Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, May 31, 2018: Further below you’ll see some decent fish being caught. The east winds can spark a beach bite, to be sure.

The two sides of hockey. "Love ya, man. ... Watcha doin' after the fight?"

And Go Las Vegas old-guys Golden Knights!

Peace and love in the NHL

This is how I like to sit on vehicle when rods are spiked -- a little bass with my metal. Strong bass effect on camera

The magic of summer .. or not. Actually happened. 

Putting on swimming cap

Thursday, May 31, 2018: Further below you’ll see some decent fish being caught. The east winds can spark a beach bite, to be sure. That said, I’m getting as many not-so-good reports as winners. Obviously, it’s the winners that usually – and rightfully – get all the ink.

Oddly, I seem to catch heat when hyping the upside of hooking – and folks come up lacking ... as if catching is ever a slam-dunk.

Sorry if this is a repeat of the last blog, but far more than usual, things are running hot and cold -- as if there’s a wall between the two. Many/most folks feel water temps are everything right about now, especially with fluke, which will shut down when springtime water temps change quickly. Interestingly, studies show summer flounder will eat on both side of the thermometer. By that I mean as long as temperatures are steady – either cool or mild – they’re good to go. It’s the intermingling of divergent water temps, as is often the case near inlets, that puts the fish in an appetite-less mode. It seems to be more of a metabolism thing than, say, something related to forage. 

A fellow bluefish preserver has had a helluva time getting enough meat for his rather over-sized smoker. “It’s weird. I get into them and then they’re gone. Nowhere to be found.”

Below: www.onthewater.com

I had this delusion that we’d have another killer bluefish spring but that hasn’t panned out. And me with all my dehydrators/driers (3, sporting a total of 18 trays) at the ready. Here on LBI, it's tougher getting by using outdoor smokers. 

Below: These are great drying units, though costly. Unlike some others, you don't have to rotate the trays when drying marinaded fish. There is a dripage problem if you leave too much marinade on the fish but it's all part of the cleanup -- as is cleaning the trays. I I spray Pan on the trays, which works great. 

See https://www.amazon.com/1201-1500W-vegetable-dewatering-heguoteng-de...

Image result for veggie dryer dehydrator

No, I haven’t had much luck smoking or drying striped bass, though not for lack of trying. It’s not horrible but takes on a very fishy taste, overwhelming the spice flavors. That said, some folks have the knack for smoking it. 

After not-easily-acquired tunas and billfish, I find good old bluefish as the best readily-available smokeable species.

By the by, nothing smokes better than marlin, regardless of exact type. I once dined for literally months after being given a huge side of marlin, brought back to a Morrison boat berth. Of course, to keep it around, I had to limit the consumption by guests – who would have eaten every morsel. It’s that good.

For you're next 28-inch striped bass . Nothing to it.:  




Just picked up this 8X10 photo of Manny Lima from 1957. Goes with the previous one I had. Nice big striper, and caught on a white Atom rigged with a bucktail, Penn Squidder , and most likely a Murat wrapped rod.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, ocean, sky, child, outdoor, water and nature
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor, water and nature


 Pat had a good morning fishing today. His biggest fish yet! 42 3/4” and 28.48 lbs. 

Image may contain: Patrick Presutto, smiling, standing and outdoor
This is the second time (that I know of) that my boat has been visited by a critter that has left these dirty foot prints. 
Any guesses as to what this animal is? 
Thanks for your help. ... Alan M

Who ... me?  

... Say, hello to your local river otter. 
(Sometimes I like just looking as shiny new designer plugs.)


May sure to keep up on things at ... https://fishinglbi.com/

LBI Fishing Report Update – May 30, 2018

Store staffer Matt was aboard Fish Head Charters this morning for a light tackle session. We started off tossing plugs with both blues and bass on the chew for the first hour. But as the cold ocean water moved in the 64 degree water dropped to 56 in a matter of 15 minutes. Then by 54 the bite was dead. We headed to the flats and we picked up right where we left on yesterday. Small bass splashing top water eating poppers as well as streamers. The fly fishing has been great drifting the rolling shallows of the bay.

