Guest Blog post by Ross Squire

The Great Striped Bass Moratorium of 2019: IT AIN’T HAPPENING

bruh-its-not-happening
It is not going to happen. Seriously. No shit. No way. No how. The ASMFC will not institute a moratorium on striped bass and the reason is simple. The best available science does not support it. Now you can complain that the science sucks and is not accurate and in some regards you are correct. But it is the best available science and it is this very science that disclosed the striped bass fishery to be overfished with overfishing occurring.

You have seen the charts and graphs showing the spawning stock biomass. You can easily see that while the biomass is down we are nowhere close to the levels that we saw when the moratorium was declared. It is not going to happen now.

Those of you clamoring for a moratorium are correct though. If no fish are harvested the fishery will rebound much more quickly than through incremental harvest reductions. But we live in a world where politics and economics play a role in any fisheries management decision. That is just reality. A moratorium is not happening now.

So what can we do?

  • Well if you feel that strongly about a moratorium, declare a self-imposed moratorium. There are many of us here that fish for the challenge and joy that we get from catching fish and we release everything. Guess what? You have declared a moratorium.
  • Get involved with the upcoming fisheries management process to see what you can do to ensure that we have new regulations with a chance of succeeding. When the draft addendum is released listing the various options be vocal about your support or non-support of the options. Do your research. Investigate the pros and cons of slot sizes. Be an informed and educated contributor to the process.
  • Insist that the Striped Bass Management Board adopt rules to ensure that any states proposing conservation equivalency options must agree to be managed in order to ensure that the targeted harvest reduction is met. If your proposal is supposed to realize a 17% reduction and only realizes a 5% reduction, adjustments should be made the following season. No more bullshit gifts like the one given to the Chesapeake Bay last time around.
  • Finally, get off the sidelines. Your participation in the process is ever critical. Motivate a friend or two that has not been involved to get involved. Writing letters and emails, placing calls to your state representatives and showing up at a meeting or two will make the difference. This is what worked in 2014 and it is what will work again.

So please enough talk of the moratorium. We need to live in the world of reality and use our time and words and efforts wisely. And let’s pray that the ASMFC doesn’t screw things up so badly that I have to eat my words some day.

Editor’s note

Originally posted on 5/13/19 at  https://oneatthirtytwo.wordpress.com/2019/05/13/the-great-striped-bass-moratorium-of-2019-it-aint-happening/?fbclid=IwAR1jHHo1cZ8WE471dBlIF8lxyve5bma4oaePVfI5RbBk6wB9lo2ObFYeWdU

Surf Fishing 101 with Zeno Hromin- Overview of Structure in the Surf

This was a broad subject that will require multiple videos…like anything else in this sport, it could be simple or very complicated. These days my fishing “style” is nothing like it used to be, I  have greatly simplified the  approach and number of locations I will fish. However this does not change the fact  that you still have to know structure you are fishing inside and out

 

Spring, I couldn’t Wait !- by Bill Jakob

by Bill Jakob

I once again have grown tired of the cold, fishless days of winter and spring doing its best to elude us, with temperatures only in the mid forties at best. The process  of readying tackle and dewinterizing my beach buggy were almost complete and I dare not even consider getting the boat ready, until at least some forecasts predict temps in the sixties. As such, winter depression clung like a cold – the type where the cough never really quits. Reading the Florida Fishermen Magazine only added to the pain.

