>>>>> DECEMBER 24, 2012 <<<<<
* SPECIAL EDITION *
I keep saying, "where did this year go" as we have now reached the week before the end of 2012. There was no Mayan calender apocalypse to end the world the previous week, but there probably will be a "fiscal cliff" this country will possibly be falling off after the new year.
It has been a while since the last NY BIGHT INSIDER and there is so much to discuss over the last month. With that, I am trying as best to get as much fishing news and events that I can remember and put together for this Special Edition - NY BIGHT INSIDER. Whenever I do get the time to go further in depth or answer any questions, I will.
How many chances is one given in life to make a change for the better....for people to limit or prevent destroying oneself or in this case, destroying the fisheries in a region? One only has to follow the New England Fishery Council and the never ending crash and burn management policies, especially over the past two decades.
Here was just one slide put up at the council meeting the prior week. What does it take for fishermen to wake up to a problem that most likely will not be fixed in our lifetime?
Here is the news this Christmas Eve morning as reported out of the GLOUCESTER TIMES - Online:
NOAA’s top regional administrator says he will “consider” applying a legal precedent presented by the Northeast Seafood Coalition that would allow for comparatively minor cuts in Gulf of Maine cod and haddock landings next year rather than the draconian cuts that would otherwise go into effect based on discouraging stock assessments.
The issue goes much deeper then throwing away multi-millions of taxpayer dollars to "fix" a once great American resource.
Sometimes during our lifetime, no matter how many chances are given, there are those "things" for lack of a better word, that you just cannot fix if you have the same people around you
For a little background on the COD CRISIS mess, this was one of the best articles I have seen written earlier this year, with a title that gets right to the problem: "the BLAME GAME":
~ CHRISTMAS WILL NOT BE THE SAME ~
As my my buddy Borehead from FISHERY NATION.COM posted on a number of New England fishermen and their families recently joining together for a memorial vigil for the two fishermen on board the FOXY LADY II who disappeared into the depths in the waters off Gloucester Massachusetts.
There was also another tragic accident that occurred of P-Town Massachusetts in November that took the life of Captain Jean Frottier.
I make mention of this as Borehead passed along that Captain Jean may have been one of the regular fishing industry "commenter's" in the Gloucester Times discussion known as "old fishermen.", and one who I have quoted in past threads. He said that even though he only knew of him through that internet forum, it touched him deeply.
(By the way, the fv TWIN LIGHTS was located by sidescan sonar in 200 ftw, and from what was last reported, Captain Frottier's body has not been recovered. BOSTON GLOBE: Friends devastated by loss of fisherman Fearless P-town scalloper emblematic of their lifestyle)
If you have a moment, take a look here at the pictures taken of the vigil:
Looking at the pictures at the service, it makes me think back to a statement made at the meeting in Wakefield Massachusetts where one of the speakers said this:
I don't have a Ph.D at the end of my name.....I am just a fishermen.
~ NEW JERSEY - YES....NEW YORK - (FILL IN THE BLANK) ~
From what I hear and see on the internet, there are many fishermen asking questions about the black sea bass fishery here in New York and New Jersey. IN fact, your not the only people asking questions about a fishery where as I was told by one captain:
We, meaning those doing the Mid-Atlantic Counicl presentation, and the fishermen in the audience, left this meeting with more questions then answers!
For those who missed this document:
It opened up a can of worms for both captains and fishermen on the issue of catching and landing fish in federal and state waters.
I am not going any further into this one topic, since there is another thread which went into the weeds on what has been made by NMFS, a topic as complex and intricate as Medicaid billing.
Needless to say, for those who keep calling and texting me if New York is open or will be open for catching black sea bass (for-hire/recreational sector) come January 1st, 2013, I can guarantee this... there will be some news breaking later this week!
I cannot tell you how many questions I now receive about finding parts for Newell Reels, especially as we go in the winter and fishermen now needing to get these reels serviced.
Second, it is becoming more difficult to find certain parts for these reels, especially if a part which is unique to the Newell Reel and cannot be replaced by a similar Penn part.
From what I am seeing, the price of Newell Reel parts when you can find them will make one question if it is worth fixing these reels. Now for those who are particularly fond of using Newell Reels, I have constantly stated to pick up any reasonably priced Newell Reels that are in good condition that come their way which you can cannibalize for parts when needed.
