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I'm sorry, but while there were "some" nice fish caught well up into the bay during the last couple weeks, it was hardly a "very good year ... in the Bay" Lots of folks that are better fishermen than me, had marginal to minimal results, and lots of empty trips...

We got the double whammy of very warm temps holding the fish up North combined with the cumulative effect of one more year of devastating abuse of the Bay's Menhaden.

Only question is how long before the Striper fishery is completely destroyed in the bay. Very frustrating.

http://www.pilotonline.com/sports/o...cle_ad939122-b0ff-11e5-8800-83241eecc497.html
 

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Wow, I'm surprised and sad that Dr.Ball a local, could write an article implying that our local bay rockfish fishery is in good shape. That's definitly how i read her article. Bang? No! Wimper maybe. From my own personal experience and from sifting through the many posts on Tidal fish i think most would agree, that "BANG" is grossly misleading.
Im aware that good fish were caught farther up river for the those that had the means to get there, but i hardly see how that constitutes a bang.
More importantly, I think it's reckless to write such things when we as a community are in the middle of a fight trying to save our bay.
Am i wrong?
 

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You are correct. She used to post on this site but I have not read anything from her in awhile. I hope our representatives don't read the pilot. It does mislead one to think that the bay is doing well.
 

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Wow, I'm surprised and sad that Dr.Ball a local, could write an article implying that our local bay rockfish fishery is in good shape. That's definitly how i read her article. Bang? No! Wimper maybe. From my own personal experience and from sifting through the many posts on Tidal fish i think most would agree, that "BANG" is grossly misleading.
Im aware that good fish were caught farther up river for the those that had the means to get there, but i hardly see how that constitutes a bang.
More importantly, I think it's reckless to write such things when we as a community are in the middle of a fight trying to save our bay.
Am i wrong?
AGREED! Very misleading article.
Shame on her to imply that sport fishing for rock in area is good shape.
 

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Wow, I'm surprised and sad that Dr.Ball a local, could write an article implying that our local bay rockfish fishery is in good shape. That's definitly how i read her article. Bang? No! Wimper maybe. From my own personal experience and from sifting through the many posts on Tidal fish i think most would agree, that "BANG" is grossly misleading.
Im aware that good fish were caught farther up river for the those that had the means to get there, but i hardly see how that constitutes a bang.
More importantly, I think it's reckless to write such things when we as a community are in the middle of a fight trying to save our bay.
Am i wrong?
No, you're quite right.

Her nails look great though...
 

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I'm sure she just got caught up in the emotion of one or two decent outings. Her history/experience and her recollection may be part of the problem. Many have shared their views that, a decent day or two is far from what the fishery was like when menhaden were so thick it was hard to get out of them in order to catch fish! There is no disputing this year, more people had "a decent day or two" as opposed to the last 3-4. In my own experience, regardless of the increased minimum size from 18" to 20", there were over 300 fish caught and released over the gunnels of Ricochet during course of this season. That is more than the last 3 years combined. In addition to this, this year (last day) is the first time since November 2012 I have had a fish over 40" on the deck. The other was a hook up on a stretch that got off early in the fight but, undoubtably was a 40 plus pounder by the feel of it. image-3242942631.jpg Anyway, it's easy to get caught up in the moment and lose perspective on the overall state of the fishery. Much like those who freak out over weather extremes as opposed to considering overall climate; which requires a much longer sampling to determine any definite trends. My 2 cents
 

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It seemed like there was a strange "cut off line" in the bay, just below Rapp, where the bait just stopped showing on DF.
No Bait ,no fish. (small amounts of bait, small amounts of fish)
I did catch a larger number of fish than in last 3 yrs ( I had to run ) but the fish were VERY much smaller and no larger numbers than I did "back in the good days". Due to lack of sufficient forage, many of the fish this yr, will never grow much older.

This cut off kept many in lower bay off the water, Heck, some of us were even talking about putting some furniture back in my place in D-vile for rock season.. Dr Ball is aware of the situation and is seen as representing fishermen (persons). Sadly she had a chance to say something and didn't.
 

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BTW, I think this "cut off line" was a " Bulge" of bait that expanded south from protected areas, once the menhaden reduction fleet had to quit fishing.
 

