Clams

Are stripers really in decline?

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Flysully you’re from NY?, his reports sound like an honest representation of what people are probably seeing in mid coast Maine.

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I really don’t know how they plan to reduce a state like Maine buy 17 percent with the proposed regulations. It doesn’t make sense with commercial fishing still being allowed.

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2 hours ago, flysully said:

I think Roccus7 is pulling our leg:) Don't you think so?

No my friend and fellow Lawnguylander, no exaggerations here.  I would defer to my esteemed, respected and learned colleague Crozzbow who will vouch that I have many honey holes in 'da hood.  

 

So where on LI do you fish?  In my ill-spent youth, I was a North Shore boy, cutting my surf teeth around Sound Beach and my boat chops between Buoys 11 and 9.  I went to "Graduate School" in the Gut, Sluiceway and Race alongside John Skinner's older, wiser and more skilled brother.  And yes, as it was legal back then and I was a broke graduate student, I often knocked on the back doors of Pt. Jeff restaurants like The Elks, selling my bass, bluefish and weakfish.  I lived, and caught through the dark days of the late 70s/early 80s before heading to the Midwest for a job. 

 

During my last few years on LI if I caught a couple of fish during an all-nighter it was declared an epic success.  Now if I don't catch double digit fish in a 2 hour trip, it's an abject failure.  Times and expectations change, but stripers remain constant: they seduce and ensnare you in their mystique.  

Edited by Roccus7

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22 hours ago, Roccus7 said:

Guess I'm still the oddball.  At this time last year I only had 26 bass 20" or greater with 3 keepers.  At that time last year I'd say it was 10 rats to every 20+" fish, so the estimate would be 150ish fish today.

 

That count this year where I'm counting everything and has more 20+" fish than 20"< fish, is 402 total fish, of which 232 were 20+", 1 keeper.  

 

Now, I'm not saying the fishery is not in decline, far from it.  The drop in rats has me seriously worried about the future, although I do enjoy the plethora of larger fish.  There are many crazy 24-26" fish that fight way over their pay grade, providing great sport in shallow water.  You know things are nuts when stripers start channeling bluefish, hitting plugs and flying out of the water shaking their heads.  Often they get very creative in sending that plug back at you when the successfully shake the hooks out!!

I have had the same experience fishing topwater this year. The bite is definately different than last year but the average fish size is in the 20's for me. They have fought well above their pay grade and have had fish jump etc. The total number has been down for me as well as total keeper size fish(which I don't keep but record for angler survey). I have seen more legit blitzes this year despite less time on the water from last year. Areas I frequent so far it seems like last years dinks went up one size. My boom years were 2011-2013, wasn't up here before 2010 so no point of reference. In my experience it has not gotten better.

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N h. Seacoast.    I feel like I’m going back to the 80”s when there were zero fish..

ive kept records since 89.     The last three yrs steady decline to what was so good..

   there is so much we could do...   

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I, too, have seen a big decline in numbers.  Two years ago I checked my fly for debris if I hadn't caught a fish in 5 casts.  Now when I do hook up, my mind first thinks that I've caught bottom or some other obstacle.  

 

So far this year, I'm mid 60s for numbers.  I had a single tide 2 years ago where I caught 40+ fish.  I didn't keep numbers back then, but I was easily 6x what I'm seeing this year.  And I've covered far more territory this year trying to find them.  Compare that to Mal's (Maniac) numbers and it's hard to deny that 2019 is an abysmal year.  

 

That means either we're having an off year statistically, or we are in decline worse than anyone is imagining.  Or perhaps it's a little of both.  Also, I watched a commercial boat the other day (amazing how many lines were in the water) - and I didn't see anyone hook up the 30 minutes I saw them.

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On 7/12/2019 at 11:11 PM, Jim A. said:

N h. Seacoast.    I feel like I’m going back to the 80”s when there were zero fish..

ive kept records since 89.     The last three yrs steady decline to what was so good..

   there is so much we could do...   

Your right on the money, many people out here think hey I caught twenty schoolies, the fishery is great!!! When in all actuality it is the breeder sized fish that are disappearing more and more from people who literally don’t care and want to be internet hero’s and get “likes” online or go on charter boats that gaff everything they catch.  Bottom line is if you give a crap about the fishery then leaving the big fish in the water would help, there’s going to be a HUGE size gap between year classes very very soon. It’ll be to the point we’ll struggle to find a 30” fish let alone anything over 40”

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I think there’s a lot of people here who know and want change with the fishery. It should really be so much better. Obviously the regulations for stripers are not working. They’ve already seen it years ago but still want to claim easy handouts and say that recreational fishing kill’s more then commercial. If we can get people to send letters and messages when they open it up for public discussion, maybe some of these spoon fed representatives can actually do there job.

Edited by Clams

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