Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Tuesday, September 24, 2019: The weather is acting as if it likes us or something ...


Tuesday, September 24, 2019: The weather is acting as if it likes us or something – or maybe it simply doesn’t want summer to end. Over the next seven days, it will not only feel like summer on occasion but could have you regretting if you took out window AC units. Mainland temps could near 90. LBI will have the onshores and side-ass winds blowing, though west winds will also be in the mix, mainly a.m. Those offshore could be hot, literally -- and buggy beyond belief. 

WHY AREN'T YOU IN YET?!: I need to offer this, via Jim Hutchison Jr. of Fisherman Magazine .( www.thefisherman.com) since time is becoming of the essence.

Back when ... south and north boundaries are things few the past .. a very proud past. 

It’s a Classic Time of the Year:

The 65th annual Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic kicks off this Saturday, October 5 at 5 a.m. and runs through Sunday, December 8.

To kick off the opening day of this nine-week event, a special Surf Fishing Seminar will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company at 2006 Central Avenue in Ship Bottom. The seminar offers a great way to socialize with anglers and learn about the finer point of surf fishing with anglers from local fishing club, Team Mullet. Coffee and donuts will also be served.

You can register for the LBI Surf Fishing Classic at Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom, Surf City Bait and Tackle in Surf City, or Jingle’s Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven. While the weekend will be a busy one on LBI with Chowderfest also being held, tournament organizers are hoping for a good early run of striped bass, with a special $500 daily cash award being offer to the largest fish weighed in on October 6. There are several significant daily awards this season, in addition to weekly, segment and grand prizes for the contest.

It's important that you patronize this contest as a show of support. I can tell you from personal experience that the committee organizing this event works year ‘round to make it shine. There are very few contests that offer so many chances to win. Best of all – and I’m stepping out a bit on this angle – it is a very low-kill event, due in large part to the conscientiousness of participants, who know what fish it takes to win prizes – most other hookups go free. Our area might lead the coastline in catch-and-release. Rock on you crazy releasers.

I’ll reiterate that next year will likely see a whole other restrictive dimension impacting the life and times of the Classic. I assure that we’ll “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.” (Orrah!) It will simply take some educated tweaking by the committee – with input graciously accepted by the fishing public. For now, freely enjoy this year’s Classic – and be ready to win at the drop of a cap. By the by, this year’s cap and t-shirt are hot. Hotter still are the hoodies. Do not miss the chance to grab them as Christmas gifts for the anglers of the house.

By the by, the opening of the 2019 Classic is aligned with the ...

I like the match-up for a very compelling family reason I know to exist: The anglers in the house can do a trade-off with spouses and such. "Look, I'll do the Chowderfest if I can do Classic time that weekend." Right on. And to be politically accurate/correct, it's sometimes the women surfcasters gaining that leverage for their surfcasting. Go for it, ladies! 

Here's where to enter the fishing funfest. 

 Image result for 2019 long beach island fishing classic


Capt Alex.


Lighthouse Sportfishing

Well summer has given way to fall, how’d that happen? Well I know how it happened, but just like came upon us was too fast. Fluke season ended this past Saturday. Quite frankly during the last two or more weeks I have hardly even fished for fluke during my trips. No I don’t have flukophobia I have a recipe to have light tackle fun with blues to three pounds and schoolie bass on poppers, And this action is sometime mid-day! And in the backwaters

I can honestly this trips have consistently producing. It might get slow for a while, but after making some minor adjustment is game on! Again The exciting news is a somewhat respectable showing of weekies, many of which are in the 3-5 lb. range and some pics of one pushing seven. Local keeper bass have started to the mullet run and I know of several fish of 28”. Not much to report on the beach front as we hand what seems to be rip current for two weeks strait now. Running everyday now so just pick up the phone and get on the schedule.  Fishing is great right now! 

Scream drags, 

Brian McQuaid to Betty and Nicks Bait and Tackle Fishing Club
Unfortunately this guys boat broke down while leaving the Barnegat Inlet. But it was cool to be a part of helping and see people get together to help this mans boat from smashing into the rocks. Good job guys!


I'm about to send my overloaded photo files to storage heaven/hell. Here are a scant few of my favorite looks, prior to their move into the flashdrive black hole realm. Unfortunately, this website isn't great at reproducing images. So just imagine the shots clearer, brighter, and more skillfully taken. (I just kinda tacked on that last one.) 