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While the Menhaden may have seemed to be fairly plentiful above 42 and the cut channel, there wasn't a lot of proof that the bait up north on the finders were Menhaden. In the couple of times I fished north, there were plenty of silver sides.

In the case of the lower bay, we saw no Menhaden and did not find any in the bellies of the fish we caught.

So while we had a decent year striper fishing up the rivers, it was a very bad year in the lower bay and it is likely the result of no Menhaden in the lower bay.

Kevin
Weekend Mistress
 

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Just my .02 but the last trios I took up at point lookout the larger fish we caught were full of mantis shrimp and I don't believe they are native to the bay, could be wrong but if correct I would think they had to be in or near the ocean recently before being caught.
 

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Shrimp

Just my .02 but the last trios I took up at point lookout the larger fish we caught were full of mantis shrimp and I don't believe they are native to the bay, could be wrong but if correct I would think they had to be in or near the ocean recently before being caught.
You are very wrong! Bay has been full of mantis and some white shrimp for the last 20 years that I have been fishing deep. Often found them in bellies of grey trout.
Also on stripers not being in lower bay, my observation is that fishing got progressively better as we moved into late December. It appears that water is staying warmer longer and maybe we will have a good run in January & February. This will be great for the netters since they will be able to gobble up vast amounts of the trophy fish. What about us? Why in the world cannot we have a January striper season and give up October?
 

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I, personally, would be against the October for January season swap. I fish from kayak or canoe during the fall season in the local rivers. I have been doing this for the last 20+ years. A typical fall I can easily catch limits of fish up to 28 inches, but my season is usually done, for all practical purposes, by the first week in Dec when the water hits 42-44 deg. This year was different. The water is still warm, I caught fish on Dec 30, and not a single fish over 19". Plenty of fish but all very small. Also, typically I have a two week period during the season when 3-6 inch menhaden show up along with larger striper. That never happened this year - the first time I remember that not occurring. On a side note, I typically catch a few fish each year with mantis shrimp on their stomachs - typically when other bait is scarce. I don't know about this year since I didn't have a keeper!
 

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Mantis shrimp are native to the Bay. We caught a couple 30" fish last week (first keepers of the season) and the only thing in their stomachs were mantis shrimp. They were fat healthy looking fish but did not have any menhaden in them. The lack of bait in the lower bay is discouraging. I only fished 4 or 5 times this fall but every time bait was sporadic and bird action was minimal. Hopefully the winter season is better.
 

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bait

Mantis shrimp are native to the Bay. We caught a couple 30" fish last week (first keepers of the season) and the only thing in their stomachs were mantis shrimp. They were fat healthy looking fish but did not have any menhaden in them. The lack of bait in the lower bay is discouraging. I only fished 4 or 5 times this fall but every time bait was sporadic and bird action was minimal. Hopefully the winter season is better.
Casual observation and sporadic anecdotal observation does not equate to the lack of bait. Fishing charters from the Potomac to in and below the Rap has demonstrated no lack of menhaden and bay anchovies. So much bait on the East side down to the range light!
 

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Call it what you want but there were no menhaden in the areas I fish this year. I'm not saying the whole bay is like that, just the areas I fish. First time I have ever seen the complete lack of menhaden during the fall season. Maybe they are still up the bay too, given the warm water this year? Bay anchovies/silversides were thick this fall.
 

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Fished up north of the Cut, 13 miles from MD line. The big fish we caught had menhaden 6-9" long. The smaller fish 20-26" were mostly empty bellies. All were following a school of bait.
 

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We fished in MD waters and into VA the last 2 times out. The bait was thicker than I have seen in a long time and they were menhaden. The gannets were sucking them down and all of the fish we caught were big and fat. We drifted on a school of bait 30 ft deep for well over 2 football fields. Now this may all have been in one concentrated area and we just happened to be there but we had at least an hour drift on fish with the finder filled from top to bottom. I haven't had that in many years. The grade of fish was a little smaller than the old days or what I remember 26-29 with over a dozen over 30's and some in the mid 30's but all of the fish with the exception of the few smalls we caught were fat and healthy. To me that says that the bait was big menhaden since the smalls couldn't eat it. A healthy fishery needs both peanuts and mature adult menhaden. We aren't there yet that's for sure but it's better than it has been at least for us this year.
 
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