Pelican Pro Gear Elite cooler….just few thoughts

I touched on yesterday’s blog post about new Catch and Release Photo Contest sponsored by Pelican Products. The prize for your submission will be a 45 quart Pelican Elite cooler.

I’ll get more into the contest during this upcoming week (you just keep taking pictures) but I wanted to kind of share few thoughts on the cooler itself. I have another Pelican cooler in my garage with about 25 bag of ice from 7/11. We filled it on Tuesday, tossed a rigged eel in there on camera and have not touched it since. On Easter Sunday, five days later, I will open it and see what the status of ice. Hopefully my son will help out again with camera work. Then we eat some lamb!

I didn’t want to use shaved ice or block ice for a reason. I wanted to fill it with stuff any of our readers (and myself) would do, stop by 7/11, grab a bag or two and go.

The thing is, when I bought my previous cooler at Costco (which at the time I though it was a great cooler) half of ice would melt by the time I got to Montauk. Keeping rigged eels cold for days at the time was a major PIA where I resorted in caring another small cooler just for eels. And even then, they would be swimming in the mildly cold water more than ice and it would necessitate frequent trips to the 7/11 for more ice

How is this Pelican cooler different than that one? It has ice retention up to 10 days. 10 days?

If I spent 10 days straight in Montauk not only would I not have a job, but the locks on my house would probably be changed too. That is just sick! I was told they are made in USA, here in the Northeast, which is always a plus. This thing is built like a tank with one continuous two inch thick layer of polyurethane insulation.

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The dual Handle system is pure genius, simple yet it works great when needed.

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I just loved the latch, press and pull, easier to operate on the coldest of nights and with gloves. Not like my previous cooler where after closing it half dozen times the latch would snap and I had to resort to bungee cord to keep it closed.

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Once you see the Sloped Drain Design, you will say “why does not every cooler comes made this way”.

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And yes, there is even a Life Warranty against defects. The freezer-grade gasket seals this thing like there is no tomorrow and there is even a molded, lockable hasp and stainless steel place to thread your lock trough and keep the contents secure.

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I don’t think no one is going to run to buy this cooler to toss a big bass in it. Because of their overbuilt design and thick walls they obviously have less room on the inside then the coolers we all have. But if you are a guy who travels and likes to keep his food cold and safe for prolong periods of time, from overnight trip and keeping your brusky cold, to keeping your food fresh for days and yes, even, gasp, keeping your bait in the freshest possible state, I cant imagine that Pelican would not be my first choice when starting my research on what premium cooler to buy. Whoever wins this bad boy will be one lucky SOB.

I cant wait to open the cooler on Sunday and see how much ice is left.

And eat lamb!

Happy Easter

lamb

Coming up, Spring Striperthon and C&R Photo contest sponsored by Pelican Products

I am happy to inform all our readers that Surfcaster’s Journal will be announcing Spring Striperthon 2014 Catch and Release Tournament within next few weeks. We are all set with dates and prizes but are still working on some last minute details.

The rules will be identical as last year .I think we borrowed some from Dave Anderson Surfcaster’s Classic tournament at  http://www.gotight.net/

By the way, for those of you that like competition, Dave runs a season long, team surf fishing challenge at gotight.net

You should really check it out if you like to add a sprinkle of competition to your fishing adventures and fish with a partner. Its a season long tournament that will in my opinion grow larger each year.

Back to Spring SJ Striperthon

It will be held on a weekend in June, same rules as last year although we will probably raise the minimum limit from 28 inches upward. All the other rules shoyuld remain the same.

This year, the Grand Prize winner will walk away with Van Staal 250 reel, courtesy of Van Staal reels.

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Second Place winner will recive a huge prize package from StormR

Choice of one

  • ·         STRYKR or Surf Top

AND

  • ·         Torque Gloves
  • ·         Cast Gloves
  • ·         Watch cap Beanie
  • ·         Neoprene Socks
  • ·         Stickers/Decals
  • ·         UV Shield Performance Shirt
  • Total value of this package is over $400, all courtesy of StormR

RH Custom Rods, exclusive distributor of CTS rods will provide a prize for a third place winner, a CTS CB1003-1  10’ Surf & Jetty Series 2-4 oz. 1pc  Rod

If you have any suggestions, comments or ideas of how to make STRIPERTHON a better contest, please share your thoughts here.