In particular, as I scan the world wide internet world, I did come across websites that offer Newell Reel parts for sale...and that if you really need them, you may need to make an ATM withdrawal:
This gear set was commonly used years back to "soup-up" the standard red Penn 4/0H when making the original YELLOWTAIL SPECIAL. At one point, I had a number of these gear sets due to making a good buy at 25 dollars a piece. I believe I sold them for just a few dollars more, and I was actually glad to get rid of them at that time as fishermen were gravitating to the all the new gold and silver reel jewelery.
Who knew there was money to be made in hoarding and selling Newell parts?
Oh by the way, thanks to Mike "Bluefish" who gave me the heads up on a very important tool:
As first reported in FISHING REEL REPAIR BY ALAN TANI - NEW! Minature Bearing Puller & Extractor!!!
I finally finished my new bearing puller design, and it is absolutely amazing. This is what I have been wanting to offer people..a surefire way to remove even the toughest frozen bearings.
To pull a bearing frozen inside the stainless Newell bearing cup, this is the size recommended to purchase:
1/8" - .125" - This will handle the standard Newell & Penn stuff
For further information this tool, along with finding aftermarket Newell Titanium bearing cups, bearings, and washers:
For a quick video on how this tool works:
If anyone does order this puller, let us know how well it works...and from what I was told by Mike, it seems to work as advertised.
Captain Greg Mercurio of the:
Has produced one of the finest and most in depth fishing videos I have seen which should give you a glimpse into the world class fishing that Captain Greg puts his customers on when fishing the Dry Tortugas and other far away virgin fishing grounds in the Gulf of Mexico:
Just yesterday when I was in the Bay, one of the regulars asked me why the latest BROOKLYN VI - OFFSHORE WRECK trip wasn't posted on the site.
For one as I told him, I had a major malfunction with my pricey Cannon camera that crapped the bed early in the trip as the hammers of hell fell from the skies and put my camera to sleep. I did luck out when Captain Michael Ardolino found the boats camera which I then slipped my SD card in and I was able to take a few pics during the rest of the trip. It has taken some time to not only clean them up, but also to write the story.
One shot in particular though, was the picture taken of this "out of the way" wreck which Captain Mike made his way to in hopes of putting some nice pollock into the boat. It turns out that this wreck like all the others we fished that day were loaded up with more scup and sea bass then an offshore wreck fishermen could imagine.
In this case, and a little back story here, Captain Mike had previously stopped on this wreck two months prior during tuna season, and the customers caught just one SHORT CODFISH on it!!!! Nothing else. Now on this trip, in looking for a second "nipple" that he had a set of old TD numbers to which he wanted to zero in with GPS numbers, the readings of fish ran for almost 600 feet!
It was some sight to see....but keep in mind, that at this time of the year, those wrecks that lay in the lanes where sea bass and scup are migrating offshore, will have readings which will make not only the wreck, but the bottom surrounding the wreck, glow.
~ OFFSHORE AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR ~
With sea bass fishing opening up this January 1st, at least in New Jersey, here is what fishermen should have in their tackle box.
First, I know many fishermen like to fish with the traditional hi-lo bait rig for sea bass. No one will quibble on how well that rig works. But, for those looking to target "BO" sized sea bass, but also to increase your odds on hooking any pollock around the wrecks that you may be fishing, nothing beats a 8 oz hammered jig, and these thin diameter size - homemade cut surgical tubes.
I am just showing one of the rigs here, and the surgical tubing can be in the colors or flo green, red or even yellow which many don't realize is a pretty effective fish catching color. The hooks shown here are the ones pointed out to me a number of years back by the Monknetter, due to their strength and ease of removing from the jawline of a big sea bass. You can use any long shank hook you please...this is just an example on what the heavy hitters would put on the rod at this time of the year.
One last thing, the sabiki rig shown. Since at this time of the year you may encounter mackerel while offshore, its a good idea to have a few of these rigs with you. I know many will only use the traditional surgical and plastic tube "mac-rigs" that have been around since our grand pappy's days of wooden boats. I can tell you, that through much trial and error in the Bay, the sabiki rigs will out-fish by a WIDE margin the tube style mackerel rigs.
