>> MAY 10, 2018 <<
Just yesterday I have written a short summary on what transpired during the Tuesday NYS MRAC meeting held at the DEC Bunker and then just deleted it since I am wasting your time repeating what was written by Captain Joe 'KING COD' and now by the latest story penned by L.I. beat writer Mark Harrington. To sum up and with the complete story within the link provided above:
Fishermen critical of a recent deal to ease black-sea bass regulations demanded further state action at a fisheries meeting Tuesday, but officials said the interstate agreement was the best they could get this year.
Around a dozen angry party- and charter-boat captains attended a meeting of the Marine Resources Advisory Council in Setauket Tuesday night to raise objections to the deal, which effectively nixed a planned 12 percent reduction in the state’s recreational black sea bass quota this year.
Folks, at this point the numbers being tossed around have no sound basis as far as the actual percentage reduction or now with the liberalization when the Appeal was approved. The troubling part which should be discussed was on how the Director Jim Gilmore conducted himself, and the statements made by him during and after this agenda item was finally closed at this meeting.
We are in serious trouble on a number of levels with the BSB fishery both on the federal and state regulatory level and to spend anymore time digging into the regulatory babble will not be productive at this point. So I hope all of you out there will just think about this with a clear head as far as going forward in dealing with the 'King of Mardi Graas' - J.G. at the upcoming meetings and explaining this as it concerns the 'Captree Boatmans Assoc. 'thanking him letter'....or does it really matter at this point?
Either way, the recreational regulations anglers will have to deal with as I am posting the official ASMFC updated state BSB regulations for 2018
GOMaine HALIBUT - JUST CAUGHT OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS
Personally I believe one of the handful of very special fish an angler can land along the east coast of this coast is the Atlantic Halibut, especially when they start crossing the 50 lb mark. Two trophies were landed, the first here landed upon the Captain Tim Tower - fv BUNNY CLARK, ONGUNQUIT, ME. whose latest story gives you an idea on what it takes to bring a 'big butt' successful into the boat:
On the third spot, before the fog rolled in, John Baker dropped to bottom and hooked, what he thought was a big fish. After a while reeling, his carpal tunnel wrist problem started to hurt. He asked Ian to take over. which he did. Turning to Ian I asked him what it felt like. "Well, I'm gaining all the time but it doesn't feel like a fish." Indeed it looked like he was reeling in a rock. It wasn't until there was about forty feet to go that it acted like a fish. But that only lasted for a few seconds. When I did get a visual, I realized it was a halibut, coming straight up, head first with it's mouth agape.
Thank God Paul Pearson (NH) was there. I needed another gaff man and Paul is big, strong and is blessed with much hunting and fishing common sense. I put the first gaff into the fish's head. I thought I had done well until the fish started to twist. But this gave Paul some time to put the other gaff just in the right place. Both of us hauled the fish over the rail on top of me! This was okay as long as the fish was in the boat!
At 58" and 98 pounds, this is the largest halibut that has ever been landed on the Bunny Clark. A fish of a lifetime, for sure. Paul was the only man strong enough to weigh the fish. He lifted the fish up by the scale and I positioned it in such a way that I could get the exact weight. It almost bottomed out the scale.
John won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, the 98 pound Maine state trophy halibut. I took a picture of John, his halibut and Paul holding it
The second was sent in by a GOMaine commercial fishing friend who had this 60 pound halibut successfully boated while fishing for the 'Boston Blues'....
Notice both the reel and jig being used, with the reel being the bullet-proof Penn 'BAJA SPECIAL' and the jig being what we call the 'ball-peen' hammer jig which clearly can be seen is not chromed either.
It is pretty routine for me to get an email or question from a fishermen asking what I suggest as a top notch 4/0 geared reel, and as far as star drag reels, I do not mention the Newell 500 series as one to purchase but the BAJA SPECIAL which time and again seems to be the most out of the box trouble free reel in this class to buy.
As far as the feedback I receive from a number of respected fishermen as far as the strongest cranking and most durable, the Okuma Makaira SE models lead the way with the Maxel Ocean Max 10 right behind as far as lever drag reels. The original Daiwa Saltiga seems to be a favorite as a lighter-in-weight and extremely durable star drag reel along with the Newell 500 series when beefed up with a Tiburon frame and handle with the added Bryon Young 'ULTIMATE DRAG KIT.'
But getting back to the fishing, Captain Tim Tower is catching these special fish, and with the weather now finally starting to settle down, it now is the time of the year to take a trip on the BUNNY CLARK....
"SO WHERE DID THE ANGLER GO SINCE I SAW IT........"
A few weeks ago, one of the local for-hire captains here sent me a picture of the New Jersey ported 'ANGLER' pulling into Captree. A little strange and there was some talk if this being a possible relocation due to a quietly done sale, but that was not the case.
Yes the other boat with "a basement," as this is the sister ship to Captain Greg Mercurio's 'YANKEE CAPTS.' The ANGLER came east last month and placed into the most capable of hands in Captain Rob C.P. who once again did some eye-catching TLC-work. Fishermen will be seeing it first hand as the ANGLER is back sailing out of the Highlands come this Friday.
Oh by the way...before someone sends me an image from BOATS & HARBORS - ONLINE, here is the most recent ad on the ANGLER:
This picture was taken a little over two weeks ago when the price of fuel at a off brand gas station was at the cusp of reaching the three dollar mark. Oh yes, and at this point many will find (and not that they are looking for paying this much) three dollar plus for a gallon of ones favorite hydrocarbon for making a car move from point 'A' to point 'B' during our travels.