This is by no means all, there are prize packages from Guppy Lures, Super Strike Lures, RockHopper Fishing and few others I am still working on. We are glad to be able to do this for our readers enjoyment and to promote catch and release. Like I said, there is no fee to participate but you must be a current SJ Subscriber to be eligible.

If that is not enough, shortly we will unveil our newest photo contest with a  prize that will definitely make you stop and notice. For best catch and release photograph of spring 2014, the winner will receive a brand new, built like a tank Pelican Pro Gear 45 quart Elite Cooler, courtesy of Pelican Products. You will never buy more and more ice when going away as Pelican will keep ice for 7 days!

So stay tuned for all these things. They all have one thing in common, our great readership and promoting catch and release and long term health of all species we catch in the surf.

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And if you catch and release a bass over fitty…I will try to get you some casting lessons from this lovely lady

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Monster Custom lure giveaway from Choopy, RM Smith, Guppy and J.Stripe

Today we have for you a Monster special giveaway. We gave away a lot of nice things to our readers over the years, this ranks up very high with the best of them.

One winner will receive a Plano box filled with awesome custom lures

  • RM Smith Lure
  • rmmmmmmm
  • J Stripe Lure
  • jstripee
  • Guppy Lure
  • guppytt
  • Choopy Lure

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This is a courtesy from all the fine builders. If you are interest in purchasing a set like this to give as a gift or even a gift  for yourself (:-)) you can do that by clicking HERE.

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RM Smith in his online store has a similar package, called  RM Tackle Surprise Pack. At approximate cost of 4 lures, you’ll get 5 lures plus a rigged sluggo and a Plano Box. Check it out by following this link

http://www.rmtackle.com/RM-Tackle-Surprise-Pack_p_167.html

One random picked winner walks away with a whole loot

Good Luck

 

 

 

 

Weakfish

I wish I had some exciting news for you guys but I don’t. Wait, that is not necessary true.

Our (one of VERY few) SJ ProStaff member Silver Fox (they don’t use reel names so they can hide better behind keyboard and be internet heroes) had a dozen or so bass this week. The fish are here and yes, this nicer weather will help get a bite get more consistent and predictable. We like predictable!!! That means even I can catch fish

Second thing…weakfish!

Yes ,30 inch weakfish reported by  our sponsor Fisherman Headquarters in Ship Bottom ,NJ on 4/4/2014

 

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I am tied up in learning something new for the next few weeks so this will take away from my fishing time but then again I never have been an early starter. I usually get going when  Silver Fox texts me day after day about his fish..until I cant take it any more. But this new thing that I am trying to learn, it will make the Surfcaster’s Journal a better publication. Or at least I hope. Just like I had to lean DSLR, and later video and then editing, another exciting chapter. Yeah, I am like a child when it learning new things.

One thing to keep in mind if you are on LonGuyland..:-)

 

White Water Outfitters Marine Center Grand Opening Celebration

We at White Water Outfitters would like to announce that we will be holding a Grand Opening Celebration for our new store on MAY 3, 2014. We will be having…

- Live Music
- Food ( Catered by the Canal Cafe)
- Drinks
- Giveaways
- Raffles (Proceeds go to Big Brothers Big Sisters)
- Fly Casting Demo
- Surf Rod Casting Demo
- First 100 Purchases Receive a Free Gift

I will continue to update everyone with list of vendors, giveaways, specials, and much more we will be doing.

Current Specials for that weekend…

- All Custom Rod Orders that weekend (3rd & 4th) are 20% off.
- 10% off all Lures.
- Free braid on any reel purchased.
- On May 3rd from 10am – 3pm any Van Staal brought it for service will be half off, $24.99 (plus whatever parts needed).
- 20% Off on all Factory G-Loomis and Lamiglas Rods.
- All Gulp Purchases receive a special gift.

