Angler Paul

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About Angler Paul

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    Senior Member


  • Interests (Hobbies, favorite activities, etc.):
    Striper fishing from the surf and jetties
  • What I do for a living:
    Retired Police Lieutenant

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  1. “Others”, what research data do they have to support much of the diminished stock shifted east? Cartopper, To answer your question, studies have been done by the ASMFC that show the stocks have shifted more to the east. Also, a number of private, charter and party boat captains have reported seeing "acres" of striped bass out in the EEZ while they were out there targeting sea bass and tuna. Whether this is accurate doesn't really matter though as all of our clubs voted in favor of action being taken to further restore the stocks.
  2. LAST CALL TO COMMENT ON THE STRIPER ADDENDUM Below is the letter that JCAA sent to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission regarding Draft Addendum VI to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. Whether you agree with some, none or all the points in our letter, we encourage all clubs and individuals interested in striped bass to submit comments regarding this addendum. The final date comments will be accepted is October 7, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. Comments may be emailed to or faxed to (703)842-0741. Include "Striped Bass Draft Addendum VI” in the subject line of any emails. Max Appelman, FMP Coordinator Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 1050 North Highland St. Suite 200A-N Arlington, VA. 22001 Max and ASMFC Striped Bass Management Board, The Jersey Coast Anglers Association met on 9/24/19 and discussed Draft Addendum 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Striped Bass. Except for one abstention, we unanimously voted to support Option 2 which would require an 18% reduction for both the commercial and recreational sectors from 2017 levels. While some of our member clubs felt that the stocks have collapsed, others believe that the stock has diminished significantly but much of the biomass has shifted into federal waters. However, what we all agreed on is that striper fishing during the last decade or so has declined a great deal. Though there have been isolated areas such as Raritan Bay and the Cape Cod Canal where the striper fishing has been fabulous at times, most of the east coast has had very poor fishing. This is evidenced by surveys taken by the internet group Stripers Forever which has many avid striper fishermen throughout the various east coast states. Whether you believe the stocks have collapsed or that the stocks have shifted to the east, something has to be done to further increase the biomass and improve our striper fishing. Even for those of you who may believe that the stocks have shifted to the east and that status quo is sufficient, please realize that by increasing the biomass, their range will expand not only to the north and south but hopefully to the west and into state waters where our many fishermen are allowed to fish for them. Though we understand why some might argue for status quo, we don’t agree with that for the reasons stated above and we are adamantly opposed to Option 3 that would result in a 20% reduction for recreational fishermen and only a 1.8% reduction for the commercial sector. JCAA was chiefly responsible for making striped bass a no-sale or gamefish in NJ and has been advocating for coastwide gamefish status for many years. While the commercial catch may seem relatively insignificant, the illegal sales of striped bass are a big problem in the states that allow stripers to be sold and these illegal fish are not added to the commercial harvest numbers. Regarding the sub-options for Option 2, our clubs were almost equally divided with some favoring some form of the slot limit and others favoring a 35” minimum size limit. However, the majority of our clubs voted to support either 2-A1 with a 35” minimum size limit or 2-A 3 with a slot limit of 30”-38” as both these options would result in an 18% reduction. Since option 2 requires an 18% reduction, we believe that the coastwide standard should be either or both of the aforementioned sub-options. We don’t believe that a coastwide standard of 19% that would be required under 2-A2 or the 21% that would be required under 2-A4 would be fair when the commercial sector would be required to only cut back by 18%. We thoroughly discussed the pros and cons of each of the options. Those clubs that preferred a slot limit felt the best way to restore the stocks would be by protecting the larger fish. However, those who preferred the 35” minimum size argued that the fastest way to restore the fishery is to protect the 2014 and 2015 year classes. The 2015 year class resulted in the largest recruitment of 1 year old fish (in 2016) since 2004. Some of these fish will be reaching spawning size in 2020. There was above average spawning in those two years so some of our members believe that we should be protecting them rather than forcing people to target them. Though all of our clubs supported further conservation of the stocks, many were not happy with any of the sub-options. We believe that when reductions are necessary, they should be applied equally to all sectors of the angling community including C&R fishermen, those who prefer to take home a smaller fish to eat and those who prefer to fish in tournaments or target trophy fish. None of the sub-options offered allow us to do that. Therefore, we support conservation equivalency and we are hopeful that our state will develop options that will affect all sectors equally while meeting the anticipated mandatory reductions. For