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Im trying to find my way through the cobia "jargon" but still cant make sense of whats going on. I only killed one last year. Still my favorite inshore fish and will be happy to catch and release. But they are tasty!!
 

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My take.

Start listening at 27 minutes for cobia. As I understand this, the 15 June closure will be for federal waters, not state waters. Most of our cobia comes from state waters which includes the bay. So this 15 June closure as I understand it will not apply to the bay or state waters (inside 3 miles just like striper) but VMRC will have to take action to reduce the ACL for 2016. VSSA recommended to the FMAC a few months ago that Virginia begin to formulate some courses of action to reduce cobia limits. Our recommendation was to put together 3 alternatives, sort of a high, med, and low approach.

1. High - 3 per boat with 1 over 50 inches
2. Med - 4 per boat.
3. Low - 6 per boat.

Then once we had general agreement on the 3 alternatives, let the angling public, charter captains, VSSA members, and fishing clubs discuss and try to arrive at a consensus. There is no question we have to reduce our take in Virginia so we all need to have honest, professional discussions on this topic and try to reach some sort of general agreement on what that should be. More to follow for sure.

 

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Cobia

My take.

Start listening at 27 minutes for cobia. As I understand this, the 15 June closure will be for federal waters, not state waters. Most of our cobia comes from state waters which includes the bay. So this 15 June closure as I understand it will not apply to the bay or state waters (inside 3 miles just like striper) but VMRC will have to take action to reduce the ACL for 2016. VSSA recommended to the FMAC a few months ago that Virginia begin to formulate some courses of action to reduce cobia limits. Our recommendation was to put together 3 alternatives, sort of a high, med, and low approach.

1. High - 3 per boat with 1 over 50 inches
2. Med - 4 per boat.
3. Low - 6 per boat.

Then once we had general agreement on the 3 alternatives, let the angling public, charter captains, VSSA members, and fishing clubs discuss and try to arrive at a consensus. There is no question we have to reduce our take in Virginia so we all need to have honest, professional discussions on this topic and try to reach some sort of general agreement on what that should be. More to follow for sure.

Mike,
Like VSSA's quick response to plans to manage cobia. Have already booked over two dozen trips for next spring/summer and really hope we will be able to capture a few. Feel strongly that they have to be regulated and would be happy personally with the Med 4 per boat for rec anglers including charters. Also we need also to push for making Cobia a game fish here in Virginia. Getting reports of more and more commercial fishing of these animals and this must stop at this time.
Basically we (mid bay rec anglers need this fish more than ever with the decline of trophy stripers and croaker in our local tidewater fishery
 

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Option 1, 3/boat. We all saw this coming. Definitely need to protect this fishery.

Does this mean NC will likely have to finally drop their two fish/angler limit?
 

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Practically speaking no difference between commercial and rec/charter fishing for cobia considering number of boats involved. Any day of the week the towers on the water look like a sailboat regatta. Need a season and 2 per boat. Unless you're a charter bringing home 2 would be a great day!
 

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One per angler, excluding the Captain and crew, per boat, period. Increase the size limit from 37" to 42" or more--a 37" fish has little meat on it. Fish to be tagged and released should not be brought on board.
 

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One per angler, excluding the Captain and crew, per boat, period. Increase the size limit from 37" to 42" or more--a 37" fish has little meat on it. Fish to be tagged and released should not be brought on board.
This is the second time I've seen you say a 37" cobia has no meat on it, and the second time I've thought you were crazy. Have you filleted a 37" cobia? Do you keep a 17" flounder? A 21" striper?? How does the meat amount compare? I'd like to see you eat a 37" cobia in one sitting and tell me you're still hungry. That's ridiculous. Other states have a 33" size limit. It's better for the fishery to keep little males over large spawning females.
 

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One per angler, excluding the Captain and crew, per boat, period. Increase the size limit from 37" to 42" or more--a 37" fish has little meat on it. Fish to be tagged and released should not be brought on board.
It's one per person now. Did you mean one per boat, or one per angler?
 

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I agree with the statement " It's better for the fishery to keep little males over large spawning females."

I wonder if discussion should include slot limit?
 

