Mr. Bigdeal

Can it happen again......Maybe.

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Quote: "Then, there’s the reports from commercial fishermen who say there are acres of stripers packed in, further out -- well past the three-mile state limit."

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After just an OK surf season, I'm wondering if there is anything that will bring the fish in again like in the good ol' days or are they gone forever....are bait and beach structure the only considerations.

Edited by Mr. Bigdeal

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Maybe the noise from the replenishment rigs bother the bait and fish or it just disturbs them enough that they stay off of the beach?  The near shore clam beds are gone.  No more blue claw crabs in the wash.  Not too many baby fluke around.  Baby sea robins, hard heads, kingfish ditto.  I'll go out on a limb and say the surf line is pretty much devoid of life along NJ.  It has it's moments in short bursts here and there but I think it's pretty much in a severe downward spiral.  

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35 mins ago, Jettyhound said:

Maybe the noise from the replenishment rigs bother the bait and fish or it just disturbs them enough that they stay off of the beach?  The near shore clam beds are gone.  No more blue claw crabs in the wash.  Not too many baby fluke around.  Baby sea robins, hard heads, kingfish ditto.  I'll go out on a limb and say the surf line is pretty much devoid of life along NJ.  It has it's moments in short bursts here and there but I think it's pretty much in a severe downward spiral.  

On a positive note, I guard on the beach in MonCo during the summers and while snorkeling this year, the nearshore beach and jetties were absolutely alive. Calico crabs, sand fleas, cownose rays, bullnose rays, big bottom-sitting sting rays, rainfish, blackfish, small fluke, triggers. Also saw tons of big pregnant female blue claws hiding under every single jetty rock. Schoolie bass were there some days, gone others. Snappers were around at the end of summer but moved out quickly. Schools of bonito and Spanish mackerel were here for a few weeks, even had small mahi follow an epoxy jig in while on a kayak after work one day about 200yds out at the end of August. No offense but devoid of life is a little bit of overkill and I seriously doubt the 4 or 5 jetties I check out are an outlier. If anyone gets a chance and some clear water, throw on a mask and swim around the jetties. Plenty of life there most days. Something is definitely keeping the adult bunker out of range though. The only time I saw them come in close all summer was when a pod of dolphins pushed them into the surf. 

 

This is also 6 years post-replenishment so there has been some time for things to come back.

Edited by JerseySwells

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8 hours ago, Jettyhound said:

Maybe the noise from the replenishment rigs bother the bait and fish or it just disturbs them enough that they stay off of the beach?  The near shore clam beds are gone.  No more blue claw crabs in the wash.  Not too many baby fluke around.  Baby sea robins, hard heads, kingfish ditto.  I'll go out on a limb and say the surf line is pretty much devoid of life along NJ.  It has it's moments in short bursts here and there but I think it's pretty much in a severe downward spiral.  

I doubt it. I know of guys catching fish this season within 100 yards of replenishment equip.  If we had all replenished beaches through the entire coastline with the striper biomass at its strongest it has been in the past 10-15 years there would be fish on the beaches IMO. 

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How many of us have stood on the beach during the fall run and seen the fog of birds out there near the horizon.....the migratory schools moving south along with the multitudes of bait.......

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23 hours ago, JoeGBreezy said:

Those "outside" proponents don't want to admit that the ( hoardes ) stripers were always out there. There are less fish overall . It's as simple as that.

 

This. They've been out there forever. 

 

The guys that tuna fish behind the scallop boats have seen bass out there for 15 or more years. 5 years ago at the public comment sessions charter captains were talking about the schools of bass offshore. 

 

That hasn't changed. Those fish have always been there. 

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First off Striped Bass are coastal fish, not pelagic. They don't have the speed for that hunt. I heard one commercial guy at an ASMPC meeting in NY telling everyone that they are / were stacked up like cord wood on the Stellwagen Bank. Doubt it.

On another note, all that replenishment should have softened the near shore surf bottom a bit as the sand is reclaimed by storms.That should be good for sand eel populations. Yes / no ?

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Sheepshead bay was named after that fish. flounder? Weakfish rebounding, etc. If you have been surfcasting, for a variety of species, for the past 30 years or more, stiffer regulations need to be adhered, for a variety of species.

 

Moments and "snapshots" from peoples experience in addition to the ability of the powers that be to manipulate numbers and overcomplicate findings is disturbing.

 

Did anyone hear or read about  Zeno's tournament this past fall at the mecca?

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On 12/28/2018 at 3:44 PM, JerseySwells said:

On a positive note, I guard on the beach in MonCo during the summers and while snorkeling this year, the nearshore beach and jetties were absolutely alive. Calico crabs, sand fleas, cownose rays, bullnose rays, big bottom-sitting sting rays, rainfish, blackfish, small fluke, triggers. Also saw tons of big pregnant female blue claws hiding under every single jetty rock. Schoolie bass were there some days, gone others. Snappers were around at the end of summer but moved out quickly. Schools of bonito and Spanish mackerel were here for a few weeks, even had small mahi follow an epoxy jig in while on a kayak after work one day about 200yds out at the end of August. No offense but devoid of life is a little bit of overkill and I seriously doubt the 4 or 5 jetties I check out are an outlier. If anyone gets a chance and some clear water, throw on a mask and swim around the jetties. Plenty of life there most days. Something is definitely keeping the adult bunker out of range though. The only time I saw them come in close all summer was when a pod of dolphins pushed them into the surf. 

 

This is also 6 years post-replenishment so there has been some time for things to come back.

I agree there is no shortage of mole crabs, the bonito, spanish and footballs hung around a bit and cow nose rays showed up.  And, I don't dispute your experiences.  I'm definitely glad to hear things are better elsewhere.

These are my observations: I've been fishing at IBSP for 45 years and in years past the surf line was full of life.  I've witnessed a dramatic decline -over the past 10 years or so- regarding surfline marine life.  I fish with guys that are 20 years older than me as well, and we mention the rapid decline of marine life in the wash often.  In fact, we're bewildered and dismayed at how bad things have gotten.  Granted, there is only one jetty in the park but the fishing there isn't like it used to be either -not even close.  Most often, fishing the jetty is barely worth the effort anymore, and out back is a waste of time.  Maybe it's just an IBSP thing...  But I'll add, Montauk fishing sucks too.  And I've seen stuff happen up there that, if I told you, would have you thinking I'm making it up.

 

Edited by Jettyhound
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On 12/28/2018 at 10:59 AM, JoeGBreezy said:

Those "outside" proponents don't want to admit that the ( hoardes ) stripers were always out there. There are less fish overall . It's as simple as that.

You got that right!  There is no fall population ion Del Bay anymore.  The spring run is down to a few big fish exiting the Del River post spawn..  No fish in North Carolina in the fall either, The winter fishery off of VA Beach is no more either.

Like Joe said, there simply less bass in the world than there were years back. They have always run in cycles.  Hopefully they will come back.

Hope the 3 mile limit stays in effect.  At least those fish are protected.

 

Crazy Bill

 

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Speaking of North Carolina, I lived there for two years in grad school and get emails from Fisheries management still. They are voting soon on potentially closing recreational and commercial striped bass harvest. They had two good spawn years down there with their local population and want to protect that  with closing the fishery....

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