example, this could be done through seasonal closures or perhaps by allowing either a smaller striper or a larger striper to be harvested while protecting the medium sized fish that might be our best breeders. Regarding the use of circle hooks, we support Option C which would require states/jurisdictions to promote the use of circle hooks by developing public education and outreach campaigns on their benefits when fishing with bait. We do not support Option B that would make circle hooks mandatory because it would create an enforcement nightmare for our limited law enforcement personnel. Further, the use of circle hooks is not practical under all circumstances. For instance, it would not be practical for long distance surfcasters who like to snag and drop bunker. We also suggest that additional ways to reduce the C&R mortality be included in educational efforts. People should be educated on the proper handling of fish so that they can be successfully released. The use of larger hooks and setting the hook quickly should be encouraged to reduce the chances of gut hooking fish. The use of heavier tackle so as not to unduly stress the fish should be encouraged. Fishermen should also be made aware of the effects of releasing fish when the water temperatures are high or the air temperatures are very cold. In closing we would like to thank you for this opportunity to comment. Please take the appropriate action to restore our striper stocks! Sincerely, Mark Taylor JCAA President
  3. Below is a copy of the letter that I sent to the ASMFC regarding the draft addendum. It is my opinion and it does not necessarily reflect the opinions of any clubs or organizations that I belong to. 10/4/19 Max Appelman, FMP Coordinator Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 1050 North Highland St. Suite 200A-N Arlington, VA. 22001 Max and ASMFC Striped Bass Management Board, I am an avid fisherman who has been fishing for stripers for about 45 years. In my prime I used to fish for them 75–100 nights a year from various jetties in New Jersey. I still fish from the jetties and surf more than most people. However, since I’ve grown older and developed back problems, I fish for them from my boat more often. I target large stripers and enjoy fishing in an occasional tournament. I’ve caught documented 40 pound plus stripers from shore in NJ for each of the last five decades. I hope to be allowed to make it a sixth in 2020. Still, I have always viewed myself as a conservationist. Even back in the days when we were allowed to keep 10 stripers at 18”, I released the vast majority of the stripers I caught, including a couple over 40 lbs. Striper fishing has deteriorated in recent years up and down the east coast so something has to be done to restore our striper stocks. I believe that option 2 is the best option as it will require an 18% decrease in mortality for both the commercial and recreational sectors. I am adamantly opposed to option 3 that would result in an 20 % reduction for recreational fishermen and only a 1.8% reduction for the commercial fishermen. To go a step further I believe striped bass should be made a no-sale or gamefish along the entire east coast and I have been advocating for that for many years. While the commercial catch may seem relatively insignificant, the illegal sales of striped bass are a big problem in the states that allow stripers to be sold and these illegal fish are not added to the commercial harvest numbers. As I stated, I prefer option 2 and more specifically option 2A1 that would result in a 35” minimum size for the following reasons: 1. The fastest way to restore the fishery is to protect the 2014 and 2015 year classes. The 2015 year class resulted in the largest recruitment of 1 year old fish (in 2016) since 2004! Some of these fish will be reaching spawning size in 2020. There was above average spawning in these two years so we should be protecting them rather than forcing people to target them. 2. In the early 1990’s the fishery was rebuilt by establishing higher size limits. That allowed the many smaller fish to spawn for several years before they could be harvested. It worked then and it will work again now. 3. Larger fish have a higher mortality rate when released than smaller ones. Should you decide to set one of the slot limit options as the coastwide standard, you are going to increase the C&R mortality rate on the larger fish. Fishermen will be throwing back larger fish that are more likely to die and then keeping a smaller fish that would be more likely to survive if it was released. 4. While larger fish do lay more eggs, we know that the large ones do not spawn every year. The medium sized ones may be the best breeders and by letting them go, they may be able to grow and reproduce for many years. 5. Option 2A1 would result in an 18 % reduction which would be the same as required for the commercial sector. I am opposed any of the slot limit options but particularly options 2A2 and 2A3. I understand that some of the conservationists will favor the maximum cut of 21% in 2A4 but that would not be fair unless the commercial sector has to reduce by that same percentage. 6. Having slot limits would unfairly punish those who like to fish for trophy sized fish and those who like to participate in tournaments. When a reduction is necessary, all sectors of the recreational community including the C&R fishermen, those who fish for food and those who target large fish should all have to cut back equally if possible. 7. The 35” minimum size limit is the easiest to understand and enforce. 