Saturday, July 30, 2011

07.30.11 Oyster Creek incident kills hundreds of stripers and the clean up continues

     While I was up north the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station suffered a power outage knocking out the dilution pumps which caused excessively warm water to be discharged into the Oyster Creek, killing "hundreds" of striped bass. I first read about this this morning in Bob Vosseller's story in the Asbury Park Press. I jumped in my truck and headed south on the Garden State Parkway to Exit 74. When I got to the Oyster Creek there was a pickup and boat trailer from Normandeau Associates at the boat ramp on the west side of Route 9. Upriver, closer to the plant another crew was in a small boat scooping dead fish out of a bermed area in the creek. I looked for signs of dead fish and found several in the wooden pilings of bridge west of the Route 9 bridge. I drove over to Dock Avenue which parallels the creek and found the above team scooping fish out of the water and putting them in plastic bags.
     The discharge side of the plant and subsequent Oyster Creek holds a large population of striped bass year round. The water remains warm in the winter and cool in the summer, except when there is a problem. I covered a story here myself in 2008 for the Asbury Park Press when thousands of bluefish were killed in a similiar incident. This recent incident happened Thursday around 8pm and dead fish are still collected, 40 hours later.

Friday, July 29, 2011

07.27-29.11 What a trip to the Adirondacks...hit a deer, did some work, dog sisters met, had a great dinner in Saranac Lake with sis and her man

     It was horrible. I was in the middle lane on the New York State Thruway driving with traffic on both sides of me when a doe ran out into traffic. The doe slowed in the fast lane and a buck followed. I couldn't go right or left, so I just kept my speed and hoped to freeze the deer, and then maybe the guy in the slow lane could swerve. Forget it. The buck hit my truck right in the front quarter panel above the wheel and then hit all along my passenger side and even rear bumper. Thank God no other vehicles were involved and no humans got hurt, although it sucks for the deer. After looking at the surprisingly heavy damage along my truck I walked back to see if I could drag the deer off the road. As I got closer I could see the deer was still alive. I stood on the shoulder waiting for a break in the traffic when all of a sudden a tractor trailer ran over the deer, killing it and really making a mess. As I turned to walk back to my truck a DOT pick up pulled up and the driver dragged the deer to the side. I waited for the State Police to come so I could get a report started for the insurance company. I was on my way in about 30 mins and Lola and I continued up to Ausable Forks.

     Both houses looked good and I tightened up the yards and did some painting on the porch. We are taking a family vacation up there next week so I spruced everything up. I took Lola down to the Junction Pool below my house to introduce her to the West Branch. I was also able to reunite my dog Lola with her sister Lily. My sisters boyfriend drove down to the Forks for some beer and dinner at Mad River Pizza. The dogs had a blast wrestling and biting each other for hours while we sat and shot the shit. Remember the house is available for weekly or weekend rentals year round- the fall and winters are a great time to visit. Call 732.261.7291 for availability.

     Two other quick things about this quick trip. I was able to fish for about 10 mins. I drove over to my sisters in Saranac Lake and before getting there I hit Sumner Brook, which always gives up a brookie or two. Well not today. I was only to catch what I thought was a emerald shiner. The other thing to mention was a fantastic place to eat, fantastic. My sister and her boyfriend have been talking up this place and I finally got to go. If you are in the Saranac Lake- Lake Placid area hit the Eat and Meet Grill on Broadway in Saranac Lake. It was that good. You can check more on it HERE 

Sumner Brook, NY

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

07.27.11 Headin' up to the North Country for a quick two days

     I am taking Lola and heading up to the Adirondacks for two days. I will be sprucing up the house that is for sale and checking in on the lodge. Hopefully while I am there I'll be able to find some time to visit a small, cool brook trout stream and wet a line.

Monday, July 25, 2011

07.25.11 Das Boot goes to the mechanic for a diagnosis

     Here was the scene outside Monmouth Marine Engines in Neptune City this afternoon. Ryan, Erin and I dropped off the boat for an estimate to get it going again. Some would say I should have just continued on to Mazza where they could have crushed it. But I think it's worth the look from a professional. My guess is the kids will be tubing off the back of it before Labor Day and I'll be chasing stripers in it in the fall!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

07.24.11 I guess she wants to be a bird dog!

     I know nothing of hunting, birds, bird dogs, or training bird dogs. But today our cat brought home this still alive bird in it's mouth and dropped it in front of out 3 month old yellow lab. Lola's natural instincts licked in and it was all she wrote for the bird.

