Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, October 15, 2015: I did beach time today ...

Below: Army Corps contractor checks beach height using GPS. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015: I did beach time today and couldn’t even find any cool birds to photograph -- much less any fish. However, the feel in the air has fall fishing written all over it. With temps due to sink into the 30 that should spur something our way. However, the ocean has this affinity for staying warm, meaning the 64 degree surf temps I took today will need more than just a few nights to really dip. That said, the quickly cooling bay can will loose any baitfish. That sparks a bite post haste. Outgoing bay water is in the low 60s but will fall dramatically by Monday.
Below: This has to be a bitch to rake clean ...

In Holgate, I threw net a few times. Peanut bunker were mighty easy to come by, mainly in holes inside the Rip. The way they were hugging the shallows means something was on them. There was some bird play and surface splashing out beyond casting range at the Rip. That action was surely what drive the peanuts in. Hard to say what predators were dining on the bunkies. My guess is small blues – 2-pounders.  

Below: Just another tiny bluefish, right? Not exactly. This one was caught in Israel. See http://www.fishinginisrael.info

Here’s Ed McAllen at Holgate Beach report: “Spent the entire day on the beach today. Kind of my last hurrah. Back to work next week. All I could muster up were two sharks, one skate, and four blues. Headed off to the rip late in the afternoon and the birds were working just out of casting range (go figure). They did come in closer a couple times, which gave me a shot. It was peanut bunker and small blues chasing them. I did have one pickup, but was just a small blue.”

EAT ‘EM UP YUM-YUM: I had a fellow mildly protesting my read that chopper blues, over 15 pounds, are low on the edibility scale. He even offered a way to chunk and spice them for cooking. As a former chef, I liked his use of heavy spices, seemingly meant to mask the taste. However – and I’ll bet most folks wouldn’t guess this – bluefish meat actually loses flavor the bigger the fish gets. It does not get “fishier and fishier” as some folks surmise. It gets bland.

Below: About as large as I'll go ...

As to eating the gators, each to his own. My main worry remains the high contamination/pollutant levels, although we may have turned the corner on mercury contaminants in blues and other forms marine life.

A study released just this year indicates a solid 40 percent drop in the mercury content of bluefish. The study was based on findings from mercury tests done on the muscle of adult (large) bluefish collected in 2011 off the North Carolina coast and compared to similar testing from 1972.

Likely no coincidence, that drop seems in direct correlation with a 50 percent decline in mercury emissions from US industry over the same time period.

Per an article written in Environmental Health News by Brian Bienkowski levels in bluefish caught off the U.S. Atlantic coast dropped due to four decades of federal restrictions on coal emissions.

“Concentrations decreased 43 percent. The drop is similar to reductions of mercury observed in "atmospheric deposition, riverine input, sea water, freshwater lakes and freshwater fish across northern North America,” read the study in this month’s issue of “Environmental Science and Technology.”

Below: Get all of that lateral line ... 

Of course, the dangers from the remaining pollutants in bluefish can be reduced by removing all red meat (especially the lateral line) and belly flaps. It helps to cook bluefish fillets over open grill or using a perforated sheet pan in the oven. That said, smoking even one cigarette a day – only one! – is far more toxic than the adverse chemicals found in the meat of even a large bluefish.  

Above: One of many varieties of oven pans for allowing fat to drop off fish. Just make sure to have a pan below to catch it!

Buggy Alert: I should have put this in sooner. Be very aware that the new beach entrances in Ship Bottom -- and at a number of entrances along replenished beaches -- are VERY upwardly angled. As you drive up them toward the top there is absolutely no seeing anyone walking up the ramp coming off the beach from the south angle, the direction that walkways are facing. It is essential to crawl up that entrance way. It is rock solid so you can go slow. 

I'll be doing a north to south run of the beach line soon. I'll report on any quirks or peculiarities. As of now it looks mighty fine for driving. 



For www.jaymanntoday.ning.com

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Ed Forster



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