My photography infatuation is fully and purely fun-based. Thoughts of achieving photo-perfection never enter the picture. If perfection does develop, it’s blind luck, though today’s ability to shoot hundreds of images in short order helps draw in luck.

Techno photo-taking is for pros – and camera geeks. These skills come into focus with the photojournalism, when photos are assigned and must be nailed just so or the essence of a news story could be lost. It’s work. Face it, what most folks like me shoot are opportunistic snapshots, even when going out in search of specific images. When a paycheck rides on rushing to numerous assignments to capture can’t-fail images, the snapshot syndrome is hopelessly outclassed.    

By choice, I’m driven to simply show images in a slightly different light, often from a decidedly different angle. I never strive for what might be called shutter excellence. I’m in it for simple “Oh, that’s a cool” reactions.

Thanks to hand-me-downs at work, I have some amazingly fine cameras. Can I use them to the utmost photo journalism degree that the pros do? Not on your life. Oh, I’ll occasionally leave the “Auto” setting for the more demanding “Manual” focus realm. But it still takes me a slew of shots to literally home in on the look I’m seeking.  

I’m far more inclined to let the shot come into focus. My favorite all-time shot is of a clammer raking from his garvey with new bridges being built in the background required my waiting and repeatedly waiting for the clamming boat to drift north to south, aligning with the ideal backdrop for a few seconds. It took forever for an AD type like myself.

I’ll always go the extra wait-around mile with wildlife – for obvious reasons. Creatures are often far from photo ready. More than that, I’m compelled to find some enhancing element that makes, say a dragonfly into something more than, well, just a dragonfly. My favorite dragonfly shot – in mid-flight – took forever to capture, imagine. (This shot pops in high def, almost 3-D-like.) 

But nature seldom offers a shot like no other. Far too many amazing wildlife photogs. My best bird shots barely cut it in the bird-shooting photo realm. Again, I try for images you won't see everyday. 

Below: Sometimes the fun is in the captioning ... I took a little heat when I wrote: "Proving once again that white birds can't jump." 

Then  there are times when the wildlife does all the work ...

Below: While this one of a young gymnast, who was very glad to show me her skills, is not the finest of focuses, the overall look rocks. Yes, gymnasts have been photographed from every square inch worth of angle, but the sand, water, boat -- the whole shebang -- makes it all pop. 

Of a historic nature, this simple news shot I captured decades ago (with my first camera, a Pentax) now mesmerizes me. It's Dorland Henderson, who designed the Causeway bridge, named in his honor. As I'm proud to note, he and I hit it off. His wife, seated next to him, took me aside and said Dorland never warms up to folks like he did with me. He even told me of the lighting system's dedication ceremony for his famed "String of Pearls" when he had to sneak off and throw up he was so nervous the system might not light up when the switch was thrown. Obviously, they did ... and local history was made. 

Below: This beach-life-goes-on shot had me BS'ing folks that the family in the photo had pulled their boat ashore to spend a day on the beach. I stopped when too many people began to believe me. 

Out of countless sunset shots, this one seemed to speak, as two workout type folks loosened up prior to a late-day swim. 

Too many storm shots to favor one or another so this more recent one grabs my eye. Last summer. 

To me, below is what true candid shooting is all about. These two Franciscan friars were looking for a pickup game. I took frontal shots of them but found the rope belts from a back view made the look. They really knew how to play ... after disrobing into typical b-ball attire. 

One of my fave guess-what's-coming pics is this young'un -- who ran to the railing just in time for a thorough soaking ... 

Then there was this homegrown pirouette move to sidestep the inevitable. 

My only semi-famous local photo came in the wake a totally unforecasted overnight blow back in the early 1990s. Winds to over 90 mph -- but only peaking for maybe eight hours. As Brant Beach homes teetered, I zipped onto a porch for this "See who's at the door" shot.   


The Battle Over Fish Farming In The Open Ocean Heats Up, As EPA Permit Looms

Copyright © 2019 npr
By Leah Douglas
September 19, 2019

Americans eat an average of 16 pounds of fish each year, and that number is growing. But how to meet our demand for fish is a controversial question, one that is entering a new chapter as the Environmental Protection Agency seeks to approve the nation's only aquaculture pen in federal waters.

