Thursday, September 10, 2009: Waves: large. Water clarity: Makes no difference; fair.
Well, this is not what I had in mind as I waited for the end of tourism summer (Labor Day) to finally free up the beaches. It’s honkin’ out there; gusts to 30 and goodly gushes of rain. I had mentally scheduled clamming and fishing in Holgate but not only have winds foiled a smooth transition to Holgate time but the tides have been so high that it’s one short low tide and off the beach before water washes over the sands. It looks like things will finally lay down a bit by the weekend. Looking for the upside of this lowdown weather, this genuine coolness – it’s damn near sweatshirt weather out there – could surely bring on fall fishing, a lot faster than having a lingering sizzle of summer. However, don’t let this untimely fallishness fool you into thinking the sun won’t be beating down a few more times prior to, say Christmas.
I have a slew of e-stuff to pass on.
Jay, undoubtedly you heard about the 40 something foot catamaran that broke up in the white water early this week. What piss poor coverage in the Asbury Park Press! I feel - pretty exiting story - complete with air rescue from the coast guard - and a tow to let the vessel sink in an area where it would not be a hazard to navigation. Maybe something that you would care to expound on?
I actually did not know anything about it until I saw the hulk resting on the bottom in the mouth of Little Sheepshead and inquired about it at the fuel dock at Beach Haven Yacht Club yesterday.
That is at least the third boat, in the last few years, that I am aware of, that has taken a short cut coming across Little Egg Inlet and broke up in the white water.
(Hey, Cap. We got the story after deadline but we're still getting all the details. Very moving tale. The folks who went down had sunk (bad word) every last cent they had into this catamaran. Hopefully, my writer will get an interview with them.
As you know, the Beach Haven Inlet is technically "Closed," has been for decades. I believe it is one of the least publicized "bad" inlet areas on the entire coastline. Along with the high-profile sinkings and groundings there, I have seen numerous (too many to count) smaller maritime mishaps. I've helped on many occasions to free stranded vessels before situations turned into complete fiascos. It's astounding how quickly a battering by a single high-tide can reduce a beautiful new vessel to pathetic pieces. j-mann)
Brian from garbagefish.com here. Thanks for the recent plug on your blog, in response to the angler in search of sea robin. I'm happy to dish out my sea robin honey hole to this fellow. While fluking this year, there seemed to be one spot that regardless of tide or conditions, produced big sea robin and plenty of them. Go roughly 1/4 mile northeast of the inlet - (monument on north side) and this will put you on more birds than a pet store. I think the dogs and skate stick around longer than the sea robin but i'm sure they are there through September. Any rig on the bottom baited with your favorite fluke bait will work.
The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are making the preparations for the upcoming shift from summer to fall fishing. Captain Adam Nowalski of the “Karen Ann” reports he will be targeting sea bass and croakers in September.
Captain Adam says the drop in air temperatures will soon bring a drop in water temperatures provoking a hotter bite from the sea bass. He also is looking for some good croaker action in the ocean.
Meanwhile Captain George Finck of “Sparetime Charters” had Richard and Allison Trosko and their two sons out for a half day fishing trip in the bay. The boys had a nice catch of bluefish, really enjoyed the steady action.
Captain Fran Verdi of the “Dropoff” is already planning to start fishing for stripers after the October full moon. Until then, he will be wreck fishing and maybe trying to zero in on some blackfish.
Additional information on the association can be found at www.BHCFA.com
I haven't had anything to report this summer as the surf and beach conditions didn't allow for any real fishing. I continue to have Chemo for my cancer every other week. But have been down on LBI every weekend. Yesterday, Monday, one of my fishing buddies went up to the beach about 2:00 to try for the previously non existing kingfish. On his first cast he landed a kingfish and called me on the phone. I got some fishing gear together and headed up to the beach. He ended up with 4 kingfish and about 5 dogfish. I got a 14 1/2" kingfish and two 7" fluke that I released. All of course were on bloodworms.
Hope next weekend brings more of the same. This weekend was the first time we have had a slew between the beach and the bar all summer. The fish were laying in the small wash that had formed, with probably no more than a couple of feet of depth in the slew due to the low tide.
(Hang in there, buddy. Prayin' for you -- and I know the ocean and fishing offers its own healing powers.
Here is a fun ongoing e-exchange.:::
Patrick C has sent you a message on jaymanntoday:
" Jay, thanks for the information about mussels, my problem is I just haven't been able to find any, I have looked on jetties, nothing but tiny ones, and I had no idea there were mussels around the sedge islands in little egg harbor, but I will look there now, you mean like on the island the Rutgers facility is on, should I look on the sides nearer the inlet, these areas getting more clean ocean water? Is it that I have not been looking at low tide? As for bluefish, I think I have discovered a recipe for its preparation which should make it acceptable to anyone, and make it even more delectable for those who already like it. Personally I do not like it, I think they smell foul even when alive, and worse when you are cleaning them. But, my 9 year old boy has just learned to fish for and catch snappers (last year he learned to fish for them, this year, he is catching them, too). Last Saturday my wife and I were having a guest over for dinner and when E-man, my son, heard about this, he decided he was going to go catch a snapper that I could serve to our guest. And out back he went to the lagoon, and returned soon after with a small-ish snapper that he insisted I cook it for our dinner guest. And this inspired what I think may go down as the best recipe for bluefish ever in the history of the world. Are you familiar with stove-top smoking? They sell these little boxes to do it in, you sprinkle wood chips on the bottom of a pan, put a rack of some kind over the wood chips, then just put the pan on the stove, and turn on the burner until the wood just starts to smoke."
