>> JUNE 10, 2017 <<
WILL SUMMER WEATHER START THIS WEEKEND?
When Captain Fred sent image over the other day, I had to wonder if this is the required fishing attire needed when fishing as we are now in the second week of the sixth month on the Gregorian calendar. Was this what some call "a real spring," or was this just a prolonged mid-April weather pattern which has brought us the never ending easterly wind days since Easter. It hasn't helped the fishing....no siree with water temperatures from Cape May, New Jersey up north to the GOMaine being much colder than normal.
It is very apparent that this has set the fishing timetable back for all species in this region with most lagging in where and how many they should be, while in New England waters, this has resulted in one of the more notable and very productive shallow water ground fishing as far as 'catch' that anyone has seen in years. I personally doubt that anyone can remember hearing limit haddock catches made not only so quickly, but so close to the dock fishing out of any port between Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Portland Maine.
Getting back here to the NY-NJ BIGHT, there seems to be one bright spot...in between the nautical weather with the appearance of sand lance. As much as we value other 'stick-type' forage bait, sand eels are the equivalent of natures 'Twinkies' as various gamefish pay particular attention to dining on them wherever they show up. One specie that have shown up with sand eels has been the very hard to find during the spring over the years is silver hake/whiting which have surprised a number of captains and fishermen when targeting red hake/ling. I wouldn't go out and try to specifically target whiting at this time as this is just an observation from those who are out on the water and see a few during the day when fishing around the Mud Hole.
The question now is, "will this season be any different with sand eels being around?" One can only speculate at this time...but I/we do point out that this is a positive sign during this dismal spring.
In mentioning the word dismal, this goes right to the very heart of the one-two knockout punch being delivered by both the weather and the regulations which has led to the last two and a half months of the lowest participation of fishermen either fishing upon for-hire or their own private vessels. I, and this should include those I have spoken with have never seen so few fishermen going fishing at this time of the year.
Normally you get the winter doldrums leading to fishermen showing up at the dock in good numbers especially during the opening of striped bass, scup and fluke. It turns out that this was short lived for each specie so far. I have heard of all too many days during May and right up to last week when barely a few hearty souls would show up along Emmons Ave to ride on either a top water or bottom fishing boat, and when those party boats left the dock, there was a great amount of space along the fishing rail as all boats were carrying extremely light during May and early June.
As someone reminded me the other day, "with open seasons, you're on the clock as far as selling trips, and so far with fluke it has been possibly one of the slowest opening seasons in a very long time...maybe as far as I go back." Ahhhh....those fishery managers who sit in their comfortable offices and "work very hard".... obvious neglect the negative economic impact that they have brought upon fishing businesses and fishermen along our coast, and we have those in the business wondering "how much longer can they go on" with short seasons and barely a dinners worth possession limit for fluke.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources
205 Belle Mead Road, Suite 1
East Setauket, New York
Contact: John Maniscalco at 631.444.0437
Fishermen....Highly recommended to give a piece of your mind on what is going to occur as the Tautog Amendment will further reduce fishing opportunities.....
ASMFC: DRAFT AMENDMENT 1 TO THE INTERSTATE FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR TAUTOG FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
Held at Stony Brook University, Endeavour Hall, room 120
The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.
- (LIE, I-495) to exit 62 (Nicolls Road/County Route 97).
- North on Nicolls Road for about 9 miles, crossing Route 347 to 2nd traffic light north of 347.
- Make a left at light (South Entrance) onto South Drive.
- At the next light, make a right turn onto Marburger Drive.
- Less than 500’ turn right into Marine Sciences entrance, and immediately bear right.
Follow the road to the School of Marine & Atmospheric Sciences and Endeavour Hall. You can park your car in the lot between Discovery & Endeavour Halls.
Just passing along a note from Capt. Tim Tower; fv BUNNY CLARK - ME. on for-hire/recreational regulations:
For the foreseeable future, the Federal saltwater recreational fishing regulations will remain the same as they were last year starting on May 1, 2017. So this means that we will still have the fifteen haddock bag limit with a minimum retention size of seventeen inches.
