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FishermanTim

Something that made me wonder....

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A fellow angler that I've run across at different times down in Duxbury mentioned an increase of (possible) poaching going on from the bridge.

Seems like there is a "bucket brigade" hitting the bridge at night, and based on his observations, they were taking whatever they caught.

 

He told me he has reported what he observed, and even kept track of vehicles in the mainland parking lot.

(not difficult as there are only a few anglers there at night this late in the season)

 

From what I gathered from our conversation, there doesn't seem to be anything being done to curtail these activities/poachers.

 

 

I'm just wondering if anyone else has witnessed something "shady" while down there?

 

For the record, I was there Mon night for the night high tide, and there a few guys fishing "with a good sized cooler" - That means nothing if they were hoping for a keeper fish.

I wasn't close enough to see any fish being caught but I did "hear" what could only be described as a small fish in a plastic bag when I passed by.

Not enough for me to make any claim other than "hearing a noise".

 

Just wondering if the EPO visits that area regularly?

 

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I think you should get a job as an EPO.

I'm impressed how you can tell a poacher by the gear they carry. VERY impressed that you can tell both size and species of fish by the sound it makes in a bag.

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I had the ORV pass this year. Never fished the bridge, never even saw someone hook up when I was driving over. I saw EPO down there more frequently when the plovers where around. I called the EPO last week after visiting a spot in the way into work in the city. Found at a minimum 35 discarded bass carcasses majority were schoolies and a few keepers. I'd just make a call and maybe they'll stop by.

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Maybe wait till you witness some actual poaching before calling.

One thing I learned in my local freshwater venue, the EPOs get sick of being called to investigate poachers only to find no poaching was witnessed, just people who, um, (speaking in SOL code) were "bucket brigade".

The warden told me they were getting called almost every day since "those people" started showing up, but they rarely found violations. He said they had better things to do with their time.

Puts a different perspective on the theory that EPOs don't show when called.

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18 hours ago, FishermanTim said:

A fellow angler that I've run across at different times down in Duxbury mentioned an increase of (possible) poaching going on from the bridge.

Seems like there is a "bucket brigade" hitting the bridge at night, and based on his observations, they were taking whatever they caught.

 

He told me he has reported what he observed, and even kept track of vehicles in the mainland parking lot.

(not difficult as there are only a few anglers there at night this late in the season)

 

From what I gathered from our conversation, there doesn't seem to be anything being done to curtail these activities/poachers.

 

 

I'm just wondering if anyone else has witnessed something "shady" while down there?

 

For the record, I was there Mon night for the night high tide, and there a few guys fishing "with a good sized cooler" - That means nothing if they were hoping for a keeper fish.

I wasn't close enough to see any fish being caught but I did "hear" what could only be described as a small fish in a plastic bag when I passed by.

Not enough for me to make any claim other than "hearing a noise".

 

Just wondering if the EPO visits that area regularly?

 

Yep.  Seeing it a lot more this fall than in the past.  There was either EPO or Natural Resources truck there 2-3 weeks ago on one of those 10ish PM high tides.  Looked like he was checking licenses.  Saw a few guys walking off the bridge with their 2-piece rods broken down and headed out.  I assume they were asked to depart?

 

The biggest difference this year is tide doesn't matter.  I see the same handful of cars/people at even dead low out there...but ONLY late at night.

 

As I was driving off a couple weeks ago, i saw a figure on the bridge under the railing.  At fist I thought is was seaweed or a rag.  I stopped, backed up and got out only to find an 18" striper.  There were plenty of anglers on the bridge, but none in close proximity.  The fish was still alive (barely) so I released it.

Maybe a "night osprey" dropped it by mistake?  

 

I've had a good look at the buckets and haven't seen any tails sticking out so I'm not sure what goes in or out of them.

 

I can't say I've "witnessed" enough to call EPO, and don't know that "my gut" is enough either.  But...

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Fair amount of unemployed in MA because of COVID.

 

I suspect some of those described above are having a tough time putting food on the table, or making a few coins, and have resorted to poaching. 

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1 hour ago, Joe G said:

Fair amount of unemployed in MA because of COVID.

 

I suspect some of those described above are having a tough time putting food on the table, or making a few coins, and have resorted to poaching. 

Living out here in the boonies I have seen people putting food on the table many times, most people out here understand  that and look the other way.  People poaching fish and game deserve every bit of punishment allowed by law if they are poaching for profit.  In this day and age there is no reason to do either............

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I agree, taking fish for the table in a time of need is understandable, but when someone brings a big cooler and is fishing with a bunch of "friends" it starts to look a bit sketchy.

 

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Guys keeping and wasting huge amounts of recreational fish was common when I was growing up.  Back in the day I recall seeing guys keeping coolers full of 16" stripers, togs, and blues.    Why, basically because they could, and the resource was free.  

My dad and I would often return home with a cooler full of fish. But between my grandmother, and our next door neighbor, none were wasted.  My grandmother lived off fish I gave her.

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I'm totally against all forms of poaching, even for hungry people. There are numerous ways for hungry foragers to fill their coolers legally. 

 In the case I mentioned above, in a freshwater pond, the locals were calling EPOs making accusations of poaching because they felt "them people" kept everything they caught and/or were keeping too many "short" largemouth bass.

(As an aside, it amazes me the way guys freak out when someone keeps a largemouth. You'd think they were on the federal Endangered list instead of a non-native invasive nuisance that overpopulated every damn pond in the state).

What the warden was finding in the dreaded white buckets was gobs of bluegill (another over populated invasive) and limits of 5 largemouth over 12". All totally legal and absolutely harmless, if not helpful to the pond.

A family of 4 who keeps a limit of 20 12" long largemouth is not breaking any laws and like it or not, is not harming the environment. 

Calling the warden on them because you don't like the way they look or the bucket they carry is a waste of the slim law enforcement resources. 

 

Of course if you observe actual law breaking, by all means call.

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I have been there about 5 times this year due to a long drive and wanting to fish in the dark. I did not see anything like that this year. About 7-8 years ago, we were fishing there, and a couple of guys-I am only going to say Asian because I don't want to be called out for anything other than what I observed as their ethnic background and accents pulling up fish and making a phone call. A Honda or Toyota would drive out, stop, and the fish went into the trunk. That was when there was a 2 fish over 28" limit.  It was dark, and there were 2 or 3 guys fishing, so it was difficult to tell who caught what and how many. They definitely had a system, and did not want to have their fish with them on the bridge.

 

Before you guys jump down my back for not calling. I still had a cheap trac flip phone back then. I did not have the EPO phone #.  We were hoping the Duxbury police would drive through, and we would have reported what we were seeing.

 

 

 

 

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