(Not only have I heard of it, I invented it -- kinda. For decades, I've been enhancing my blackened fish by also pitching in a few soaked mesquite chips; into the white-hot iron skillet. Importantly, a lid has to be used, which is not common to blackening but is my preferred method despite that they say down in New Orleans. j-mann)
Continued email message (tasty):
"So, stovetop smoking, all you need is woodchips or another suitable source of smoke, a pan with a tight-fitting lid, a rack of some kind to hold the food you are smoking above the woodchips, and you are good to go. You regulate the temperature to cook the food kinda slow, but with something like a fish filet, even at low, this is still a half hour at most With this short a time, the food is not truely "smoked" the way it is when people make smoked bluefish or smoked whiting, its really just slow- baked, with a nice bit of smoky flavor, not too powerful, and its still moist. Well, I thought I would do this with E-man's snapper, that way I could put the little morsels of "smoked snapper" out with the cheese and crackers. I filleted and skinned the snapper filets (I should have been a microsurgeon), and prepared to do this stove-top smoking thing. But, because I have a giant sage plant in the back yard that I have to cut back all the time, I thought I would use sage as the source of the smoke, I grabbed a big handful of the leaves and big stems and put them in the bottom of the pan. The snapper filets, I dusted with salt, Prudhommes cajun seasoning, and a little bit of brown sugar, and coated them with olive oil. Then I "smoked" them for 15 minutes or so."
(Love that Prudhommes seasoning -- as does many a cook. By the by, screw that liquid smoke. Not that it's awful stuff, it is just so damn strong you can ruin a costly meal in one shake. Speaking of sage, I am obsessed with sage as smudge material; incense for room and mind. I use it for cooking when I fully sure I have the organic and natural stuff. -- By the by, you have great cooking sense. keep me updated on any other improvisations. j-mann)
Ecology, Environment & Conservation Business] Sept 10, 2009 -Fish in U.S.
waters from Cape Hatteras to the Canadian border have moved away from their traditional, long-time
habitats over the past four decades because of fundamental changes in the regional ecosystem,
according to a new report by NOAA researchers.
The 2009 Ecosystem Status Report also points out the need to manage the waters off the northeastern
coast of the United States as a whole rather than as a series of separate and unrelated components.
Known as the Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem (NES LME), the ecosystem spans
approximately 100,000 square miles and supports some of the highest revenue-generating fisheries in
the nation. During the past 40 years, the ecosystem has experienced extensive fishing by domestic and
foreign fleets, changes in ocean water temperatures due to climate change, and pressures from
increasing human populations along the coast.
Michael Fogarty, who heads the Ecosystem Assessment Program at the Northeast Fisheries Science
Center (NEFSC) of NOAA's Fisheries Service in Woods Hole, Mass., says his team's report highlights the
need to understand natural and human-related changes in this region and to develop effective
management and mitigation strategies.
'There are many pressures on the ecosystem including fishing, pollution, habitat loss from coastal
development, and impacts on marine life from shipping and other uses of the ocean,' Fogarty said. 'In
addition, changing climate conditions are warming ocean waters, changing ocean chemistry and
circulation patterns, and altering atmospheric systems. These changes have, in turn, been linked to
changes in the distribution and abundance of fish species in the region and their major sources of
The report is the first in a planned series of ecosystem status reports by Fogarty and his colleagues in
the NEFSC's Ecosystem Assessment Program to document changes in the NES LME, one of 64 regions in
the world's ocean designated as a large marine ecosystem. LMEs are large coastal ocean waters adjacent
to continents and characterized by distinct bathymetry, hydrology, productivity and inter-related
marine populations. LMEs produce 80 percent of the world's annual fishery yields, and most of the
impacts of human activities in the ocean occur within their waters.
Some of the highlights of the program's first report:
Warming of coastal and shelf waters has led to northward shifts in distribution of some fish species and
changes to a warmer-water fish community.
The community structure of zooplankton, a major food source for whales and many other marine
species including fish, has changed, due in part to climate and physical processes acting over the North
Atlantic Basin, indicating the importance of winds and atmospheric circulation patterns to the function
and structure of this ecosystem.
Species-selective harvesting patterns have also contributed to shifts in the composition of the
ecosystem, which is now dominated by small pelagic fishes such as herring and mackerel, shellfish
species, and elasmobranchs (skates and small sharks) of relatively low economic value.
The trajectory of regional human population size suggests that human-induced pressure on the
ecosystem will continue to increase.
The Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf is classified as experiencing ecosystem overfishing, although
marked improvement has occurred in the condition of a number of harvested species. Exploitation
rates, or the rate at which fish are removed from the ocean, have been significantly reduced in many
fish stocks during the last decade, indicating that management measures put in place to reduce
overfishing are beginning to show dividends.
Fogarty says sustained long-term monitoring by many agencies and institutions in the Northeast
region has enabled scientists and others to trace changes in the ecosystem.
'In the future, we need to continue to monitor the oceanographic, ecological, and human indicators
analyzed in this report to detect any additional changes in the system. These indicators also provide
important inputs to models that can be used to help guide management decisions and to forecast