Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, November 11, 2014: If you’re one of those weekend folks who cashed in the on striper boat bite

More later ... 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014:

If you’re one of those weekend folks who cashed in the on striper boat bite in and north of Barnegat Inlet, may your days remain merry and bite. That was some rockin’ hookin’ -- at least for a while there.

That’s my quasi-upbeat lead-in to a now truly aggravating non-bite along the sandy shores of LBI. There have definitely been a few stellar stripers taken in the surf – some of which have shown up on the LBI Surf Fishing Classic Leaderboard. In fact, that leaderboard now holds 29 bass and six bluefish. That might seem like a comely count until you compute that many Classic years have registered 400, even 500, bass by this point in the eight-week (sometimes six-week) contest.

Another factor in dissing the current surf angling action was the very impressive surf fishing pressure over the weekend. I drove past nonstop anglers from Surf City to Holgate, with the north end holding maybe even a thicker showing per jetty-to-jetty distance. How many thumb's  down can you count per mile? 

For the first time, I’m hearing from folks who have gone from mildly irritated to just plain pissed off over hideous fall fishing. I kid you not. Even Island locals, who know the whims and sometimes wickedness of autumnal bassing, are grumbling, “This sucks.”

On Monday, a mere video mention of some peanut bunker off a Surf City beach had folks responding all the way from Holgate – to find the bunkies had moved out beyond the bars and were getting thrashed by blues and maybe bass, well beyond casting distance.

Of course, I never give up the ship. But, it sure as hell seems that a ship is the only way to go. Just this a.m. (Tuesday), I heard of a “real nice” bass being caught by boat off IBSP. The captain also radioed it was the “first touch” he had all morning.

I’ll note that fish over 30 pounds are often roguish. In fact, fish of 40 pounds and greater travel to their own non-schooling drummer. They’re loners. Yes, they can often be caught among blitzing schoolie bass but that’s because they’ll readily move into a prime feeding area, like any opportunistic feeder. But, after the ball is over, those big grub-seeking gals leave the party alone, most often drifting off to contently and relaxingly dine on crabs and other easily-nabbed goodies. The larger the bass, the more likely its belly is full of crabs.

As to those bluefish, a school of slammers made an LBI beachfront dash last week but were on a Houdini run: there one second, gone the next. I’ll further frustrate surfcasters by noting some boats to the north have been coming across “miles of feeding blues,” per Facebook messages sent to me.

One great photo I got showed the belly contents of a bigger blue. It was like a seafood smorgasbord, with half-digested bunkies, spearing and, most of all, crabs. That crab showing was odd. Crabs aren’t always a bluefish favorite. However, the crabs might have been on a shed, during which they are very vulnerable -- and emit an oily essence that make them sitting ducks for carousing gamefish. 


Dante Soriente

We are a month and a half away from the holidays, if anyone out there is looking for a rod or women out there looking to get there husbands a rod for a gift please shoot me a msg and we will be happy to get it built for you on time.


Cain Ernest added 3 new photos.

Had another great day on the water. Hammered the fish pretty good. Biggest 23lbs
Cain Ernest's photo.
Cain Ernest's photo.
Cain Ernest added 3 new photos — with Frank Ernest III.
Got them again today. Got big frank his biggest striper yet. Hittin it tomorrow mornin
Cain Ernest's photo.
Cain Ernest's photo.
Cain Ernest's photo.

Tried for three days to put Mike on bass. We finally had to jump in a kayak

Tried for three days to put Mike on bass. We finally had to jump in a kayak


Awesome day on the water. Tons of life.
Awesome day on the water. Tons of life.

Stopping Offshore Poaching of Atlantic Striped Bass; Coast Guard to...


PHILADELPHIA — The Coast Guard will intensify efforts this winter to stop offshore poaching of Atlantic striped bass along the New Jersey and Delaware coasts.

In an effort to ensure the health of the striped bass population, the Coast Guard is working to raise awareness of federal regulations stating Atlantic striped bass may not be caught, harvested or possessed in the Exclusive Economic Zone. The EEZ begins three nautical miles from shore and extends out to 200 nautical miles.

While striped bass are typically found closer to shore, changing sea temperatures can cause them to migrate farther than three miles offshore. A person caught fishing for, or in possession of striped bass while in the EEZ is subject to civil fines.

