Mainiac

Bluefish !

57 posts in this topic

25 mins ago, toight_like_a_tiger said:

 

Lol you completely misunderstood my comment and took it out of context.  Yes they are central to our fishery.  The thread topic is about bluefish.  If bluefish are around they will turn a bunker school into a bloodbath.  I remember growing up there were years we couldn't even get a bunker out of a school and into a boat.  Some days we wouldn't even leave the harbor because you could snag and drop 15# blues until your heart was content and your forearms were ready to fall off.  Much different fishery then Maine, was just commenting that if they aren't thick in Long Island Sound like they have been historically, something is up!

You are right. I was mistaken !!! Miss those days and I pray we can have them RETURN for younger generations !!! Thank YOU !!!

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Posted (edited)

The last couple of years have been tough even a bit further south in waters where you expect to find strong spring runs (southside of cape cod)...I find no surprise in hearing things are tough north of there (from north and south shore of MA, up past plum island and into the NH/ME area).

 

Last year, I couldn't buy a blue fish until rat, 2lb fish showed up with albies later in Sept down on the cape...

Edited by albacized

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Is there an reasonable explanation for this?  I asked this question on another thread....back in the 80's stripers were scarce and bluefish abundant around Casco Bay.  Now it seems it is other way around.  Stocks of baitfish that would otherwise bring them in are in supply.  I recall back then that it would not be long from the dock until you would see bird activity and subsequent top water action. 

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All I can say, in part to answer your question is to say that I've heard their population can go up and down in cycles....while any commercial fishery should be looked at, I never heard an argument that bluefish are over harvested...so I'm leaning with the cyclical theory 

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Thx.  I dug up some statistical data on bluefish stocks on east coast. Here are some findings:

 

***Since 1983, when anglers caught an estimated 62,900 metric tons of bluefish along the East Coast, the catch has declined steadily to 17,000 metric tons last year, much of it caught by recreational fishermen.

 

***In New England, from Maine to Connecticut, fishermen averaged 6.8 million bluefish per year between 1975 and 1992. In 1992, anglers in the region caught 3.1 million bluefish.

 

***In 1984, anglers took 3.4 million bluefish in Connecticut. By 1992, the catch had fallen to 993,000.

 

 

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This data taken from Atlantic Coast Marine Fish Comission.  Interesting read on biomass data if you have the time.  This chart answers my original question and explains why bluefish were in abundant supply in the 80's.  They don't attribute defline to commercial fishing so not sure why the biomass is not what it once was.  

 

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Posted (edited)

Plenty of them right off Black point. Troll out to Richardson Island and that area right around 3 miles out.  6 to 8 oz Diamond jigs running at 4-6 kts down about 30 feet and you will get them.  Bet that's what some of those Great White Sharks are snacking on.  Not like it was back in the 1980s when we were catching 2,000 bluefish a day on rod & reel out on Stellwagon. I can recall having 8 rods out trolling and 8 fish on all at once. Haul them in and you would have another before your line was even set back on the outrigger.  and some were 25-30 pounders.  we filled a pickup truck with them and sold them to a restaurant for 50 cents a pound, gutted.  Of course you could not find a Striped bass anywhere so it all runs in cycles.   Just watch out for them when your swimming. I had a bluefish give me a good bite in the leg while we were swimming off the boat about 1 mile out off Hampton Beach. There teeth as so sharp I did not feel it until I got up on the dive platform and someone said I was bleeding all over the place.  Have had some really small bluefish nibble on me down in Virginia Beach and in Newport RI and a guy the crewed for me who had never caught one before reached in and grabbed it like a largemouth bass and found ut that hey they almost took his fingers off.

 

 

 

Edited by TheBoat

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On 7/21/2018 at 9:56 AM, steelcity said:

Is there an reasonable explanation for this?  I asked this question on another thread....back in the 80's stripers were scarce and bluefish abundant around Casco Bay.  Now it seems it is other way around.  Stocks of baitfish that would otherwise bring them in are in supply.  I recall back then that it would not be long from the dock until you would see bird activity and subsequent top water action. 

I wrote an article about just such cycles, for OTW earlier this year.

 

I still believe this year's lean pickings are partly a result of the cold spring, keeping the bait from coming inshore, particularly in Nantucket sound; but this years dramatic drop-off in far from the jumbos of the last few years.  I found big pods, for a few weeks at a time in the spring, of jumbo blues.  But they were on pogies, squid, and herring.  This year, the herring runs were full, but not much other bait.

 

For example, first pic is last year, second pic is 2016, and third is 2015.  These are the typical fish I was finding.  Let's hope the bait returns next year, but I will say, there is definitely something to the balance of cycles with stripers and blues - I fear we'll see some thin years for both in a couple.

 

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Yes.   There were some last week in the Piscatawa river here in Portsmouth.  We landed one by accident..  they chomped off our baits. ..  don’t seem to be here this week 

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On 8/1/2018 at 10:26 AM, golden said:

I wrote an article about just such cycles, for OTW earlier this year.

 

I still believe this year's lean pickings are partly a result of the cold spring, keeping the bait from coming inshore, particularly in Nantucket sound; but this years dramatic drop-off in far from the jumbos of the last few years.

Thanks for the info.  Great pics as well.  I remember the days when you could find big blues like those in tight along mid coast.  Brings to mind a trip with some good friends.  One of them, the boat owner, decided to bring bartender who worked at his restaurant and who had no previous fishing experience.  Now with four of us on the boat, casting required due dillegence.  It wasn't long before we encountered topwater action and with rods at the ready started to cast.   I will do my best to describe what happened next, but it won't do it justice.  I heard a sound that is hard to replicate.  Lets just say it was sound of something hitting flesh with high velocity.  I turned around and there was my buddy with a large silver popper hanging off his lower lip.  His bartender caught him perfectly and to my amazement there was no blood.  One of the treble hooks went straight through his lower lip.  I ended up driving him to ER in Brunswick and the doc was able to cut the barb on inside of lip and remove rest of the treble hook.  Four stitches later he considered himself very lucky.  Just goes to show you what happens when common sense and situational awareness are lost in midst of bluefish blitz.  Yes,  I miss those days too.

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