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Found 10 results

  1. I just saw an email from The Saltwater Edge stating they are going to donate 1% of their December sales to the American Saltwater Guides Association. In case you are not aware the ASGA provides a collective voice that we desperately need in managing fishery stocks like Striped Bass and Bluefish. They understand that all the stakeholders will benefit from a fishery that is managed for abundance and not for the greatest amount of fish we can harvest. That mindset is what brought us to striped bass decline of past and present. I applaud them for their forward thinking and hope others do the same. If I would have known this I would have purchased the surf rod I just received through them. My next order will be through their online store. Thanks again gents!
  2. SOL Members- We are a large community not doing a good job flexing our collective MUSCLE. 1) Looking for one volunteer from each state on the striper coast to post any striper conservation meetings (Club, Non-Profit, Local, State, Federal) to SOL Main Forum one week ahead of meeting. 2) Once posted, at least one SOL member should step forward to post committing he/she can attend the meeting. ONE person has to be able to make it. 3) After the meeting, SOL member(s) who attended should post report of any significant developments, photos, names, whatever, that could help us get striper conservation escalated. With Cwitek's help, I volunteer to post all meeting in NY that he (or anyone else) makes me aware of. I'll also attend any I can. Please volunteer for your state: ME NH MA RI CT NY - MaxKatt NJ DE MD VA NC Actual meeting posting to the Main Forum should look identical (same title format & tag "Conservation"), and be all business as follows so they are easily recognizable to our thousands of members:
  3. I went out with few friends but they do not keep or eat stripers. I love fish but I would play my part in the conservation of the specie. Would anyone comment in what's the best time to keep stripers without putting in risk their reproduction?
  4. How’s it going! I just wanted to make sure the community was aware of an amendment to the striped bass management plan being proposed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Amendment 7 would change the goalposts used to measure striped bass population and would redefine targets and thresholds for the striped bass population. for more info: Public comment period is open until April 9th. There is a button to take action in the TRCP link so you can send a message to the commission (a prewritten message is provided)
  5. Below is a good article I just read from the ASGA website. I can certainly related to a lot of what John said. I plan on voicing my concerns next month and hope many of you do the same. By Capt. John McMurray I grew up in Northern Virginia. Alexandria to be specific. Had a pretty good upbringing. Good parents. Stay at home mom, hard-working Irish dad, and plenty of friends. Of course it’s hard to remember that far back, but I was a “good” happy kid. I sure as hell didn’t come from a fishing family, or even an outdoorsy one. Yet, my summers were consumed with catching bluegills in what we called Mt. Vernon Pond. Eventually I graduated to catfish. There was that one (of course it was probably more than one) mystical fish that pulled at least one rod in the water and broke lines a few times every year. After two years of relentless pursuit, eventually I stuck it, did a full lap around the pond, and landed it. Instant legend (in my own mind). Seemed huge at the time, but it was maybe 9 or 10 pounds. To me though, at 9 years old with my bluegill gear, it was epic! That photo – bowl-cut and all – is still hanging somewhere in my parent’s house. As I got older, there were the largemouth bass that showed up, almost unexpectedly, in the Potomac River with the hydrilla explosion (an invasive aquatic plant that pretty much turned parts of the river into a swamp, seemingly overnight). A one-mile bike-ride from the house and I was throwing topwater baits at its edges and completely freaking out every time a bass exploded on them. Those were good days, man. But something happened around 13. I can’t pin-point it, cause I don’t know what specifically it was, but I found darkness, or maybe it simply found me. I won’t get into the details, but I quickly became a not-good-kid. My embarrassed mom was dragged into visits with the principal, there was a police visit to the house, and an entire summer I was grounded – confined to the house and yard until school started up. And when it did, I didn’t last long. Eventually, I ended up in, gasp, Catholic School, where they didn’t put up with that kinda ****. Yeah, it helped. My grades got better, and I became consumed with sports, and of course girls. I don’t think I touched a fishing rod between junior high and the first three years of high school. But towards the end of my junior year, the unthinkable happened. I got dumped by my high school sweetheart of two years for some other dude. Inconsequential. Happens to everyone right? But I was devastated. Anger turned into depression, and it was just a ****** summer all around. Towards the end of it, off work, hungover and feeling pretty bad all around – in an act of pure desperation, I took one of my old-ass rods out of the shed, threw it in the piece-of-garbage Jeep, and headed down to a spot at Belle Haven Marina where I used to crush the large–mouth. I wasn’t expecting much, but first cast with a swimming plug into moving current, and I could see, quite clearly, the starboard flank of a horizontally-striped fish turn on the plug and miss it, leaving a solid boil behind. Striped bass were extraordinarily rare back then, at least as far as I knew (of course we didn’t have internet). But this was in the late ‘80s, the very beginning of their resurgence from near–collapse, which I knew nothing about at the time. What I did know was that something much bigger than the standard 3 to 5-pound largemouth just took a swing at my plug, and it sure as hell looked like one of those fish I saw in the magazines. Was it a striper though? “No way man, I’m seeing ****.”