If you do pick a sabiki rig up, make sure that the hooks are large and heavy duty enough to not only hold a horse-sized mackerel (if your lucky enough to get into a school of macs that size) but a cod or pollock and I should add bluefish that may latch on to it. Also as important, is that both the MAINLINE, and BRANCHLINE (loop that goes to each hook), is made of monofilament that is greater then 30 lb test.
I have two that were brought to my attention by Borehead over at FISHERY NATION.COM:
The first is from: GOOD MORNING GLOUCESTER: Video- "WOULD FISH FOR FOOD BUT CAN’T"
The second story is from a captain I have been corresponding with who has a pretty unique, innovative and effective way of messaging which greatly helped to influence fishery legislation which would of drastically impacted both the commercial and recreational fishing sectors:
Captain Chris McCaffity runs the:
As he mentions on his home page, he is one of a number of small vessel fishermen whose livelihood has been threatened by the ENGO driven policies that "Dr. Jane" was orchestrating on both the east and west coast of our country. Captain Chris just did not sit back, but came up with a way to highlight the threat to not only his, but other fishermen's way of earning a living, and started a 10,000 - postcard drive.
In a email he just sent me:
The postcards played a key role in getting the massive Amendment 17B area closure suspended on May 10th of this year. That was the closure starting at 40 fathoms extending out to 200 miles offshore from Virginia to Key West. The closure was based on the lack of data on Warsaw Grouper and Speckled Hind using the Precautionary Principal.
I gave out 2,000 postcards addressed to the Sec. of Commerce opposing that closure and the one for Red Snapper in Amendment 17A. The original plan for the 17A area closure was from the SC/NC border to Ft. Lauderdale starting at 98' of water extending out to the 17B 40 fathom closure. They were trying to shut down almost the entire South Atlantic seafloor to almost all recreational and commercial fishing.
A wile backI wrote about the 40 fathom closure and how it would effect our right to fish deeper then 240 feet of water for bottom fish. Captain Chris did something about it, getting deeply involved in the process to alert fishermen and politicians about what could be one of the most over reaching threat to fishing rights and privileges in this country.
Captain Chris has been constantly updating the fishery news that has a serious impact on what we are allowed to catch, and is one fishermen who is trying to make a difference. He runs the site as an outreach to the fishing community and has set up a page for fishermen to support
Take a few moments, look at his website and see what Captain Chris has been doing.
Get involved, and support the fishermen out there who are trying to make a big difference!
~ BROOKLYN VI ~
In looking back at this fall tuna season on the BROOKLYN VI, just seeing the pics I took made it seem like Captain Mike and the crew were putting together tuna trips like we experienced the 1980's.
I wish that was true, and it was far from the outrageous tuna fishing we saw during that decade. I can tell you, there was a good deal of "agita" and more so tweaking along the way to string together some very successful tuna trips in a season where coming home with the "donuts" was more common then one would think.
Two quickies here:
One of the most important tweaks done after the first two trips, was in a decision to up the size of the hook being used. As much as many fishermen like to use as small a hook as possible, small hooks were resulting in lost fish during the battle and worse, right at the time the fish was near or at color to be stuck with the gaff.
Immediately a decision was made to supply larger tuna hooks to everyone on board.
Blame internet fishing sites for consternation promoting the latest and greatest cutting edge fishing tackle, the "go light or go home" fishing tackle mantra, or tying some of the hardest to tie correctly knots to land big fish.
I make it a underlying point here now on this site as II see what the finest rod and reel fishermen are using, and its not much different then thirty years ago. If you know more then Tony "Fish" and The "Jig Maker from the Bay" in hooking and putting fish into the boat, please let me know.
- Party Boat tuna fishing = heavy mono line
- Properly rated rods and reels with MONO line capacity
- Tying proper knots and connections (a double clinch knot works)
- Listen to what the mates tell you on the egg sinker weight you need
- Pay attention to how you bait up
- Walking your fish along the rail
~ WOODEN DRAGGERS FROM THE PAST ~
I cannot tell you how many times I go to this page and look at the pictures of old time New England wooden draggers. To many fishermen, they will be just another old fishing boat.... but for those who always have their noses buried in various printed old hang logs, many of these names will now have some connection.