I kind of felt my vacation to Iceland and the U.K. during winter was not the greatest idea as, I now long for hot sunny days and great catches of Snook and Tarpon like those in the pages of the magazine I read over and over again.  Enough is enough!  Stories of friends returning from Florida and and photos of friends holding up Bonefish, I decided I was going south ! I scheduled flights, booked and made reservations for an SUV large enough to sleep in should the overbite be fantastic at one of my usual haunts. The plan was to hit Jupiter and Sebastian inlets first then bounce across to the west coast hitting a few sweet water spots along the way. Hitting the inlets on the night tide proved tough as two nights yielded not a fish for about 8 of us that braved the pouring late night rain. The boats back in the bay were hammering the Snook and Reds just out of range of even the longest of casts. Reminding me of Montauk the past two seasons, my hope of a big Red or Snook was not looking too good at the moment. Well another day passed without fish and my journey west was next. Arriving in Crystal River I began my repeated expeditions to the edges of the hundreds of creeks and shorelines that abound in the area while Mullet leap into the air and Snook pushed bait onto the surface, I still remained fishless.  The local piers told stories  of no fish around, visual evidence proved otherwise. In desperation I booked a charter with Salt River Outfitters with Captain Sean at the helm and it was off to some shallow water sight fishing!

Crystal River, the home of the Manatee and unbelievably clear water, is a favorite spot of mine.Last year I beat up Tarpon to 40 lbs on the new VanStaal VR50 spinning reel and was ready to put it to the test again! Heading out on the Ranger 22 foot bay boat we zipped off to where the back bay mangrove meet the Gulf of Mexico. In an area called the Ozello Keys, here thousands of mangroves provide home for thousands of fish. Captain Sean dropped the electric motor into the “Gin or Vodka clear water “ you decide which and edged us along the the Mangroves. Searching for fish, once spotted, we tossed Shrimp and Pinfish in front of the cruising Redfish and Snook. I was stunned as fish after fish passed up our offerings. A group of over-slot-sized Reds approached and I cast my live Pinfish about 6 foot before them, the Pinfish nervously pulled closer to the cover of the mangroves. I could see the Redfish go in with his tail waving in the air, he turned and ran. My line came tight as the thin wire circle hook caught the corner of his jaw striking back he ran – the drag on the VR 50 screaming as the StCriox 3 piece travel rod bending seamlessly against the blue sky. A few more short runs and he was ready for a quick picture and a safe release. Maddie and I picked a few more fish that day and caught Redfish,Snook and Speckled Trout by our journeys end. Yes the Tarpon evaded us and I didn’t shore catch, but as I fly into Islip Airport and reflect on my trip Spring feels much closer after ten days in the warmth and sun of Florida- Maddie is ready for some Stripers and Bluefish !

Surfcasters Access 2019

From the President of the Montauk Surfcaster’s Association, Bill Jakob

While checking out some early bass spots, I stopped to observe a recent arrival of a pair of nesting Osprey. They had the perfect spot with easy access to a great section of tidal marsh land and deep water bay. Without great access an Osprey can’t find fish and without fish for food there is a problem. This made me think it’s time to share progress on the access front. You have probably heard about the recent updates of night fishing at both Hallock State Park and Orient State Park, but let’s get deeper into how the fishing access evolves. Montauk Surfcasters Association began in January pursuing 4×4 beach access at Hallock State Park and night fishing at Orient State Park.

Being the new President of Montauk Surfcasters Association,I reached out to New York State

Senator Ken LaValle through extended family at the Senators office and was assured the Senator would get right on it.

I also reached out to Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo on the same issues as both parks were in his districts. The final contact was with State Assemblyman Fred Thiele who

I have worked with in the past.Within weeks, Valerie who I’m sure was growing tired of all my calls and visits assured me that Senator LaValle said we would have night fishing at both parks and 4×4 access would be a later step in the process. I was also instructed to keep quite until the official announcement was made by the State Parks Department.

Well that is old news now but – that’s not all the news on the access front! Working in conjunction with Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo as point man, with the assistance of Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele I was informed that funds would be available for a state-of-the-art entry system utilizing New York State Empire Pass card touch readers along with electric entry gates. Imagine pulling up to what appears to be a closed State Park, you walk up, touch your empire pass to the machine and the gate opens while a camera records the vehicle and plate entering. You then retouch the screen the gate closes and your on your way to a nights fishing without the worries of unauthorized people roaming around possibly looking to steal equipment from your vehicle. Issues of non-fishermen, vandals, and the need for increased police patrols would be reduced or eliminated creating a perfect environment for fishermen at night in these remote parks. The Orient State Park and Hallock State Park will be test parks and if all goes well, this system could  be installed in other Long Island Parks providing safe, limited access to

parks and 4×4 beach access. The use of 4×4 vehicles in these parks we be evaluated and looked into

closer with the assistance of Assemblyman Anthony Pulumbo,New York State Parks and Montauk Surfcasters Association in the coming season.