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I like the vessel limit. One per person, max of three. It might also help if people stop posting pics and videos of bloody decks and beating them in the head with a bat. It's a touchy feal world we live in
 

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Although large females are very valuable to the spawning stock, a larger minimum size limit ensures that these fish get at least one (maybe 2) spawning seasons in before being killed. Given the larger number of small fish, the protection of these fish could lead to a significant contribution to our stock. Consider the amount of eggs in ten 25lb female cobia versus the amount of eggs in 1 70lb female. Although the protection of large females is important, it doesn't hurt to consider the flip side as well - especially since smaller fish are more abundant.
 

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Although large females are very valuable to the spawning stock, a larger minimum size limit ensures that these fish get at least one (maybe 2) spawning seasons in before being killed. Given the larger number of small fish, the protection of these fish could lead to a significant contribution to our stock. Consider the amount of eggs in ten 25lb female cobia versus the amount of eggs in 1 70lb female. Although the protection of large females is important, it doesn't hurt to consider the flip side as well - especially since smaller fish are more abundant.
Its been a debate I have seen on many sites I have been on. :thumbup:
Personally, I returned all larger fish especially citation sized fish (except one flounder 30yrs ago for some reason, and maybe a spot or 2 I ate) I don't expect everyone to do that , And do not hold anything against those that do. As long as its legal to keep.
 

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I believe this "June 15" cutoff date is a rumor created by a misinterpreted statement in a question asked by Lewis during the meeting. Listen to Michelle's full update beginning around 27 minutes. At no point does she mention an actual date, just that a shortened season was under strict consideration. The "June 15" date gets thrown into a question asked by Lewis around 33:30. The date has to be arbitrary because Michelle -- who has just broken the news -- hadn't specified a thing.

If I'm wrong on this can someone please provide evidence from a government site proving the June 15 date is legitimate? Again, I think it's rumor spawned by a misinterpretation.

Meeting audio below:

 

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We wiped them out in the 60s, and we will do it again unless we take it upon ourselves not to do so. Three years ago, nobody was seen fishing for cobia on Windmill Bar. This past year there were 100 boats or more every weekend from June through August. Cobia are not a very smart fish. They are easy to target and easy to catch. Unfortunately, very little else is known about them. It is thought that those returning to the Bay are doing so to breed. If such is the case, then we need to reduce the numbers that we took last year (voluntarily will never work) if we want to have a fishery in the years to come. A limit per person and per boat is the only way of saving these fish. One/fisherman up to a limit of six/boat. One-five fisherman, one fish/fisherman. Six or more fishermen, six fish/boat. We have too many inspected charter boats coming into VA waters every day taking a limit of fish (up to 15 or more fish per trip). Likewise, a single fisherman should not be able to keep six/trip. Also, if there are reductions made to the recreational fishermen, there should be reductions made to the commercial fishermen (currently six/boat). VMRC is quick to limit recs, but not as quick to limit commercials. All must sacrifice or none IMHO.
 

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You might want to consider what happened to Stripers. I hear all of you blaming the Carolina boys for wiping them out 2 years ago and I agree, but if you keep killing all the small fish 100s at the time they won't get to be big fish. IMO your better letting the smaller ones go so they can become bigger ones. As bad as the fishing is for other fish and as easy as they are to catch, how many more boats do you think will target them this year? Just my opinion.
 

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Anybody that has seriously cobia fished or looked at f.b. knows these guys are doomed and have been for years now. Simply dropping the limit to 4 per boat is a joke and it positivley wont solve the problem, this will just slow it down alittle. I am not for a full closure, though it wont stop me from c&r fishing, but the limit has to be dropped to atleast 2 per boat. If not we will all be out of fish and the charters out of business. Further more the number one issue is carolinas 2 f.pp rule its like fishing the hotditch there it can be so easy on days.
Artifishal sportfishing
 

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I agree with the statement " It's better for the fishery to keep little males over large spawning females."

I wonder if discussion should include slot limit?
BTW, I had the flu for several days @ the time I wrote this. don't know what I was thinking other than, I would love to protect the larger females. Now thinking with a less foggy mind, about my limited experiences with cobia,, It would not be safe to try to handle larger ones gently for release... (cut the line fish in water, like shark?)

Sorry about side track
 

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I think we should protect the large female fish like we do the red drum. I think it would be great if they would develop very special citation for releasing the big cobia and the stripers too. What do you think?

Kevin
Weekend Mistress
 
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