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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, August 15, 2019: After this bout of drabbish weather we’ll be back into the hot and thick of summer ...

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Nose Hair Extensions Is Becoming The New Beauty Trend Apparently

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Thursday, August 15, 2019: After this bout of drabbish weather we’ll be back into the hot and thick of summer, with the shoreline AC doing its cooldown thing later in the day, beginning Saturday. Mainland will toast by Sunday. due especially to sky-high humidity. I guess that means we’ll see most everyone here – with the exception of busloads of college kids heading to school. I’ll never forget mid-August when I headed back to Maui. What incredible years those were in terms of life scheduling.

Fishing is getting a tad tired, by that I mean the same old same old – but at a decent level regarding blowfish and bluefish. Fluking has been possibly too good for its own good. I was advised by someone quite in the know that the recreational poundage is off the hook. “We could be in trouble,” was the most I could muster by way of explanation. That said, I’ve yet to see much of a tit-for-tat kickback when we go over allotted poundage, even when that same “We could be in trouble” warning is issued.

I’m one of the divergent voices that swears bay and nearshore bottoms are layered in flatties -- in what a marine biologist might consider an over proliferation of small fluke based on the entire biosystem. I’ll re-mention that higher ups in fishery management are being urged (forced) to transition into a holistic method of managing ecosystems, based on all biomasses – plant and animal -- involved. That will lead to some wholesale changes in how we fish. I’m working on a piece homing in on the move away from species-specific management toward all-encompassing ways to balance all biosystem components.

SHARK TALK: I got some distant feedback about our current shark fishing predicament, whereby the government demands protected sharks not be targeted and, if accidentally hooked, released without being removed from the water. The caller was a shark studier, of which there is a slew around the planet. He was unusually open-minded, agreeing it makes no sense trying to stop shark surf fishing. He did offer an incredulous chuckle regarding the peculiar “Yank” practice of throwing chum into the surf to attract sharks to bait. Apparently, we’re the only place (specifically Florida) trying that “stunt.” I chimed in that the Sunshine State pretty much leads the planet in shark bites – which, I’m told, are referred to as “nips” when minimal damage is done.  

He did follow the party line regarding pulling hooked sharks out of the water for grins and photos. He added an insightful read that serious damage can likely be done to a landed shark by forcing open its mouth for toothafied selfies. “A shark’s jaws can open huge but in more of a circular manner. That upward yanking by the nose can’t be good.”  

That warned, he went on to say that sharks aren’t quite the wimps they’re being portrayed as. “Most of them survive being caught. It’s the bigger ones that have body masses that can crush their insides if brought ashore or into a boat.”

I asked him if it’s true that a shark’s violent thrashing during a fight and landing might leads to it bursting its own bladder. He wasn’t ready to go that far, repeating he has seen a high rate of survival after “Proper handling, revitalizing and releasing” a landed shark. The revitalizing consists of allowing the exhausted fish to get re-oxygenated -- in the water -- before letting it swim off.  Sharks are very cannibalistic. If they sense a fellow shark is suffering -- as they are after being released -- they’ll gang attack.

We then talked about his read on the worst sharks aswim. He favors the big three: great whites, tigers and bulls. That last one got me going on why I think bulls should lead the pack, based on things I’ve both read and seen. He followed my thinking by explaining that bulls ply shallow waters, are highly aggressive and tolerate brackish water, meaning they can interact more readily with humans.

In doing follow-up research I found his interesting read by a professional sharkist: “ I've been diving with Great White, Bull and Tiger Sharks for over 15 years now ... because they have more testosterone than any other shark, Bull Sharks are the most aggressive and therefore the most dangerous to humans.”

But the caller – who preferred I leave him nameless since he was calling on something other than a shark matter – wouldn’t let go of the great white infatuation, placing it well in the attack lead on a worldwide basis. He has also seen them attack seals with such force that fellow onlookers on his research vessel could only shutter to think what they can do with a human target. “It’s the only shark that I can’t stay calm around,” he said, referring to diving with them. Apparently, controlling one’s transmission of bodily electrical energy when in the water a prime factor in being a successful, i.e. un-mauled, shark studier. I control mine perfectly -- from aboard a boat.

