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See Tidal Fish Fishing Report: for NY, NJ, RI, MASS, CT, MA, and NH. Large concentrations of of bass in some areas doesn't necessarily equate to a healthy stock. Montauk NY was very good but in other regions there are widespread complaints about the lack of quality stripers. In Maine, guides are going out of business because of the lack of what once was a thriving fishery. As guides like Capt. Dave Pecci and Capt. Doug Jowett point out its not due to the lack of forage as it seems to be abundant.

I personally know a guy that stayed on Matha's Vineyard a month ago that said the striper fishing was very dissapointing and he fished with a guide for three days.

Also in the VA. report they said to watch for a change in the striped bass regulations coming in December.

Norm
 

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I agree 100%. I'm still catching Rockfish but it takes more effort then it did 4 years ago.

Hopefully everyone will look ahead this time and reduce the amount of fish being killed before the stock gets too low again.

There is no reason we can not have a very stable population.It might mean different limits each year - adjusted to the abundance of Rockfish that are around.

Going to one per person per day EVERYWHERE would be a good start.
A 20 inch min. in the bay and a 30 inch spring/ocean limit would be a simple fix :thumbup:.
 

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Norm, this weak year for fishing off of Mass and Maine has also been attributed to the exceptionally unusual cold ocean water this year (thus shortening the migration pattern). RI, CT and NY have had their best summers ever with the world record nearly falling on several occassions. To point to regions who have had slow years and say the populations are down is the same as pointing at other regions that have had great years saying the populations are strong. It just cant be done.

I will say that I know that more bass are being found further off shore too. I just got a report out of NJ that there are large concentrations of bass 7-10 miles off the beach of Cape May while the Rips have been slow to date. (not that it is legal to catch them offshore but they are there). It just shows that migratory patterns are not the same evey year and this needs to be accounted for too.
 

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Yep!!!... I spend 3 weeks in ME at the mouth of the Kennebec chasing stripers 24/7, late July to early August. And yeah, pickens were slim the entire time. From what I heard from other fishing bums I met there, pickins were slim all along the NE coast. EXCEPT, I've heard thru the grapevine that Nova Scotia had one of their best stripers years for a looong time. So, go figure.
 

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I agree completely Capt Norm. There was a thread about this on another fly board. I posted this response.

I chase stripers, mostly in the ocean, from Cape Cod to NC. The schools of migratory fish are fewer, smaller and the fish themselves are generally smaller each year. That is not from a chart but from personal observation in a number of striper hot spots during the peak of their run. Clearly there are many who have their heads in the sand. When I mention this on fishing boards, guys point to the fact that they can catch some stripers. So can I catch some stripers. That is not the point. There are fewer large stripers. We are killing too many.

When I see two 30 to 60 pound stripers per fishermen being killed day after day all along the coast, it tells me that the species cannot take that kind of pressure.

When a fish population collapses, the fish disappear in the geographical extremes first. Maine is seeing a serious decline and so is NC. The upper Chesapeake Bay is also seeing a serious decline. It is sad to witness.

Yes we can still catch stripers. Here is one I caught in the mid CB a few days ago. That proves nothing. I catch fish just about every time out, because I go where the concentrations are. The point is I catch far fewer and smaller fish than several years ago, even though my equipment and skills continue to improve.


 

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Great Point!

WB,

I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis. I also fish the coast extensively, and it concerns me to see what happens along the VA & NC coast in the winter. This amounts to overfishing the very broodstock that we should be protecting. I'm sensitive to the fact that many skippers make a living booking trips for these fish. But I would welcome some limits on the number of fish and size of fish taken.

Saltrodder
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One thing the AFMSC overlooks is the fact winters lately are milder, clothing is much warmer and boats are much more reliable then in years past.All this means more pressure on the Rockfish in winter.

Years ago- cold winters gave the Rock a break.Our bay used to ice over solid - now we fish in sweatshirts in January.

Three years ago between Dec. 17th and the 31st - a huge school of big Rock was off #68 marker.Some days there were 150 boats there and just about every boat caught fish.The amount of big Rock taken was unreal.

Same thing happens off Va/NC in winter.Some charters even run two trips per day.

We might need to go to a C/R season in winter - similar to the flats.People will still pay to C/R big Rock. They won't pay to go fishing all day and not catch anything.

NC has a good charter C/R for giant Bluefins :yes: - alot of boats were booked solid.

If you look back into the 1970's - this is how the population got wiped out.Everyone took and took - then looked around and said " Where did they all go ? " :eek2:
 

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One thing the AFMSC overlooks is the fact winters lately are milder, clothing is much warmer and boats are much more reliable then in years past.All this means more pressure on the Rockfish in winter.

Years ago- cold winters gave the Rock a break.Our bay used to ice over solid - now we fish in sweatshirts in January.

Three years ago between Dec. 17th and the 31st - a huge school of big Rock was off #68 marker.Some days there were 150 boats there and just about every boat caught fish.The amount of big Rock taken was unreal.

Same thing happens off Va/NC in winter.Some charters even run two trips per day.

We might need to go to a C/R season in winter - similar to the flats.People will still pay to C/R big Rock. They won't pay to go fishing all day and not catch anything.

NC has a good charter C/R for giant Bluefins :yes: - alot of boats were booked solid.