8. Slot limits would hurt small businesses like Tony Maja Products. Most people do not troll with wire line outfits and bunker spoons to catch slot fish. Additional comments I believe that there are better ways to restore this fishery than those listed in the addendum. The sub-options in the addendum will all result in higher C&R mortality. I support conservation equivalency and am hopeful that New Jersey will develop options to allow the harvest of one fish at 28” or greater by establishing seasons. This would allow fishermen to continue to take home fish of various sizes rather than being forced to target specific year classes. I suggest that seasons be established where fishing for stripers would be closed during the spawning period or during the summer when the water is warm and the C&R mortality rate is much higher. Another option that would work if further developed by the technical committee or by individual states through conservation equivalency would be to allow fisherman to take home a fish from perhaps 28’-32” OR one at 43” or greater. That might pacify those who want to take home a smaller fish to eat as well as those who prefer to harvest a large fish. An option like this would also protect the medium and medium/large fish which are probably our best breeders. We need to take action to reduce the C&R mortality rate. I support option C which would require states/jurisdictions to promote the use of circle hooks by developing public education and outreach campaigns. However, regulations requiring the mandatory use of circle hooks would be difficult to enforce and would not be fair to certain fishermen. For instance, surfcasters such as myself have $1000 plus long-distance surfcasting rods and reels. It is difficult to find bunker within casting range. Then when you are lucky enough to snag one, what are you supposed to do, reel it in put a circle hook on it and then somehow hope that it swims out a hundred yards or so through the breakers and back to where the bass are? Still, there are many other ways to reduce C&R mortality such as properly handling and quickly releasing the fish, using larger hooks, setting the hook quicker, using heavier tackle so as to not to stress the fish, etc. All the various ways to reduce C&R mortality along with the benefits of circle hooks should be included in any educational programs. Respectfully submitted, Paul Haertel
  4. I finally got around to doing my 2018 fishing highlights video. The saltwater fish start at the 4:07 mark. Paul
  5. The Berkeley Striper Club runs a fabulous fishing flea market. It is a can’t miss event especially for striper fishermen as many of the top plug builders will be there. Paul Haertel Berkeley Striper Club 24th Annual Fisherman's Flea Market March 3rd, 2019 9AM - 2PM Toms River Intermediate School North 150 Intermediate North Way Toms River, N.J. 08753 Over 60 tables of new and used tackle including many custom plug builders $5. Admission (children under 10 free) Door Prizes, Food and Refreshments For more info. contact Steve George at or visit Vendors List 24th Annual Berkeley Striper Club Fishermen’s Flea Mkt Sunday March 3rd 2019 Toms River Intermediate NORTH School Toms River NJ Plug Builders Tackle Shops-New, Used Custom Tackle DMAG Striped Bass Lures Hook House Bait & Tackle – Toms River Arsenal Lures Fisherman’s Headquarters - LBI Black Talon Plugs Fishermen’s Supply – Pt. Pleasant Beach TB Swimmers Grumpy’s Bait & Tackle – Seaside Park Darby Creek Custom Lures The Reel Seat – Brielle Goo Goo Man Lures ODM Rods J.Jaget Custom Lures RH Custom Rods K4 Lure Building Jersey Bill Bucktails Guppy Lures Derek Lindquist – Teasers & Flies Northbar /Sporting Wood TAK Waterman RuRu Lures Jersey Fluke Bellies Choopy Lures Buzfly Flies & Teasers Midway Lures Hooks By Rollcast Teasers & Flies Ron Muccie Lures Black Label Plugs EbbPoint Surfcasting Surf Asylum Lures Gear Up Surfcasting Fish on 8 Lures High Hook Lures Jetty Ghost Tackle Striper Bites Lures (we don't promote or discuss them here) FJR Lures Old Man’s Tackle Box DT Lures Tom Scibek Fishing Tackle Cave Man Custom Lures Shadman Tackle Pbau Lures Slammer Tackle Hook R Lures ******* Lex Lures ********** - Zeno Cedar Run Lures Jack Lagrosa Tackle Buzzard Lures - AAGE Paula Marksfield Tackle PPW Lures Paul Cutrufello Tackle Out Cast Lures Stan Prusik Tackle Scabelly’s Lures Bill Veldof Tackle Pappys Pride Lures Shell E Caris Antigue Tackle Keystone Lures Ron’s Tackle Tight Liner Lures MX Plugs Campi Lures Berkeley Club Member Tables
  6. Surfratiam, I am disappointed you still feel that way after everything I posted. I strongly disagree with what you said. I am an avid surfcaster who has been fishing for stripers since the early 70's. In my prime I used to fish for stripers on the jetties about 100 nights year. Although I fish on my boat a lot more now, I still fish from the surf and jetties more often than most people. I have always thought of myself as a conservationist and have always released the vast majority of the stripers I catch. I have been a member of the Berkeley Striper Club since 1982 and have served as their representative to JCAA for quite a few years now. Eventually I became more involved with JCAA and was their president for two years. I am a board member who currently serves as their membership secretary. I believe that the striper stocks should be rebuilt and that stricter regulations should be put in place. I am sure that is the position that BSC will take as well. I am hopeful that other JCAA clubs will take a similar position. One other thing, JCAA is currently fighting to keep the BITZ or any other part of the EEZ closed to striper fishing. Anyway, you are welcome to come to our meeting if you like and if not I would be glad to talk to you anytime on the phone. Feel free to give me a call on my cell at 973-943-8201. Lastly, I only know you by your screen name, who is this? Paul Haertel
