It’s that humbling time of the year where I ask for donations to keep this blog up and running. It is a time consuming enterprise but I enjoy it. It’s kinda therapeutic. I hope you find it fun – and functional. I’d also like to take this time to sincerely thank those who email or phone me with tales, fishing reports and questions. It’s energizing. Donations can be mailed to: Jay Mann, 222 18th Street, Ship Bottom, NJ, 08008-4418. Being Type A I don’t always have the time to mail Thank-you note but, believe me (!), your donations are fully appreciated. J-mann.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009:
Fish are slowly returning to the beach, inlets and bay. Today the Classic saw the largest number of weigh-ins since last week. It’s mainly bluefish, which persist in that very atypical (for fall) one-and-done showing. Also, the autumnal slammers are running small, mainly that 9- to 12-pound range. I put that about three or four pounds behind what we usually see right about now. It’s also getting past the height of the blitz season with very little in the way of classical blitzing, when upwards of 100 fish can get weighed in just one day. Still, the big blues are a-cruise and have really leveled the playing field via their willingness to show up just about anywhere. I even had one bite me off at night under the bridges. That’s a tad odd for this late in the year, though the bay is still way warmer than usual.
By the by, there are some very decent bass hotspots for boat fishermen. I know of a couple boats all but bailing fish using spot. It’s south. That’s all I’m allowed to say. That in no way implies that anywhere you stop is striper-able but it might be enough to get you out there exploring a bit.
Here’s an important read. Please check it out.
The Baltimore Sun] By Candus Thomson - November 19, 2009 -
The comment period is open on a state proposal to restrict recreational striped bass fishing in the Chesapeake Bay in the early spring when the fish are spawning.
At a meeting Monday evening in Annapolis, recreational anglers overwhelmingly opposed the measures, saying there was no scientific evidence to support the need to restrict fishing.
'There's hardly anything to get your teeth into,' complained recreational angler Ken Hastings. 'If you can't find any lower-hanging fruit to save these fish, I'll help you find some.'
Charter boat captains, who instigated the state's action, applauded the effort as a way to protect the fish.
'Err on the side of caution,' said Capt. Brian Keehn. 'Give these fish a break.'
The Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service will accept comments on its Web site until Nov. 23.
Protection of the striped bass, also known as rockfish, has been a flashpoint in Maryland and along the East Coast since a five-year moratorium ended in 1990. Overfished to the brink of extinction, states and federal regulators have struggled to find a balance between conservation and exploitation.
Maryland is at the center of the issue because the upper reaches of the Chesapeake Bay and it's tributaries are the spawning ground and nursery for three-quarters of the striped bass on the East Coast.
While acknowledging they don't have conclusive proof, state fisheries officials worry that female fish might not spawn after being caught and released.
Lynn Fegley, a DNR fisheries official, said there is evidence that more anglers are going out before the start of the season to catch and release the big female fish as they swim up the bay to spawn.
'It would be irresponsible to maintain the status quo,' she said.
The proposed regulations, which would cover the period from March 1 to the third Friday in April, would restrict the number of fishing days each week, prohibit the use of bait, limit the number of fishing rods deployed on a trolling boat to six and spell out the types of hooks that can be used.
DNR will release its proposed regulation on Nov. 24. A second public comment period will run from Jan. 4 Ð Feb. 3. A regulation would take effect on March 8.
Here’s the BH Charter Boat weekly report: The captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are hopeful the fishing will be as hot after last week’s severe nor’easter as it was before it struck.
Captain Fran Verdi of the “Drop Off” fished the day before it hit and began the day with two keepers on the incoming tide on the north bar of Little Egg Inlet. When the white water disappeared, and Captain Fran pulled anchor to look for more white water.
He reports that spot was constant action despite the rolling white water and crashing waves. At the day’s end the crew had seven fish 34-39 inches. He is continuing to fish Wednesday to Monday with mostly open boat fishing.
Captain Carl Sheppard of the “Star Fish” out of Beach Haven says he wanted to fish last Saturday, but it was just too rough. He adds that his action on Sunday helped to make up for missing Saturday.
He started by trying to fish a rip in the bay, but had to stop due to muddy water and an excess of sea weed. He made the decision to brave a few swells in the inlet and see what the ocean had to offer.
The move was a good one as he located a flock of gannets working over an area in 35-feet of water. What he found was a school of striped bass with no bluefish mixed in. He managed to jig up 22 bass with most of them keeper sized. He even tried trolling a diamond jig on his way back to port and even picked up a bass this way.
Captain Frank Camarda and the “Miss Beach Haven” fished Monday taking good advantage of the increase in the daily blackfish limit. Both the weather and the fish cooperated as the every angler aboard limited out except for one. The boat remained in one spot for the day, and most of the fish were between two and four pounds. Darren Garabo of Beach Haven won the pool with a 4-pounder. Captain Frank says he will be sailing Saturdays and Sundays at 7 am.
Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be obtained at their website www.fishbeachhaven.com