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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday Dec. 10, 07 -- Fluke decision in the making; Pot bill need calls

Monday, December 10, 2007: Waves: Small. Winds: Light. Fishing pressure: Very light.

There are a few schoolie bass along the beaches and a few spurts of better bass fishing (replete with keepers) from boats. However, serious sunk sessions were in the mix over the weekend. In fact, the majority of reports I had talked of dogfish – including large smooth dogs – and nothing else. I did some jigging and had two hookups of small bass, neither landed but on long enough to get a bit of rush.

I have a bunch of emails already asking about the 2008 fluke regs.

That is soon to be decided. In fact, tomorrow is the big day, if memory serves me.

During the currently-running 4-day meeting being held in Secauscus (Holiday Inn, Harmon Meadows, 300 Plaza Drive), the Mid-Atlantic Marine Fishery Management Council (MAMFC) and the Atlantic Marine Fishery Commission (ASMFC) will seemingly decide our fluking fate.

I say seemingly because I believe there is also the possibility of the NMFS/NOAA stepping in to tweak – or even reverse -- any final regulations. Sorry, if I’m wrong on that last point but I recall a federal official once telling me that NMFS has the final say.

Fluke is scheduled for discussion first thing tomorrow morning and many anglers will be there to plead the case for a more lenient cutback. Good luck, guys, but I fear such uprisings are all for naught.

Obviously, media sources (myself included) will bring you the news. Prepare for bad.

At the same time, the vigorous effort to keep commercial fishing pots of the artificial reefs is in full swing – but facing Trenton realities. Many of the state’s lawmakers have their own last-minute bills to push through. Intricate and complex coastal matters, like the reefs, don’t always get due recognition from inland politicos. Still, the diversity of constituents who fish may mean that enough legislators feel the heat to get the reef bill decided before the end of the legislative year. If the issue isn’t addressed, it’s fully back to square one fore 2008, meaning a reintroduction of the bill. That often leads to a lost fervor on the part of supporters. Commercial potters would love that.

Here’s a Village Harbor Fishing Club notation.

From Ron Nachmann Incoming VHFC President:

Please take a few minutes to contact the lawmakers below & make them aware of your desire to see Assembly Bill A3986 brought to a vote & passed to make sure the artificial reefs are cleared of commercial fishing gear. If no vote is done by 01/07/08, we'll be back to square one. We've all put effort & energy into this issue.

Contact:

Assemblyman Joseph J. Roberts

email asmroberts@njleg.org

phone 856-742-7600.

Assemblyman Jefferson Van Drew

email asmvandrew@njleg.org

phone 609-465-0700.

Here is the Fisherman’s HDQ weekly report. Thanks to Stan C. for sharing this info.

Boat

We received a ray of hope with Potter Rumsey fishing report from Saturday. Potter fished off Island Beach State Park in 35 to 50 feet of water catching 9 Stripers with 5 being keeper size bass to 37". The fish were caught on the troll either using umbrella rigs with shad bodies & tubes or Stretch 30's. All the fish were stuffed to the gills with peanut bunker and sand eels. Potter lost 4 large fish at the back of the boat. Earlier in the week he had 17 with another 5 keepers. This keeps up the hopes that some larger fish are moving into the area from the North. Water temp was from 42-45 were reported, depending on depth and area. Don't give up just yet.

Friday, Capt. Al fished himself and jigged up 10 bass off the Barnegat Inlet in 47-50 feet of water. Al said you had to be right on the Striped Bass otherwise it was dogfish. All bass were shorts. He made a move down to the lump and trolled up a nice keeper on a shad rig but that was the only action. The lump also had its share of dogs and after trolling up a few he called it quits for the day. No birds working in the area that he fished and not many boats out either.

Thursday, Capt. Steve Purul of Reel Fantasea started the day by shoveling snow. Then headed out Barnegat Inlet. It was absolutely FREEZING with temps in the teens, NNW 10-20mph winds, and 2-4ft seas. No way to keep ice from coating every surface the sea spray contacted including clothing. Just after clearing Barnegat Inlet's North entrance marker a mass of dive-bombing gannets and gulls that covered the skies from the 30ft to 50ft depth areas was spotted. Reaching the area the depth recorder showed activity under the boat and they managed to catch 7 bass. None of which were keepers. It was decided to cut the day short because of a case of seasickness by one of the crew. Steve felt they definitely could have boated more bass if we could have stayed but didn't know if there would have been any keeper's in the mix.

On a quick trip just before the snow started coming down on Wednesday, Al and Stan had a great time jigging well over a dozen Stripers off Island Beach. The flocks of sea birds would show the locations. Both 35' and 50' of water were tried. It seemed the larger keeper size Stripers were in the 35' depths. Going to 50' you would have to work a lot harder because of the many Dogfish.

Monday, Jim G. of Waretown fished 3 miles off Point Pleasant for Blackfish caught 6 with 3 keepers on crab. Mixed in on that wreck was the seemingly ever-present Dogfish. He saw a 100-lb class blue fin tuna on top just ten yards off the boat plus 30 plus dolphin cruising by.

Beach

Saturday, Zach fished the outgoing tide in Loveladies. Got skunked, but did see some birds finally start working at the low tide. Unfortunately he wasn't able to fish the incoming. He could only imagine that the fish probably pushed the bait in during the incoming tide.

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