Also, last years rules also included a bag limit of one cod per person starting in August and ending at the end of September. However, the NMFS is preparing a proposed new rule (new regulations) soliciting comments on new measures recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council. Once the proposed rule is out, more information will be available. I suspect that a new set of regulations will be in place by the time August rolls around or before the time we get a chance to keep a cod. But I don't know this for fact. The wheels of government turn slowly
>>>> Public Comment - Comments must be received by June 9, 2017 (as of 6/10, 63 received) can be found here:
Also pay attention to the PDT memo from yesterday on:
We continue to scratch our head over these numbers within these charts.........wait, this is MRIP powerball number estimates!
Getting back to the public comments on this particular issue, what caught my attention was a few sentences within the comment made by Dr. Pierce (Director - MA fisheries). To wit:
The biological argument for NMFS’ proposed fall closure over the Council and recreational fishery recommended proposal is that the bioeconomic model predicts a greater probability of not exceeding the recreational GOM haddock limit (70% vs 50%).
This is based on a point estimate of predicted harvest with no consideration of uncertainty from the model or variance in the underlying MRIP data.
Both the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council have indicated that:
utilizing “only preliminary MRIP harvest point estimates, without measures of uncertainty, to attempt to predict/constrain future harvest point estimates” is not a best practice going forward for recreational management of many species (e.g., black sea bass and summer flounder) (ASMFCa 2017).
Also in his summation:
In summary, NMFS’s proposed GOM haddock closure provides:
(1) no gains to GOM cod protection and
(2) an arguably insignificant increase in the probability of staying within the recreational sub-ACL of a rebuilt resource that is significantly underutilized overall.
The only certain outcome is an increased negative economic impact on the recreational fishery with repercussions throughout the supporting recreational fishing economy. For these reasons we urge you to not amend the GOM haddock recreational closed season as recommended by the NEFMC and supported by the recreational fishery. Thank you for your consideration.
One last thing...
Folks....this issue with re-opening WAVE 1 for for-hire/recreational harvest in 2018 is making its way for discussion sometime, and as I was told, at the August MAFMC meeting. This is IMPORTANT as we need fishing community support in having those on the Mid-Atlantic pass the motion on this measure which allows fishermen to take home a dinner or two of winter biscuits.
It's time for fishermen to start thinking about INCREASING FISHING OPPORTUNITIES and there is no better place to start then with re-opening a traditional winter fishery during January and February in BLACK SEA BASS. Support those in the industry fighting to take people fishing!
SINCE I WAS ASKED...A FEW MORE PICTURES FROM THE TRIP
I had to point out to one of the fishermen I know who asked me about the amount of cod caught on the Memorial Day Adventure upon the VOYAGER. I had to explain that:
1- You had to be there
2- I and a few of us were fishing up in the bow
3- I could only take pictures at certain times during the trip
Maria has sent over a number of over a few pics taken by her during the trip (in between her work she does during the trip). Here a few more with some pollock and white hake mixed in:
Next trip to the Southern New England groundfish motherland:
Just a quick heads-up to everyone: We still have spots available on our next NANTUCKET COD WRECK AND JIGGING TRIP. The trip leaves at 7:00PM on Friday June 30. The last trip was great!
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
I know of a tournament or two this weekend. From what I was told, a few sea monsters were caught within the week....and it should be interesting how this weekend plays out for this fishery.
One of the fishermen here in the Big Apple sent this over to me....and it seems he has a number of requests to take this blank off his hands too! I cannot say I remember this label, but it is pretty neat seeing this label on a blank. Shame the picture was not as clear though (flip phone camera pic?)....
IT WAS ALSO RELEASED TOO!
For those looking for beach ranges of the spot....a Brooklyn 'For-get-about-it" but this captain well known to us around these parts has done it once again with another trophy in the 16 lb class (if I remember correctly) that was instantly released after this smartphone pic was taken. One other point I do make note here is to see fishermen realizing how valuable the resource is and just having a Kodak moment instead of taking home two big fillets.