It was easy for him to peg tiger sharks as being as bad as they come within their geographical range. Hawaii and his Australia jumped to mind. “The more of them you have swimming around, the greater the chance of them doing serious damage.” That said, he has seen “slim few” tiger sharks in his travels but has seen the aftereffects of their inclination to attack surfers, namely the teeth found embedded in boards – and bodies.

Image result for tiger shark teeth embedded in surfboard

I thereafter researched the tiger – a species I saw swimming about on Maui -- and it has indeed gained top honors on many a dangerous shark chart. It is responsible for a majority of attacks in Hawaii and Australia.  

The surprise of our talk came when he brought up a somewhat common species I would have never pegged as a biter of mankind: the short-finned mako. It can grow to 13 feet and weigh 1,300 pounds. His warning hit close to home for me since I used to frequently do a deep-water swim-about when canyon fishing. “They (makos) are easily the fastest attackers. They can hit you in a blink. And they will.” I questioned this but hit the books and, sure enough, short-finned makos are way up the “Danger to Humans” list. I’ll stick with the being the one biting a mako – after marinating it in a fine Cajun sauce, prior to grilling.

See: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2017/08/shortfin-m...

Last year, there were 66 (known) unprovoked shark attacks worldwide. That number would soar if it included bites from anglers landing sharks or people trying to swim with them.

According to the numbers-keepers at Florida Museum of Natural History's International Shark Attack File, you have roughly a one in 3.7 million chance of dying from a shark attack in your lifetime. Dying in a car accident runs 1-in-84. Getting struck by lighting is 1-700,000. That factored, I think our odds of becoming a shark attack victim are somewhat higher than folks in Denver or El Paso. We’re also on a slightly scarier train track when it comes to being struck by lightning, based on our open beach propensities.

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Man Behind the Reefs Receives a Patch of His Own

By Jay Mann | Aug 13, 2019
Photo by: Supplied

SURF CITY — Manahawkin’s Bill Kane Figley, the man credited with making New Jersey’s artificial reef system what it is today, has been bestowed with a namesake reef – specifically, a section of the Atlantic City Reef. Bill, a marine biologist, was the first New Jersey Artificial Reef coordinator, working for 22 years to find creative and effective ways to create vibrant reef systems for anglers to enjoy. He is now retired.

On Saturday, July 27, Bill was present when the state Bureau of Marine Fisheries sank a massive caisson gate, emblazoned with a special “Thanks” on one of its sides. That deployment instantly created what is now known as the “William Kane Reef.” Bill chose his middle name for the reef.

If you’re not sure what a caisson gate is, sufficed to say it’s a massive steel structure with tons of concrete ballast at the keel. It’s used in dry dock areas to block water from entering as ships are built. The U.S. Navy supplied three of them for Jersey’s artificial reef system. Bill’s now personalized caisson gate is 140 feet long, 25 feet wide and 30 feet high. It will spend likely the rest of its life in roughly 95 feet of water, give or take tides and ocean rise. It resides about 16 miles from Little Egg Inlet. That inlet was a favorite fishing area for Bill, his family and fishing club buddies. The reef patch – patchbeing the term for individual components of the reef system – is about 65 feet below the surface. Its coordinates: North 40° 08.0330146’ x West 073° 56.431’.

Per the state, “This deployment will serve as habitat for up to 150 various types of marine species for the next 75 years or more. This project was sponsored in its entirety by the TheSportFishingFund.org.”

TheSportFishingFund.org is a worldwide organization dedicated to sponsoring the building of artificial reefs.

I’ve oft alluded to Bill as “Father to the New Jersey Artificial Reef System.” Since he won’t say it outright, I’ll take the lead in saying he was surely at the helm throughout the designing phases and deployments of most everything we now appreciate as the reef network. The work carries on, using many of his methods.

The state’s reef-building effort began in 1984, when it first assumed reef-building responsibilities – taking the reins from a group of NJ boat captains who had begun placing reef patches dating back to 1935. Using mainly out-of-pocket funding, those grassroots reef-building pioneers made significant initial contributions to what we see today. Back when, their work was seen as folly. Today, over 1,200 patch reefs have been constructed on the state’s 15 designated reef sites.