One to five pound pound bluefish are in the bay and inlet. The past few days there was an influx of these yellow eyes. Anglers fishing bait for fluke are having trouble with them.

Surf fishing today was on the slow side. We got numerous reports from anglers that reported grass. Chet Kosarek reported seeing a nice 20 plus pounds striped bass caught off the north end surf on Sunday, “There’s some nice fluke in the same area.”

Mike Ambrosio sent in a message and a photo, “Thanks Fish Heads for the fresh bunker that landed me this beauty!” He caught this 20 pound 39″ bass off the surf.

Fluke Fishing LBI

Fluke fishing is good. The waters of Barnegat Bay as well as the main thoroughfares (Double Creek & Oyster Creek) are producing. Anglers are doing best when they stay away from the cold water which floods on the incoming tide. The chilly water slows the bite.

Store staffer Mike Freeza was on the water this morning fluke fishing the South End of the Island. He got into some fluke… his biggest was 22″ which went for a small bucktail with tipped with Gulp.

The fishing musician Rick stopped in the shop for a pack of Gulp. He headed out and then shortly returned with a fat flattie. Six pounder to be exact! He got it fishing the south end bayside.

Ocean Striped Bass Fishing

The ocean striped bass bite has been inconsistent with fish stretched out along IBSP-Pier. Anglers out of BL are taking the ride and fishing even further north. The best fishing recently has been found about 25-30 miles north of BL. While not a run everyone wants to make it can be well worth.

Some anglers pounding the local grounds hard are pulling fishing. Bunker spoons and mojos would be the tactics unless you can find bunker podded up. So far this spring the bunker have been spread out and only is disorganized small schools.


Endangered Whale Shark Fins Smuggled into Hong Kong Through Singapore Airlines

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The Sun Daily] - May 31, 2018

Environmental campaigners said Wednesday a hidden shipment of shark fins including some from endangered species had been shipped to Hong Kong via Singapore Airlines, despite a ban by the carrier.

Hong Kong is one of the world's biggest shark fin trading hubs and it remains readily available in seafood stores and restaurants, despite pressure from conservationists and bans by some airlines and food outlets.

US environmental group Sea Shepherd said the 989kg shipment had arrived in Hong Kong earlier this month from Colombo in Sri Lanka, via Singapore.

It included fins from endangered whale sharks hidden among legal fins to avoid detection, the group said. Fins from endangered species require a special permit to be exported.

"Singapore Airlines are yet another victim of these shark fin smugglers, who deceived the airline by declaring the shipment as 'dried seafood' to skirt the airline's internal booking checks," said Gary Stokes, Asia director for Sea Shepherd Global.

Singapore Airlines, which banned the shipment of shark fin in 2014, said it had blacklisted the shipper.

The airline added it had "sent out a reminder to all our stations" to conduct sampling checks on shipments made under the label "dried seafood" to ensure they did not contain shark fin.

Sea Shepherd called for the Hong Kong government to tighten rules to combat wildlife crime and close loopholes which allow endangered shark fins to slip past inspections.

Hong Kong has an unenviable reputation for trading in several controversial, banned or endangered commodities including ivory, shark fin, rhino horn and tiger parts. Critics routinely accuse the territory of failing to do enough to stamp out such practices.

More than 70 million sharks are killed every year, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Huge quantities of fins are exported annually to Hong Kong and most are then sent on to mainland China.

Hong Kong's consumption of sharks' fin soup has dropped over the years as activists campaign against the trade.

The government in 2013 said it would stop serving sharks' fin soup at official functions as "a good example".

Flag carrier Cathay Pacific banned the carriage of shark fins on all its flights in 2016.


New Tool Helps Fisheries Avoid Protected Species In Near Real Time

Environmental Research Division, 5/30/2018 11:54:34 AM

  EcoCast website
EcoCast is a dynamic ocean management tool that aims to minimize fisheries bycatch and maximize fisheries target catch in near real time. Map shows daily relative bycatch target catch probabilities. Species weightings reflect management priorities and recent catch events. Environmental data are used to predict where species are likely to be each day.