Fish farming has been positioned by its boosters as a sustainable alternative to wild-caught seafood and an economic driver that would put our oceans to work. So far, restrictions on where aquaculture operations can be located have kept the U.S. industry relatively small. In 2016, domestic aquaculture in state-controlled waters accounted for about $1.6 billion worth of seafood, or about 20 percent of the country's seafood production.

But the biggest potential home for aquaculture, federally controlled ocean waters, has so far been off limits. States control up to three miles offshore from their coastlines, but between three and 200 miles falls under federal control. Attempts to introduce aquaculture in federal waters have so far been stymied by concerns about aquaculture's impact on ocean ecosystems and wild fisheries.

Now the tide could be turning. On Aug. 30, EPA issued a draft permit for a pilot aquaculture project in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. The project, despite its small scale, would be a watershed moment in the debate surrounding ocean aquaculture, which has divided environmental groups and pitted fishermen who catch wild fish against those who farm. It is also the latest chapter in a long battle about which agency should regulate ocean aquaculture.

The pilot project would allow Kampachi Farms, a veteran aquaculture company, to raise 20,000 Almaco jack fish in a net pen in the ocean 45 miles southwest of Sarasota. Kampachi Farms already runs aquaculture pens in state-controlled waters off the coast of Hawaii and in Mexico's Gulf of California. Kampachi CEO Neil Anthony Sims says the Gulf of Mexico pilot project is essential to helping aquaculture's critics understand the many upsides of bringing open ocean fish farming to the U.S.

"First and foremost, we want to be able to demonstrate to the Florida fishing and boating community that offshore aquaculture can be a real positive benefit," says Sims. "The handwringing and fear-mongering about the negative impacts has been vastly overblown."

But the many groups that have aligned against offshore aquaculture disagree. They see this project as a precedent-setting act by federal regulators that will move the country closer to opening the oceans, a public resource, to farming.

Rosanna Marie Neil, a policy consultant with the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA), says the project will "benefit Kampachi Farms and the aquaculture industry at the expense of the health of the ocean and the rights of people along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico who are going to have to deal with the repercussions."

One of those repercussions could be a threat to wild fish stocks, whether by the spread of disease or escaped farmed fish competing for food. Aquaculture operations at full scale also produce an enormous amount of waste, which can result in higher nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in the water. Those nutrients can cause algae blooms, which choke aquatic environments of oxygen and can lead to higher fish mortality.

EPA's assessment of the proposed Kamapachi Farms pilot project found that it wouldn't create significant waste problems in the surrounding waters. But Neil says that the project's small size means that it may not adequately illustrate the potential damage of an aquaculture operation that was scaled for commercial production.

Along with environmental risks, some worry that bringing aquaculture to the Gulf could push independent fishermen out of business. Acy Cooper, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, says that fishermen in his area must catch wild fish by following a careful seasonal schedule of species. If aquaculture took hold in the region and one of those wild species that commercial fishers depend on was being farmed year-round, it could cut into their business.

"This is how we live and survive, through our seafood," Cooper says. "If we allow this to happen and they start to get more aquaculture than catching wild, it shoves us out of the way."

But aquaculture advocates say that farming fish is the only way that the U.S. will be able to keep up with rising demand for seafood. Other countries have already seized on aquaculture as a major source of protein. Nearly half of the world's fish comes from aquaculture operations, the majority of which is raised in China.

"We should be growing aquaculture in America so that we become seafood independent," says Sims. He would have the U.S. build its aquaculture operations in federal waters to the point where we no longer import any seafood at all.

In 2017, the U.S. imported about 90 percent of its seafood supply. Aquaculture proponents often point to this seafood "deficit" as a reason to start farming the ocean. But the U.S. also exported about 84 percent of the domestic catch in 2017, led by salmon, pollack and lobsters. A portion of those exports are processed overseas and eventually return to the U.S. as imports. Research suggests that we're actually consuming more than a third of our domestic catch once those imported products are taken into account, complicating the conversation around a deficit.

Some environmental groups agree that the U.S. should take more steps towards aquaculture. Conservation International and the Environmental Defense Fund are strategic partners in a fund that is invested in Kampachi Farms. In a May report co-authored with an investment firm, the Nature Conservancy called aquaculture a "compelling investment opportunity with meaningful impact."

Who should regulate ocean aquaculture has always been a murky question. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration moved to approve several aquaculture operations in the Gulf of Mexico in 2016, but a legal challenge stopped that effort last September. A federal court found that the agency didn't have authority under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the nation's primary fisheries management law, to approve aquaculture operations. NOAA has appealed the ruling.

