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Virginia charter outlaws: Be afraid, be very afraid
Some people never learn.

It was surprising to read the account in the Virginian-Pilot about last week's raid by federal agents on charter fishing boats tied up on the Northern Neck and Rudee Inlet.

As first reported by the Sun, special agents of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration armed with search warrants boarded at least four boats as part of their three-year investigation of illegal striped bass fishing in federal waters. Agents confiscated radio records, cell phone records, GPS units, client lists and fuel logs.

A grand jury also is reviewing evidence and calling witnesses.

But charter captains brushed off the show of force, preferring to see a snowball rather than an avalanche.

Capt. Trick Standing of Virginia Beach told the Virginia newspaper that charter captains were viewing the raid as "a warning."

"I don't know what the fuss is about," he said. "They've done all this work, but there were no tickets issued--nothing to show for it."

Capt. Mike Romeo, whose boat was searched last week, said, "They're spending millions of dollars launching helicopters and planes, and sending out boats, for a couple of fishing tickets."

Someone should tell the good captains and their colleagues that Feds armed with search warrants don't issue tickets. Grand juries aren't convened for a judicial fire drill. If NOAA has been investigating poaching in federal waters, it's not seeking $100 per fish fines.

It's a poorly kept secret that commercial boats, charters and recreational anglers all stray three miles off shore and into federal waters in search of the big stripers. The problem has become so acute that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission complained to NOAA and the Coast Guard last year.

And if we learned anything from the eight-year sting of poaching on the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River, it's that federal law enforcement officers take their time. By the time they finally wrapped up their Chesapeake/Potomac operation, they convicted 19 men and got prison time for 15 of them. They collected $1.66 million in fines and restitution and put folks out of business.

This investigation is being handled by the same Justice Department prosecuting team.

A couple of tickets? Virginia poachers should be so lucky.

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/outdoors/blog/2011/03/virginia_beach_caharter_captai.html
 

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"Virginia Charter Outlaws: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid". Who the hell wrote this? Who is Candus Thomson? Is she an undercover agent for National Marine Fisheries? Did SHE board any on the boats that were mentioned in here article??? What the hell happened to innocent until proven guilty? Was she there when the captains were interviewed? The answer is NO...to all of the above questions, yet she would have you believe, by the content and tone of her article that everyone of the captains in question is guilty of poaching striped bass.

I fish for a living and I abide by the rules so I would say to Candus Thomson quit playing judge and jury and stick to writing your column.
 

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tired of this

Candus Thompson is typical media trying to take a story and mold it to her own...She is as worthless as Media as Most of the Va and MD
Congress who turn thier backs to the menhaden issue... To me thats more Harm to the stocks of Rockfish and others that depend on that food source... more than a 3 mile line... Your targeting the wrong people.. Maybe we would not have to venture past the 3 mile limit if the Menhaden stocks were at a Normal level... Plenty of bait plenty of fish... You want to impress me , go after those guys who protect and increase harvest in this industry... This is the Problem , let's put some Undercover agents on a Fleet boat... just to see what they find

Dang I forgot the monies from that help pay for the Kiss butt country club homes they live in ... WHo wants to give up that Right!
The Blind Leading the Blind or should I say the green leading the green,,,,,, Funny how the ones who turn thier backs on this PROBLEM are the ones with the all the funds and backing :nono:
 

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"Virginia Charter Outlaws: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid". Who the hell wrote this? Who is Candus Thomson? Is she an undercover agent for National Marine Fisheries? Did SHE board any on the boats that were mentioned in here article??? What the hell happened to innocent until proven guilty? Was she there when the captains were interviewed? The answer is NO...to all of the above questions, yet she would have you believe, by the content and tone of her article that everyone of the captains in question is guilty of poaching striped bass.

I fish for a living and I abide by the rules so I would say to Candus Thomson quit playing judge and jury and stick to writing your column.
Rebel, :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
 

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This says it all.........Capt. Mike Romeo, whose boat was searched last week, said, "They're spending millions of dollars launching helicopters and planes, and sending out boats, for a couple of fishing tickets."

phoowee!
 