  7. Striped Bass: Where Are We Headed by Tom Fote (from Jersey Coast Anglers Association March 2019 Newsletter) There will be some interesting decisions made on the management of striped bass in the near future. The reason the regulations will be up for discussion is the most recent benchmark stock assessment. Because of the recent government shutdown, the document we discussed at the winter meeting of ASMFC was not the final version. But the draft document stated that we were exceeding the reference points on where the spawning stocks should be. This is after all the states took a 25% reduction a few years ago. Basically, the stock assessment says that the current regulations are not rebuilding the striped bass stocks to the base year of 1995 and that we are overfished and overfishing is taking place. The striped bass management plan calls for us to take action. Before we make these decisions, there is important information everyone should have. My History with Striped Bass First, my history with striped bass dates to my childhood. I fished in Brooklyn on piers and occasionally on a party boat with my father. My real introduction to striped bass fishing was on the beaches of Coney Island. One day I saw an angler who had caught a striped bass on the jetty fishing overnight. That is when I became passionate about catching a striped bass. My fishing was interrupted when I went into the army in 1966 and didn’t begin again until I was in the hospital at Fort Dix in 1970. While recovering, my therapy was fishing. The first thing I did when I came home from the hospital was a party boat trip with my father fishing for bluefish. In 1970 my then girlfriend who is now my wife of 44 years took me to Island Beach State Park to surf fish. A family friend introduced me to the Berkeley Striper Club (BSC) and I became a member in 1972. Since I had free time due to my medical retirement from the service, I was asked to start attending meetings on striped bass. I was lucky enough to meet people like Bob Pond who started Atom Lures. He was volunteering his time to go to clubs from Maine to North Carolina explaining that striped bass was in trouble. I was not a fluke fisherman, a tautog fisherman, a black sea bass fisherman. I fished for striped bass and bluefish. In this period of time, there was much discussion about the collapse of the Chesapeake striped bass stocks. In 1983 BSC asked me to represent them at JCAA. From 1983 to 1987 there was an ongoing discussion at JCAA about whether or not to work to make striped bass a no-sale fish in New Jersey alone or work on the coastwide no-sale. When I became vice-president, after much discussion, JCAA voted to support NJ Senator Lou Bassano’s bill to make striped bass a no-sale fish in New Jersey. It is important to know who was selling fish in NJ at that time. Many of the hard-core striped bass fishermen who belonged to clubs in that era were what we call “pin hookers”. They were selling most of their catch to pay for their fishing passion. New Jersey’s law was one of the strictest along the coast. We had one of the highest size limits and we were the only state that had a bag limit on the number of striped bass you could keep. There was no net fishery so it was all hook and line. At that time I was recreationally fishing almost 200 days a year and bicycling 6000 miles a year. When JCAA voted to support passage of the bill, I took on the responsibility for passage of the bill. I was naïve. I really did not know about state or federal politics. I knew how the management of striped bass and the agencies for their management worked since I started attending meetings for BSC and JCAA. As fishing had been my passion, now getting this bill passed was my passion. JCAA lost 5 of the original founding clubs of JCAA since their members sold fish and they would not support no-sale. I visited almost every club in NJ and began visiting coastwide clubs seeking their support. In the 70’s I actually belonged to Save Our Stripers in NY which was also pursuing no-sale. This battle changed the course of my life. I started going to ASMFC meetings and learned I had no respect for how they were managing striped bass or how the board was controlled. Even as a Governor’s or Legislative Appointee, you were not allowed to sit on a management board. The management board for striped bass had representatives from only 5 states, consisting mainly of the states with a large commercial fishery, NY, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey. JCAA started sending me to ASMFC meetings to represent our interests. I built friendships with people at the meetings from other states who shared my passion for the protection of striped bass and, in some instances, for making striped bass a no-sale fish. Three years of my life was spent on the NJ legislation, going to hearings, meeting with politicians and clubs. I’m a fast learner and I had some good teachers. The culmination was in 1991 at a JCAA meeting at the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers building when Governor Florio signed the striped bass no-sale bill with Senator Lou Bassano on one side and Assemblyman John Paul Doyle on the other; the bill that people said I could not get passed. When you are in my house you see a copy of the bill, a pen from the signing and a picture from that night prominently displayed. I felt that was my first accomplishment for JCAA and our member clubs. We went from 36 clubs to 100 clubs which included clubs from Maine to North Carolina, all wanting to work on coastwide no-sale. JCAA was so passionate about promoting catch and release that when we started the Governor’s Surfing Tournament we had judges riding the beach so people could catch and release any fish they caught. We only measured the length and that is still how it works 25 years later. It is important for me to explain my philosophy for supporting making striped bass a no-sale fish. Striped