. A few casts later, I saw the follow, the open mouth, gill plates flaring red… I set the hook and the fish cleared the water instantaneously. 100% a striped bass. I was on for maybe 5 seconds before that fish broke off. What did I expect? 8lb Stren that hadn’t been used in several years. Brilliant of me to bring only one plug. Didn’t matter though. That fish changed things. In that moment, I didn’t give a F about my stupid girlfriend or the fact that she was hooking up with some blueblood prep-school kid. But that isn’t the point. The familiar adrenaline rush, the sense of hope that it brought, the anticipation that those fish were gonna be there when I went back (they weren’t, but that’s not relevant) – it kinda changed things all around. How it changed things isn’t terribly easy to explain, but no, I’m not leading up to some bull**** about how I knew I wanted to be a “fisherman” then and there. The thought of monetizing it didn’t cross my mind until decades later. I remember just feeling good… Like maybe I could actually feel good. I dunno, maybe it was from there that my life’s path sprang. But let me be clear that this isn’t some Hallmark special about how striped bass kept me eternally happy, off drugs, in school and now I’m an incredibly successful charter boat captain making hundreds and thousands of dollars. Because God knows it didn’t do any of that. But as stupid as it sounds, it grounded me. Not because fishing was an escape. Naha man… It wasn’t/it isn’t an escape at all. Exactly the opposite. It was/is an engagement into the “real” world free of bull****. Where nothing else matters but the here-and-now. Just me and those gosh darn mother-F’n fish. I mean really, there were often times where that felt like the ONLY real thing in my life. The truth is that familiar feeling, that resurfaced that day, I grasped it and held on tight through everything during the next three decades. What followed were, ahem, five tumultuous years of college. Some bad decisions, lots of drinking and other stuff, a few more heart–breaks and lots of bad behavior. Generally, it took me a LONG time to grow up. (Note: I’m dangerously close to 50 and I dunno that I’ve quite grown up yet). No matter how ****** things got though – (i.e., the utter shock of stepping off a bus as an entitled college kid while some dude screamed bloody hell at me, then two months later stepping foot on a 270’ Coast Guard Cutter and shuffled right to the engine room where I wiped up oil from the bilge and needlessly polished brass – rarely seeing the light of day – while we steamed thousands of miles from where I had last called home) – I had those fish…. And I could and did always come back to them. Moving forward, like any life, there were good times and damn tough ones, some decades ago, and certainly some more recent. And while it may sound hokey to say that these fish have helped me get through all of that, well, it’s true. Because even in the darkest of times, when you’re out on the water, in pursuit, and the sun peaks over the horizon, and stripers are boiling all around you, you quickly realize that, absa-fck’n-lutely, life IS worth living. Fast forward to now, and yeah, while I might be better known as the tuna guy these days, I built a career off of striped bass. Not a hugely profitable one, and I work my ass off… But, it never gets old. To this day, I get that same sensation as I did that day at Belle Haven, every damn time I encounter a striper, whether it’s a 50-pounder or a 5-pounder. And… with every sunrise, with every boil, ya get the feeling that all the bull**** life regularly throws at ya is irrelevant, and that this… this is what matters. And my boy? He’s gonna be 12 this year. Since he was four, I’ve watched him evolve into one hell of a striped bass angler. For sure, he’s got the bug, but I hope to God he doesn’t end up the miserable prick that I am (laughing… kind of). Absolutely, striped bass have offered me a way to connect with that kid in a way I never would be able to without them. Most of the time it’s just me and him on the boat freaking out when that striper crushes a plug – just like I did with those first largemouth on the Potomac when I was his age – inadvertently teaching him new and colorful cuss words, taking smack, laughing a lot and having fun, unconstrained by rules we follow on land. Yeah, maybe at some point he’ll decide I’m a tool (ahem, like my daughter did a while ago) and that he doesn’t wanna go anymore, but right now, well, he NEVER turns down an opportunity (I take off every other Sunday to take him, but due to weather-related tuna cancelations, it ends up being a lot more). And that is something so gosh darn valuable to me ya can’t even begin to put a price tag on it. Yeah, sure, I guess you could maybe make all these connections with any recreationally-targeted fish, but come on man… If you’re a striped bass guy – and if you are reading this, I’m guessing that you are – you understand full-well that striped bass are special. I’m sure as hell not gonna try and explain exactly why here… Because if you have to ask, you probably won’t understand. But I will say this. Despite efforts to brand it as such, it sure as F isn’t just some bucket fish. Because if you stick your head into the fishing community for even a minute, you’ll understand that it is NOT comparable to fluke, black seabass, scup or even bluefish. It is revered, romanticized and, well, respected. And while I may be an extreme case, it absolutely influences lives. For those folks who still have hunting and fishing embedded in their DNA, stripers offer a profoundly important