Friday, July 22, 2011

07.22.11 Just a tad hot here in Monmouth County...and brought the boat home

    I'm sure it was hotter in other places- the center of the earth, hell, Newark- but it was this hot, if not hotter here along the New Jersey coast. Part of today's work was unloading about a ton of red brick from the pick up and then getting the boat out of my fathers construction yard. It has been bounced around as the workers move to access other equipment they use for building and bridge erection. I have busy with a major landscape project at the house and next week will be traveling on assignment in Cape May so today was day to do it. I'm sure some of you know the boat story. I purchased it on a whime in 2003 when my life was in a tangled mess. I put it in the water that sumer at Tradewinds Marina in Sea Bright. I may have taken it out a half a dozen times. I winterized it and then it sat, for the next 7 years. Covered sometimes, most times not. I have seen three feet of water in it, and 10 feet of snow over it. There have been snakes and bees and skunks living about it. BUT, now is the time. I first have to figure out if she'll even start. So I started out this new journey at the do it yourself car wash in Neptune. Then I drove it home, well towed it home, and parked it out front of the house. My wife and a few neighbors laughed. One guy thought it was nicer and had all the confidence that I would get her going. Most think I should burn it or bring it to a salvage yard. It's a 1996 Marathon cuddy with a Mercruiser I/O. Any thoughts or tips let me know. Thanks

At the yard

At home !

07.22.11 Summer issue of Cooking Wild magazine is out...inside is the bluefish cake story

     I recently got the summer issue of Cooking Wild magazine.  Inside is the story I did in the spring with local Chef and CIA graduate Matt Cosenza. When he told me he was doing a story on bluefish I figured I would stop at a local deli and bring lunch with me. As the shoot progressed the bluefish cakes were left to sit there, waiting for me to taste it. Matt assured me it was edible so I gave it a try. After the two hour shoot I must have cleaned off six plates  of the stuff, which included a slaw and sweet potatoe fries. It was really good, so good that I'm going to keep a few blues next time and give it a shot myself. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

07.19.11 A little bit on upwelling

This explanation on upwelling came from Rutgers- more HERE

During the summer months, the surface of the ocean near our coast is heated by the sun. This warming causes stratification (warm surface/cold bottom). Typically, winds during our summer months are from the southwest, bringing all that hot humid air up from the Gulf of Mexico. These winds do not blow that surface layer to the northeast, but to the southeast. This 90 degree difference in wind and water current direction is due to the spin put on the water by the earth's coriolis force (earth's spin).
When the warm surface water is blown offshore, the cold buttom water rises, like a conveyor belt, and hits the beach. This cold water also brings sediment up from the bottom. Phytoplankton (microscopic plants) which float along the surface, used this sediment as food and bloom, causing the water to become green and murky. The figure below demonstrates what happens at the surface and below the water when winds blow from the southwest along the New Jersey coast. Now you know why the beaches can be so cold and "dirty" on the warmest days of the year. 

07.19.11 Aahhhh...back in the New Jersey salt

      I got up before the dog did so I took a ride down to Avon. I was on the beach around 515am and threw a popper in the wash from the Avon Pavilion down to the Shark River Inlet. I fished along both sides of the rocks but had to get in and out of the frigid water because my toes started to hurt from the cold. Surface temps are 72 degrees but down under must be around 60. The water has been cool for a few days now. 
     I fished around the jetty at the inlet but came up empty. There were guys throwing plugs, metal and plastic for schoolies, blues, and fluke but I didn't see any sign of fish in and out of the water. It was nice to get out even for a short while. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

07.17.11 More fun with the sunnies

Lake Tranquility, Andover, New Jersey

Saturday, July 16, 2011

07.16.11 Told you things in Asbury Park would change

8th Ave Asbury Park

     Earlier this week I wrote about the proposed changes to the northern beachfront in Asbury Park. It used to be a section of the waterfront that was looked over by folks other than fisherman, dog owners, and surfers. This morning I brought Lola, that's her official name now after a family vote, down to the ocean for the first time. I wasn't surprised to see curbing, signage and parking meters throughout the once moon like terrain parking lot. It's almost over guys. Next they will pave it. Then they will park construction trailers there. Then shut down the dog and surfers beaches. Maybe we can get the guys who prowl that area at night contact the local law office and file a lawsuit on their behalf, it might be the only way to save that area for those who've used it for years.