Worse though and seen on the STATISTA - online DIESEL prices on the other refined fossil fuel product which the for-hire and commercial fishing industry rely upon has gone up over 50 cents a gallon in less than a years time.
One has to wonder what is going on besides fuel prices rising at a time when we see various news stories on DRUDGE on "the United States becoming the leaders on producing" or "America almost at energy independence" and here some would say "FAKE NEWS" but that has no validity since there are numerous government and fuel industry statistics pointing this out.
Either way, I hope there are some politicians in the DC beltway start to bang the drum on reversing the rising cost on fuel as this ultimately leads to and causes a negative impact on economic growth in this country. As for the fishing industry as whole, this continues to increase the strain on the viability of those who continue to rely in making a living from carrying customers and catching seafood. If one felt helpless about the current regulatory environment, this may have a bigger impact on whether one stays in the fishing business.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR FISHERMEN WHO CATCH THESE FISH?
These pictures were taken at one of the long-time fish stores approximately two weeks ago here in the lovely neighborhood of Bensonhurst. If you wanted to see someone do a double take, "I did" as I was pretty surprised to see solid large scup priced at $1.49 a pound. I then asked one of the workers, "1.49 a pound" and he shook his head acknowledging the price and probably wondered why I was asking him with the price clearly marked on the little fish sign.
Next to the large scup, nice squid, and on the other reasonably size silver hake and the Bostonian's. Now for those old enough to remember from selling fish, remember when scup was called "silver dollars" and the money fish? No longer as one can see and these fish were of such quality i and my family would have eaten them for dinner.
So what is going here where you have what was considered bait and immigrants food, that being squid along with whiting and mackerel being some of the cheapest fish you could buy at your local market "back in the day" costing not only more, but more than double the cost in the case of whiting?
Now do not get me wrong, whiting is one of the tastiest fish off our shores and along this coast, and of course squid being a looked forward to delicacy as fried calamari or stuffed...but yet scup once one of the regular staples that many of us grew up eating at Friday night dinner being the 'cheapo' fish.
More so, what does this say for licensed commercial fishermen who target them, especially with the popular inshore pinhook fishery where guys could go out and make a days pay in catching a few boxes of chops?
Well in closing, I am just pointing this out for those who think differently about the money you can make from catching fish. I should point out that if I stopped by a Whole Foods, Fairway Foods, Wegmans or one of the metro NYC seafood emporiums, the prices would noticeably be higher. But again I ask, "what would be the return to the fishermen if we see prices like this at our local seafood retailers?"
A few weeks back, a New Jersey fishing buddy asked me about cod fly's and what the best working 'bugs' looked like. I send him these pictures below of cod and pollock fly's tied by a GOMaine commercial fishermen.
He was pretty surprised since he thought the best cod and pollock 'catching' fly's would look pretty close to what some local fly tying craftsman (Ie: Harvey Cooper and Tommy Teasers) make for fishermen. I said the same thing until a few years ago when I got ahold of the famous 'FEENEY' cod fly's tied by Jim Feeney and approved by Captain Tim Tower, along with a fishermen I know from the GOMaine who sent me some of the fly's he tied on Matzuo Sickle style hook and the price was surprisingly pleasant to the wallet (hint, plus they worked great too). The point here is that you do not have to spend premium dollars to buy very effective tackle for cod and pollock fishing, and the same with jigs.
Recently a good buddy hooked me up with some old jigs he wasn't using, and most would not give any thought in buying used cod jigs, especially ones that needed to be cleaned up and re-rigged but that is one of the tips I am passing along here. In the image above, three out of the four jigs are what we call or consider 'knock-offs' or what in the past we used to call "throw away jigs."
These days there are no longer heavy jigs to just throw away or lose upon snag infested obstructions and the locally made imitation heavy-eye chrome look-alike Bridgeport, Taiwan or M&M jigs will all catch fish. Also those old beat up favorites like a the true heavy wire A99N, will still catch as well as the newer light wire chrome version. Save money and shop around.
I should add that this particular jig is the style I have been pointing out that has been working on GOMaine halibut...and go figure too!
TILEFISH & DEEP DROP SINKERS
The other day I just picked up a few hundred pounds of tilefish sinkers and mentioned it to one of the fishermen I know. He was surprised at the price and said he has seen the 4 lb 'mini-bricks' going for 20 dollars a piece at a tackle shop he recently stopped into.
As many know, the price of lead has noticeably gone up over the last few years and that the standard 25 pound bag of lead which in during that time frame has jumped up from 25 dollars to over 50 dollars. Not cheap especially if you are involved in a fishery where lead is normally lost during a trip.
Anyone who needs a source, contact me through email and I will pass along the information....
The hot striped bass lure which has noticeably been a good changer for putting a fish into your cooler....
A joke going around on socialized media on the cooler brand to avoid....
All stocked up for this years fluke season...and the result on opening day weekend...
Tasty fish meals seem to be popularly posted by a few fishermen we know, from tilefish to fluke, haddock and jumbo choggies thanks to Ralph, Frank and me.......
These RUSTFRI jigs were for sale, and notice the clips and where it was made. Definitely something different......
Some photos from one of the last trips on the YANKEE CAPTS that Captain Greg sent over to me. Yes, this is for real...full fish boxes and totes.....
Some NY-NJ BIGHT inshore wrecks recently checked over for blackfish and biscuits, just prior to the BSB season starting within the next week. They are starting to fill in....
Finally, this was sent to me by one of my good buddies, and though we know the name of the boat, the story behind this must be pretty interesting.....
Anyhow, it is time to get out there and catch a few.....
Until next time.........