WILL KEEP EVERYONE POSTED DAILY ON EVERYTHING NEW THAT COMES UP. WILL HAVE VENDORS, MORE SPECIALS, GIVEAWAYS, AND INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS/MANUFACTURERS REPS, AND MORE!!

***Since he seems to be so popular these days, our reel technician Bert will be on hand assisting anyone that needs “REEL” help*** —

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and last but not least… winners of the Black Label Custom plugs giveaway

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each winner gets two plugs of my choice

winners are

Marc Levy

and

Joe M (jmprop3@gmail.com)

You each have 5 days to send US your shipping address at info@surfcastersjournal.com

NE ANGLER’S VISION: PART VI A TIME FOR VISIONARIES

Editor’s note

In a lot of ways, we consider anything Charles Witek has to say on fisheries management and conservation a “must read”. Charlie has recently started a blog at  http://oneanglersvoyage.blogspot.com/

I hope many of you check it out and subscribe to be notified when Charlie posts his thoughts on this very difficult and often confusing subject. But in case you are too lazy to click it we will repost his blog right here. But I do urge you to subscribe to his feed on his blog

Zeno

NE ANGLER’S VISION: PART VI A TIME FOR VISIONARIES

In this final essay in the One Angler’s Vision series, I will suggest that there are far better models for salt water fisheries management than that put forward in the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s report “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries” (http://www.trcp.org/assets/pdf/Visioning-Report-fnl-web.pdf).  And that’s important.  Because in the last five essays, I explained what I thought was wrong with TRCP’s “Vision” report.  But you can’t just be against something, and it’s not enough to just criticize someone else’s effort.
If you’re going to criticize something, you’d better have a better idea to put in its place.
Fortunately, there are a lot of good ideas out there.
We should probably start with a comment made by Aldo Leopold, a pioneer of American wildlife management, who noted that
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
Leopold’s comment is as appropriate to managing living marine resources as it is to managing ducks, upland birds and deer.  And by that standard, the TRCP “Vision”, which emphasizes economic returns rather than restored fish stocks and healthy marine ecosystems, is miserably wrong.
But, as I said, there are plenty of better ideas out there.
Let’s start with Rip Cunningham’s recent blog on managing New England groundfish (http://www.reel-time.com/articles/conservation/upcoming-decisions-impact-recreational-groundfish-anglers/).  Cunningham, who served a long tenure as editor at Salt Water Sportsman and, until recently, was the Chairman of the New England Fishery Management Council, noted that anglers require
“essentially three things to be successful: fish, fish and fish! Recreational users have the least efficient gear and therefore need to have population levels as high as possible”
Not coincidentally, Cunningham was also a member of the commission that assembled the TRCP “Vision” report.  I don’t think that I’m going out on a very long limb when I say that he probably supported the report’s conclusion that recreational fish species should be managed for abundance, and for a reasonable number of large fish, and not for maximum sustainable yield.
The TRCP’s “Vision” also concluded that conservation was important to anglers and that the nation needed a recreational fishing policy.  I believe that both those things are true; as I said in the first essay of this series, the “Vision” report got a lot of things right.  It only went astray when it made recommendations that would support neither the effective conservation measures nor the abundant fish stocks that it recognized as anglers’ key needs.
Thus, we must envision a national recreational fishing policy that embraces those needs and makes them reality.
The good news is that folks already know how to make that happen.  We need to recognize that salt water fish are just another form of wildlife, and that they need to be managed in the same way that biologists already manage wild brook trout, ruffed grouse, mallards and whitetail deer.
You don’t see those species, or any important species of game, upland birds, waterfowl or freshwater fish managed primarily for “extensive economic benefits,” as the “Vision” report would manage salt water fish.  Such living natural resources are managed with an eye toward healthy populations, abundance and the integrity of the ecosystems in which they live.  They are also (with a few exceptions, such as the landowner and outfitter hunting permits issued in a few western states) managed in a way that gives private citizens—and not the folks who make money from their demise—the broadest possible access to such resources that is consistent with sound conservation practices.
The key to such a management approach is something called the “North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.”  It’s unique in the world, and exists, to my knowledge, only in the United States and in Canada.  It is based on the premise that natural resources are held in trust by the state or nation on behalf of all of its citizens.
More information on the North American Model can be found at (http://joomla.wildlife.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=171).  However, it is founded on seven basic principles, which can be summarized as
1.       Wildlife is a public resource, held in trust by the government on behalf of all citizens;
2.       Wildlife should not be harvested for market;
3.       Wildlife should be allocated among harvesters by law;
4.       Wildlife should only be killed for a legitimate purpose;
5.       Wildlife is an international resource;
6.       Wildlife management decisions should be based strictly on science; and
7.       Wildlife should be accessible to the general public.
Using those basic principles, American wildlife managers have restored and conserved a wide range of mammals, birds and fresh water fish.
If we could start with a blank slate, it would be difficult to come up with a better set of principles for managing salt water fish as well.
SO HERE IS MY VISION
 