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Candus Thompson is typical media trying to take a story and mold it to her own...She is as worthless as Media as Most of the Va and MD
Congress who turn thier backs to the menhaden issue... To me thats more Harm to the stocks of Rockfish and others that depend on that food source... more than a 3 mile line... Your targeting the wrong people.. Maybe we would not have to venture past the 3 mile limit if the Menhaden stocks were at a Normal level... Plenty of bait plenty of fish... You want to impress me , go after those guys who protect and increase harvest in this industry... This is the Problem , let's put some Undercover agents on a Fleet boat... just to see what they find

Dang I forgot the monies from that help pay for the Kiss butt country club homes they live in ... WHo wants to give up that Right!
The Blind Leading the Blind or should I say the green leading the green,,,,,, Funny how the ones who turn thier backs on this PROBLEM are the ones with the all the funds and backing :nono:
Thankyou I couldn't agree more.
 

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Personally , i cant wait to see how this plays out. I do not like Scofflaws, if a regulation has been made that im supposed to follow and so is everyone else and i follow said regulation it pisses me off bad to see others not follow and get away with it. If the feds have concrete evidence that some one is quilty i hope they burn em.:))
 

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Sometimes the news you read in the paper might be true, if the feds come up with information that leads to indictments, someone should be worried if they are involved illegally fishing. Good lawyers could help out those that are accused. Complain all you want ,there are plenty of reasons why rockfish are no longer as abundant as they use to be. Maybe someone in your area should have wriitten an article about it.
 

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If this IS the BIG BUST why did they wait for the OTHER 30 boats(Whatever the # was) to leave back home to do this raid??? 2-3Years of investigating and they wait until the FLEET is gone and raid the locals only????? Smells fishy doesn't it?
 

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You clowns in your 21' center consoles dont know what its like to take a paying group out fishing and not catch any fish..... And thats the bottom line... You might have done the same thing..... Hook and line isnt hurting the rockfish population I can promise you....
 

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the law is the law. If someone decides to break it for whatever reason and gets caught, stand up and take your punishment like a man.
They knew the risks and said hell with it.
If the feds are involved, it'll be alot worse than a $100 ticket.

The need to fish inside the EEZ/break the law just because a captain's got paying clients on board IMHO is not a legitimate excuse. Its called fishing - not catching. If your group doesn't understand that before they get on the boat, that just shows their ignorance about the sport.
Of course every captain would like to make their clients happy but in reality it just can't happen every time.

I have spent $1000's over the years fishing on offshore and striper charters out of OC MD, Oregon Inlet and Hatteras. We've had good days and bad. But I would never expect the captain to do something illegal to turn the day around.
If you're on a professionally run charter and the guys work hard to make the day successful but the fish don't cooperate, you'll come back again another time to that same charter.
I personally will not patronize any charters who participate in illegal activities.

Its funny how that video has now been removed by the owner - that speaks volumes!
If it was legit fishing/catching, there wouldn't have been any reason to remove it right?
Alot have seen it and can easily recognize the boat now.
 

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You clowns in your 21' center consoles dont know what its like to take a paying group out fishing and not catch any fish..... And thats the bottom line... You might have done the same thing..... Hook and line isnt hurting the rockfish population I can promise you....
This CC clown will assume the captains are innocent until proven guilty. I guess you do not want to afford them that right.
 

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If this IS the BIG BUST why did they wait for the OTHER 30 boats(Whatever the # was) to leave back home to do this raid??? 2-3Years of investigating and they wait until the FLEET is gone and raid the locals only????? Smells fishy doesn't it?
My understanding is they have been to boats in MD, NC and the Northern Neck area too. They know who has been out there. Everyone is saying they didn't right any tickets and S**T, this is beyond tickets they are going to a Grand Jury and will be handing out indictments not tickets.
 
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