Monday, November 17, 2008:Waves: Subdued, for today. Water clarity: Fair.
Lots of bluefishing action out there, once again. Twenty-some slammers came to the Classic scales yesterday. The same recent hot zone (Brant Beach to Holgate) prevailed. Bassing was slow and slower. Every weigh-in went for bunker. However, a couple folks I know have had big blues (non-tourney) using large Avas and diamond jigs. Plugs have not left much of a mark in the stirred surf.
I haven’t talked much about bayside fishing (the likes of Manahawkin Bay) but it’s been quite fun for those BH West folks who faithfully ply those waters. Along with good night fishing for bass, the early hours have also had bass to 32 inches. Wildeyes and other similar plastics are working.
No sooner do I see some improving water conditions out there than I’m alerted to yet another fast-arriving blow, by tomorrow. Gale warnings are flying for north winds (far more north than east this time). The chill will surely be penetrating. Snowflakes could easily fly in nearby mainland areas, though the beachline is still under the influence of very mild ocean. It’s fast mover but will stir the seas for the final week of the LBI Surf Fishing Classic.
Joe H report: “Jay,
Fished the Spray Beach surf today and had a big bluefish on right away. Broke him off in the wash. Looked to be 14-15lbs. Fishing was really good at the bottom of the tide. Maria and I both weighed and released tourney bluefish in the 10lb range today.
Finished up on the bar in Holgate catching some fresh bunker. Not many fish on them when I was there. Back at it in the morning. Joe H.”
NOT EQUAL OUT THERE: I have to note that I had a fellow at church tell me that he and his fishing buddies are having one of the worst surf fishing falls of all time. He works HC a lot but has tried elsewhere. He gave me one of those lines I can often relate to: “I can’t give away bait.”
That truthful report arrives within a flood of reports of wild and wooly bluefish and striper fishing. And so it goes.
I have noticed what might be called a quiet zone from mid-Island north, toward Loveladies. Still, talking with a longtime surfing buddy, Coco, he told me he had scored a nice striper in that quiet zone just a day before I heard that real-bad report. He caught bass his on metal.
And, yes, the near-inlet zones have been the places to be. However, I also have seen flash points in areas like Brant Beach. The combo luck/timing factor is the whole name of the game – and has been since fishing time immemorial.
OFF THE WIRES:
NOAA Charges Charter Operators with Illegal Fishing for Striped Bass PDF/Print version
A joint undercover operation by NOAA’s Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement and New York and New Jersey enforcement agents has uncovered evidence of alleged illegal fishing by two charter operators.
The operators, Steven N. Forsberg and Viking Starship Inc. of Montauk, N.Y., and Jerome E. Hurd of Avalon, N.J., have been charged by NOAA with taking their patrons to catch striped bass in federal waters, where capture of the prized sport fish is prohibited.
During the undercover operations, federal agents and state officers posed as patrons on several charter vessels operating in New York and New Jersey.
Striped bass are one of the most sought-after species for both commercial and recreational fishermen from Maine to Cape Hatteras. The popularity of this fish, the complex nature of its migration, and its decline in harvest and recovery, led to significant management efforts in state waters by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and a ban on fishing in federal waters since 1990.
“Unscrupulous charter and party boat captains quietly promote their willingness to take patrons into federal waters, primarily when striped bass are scarce in state waters,” said NOAA special agent Jeffrey Ray. “This creates an unfair business environment that penalizes law-abiding charter and party boat captains who refuse to break the rules.”
Forsberg and Viking Starship, the operator and owner of the FV Viking Starship, has been notified by NOAA of the charges of fishing, harvesting, possessing and retaining Atlantic striped bass illegally from federal waters, and submitting false oral or written statements about the catch to authorized federal officers. The agency also issued to Forsberg a notice of a potential $30,000 fine and a 30-day permit suspension for the alleged violations.
Hurd has been notified by NOAA of the charges of fishing, harvesting, possessing and retaining Atlantic striped bass illegally from federal waters, and then submitting false oral or written statements about the catch to authorized federal and state officers. The agency also issued to Hurd a notice of a potential $25,000 fine.
Violations of federal fishery rules are civil, not criminal matters. Disputed allegations are heard before an administrative law judge, whose decisions can be appealed to the NOAA administrator and through the federal court system.