bass along the coast was mainly a recreational caught fish. Outside of the Chesapeake Bay the commercial market was largely made up of a hook and line fishery. In NJ and Massachusetts, the commercial catch of striped bass was totally a hook and line fishery, mainly made up of recreational anglers selling their catch. People supported striped bass no-sale for different reasons. Some want all fish to be catch and release. Some wanted an abundant fishery for everyone to have the opportunity to land one of the biggest fish from the surf. My feeling was it was the only game fish we could protect that so everyone could harvest, rich or poor. Some of the best striped bass fishermen I know fish with gear that is not expensive. They repaint their plugs and reuse everything and they are some of the best striped bass anglers. Because I grew up fishing on party and charter boats, I realized anglers took home fish to feed their families. I felt that if we eliminated the commercial sale of striped bass there would be enough fish to provide the all recreational anglers with a quality fishery. Recreationally, I have always understood both the catch and release community and the catch-for-dinner community. The overriding factor is that this needs to be a sustainable fishery with large enough numbers that it can be a quality fishery for all sectors. Striped bass has gotten me involved in ocean dumping, water protection, renewable energy, endocrine disruptors and many other areas. It has changed my life as it has for many other anglers. 1995 Regulations To understand today’s discussion, you need to understand the regulations that were put in place in 1995. I have been at the striped bass board meetings since 1986. At that time the public was not allowed to ask questions and neither were ASMFC Commissioners who were not state directors. In 1989 the discussions began about how to re-open the fishery since many of the states along the east coast had a total moratorium on fishing for striped bass but the stocks had begun rebuilding. The 1989 year class was one of the best in striped bass history and pushed the 3-year average high enough to allow for the resumption of the fishery. During the discussions at the striped bass board meeting and with the advice of the technical committee, the board debated all day long about whether or not to open the fishery with 2 fish at 24 inches in the Chesapeake Bay and 2 fish at 34 inches along the coast recreationally and with the same size limit commercially with quotas. Before the board broke at 9:30 PM the audience was asked for comment. I was pushed to speak for the audience and asked the board for an opportunity to speak before the vote the following day. The board agreed and we went to sleep. The next day they opened the meeting at 8:30, made a motion to open the fishery at 18 inches in Chesapeake Bay and 28 inches along the coast. That motion was passed in 45 minutes without public comment. At 1:00 they asked for our comments and I was again the spokesperson. I said, “You don’t give a damn what we have to say but you will in the future.” Because of that board meeting the community was excited to be more involved and began attending more striped bass meetings. There were no longer 5 or 6 of us in the audience but more often 30 or 40. The ASMFC commissioners began hearing from the recreational anglers and the process began to open. By the time the 1995 amendment was being drafted, the recreational sector along the coast had developed a stronger voice. There were not only ASMFC commissioners from the states who were speaking at board meetings. The 1995 amendment was an example of our participation. It was designed to have a quality fishery and the base year was the year that we declared the fishery recovered, the highest point we had seen since we started the striped bass emergency act in the early 80’s. The referent points, unlike other fisheries, were made more precautionary. I was one of the three NJ ASMFC Commissioners making those striped bass management decisions. In 1995 the participation in the striped bass fishery was different than it is now along the coast. But so was every other fishery. It is important to understand what was happening in 1995. We were still benefitting from the large number of big striped bass that were protected during the moratorium that was in place from the 80’s through the early 90’s. Many of the states had not opened the fishery to 2 fish at 28 inches along the coast and put in seasons that were more conservative than required. There was also a smaller group of anglers. Most striped bass fishermen were like me, we didn’t talk about catching fluke, black sea bass or tautog. Our 24/7 talk was about striped bass fishing. The seasons were open all year for black sea bass, fluke, scup and tautog. Summer flounder had a 10 fish bag at 14 inch size limit and no closed season. Most of the people I fished with or knew didn’t like striped bass for dinner and fished for other species for food. There were not as many striper fishermen in general, even fewer who were taking striped bass home to eat. That was part of the big increase in the number of private, party and charter boats targeting striped bass. The 1995 amendment was good based on the era for which it was written. It allowed for a fantastic fishery on big fish throughout the 90’s and into the early 2000’s. The New Fisheries in the 2000’s Because of the concerns of the MidAtlantic Fisheries Management Council and ASMFC, there was a dramatic change in the way we manage fisheries jointly. We kept raising size limits and shortening seasons and cutting bag limits. Anglers who fished for their tables had fewer opportunities to bring fish home. There were periods of time that striped bass and bluefish were the only fisheries without closed