In the meantime, EPA issued the draft permit for the Kampachi Farms pilot project in August under the authority of the Clean Water Act. NAMA's Neil says that the lack of clarity around who regulates aquaculture is an opening for Congress to act.

Legislators need to "set the record straight and say that unless it's expressly authorized by Congress, commercial aquaculture operations are not permitted in federal waters," she says.

She points to the Keep Finfish Free Act, a bill introduced in May by Republican Rep. Don Young of Alaska, one of the architects of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which would prohibit federal officials from authorizing aquaculture operations in federal waters unless Congress writes a law permitting it.

But Congress is divided on the next steps for aquaculture. A bill introduced in 2018 by Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, and supported by the aquaculture industry, would have allowed the expansion of aquaculture into federal waters and established a permitting process at NOAA. The bill never went to a vote and has not been reintroduced.

Aquaculture's skeptics say that now is the time to move slowly on fish farming, before the industry has a foothold. "It's much easier to take a look at an industry and see whether you want it or not before it gets started," says Hallie Templeton, senior oceans campaigner at Friends of the Earth. "What's another five years? We're leaders in ocean stewardship right now."

EPA is accepting public comments on the Kampachi Farms pilot project until Sept. 29. If the project moves ahead, it could be the next step toward bringing aquaculture to the U.S. in earnest.

Found, Inside Dead Sperm Whale: 100 Plastic Cups, 4 Plastic Bottles, 25 Plastic Bags, 2 Flip-Flops

This dead sperm whale was found washed up on a beach in southern Indonesia on Nov. 19, its stomach full of nearly 13 pounds (6 kilograms) of plastic trash.
(Image: © WWF-Indonesia/Kartika Sumolang)

The stomach of a whale is bound to be pretty gross — all those giant intestines and immense amounts of blood — but now officials have found nearly 13 pounds (6 kilograms) of plastic trash in the stomach of a dead sperm whale that washed ashore on a beach in southern Indonesia late Monday (Nov. 19).

The trash included more than 100 plastic cups, four plastic bottles, 25 plastic bags, two flip-flops and hundreds of other pieces of plastic, WWF-Indonesia said in a Facebook statement.

The 31-foot-long (9.5 meters) whale was in such an advanced state of decay by the time it washed up on the beach that it was impossible for researchers to determine if the enormous lump of plastic was what ultimately killed the animal.

"Although we have not been able to deduce the cause of death, the facts that we see are truly awful," Dwi Suprati, a marine species conservation coordinator at WWF-Indonesia, told the Associated Press. [Whale Album: Giants of the Deep]

Sperm whales (Physeter microcephalus­) are the only living species of their genus and the largest living species of toothed whales. Adult females reach up to 36 feet (11 m) in length and weigh some 13 to 14 tons (11.7 to 12.7 metric tons), while adult males are far bigger, growing to 59 feet (18 m) long and weighing 35 to 45 tons (31.7 to 40.8 metric tons), according to the American Cetacean Society (ACS).

These marine giants primarily feed on deep-water squid, fish, rays and octopus and consume about 2,000 lbs. (907 kg) of food each day, according to the ACS. And, it appears plastic is becoming a more common part of their diet.

Earlier this year, another dead sperm whale washed up on the coast of Spain, likely killed by the 65 lbs. (29 kg) of plastic trash discovered in its gut.

Sperm whales are found throughout the world's oceans and it's no surprise that they'd be cruising around Indonesia. The country is smack in the middle of the so-called Coral Triangle — a hotspot of marine diversity and the area with the highest risk of plastic pollution in the marine environment, according to a 2017 study published in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Microplastic Polluti....  

Since 2010, Indonesia has ranked as the second-highest plastic-polluting country in the world after China; it produces more than 3 million tons of plastic waste per year, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Science

Indonesia's coordinating minister of maritime affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, told the AP that the dead sperm whale should inspire the country's government and its citizens to significantly reduce plastic use.

He said the government is working to urge shops to discontinue use of plastic bags and for communities to educate students nationwide about the problem. The Indonesian government aims to reduce plastic use by 70 percent by 2025, the AP reported.

"This big ambition can be achieved if people learn to understand that plastic waste is a common enemy," Pandjaitan said.


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