WHAT DOES MARINE ENFORCEMENT DO?
This was taken yesterday's off Ted's here on Fantasy Island with one of the fishermen sending me a few details on these two NY marine enforcement agencies passing their tour away. I asked him, "any boats out there for them to board?" His answer came across as "I don't see any....." A quiet Friday afternoon on the local waters to say the least.
GOMaine GROUND FISHING
In speaking with a number of fishermen in New England over the last few weeks, conversations also come back to "the fishing day and what is being caught." To a 'FISHERMAN' the stories have all been extremely upbeat on what they are not only seeing, but catching this spring in the inshore waters of the GOMaine. Great news to say the least.
Just keep in mind that whatever you are forced to regulatory discard during a trip, be thankful that you are seeing a noticeable increase of this particular fish. It is going to be a long rebuilding process and hopefully these are the first positive signs that this stock is moving in the right direction.
FISHERY NATION - continuously updated
This was posted by BORE HEAD over at FISHERY NATION on a story passed along by noted New England commercial fishermen Captain Joel Hovanesian. A short paragraph here:
So we go out with the plan of going to catch some scup, fluke and sea bass to unload in Connecticut. We had some nice scup the day before and figured we would get CT’s allowance which is a whopping 1200 pounds of scup, 75 lbs. of fluke and 10 sea bass in count. So we make a couple of tows and come up a bit light on the scup but have the fluke and sea bass.
We go and unload ion CT. and on the way there, which happens to be a 2 hour+ steam each way I am informed that the scup that we landed the previous day which had been paying around 60 cents per pound had dropped to 10 to 15 cents per pound. Not even worth the fuel to catch. WONDERFUL. So we go all the way to CT., unload our catch and head back another 2+ hours for home.
Go over to read the story:
Keep in mind that that everyone that fishes upon the water is trying to deal with the current regulatory morass emanating from our National Fishery Mis-Service.
One of the fishermen out of Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ sent me a few pics of what he found washed up on the sandy beach during May while walking his dog. "What could this be?"
Turns out that this mesh bag came from a small oyster "farm" in the back of the Great South Bay which became dislodged during a storm from its location in the bay, and somehow over the past year ended up out in the ocean then floated over to the Garden State shoreline.
How did we know this information? From this tag below that was attached, and I did remove the name of the fishermen on the tag:
There was a little back story about this particular fishermen, but he was even surprised when contacted on how this/his bag of "now shells" traveled over time due to the whims of the current on the ocean. No doubt, a very interesting tale to say the least that started when this clump washed up and onto the beach.
I doubt I have lately heard of just totally "blown weather forecasts" then I heard from a number of for-hire captains then I did after last Saturday...yes, during the 1st weekend of June. If you are wondering where this is going, one only can imagine going out in silky-like blue-bird conditions in the morning and barely seeing a ripple going off 20 and more miles off the beach. It was that nice.....until you turned around and looked at the angry sky they were leaving behind them and then what was in store for them.
To a man....by all captains who told me and which essentially sounded eerily familiar as if they all spoke to each other, which they did not......
"We got to the spot and the hammers of hell rang loose," to the point where words and phrases were about "fear" and "frothy rollers higher than the boat" were the norm over the next two plus hours as a un-predicted high intensity wet and windy weather system came through.
Thankfully there was no reports of any tragic incidents due to this front which came through last Saturday, but one charter boat captain who was also caught in the slop said that private vessel fishermen who were fishing near him were smart enough to immediately start making their way back to the inlet when the grayish colored morning sky started to turn black.
Needless to say it has been some spring 2017 season and now on June 10th we may be seeing the first break towards a summer-like weather/conditions. Though this also brings along some other issues with pop-up T-storms during the afternoon, most would agree that its time to fish in tee shirts and flip flops then in what we have fished with over the last month with layered heavy sweatshirts and skins.
Until next time and lets enjoy fishing for our favorite flatfish at this time........