serving fisherman from 1976- 2016
Fishing Review for 2012
Spring fishing started early with Mark M. having the first Bass weighed in store this year. Mark also went on to win Simply Bassing this year with a 45 pound bass caught in Holgate that he caught near the end of May. Bunker were not real co-operative this year to be able to snag form the beach. The main body of bunker were once again to the north with boat fisherman having to make a long run to Island Beach and north to get in the action.
Surprise fish of the year was the amount of Weakfish that showed up in the bay. Some people had never caught one before and didn't even know what these pretty ones were that they were catching. This fishery reminded me of the okd days when people would fish under the lights off the dock and just catch fish. It made pink fin-s come out of retirement. Some people even wanted purple worms if they could find them.
Tuna fish once again showed early and it was a great fishery before things slowed down again. There was a decent showing on the first fishing day of the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna contest with some surprises taking Top Honors.
There is NO way to describe the Surf fishery that took place this summer. If you threw a hook in the water you caught a fish. King fish and spots or small bluefish. This summer made fisherman out of people that never fished before. Fluke fishing from the surf was another thing that many anglers had never experienced. It had boat fisherman keeping their boats tied to the dock and they would grab their boats rods and gulp and head to the beach.
Fluke fishing in the bay started early and ended early but what was there was Blowfish. Usually we have blowfish in the fall but this year it was there all summer. It made great fishing for everyone including Charter boats when they could not get outside. Sea bass, tog and fluke all had its up and downs this summer while fishing in the ocean. For some reason it was not the best on the south end.
Crabbing that everybody loves that was non existent in this area this year.
Holgate opens with just a little delay because of some work on the entrance. Holgate opening is something that surfcasters look forward too each year. Not only is Holgate a nice place to fish it is a great place for families to enjoy Mother Nature, to clam or for some to net Mullet. This year there was an abundance of Mullet and it hung around for along time.
Each year we have a period of waiting and while we wait for the bass to get here you have boats heading offshore for chunking and trolling Tuna. Some trips were excellent and others they came home empty.
Annual event is the Surf Fishing Classic which with the warm ocean started very slow. Early in the contest a larger bluefish showed up but they were few and far between. Striper fishing was not red hot either as we waited for the ocean temps to drop.
Another annual event is The Sea Shell Striped Bass Tournament. This tournament is always know for bad weather but never so bad that people had to pull their boat out of the water. Little did we know at that time that this for the most part would be the end of fishing for many for this year. With boats coming out of the water and the threat of the storm this tournament has less boats this year. Winning names this year were Brian Dress on his Bounty Hunter and Dave Bentley on his boat Re Bait. Both of these boat owners had damage to their properties along with the Sea Shell that sponsored the tournament.
On Oct 28th people were preparing for Sandy and or evacuating this island. There were a few that fished or tried to fish that day but here again it was the last that people would be back to the beach for awhile. Little did we know that Sandy would do the devastation to this island that it did. Residents were not allowed to come to the island to the 5th of November and that was only for a short period of time. This resident opening did not include Holgate.
With a lot of homes and business having severe damage the LBI Surf Fishing Classic was ended on Oct 28th. Prize monies were paid to the leading fish with Joe C. winning the Bass with a 48 pounder caught on a clam. Martin S took top honors with his 16 pound plus Bluefish.
People are allowed to fish on the beach and they are catching some stripers like they usually do at this time of the year. The sands of the beach have shifted a lot and jetties that were not exposed are showing. There are new sand bars off the beach and there is changes in Little Egg Inlet. We all we be reading the water to know where to fish or run your boat.
As I write about the year a lot of people are still displaced and a lot of businesses are not open. Sandy has had an effect on many of us and it will take awhile for us to recover but we are working on it everyday.
Sun Oct 28th
Thank you to all of you that have offered to help us get ready for the storm and have offered us a place to stay off the island.Sunday at 9 pm. The winds are from the NE at 30 and gusting to 45 and it is raining.
Mon Oct 29th
Things are not good here this morning. There was a lot of water in the street at high tide. We do know a 10:30 am that we do have water in the store and we have a while before we reach high tide in the bay. If you are refusing to vacate the barrier islands Gov. Christie, suggests: "For those who are staying, especially if you live in a one level home, bring water, an ax or hammer, and some food into your attic. Your roof is your highest level, and you might need to break through to survive. A hammer can break things in case you need, too.
"On Monday about 3:30 in the afternoon the power was cut to the island.High tide on the beach was a 930 but by 5 pm the tide was starting back up the street.
At 7 pm Gene yelled to me look at this-- look at all this foam this is the ocean coming down the street. Laying in bed we could hear things crashing in the garage so we knew the water was coming in again. This time it came in the back room and then the front room downstairs. The water got up to the first step in the house. By 1230 am the water was receding in the house and street. The first floor of the house got about 30-40 inches in it.