"It's important to remember Atlantic Striped Bass have not fully recovered from years of overfishing," said Capt. Kathy Moore, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia. "Complying with these rules will ensure this resource is available to future generations"

The public is encouraged to report any suspected poaching activity to Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay at 215-271-4974. Calls should include a description of the activity, those involved, the location and the time of the suspected offense. Such information greatly increases the effectiveness of law enforcement operations.


NOAA Fisheries bans almost all New England cod fishing

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Portland Press Herald] By Tom Bell - November 11, 2014 -

 Federal regulators will impose a rash of emergency measures Thursday that will effectively make it impossible for commercial fishermen to pursue cod in the Gulf of Maine.

Concerned about cod populations that have collapsed to record lows, regulators are closing some historic fishing grounds, limiting the amount of cod that can be caught incidentally while fishing for other species, and banning recreational fishermen from possessing cod for the next six months.
“This is a stock that is in free-fall,” John Bullard, fisheries regional administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said at a news conference Monday in Gloucester, Massachusetts. “I can’t overstate the difficulty of the task before us.”
Cod stocks in the Gulf of Maine are at the lowest level since scientists began tracking the species 40 years ago, he said. The cod population is at 3 percent to 4 percent of the level deemed to be sustainable.
Fishermen say they are frustrated by the new rules because they have been cutting back on fishing for years in response to initiatives aimed at restoring cod stocks.
“My gut reaction is we couldn’t be any worse off, either the resources or the people, if we had no management at all for the past 20 years,” said Maggy Raymond of South Berwick, who owns two groundfishing boats and works as executive director of Associated Fisheries of Maine, a trade association of fishing-dependent businesses. “We have tried everything to fix this problem with Gulf of Maine cod, and nothing seems to work.”
In the 1990s, Portland was New England’s top groundfish port, but the industry has been declining for years. Collectively, groundfish contributed just 1 percent of the state’s commercial fish landings in 2013, which totaled $531 million. Lobsters made up 69 percent of that total.
The restrictions will impose “rolling closures” on coastal fishing grounds where cod are most abundant and where they spawn. Those areas are generally located between Cape Ann, Massachusetts, and the coast of New Hampshire. Fishing boats will not be allowed to use gill nets or trawl nets in those areas.
In addition, boats outside those areas will be allowed to catch only 200 pounds of cod per fishing trip, a measure intended to limit the amount of cod that can be caught incidentally when fishermen pursue other groundfish stocks, such as haddock, hake and redfish.
Also, the new rules restrict groundfishing to only one of four managed areas on each fishing trip, which fishermen say will reduce their flexibility.
To soften the blow, federal regulators are doubling the commercial haddock quota from 676,812 pounds to about 1.3 million pounds. Haddock stocks have recovered strongly in recent years and are much healthier than cod stocks.
However, cod swim in the same fishing grounds as haddock, and fishermen find it almost impossible to catch haddock without also catching some cod, said Allyson Jordan, who lives in Portland and operates two draggers out of Portland Harbor.
As a result, fishermen will have no choice but to throw dead cod overboard once they exceed the 200-pound limit, she said.
“Where do groundfish live? They all live together. That’s pretty basic,” she said. “You don’t go out and say, ‘Hey, codfish, don’t jump on board.’ ”
The new rules will have the biggest impact in Gloucester, where a fleet of small boats fishes for cod in coastal waters. But the rules will also affect Maine fishermen who target other species, such as haddock and redfish, by making it harder and more expensive for them to catch those species, said Bert Jongerden, general manager of the Portland Fish Exchange.
“If you pull the rug out from all the people with codfish, you are effectively putting those people out of business,” he said.
There are 50 Maine residents with permits to catch groundfish, for which there is a year-round season. Each boat has a crew of three to six people, Jongerden said. He said regulators are using flawed data that runs counter to fishermen’s observations that cod stocks are rebounding.
The federal government is taking this step now to prevent closing the entire fishery, which happened in Newfoundland in 1992 when cod stocks collapsed on the Grand Banks, said Bullard, the regional administrator.
The NOAA restrictions constitute a six-month emergency action that will be effective until May 12. The New England Fishery Management Council will meet next week in Newport, Rhode Island, to make recommendations about the 2015 fishing season, which begins in May.
Bullard said the total allowable catch for cod in 2015 will be 200 to 386 metric tons, down from 1,550 metric tons allowed this year. In 2013, the limit was 6,700 metric tons,
Peter Baker, who works on fisheries issues for The Pew Charitable Trusts, said the emergency action is helpful but still falls short of the long-term habitat protection necessary for cod stocks to rebound. Known spawning areas should be sheltered, he said, and places that scientists have identified as important for cod to grow and feed should be made off-limits, not just to bottom trawls but also to other fishing activities, such as scallop dredges, that are known to damage the ocean floor.