As the TRCP report suggests, recreational fishermen need an abundance of fish in order to have a satisfying angling experience.  “Flexibility” doesn’t get you there. So:
·         Stock rebuilding should not be delayed.  The current 10-year rebuilding deadline of the Magnuson Act does not fit every species perfectly, but it provides a good proxy for managers to use unless and until the best available science indicates that some other rebuilding period—which may be longer or shorter than 10 years—is more appropriate.  The decision as to the appropriate rebuilding period should be based solely upon the biology of the stock and the impact on and of the ecosystem that supports it, and not on economic considerations.
·         All decisions that are based on the biology of the fish, including but not limited to annual harvest levels, must be set solely by fisheries scientists.  Anglers, commercial fishermen and representatives of the fishing industry may only make decisions between alternatives (e.g., combinations of size, bag and season) provided by such scientists, or with respect to non-biological issues, such as allocation.  Groups such as ASMFC must be required to adhere to conservation standards at least as restrictive as those mandated by federal law.
·         All overfished and/or recovering fisheries must be governed by hard caps on harvest; fully-rebuilt fisheries might be governed by alternate means such as fishing mortality rates, provided that there is a trigger in place to adjust such rates promptly if overfishing occurs.
·         Allocation of fish must first consider the personal-use needs of the private individual; if those needs are satisfied and additional fish may be harvested without harming the ecosystem, they may be allocated to the commercial sector.
·         In all decisions, the health of the resource must be given priority over economic concerns or the desires of any particular user group, or of all user groups in the aggregate.  In the long term, a healthy, fully-restored fishery is in everyone’s best interests.
I write the above knowing that it’s something that I’ll probably never see in my lifetime.  We’ve been inching closer to it over the years, but now some folks want to take us backward, to that place where the fish and the individual angler are subordinated to economic concerns.  We’ve been there before, and neither the fish nor the anglers came out of it too well.  We shouldn’t go there again.
AND NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
 
I know that a lot of people read this blog; I can look up how many “hits” I get daily.  And I suspect that most of those readers—most of you—are anglers.
So now it’s time to figure out what your “vision” might be.
It might look like mine.  It might look like the TRCP’s “Vision” report.  It might be something else entirely.
But unless you move quickly to share it, it’s possible that no one will care.
Sometime this month, maybe sometime very soon, Senator Mark Begich of Alaska will unveil the United StatesSenate’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard’s initial draft of a Magnuson reauthorization bill.  Senator Begich has a record of supporting conservation efforts that he believes in—in the middle of a very tough reelection fight, he had the character to come out against the infamous Pebble Mine, even though his stance might cost him needed votes—so we can be pretty sure that any Senate bill will be far better than Rep. Hastings “Empty Oceans” approach.
Still, the “contributors” to the TRCP “Vision” report have been lobbying Senator Begich incessantly, and believe that he is sympathetic to their cause (http://www.tradeonlytoday.com/2014/03/magnuson-stevens-reauthorization-cover-recreational-anglers/).  The fact that the news appears in a publication called “Trade Only Today” probably suggests that their cause isn’t necessarily yours.
And on March 26, the TRCP report will be presented to the National Press Club in an event that is apparently being coordinated by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (http://press.org/events/saltwater-recreational-fishings-future).
Once the momentum gets going, it’s going to be pretty hard to stop.  And your voice will be lost in the process.
So if science-driven management, ending overfishing, rebuilding overfished stocks and preventing ASMFC and similar state-based groups from mismanaging fisheries is important to you, you ought to let folks know.
One of those folks is Senator Begich
111 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
 The other is your local congressman and your two U. S. senators, although they probably won’t be paying much attention until after the November elections.
Be polite, be concise, but tell them about your concerns.
Do it quickly.
Because it’s pretty clear that no one else is going to speak for you.  They’re all too worried about themselves