Those founders surely deserve a tip of the cap for launching the untried concept of making uneventful bottom parcels into sanctuaries for marine life. Seeing the merit in their efforts, the state took over, though funding has been catch-as-catch can, with the likes of Bill seeking ways to keep reef building capital flowing.

In building the state’s now dynamic reef system, Bill made highly creative choices when it came to seeking material for reef deployments. For instance, he utilized tightly bound tire clusters, defunct Hudson ferries, decommissioned military tanks, retired vessels and unique sinkables called igloos. Shaped as their name implies, igloos are handmade concrete structures designed to attract a diversity of marine life, which they’ve done. They are now heavily occupied, inside and out.

One of the more enterprising reef material ideas chosen by Bill was NYC subway cars. Expectedly, the choice initially met with a trainload of pushback from green groups, which feared residual mechanical and urban gunk might still be riding the repurposed cars. That’s when Bill began lecturing on the impeccably high standards when it comes to making reef material squeaky clean before being dropped into the deep. His lectures – and assurances of cleanliness – eventually won over a goodly number of doubters. After a few technical bumps on the track, the subway cars became one of the most complex additions to the reef system. In a bit more than a New York minute, marine life was taking the A-Train.

During my early meet-ups with Bill, he focused on the complexity of successful reef building, not only mechanically but also ecologically. Like most anglers, I figured you dumped the right stuff on the bottom and just like that, gamefish gathered. Build it and they will … etc.

Not even remotely so, I was advised. I got schooled on the multi-step, often lengthy, biosystem growth process, which actually has gamefish as among the last ones to arrive – quickly accompanied by anglers and divers.

It took some adjusting to assume Bill’s excitement as he displayed underwater photos of tiny pioneering invertebrates and crustaceans populating a just-deployed patch of reef. He thrived on seeing the biosystem essentially taking hold, knowing that the complex network of marine life began at that point. Only after hearing about the vital initial artificial reefs growth could I get him to finally say, “Then … the gamefish arrive.” As we know, that’s what is definitely happening now on the maturing reefs.

Not immune to controversy, Bill took on commercial fishing interests by gaining governmental support for the reef system being used primarily for recreation. Currently, only hook-and-line angling and spearfishing are permitted on the reefs.

As boat fishing the reefs has become a way of life for near shore anglers, a solid debt of gratitude is vicariously sent Bill’s way with every hookup or scuba dive. In further respect, it’s essential to support the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program. More info can be found at nj.gov/dep/fgw/artreef.htm.

— Jay Mann

Could this be the answer to an adequate reduction in striped bass landings? 

I always like to show what wildlife is pissing off NJ's people. How dare nature get in our ways?! And that mountain lion has to go, that's all there is to it. 

NJDEP BREAKDOWN OF COMPLAINTS BY SPECIES

Bat 2 Opossum 1

Bear 99 Rabbit 5

Beaver 5 Raccoon 19

Bird 6 Skunk 4

Bobcat 2 Snake 5

Chipmunk 1 Squirrel 3

Coyote 38 Swan 9

Deer 43 Turkey 4

Duck 3 Turtle 7

Fox 43 Unknown 5

Goose 7 Vulture 2

Gull 1 Woodchuck 12

Mountain Lion 1

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(While fishing for ... fluke.)

Fisherman reels in massive 90.6-pound fish off Cape May. Jim Gardner has more on Action News at 6 p.m. on August 13, 2019.

CAPE MAY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia man has a real fish story to tell, and he's got the proof.

Len Andalis of Mayfair proudly showed us the 90.6-pound cobia fish he caught off Cape May last Friday.

Andalis says he was fishing for flounder and never expected to catch a cobia.

"Cobia are southern fish. These last few years, down off the coast of New Jersey, we've been seeing a lot of them. I tell ya what, this is the first cobia I caught in my life," said Andalis.

It took Andalis an hour and a half to land the giant. It weighs three pounds more than the New Jersey record, which was set 20 years ago.