“The cod collapse is largely due to a long history of risky management decisions that failed to rein in chronic overfishing, did not keep accurate track of how many fish were caught or killed, and did not do enough to protect ocean habitat,” he said.

Maggie Raymond


Study predicts more 'dead zones' as globe warms

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Washington Post] By Darryl Fears - November 11, 2014 - 

Three years ago, the Chesapeake Bay was hit by an unusually large "dead zone," a stretch of oxygen-depleted water that killed fish in about a third of the bay, from the Baltimore Harbor to its mid-channel region of the Potomac River and beyond.

Another giant dead zone returned this past summer, smaller than the first but big enough to rank as the estuary's eighth largest since state natural resources officials in Virginia and Maryland began recording them in the 1990s.

In a future with climate change, those behemoths might not seem so unusual, according to a new Smithsonian report. As global temperatures rise, they will create conditions such as rain and wind patterns and rising sea levels that will cause dead zones throughout the world to intensify and grow, the report says.

Ninety-four percent of places where dead zones have been recorded are in areas where average temperatures are expected to rise by about 4 degrees by 2100. In addition to the Chesapeake Bay region, that includes the Black and Baltic seas and the Gulf of Mexico, where a dead zone about the size of Connecticut formed in August.

Coastal dead zones will be exacerbated by the warming waters, rising sea levels, and the wind, rain and storm patterns associated with global warming, scientists say.

"Over 40 percent of the world's population lives in coastal areas," said Keryn B. Gedan, co-director of a conservation program at the University of Maryland and a researcher at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. "We depend on these resources. No one wants to see a fish killed or a harmful algal bloom at their local beach."

Gedan was a co-author of the study with Andrew H. Altieri of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. They found that the number of dead zones have doubled each decade since the 1950s and that humans probably have contributed to their growth in intensity and size.

"We just don't know how much of this doubling is due to climate change or nutrient runoff," Gedan said. More studies with more "sophisticated modeling" are needed to determine that, she said.

Dead zones are summer plagues that appear when waters warm. As water temperatures increase, three key events pave the way for a catastrophe that kills any fish, crab, oyster or shrimp that relies on oxygen.

Andrew H. Altieri Smithsonian Piles of mussels washed onto a beach after a dead-zone event in Narragansett Bay, R.I. Besides providing food and habitat for other creatures, mussels can also filter water. When mussels die, the bay loses its ability to clear water of phytoplankton, increasing the risk of future dead zones.

The metabolism of animals in the water increases, turning them into hungry eaters that use more oxygen as they search and feed on algae. Algae that feeds on nutrient pollution that runs off farms when it rains and that pours out of overflowing sewers rapidly bloom and perish. Microbes feed on the dead algae in a frenzy, sucking up oxygen to a point in which life can no longer be sustained.

In a warming world, this process, which currently starts around May, is likely to start sooner unless steps are taken to reduce the overabundance of nitrogen, phosphorous and other pollutants that flow into water, according to the study's authors.

Gedan said that the current Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan is one example of how the government can act to mitigate climate-driven effects that create dead zones. Previous research supports that assertion.

A study of the bay's water quality by researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science found that dead zones have been reduced since pollution limits were first implemented in the 1980s.

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Close-up of a bloom of Scripsiella phytoplankton in a Rhode River, Md., tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Microscopic Coscinodiscus diatoms are one of many phytoplankton species in the Chesapeake Bay.

They studied water-quality data for the Chesapeake from 1949 to 2009 and found "evidence that cutting back on the nutrient pollutants pouring into the bay can make a difference," the study's lead author, Rebecca R. Murphy, a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins, said when the study was released in 2011.

There is no certainty that the bay's cleanup plan, which calls for the governments in six states and the District to reduce sewer overflows and nutrient runoff from farms, can counteract changing climate and its accompanying effects.