Dedication, Insanity or just plain Stupid?

Dedication, Insanity or just plain Stupid?

 

By Dave Anderson

It all started in late-June 2012. I was at the Canal and I felt like I had lost my ability to cast! I was somersaulting plugs and really laboring to fight the few fish I was able to flop my plug in front of. I chalked it up to just having an off day and returned on Wednesday feeling fine. Friday I was back again and feeling a bit off but fighting my way through an odd foggy feeling; by the time I set foot in the office, I had a pounding headache and felt slightly feverish. I took some Ibuprofen, had a salad for lunch and felt slightly better. (I think that might have been the only time in my life that I had a salad for lunch!) Late that night I awoke with terrible shivers—they were violent and uncontrollable—I felt cold and sweaty. I had to shut off the air conditioner and pile the winter blankets onto the bed. My pounding headache returned again. I was starting to think I had malaria! My wife thought I was insane.
When I was finally able to get back to sleep, I had the strangest dream. I was in a weird state of suspension, it was dark and foggy and everything around me was shades of dark gray and mottled, dingy white. I was barely awake in the dream but I found a tick on me in the dream, ripped it off of my body and knew instantly that I had contracted Lyme disease… in the dream. The next morning I still felt awful my fever was pushing past 101 and I can honestly say I’ve never felt so out of it. On the way to shower I caught a glimpse of my shoulder in the mirror and noticed a red spot about the size of a silver dollar that would soon grow into the telltale ‘bullseye’ rash that Lyme disease is so famous for. Tell me that’s not weird! My wife swears it was my Native American ancestors speaking to me through my dreams—I’m about 1/32nd Native American, so I think no.
I called my fishing partner to vent about my newfound hatred for ticks and he said, “Well, I don’t know if it makes you feel any better but I stepped on a framing nail this morning with flip-flops on and it went in far enough that I had to pry the board off my foot!” We had a good laugh about the seemingly precise syncopation of our ailments—and then, of course, went on to discuss whether or not we thought we could pull off a fishing excursion that night. And we ultimately decided that we could.
As luck would have it the wind, tide, wave heights and all other condition variables pointed to a very specific spot, one that’s a good drive and a LONG walk more than a mile each way over varied terrain. We met there instead of driving together in case one of us died on the way out! I swallowed my Ibuprofen with a splash of Gatorade and tried to shake my Lyme disease cobwebs free of my tainted brain while I slipped into my wetsuit. Dave was hobbling around a bit but he’s a tough dude, and within 10 minutes we were suited up and walking down the beach.
At this point I was feeling fine, with the meds surging through my arteries I was riding a wave of masked pain and brain fog. When we finally hit our first destination, a shallow jut with a good sweep, I could tell Dave’s foot was hurting but we were both all business. Stepping into the water must have felt so good on the overworked hole in his foot, I know it felt good to my feverish body. Our plan was to fish a two hour window in the tide and then head home. We hadn’t taken five casts collectively before my friend hooked up to a nice fish on a needle. As luck would have it, she dove into the veggies and scrubbed the plug off but it was a great sign.
The next three and a half hours were filled with action! Fish from schoolies to 23 pounds were crushing our needles. Do the math on how long Advil usually lasts and you’ll start to get the gist of how I was feeling! As the fourth hour of the tide neared the bite slowed and we decided to call it a night. We had each beached over a dozen fish but my shivers and dizziness were coming back and Dave was hobbling like a lame race horse. I don’t need to tell you how tough that walk back was. The next day my fever had risen to 103.8 and the rash had expanded to the size of a large cantaloupe! The walk-in clinic is no picnic on a Sunday but after sleeping an hour in the exam room, vehemently arguing against a spinal tap and having blood drawn I had my Lyme disease meds in hand.
That tiny tick kicked my ass! It took about 36 hours for the symptoms to lift and a month for me to complete the course of the medication. I was lucky because I had that dream and found the rash—but because the symptoms of Lyme can vary so greatly not everyone catches it so quickly and the long term effects can be very dangerous. Don’t ignore these feelings if you have them, I am the type that tries to “power through” everything but I’m really glad I didn’t this time. If you’re wondering about Dave, he was fine—he needed a Tetanus shot and was no worse for the wear after a few days.
I suppose the real morals of this story lie in our collective drive to fish through anything, let’s face it; that was really stupid. But we did have a pretty awesome night. When I ask myself the question: was it dedication, insanity or just plain stupidity that drove us onto the rocks that night? I’m sad to admit that it was option C—what do you think? Maybe if Dave hadn’t dropped that first fish…?

