t get any more inthan inhabiting – if only for a night or so – Holgate.

I have to think the no-rebuild decision was a tough one for Bob, who was quoted in a 2012 NJ.Com article as saying, “I’ve been on record that this place will never be for sale. We consider these people (patrons) our friends.” His recent letter to park residents was pointed: “It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that after giving careful consideration to the devastating impact of the flooding and wind damage caused by Hurricane Sandy that we will not be reopening the Long Beach Island Trailer Park.”

Sandy was, again, a game changer.

Ironically, as Sandy approached, Bob and I talked while standing at the no-longer Holgate parking lot. Both of us had seen so many storms that neither of us was overly wary of her.

I’m not sure of any recourse the trailer owners might have to keep the park going. There could be something akin to a corporate or user-group buyout. Of course, I just made that up.

The promise of a beach replenishment project would place Holgate’s future, for trailer parks et. al., on more solid ground. I’m not sure if Holgate’s beachfront homeowners there are on board with easement turnovers. If not, just imagine the love for any and all easement holdouts as places like the trailer parks are lost to beachline uncertainty. Why can’t those holdouts get it through their selfish heads that they’re dealing with other peoples’ lives here – hundreds, if not thousands, of other peoples’ lives?

EUREKA AND THE FLOOD: Don’t you just hate it when you’re devising an important physics equation and before you know it you’ve covered a 20-foot-long chalkboard with the equation’s workings and are forced to move onto a roll-about, 8-foot chalkboard and end up having to carry the solution over to a handheld vintage Etch-a-Sketch? Drives you crazy, right? Especially when you keep finding a priori errors refuting empirical science. I hear your energetic nods of agreement.

Well, such was the recent case for me as I worked on equationally factoring why Superstorm Sandy excessively flooded between the Causeway and Holgate. I kept getting a seemingly unrelated cosine hovering somewhere between the little chalkboard and the left-hand knob on the Etch-a-Sketch. WTF!

Then, along came my buddy Mayor Porky Hulsenbeck of Ship Bottom. What an equation changer. Exchanging Sandy storm recollections, he opened my eyes to just how much z-factor seawater had entered the flooding formula, right at the high-impact times. Veritable rivers of ocean water had cascaded down many/most Ship Bottom blocks, just as the bay began to rear up like never before. Envisioning walls of ocean water colliding with in-street baywater, a huge light bulb went off over my equation. Could that be the missing cosine link?

I had fully x-factored in the immense amounts of water that had been wind-blown (75 mph) out of North Barnegat Bay and into Little Egg Harbor, entering through the channels beneath the Causeway. I intrinsically y-factored the massive amounts of water from huge southerly ground swells, forcing water through Little Egg Inlet, even prior to Sandy’s landfall.

There was little doubt, based on water upsurge alone, that much of LBI south of Brant Beach was doomed to a super submerge.

A problematic aspect arrived when factoring in the Brant Beach replenishment project, and how it obviously kept ocean water from flowing down the Brant Beach blocks.

But back to the ocean/bay connection in Ship Bottom.

I fully recognized that millions of gallons of bay water were blown toward the Causeway when the south wind kicked in at 70 mph. The numbers show how much higher the bay was on the south side than the north. However, the water heights when coupled with the south wind time frame wasn’t perfect enough to me. From the get-go of my trapped-water theory on the flooding, it sure seemed that bayside Ship Bottom – all the way down south of Brant Beach – had somehow acquired what we in the scientific community call a “whopping load” of water above and beyond what might be called blow-in. Enter millions of gallons of ocean water rushing in from dune overwash, and the flood picture is complete in my mind’s eye.

Just to go sophomoric for a minute, every single drip of seawater that breached the duneline drained bayward. The downward slope on the west side of the dunes saw to that. Every drip was part and parcel of the flooding.

Unlike my usual long-windedness, this one looms large when it come to whether or not the Sandy flooding was merely a bay event or exacerbated by ocean overflow. I hope like anything that NOAA researches this. It’ll become vividly clear that ocean overflow was a huge factor.

OUTBACK CHAT: Tick, tick, tick.

No, that’s not the ghost of the Mayan calendar still roaming the cosmos in search of eternity’s end, nor is it even a far more coherent countdown to my total loss of sanity. I’m referencing actual ticks here – those bloodsuckers with a penchant for bandying about diseased proboscises.

I took three larger ticks off my person, i.e. me, on Saturday, despite our being snuggled in the wet lap of winter.

Ticks know no closed seasons. In fact, there are studies being conducted on ticks to see how the hell they can hang on branches through the winter while being fully exposed to the harshest of elements, tolerating temperatures as cold as the skies can muster. Then, within minutes of temps rising a touch above freezing, they essentially thaw and instantly begin to aggressively move about.

What an outback irony, as ticks teach us the mysteries of cryogenics. Here we loathe the despicable creatures, yet someday folks will routinely be iced comfortably away – for future usages – because of a single tick’s ability to climb onto me so quickly after frozen nights. My heroes. Yeah, right.

AUCTION SCORES: Picked up a handful of excellent reels for a song at yesterday’s auction in the Eagleswood Firehouse. For $30, I got five rods and reels, including a mint vintage white Bakelite Garcia Mitchell 622 conventional and a near-mint green Penn Spinfisher 710. The rods were real nice, also.

I’ll bet I could quickly turn my “catches” over for a sweet profit at the upcoming flea market. However, I suffer a debilitating hoarder’s remorse when I sell something before first storing it out of sight and mind for at least a decade, neutralizing any and all profit through storage costs.

Keep an eye open for upcoming auctions in our nape of the shore, or check some of the semi-nearby weekly auctions, like those in Tabernacle (Harker’s) and Southampton (Allen’s).


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