Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Thursday, October 26, 2017: The fall edition of black seabass season is up and running. When winds lay down, there could be a bit of a mad rush out to structure

Cool move, soccer dude ... Had that been the NFL lawsuits would already be flying. .

Accidental female referee cop a feel


So, you're saying the affects of sugar on children is highly over-stated ... Or, is this how to secretly dispense Ritalin? 

Kid gets overexcited about pudding


They say you never forget how to ride a bike ... but in this case an exception might be in order ... 

Kid on bike hits pole


Thursday, October 26, 2017: The fall edition of black seabass season is up and running. When winds lay down, there could be a bit of a mad rush out to structure considering the slowness of nearshore angling – though I keep getting advised that there is some very decent boat bassing to be had.

Black Sea Bass

10 fish at 12.5 inches May 26 – June 18

2 fish at 12.5 inches July 1 – August 31

15 fish at 12.5 inches Oct. 22—Dec. 31

This column is more for the beach, bank, bay and inlet angler. Surfcasters are often left out of many report loops. I see a connection between surfcasting and bay/inlet fishing. Not so much ocean boat fishing.

I once did a research paper on black sea bass, Centropristis striata, a member of the grouper family. Weirdly, all sea bass begin life as females before some morph into males via something called sequential hermaphroditism, specifically protandrous hermaphroditism, or protandry. The changeover is seemingly based on, simply put, need. A stressed biomass, which black sea bass has become, tend to have a higher switch to female, though this is purely a theory, albeit viable.

One of the C. striata traits I researched – to very little avail – was its ability to display bright-red seemingly glowing eye coloration when angry, threatened or territorializing. This eye effect is sometimes seen in just-landed fish.

In my aquarium setting, the highly noticeable red hue lensing over the eyes was most often displayed during feeding – and to high effect. Other cohabitants of the saltwater aquarium were duly unnerved by the look, though the sea bass also simultaneously displayed a grouper-like fin-fanning presentation to appear larger. By the by, despite the eye coloration change seeming to glow red, it does not present (glow) in the dark, even when being fed.

This is my ongoing appeal – seldom accepted – to cook/bake black seabass in the round, i.e. whole, just gutted. The meat is delectable and every morsel should be gleaned, which is easily done by peeling back backed skin. Filleting sea bass leaves a lot to be desired, as in lost flesh. A wonderful presentation is whole black sea bass drenched in black bean sauce and dipped in drawn butter. Lobster is hard-pressed to match the flavor.

Image result for cooking whole black sea bass nj

  1. Season the cavity and exterior of fish with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. ...
  3. Transfer to oven and roast 15 minutes. ...
  4. Drizzle fish with lemon juice and transfer to a cutting board; set baking dish aside.

I also urge cooking whole fish to maybe reduce the take of black sea bass on a whole. Hate me if you must but I think 15 fish at 12.5 inches is way too high, though I know many/most anglers don’t go the maximal keeper route. And, yes, I fully understand and agree with headboats and charters needing to allow fares the full take-home Monty. For many fares that’s their one or two fishing trips a year. 


yes....its that time again...


Well, it's been a good run but after fourteen seasons I've now officially retired as a full time fishing guide. I'll be taking this page down over the next couple of weeks, but I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the hundreds of clients that I've been blessed to fish with over those years. It's been a pleasure to fish with you and share the outdoors, fun to watch your kids grow into adulthood, and an honor to be a small part of what hopefully will be lifelong memories. This truly has been the best "job" I've ever had.... thank you.

Capt. Jack Shea


   Enclosed is this week’s fishing report for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association. If you have any questions, my cell phone number is 609-290-5942 and my e-mail address is jamesghutch1@aol.com

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net.

The long awaited re-opening of black sea bass season in New Jersey finally arrived for the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association, and the action did not disappoint anyone.

Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” modestly termed the fishing as “very productive.” His catch included sea bass, porgies, blackfish, and bonito. He said his crew was tired from reeling in double headers and big fish. Their coolers were filled with fish for dinner and the freezer. They were fortunate in being able to witness a show from dolphins and 4 breaching whales.

Captain Carl Sheppard had the “Star Fish” out on re-opening day under beautiful fishing conditions. The water was calm and “glistened with fish.” In two hours of fishing Irv and Muriel Stoops and their guest Greg pulled in over 80 fish, including a number of large porgies, nice sized trigger fish and scads of black bass. The keeper ratio was about one in four, perhaps the best ratio of the year. Captain Carl noted that all of the sea bass were females, some of which were over 16-inches in length.

The offshore action also is producing fish. Captain Ray Lopez had the “Miss Liane” with mates Max Goldman and John Kelly along with Andrew Goldman and Shawn Kelly out to the canyons on an overnight adventure. They first trolled around some lobster pots and picked up several mahi. That night the chunk produced a 52-pound swordfish. The next morning the crew did some more trolling and picked up multiple mahi and a 60-pound wahoo.

Captain Bob Gerkens had the “Hot Tuna” on a 50 hour, 450 mile fishing trip between Beach Haven and Morehead City, NC as Captain Bob took the boat to its winter home. He began a troll at the Baltimore Canyon after picking over 15 mahi off some pots casting artificial lures on light gear. With few other boats working the pots the action was non-stop. They trolled along the continental shelf and through the southern canyons until "the point" off Oregon Inlet. They then followed the edge of the Gulf Stream until turning in at Morehead City. They ended up releasing a nice sailfish, several more Mahi, a couple of king mackerel, and some skipjacks. The boat operation and cockpit duties were split among the crew of Dante Soriente, Jim Murry, Chris McEntee, Scott Helious, and Captain Bob.

Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.BHCFA.net.


Prozac Puts Crabs in a Mood to Take Deadly Risks

Image result for prosac

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Live Science] By Dan Robitzski - October 26, 2017

Crabs drugged with Prozac are behaving badly, or at least in risky ways, new research finds.

The researchers weren't interested in finding the right dose of the antidepressant (generic name fluoxetine hydrochloride) to treat anxious or depressed crabs. Rather they were interested in seeing how the drug, which makes its way into the crabs' ocean home through contaminated runoff, might affect the animal's behavior, the study researchers said.

In particular, they found that the bay shore crab (Hemigrapsus oregonensis) stops hiding from its predators when exposed to low levels of fluoxetine hydrochloride, the researchers wrote online Sept. 30 in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

"The changes we observed in their behaviors may mean that crabs living in harbors and estuaries contaminated with fluoxetine are at greater risk of predation and mortality," study researcher Elise Granek, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Management at Portland State University, said in a statement. [Octopus vs. Crab Showdown Ends with a Twist in Startling Video]

Crab brains on SSRIs

Fluoxetine is a class of antidepressant called an SSRI, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, meaning it indirectly boosts the amount of mood-altering serotonin available to the brain. It's designed to affect people's brains in a way that can alleviate depressive symptoms. But past research has shown that when a person's fluoxetine-filled waste enters waterways, it can alter the shore crabs' reproductive, molting and digestive behaviors; it may even cause the crabs to abandon their nocturnal schedule, according to the paper.

However, few studies have looked at whether the drug changes how these animals behave in the face of other species.

Usually studies that try to simulate the impacts of pollution on ocean-dwellers fall to a common problem: the ocean is very big and fish tanks are very small — the pollution levels that are shown to affect animal behavior in the lab tend to be unrealistic in the grand scheme of things. But that wasn't the case for the new study, as the concentrations chosen were just one-tenth of those found in a 2008 study in the Journal of Chromatography A, which relied on surveys of coastal areas, the researchers said. That study found up to 300 nanograms per liter of water of Prozac.