Lola's first taste of the salt

07.15.11 A day with my old fishing partner Tom

 My friend Tom and I used to fish more together than we do now. Each year we would take a five day trip up to the West Branch Anglers where we would hope to catch the Hendrickson and Blue Quill hatch. However we haven't made that trip for the last three years. He always gave me a hard time in going, and then we would have a great time while there.
     Tom retired last week from the Post Office after 41 years as a carrier. I told him I wanted to take him fishing. I suggested a float trip on the lower West Branch and upper Main Stem of the Delaware. He hemmed and hawed and said he just wanted to fish in New Jersey. Trout fishing in New Jersey in July. Mmmm. It wasn't the trip I had in mind but it would be a day away with my friend. We started out in Nutley around noon and hit Route 80 and 15. We stopped and looked at the Paulinskill River in Lafayette and fished a small pond there. I was using my daughters 6 foot two weight sight casting to sunnies and small bass. It was fun to watch the fish follow the fly and explode on it right before my eyes, well bite it. It wasn't bonefishing on the flats in the Bahamas, but it was fun.


   Later in the afternoon we made our way to the Big Flat Brook. We drove above Route 206 and checked out crystal clear skinny water there before heading downstream to check out crystal clear water there. Out final stop for the evening was near the USGS gauging station near Old Mine Road. We found a dozen or so fish taking nymhs and an occasion emerger. We saw a few white flies come off but that was it. I caught two fish and they released easily on hooks without barbs. Tom didn't catch or see anything where he fished. On the way home I asked him in a Delaware trip in the fall would be in order and he said, "Definitely!'

Tom on the Paulinskill

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

07.12.11 My new fishing partner, well our new addition to the fan damily!

     After a few years of steady pressure from the kids the wife and I caved in and went ahead and did it. Recently my sister purchased a full blood yellow labrador retriever from a breeder and at that time one puppy in the litter was still available. It seemed like a nice story, my sister and I having sister dogs, yada yada. We asked about the dog when my sister was waiting for hers and were told the dog wasn't in fact available. Yesterday I took the kids out to the Puppy "places" on Route 130 to try and breed search and just by chance made a call to my sisters breeder to ask about a future litter. Well, the above dog that was the last one left was now available. We went and looked at it at 430 yesterday afternoon and picked her up at 2 today. So far so good, below is a little video of what I can expect!

07.12.11 I'll be fishing soon!

One reason I haven't been fishing

     Been catching up on work for Agency New Jersey and landscape projects around the house. The Average Angler has been slow but Friday I plan on meeting up with a friend for some wild trout stream fishing in northern New Jersey.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

07.09.11 8th Avenue may never be the same if Bradley Cove comes to town...

    If you ever hang in the parking lot at the 8th Avenue in Asbury Park then you've seen the scene above. Usually it's guys from the Asbury Park Fishing Club gathered and watching and waiting for fish to show up. To the north of 8th Ave is Loch Arbor, to the south is the surfers beach. Just behind that is Asbury Towers, the senior citizens building. This access area is used heavily by anglers, surfers, and dog walkers when out of the summer season. Now that Asbury Park has new parking meters on just about every street in the city, people are now parking in this lot for free and hoofing down to the beaches near Convention Hall. People are noticing. The town fathers, investors, builders, the police, residents, bennies- everyone is noticing this little piece of heaven that after dark is more like a patch of barren earth where men wait seeking men.
     It could all be over if the state of New Jersey approves a new development of 15 three story townhouses to be built. The city has given Asbury Partners the go ahead but because of ownership right the state has called riparian claim. The state of New JErsey must release it's claim to allow the project to continue. In Addition to this proposed project, the area north of the senior citizens building under planning for an eight story residential building. Below is the Google Earth view, showing the treatment

plant and senior citizens building in the left corner and the 8th Ave groin at the top. The proposed townhouses are just east, to the right, of the senior building. Once one project gets approved more will sure be on the way. The parking lot we all park at when the tourists are long gone will be a 8 story building or metered parking. Beware- change is not always good! To sign a petition go HERE