New computer-generated daily maps will help fishermen locate the most productive fishing spots in near real time while warning them where they face the greatest risk of entangling sea turtles, marine mammals, and other protected species. Scientists developed the maps, the products of a system called EcoCast, to help reduce accidental catches of protected species in fishing nets. 

Funded primarily by NASA with support from NOAA, California Sea Grant, and Stanford University, Ecocast was developed by NOAA Fisheries scientists and academic partners with input from fishermen and managers. 

Using the swordfish fishery as an example, EcoCast incorporates data from tracking of tagged animals, remote sensing satellites and fisheries observers to help predict concentrations of the target species (broadbill swordfish) and three protected species (leatherback turtle, blue shark and California sea lion).

EcoCast will help fishermen, managers, scientists, and others understand in near real time where fishing vessels have the highest probability of catching targeted species and where there is risk of catching protected species. In doing so, EcoCast aims to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of fisheries that sometimes inadvertently catch and kill sensitive species. The first peer-reviewed description of the science behind the system appears this week in Science Advances The previous link is a link to non-Federal government website. Click to review NOAA Fisheries disclaimer..

“We’re harnessing the field of big data so that information on ocean conditions can be of most use - so fishermen can go where they’re likely to find the swordfish they want to catch but avoid the species that they do not want to catch,” said Elliott Hazen, a research ecologist at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center and lead author of the new paper. 

Currently NOAA Fisheries closes a large area off the West Coast to the swordfish fishery seasonally to protect leatherback turtles, which travel widely, and can be caught incidentally in the nets. Fisheries managers could use EcoCast to outline small, “dynamic closures,” that shift according to the likely locations of the species they are trying to protect. Since they concentrate protection where it’s needed most, dynamic closures for leatherback sea turtles could be two to 10 times smaller than the current static closures while still safeguarding the species that need it, the scientists found. 

“EcoCast pioneers a way of evaluating both conservation objectives and economic profitability for sustainable U.S. fisheries,” said Rebecca Lewison, a senior scientist on the project from San Diego State University and a co-author of the new paper. “By meeting both conservation and economic objectives, EcoCast is an important step forward in supporting species, their ecosystems and our local and state economies.” Dynamic closures could also support more “climate-ready” fisheries management approaches that adjust to changing ocean conditions as the climate shifts and changes over time. For instance, unusually warm conditions off the West Coast in 2014 and 2015 have driven shifts in fish and marine mammal species, forcing fishermen to adjust their efforts.

“EcoCast directly addresses both scientific priorities and fisheries management needs,” said Heidi Taylor of NOAA Fisheries’ West Coast Region. “The use of real-time environmental data to support dynamic ocean management provides an innovative approach to balance viable fisheries and protecting the ecosystem.” 

She noted that fishermen participated throughout the development of EcoCast, which should help boost its usefulness to the fishing fleet. .

The EcoCast system is up and running now, producing color-coded maps posted online each day hosted via NOAA’s CoastWatch West Coast Regional Node. Managers can adjust the system to support additional fisheries, but this paper focused on reducing bycatch of leatherback turtles, blue sharks, and California sea lions in the West Coast drift gillnet fishery that targets swordfish.

EcoCast maps fishing areas in a blue-to-red scale that predicts the best waters to catch swordfish with little to no bycatch in darker shades of blue, with the greatest risk of encountering sea turtles, sea lions, and sharks shown in red. As the ocean conditions change, the dynamic map also changes. Managers can adjust the weighting of each species as risks change and the fishing season progresses.

“The fishermen will be willing to try this because they’re always looking for ways to do things differently, and better,” said Gary Burke, a drift gillnet fisherman in Southern California. “It’s not going to be perfect, because it’s a prediction, but it may give us access to information we haven’t had before.”

He said that fishermen have long watched ocean conditions such as sea surface temperatures as indicators of where the best fishing might be. The added information that EcoCast provides, such as the predicted concentrations of sea turtles, sea lions, and sharks, makes it a more powerful tool to help fishermen decide where – and where not – to fish.

“EcoCast simply would not have been possible a decade ago,” Hazen said. The increasing availability of satellite ocean data, the miniaturization of satellite tags for turtles and fish combined with faster and more powerful computers helped make it happen. Researchers are working to add data on additional species such as marine mammals to best reflect bycatch concerns.

