It’s that humbling time of the year where I ask for donations to keep this blog up and running. It is a time consuming enterprise but I enjoy it. It’s kinda therapeutic. I hope you find it fun – and functional. I’d also like to take this time to sincerely thank those who email or phone me with tales, fishing reports and questions. It’s energizing. Donations can be mailed to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008-4418. Being Type A I don’t always have the time to mail Thank-you note but, believe me (!), your donations are fully appreciated. J-mann.
Update: I’m PayPal ready for donations. Just go to PayPal, click “Send Money,” type in my email (email@example.com), enter amount and click “Services” box. It’s a snap and I’m grateful beyond measure.
Thursday, November 26, 2009:
Happy turkey day to one and all. A goodly few folks are trying for an early a.m. striper for a seafood addition to the traditional p.m. Thanksgiving Day feast. And that striper entrée has been accomplished at a few holiday surfcasters, including some among a gang down in Holgate, where Kirby called to report a few bass taken at the packed Rip. Seems a lot of folks had the same idea about grabbing any action on the far South End.
I also had a call-in from mid-Island where a 20-ish-pounder came ashore for a very patient caster -- after a long bout of nothingness from before dark to an 8-ish hookup.
Seems chunks of bunker or clam on a spiked rod is the way to go, albeit slow. Plug action is more interactive, with the slight problem that there ain’t squat grabbing most plugs, though (in recent days) a thrower just north of mid-Island has registered a fairly good showing of small to just-keeper bass on plastic (Wildeyes). He even caught two still-lingering fluke.
Boat fishermen are meeting with the typical where-are-they-now syndrome after the blow. I tapped into some radio chatter from Little Egg and up off IBSP. Apparently there had been a couple bursts of fish though it sure didn’t seem fish were jumping in the boats. I’d get in whatever boat fishing the temporarily friendly winds allow because I see a real bout of wicked west winds for the weekend, though they could drop pretty quickly after maybe 36 hours.
Bluefish will surely show here-and-there with water temps still very much to their liking – and quite a few degrees warmer than the average temps for late November. It was the oddest of bluefish years with the fewness of blitzes and the reduced overall size. I also had an interesting report from a bluefish-eating aficionado who felt the bluefish flesh, when-cooked was very mild, almost “washed out.” Now, that is doubly odd considering the bunker and sand eels they’re feeding upon. What could be the case is the thinness of many of the fall slammers. That is real bad news considering bluefish historically have a real hard time staving off starvation most every winter. Those that re-show next spring are likely going to look pretty pathetic.
There are a lingering few tog on the jetties and groins but you won’t be reaching your 6-a-day allotment until the wrecks are reached.
Off the news wires: (Important bft chatter):
The forty percent reduction in the catch of eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna ordered by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) for 2010, could bring an increase in prices paid for bluefin landed along the shores of North America next summer and fall - that is, if several things do not happen.
The first, is whether the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species ( CITES) will succumb to concentrated pressure by wildlife and environmental groups to put giant bluefin tuna on its endangered species list, thereby banning international trade in the much prized flesh of the big fish, pound for pound the most valuable swimming in the sea.
The argument for banning trade in bluefin tuna flows from scientific opinion that the North Atlantic bluefin spawning mass is only fifteen percent of what it was before the advent of ' Industrial fishing '; and only a complete suspension of fishing for a decade or more stands a chance of bringing it back.
The other major factors affecting price will be the tonnage of fish on auction in Japan when North Americans land their quotas in the summer and autumn of 2010; and the supply of fish coming onto the market from the increasing number of tuna farms, especially those in Australia.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace have dedicated themselves to seeking a total ban, east and west. They have launched extensive campaigns to convince the 170 signature nations to CITES to ban all fishing for bluefin. The WWF has produced a study predicting that unless the Mediterranean fishery is closed entirely ' the bluefin will be functionally extinct by 2012. '
There is general agreement by scientists and industry figures that the eastern Atlantic bluefin stock has been decimated, largely by overfishing. But Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans and fishermen insist the western Atlantic stock fished by Canadians and Americans from 40 or 50 foot boats with rod, hook and line, has been well managed and is in no threat of extinction. Last season, fishermen from PEI agreed that each boat would limit its catch to one fish a day.
The two separate bluefin stocks each migrate up their side of the Atlantic Ocean. Canadians argue that they meet, but do not mix to any appreciable extent, in the middle of the Atlantic. Some juvenile Mediterranean fish may be caught as juveniles in western waters, and vice versa, but according to Dr. Edward Secor of the University of Maryland Centre for Environment6al Science ..... ' North American commercial fisheries... depend exclusively on fish that are spawning in the Gulf of Mexico. '
Biologists call it 'natal homing' when fish and other forms of marine life ( turtles, sea birds, whales) return to the place where they were spawned to do their own spawning.
The current quotas for the western stock will be in effect through 2010, but will be reviewed again by ICCAT next November.
International trade in bluefin tuna amounts to about 7 billion dollars a year. Prices last year ranged between 4 dollars and 16 dollars a pound on Canada's east coast, depending on quality and fat content of the flesh.
Doug Fraser of Prince Edward Island is one of two civilian Canadian appointees to the ICCAT. He says it took '8 or 9 days' for the delegates to reach a consensus for a reduction of the Mediterranean catch. ' But the science was with us, ' he says.