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Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Monday Dec. 17, 2007 -- Reef Bill both rolling and stalling -- you figure it out ...

Monday, December 17, 2007:

Frigid wind chills have discouraged local bassers from giving the beach one of those one-more-tries. Boat fishing is pretty out of the question with a.m. winds near 40 mph. The water is also still stirred from the NE blow but is cleaning fairly quickly. Plus, the winds will drop off drastically tonight and could open a couple windows of stripering opportunity for both boat and bank anglers.

Here’s the Fisherman’s HDQ weekly report: “Boat: Earlier in the week, Uncle Moe called in with a report from the 35' foot depths off the Island Beach State Park Bathing Beach area. “It's been going on for a few days and the Stripers were over 30-lbs.” Still optimistic that those fish reported to our North will still arrive into our area.

Beach: Very few reports were received of any Stripers coming in from the beach this week. Most reports were of no hits and no bird action.”

Communiqués:

Here are some more updates on the Reef Bill. Note carefully the hidden politics behind getting the bill before the Assembly and Senate – as the Legislature readies to take its annual end-of-year break in early January. It is imperative that all anglers interested in POT REEF Bills A3986 and S2635 contact Senator Codey, Speaker Roberts and Asm Van Drew immediately and demand that these bills be posted for a vote.

Apparently those with interests contrary to recreational anglers are influencing these legislators with last minute efforts to derail the bills. If these bills are not posted to a vote prior to Januray 7, 2008 we will end up back at square-one. The delay will cripple our ability to be successful.

Bills A3986 and S2635 have the support of the RFA, JCAA, NJSFSC and NJOA and we are making every effort to have the bills posted. We need your support in contacting the legislators below and insisting that A3986 and S2635 be posted for a vote. The links below will provide fax and email information. Phone numbers have been provided below.

Sen. Codey

(973) 731-6770

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/codey.asp

Speaker Roberts

(856) 742-7600

Asm Van Drew

(609) 465-0700

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/vandrew.asp

Anthony P. Mauro, Sr.

Chairman, New Jersey Outdoor Alliance http://www.njoutdooralliance.org

Politics: Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew called me yesterday and said he called Speaker Roberts and asked that Bill A3986 be reconsidered for a vote. This was "all he could do." (I was not convinced) He also explained that his district (Cape May) has the largest commercial fleet in NJ & he's been caught between a rock & a hard place. He's "in the hot seat." I sympathized but told him there will be a whole lot of recreational fishermen & divers that will be very upset with him & Roberts if this bill doesn't make it to a vote this year; 1.3 million recreational anglers & divers Vs 40 potters!!!!

FYI: Here’s how the statement of the Senate Bill reads: “This bill would prohibit, within the marine waters of the State, any person from using, leaving unattended, setting, or deploying fishing gear, other than rod-and-reel, hand line, spear, or recreational gig, within 100 feet of artificial reefs created under the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s artificial reef program. Violators would be subject to the penalties established for violations of the Marine Fisheries Management and Commercial Fisheries Act.

“The bill also requires the Department of Environmental Protection to apply to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council to designate New Jersey artificial reefs in federal waters as Special Management Zones. The purpose of this application would be to limit commercial fishing taking place on New Jersey’s artificial reefs in federal waters.

“The overall purpose of the bill is to reduce gear conflicts and the hazards associated with commercial fishing gear being utilized near artificial reef sites.”

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