>> OCTOBER 1, 2017 <<
WOULD YOU RISK GOING FOR A SWIM?
It has been the proverbial long week with many hours spent talking to many, both within the fishing industry and to a number of fishermen-friends on what is now going on around us. The worry here is to two big questions on "what's next" and "where does it go when something you enjoy, will so radically change in the near future."
From the flag to football and here to the marine fishing environment, it is apparent that we have reached the point where divisiveness has now become the norm and not the exception when we speak and write to others, and I myself have been trapped within socialized media in time consuming discussions, and at times contentious debates with so many others on these topics. When one publicly crosses the informal line about violating the once commonly heard of "not talking about religion or politics while at the dinner table," we should now expect to be called out to explain or worse, be 'flamed' by others who have noticeably different opinions especially when it broaches passionately held ideological beliefs.
As we currently see on the news and read within the socialized media realm, there is less consensus for those to just politely agree to disagree, and I have noticed that personal opinions and beliefs continually to be pushed to the furthest ends on the ideological spectrum on any topic brought up amongst a group of people. In speaking about myself, as many now know or have realize, I hold conservative principles on and about the role and actions of government, the respect for personal rights and responsibilities, along with recognizing the critical importance of values and traditions and will defend them as faithfully and as best, factually as I can.
In speaking about the latest accountability and monitoring issues by for-hire operators onboard their vessels, the debate over the Modern Fishing Act Bill, and on the constitutional issues concerning what marine enforcement can and cannot do, here will also see a noticeably split of opinions. If I can sum this up with a "what am I responsible for" to "what is reasonable for fishermen to do on the water," I do not believe we will get a super majority of fishermen to agree on these two themes.
I do not want to spend much more time going deeper into the weeds of these topics as I full well know that little will be accomplished in swaying anyone's position on what I write. But, I do hope that those interested in debating these discussions will spend the time to become more informed and better prepared to debate if one starts "shooting from the lip" or becoming an "internet keyboard warrior." Remember, internet sharks are lurking out there, ready to take a bite if you venture into these discussions.....
Yes for those who fish upon the Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ based ** VOYAGER ** and as noted online:
FOOD GALLEY RE-OPENING - The VOYAGER'S FOOD GALLEY will be OPEN on our 30-hour Tuna Trips starting Tuesday October 10, and OPEN ON EVERY TRIP from Sunday night November 5 through December 31. Bon appétit!
Any other good local fishing news?????
Other than the NY-NJ scup fishery, where the debate goes back and forth between, "as good as you can ask for in local fishing" to "customers being scupped-out for the year," one still can still go out and have non-stop action within very close proximity of a local shoreline. Folks, I wouldn't complain with the top-notch scup fishery coming back here on the Tin Can, and in fact in speaking with Captain Greg of the OCEAN EAGLE last night, how can you beat drop and lock keeper sized 'chop' fishing in barely 20-30 feet of water at this time of the season?
ONE LOCAL FISHERY WHICH LEFT MANY QUESTIONS HERE ON BOTH THE FISHERY & SEASON
In speaking with many captains and fishermen from the NY-NJ BIGHT nexus, the one walk away thought I can pass along is about 2017 being one of the strangest fluke seasons. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard about fluke fishing trips being so tough that one would not want to make another trip, to others who had some of the wildest fluke fishing in an area east of Ambrose Tower and offshore of Debs Inlet this past August.
No one could compare the outrageous fluke fishing seen off Sandy Hook and the Lower NY Harbor area in 2016 where 10 lb doormats would normally win a pool and legal possession limits of 5 fluke were expected during the morning, with catch and release done during the rest of the trip. The previous season was one for the fishing record book and now 2017 is one that all too many would wish to not repeat in 2018.
So here are a few comments made by the experts on the fishery here:
1- The traditional Ambrose Channel run was non-existent from what I was told. In fact the normal outbound migration lanes (aka choke points) which summer flounder normally travel in August were NOTICEABLY different in 2017.
2- Ambrose Ridge would have shots of fish come through on a tide and then go barren on the next. It was one of the more consistent areas to poke around on prospecting drifts, but 'consistent' keeper fishing was the exception in now meeting the 19" minimum NYS size limit. At times abundant but undersized biscuits would be seen, with the complaint being of such inconsistent fluke fishing and much of the time was spent in dealing with regulatory discards of BSB due to the outrageous 15" minimum NYS size limit...(yes, the NYS minimum size limits for these two species in 2017!)
3- The 'Valley of the Giants' area off the Islands south of the V-Z bridge was noted for both lack luster fishing at best, but also a very noticeably drop in boat traffic especially when compared to prior seasons. I believe this was in part due to less private vessels fishing in this area in 2017.
