Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Ouch! One less seagull ... One more PTSD golfer ...
Wednesday, August 05, 2015: I had this delusion that August might see a bit of a downturn in my editor workload -- perish the frickin’ thought. News things are more hectic than ever, especially when politics, petty and otherwise, rear up. No, I don’t get to solely concentrate on fishing and the great outdoors. There’s not a phase of LBI-and-surroundings life that doesn’t cross my desk. Thank goodness for Victoria Ford, Section II editor, for handling the insane influx of arts and entertainment stories. I did that for years and went buggy. Don’t say it.
I’m bringing up my run-ragged life because I see a light at the end of the rainbow, as we rapidly move toward the reopening of the Holgate end. By that I mean the state beach adjacent tot the Forsythe Refuge. Every stinkin’ year I announce the reopening of Holgate and people rush onto the refuge itself – which is NEVER opened to public usages.
In the past, I have actually published enraged letter from hikers, chastising me after being duly rousted off the refuge, claiming to Refuge Officer Chris that I wrote they could go into the vegetated areas. Bull! You watch, I’ll publicize the reopening this year, explain in vivid living color that you can’t pass the refuge markers, and sure enough … And, yes, I fully realize some of them might actually know full well they shouldn’t be on there but have a built-in excuse by blaming me.
While that might not sound like a glowing endorsement of the rapidly approaching Holgate buggying season, I desperately need the mental break I get by going to the far south end. Plus, I could use some Holgate clams so badly I can taste it.
I got an email from G.M. rejoicing over “maybe the best fluking day I ever had.” It wasn’t the numbers but the three over-five-pound flatties he caught on Spro jig and stripes of “trolling squid.” Are you kidding me?! I would barely know how to act with a single five-pounder. He begged me not to even hint at where he was fishing, though I can say it was “south” – though within LBI waters.
As to “trolling squid,” I love ‘em -- and not just to eat. I have some commercial guys that get me some fresh-caught jumbo squid, now and again. ...
OK, so maybe more like
I’m not even sure there is a category called “trolling squid,” since any sized squid can be rigged for trolling. I just reserve the term for the larger-than-the-rest squid that offer beautifully long strips for angling. And long matters when you’re drifting through, say, loads of small fluke. The big fish gets first grabs at the worm, or in this case the squid. That’s just a way of saying big baits get bigger fluke.
Here's a creation out of newenglandboating.com ...
Just as a mention, of the 300 species of squid worldwide, many of them are heavily harvested, mainly for the calamari demand – myself being amidst that demand. However, squid are masterful reproducers and, in American waters, they are being better managed than most other harvested marine species.
On a couple fishing occasions, I seen squid “rise up,” which they often do at night, especially when drawn to a light. It’s almost spooky how many can be packed into a school. Adding to their survivalness, they can quickly sink down into absurd depths to rest and hide.
Here's a couple raw photos showing just a fraction of one of those rising squid mats ...
There are a scattering of keepable-size porgies (technically scup) cruising Barnegat Bay -- closer to the inlets, though ranging down to the Causeway. They aren’t hugely plentiful but showing up enough to evoke some panfishing interest. Our estuaries are their natural summer habitat, however, they’re often seriously small, as in hand-sized, i.e. too small to keep (I’d like to think).
Below: Headboat catch via www.noreast.com
I’m betting a kingfish rig with slightly larger hooks – which sorta makes it a pompano rig – would work.
I used to catch porgies off wrecks in the ocean -- Black Whale, White Whale, Viking -- using a tog set-up, but with as many as three hooks in play, each on separate dropper loops. Those captains always used clams.
As bait in the bay, squid works best, but you knew I’d say that. Also, bloodworms, sandworms and grass shrimp work well, though shrimp have to be used with smaller hooks or they’ll get nipped cleanly off.
I know it sounds like I say this about many fish types, but porgies are amazing eating. The only way to respect them is to simply gut them and cook them whole. Trying to fillet them is similar to filleting white perch – minimizing the meat take.
By the by, I don’t think you’ll get a load of porgies in the bay but simply meeting them – many anglers have never caught one -- might get you interested into trying some offseason wreck trips on headboats.
Back in the day, a big burlap sack of porgies was easily worth the price of headboat admission.
Hell, does anyone still use burlap sacks for fish? They were great because you could hand them off the side of the boat to keep fish fresh then they’d stay moist for a long time once taken out of the water.
"Hello, Mom. First, let me thank you again for letting me use the family SUV. It's a tribute to your love and understanding spirit. That said ..."
Below: I just saw this IBSP photo on Facebook. Camper tried to help a stuck truck -- or maybe the other way around -- and the two bogged down just as the tide made its unforgiving move. I never mock these scenes since every one of us who frequent the beach in our vehicles know this could easily be our fate with just one wrong turn.
I have to admit I don't know how insurance companies take claim like these folks will be making, considering no storm is involved. It might very well be seen as an "elective" sinking situation -- the word "elective" never being good thing when making a claim.
I'd be interested in knowing if anyone has made such a claim after drowning their buggy.
By the by, I know of two submerged vehicle owners (one Sebastian, Florida, the other OBX) who pulled out their submerged vehicles and immediately went into a full freshwater washdown mode, a bit like a CPR effort. Neither patients (the vehicles, that is) survived, though one was restarted -- but the cancerous corrosion soon fatally attacked.
Not long ago, I chatted with an insurance company rep and I was surprised at how quickly a vehicle is considered "totaled' after "water damage." Sure, I saw that after Sandy, but even in everyday non-storm life, insurance companies simply don't putz around with once-sunken vehicles. The rep made it clear that they don't always fully cover water damage but they have keen insights into when it's futile to try a drying and cleaning process.