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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just from some observations but I'm puting my money on a good year fishing wise for 2012.

Nature can throw many curves at us and I'm sure that over the next few months there will be a few nasty ones thrown our way. The key word there is FEW. Wildlife can take long winters and cold winters but it's rough on them in our area when winters are long and cold. We don't see it but many animals won't make it through the winter. This should be a good year because there just isn't enough winter left. This next weekend will be another cold snap but even then it doesn't look like a trend for our area. Lets face it. Nature could have already slammed us with six weeks of nasty weather and the potential for another seven or eight. Fourteen weeks of brutal winter would have taken a toll on the wildlife.

Normally by this time of the year the bait (minnows and grass shrimp) are scarce around our dock. Very cold water and ice makes it tough on them. This year the bait is plentiful and they are active in their feeding. Algae is still growing in the shallow tidal zones for them to feed on. So far there just doesn't seem to be any stress placed on this end of the food chain. By this time there are normally a few ducks feeding on the plant life around our docks. This year every day I have two loons and about five cormorants diving for baitfish. They can't even put a dent in the fish I see just looking down into the water.

The way I look at it and I may be wrong but the more minnows and shrimp that survive the winter equals to more breeding in the spring to fatten up the food chain. More food should equate to better feeding for the gamefish that will move in. The food chain back here is a lot like dominos and right now we are looking at some mighty big dominos.

I know we still have some winter ahead of us but keep in mind how much is behind us. I remember the weather channel one time when they were discussing winter in the Northeast. They said that for them our winter is December, January and February. December is gone. January will be half way through before the next cold snap hits. Sure March can be a crap shoot but it's too late by then. Sun is up longer and ain't nothing short of the earth stopping it's rotation that can screw up spring.

I'm thinking positive for the new season. I stand on the dock and look around and It's looking pretty good. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What happens to all the baitfish remaining when winter finally comes and the water eventually cools off? Is the current mild winter really good?
Like I said. They can take long winters and cold winters but long cold winters will take it's toll. On bad winters their numbers would have already been reduced. time is on their side now.
 

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I was back in a real shallow creek the other day. All the minnows you could want stacked up all around in the sun-warmed water. Here's to a good fishing year :thumbsup:
 

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The months of December, January, and February is known as meteorlogical winter. Having said that, by the end of this week, we're half DONE.

but hey, who's counting. :nuts:

I appreciate your optimism and am with you!

First week in February our average temperature starts to go up, and right now we're in what's called 'the dead of winter'.

was clamming on saturday and the water was NICE! :fighting:
loving this weather, i guess al gore was right. :razz:
 

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I was thinking the same thing Aquajoe, what happens if winter comes quick, the water temps plummet and the bait is caught where they shouldn't be. I saw a few robbins the other day and I SWEAR that I heard a laughing gull on January 2nd.

That being said, Chunking has seen this unfold more than any of us, and while I am purely speculating, I am sure he posts from past experience based on what he has witnessed back there.

Here's to a phenomenal 2012

FYI - PAPete - guessing from your handle you are from PA? If so, this is not a bash, just a heads up. If you are from PA, be careful out there because clamming is closed to non-residents outside of the summer. I can't even get a license with property in NJ because my drivers license is PA, weak sauce.

RyanF
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Even if the bottom dropped out temp wise it won't have a hard impact on the bait. They will slow down and move towards whatever warm water they can find and they will find it. They will move into quiet waters with less current. It's what they have been doing a lot longer than we have been playing with our thermostats. BUT. Harsh winter conditions could have been beating on them for about six weeks already with the potential for another six or seven more. Like I said earlier. Long cold winters take their toll. No matter how bad it gets the bait is looking at the worst a short cold winter. :thumbsup:
 

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I was thinking the same thing Aquajoe, what happens if winter comes quick, the water temps plummet and the bait is caught where they shouldn't be. I saw a few robbins the other day and I SWEAR that I heard a laughing gull on January 2nd.

That being said, Chunking has seen this unfold more than any of us, and while I am purely speculating, I am sure he posts from past experience based on what he has witnessed back there.

Here's to a phenomenal 2012

FYI - PAPete - guessing from your handle you are from PA? If so, this is not a bash, just a heads up. If you are from PA, be careful out there because clamming is closed to non-residents outside of the summer. I can't even get a license with property in NJ because my drivers license is PA, weak sauce.

RyanF
if he has a commercial license he is fine harvesting clams now.
 

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What I hope to see, is with the lack of snow north is a raritan bay in better shape the the past few. Less snow means less fresh water dumping into the bay. Hopefully this will mean we'll have a good spring bunker run that stays around the north this year.

I'd like to see the runs that we had a few years ago, bunker so thick around great kills that you'd see nervous water as far as the eye could see.
 

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Could be a very good year for crabs if many of them survive the winter in the mud. I know 2010 was unbelievable year for me in the Delaware bay for flounder but 2011 was not very good. I know in 2010 it was a very cool spring. I hope this spring will be cool so the water temps don't warm up too fast in the bay. Striper fishing will continue to be very good this year. If it continues to be a mild winter we might see the stripers early in the spring. I am talking about the big migratory bass. As far as the Delaware bay I believe it depends on the water currents and temperature as to what kind of year we will experience.
 

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when and if there is a deep freeze or sudden drop in water temps ,everything living will be in the mud until water warms and ususally in mud that gets a lot of sun.
If this was Florira and we had a quick freeze everything would die but life in Nj is smarter and they can handle a short deep freeze or cold blast
COME ON SPRING
 

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Go Fred!! Hope you're making lots of flounder rigs, 'cause we'll need a bunch with this good season coming up. Do some slip bobbers too. Who knows, if the weather stays moderate maybe more stripers and blues will be in the back also! - - AND, you'll be able to keep your tan with all these nice days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Go Fred!! Hope you're making lots of flounder rigs, 'cause we'll need a bunch with this good season coming up. Do some slip bobbers too. Who knows, if the weather stays moderate maybe more stripers and blues will be in the back also! - - AND, you'll be able to keep your tan with all these nice days.
Tieing rigs day and night float rigs included. Stopped wearing shorts because the girls just wouldn't leave me alone. :D
 
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