Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
Thursday, November 03, 2011: The skies couldn’t be making a better autumnal showing. Grab your finest fall fishing gear and take it all in – be it by boat, buggy or as a surfside walk-on.
There are widely scattered stripers out there, mainly going for bunker chunks or clams. The bass hook-up rate is nowhere near where we should be but, daily, I see a few new weigh-ins for the Classic. I also chatted with a dayhopper who called me to say be decided to try jigging approach, while also keeping a chunk rod in play, and immediately took a take-home (Cherry Hill) bass, his first ever on an artificial. He was using a heavy-duty surf fishing set-up to jig with.
I liked his follow-up comment, one we can all highly relate to: “I got the fish on my third cast and thought to myself, ‘This is it. Now I know the secret to getting quick bass.’ I then cast for an hour straight and didn’t get a thing. In fact, I eventually lost my jig in the rocks (jetty).”
There’s actually a larger indicator in that scenario. The one-and-done bass thing is very much a “slow stripering” marker. I’ve had sessions in falls past that once you find one fish you’re into a batch of them – on just one jetty.
Might the bassing explode this week as protracted chill in the air finally drops the core ocean temps down? I sure think so but this has been a tough fall to call.
The big blues are now alarmingly late. Where the Classic saw dozens, even hundreds of slammers per day in the 80’s and 90’s, there are a measly 16 blues in the Classic so far, after four weeks. And those are not scale-strainers by any stretch.
I had a very fair email question from a saltwater fishing newbie, asking why “Pro reports” are often very fish heavy. I gave what I feel is a truthful and respectful answer. Those fishing folks who do it for a living really do know what they’re doing. They follow the fishing so closely – and share data with other pros – that they are often on the bites with great regularity. Hey, their future depends on hooking hard and heavy.
By the by, a seldom utilized aspect of charters is a willingness on the parts of captains/guides to gladly go out to spots the fares might want to try. With so many boats out of the water after Irene, a charter is an ideal way to still get out to favorite fall fishing locales. If you have hot spots in mind, let the captains know; not only will they respect your fishing knowledge but they’re always on the learn themselves.
An immense thanks to those folks sending some donational help my way. It’s actually going toward the upcoming year. I’m in beyond-desperate need of a new home computer. Doing blogs is far-and-away the main use for that home machine. I’m pondering a laptop that can travel with me so I can jot things down in real time. The only glitch there is how deplorably bad I am at taking care of things – though I guess that’s a misstatement since there is no “taking care of things” in my realm. Again, thanks for the help.
(It is that humbling time of year when I hold the hat out for my one annual donation drive. I’m heading toward my 15th year and I promise there are a load of various expenses. Every donated penny goes to covering costs. I also want to assure that I absolutely do not EXPECT donations from anyone. Some folks have annually been kind – and I want them -- and all -- to realize that I’m thankful for past help but fully understand that some years are better than others.
Donations can be mailed to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008-4418. Also, I can be PayPal-ed at firstname.lastname@example.org. )
In a bold attempt to take control of our nation's coastal resources, NOAA Fisheries has asked Congress for an additional $54 million in funding for catch shares, while simultaneously turning their back on the agency's scientific deficiencies in managing marine fisheries.
While Atlantic and Gulf Coast fishermen and legislators have openly rallied in opposition to this particular takeover scheme, NOAA Fisheries, led by an agenda-driven ideology to reduce fishing participation, continues to run roughshod over coastal constituents in clear violation of legislative order.
Appearing before a House Resource Committee hearing on October 26th in Washington, Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) executive director Jim Donofrio blasted the NOAA administration for failing to adequately fund scientific efforts in coastal fisheries management. "NOAA claims they don't have enough money to do the stock assessments on the species they manage," Donofrio said in his official testimony, explaining how there are boats tied to the dock in coastal communities throughout the United States right now, unable to access healthy, rebuilt fisheries due to lack of science.
When the Magnuson Stevens Act was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate in 2006 and signed by President Bush in 2007, it required NOAA fisheries to overhaul their Marine Recreational Fishing Statistical Survey (MRFSS) by a time-specific deadline of January 1, 2009. Donofrio said NOAA officials have publicly stated on several occasions that a new Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) has not yet been implemented, despite the requirements set forth by Congress.
"Right now we don't have a data collection program that Congress mandated in the 2007 reauthorization for marine recreational statistics, the new MRIP program," Donofrio told Congress in October, adding "they're still using the MRFSS data and they're shutting down fisheries based on the MRFSS data."
Despite the woeful lack of science and analytical data needed to properly manage fisheries, NOAA has apparently gone to key members of the House and Senate in asking for additional funds for catch share programs which by design cap fishing participation by trading away ownership of fish stocks to select groups and individuals. Earlier this year, NOAA's administration under the leadership of Dr. Jane Lubchenco had attempted to misappropriate several million dollars away from NOAA's scientific budget to allocate towards catch shares, a move which was stymied by an act of Congress.
In February, the House voted 259-159 to cut off funding for future catch share programs which would've opened the door to commodities trading of fishermen's catch allocations - or worse, a complete buy-out of angler access by preservationist groups. The bipartisan budget amendment tied to NOAA's proposed catch share funding was sponsored by Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina, as well as a pair of coastal Democrats in Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey.
"We've heard from Congressman Jones this week who says that NOAA is courting legislators, asking for more money for catch share programs," Donofrio said. "These are the same programs that have driven Massachusetts legislators to seek $21 million in directed economic relief from Washington to give to displaced fishermen, specifically because of these failed catch share policies enacted under the present NOAA administration."
A letter co-signed on October 31 by 19 bipartisan coastal members of the House of Representatives calls on ranking members of the House to ensure that language is included in the 2012 appropriations bill which would restrict the use of funds for development or approval of new catch share programs for any fishery under the jurisdiction of the New England, Mid Atlantic or South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils.
"The last thing the American government should be doing in these economic times is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to expand programs that will be put even more Americans out of work," the letter says, explaining that that is exactly what NOAA is attempting to do by requesting $54 million it its 2012 budget, "to accelerate implementation of new fisheries catch share programs across the U.S."
Donofrio said the RFA has already spoken to ranking members of the Senate who will be cosigning their support of the letter, and added that he and fellow fishermen will be reaching out to legislators in the Gulf of Mexico to rally support in opposition to catch share programs which take monies away from scientific efforts in that region.
"By commoditizing a public resource and placing share distinctions on individual fishes, what the catch share policy would do is give big corporations and wealthy non-profit groups the ability to buy up all the harvest for themselves, leaving individual anglers and coastal communities standing at the dock with nothing," Donofrio said. "This whole orchestrated effort by Dr. Lubchenco and her friends at Environmental Defense Fund is nothing more than a resource grab which will destroy our marine industry and take away access for millions of Americans."
"I can't fathom how Dr. Lubchenco can claim to support best available science when her Administration is asking Congress for money, not to improve stock assessments and data collection, but for coastal sharecropping schemes which will destroy our mom and pop businesses along the coast," Donofrio said.
(To see if your representative has signed visit www.joinrfa.org/press/CongressCatchShareLetter.pdf)
Find your Representative at www.house.gov/representatives and tell them, "fishermen need money for better science, NOT programs that will put captains, tackle shops and marinas out of business while forcing anglers off the water." Catch shares will only protect the fish by destroying fishermen...it will hand ownership of the resource over to the few, the privileged, the elite, the preservationists and the corporations!!!