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Custom wood plug set giveaway

Lets start a weekend on a right note with a BIG giveaway to celebrate the opening of the striper season for most of us. Let me see, how about a whole stack of custom plugs? You like it?

then here it is…generously donated by SJ readers who prefers to remain anonymous. He has way too many plugs and wants to share them with SJ blog readers.

So here we have a set of Black Label wood custom plugs

3 oz Pencil Popper

3.5 ounce Slant Nose Swimmer

2.25 oz Rattling Slant Nose Swimmer

1 oz Monkey Shot swimmer

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Two winners, each gets two very fine looking lures.

And a quick note in closing. We know many of you have asked about when Tools of the Trade shirt will be available in our store. We told you if there is any left,we would add them after show season is done. Well, they are in the store now in limited quantities. You guys get a first crack at them.Just go to www.surfcastersgear.com or click on ONLINE STORE link on the top.

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and for few days we will be offering our new SJ Heavyweight Hoodies for a special price for those of you who could not attend shows. Regularly $50, now on sale at $35 till Monday. L,XL,2XL&3XL are heavyweight… while small and medium only come in lighter version

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Show season done..time to fish

Another video  from our resident genius, John I-can-catch-fish-in-the-roadside-puddle Skinner. This time John is catching fish at will with Daiwa SP Minnows.

Btw, thanks to all of you who stopped by our booths and tables at the shows. And no, for the umpteenth time, I cant tell you were John fishes and putting a gps on his car is out of the question.

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By the way, after last weekend in Providence, I will never be able to say “car” the same way when traveling east of the Bronx.

 

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Special thanks to SJ new chef Chris Blouin for hooking Tommy and I, and fellows from StormR with some insane burgers at Luxe Burger over the weekend. A awesome burger topped with pastrami, jalapenos , mushrooms, cheese and onions was out of this world. Shout out to our friend and fishing buddy Chef Andrew from Café Katja in NYC. He provided SJ readers with a lot of mouth watering recipes over the years. We miss you buddy. You will always be a part of SJ family.

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and sushi Chef Chris sent over at the bar…holy crap was that awesome!!

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Thankfully our traveling days are

done and we can now concentrate on getting a dedicated tablet  ”app” tested for the next issue, family and fishing.

Hopefully there will be a lot of opportunities for shots like these

Chef Andrew at Cuttyhunk few years ago

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Striped Bass Cooperative Anglers Program….by Edward J. Messina, Ph.D.

Editor’s note

Ed Messina is just not a\only a dear friend, a long time fellow member of High Hill Striper Club and our conservation chairman, but also one of my mentors and a hell of a surfcaster in his own rights. After listening his passionate plea to our club membership, I asked him to write it for SJ blog.

Zeno

Edward J. Messina, Ph.D.