I thought my car would be safe by parking it high at the movies by the Acme but during the night time I could see the water had reached the Acme. My car as high as it was had water in it.
Most of you know that I have lived on LBI my whole life and gone thru a lot of storms but this one had the highest tides that I have ever experienced. In 1992 the store had 4 inches of water in it--- this time about 30 inches of water. Enough to do a lot of damage.
Sat Nov 3rd When I left the island today the water had come back on and they were working on the electric
When we get back it will be time to tear the store a part. All the electrical sockets have to be pulled out of the wall and replaced, electric baseboard heaters and hot water heaters to be replaced. In the store all our pegboard has to be taken down and replaced as by the time we were in there on Wed. it had already buckled that fast. I do not know if it was from being wet or the force of the water as we all know how powerful it can be. With the amount of water we had in the store it was strong enough to turn over freezers and refrigerators
.We have a pretty good start on the house it is more or less a drying out process right now until we can put it back together. Life will be different in my household as the house is totally gas but we will get by with electric heaters and a hot plate
Mon Nov 5th Grab and Go day! Monday was a big shock to people as they returned to the island today to check their property. It first hits you as you approach the bridge and you see all the boats that do not belong there. Today it looked great compared to how it looked on Tuesday night. Having stayed thru the storm that shock factor was not there for me it was more of seeing my neighbors reactions where some of them just walked around in circles.
The officials of Long Beach Island have done a great job handling this massive job.
I would also like to thank all the fireman, policeman, the emergency management people and a whole bunch of other people that have volunteered there time this past week. They have been putting in very long days and had very little time for themselves. Thank you to all of you that are to numerous to name.
Time to pack my bags I am going home and I can't wait.
Nov 9th Long Beach Island residents and homeowners will be allowed to return Saturday after Gov. Chris Christie lifted his vacuation order, an island mayor said Thursday evening. Reminder if you are returning to the island there are no stores open so bring food and water and what ever else you need. In my case the house is all gas so we have bought some electric heaters and a hot plate. It will be so good to be back in my house even though their are things to be done we can live with it.
Going Home Nov 10th Some people call the glass half empty and some people call it half full. During this storm you found out a lot about the people of LBI and their love of this place. Once again thank you to all to that worked so hard to get us home and to those that gave endless hours guarding our homes and business during this disaster. Thank you to all that fed the volunteers and those that gave them shelter and to those volunteers thank you just doesn't seem enough to say for all that you have done.I know it will take awhile but the sooner we get started in cleaning up from this disaster we will be able to start to get our lives back in order. Our first priority is getting back in the house once we do some grocery shopping on the way home. Then to get the electric on in the house. We will start working on the store and I know that I have a meeting with one of my insurance adjusters. I wish that I had been able to stay on the island the whole time but the lack of heat did me in.
When we returned last Sat. and started working in the store I got very nervous with all the fire sirens going off and wanted to home knowing the electric was on. Actually it turned out well as my flood insurance adjuster showed up.
On Sunday we returned back to the store and put a long day in packing away undamaged merchandise and ripping out pegboard and a lot of heavy duty cleaning. We lost some merchandise but our big loss was refrigeration. Today we started to put it back together. Pegboard is going back up and some painting is beginning.
Gene tells me that we will be open in a couple of weeks. It is hard to believe it but with his hard work it looks like it maybe possible. We may not have any refrigeration at time but we have folks stopping in ever day that want to bring in their reels that were underwater. December is always a month when gift certificates are a popular item that we sell.
Everyone knows how I love Holgate. To me it is one of the most beautiful places around. I have fought since the late 60s for beach access to that area. We have had lots of erosion problems but we have also had ownership problems too. What land belongs to whom? Some belongs to a individual, some to the state and some to the federal government but some of this land belongs to you and me because of the public trust law in the state of New Jersey.
It has been a long time since the Federal Government wanted to work with us ( the people) with anything having to with Holgate but they have asked for some help to clean up this area and New Jersey Beach Buggy has offered. NJBB is asking us (the public) to help with this project.
I am now asking you to Show Some Love and Volunteer your services for this joint effort. There are a lot of us that are from the age of 55 to 90 that have been fighting to keep this for our children so now we need that younger generation to get out there and be a part of this so maybe you will have it for your children.
Don't be one that just thinks about it DO IT.
Beach clean up is March 17th at 8 am. You will met in the parking lot. Coffee and donuts will be provided along with hot dogs for lunch.
There are no guarantees that Holgate will always be there for us. One storm could wipe it out but as long it is there it is nice to be able to go out there and enjoy and by working together is a step in the right direction.