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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have two military friends in town this week only. One deploys next week, other is transferring to Bethesda same week.

Are they still hanging on the piles around bridge? Don't want to waste a trip if I should drag for a flounder instead...

Thanks everybody
 

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Did not find any on buoys yesterday. Just one on a piling and one with a turtle all day. I am hearing and believing most are gone now.
 

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Or caught, kept, and eaten. They are getting hammered. More first timers this year than all the rest combined. Just another here today, gone tomorrow fishery. It almost a shame they don't taste like **** but, oh well!

R
 

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I agree , it seems like most are gone now. I have a friend that fishes them often ,3-4 x a week, h thinks so also.
We are going to 3rd island in a few minutes.. But looking for flounder and spanish.
 

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The water is 79 degrees, they are not gone. Some maybe but not all. Agreed a lot of fish have been killed. This is the first of many grievances that will be mentioned about lack of fish. The beginning of the year I said something about releasing a few but w all the charters now the regs need to be changed. That's off topic so sorry.
 

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If the Cobia fishing falls apart, a lot of charters will close up shop . No trout, no puppy drum, flounder are so so. I won't be coming down anymore if the Cobia fishing dies next year. Hopefully, you have a few more good years left before they're over harvested. They're a popular game fish and they taste good. My favorite Chesapeake Game Fish. I'd hate to see them gone too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Didn't mean to start a big thing everybody, I was just curious. Would like to show my buds a fun time before they leave.

Some good points though. I'm usually happy with a good picture but it's nice to keep one once in awhile.

I foresee similar regulations to drum coming, which probably wouldn't be so bad.
 

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Just to bad no one seem to recognize this massacre back in May. Every time I've been in the bay there is a flotilla of "towers" along with the horde of chummers so these fish don't stand a chance...they don't call them "brown clowns" for nothing. Like shooting ducks in a pond when there are that many pursuers. Absolutely no way this fishery can survive this onslaught. Just think stripers and flounders...heck, no different than what Omega is doing to the menhaden. There, I feel better now :)
 

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If you take notice there are many, many smaller fish being taken year after year. True, there are still some good quality fish caught. However, it has reached the point where the fishery is on a severe decline due to taking all these small fish. Time to change this fishery to a release only one for a few years to give them time to recover. Unfortunately, even it Virginia took such an approach, North Carolina would still pound them every year.
 

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I'm all about taking just what you need, but understand the life cycle of Cobia. They reach sexual maturity faster than rockfish, not as fast as dolphin. They are also known to spawn more than once a season. With that said, proper management is important as always.
 

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I enjoy fish for dinner, but in my 62 years I have seen so many fisheries collapse it scares me. Weakfish, stripers, mackerel, sea trout, winter & summer flounder, and cod are all dwindling and the list goes on. Further, as one species fades out more pressure is put on other species; tog for example. I don't know what the answer is but we need to address our fading species before it is too late. Personally I do not think catch and release of our true game fish, stripers, cobia, trout and red drum would effect the charter business that much. I might be wrong but I believe a charter of 6 fisherman would rather catch and release 12 stripers, drum or cobia in a day then catch 1 and keep it. People travel all over he world and spend big bucks to catch and release bill fish, tarpon, and other gamefish. Please do not respond to this post by saying that these species are not diminishing because unfortunately you are wrong. Just think back to your catches 5 years ago.
 

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Looking solely at citation data, this year has been a great cobia year. Last year was a low year for citation sized fish. Not sure why the bounce back this year, but cobia fishing has been good all summer. (except last week, last week sucked!) Having said that, I would like to see a boat limit of 4 fish per boat. That would go for comms, and rec's alike. Some will say that's to many, and others will say it's to low. I say four based on everything else. Folks are allowed, 5 specks, 4 spades, 4 sheeps, 4 flounder, 3 pups, 3 kings, and 3 togs. Seems like 4 is a good number.
 

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Vinceg, you are correct sir. Until its about the resource and not about the individual, these fish dont have a prayer. Any of you that have taken a big spawner, regardless of species, have no right to ***** when the fishing goes to ****. I dont care if its legal or not. We need to start policing ourselves when we know its the correct thing to do. We need more release pics on this board than kill pics for starters. I would live to read this one day. " had a great day on the water today. We ( 3 of us ), Caught 4 - 70 lb cobes sight casting, all released unharmed. Kept one 40" for dinner."
 

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I have heard with my own ears and from what others have witnessed, more people targeted cobia for the first time ever this year than ever. I get it, with all the pictures on the web, everyone, including me, wants to get in on the action. The scary part, is what these other anglers have already cautioned, too much single species pressure and poof...

Here is a classic example; this recent catch. Three large breeding age fish. Caught and kept by a dad and two minor children who presumably live in the same place. Did they really need to keep three to eat? What are we teaching our children? I cropped the faces because my point isn't to call these folks out, just show what we're doing here.

Poof! R

image-3964692106.jpg
 

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A lot of greed going around. I used to be guilty as well. But we need to see some fish released. A lot of charter captains keep the charter's limit plus the captains and mates fish which is not needed. It's only because the captain wants a bad ass dock shot. But I can tell you these guys are relying on cobia for a living but don't realize they are ending their careers at the same time.
 

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The fish are under a lot of pressure and I hope they can endure it. There will be lean years regardless, which will cull the non-die hard cobia fisherman. They have been under this pressure before back in the early 90's when Wallace's was the cobia capitol of the world (as the shirt said). There would be 100's of boats anchored from Buckroe to York Spit fishing for cobia and the afternoon was full of cobia being slung on the docks at Wallace's. So there is a glimmer of hope that this popular species can sustain themselves with the current pressure. That doesn't mean that management shouldn't review their options and certainly the fishery has changed over time. One thing that remains the same is that the legal commercial catch is low, but don't think for an instance that recreational effort can't have a negative effect on the stock of fish...especially with added charter pressure. Do charter captains have to mandatory report their daily catch like other commercial license fishermen participating in other fisheries? This may provide interesting data and would be interesting to know. As far as I know, there were no dedicated cobia charter captains 25 years ago and only a few chasing the species during the week (i.e. A-Team).

I am not for a 100% release fishery and I kill my fair share of fish (some big, some small). I have for the last 25 years. I also release more than I kill and more than I ever did back in the 90's. I believe it is fair to say that most of the seasoned, dedicated cobia fishermen release many fish...certainly many more than were released in the 90's (the thought was unheard of). Of course the fishery has changed over time and so has the size composition of the catch (likely due to fishing methods). I am guessing there will be an increase in the number of cobia tagged this year for the VGFTP. It will be interesting to see what the return rates are on these fish for this year (tagged this season and caught again this season), since we all assume that effort is very high this year. I do participate in the program and have tagged a fair amount this season - none have been returned yet (another glimmer). I did have a return from a fish I tagged in 2012.

Management is tough and there are lots of considerations and factors that change over time....and that is just in our waters and doesn't include what happens to the stock when it leaves. I think everyone that chases these fish with a passion wants to see this great fishery continue. It's going to take good management and self control....definitely a delicate balance.
 
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