opportunity to connect to the natural world – to something we all once were, and to something many of us still need. To a lot of us, that is critical, for sanity, and maybe even for an industrialized/digitalized society’s sanity as a whole. Yes, absolutely, there are fisherman who would consider striped bass as little more than “meat,” and take great pains to label anyone who might think otherwise “elitists.” But, to be very clear – judging not just by anecdotal observations, but by the sheer volume of public comment advocating for conservation with every proposed management action – they are a fraction of the striped bass constituency. In general, folks from the recreational sector who seem to want to see striped bass managed as a bucket fish are the same folks who generate income according to how many they can kill, rather than the experience of hunting and catching them. And there seem to be less and less of those folks. The truth is that most anglers have evolved to understand that it isn’t about killing fish at all, but simply about the chase and everything that comes with it. Yeah, maybe you get to kill a fish, maybe you don’t. But it’s the reasonable opportunity to encounter that really matters. Seems pretty obvious that if it were simply about meat, it’d be much cheaper and less time consuming to just go to the fish market. While it’s probably true that most folks don’t make life decisions on stripers like I did, they value striped bass in the same way that I do. As a critical sport fish. Seriously, how else can you characterize a fishery that is 90% recreational and 90% catch and release (NOAA Fisheries numbers, not mine)? Don’t think for a minute though that I’m trying to sell some sorta no-kill or gamefish (no commercial fishing) religion here. Because let me tell ya man, we kill fish… all of us. Some on purpose, some not on purpose (discard mortality does add up). And I’m sure as hell not opposed to sustainable commercial extraction. Can the sport fishery and harvest oriented fisheries exist together? Of course they can. But coastal access and long-term health and sustainability should be a priority. It’s not rocket science. A public resource like this, where the public clearly values things like abundance, sustainable access, sport etc., well it should be managed with that in mind. And to some extent, since 2004 when Amendment 6 was implemented, it has been. Goals and objectives were created back then that emphasized things like maintaining diverse age and size classes, hedging against recruitment failure, and coastal access. Reference points were set based on a level of abundance that reflected a truly rebuilt stock. Management triggers were created to head off an overfishing/overfished situation (although it’s true they’ve often been ignored). But here we are now, at a crossroads. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is currently considering Amendment 7, which offers an unusual opportunity change all of these things. Yes, some things possibly for the better, but most for the worse. Absolutely there are folks interested in increasing harvest, even though we are currently in an “overfished” situation with stiped bass. Although none of it seems to be based on science, they’ve gained some traction with arguments about shifting productivity and carrying capacity. To boil it all down into the simplest terms, what’s at stake here is whether this fishery is managed as just another bucket fish moving forward – which it sure as hell isn’t – or whether it’s managed for coastal access and long-term sustainability, which is long what the majority of the fishing public has advocated for. If you’re a striped bass fisherman, you get it… It’s NOT just another fish. They are SO damn important to so many folks, for so many reasons. The public comment period for Amendment 7 starts next month. And what goes down at these hearings, as well as what sort of written comment is collected, is critical. I’d like to say with some honesty that that such comment will inform decisions, but I’m guessing some readers know that this hasn’t been the case with some past striped bass management decisions. But… I would like to point out that there are certainly circumstances where overwhelming public comment did drive striped bass decisions at the Commission – i.e. Addendum IV, which resulted in a 25% landings reduction back in 2015 and going from a coastal bag limit of two fish to one. And, well, the aforementioned Amendment 6 was indeed largely driven by an uprising/outpouring of concerned anglers. And certainly, we didn’t get a lot of what we wanted with Addendum VI but try and think about that outcome in the context of what we could have ended up with without angler engagement. However you feel about slots limits, it’s hard not to see how may fish were released this year as a result. The point is that managers DO listen, and absolutely, they need to hear from you. I know this whole fishing thing is supposed to be fun, and free of “bull****,” like I said. But this is NOT the time to sit on your ass and let other folks do your bidding. Because if you do, you could very well lose that which you hold dear. And that’s no joke. You can see the public hearing schedule here. - you can copy and paste this into your browser of you want to view the .pdf Yes, we can help. Keep an eye out here for a comprehensive set of recommendations/suggestions from ASGA on how to comment. But if you give a **** about striped bass – and if you’ve made it this far I’m just about certain that you do – please understand this. It is NOT acceptable to do nothing. It’s a publicly owned resource, and you are the public! Commissioners need to hear from you. Governors in your state need to hear from you. And you…. You need to speak up.
  6. Are offset circle hooks more likely to gut hook fish? Is there any other difference between an inline circle and a offset circle hook?
