JerseySwells

Lack of Bluefish Affecting the Fall Surf Run?

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Was looking through my log for the past 5-6 years or so and let me know if anyone has any thoughts on this theory:

 

The near complete lack of bluefish the past two seasons has been detrimental to the fall run of striped bass from the surf. Bluefish blitzes used to push bait, adult bunker, peanuts, etc into the surf and bigger sized stripers would move either mixed in with the blues to clean up the mess or just after the blues moved on. Bass now have no incentive to clean up the scraps of the bluefish in the surf and stay offshore to feed on adult bunker schools. Now we are left with smaller bait in the surf, rain fish, spearing, pockets of sand eels and other small baits for schoolies to feed on. 

 

There are obviously more than one factor as to why the surf run hasn't been good for a while now such as beach replenishment, the recent storm patterns ect. But I'm a little alarmed by the considerable lack of blues for the second year in a row now. It's a real shame that slaughter happened 3-4 years ago around here.

 

Tight Lines!

stripedbassking likes this

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Swells has a good point. April through early Oct I mostly fish from my boat. Every year beginning in mid May it was hard getting bait past the blues to get down to the stripers. The past 2 years there has been a lack of bird activity usually generated by blues chasing bunker. I haven't caught a bluefish in 2 years, which is very odd.

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Last year was nothing in the surf and nothing but 6"-12" snappers in the back bays. If it weren't for them i wouldn't have caught anything after September. Total crap season. I fished everywhere Cape May to Strathmere. 

fd4mcola likes this

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I think  the beach replenishment program has pushed the fish off shore? Just one man's humble opinion.

Much less  blue fish this year then last. 

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10 mins ago, dbjpb said:

I think  the beach replenishment program has pushed the fish off shore? Just one man's humble opinion.

Much less  blue fish this year then last. 

Winnah, winnah chicken dinna'.

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27 mins ago, dbjpb said:

I think  the beach replenishment program has pushed the fish off shore? Just one man's humble opinion.

Much less  blue fish this year then last. 

 

16 mins ago, Spigola said:

Winnah, winnah chicken dinna'.

 Bulls Eye, the fish, blues and bass stay offshore and migrate, no reason to come close theres no food except what they chase. Sad.

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I agree that beach replenishment is a major factor in keeping bait and game fish off the beach because of all the structure being buried, but there aren't even cocktail blues around in the surf, and much less numbers in the back and inlets than years past. I think that has to do with the killing of big breeders. Its a delicate ecosystem and I think the overfishing of big blues several years ago has significantly affected the stock the past two years and has been a contributing factor to the lack of bait being pushed into the beach. 

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Its not only Joisey that's seeing the decline in blues and bass, Montauk and Cape Cod which were once surf fishing nirvanas are also kaput. Lets say along with beach replenishment being a major factor, its also the fish management folks that need replacing instead of being influenced by those with the coin. As for blues this year, its not only surf that is bare, the boat brigade isn't getting them either.

 

Bottom line, too many folks fishing, too few fish to take and too many know nothings running the show.

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9 mins ago, Highlander1 said:

Its not only Joisey that's seeing the decline in blues and bass, Montauk and Cape Cod which were once surf fishing nirvanas are also kaput. Lets say along with beach replenishment being a major factor, its also the fish management folks that need replacing instead of being influenced by those with the coin. As for blues this year, its not only surf that is bare, the boat brigade isn't getting them either.

 

Bottom line, too many folks fishing, too few fish to take and too many know nothings running the show.

Well said 

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It’s really sad to see pretty much all our fisheries in decline. There’s more people fishing than there ever before, and we haven’t compensated enough to protect the fish. I could see tog getting in trouble in the future. There’s way more people tog fishing nowadays, hence the tog jig craze, and they grow so slowly. A 10lb fish is probly older than me and I’m 26. Those fish deserve to live. 

buddha162 and fd4mcola like this

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5 hours ago, FunkyBunker said:

Last year was nothing in the surf and nothing but 6"-12" snappers in the back bays. If it weren't for them i wouldn't have caught anything after September. Total crap season. I fished everywhere Cape May to Strathmere. 

I fish all the same areas and I have not seen a bluefish this year SJ is the dead sea

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I'll still put the blame on Sandy. Every year since, the fishing has been horrible compared to Pre-Sandy.

I think it changed the bottom contours so much that the fish had to change their foraging grounds.

I used to kill Fluke in the SH Channel out to the Scotland. Now all I get out there are Porgies, Robbins, and Sea Bass. Spring Bass were great off S.I., now not as good. Maybe after they finish all this Beach Replenishment crap, thanks to Sandy, the bite will come back.

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About too many people fishing...........It's not that there are too many people fishing, it's that there are too many that don't pay attention to the regs. DEC seems to not want to bother a certain segment of the population who keep whatever they pull in. This happens more than you think.

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