seasons. Anglers discovered they were spending a great deal of time, effort and money with little to show for it if their target was fluke, black sea bass or tautog. So it was the natural move for many private, party and charter boats moving into the striped fishery, especially since it was open year-round. The abundance allowed for novices to meet with success. All you had to do was snag a bunker and you were a striped bass fisherman. The pressure on the striped bass population resulted in fewer trophy fish being caught. In the 90’s the hook and release mortality rate was greater than the number of fish we were taking home to eat. By the 2000’s we began putting more pressure on the stocks. Because people were taking more fish home to eat and the hook and release mortality increased because more fish were being hooked and released, the stocks actually began to change and there were fewer big fish available. This is the natural progression for a recovered fishery. The question is whether or not this is sustainable. Hook and release mortality has always played a big role in the striped bass stocks. In 2017 and 2018 the hook and release mortality exceeded the number of fish anglers were taking home to eat. The catch and release fishermen generally turn a deaf ear when we talk about catch and release mortality, denying they contribute to the problem with the stocks. In the late 90’s a friend of mine from NY, one of the leading striped bass conservationists, and I were having a discussion about striped bass management. We were discussing the two fish bag limit allowed to charter boats in NY. Since he had become a catch and release fisherman after many years of fishing, he thought they should only be allowed a one fish bag limit even though at that time there was no problem with the stock. I suggested he consider the angler who took two fish home. This angler may make 5 trips a year on a charter boat. If the angler is lucky enough, he/she kills 10 fish to take home to eat. The angler probably caught and released a few other fish on those 5 trips. We agreed the angler releases 30 fish on those trips. With 8% mortality, the angler has killed 2.4 fish in his releases for an estimated total of 13 striped bass he/she killed that year. The catch and release angler who was fishing almost every day, lands hundreds of fish in a season. I suggested that once this angler catches 160 fish, he/she should stop because the catch and release morality is 12.8 fish. Since a dead fish is a dead fish no matter if it is a catch and release or kept fish. The angler on the charter boat is more likely to be using heavier tackle, fishing in the spring and fall when the water is cold and in saltwater. These factors lower the catch and release mortality. The higher the water temperature, the greater the catch and release mortality. The lower the salinity of the water, the greater the hook and release mortality. A study by Maryland showed the higher the air temperature, the greater the hook and release mortality. So the year-round angler probably has a higher hook and release mortality due to the climate issues since he is fishing a lot more. For example, if you are fishing in a river where the water is fresh or brackish, the water temperature is high, the air temperature is high and you are using light tackle so the fight is longer, the catch and release mortality is extremely high. The studies again prove this is true. Catch and release anglers need to consider these factors before they blame other anglers who take a few fish a year for the table for problems with the stocks. We each need to put ourselves in other’s shoes before we condemn them and put our own homes in order. Where Are We Now We have a striped bass fishery that has expanded. Unlike the 90’s striped bass is important to the party and charter boats. It has also grown increasingly important to all the private owners who cannot fish for fluke, tautog or black sea bass in closed seasons or with the increasing size limits. The science tells us that the present spawning stock biomass is more than high enough to produce the highest young of the year in Chesapeake Bay. In spite of the skepticism I received when I said the spawning stock biomass was high enough to produce the highest young of the year when we were discussing the last addendum, the facts proved I was correct. The 2011 year class was the 4th highest in history of the young of the year. The 2015 year class was the 8th highest in the young of the year index in the over 70 year history. The hook and release mortality was going down but has increased in the last few years. It is also a fact that we are never returning to the way the recreational fishery operated in 1995 or the 2000’s. This is the first benchmark stock assessment in which we are using the adjusted recreational catch numbers which show an increase in both catch and participation from the methods we historically used. There are also things that are affecting fish populations that have nothing to do with fishing pressure. The water quality of the Chesapeake Bay and the warming of the waters inside the bay and elsewhere are just two of them. Then there is added pressure on the harvest of the forage species that striped bass count on. NJ beach replenishment has impacted many species. I can list many more but these are things that we cannot control through fisheries management. Management Choices The ASMFC will be focusing its attention on what we do in either a new addendum or amendment. What we decide will have a huge impact on the recreational fishing industry, the anglers and the states. These decisions should be made thoughtfully and deliberately. They need to include all stakeholders and look at the long-term consequences on what we do. All options should be on the table and be