This thread is not about complaining or gloom and doom.
I've chased stripers from the Carolinas to Cape Cod since the end of the moratorium. I've been watching the changes in the fishery, and the pattern I've seen is EXACTLY what more experienced fisherman have told me I would see. That fact is pretty hard to ignore.
It's not about whether or not someone in a certain area is having a good year or not. I always have a good year. But it becomes more work every year to find the fish. They are still there, but there are definitely fewer fish around.
In 1994, when I first started really chasing stripers regularly, once it became June, it didn't matter what direction you went, you would find breakers and countless schools of menhaden. Tons of stripers, tons of crabs and tons of bunker, all coexisting well.
Now, guys are talking about one or two schools of striper in the whole mid-bay??? WOW. Back then, the breakers were commonly 24" fish, with 30"+ fish underneath. No live-lining needed to catch them. We did that to catch fish over 36", if we slowed down enough to do it. Dr. Bee and Superfish taught me to use 10-12" croaker for bait, to keep the little 32" fish off the line. They were really good at that stuff. And I could go on and on with the accounts of how incredible the fishing was.
And this is no long yarn. Just go back into the TF archives and read the reports and look at the pictures for yourself, if you weren't around back then. I have personally made at least hundreds of fishing reports over the years, many times with people that are probably still lurking around here somewhere.
The fishery has changed DRAMATICALLY. Anyone who has done this for awhile knows this is obvious. Anyone who argues this is either new, or young, or maybe they just like to argue. I won't wast time arguing the obvious.
Does this mean the population is going to crash? I don't know. Stripers are very prolific breeders. A few really good spawns could make up o I guess we will see. I just think it's amazing how some of the guys I respect forecast this so exactly.
I've fished for Stripers for well over 40 years and I disagree with you on there being a problem, there seems to be very good numbers. I can only speak for upper + mid bay but In the 20 or so times that I have fished this year I have yet to have a problem catching keepers. there are many more schools around then just a few also, never ever think they are only where you see the fleets of boats. I think its a little insulting when you suggest that anyone that has a different opinion then you must not be experienced or just wants to argue. People are not always going to have the exact same mindset as you, when you make statements like that it just makes you look closed minded.