Some of course are the location on where they may have sank,....a number will be the name of these vessels that struck an obstruction, hung up or lost their gear. In fact, one mystery I found on this site was of the vessel shown in the picture above.
Anyway, for those who enjoy looking at old commercial fishing vessels, some of the fishermen and fishing ports from the past in New England, I doubt you will find a more in depth site.
~ TIM COLEMAN ~
I did not know that the late Tim Coleman had written this book. In fact, if you knew Tim, I doubt he would ever mention that he wrote a number of "must read" fishing books over the last three decades. Captain Greg Mercurio gave me the heads up about ordering this out of print book:
This book and a number of hard to find surf fishing book can be found on Joe Lyons site:
I have spoken with Joe and he truly is a "salt of the earth" fellow who told me he has a few copies left of this book. Don't miss out adding this one to your fishing book collection.
Best functioning chart and navigational software?
ANSWER: As Captain Mike Tog told me:
MapTech is licensed by the US Government for navigational chart reproduction.
I happen to have this program, and though I also have a few others, ranging from PC Planner, Andren, and CapN that I have used in the past, I prefer the MapTech program due to the way it functions. It is a personal preference and I can pass along that some charting programs are more intricate and have a much higher learning curve to overcome in getting the most out of the product (ie: P-SEA Wind Plot).
But I will leave you with this...if your looking to buy any charting software, use the one you feel most comfortable with. Price should be secondary....the reason why?
Don't become an "hard-aground" tow-job.
My brand new jigs accidentally got wet...what should I do?
ANSWER: Wash them off with fresh water, dry, and if your really neurotic. just wipe each piece off with a cloth that you applied WD-40 on.
How was the black fishing this fall?
ANSWER: For big fish, memorable. The pictures tell the story:
And Captain Greg with the real BIG FREDDIE......
How do I check out on what Federal Fishery Permits I have?
ANSWER: Its readily available online - PUBLIC INFORMATION:
EC, where do you get the VENTING TOOL I saw being used in the VOYAGER - FISHING REPORT?
ANSWER: I use this venting tool package given to me year ago by Captain Joe Magadino of the fv RUNNING LATE.
I did ask Captain Monty Hawkins, owner and operator of the fv MORNING STAR, which tool he not only recommends but uses on each trip. This is the info he passed along:
These days, bottom fishermen should not be without one, SAFELY SECURED in your tackle bag.
I want to make my own private "fishing spot". What should I use?
ANSWER: Captain Monty has sent me this images of what he has putting down in the waters off of Maryland.
Just remember, Captain Monty does have a permit to dump this stuff!
It's December, where are the codfish?
There are a few around if you know where to look at this time of the year.
Story one on Sandy in Staten Island:
Nichols Yacht Yards used to have enough slips for 350 boats, but Hurricane Sandy washed away almost everything but the piles. Now, the hundreds of people who have used the marina for decades will have to find another place to dock.
Story two due to Sandy:
There were reports of "someone" from the Bay purchasing a vessel that was wrecked due to Sandy. I heard the stories on the bargain price they supposedly bought the vessel for, the engine power package they were going to install, and the shipyard where the work was supposed to be done, before making its arrival come some time next summer in the Bay.
Needless to say, just this weekend, I received calls from different reliable sources passing along that there was now a "wildcard" in that deck of cards, and who knows who the eventual final owner of that particular vessel will be.
I know there was some chatter on another internet fishing site talking about this boat coming to the Bay in 2013. I can pass along something told to me years ago:
On till you see new dock lines being strung and adjusted on the string pieces along one of the piers between 1-10, its all pillow talk........
~WISHING EVERYONE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS ~
Last evening, Frank sent me over this photo. I looked at it, and then thought about it...then looked at it again and again. I sent back this message to him,
I thanked Frank for sending me over this pic of him and Joe, while I was thinking about those years we were in school together....so very long ago when we first met. I thought about the period of time since, and how so many others are now gone or just not around anymore. The picture was a reality check of where I have been, who I have met and the experiences along the way. They say some pics can capture a moment, and this one did.
Well, Frank left off to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and that I will also do.....