discussed with the general public. In the mission statement of ASMFC it states that we are managing fisheries to be sustainable. That means different things to different people. Below I am listing some of the options that are available to us. I have not taken a position on any option at this time since I need more information and a discussion about the long-term impact of each of the options on the fishing community. There are more that may come up for discussion. Season closures – We could close the fishery when the highest hook and release mortality takes place. Size limits – We could raise the size limits though that might raise the hook and release mortality as anglers continue to fish until a legal fish is caught. Education – We could work with anglers to lower the hook and release mortality. Research on poaching – We need a better handle on the amount of poaching and better law enforcement especially in areas like Raritan Bay and the EEZ. Changed reference points – This could allow us to continue fishing as we do now since we would identify the stock as sustainable at a lower number. A combination of options or others now mentioned here The Impossible Dream It might be easier to get 10 striped bass together to agree on management issues than to get 10 striped bass fishermen to agree. I am always an optimist and realize that compromise is essential to deal with the needs of many. All of us are going to have to give a little to make this work. No one will be totally satisfied. I haven’t dedicated 40 years of my life to striped bass management to give up now. But I am also not going to manage this fishery for just one sector of the recreational community. I have not been paid by anyone or any group in all the years I been doing these many jobs. Since I am a 100% disabled veteran and retired military officer, I did not need to get paid. I always have seen this as continuing my service. [News Contents] [Top]
  8. To answer your question, Tom is an influential leader within JCAA and his opinions are respected. However, he does not set policy. That is done by the clubs as I explained. Tom agrees with the position of the JCAA most of the time. However, he represents all of the fishermen of our state and usually does what the majority of people want as discussed at various hearings. Also, as the Governor's appointee, Tom has to comply with the Governor's directives on any particular issue. For instance Tom has always favored the conservation on menhaden but was ordered by Governor Christie not to argue for conservation but to side with the southern states to and the commercial fishermen there so that they could further exploit the resource. That occurred because of Governor Christie's close affiliation with the Virginia governor when Christie was running for president. All the JCAA member clubs support Tom and believe he has done a great job representing us on the commission. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about Tom on the internet. He will be at the meeting so please come and you will have an opportunity to talk to him. This will most likely be Tom's last term on the ASMFC so we will need a qualified person to replace him. Also, a lot of people don't realize this but the JCAA was chiefly responsible for making striped bass a no-sale or gamefish in NJ. Tom was the one who was lobbying the legislators to do that. There is a lot more I can fill you in about striper management at the meeting and I am going to also post a letter from Tom about this issue.
  9. I would support a higher size limit and/or establishing seasons. However, the commercial guys would also have to cut back by the same percentage.
  10. I don't know
  11. Thank you, and you are welcome to come regardless of how you feel about Tom. Please realize that he is a member of JCAA but neither he or any other board members establish positions for JCAA on any issue. We are an association of clubs and each club has an equal say and then our positions are formed by how our member clubs vote. Also,Tom does not represent JCAA on the ASMFC. He is the Governor's appointee and he is charged with representing all of New Jersey's fishermen, not just those who belong to JCAA.
  12. Yes, Tom is our legislative committee chairman.
  13. All, Please just respond to this thread if you would like to attend. We will be serving pizza beginning at 7 PM. Thanks, Paul Haertel JCAA Membership Secretary The Jersey Coast Anglers Association is seeking new member clubs as well as associate (individual) members. For the first time ever, JCAA is opening its a general membership meeting to those who may be interested in joining or learning more about how JCAA operates. The meeting will be held at 7:30 PM on 2/26/19 at the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers Club located at 385 Herbertsville Rd., Brick, NJ. Annual dues for club membership are $50 while associate memberships cost $25. Light refreshments will be served beginning at 7 PM. Seating is limited and we also want to order the appropriate amount of food so please contact our membership secretary, Paul Haertel at 973-943-8201 or if you plan on attending. The Jersey Coast Anglers Association is a charitable non-profit 501(c)3 organization that was formed in 1981. The original objective of the JCAA, that continues today, was to combine a group of marine sportfishing clubs in order to form and promote a united consensus on issues relevant to saltwater anglers in New Jersey. Amongst the topics likely to be discussed at this meeting are the recently signed Modern Fishing Act, the proposed windmills off our coast, sand mining, the new striped bass stock assessment, forage species, youth education activities, and what our regulations might look like this year for fluke, sea bass, stripers and perhaps other species.
