Heavy Hooksetter

from wherst,they came?

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this may be a crazy question but,all my days of fishing since age 11,i have never heard of black sea bass till like a dozen years ago or so.

we fished and caught scup,weakies tommies and stuff but never saw one back then.

where did they come from?

HH

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1 hour ago, Surfjunki said:

Maybe you're used to them being called something different? For example, what the hell are tommies? Lol

I think it’s short for TomCod

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1 hour ago, Surfjunki said:

Maybe you're used to them being called something different? For example, what the hell are tommies? Lol

nope,they were not in my parts maybe till 12 years ago,maybe 20.

hell I started fishing saltwater in 1978,,,we didn't even see a striped bass till 1984 when I and a bunch of my friends fished for tommies,,,,

we would have our rods out with the line tight then we'd see the rod bounce and then the line go slack.

we didn't know it was small stripers doing that.

Also,back before 1984 all there were was huge gators and snappers.

then smaller blues showed up,after they arrived stripers showed up.

1977,there was a storm and the harbor was full of weakfish from large to small,

I wish I were kidding but,i am not.

HH

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2 hours ago, Surfjunki said:

Maybe you're used to them being called something different? For example, what the hell are tommies? Lol

Tommies are tomcod.

we never saw anyone fish for them.

we'd get big ones too with a lot of them pushing 14 inches at this time of year.

HH

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Black sea bass were always off New Jersey, New York and southern New England.  I remember my father bringing them home from Sheepshead Bay party boats in the early 1960s.

 

Like many species, they became badly overfished in the late '70s; although the population began to rebuild after passage of the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996, it became overfished again in the early 2000s and was not fully rebuilt until about 10 years ago.

 

But something else is also happening.  Black sea bass are not a true cold-water species.  They're closely related to groupers, and share many similarities, including protogynous hermaprodism.  And the size of each year class isn't primarily determined by the size of the spawn, but by survival over their first winter, which is spent at or near the edge of the continental shelf.  Winters which feature warm, more saline water lead to greater Year 0 survival and bigger year classes.  Thus, black sea bass are a beneficiary of climate change and the warming of coastal seas.

  

You might remember the winter of 2011-2012, which didn't feel like a winter at all.  While such warm winter was disasterous for striped bass, leading to the smallest year class in the history of the Maryland juvenile survey, it had the opposite impact on black sea bass, and produced what was, by far, the largest year class ever recorded.  Black sea bass began showing up in places where they hadn't been seen in decades, if at all; between New Jersey and southern New England, where there was always a population, black sea bass numbers spiked as the 2011s swarmed wrecks and various pieces of inshore struicture.  2015 also produced a very large year class, but it was only 60 or 65 percent as large as the 2011.

 

Now, the center of abundance has shifted; from the mid-Atlantic states to the northeast, where anglers are encountering sea bass in numbers that they have never seen before.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Rhode Islander here, I never been a BSB until late 90s early 00s. It’s crazy that we just crossed a threshold of what they can tolerate and now we have an abundance of these tasty invasive bastids. Kinda nice to have a no guilt seafood source tho.

Edited by BNickW

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I caught a 6.5# sea bass back in the 70s that I had mounted. It was in a 5 gallon bucket on the deck of a party boat all day before weighing it. That was a huge sea bass back then. I think the world record at the time was 8#. Caught out of Shinicock.

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2 mins ago, BNickW said:

Rhode Islander here, I never been a BSB until late 90s early 00s. It’s crazy that we just crossed a threshold or what they can tolerate and now we have an abundance of these tasty invasive bastids. Kinda nice to have a no guilt seafood source tho.

Ending overfishing played a big role, too.  My father started taking me codfishing on the Galilee party boats--mostly the Sea Squirrel and then the Super Squirrel--in the mid-1960s.  Back then, some of the inshore boats, like the Seven Bs and the--if I remember the name right--Five Chags, did target black sea bass along with scup, and caught a few.  But we never caught a black sea bass on Cox's Ledge, where you're seeing quite a few of them now.  Definitely many, many more around these days.

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