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By Jeff Goldman | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Marine officials are tracking a dead humpback whale spotted off the coast of Monmouth County over the weekend to see if it will wash ashore.

As of Monday afternoon, the whale was about three miles off Sandy Hook, Marine Mammal Stranding Center Director Bob Schoelkopf said Tuesday.

The whale was first spotted around 10 a.m. Saturday and sighted again Sunday off of Sea Bright by whale watchers and the U.S. Coast Guard, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Tuesday.

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Atlantic menhaden will undergo a benchmark assessment the first week of November.

Enough said ... for now. 

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Sugarbear and the Budman on seabass while flukin on the GSS!

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It rained, it poured but the fluke don’t care. Good day of fishing with some limits and lots of action.

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Dave Rinear, Joe Hummel, and I put a few keepers in the box yesterday.

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This salmon "cannon" is bizarre: 

https://www.facebook.com/CheddarNotOnlyDoWe/videos/676855742782594/

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The rain Wednesday morning kept a lot of people away but we sailed. Seas were calm and a small swell out of the southeast but no wind in the afternoon. The fish bit in the afternoon with two people with there limit of three. Hope the fish keep biting.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, ocean, outdoor, water and nature
Carolyn Ann iii
It blew pretty hard yesterday afternoon but we still managed to catch a few nice fish. Today looks very windy also. The afternoon trip has been canceled
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing, ocean, sky, outdoor, water and nature
Image may contain: 1 person, standing
Image may contain: 1 person, standing

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Washington Post analysis of more than a century of temperature data has found that much of the Northeast is in the grip of extreme warming, with winter heating up more quickly than other seasons. Major areas are nearing or have already crossed the 2-degree Celsius (3.6-degrees Fahrenheit) mark, a crucial marker in international climate change policy. 

Alaska is the fastest-warming state in the country, but Rhode Island is the first state in the Lower 48 whose average temperature rise has eclipsed 2 degrees Celsius. Other parts of the Northeast — New Jersey, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts — trail close behind. 

The nation’s hot spots will get worse, absent a global plan to slash emissions of the greenhouse gases fueling climate change. By the time the impacts are fully recognized, the change may be irreversible. One scientist says the 2-degree Celsius hot spots are early warning sirens of a climate shift. 

“Basically,” he said, “these hot spots are chunks of the future in the present.” 

FULL STORY: https://wapo.st/2KKM4Y2

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

  • New Jersey may seem an unlikely place to measure climate change, but it is one of the fastest-warming states in the nation. Its average temperature has climbed by close to 2 degrees Celsius since 1895 — double the average for the Lower 48 states. 
  • From the Jersey Shore to the shopping malls of Paramus, from hiking trails in the northwest to the Bayway oil refinery, the state faces exceptionally heavy and unpredictable rainfall — even for New Jersey. Last year, it was inundated by a record 64.77 inches of rainfall statewide, 40 percent above average. Pests, no longer eradicated by cold winters, are attacking people, crops and landscapes alike. 
  • The ⅛ -inch-long southern pine beetle had been largely confined to southern U.S. forests — hence its name. But the warmer temperatures have spurred the beetle’s migration north, where it has damaged more than 20,000 acres of the state’s Pine Barrens, a vast coastal forested plain that Congress has defined as a national reserve. 

Naseem Amini

Publicist | The Washington Post

O: (202) 334-4917 M: (202) 834-4860

@WashPostPr

Come explore the amazing marine science taking place in your own backyard.

Join us on Saturday September 14th from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm for the annual Rutgers University Marine Field Station (RUMFS) Open House.  The Marine Field Station is located within the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (JC NERR) at the end of Great Bay Blvd in Little Egg Harbor, NJ. Meet Rutgers and JC NERR researchers and scientists and explore the exciting research happening in the Great Bay/Mullica River estuary and beyond.

If you have ever wondered what happens in the mysterious building at the end of the road, this is your chance to find out!

To better accommodate the crowds and to improve your experience, we are asking participants to register for arrival times.  You can stay as long as you would like, until 3pm.

Choose your Open House ticket time:
NOTE:  All visitors must walk across the ~1/4 mile causeway to the building. Boats are not allowed to dock at the Field Station.

 

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