  14. On Saturday, February 16th, 2019 the JCAA will be holding its second annual all you can eat Beefsteak Dinner and Fishing Seminar. The event will be held at the Forked River Tuna Club located at 18 Bay Av., Forked River, NJ. Doors will open at 5 PM with seminars beginning at 6 PM. Come in early to look around the club, have a drink, socialize and check out our silent auction prizes. At 6 PM, Paul Haertel will talk briefly about the JCAA and also give an update on what our fishing regulations might look like for 2019. Then Anthony Arcabasscio, son of the famed Tony Maja will give a power point presentation on wire line trolling for stripers. Then at 7 PM an all you can eat beefsteak dinner will be served by Nightingale Catering. Salad, French fries, beefsteak and dessert will be served along with soft drinks, coffee and tea. A cash bar will also be available. The silent auction winners will be determined and then the affair will be concluded with a 50/50 drawing. Tickets are just $50 per person and may be purchased online at or via our Facebook page. They may also be reserved by contacting Paul Haertel at 973-943-8201 or
  15. NOAA has proposed a rule that would allow fishing for striped bass in a portion of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the area of Block Island. JCAA is opposed to this for reasons stated in our letter below. However, we need your help to stop this proposed rule from going into effect. Please take a few minutes to comment on this issue by going to: A simple statement saying that you are opposed to this rule is sufficient or you can use our letter as a guideline and elaborate further if your wish. Written comments may also be mailed to: Kelly Denit, Division Chief, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3, Silver Spring, MD. 20910 or faxed to Kelly at 301-713-1193. All comments must be received by 11/19/18 Dear Chief Denit, The Jersey Coast Anglers Association (JCAA) appreciates this opportunity to comment on the proposed rule that would open a portion of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), more specifically the Block Island Transit Zone (BITZ), to striped bass fishing. The JCAA represents approximately 75 fishing clubs throughout our state. Many of our clubs’ individual members enjoy fishing for stripers. This includes all types of striper fishermen, ranging from those who like to keep all the fish they can legally take for consumption to those who prefer to release every striped bass they catch. Many of these anglers are very passionate about their sport. When it comes to regulations pertaining to striped bass, if you put ten striper fishermen in a room you might have ten different opinions as to how they should be managed. However, one thing they all agree on is that they want a healthy striped bass fishery with good representation from various year classes. The JCAA has always fought hard to protect the stocks of striped bass, especially when the stocks of this fishery were decimated during the 1970's and early 1980's. Back then, we were the driving force that pushed through legislation that prohibited striped bass from being commercially caught or sold in our state. This designation helped the coastal stocks of striped bass to recover significantly. We realized back then as we do now that having a viable recreational striped bass fishery is of extreme economic value to our state. In recent years, the spawning stock biomass (SSB) of striped bass has been declining. The quality of striped bass fishing along our coast, particularly for those fishing from shore, has declined significantly. Since many of the stripers that are caught in states to our north are the same ones that migrate through New Jersey, we certainly don’t want to see regulations that would allow stripers to be harvested in any portion of the EEZ. In 2015, both commercial and recreational anglers were forced by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to reduce their harvest by 25%. Therefore, it does not make sense that while the ASMFC is trying to keep the stocks of striped bass healthy, a portion of the EEZ would be opened to allow more striped bass to be harvested. We fear that opening a portion of the EEZ to striper fishing could be the equivalent of opening Pandora’s box. We understand that the current proposed rule would open the BITZ only to recreational fishermen. However, if that were to happen the next proposal might be to open it to commercial fishing as well. Further, we understand that this proposal is being considered because it is in a “unique area.” Well, there are other “unique areas” along the east coast as well. We fear that other states might request “unique areas” near them be opened too. The next thing you know, there might be a proposal to open the EEZ in its entirety to striped bass fishing. We are adamantly opposed to that! Stripers often winter over and are concentrated in the EEZ particularly off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia. They are very vulnerable at that time and would be decimated if the fishing there was reopened. The EEZ is a sanctuary for striped bass to help ensure that the stocks attain and remain at healthy levels. Further, the BITZ already allows for the transportation of stripers through the EEZ. We are not enthralled with that rule either as we understand that this has led to quite a few poachers fishing in that area. We find it appalling to hear that one of the arguments for opening this area is that people are fishing for stripers there anyway. We would like to see more enforcement in the area if this is the case. Therefore, in conclusion, we strongly urge NOAA to nip this potential problem in the bud by denying any request to open any portion of the EEZ to fishing for striped bass! Sincerely, Mark Taylor, President Jersey Coast Anglers Association