Drugging crabs

In a laboratory re-creation of the crabs' oceanic habitat, Granek and her colleagues dosed the water with small amounts of fluoxetine and watched how the animals behaved over several weeks. Each crab tank contained a large male, a smaller male and a small female, and there were 10 tanks for each dosage of fluoxetine: one group had 3 nanograms of fluoxetine per liter of sea water, one had 30 nanograms per liter and a third control group had no medication.

Over time, the high-dose group engaged in risky behaviors like foraging for food even after a predator crab, Cancer productus, was added into the mix. They even continued to forage during the day when the shore crab usually hides away, blending into nearby pebbles for protection.

The drugged crabs also fought among each other more often than those not exposed to fluoxetine. Of the drugged crabs (across doses), 25 were killed by the predator crab and another six male crabs died in battle with another shore crab. Thirteen of the 25 crabs that were eaten by a predator were in the most heavily-medicated group, as were four of the six crabs that died in a duel.

Over time, the highest-dose group showed even more risky behaviors and fights: These crabs were most likely to engage in risky activity after being in their medicated tanks for seven to nine weeks, the researchers said. And all of this is caused by pharmaceutical concentrations lower than those found in polluted areas.

"With growing human populations in coastal zones, increasing use of antidepressants like fluoxetine is expected, suggesting higher future concentrations in the marine environment," the researchers wrote in their paper, adding that their study suggests the antidepressants could impact crab behavior.


Yes, Oysters Can ‘Hear.’ They Probably Wish We’d Clam Up

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [The New York Times] By DOUGLAS QUENQUA - October 26, 2017

Like anyone with rowdy neighbors, oysters may be feeling stressed thanks to the growing problem of underwater noise pollution, and are trying to filter out the racket.

New research published Wednesday in PLoS One reveals that oysters will close their shells when exposed to noises along a range of frequencies that includes the sounds emitted by known noise polluters like cargo ships and underwater oil exploration.

In oysters, closed shells are an indicator of distress. Under optimal conditions, bivalve mollusks will keep their shells open, and are thought to shut them only when feeling stressed or threatened. Clamping their shells to screen out noise pollution or other artificial irritants could prevent oysters from perceiving important biological cues, said the authors of the study.

Oysters “must be able to hear breaking waves and water currents,” which could trigger their biological rhythms, said Jean-Charles Massabuau, research director at the French National Center for Scientific Research and an author of the study. “To hear the current arriving could prepare them for eating and digesting, possibly as when we hear and smell that somebody is preparing dinner.”

Not being able to detect other natural events, like rainfall or thunderstorms, could also prevent them from knowing when it’s time to spawn, Dr. Massabuau said.

Noise pollution has been a growing problem in the oceans and other large bodies of water for decades. Commercial shipping, oil exploration, recreation and even scientific research are all raising the decibel levels within marine habitats, adding to naturally occurring rackets like earthquakes, crashing waves and tidal changes. And because sound travels farther in water than air, each new source has an outsize effect.

Such noise has already been shown to have adverse effects in fish, whales and other marine mammals as well as cephalopods. But little is known about its effects on most invertebrates.

To see whether oysters were bothered by noise pollution — or whether they could perceive sound at all — the researchers used underwater speakers to expose 32 Pacific oysters in a tank to a wide range of noise frequencies. The oysters closed their shells when exposed to the low frequencies made by cargo ships, wind turbines, pile driving, man-made explosions and seismic research.

The higher pitched noises produced by Jet Skis and small recreational boats were not in the range of frequencies that affected the oysters.

The study should alert biologists and environmentalists that the dangers of marine noise pollution might be more widespread than previously believed, Dr. Massabuau said.

“We must think that noise pollution could affect many more animals that we thought,” he said.


Monarch Butterfly Migration Map

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Next Update:  November 2, 2017


White Marlin Open: All 2017 winners to be paid

, rpollitt@delmarvanow.comPublished 9:48 a.m. ET Oct. 24, 2017 | Updated 12:13 p.m. ET Oct. 25, 2017

Sponsor Message

After a busy day at Harbour Island Marina the winning marlin was brought in by the crew of the Wire Nut. Produced by Ralph Musthaler


More than two months after the tournament, the White Marlin Open released a statement Tuesday morning determining that all 2017 winners will receive prize money in their respective categories.