“Now we can integrate all this information through complex statistical models that turn tens of thousands of data points into something more useful,” he said. “We’re putting the information directly in the hands of the fishers and managers.”

EcoCast is supported by a partnership that includes NOAA Fisheries, The University of California Santa Cruz, San Diego State University, Stanford University, Old Dominion University, The University of Maryland, drift gillnet fishermen, fisheries managers and other stakeholders.

“EcoCast is leading the way toward more dynamic management of marine resources,” said Woody Turner, program manager for ecological forecasting in NASA's Applied Sciences Program.

  EcoCast Marine
Swordfish, Shutterstock/Joe Fish Flynn; Leatherback turtle with satellite tag, NOAA Fisheries/H. Harris (NMFS permit #1596-03); California sea lion with satellite tag, Dan Costa; Blue shark, NOAA Fisheries/Mark Conlin; Fishing vessel off the coast of southern California, NOAA Fisheries.

For more information:

Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s Environmental Research Division (ERD)


To bring back abalone, researchers aim to outsmart octopus

May 29, 2018
Media Contact— Katherine Leitzell /
 / (858) 246-1661

Abalone species up and down the West Coast have declined due to overfishing since the 1900s, and in the last 50 years, white abalone and several species were driven almost to extinction. Since then, environmental change and disease have hampered recovery of the large sea snails. But the next barrier to abalone restoration efforts may be one of their natural predators—the California two-spot octopus. 

When NOAA fisheries managers set up the first ever test beds to restock abalone off the coast of Los Angeles in 2016, the abalone were gobbled up within weeks by octopuses—which had appeared to increase in number compared to a survey conducted prior to the stocking.

“They just swooped in and ate everything,” says Jennifer Hofmeister a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. Hofmeister is leading a California Sea Grant-funded study to find out more about octopus predatory behavior—and how people working to save the abalone can use that information to make sure their efforts are not in vain.

Octopus are voracious predators, and like wealthy seafood connoisseurs, they have a taste for abalone meat. “Octopus just love to eat abalone. And they are very clever at problem solving,” explains Hofmeister.

The goal of the project is to provide enough information about octopus predation that researchers might be able to outsmart them, giving newly released juvenile abalone a head start on life in the ocean.

To do that, one of the first questions is how far octopus will travel for a meal.

“We know very little about octopus behavior in the wild—where they go and why they go there,” says Hofmeister, “There are lots of stories about octopus getting into fishing traps and causing other mischief,” but scientific data on the species is scant—in part because there is no commercial fishery for octopus in California and in part because of the difficulties in tracking them.   

Previous studies suggest that octopuses have a home range of around 250 square meters—an area the size of a tennis court. But these studies were primarily gleaned from observations—literally, watching and following the animals—and were therefore greatly limited in time and numbers.

Jennifer Hofmeister prepares an octopus for tagging.
Hofmeister’s project was the first to use an acoustic tracking method using a transmitter attached to this California species.  She set up an array of receivers in the La Jolla kelp forest that would track the tagged octopuses over a period of 5 to 7 months. But when the results came in, the researchers were disappointed—there were almost no data to speak of.

Preliminary analysis of the data records showed that while a few of the octopuses had managed to remove their tags, most of the animals had left the array almost immediately after being released. That suggests that the home range of the local octopus population was far greater than previously estimated

Hofmeister is now working with the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to inform their stocking protocol for white abalone.  In a second experiment off the coast of San Diego, where octopus populations had just dropped in population, the researchers saw far less octopus predation on the stocked abalone. While an octopus survey is not a simple undertaking—involving divers peeking under every rock and into every crevice they can find—it may make the difference between success and disaster. “Starting density of octopus at an outplant site is a key piece of information,” says Hofmeister.

Hofmeister hopes that her research will help increase knowledge of a fascinating but understudied species, while providing practical information that can help save the endangered white abalone.

“Essentially we’re trying to trick the octopus,” she says. “Predation is natural, but in order to successfully restore white abalone, we need to give them a head start.”

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