Oceanic Pier Gets A Good Cleaning
It was a beautiful weekend, the beach towns were packed like a typical summer weekday. The traffic that piled up on Friday was reminiscent of summer. A three day weekend will do that when the temperature is predicted to hit seventy degrees. The boardwalks were packed and the line at Thrashers was insane. I spent Friday afternoon and evening running around fishing here and there, checking out the crappie and yellow perch action and even throwing bucktails at the Indian River inlet for grins and giggles. Sometimes it is fun just to go through the motions. So what else do you do on an Indian Summer February afternoon besides go fishing? Go scuba diving of course.
I text JJ at the Oceanic Pier on Friday night and said we would be down there Sunday late morning to catch the slack tide and do a little scuba diving to help clean up some of the snags around the pier. We have been trying to get down there for a while now and this weekend was perfect conditions. Okay, Brian Asher did the diving, I stayed up top, bubble watched, kept an eye out for boats, and hauled over whatever he attached to the lift bags. He found a lot of junk in the water around the pier. JJ and Bear have spots marked on the pier with a black “x” that let anglers know there is a snag in front of them. That was our first stop, check all the known snags. The big one that was a nuisance all summer must have washed out or covered over in the latest storm. So that is no longer an issue, and about fifty feet in front of the pier, there is a shelf about thirty feet deep, covered in sand bags and shells, which is weird.
Video of the chair life
Brian cleaned up a mass of snags that was literally just a large ball of line and gear. That area is now clear. Then he went inside the pier area and looked around there and the area behind the pier where the jet skis are launched. He found some more masses of line and gear. He was using his lift bags to float these to the top and we would use a tow rope with a hook to haul it over the rail of the pier. One of the lifts he did popped up really fast when it broke loose from the bottom. As it was being hauled out of the water we realized it was a plastic chair. Which was covered in so much life it looked like something you would see on the Dutchman ship in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Sean Lincoln saw the picture and called it Neptune’s Lawn furniture and that name has since stuck. The chair was encrusted with sponges and all kinds of tube worms. We found four baby tautog and five blennies, as well as countless baby crabs and enough shrimp for a cocktail. That started the Forrest Gump jokes. All the critters were put back in the water to grow up. The chair had to be removed, it was in a bad spot and snagging lines which costs the Oceanic Pier money on the rental rods replacing gear all day. Not to mention it shouldn’t be in the water anyway. I don’t know how long it was down there, but the growth was amazing. Brian found a few other snags and once he was out of air in the second tank he called it a day.
It was a great afternoon helping JJ and the boys get junk out of the water around the pier. We have some more to pull out of there, but for the most part the pier is now snag free where the “x” marks the snag spots. Every storm and heavy surge brings more junk into that area where it tends to collect, so I am sure we will be back soon to look for more throughout the year. If you want a great pier to fish with a lot of life around it, check out the Oceanic Pier when it opens back up in a few weeks on the weekends, until the season really kicks off. The fishing there is really good most days, and you don’t need a license, just pay the fee to use the pier. We ended the day at Harborside with orange crushes, steamed crabs, and blackend mahi tacos which were absolutely amazing.