For the last several years recreational anglers have been confused by the lack of action on the part of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to do something about their perceived decrease in the striped bass population. Additionally, this lack of action has frustrated the recreational angler community because of the failure to respond to the coast wide urging of the fishing community that something was wrong with the striped bass population. This has led to a perceived bias towards the commercial side of the fishery because they are better organized and financed.

So when activists within the recreational fishing community ask anglers to call, e-mail or write their representatives at the ASMFC, or their state legislators, they are loathed to do so because “nobody cares and nothing is ever done about it”. Whether true or not the argument from their side is that the ASMFC’s track record is pretty poor since its establishment in 1942. In the New York area more often then not they say “yeah what happened to the fluke, flounder and weakfish”, the species most often targeted.

So this is the background for this piece. However, what is the reality? Well in spite of the admonitions of the recreational angler, that the sky is falling, the ASMFC by law does not have to do anything unless its so-called measures of stock assessments fall below some threshold level for action. I do not want to get into the technical nature of these measurements but suffice it to say that if these stock assessments thresholds are not breached the ASMFC does not have to do anything. This is the first problem with fishery management, as stocks assessments are loaded with many inaccuracies and the forecasts and projections made by these assessments faulty at best.

The ASMFC uses two sources of data 1) fishery-dependent data and 2) fishery-independent data. The first is collected from information collected from fisherman and dealers. Can you imagine that! What fisherman the one on the dock and warehouse or the one on the beach, a pile of rocks or the one on a bridge or pier? The second is collected by scientists via a long-term survey or other scientific study. While I have problems with both sources of data it is the last of these two that I will focus on because in my 50 years as a surf caster, I and many of you that prowl the beaches, bays, rock piles, bridges and piers have never been a part of a survey. So who are they surveying? Where do these surveyors lurk? What is the quality of the information? Is the population of fisherman surveyed more representative of the boating angler or the shore bound angler? Are adjustments made to the data given the advantage a boater has over a shore bound angler?

It is these questions and many more that now urges me to ask all NY recreational fisherman, who fish for their beloved striped bass, to be active in the generation of more accurate data by enrolling in one of the two data collection programs run by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation. For all other anglers I urge you to find out if your state has similar programs. I must admit until a few days ago I did not know this program existed. The collection of real data by a wider spectrum of anglers will carry greater weight with the policy makers and perhaps lead to quicker action.

Basically there are two data collection programs. 1. The Striped bass Cooperative Anglers Program and 2. The Electronic Fishing Logbook. Both programs can be found on the NYS DEC website.

DIRECTIONS FOR ENROLLING INTO THE STRIPED BASS COOPERATIVE ANGLERS PROGRAM OR THE ELECTRONIC FISHING LOGBOOK.

Step 1.:   Go to NY State Department of Environmental Conservation web site. The URL is below
http://www.dec.ny.gov/

Step 2.: On the left hand side of the screen you will find a group of Headings that have drop down menus. Click on Outdoors Activities and the subheading Saltwater. On the left side of the screen you will see the Striped Bass Cooperative Anglers Program (11 headings down).

Step 3.:Click on this and then scroll to the bottom and you will now see the information for the eLogbook. I prefer this program as you do not have to remove scales from the bass and keep the fish out of the water any longer than necessary. Under eLogbook, on the 10th line down click on register and log on line. The SAFIS screen will appear. For your user name type in your e-mail address and for your password use your e-mail address password. After you enter this information another page will come up where you will fill in your profile information. When you finish and submit the information you will be given a USER name by SAFIS. Now to log on use the USER name given to you by SAFIS and your e-mail address as you password. When you arrive at the reports page click on your favorites and add the URL to a Folder you name fishing. In the future, you will just go to your favorites and click on the URL and you will get to the Report screen immediately. It saves time and frustration.

If you have any problems call Julia Socrates at: 631-444-0473. She is very helpful.

It is extremely important that in whatever program you sign up for, do not make the common mistake of only filing reports when you catch a bass. For the data to have a basis in reality, all fishing efforts have to be reported whether or not you catch a bass!

See you on the beach!