* I first read about this in a great article by Dan Jacobson and the Tri-City News staff in it's May 26, 2011 issue on this topic

Bradley Cove looking from the south

Bradley Cove looking from the end of the 8th Ave groin

Friday, July 8, 2011

07.08.11 Another animal escapes from Six Flags Great Adventure safari...

   Today my daughter and I went fishing at Prospertown Lake and were shocked to find this animal chilling out in the water. Earlier this week a baboon escaped the safari and was captured in Howell and I couldn't fathom another beast on the loose. Okay, just kidding, but I got your attention. Since I didn't fish today and have nothing to write about, I "expanded" my trip to the safari story. My daughter Erin and I did, well didn't go fishing, but did go to the Six Flags Great Adventure Safari. She had a great time. Hardly any traffic, animals were active- BUT. Always a but, I did get a stare down from a safari ranger when this ostrich wouldn't move and was acting like we were feeding it, for like 5 minutes. As we slowly pulled away and got to the ranger parking in their zebra striped pick-up I could feel the stare down from the ranger. She didn't take her eyes off me for 500 feet of driving. I wanted to get out and tackle the next animal I saw just to piss her off. After the adventure we went to Hurricane Harbor and relaxed in the lazy river before the rains came.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

07.07.11 Rhode Island fisherman almost bests World Record striped bass

Peter Vican with a 77.4 pound striped bass 6/16/11
Photo by Don Smith

    A Rhode Island man almost bested the current World Record striped bass of 78.5 pounds caught by Albert McReynolds off Atlantic City in 1982. Vican was fishing with Don Smith around 3:30 am June 16, 2011 near Block Island when the 77.4 pound monster hit his live eel. It measured 52" inches long and had a 35" girth. In 2008 Vican caught a 76.14 pound striper. Both are Rhode Island state records.

Photo by Don Smith

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

07.06.11 Monmouth Beach beach replenishment will be just in time for the fall run

Monmouth Beach fall 2010

    The US Corp of Engineers and local officials have announced that 7.5 million dollars has been awarded to New Jersey for beach replenishment along northern Monmouth County beaches. Dan Radel of the Asbury Park Press reported that those funds in addition to an already 2.5 million in Federal Funds and 5 million from New Jersey will go towards the project. The target areas are from Sandy Hook to north Long Branch. For those that remember, West End  and Pier Village were "replenished" a few years ago. Work will begin this September and start along Monmouth Beach, just in time for the fall run. Sand will be pumped from offshore and spread along the work area beaches.
     It is always a debate on weather beach replenishment is a good or bad thing. The answer is always different depending on who you talk to, residents, surfers, bathers, and fisherman. An easy sloping beach is great for wading but it then lacks structure in the form of bars, cuts, and rips for the bait and fish to move in and along the beaches. Jim Freda, from Shore Catch Guide Service, wrote about this very issue on his StriperSurf blog, you can read his opinion in that post HERE.  Here's another opinion from a post on StriperOnline. It's from a user named Squidlips, he believes,

As far as the wash being a safer place after beach replenishment, unfortunately it looks like the opposite may be true. In the Monmouth Beach- SeaBright area the north ward current is so strong that you cant hold bottom on an ever mildly rough day.
I really do feel for you guys. This thing has pretty much destroyed my club. All my shoreline spots have been buried as well as the near inshore structure we used to fish with the tin boats. The weakfish was one of our club logos. the AVERAGE fish went 10-12 lbs. Our club record was 17+. All the lumps and rock piles have been buried. No weakies there any more. Heck why do ya think I have so much time to sit at this stupid machine. The fall aint much better. The fish go streaming down the beach like it was the Indy 500. Lucky to get one day out of a school then they are gone....
Cripes, any body wanna buy some tackle...

     So the debate will continue. I know I like fishing along the beaches and rocks and like to "read the water" in order to find fish. So all you guys who love Big and Little Monmouth and lower Sea Bright in the fall you've been warned.

In 2009 I worked on a story for The New York Times and made the below images of the work done in Long Branch.

Long Branch, February 2009

Completed West End beach replenishment, February 2009