4- The East Beach Reef off Rockaway was now where near what it was in the past as far as both quality and quantity of summer flounder. Most had told me that they learned pretty quickly after a trip or two that it was not worth bouncing and then hanging up bucktail rigs in this normally go to area.
5- The most consistent fluke fishing was done by captains who kept their drifts extremely short and fishing near-or on hard bottom and wreckage. No surprise insider tip here, but everyone I did speak with said it was more apparent this season then when compared to the last few years.
Finally, in what seems to be the trend with bucktails and Gulp! on hi-lo rigs now the go to setup for 'successful' fluke fishing. With the price of the traditional spearing and squid bait, for-hire operators and as much with those who write about fluke fishing on the internet should remind anglers to be prepared to be flexible in having different types of pre-made fluke rigs in order to quickly adjust to the bottom they are drifting over.
REQUIEM FOR A 'LEFTIST' WEBSITE SHUTTING DOWN....BUT.....
I like to thank Bore Head over at FISHERY NATION - continuously updated about one of the most popular blogging and commenting websites going bye-bye, in reality essentially shutting down. "How could that be, and who cares" when it comes to the fishing world around us what some may now be thinking.
I happened to read a comment somewhere within the last month about progressive websites and the name Newsvine came up that they would be shutting down. I never gave it much thought since it was just that, an unverified as best - comment which I did not follow up upon. But it is true, with today possible being the day the NBC/Comcast owned (as I was told) shutting down with the digital content going to be secured in some cloud, at least as what one would surmise at this time.
As Bore Head pointed out to me, Newsvine happened to be one of the few places where fishing news stories and the resulting comments (a good number that would leave you rolling at times) were found, prior to M.E. Zuckerbergs socialized controlled website becoming the place where eyes and minds are focused upon each and every day.
From the finest investigative fishing industry writers, and I should emphasize as advocates for the fair treatment of fishermen over the past decade, with the late Richard Gaines who formally wrote for the Gloucester Times to the recently deceased Stephan Taufen who wrote for the Alaska Report and on his own Groundswell Fisheries Movement, the unique factual content they provided can never be duplicated...nor the comments made to them at that time were found.
Newsvine for anyone who perused the website, was a hotbed for progressive thought, stories and comments and I like so many patriots in this country had no time reading the dribble there...nor should anyone who does not want to be part of the 'FAKE-NEWS' cycle........... but as pointed out on the website in late July - Newsvine .com shutting down October 1, 2017, this was blamed by some on the Alt-Right (whomever they are) in part leading to the corporate decision by the parent company. Again we should repeat, Newsvine for anyone who perused the website, was a hotbed for progressive thought, stories and comments, and just maybe that caused a growing number of people to spend their time on other online story and commenting portals.
Folks I bring this up because we should be reminded of those who put it on the line, not only with their career and skill set being in investigative journalism on fishery issues but as much their name and what they stood up to and fought for. I do hope that some of the more notable stories will be collected and as much referenced in the future. Those who have done so much for fishermen should never be forgotten..........
FROM CAPTAIN JASON COLBY - OWNER/OPERATOR LITTLE SISTER CHARTERS
This news came in from Captain Jason this afternoon...
Last weekend the fishing was pretty good! Sadly, that did not carry past Monday's trip which was virtually "non stop action".
Worse, on Wednesday, there was the "total loss" of Little Sister!
The tale involves a 20 foot wave breaking in the boat, overturning us and making us swim for it.
There could have easily been a far worse outcome but it was just Ron and me and we are both pretty good swimmers. I will tell the full story when I have a bit more time but for now, know everyone was safe (except for my right arm). I launched the other boat on Friday to fish the weekend and the fishing was rather slow. Yesterday, Liam and Jae were the superstars with their tog limits but overall, the trip was "way off".
Today was just as slow as yesterday with some nice fish but not enough of them. We also tried chunking bass in the river with very little action except for one short. I hope this is just a temporary thing, I still have loads of eels!
October weekends are fully booked for charters and the next openings for "Thursday Open Boat" are one spot on the 26th, 3 spots on 11/02, 2 spots on 11/09, 3 spots on 11/16 and 4 spots on Thanksgiving ("Saltwater Turkey") Day. 11/11, 11/12, 11/18 and 11/19 are all available for charters if you have a group.
If there are no trips booked those dates, I will call it open boat week ahead. For each of the next several trips at least, I need someone to volunteer to pull the anchor as needed. Don't be shy!
Little Sister Charters
I am going to wrap this one up at this point....much more to say, but on this Sunday, let us enjoy the rest of the first weekend of the fall season.....