The statement is as follows:

READ MORE1 White Marlin Open winner fails polygraph, 2 being retested

MORE WMOOusted 2016 winners question silence on 2017 polygraph

The Tournament Directors of the White Marlin Open are determined to protect the integrity of the Tournament as the largest billfish tournament in the world. As has been the policy of the White Marlin Open since 2004, at the conclusion of the 2017 Tournament, the top money winners were polygraphed.

After an extensive process and after reviewing all the evidence, the Tournament Directors have confirmed the eligibility of all the winners previously announced, and, in accordance with the rules of the tournament, those winners will receive the prize money for their categories. 

The Tournament Directors made every possible effort to ensure complete fairness to all participants, including a post-tournament protocol to verify compliance with the rules. The White Marlin Open, like many other tournaments, has found that the use of polygraphs is an effective method of ensuring compliance with the rules, particularly with over 350 boats participating over tens of thousands of square miles.  The rules allow the Tournament Directors to require additional polygraphs for the angler and others on the winning boat, and provide the angler with a right to obtain a separate polygraph at his or her own expense. After all tests were complete, the Tournament Directors carefully reviewed the results, consulted with the polygraph examiners and a leading polygraph expert, and reached a decision about each winner. 

The White Marlin Open strives to obtain the highest integrity and fairness in all of its awards and determinations of adherence to the Rules & Regulations. The Tournament Directors are committed to taking as much time as is needed to reach the appropriate decision, including the involvement of a top expert whose schedule we needed to work around—leading to a longer timeline this year. It is for these reasons that the Tournament Directors have made the determination to award the prize money to the winners.

The crew of the Wire Nut poses for a photo with theirBuy Photo

The crew of the Wire Nut poses for a photo with their 95.5 pound marlin during the White Marlin Open at Harbour Island Marina in Ocean City on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. (Photo: Staff photo by Ralph Musthaler)

The statement comes one week after a representative of the Kallianassa, the boat that 2016 winner Phil Heasley fished with, released a statement regarding the White Marlin Open’s silence on the 2017 polygraph tests.

White Marlin Open founder Jim Motsko confirmed on Aug. 25, 2017, that a prize-winning angler in the 44th annual White Marlin Open tournament failed a required polygraph while another's was inconclusive following the competition's conclusion.

While the anglers or boats were announced, Motsko confirmed an additional test would be registered, a rule tournament directors are allowed to enforce.

In June, a federal judge ruled Heasley violated tournament rules in the 2016 competition, resulting in the withholding of the $2.8 million winnings. Heasley is currently appealing the decision.

Glen Frost, a Maryland native, won the top prize of $1.6 million in this year’s tournament, after catching a 95.5 white marlin on the final day of the tournament.

A 70 inch, 86 pound White Marlin was caught by anglerBuy Photo

A 70 inch, 86 pound White Marlin was caught by angler Mike Donahue from Wilmington, Del. aboard the boat "Griffin" from Palm Beach, Fla. as Day 3 of the 44th Annual White Marlin Tournament in Ocean City brought in several White Marlin for the Leader Board as 2 days of fishing remain. Special to the Daily Times / Chuck Snyder (Photo: Chuck Snyder, Credit Photo/CHUCK SNYDER)

Along with Frost, any other angler winning $50,000 or more was eligible to receive a polygraph examination, including Mike Donohue of the Griffin and Joe Andrews of M.R. Ducks in the white marlin division; Joe Sadler of the Intents, Jim Boynton of the Blue Runner and Kris Rainear of the Warden Pass in the tuna category; Stu Windsor of the LISA in the small boat tuna division; and Andrew Cohen of the Silly Money in the dolphin division.

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