Downpours, wind storms and sea-level rise are a lot to overcome. Downpours cause sewers to overflow, wind storms wipe fertilizers off yards and fields and push them down drains, and sea-level rise threatens to drown wetlands that block pollution's path to rivers that feed bays and oceans.

Unlike crabs and bivalves such as oysters, striped bass, an iconic Maryland and Virginia fish, could swim to the shallows to escape deeper oxygen-depleted water. But as the weather warms and raises the temperature in shallow water, that refuge could disappear.

High temperatures in shallow water cause "thermally induced hypoxia," or oxygen depletion, the report said. "This combination is predicted to reduce habitat for striped bass. In extreme situations, the temperatures of shallow water may exceed thermal tolerance of organisms, leaving them with the dilemma of choosing death by hypoxia at depth or by thermal stress in the shallows."

Andrew H. Altieri Smithsonian A handful of dead soft-shell clams were stranded on a beach following a dead-zone event. The soft-shell clam is a popular food source for humans and a valuable water filter.


Meteorologist explains El Niño, likely to develop this winter

SEAFOODNEWS.COM [Irish Times/SCOM] By Peter Lynch (with additional material) - November 6, 2014 - 
n 1997-1998 abnormally high ocean temperatures off South America caused a collapse of the anchovy fisheries. Anchovies are a vital link in the food chain, and shortages can bring great hardship. Weather extremes associated with the event caused 2,000 deaths and $33 million (€26 million) in property damage. One commentator wrote that the warming event had "more energy than a million Hiroshima bombs".
As it is not uncommon for an ocean warming to commence around Christmas, the fisherman of Peru call it El Niño, the Christ child. El Niño occurs when the temperature of the equatorial ocean west of South America is above normal, but its effects are more widespread.
Weather patterns in Indonesia and Australasia and the monsoons of southern Asia are affected. East Africa and North America also feel its impact. The heavy rainfall of Indonesia ceases, and droughts and wildfires are common in southeast Asia and Australia. Meanwhile, the mid- Pacific suffers a deluge.
During El Niño, the trade winds - which normally blow towards the west - weaken, allowing warm water from the western Pacific to slosh eastwards. El Niño lasts from a few months to a year or more and occurs about twice each decade, but its period is very irregular. It is linked to a see-saw pattern in which pressure in Tahiti is high when it is low in Darwin and vice versa. Together, this gives us Enso (El Niño southern oscillation).
Since February of 2014, some atmospheric models have been predicting the onset of El Nino, but it never quite materializes.
At the moment, there is evidence of warming along the South American Pacific coast, but that has not yet reached El Nino thresholds, despite disrupting the anchovy fisheries.
The current NOAA forecast says "Similar to last month, most models predict El Niño to develop during October-December 2014 and to continue into early 2015. However, the ongoing lack of clear atmosphere-ocean coupling and the latest NCEP CFSv2 model forecast have reduced confidence that El Niño will fully materialize. If El Niño does emerge, the forecaster consensus favors a weak event. In summary, there is a 58% chance of El Niño during the Northern Hemisphere winter, which is favored to last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.
In Australia the Bureau of Meteorology says  "Weather conditions similar to El Nino will continue amid warming of the Pacific Ocean as thresholds for the event that brings drought to Asia and heavier-than-usual rains to South America may be reached by early next year.
Three of eight climate models may reach El Nino thresholds in January and another two remain just shy of the levels, the Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on its website today, maintaining an Oct. 21 outlook. The forecaster kept a watch status, indicating at least a 50 percent chance of a weak to moderate event, it said.
The bureau has pushed back projections for the onset of El Nino as changes to the atmosphere have failed to develop consistently. A weak event will probably develop by year end, MDA Weather Services predicted last month. El Ninos can roil agricultural markets as farmers contend with drought or too much rain. Palm oil, cocoa, coffee and sugar are among crops most at risk, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has said.
“Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean have warmed over the past two months, and the Southern Oscillation Index has remained negative, but indicators generally remain in the neutral range,” the bureau said. “The existence of warmer-than-average water in the tropical Pacific sub-surface supports a continuation of the current near-El Nino conditions.”
While sea-surface temperatures are warmer than normal across most areas in the tropical Pacific ocean, it still doesn’t qualify as an El Nino, Kyle Tapley, senior agricultural meteorologist at MDA said in response to e-mailed questions. Some additional warming could lead to the development of a weak El Nino, he said.

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