  7. Is anyone familiar with Cooke’s track record on conservation? For those who may not follow the issue Omega is the #1 (maybe the only?) US commercial harvester of mehaden for use in consumer products.
  8. How to Protect the Atlantic Fishery By JOHN G. GANSNOV. 13, 2017 Earlier this year, a couple of New Jersey anglers were fishing the waters near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge when a humpback whale nearly landed in their 19-foot boat. Their video of the encounter was watched hundreds of thousands of times and made national news, but most people likely missed one detail — the small fish that landed in the boat along with the whale. Fishermen like myself, however, recognized it right away as an Atlantic menhaden. Anglers learn to look for that small fish, because we know that where we find menhaden, we’ll also find whales, striped bass and a wealth of other marine life. During my last striped bass fishing trip off the Rockaways, I was lucky enough to catch my fill of big stripers and see feeding by porpoises, osprey and humpbacks. It was a National Geographic experience just a few miles from Manhattan. An important reason for bountiful catches like mine, many scientists believe, is the recovery of the menhaden, which began in 2013 after the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the government body that manages the species and others, enacted the first-ever catch limits for the fish, which is rendered into heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acid fish oil and used to produce fertilizers and high-protein animal feeds. This reduced the menhaden harvest by 20 percent. Menhaden have responded by returning in large numbers to New York, attracting the whales, striped bass, osprey and other species that feed on them. “Increasingly, we’re seeing what appears to be more abundant menhaden in our waters, and with that, we have increasing habitat of some of the large whales in some our waters,” Howard Rosenbaum, the director of the ocean giants program for the Wildlife Conservation Society, recently told the public radio show Science Friday. His organization has been studying whales in the New York Bight, the section of the Atlantic Ocean that stretches between Montauk Point on Long Island and Cape May, N.J. Unfortunately, this progress is at risk. At a meeting scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, the fisheries commission is considering several options for managing menhaden along the Eastern Seaboard, including one that would allow up to a 40 percent increase in the catch limit. An increase that large would ignore the important role these fish play in ocean ecosystems. This is why many recreational fishermen, scientists, conservationists, whale and bird watchers and even chefs and scuba divers support a policy that would consider managing menhaden in the context of the species’ role as an important prey fish for predators. Doing so would set an important precedent for managing other so-called forage fish and would be a welcome departure from the present approach of narrowly focusing on how many fish of a particular species can be sustainably harvested. Opposition to a more ecological approach comes principally from Omega Protein Inc., the largest industrial harvester of menhaden on the East Coast. The company catches hundreds of millions of menhaden every year. Omega Protein and the state of Virginia, where the company runs its Atlantic fishing operations, want aggressive catch increases that would jeopardize the recent success in managing menhaden populations. Omega contended in a recent letter to the commission that menhaden actually are in high abundance and underfished, and that “the current already conservative management approach to menhaden is more than adequately taking ecosystem considerations into account by default, if not design.” Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world. But a group of 118 scientists, in their own recent letter to the commission, argued that continuing the present management approach “is simply not acceptable,” would “contradict the scientific consensus on how to manage forage species” and could result in “substantial increases over current catch levels while ignoring likely negative impacts on predators.” Allowing an increase in the allowable catch that Omega is seeking, while waiting possibly years for the commission to develop and implement a scientific management model, would not only be an ecological disaster, but it would also be an economic mistake. Recreational saltwater angling in the Atlantic generates some $10.5 billion in economic activity annually. More abundant menhaden means more fishing, and more fishing is good for the economy, including the nascent whale watching business in New York City. At its meeting this week, the commission should take the responsible approach and manage menhaden using the best available science to both sustain fishing and the many predators that depend on them. Doing so would mark a turning point for Atlantic coast communities and our oceans.
  9. Last year I signed up for the New York Striped Bass Cooperative Anglers Survey, and I'll definitely be doing it again this year. I've been a user of the online elog book for the last couple of years, but collecting scales was a first for me (there is definitely a knack!). The coolest bit about collecting scales is the DEC will send you back the information on your catch, so you get to see the ages of all the fish that you caught. For example I had 2 year old fish ranging from 12 - 20 inches, and 5 year old fish ranging from 21 - 30. Fascinating! It would be great to see more anglers involved, and the DEC are keen to increase participation. Not only are you doing your bit for conservation and research, but you get to see the age information too, as well receiving the newsletter highlighting the results of the survey. The bad news is that the recruitment for NY in 2016 wasn't very good, following slightly above average years in 2014, 2015. Most surprising was that only 24 people in the whole of new york sent in scale samples. Come on guys, we can do better than that! I also got to meet a couple of the DEC guys when they collected the head of the one striper I kept last year, a 7 year old, 32 incher. They were unbelievably nice, and so passionate about our shared resource. It really gave me hope. This website gives you details on the NY program if you're interested in signing up: Tight lines for 2017!