Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
When gender equality rears its ugly head ...
Tuesday, February 21, 2017: We’re in that tweener time of year: it’s mild enough to think fishing but, then again, it’s not. Some folks have been working Graveling. I don’t know to what avail. I’ll be doing a drive-down this week.
A few surfcasters tried the LBI beachfront. Best I can note there are skates – at least I found one washed up on the beach, DOA.
How about the next bout of balminess; right on schedule, by my thinking. I guarantee that frogs and flower bulbs will be total confused by the arriving four or five days in the 60s. I’m in there, digging-wise. Large cents here I come. By the by, we’ll likely be hearing those early T-storms I forecast last month.
Folks have been asking me about Scott’s Bait and Tackle. I guess some have yet to hear:
Bait Shop is CLOSED for winter. Reopen 3/1/17 (unless sold)
Parts Dept. is OPEN! (Side Door) Mon. & Weds. to Sat 10am-4pm
Call Ahead for parts! 296-1300 ext 1 Parts Dept. CLOSED Sun., Tues.
“Hello Folks, As you may have already heard by now through the grapevine, Scott is planning to sell the bait & tackle side of the business. We are planning to semi-retire and just specialize in selling our Penn reel parts and a few Penn products at our other building locally. (via PennParts.com).”
Yet another soul who knows when it’s time to get out. I’d be among those. I simply have no exit strategy, i.e. one that pays the bills. Good luck Scotty ... and Margaret … and the Gilberts … Sigh.
For buggyists, a reminder that Holgate closes at the end of March. If you want to grab some clams or see some birds, you might want to update your buggy permit, though there’s not a whole lotta checking going on. but, if your luck is like mine, the one time a permit checker is driving down there …
MORE BUMPY ROAD PRATTLE: After writing about the tough go over the Causeway, someone suggested I point out the dangerous change in road surface as you first come onto the Causeway, Stafford, heading eastbound. That rough surface is what remains of the original concrete divider, there since 1958. It’s bumpy -- and if hit in a smaller vehicle pushing 60 mph, it could get gnarly.
Tom R. emailed me asking about the not-long-ago showing of croakers, out the kazoo, and how that bite aligned with changes in shrimping regs down south.
Researching retrospectively, I was able to align those couple/few years of insanely good croakering with what was a decline in shrimp boat activity due to an economic downturn in the market. Stricter regs also entered into it, somewhat.
Recently, shrimping has heated up … to new highs.
I have it on good scientific authority that even with the current stringent bycatch laws, the loss of young croakers remains inanely insane; we’re talking hundreds of millions of young fish lost.
Just this week, the matter comes to the fore in North Carolina, where the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission has been petitioned by conservation groups to curb shrimping effort to protect all juvenile fish that are routinely destroyed as bycatch in shrimp nets.
"The amount of finfish bycatch in the North Carolina shrimp trawl fishery is unsustainably high, and the negative impact of shrimp trawl bycatch is felt coast wide," wrote N.C. Wildlife Federation CEO Tim Gestwicki in a personal petition.
Gestwicki added that studies indicate North Carolina shrimpers discard four pounds of juvenile finfish (croakers, flounder and spot) for every pound of shrimp they keep.
I’m among the few who listen to the shrimping industry claims that new excluder devices are steadily moving the industry toward less harmful harvesting methods. But there’s no turning a blind eye to the unreal, and unrealistic, bycatch killing of, face it, millions of young-of-year fish, annually.
Backtracking a bit, there isn’t a fully documentable correlation between those banner croaker years we saw and the near-concurrent changes in shrimp harvesting pressure, at least not to the exclusion of natural causes and typical population cycles in all fisheries.
I’ll limb-out a bit by guaranteeing there are some severe impacts on angling when both juvenile gamefish and forage fish are neutralized (like that term?) for the sake of shrimp cocktails. All I ask, as if anyone is listening down south, is clean up the shrimping act. We’re a nation of geniuses. We should be able to find some way to catch wild shrimp without killing everything else in sight. I, for one, will pay extra for low-bycatch shrimp.
Below: Pilot Kevin Scott Douthitt took this shot of the controlled burns in the Pinelands.
WHAT' SMOKIN': Prescribed burns, that’s the technical name for the intentional burning of designated Pinelands areas, done by NJ Forest Fire Service.
The blazes, begun with accelerants like gasoline, are meant to reduce highly-flammable underbrush, which can hold the equivalent of thousands of gasoline cans.
“The New Jersey Pinelands is a fire adapted ecological community that is one of the most hazardous wildland fuel types in the nation. Fuel loadings exceed twenty tons per acre in some locales. This has been equated to having over 1,300 gallons of gasoline per acre!” explains www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/fire, where updated info on the burns can be found.
Such controlled blazes have already filled the skies over numerous areas of the Pines. Adding to the smoke was a hot-burning wildlife in Manchester Township on Sunday. Forest Fire Service member had to be pulled off prescribed burns to extinguish that stubborn blaze, which charred approximately 575 acres.
Prescribed burns will be taking place through the end of March, though that time-frame could be extended.
“Since 1928, the Fire Service has used fire as a tool to protect the lives and property of our residents living near the forestlands of New Jersey. We do this by setting fires under exacting conditions to reduce the underbrush in areas that are prone to fire …”
Shutting down the cave for this evening . Big day tomorrow . Going to be making some big orders mimicking these colors / baits and more !!! Hopefully a certain phone call in the morning is going to blow RiverSlung / http://www.urbanlegendoutdoors right back onto the national map . Cross your fingers ! This one just might be the one I've been waiting for during our 16 year journey making baits to get to this point !! A prayer or two would help tremendously as well !! Getting all emotional , after all the shit I've been through , to think this chance could come around the bend in my lap again !! Please God , let this happen !!! And thank you !!!!!!!