Thursday, December 03, 2009: Waves: Large and receding. Water clarity: Soiled but hopefully settling fast.
That was a helluva a blow last night. That’s saying a lot considering we have already had enough kick-ass storms for an entire winter and winter hasn’t started yet. I’m thinking gusts to 45 mph.
Many folks are hoping the wicked overnighter – gorgeous out there today – didn’t blow away one of the best early December bites in many years. Bass and blues – in equal numbers – were showing along many Island beaches, though mid-Island southward (especially from the Crest down to the Rip) seemed to be honking the heaviest. The thing about this latest surge of slammers and stripers was the multi-fish aspect. Many folks used to one fish a day, at best, were damn near culling out multiple catches. Those folks in the tourney were looking for the biggest bass (like a 30-pounde taken in BB) while those not in the final week of the event were looking for the smallest legal fish (for eating).
Chunks are working. One nice bass taken on a large live ocean herring.
This late-season hyper-hooking is totally consistent with a yearlong trend of a two to nearly three-week lateness in most every aspect of fishing the Jersey Shore. There are many who would align this ongoing lateness of the, first, the fish arrival in spring, and, now, the late hangout of big biomasses of larger gamefish to that warming ocean thing. While I’m anything but sold on the global warming sea-rise fury, there is absolutely no doubt the seas are warming. In a mere few years, the planet has seen shifts in water-temp related plankton blooms, which indubitably lead to shifts in virtually all fish species. This has not only been documented by scientists but also by commercial fishermen, who seldom if ever agree with the boys of science. Could our lateness this year be part of such a shift? Possibly. Is it a bas thing? Not to me. Was this a perfect year to extend the Classic into December. No doubt at all. I’m thinking it’ll tale at least three late-running years in succession to signify a longer-term change.
Below is an important exchange of communiqués between angler groups. Please check it out and consider being part of the fight to improve fluke regulations::::::::::::::::::
Please pass this along to the VHFC email list:
This is an outstanding opportunity to have our voices heard with regard to the Summer
Flounder Fishery. This particular Rutgers Scientist is seeking Fluke anglers to interview
for this survey, which the results will be provided directly to NOAA. See below for further details.
Anyone interested ion participating in this survey should contact Sharon McKenna at firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
Thanks and Happy Holidays,
Some of you have already agreed to be part of this study which will bring
to the forefront the Magnuson Stevens Act socioeconomic National Standard
that has been long ignored by the National Marine Fisheries Service
(NMFS). Please let me know if I can forward your name to (almost) Dr.
Steven Gray, with whom I have worked for several years on recreational
fishing issues. He is an extremely impressive fellow and you will enjoy
speaking with him. And yes, I am on the hook to be "interviewed" myself.
I will not forward your contact information unless I hear from you
specifically. Those who already agreed, no need to contact me, this is
just an FYI for you and you will be hearing from Steven individually to
set up a meeting. I think it is very important that we weigh in on this
issue. By way of background, Steven was supervised by me during his
fellowship with the National Estuarine Research Reserve System/NOAA and
presents to NOAA regularly, so whatever information you share will go
straight to NOAA/NMFS.
Thanks for your consideration of this request,
From: Steven Gray
Subject: Interviewing Recreational Summer Flounder Fishermen
I plan to do some interviews with
recreational summer flounder fishermen about how the summer flounder
"system" works (ecological system, management system, fishing system,
etc). I am seeking contact information for rec guys who are familiar with
the fishery and maybe willing to be interviewed for about 30 minutes - 1
hour about the fishery. I would like to do 5-9 interviews (and several
interviews can be done at one time).
My selection criteria are:
(1) willingness to let me take up 1 hour of their time
(2) avid fishermen (and those that feel strongly about the SF- maybe those
that fish often from personal boats?)
(3) within 1 1/2 hours from Jersey City (the closer to me the better!)
Other than that- it is fairly open. It would also be great if you have any
contact from commercial guys (or rec industry guys) b/c I will be
interviewing them as part of the project as well. I have a meeting with
Tony Bogan in a few weeks. Hopefully he will give me some more leads.
The overall point of this project is to have several different stakeholder
groups (rec guys, commercial guys, scientists, seafood industry, managers,
etc) develop simple models of how the fishery system works- then combine
everyone's model to get some idea of how the summer flounder fishery
functions on the whole (combining the social and ecological systems).
Hope all is well, Steven A. Gray Rutgers University