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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not unexpected - James River water temperatures have dropped 9F from 57 to 48 over the past 6 days.
Sting Ray Point off Rapp - temperature dropped 8F from 54 to 46 over the same time period.

In comparison to past 2 years - water temperatures are approaching late Nov/early Dec. temps.

As others have suggested - the lack of bunker in the lower bay this year may be related to these higher temperatures (besides the netting pressure). If this is correct - we should see movement of bunker into the lower bay - soon. With bay season closed - and limited C&R fishing activity in lower bay - may not have many observing/reporting this movement.
 

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Would be nice to have an ocean season. Last year was a bust and the Bay season was tough having to go so far for some action.
 

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On the netting pressures. My understanding is that Omega stopped harvesting more or less on Nov. 7th or 9th as they got to their quota earlier than expected.
 

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As others have suggested - the lack of bunker in the lower bay this year may be related to these higher temperatures (besides the netting pressure). If this is correct - we should see movement of bunker into the lower bay - soon. With bay season closed - and limited C&R fishing activity in lower bay - may not have many observing/reporting this movement.
This has not been a very warm summer as compared to others, so not sure why the temperature has that much to do with it. IE There has almost always been lots of small bunker in the creeks daily around Hampton every year, but we didn't see much the last two years. This year there has been almost no bunker in the creeks or in the James River near Hampton or Newport News based on what we have seen. Has anyone else seen the typical amounts of bunker this year in our area?

Kevin
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Kevin, I think what he was referring to was the fact that the warmer waters held the menhaden in the upper bay and rivers because zooplankton and other food stuffs were still available. Everybody eats something and as long as there is food (and water when talking birds and mammals); no reason to move!!!

R
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Kevin, I think what he was referring to was the fact that the warmer waters held the menhaden in the upper bay and rivers because zooplankton and other food stuffs were still available. Everybody eats something and as long as there is food (and water when talking birds and mammals); no reason to move!!!

R
R - you are correct about what I was trying to suggest - that the warmer temps in the fall - allowed the bunker to remain in the upper reach of the bay and rivers - and still eat (plankton). Bunker - probably also have a physical optimum/tolerant temp range that in a "normal" year - with lower temperatures earlier in the fall - they would have already moved down and out of the bay by Nov and Dec to more hospitable temperatures (and food sources & spawning) just off-shore.
 

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My bad - I was referring to the overall lack bunker in the lower bay during the summer of 2015. IE Historically we have seen huge schools small bunker in the areas around Hampton & Newport News Area & occasionally we would come across schools of medium size bunker in the summers. In 2014 there was less around and 2015 it was almost nothing but glass minnows. So I was wondering if anyone else has seen this trend or seen much bunker in our area in 2015?

Kevin
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Saw that happening,,It so hard to get across what you mean when trying to condense it.
Thanks for posting temps change.. To late for me as I don't C&R.
Yep the bait moves out and fish follow. Throughout the yr, There does seem to be a strange and very noticeable lack of forage fish in bay below Gwynns Island. I don't believe it has to do with WTs There should be bunker in all areas of the bay! (that move out when WTs drop)

Most of time I can tell different types of forage on FF - they often show on screen very different..
My observations this fall, larger amounts of glass minnows seemed to be mostly on western side of bay.
Larger amounts of Menhaden on eastern side, dropping somewhat lower in bay. This is also what I found in Bellies of my fish and other peoples at cleaning station. ( I fished mostly Gywnns up to cut - not above )
Did see smaller amounts of shiners- New Point area and very very small amount of bunker @ york spit.

I tend to pay a lot of attention to Glass Minnows because my favorite fishing s for Mac's. I did not see as many schools (wolftrap down) this summer as I would think should be here. SO was very happy to see so many this fall. Hopefully we will see a good return of them to bay next spring to spawn.
 
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