If you look back into the 1970's - this is how the population got wiped out.Everyone took and took - then looked around and said " Where did they all go ? " :eek2:
Skip-

I modified your quote for emphasis.

Even if they cut the coastal limit to one fish over 28" and C & R after that it could help tremendously.
 

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All good points here and I agree. I believe the majority (not all) of us would agree to some reduction in the limits or a C/R period or both to maintain the health and quality of the striped bass population. So what do we do now? That's where I always get stuck.

Do we form a grass roots movement for change? I'm in.
 

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There lays the problem with fishery management. Most of the board members have an interest in catching the fish- rather then protecting the population.

Our DNR has a board with charter captains and MSSA reps. on it. Guess how they vote ??? I love when guys refer to the Rock as "theirs" :D - shows just how greedy some people are.

MSSA - IMHO - will not push to conserve big Rock because of the money the tournaments bring in.If MSSA pushes too hard- Gee - their tournament date is denied.Charters love to bring in huge Rock for their parties - big Rock mean more trips for them.

National level is even worse - you need to attend the meetings to see it for yourself :eek2:. The amount of BS and grand standing there is unreal.

One good thing coming about is alot of the guys who have been on the fishery boards for years and years are getting old.New blood will one day take over and hopefully look out first for steady fish populations.

The more fish around- the better for EVERYONE :thumbup:.
 

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The one controllable factor that stands out over and over again is what Skip raised concerning the impact of technology on winter and ocean fishing. While riding the Cape May ferry this November 1, I saw boats as far as the eye could see....presumably intercepting the migrating adult Stripers during a tourney. At the CBBT last December, I saw the same thing. I understand that, well into winter, we now have long lines at the boat ramps and crowded fishing conditions throughout the mid-Atlantic.

Growing up fishing on the Bay, I rarely saw people fish past October. I have yet to talk with a "true old-timer" who isn't astounded by the number of people fishing well into the winter. Combine this with improved technology for running farther, finding fish more easily and communicating with others about the find, you're left with a type of pressure that the Striper fishery has never experienced.

We're engaged in quite a fisheries management gamble at the moment. From what I can tell, fisheries managers are banking on the fact that the Striper population will be able to replenish itself at the awesome rates of the 90s and early part of this decade. Unfortunately, those rates occurred thanks to a moratorium that allowed the adult stock to build to a level that could generate a huge spawn.

With reproductive rates down, lately, disease rampant and the new factor of winter fishing, the odds seemed stacked against success of current management practices. The problem is that once the evidence becomes clear and convincing that the adult population is severely depleted and not being replenished at the expected rate, it will likely be too late to avoid another stock collapse. That seems to be the way things work in fisheries management.
 

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I agree one hundred percent. I would write a lengthy explanation but Skip and Bill both already said everything I wanted to.

Something is going to have to be done.
 

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So who is wrong?

The technical people (made up of scientists) from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission who say there are plenty of Striped Bass. Or those who have posted to this thread and say there is not plenty of Striped Bass.
 

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I lost all faith in the ASMFC about 4 years ago when I was told Sea Trout populations were still OK. The info they were using was from 2000.It takes 2-3 YEARS for all the info to reach the people in charge.

Then they ask a question and it requires a new study :eek2: - again a 1-2 YEAR delay.I've seen/heard this in person more then once.

You will often hear the ASMFC respond that they are bound to use the "best avaiable science". Real cop out in my book - they could get more info just by going out and talking to regular fisherman.

Watch this winter - the big Rock will get hammered -catches in spring of 2009 will be off - then hopefully they will do something. My guess is they will require more info :rolleyes: before using a common sense approach.


Best we can do as sportfisherman is to not enter the kill tournaments and try to release all Rock over 40 inches , even if it means going home with no Rock for dinner.Encourage your friends to do the same :thumbup:.
 

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So who is wrong?

The technical people (made up of scientists) from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission who say there are plenty of Striped Bass. Or those who have posted to this thread and say there is not plenty of Striped Bass.
What has been your experience? Do you trust your own eyes or scientists who are paid by groups with agendas?

If pure science ruled that would be one thing but science is colored heavily by fish politics.
 

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There are HUGE numbers of striped bass.......BUT.........You guys are on to something! I will throw my .02 in..........put an uper limit on the fish for a few years......." a keeper slot" if you will..........make it 20"-28" and then 34"-46" that way the HUGE breeding females have a fighting chance.........keep limit, one in the under and one in the over. AGAIN.....MY .02!!!
 

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There are alot of big Rock around (off the coast right now) but the huge schools of mid sized ones are missing.

Going back about 10-11 years - off Chesapeake Beach, it was very common in fall to go through a school of Rock (26-40 inches) with six rods pulling tandems.Every rod would get hit- most times two fish on each rod :thumbup:.Even 5 years ago- huge schools of mid sized Rock were around.Now there are fish-however they tend to be in 2-3 schools with alot of barren water in between.

Some charters were running 20 miles each way last year - just to catch their party 12 fish limit.Even in summertime- it was only a few areas that held good numbers of Rock.years ago- most only had to go 2-4 miles "out front" of their marina.

10 years ago in late January- I saw a school of Rock breaking the surface from the CCNPP to past Parker's Creek.This was almost 5 MILES of fish.They were 16-22 inches but the sheer number was unreal.Now we see a few very small schools.

The writing is on the wall- let's hope people read it this time.
 
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