Evaluating the placement of card readers and gates with Anthony Palumbo Assemblyman

New York State  District

Fishermen’s Ally Fred Thiele Assemblyman New York State District

Fishermen’s Ally Senator Ken LaValle New York State District

Montauk Point- Construction at the light house is scheduled to begin this summer, and will impact access to under the lighthouse fishing for an estimated 18 months. Montauk State Parks Superintendent Tom Dess has

agreed to try and create a new 4×4 access road to the area below the concession building. The President of the Montauk Lighthouse President Society in a recent meeting apologies for the temporary loss of fishing access. Joe Gaviola a long time friend and hardcore Surfcaster at Montauk, vowed that Surfcasters will always be able to fish at the lighthouse after the completion of the project.

I reminded him that I would have an ancestor that once lived in the lighthouse, haunt him as Joe currently lives in the lighthouse keeper’s home  if he broke his promise.

Brookhaven Town – After meeting

With  Councilman Dan Panico discussing various problems with fishing and night fishing within the

Township of Brookhaven, Councilman Panico has agreed to take the lead in addressing any and all issues of fishing access though out the Township.

Gilgo Beach 4×4 access is back!

Long Island Beach Buggy Association President Cookie Rondinella after hundreds of phone conversations and finally meeting with New York State Governor Cuomo’s office has secured 4×4 access and night fishing at what was believed to be an area never to be used again.

Congratulations and job well done LIBBA President Cookie Rondanelli !

It’s groups like Montauk Surfcasters Association(MSA),

Long Island Beach Buggy Association (LIBBA) and The New York Coalition For Recreational Fishing that work long hours to gain and hold onto fishing access

across Long Island. Please join and support these groups that help you enjoy the pursuit of surf

fishing.

New video on Baitfish and Shows at Ward Melville and Berkeley this weekend

a quick heads up that SJ crew will be at Ward Melville NY on Saturday and Berkeley Fishing Flea Market in Toms River. NJ on Sunday. On Saturday since we have more room we will have Skate decks, pullover hoodies and all the new 2019 gear where at Berkeley due to limited space we will be bringing less. You can at either event renew or subscribe to SJ online magazine .

Remember , Ward Melville is free event with almost 200 vendors…its HUGE

2019 Fishing Expo Information

 

Here is another installment  of our Surf Fishing 101 series, this time on Baitfish with yours trully

 

 

We need you today for fishing access tomorrow! By Bill Jakob

Bill Jakob

President Montauk Surfcasters Association

The warm Spring breeze carried the scent of lilac, hyacinth and the sweet smell of the back bay waters warming by the heightening sun. Thoughts of  Stripers, Bluefish and Weakfish danced in my head – alright it’s starting to sound like the Christmas story!

Heading off to the Bay with my 7 foot Bay rod and my shiny new VR50 loaded with 20 lb braid and my favorite lead headed rubber bait, I was hoping to get into some great light tackle action. Rounding the bend off the bypass was a street that lead down to a section of sandy beach parted by decades old dock pilings giving way to  a muddy bottom adjoining a small creek. Here I had scored well on the triple play, especially huge spring Bluefish long and lean.

Hues in silver, blue and lavender they smashed and ran like freight trains destined to Hell. Then there was the Bass, stripers sometimes pushing the twenty pound mark.

Trimmed in fresh green, flanked in stripes and silver- sporting a white belly marked from winter parasite scares. Slowly they cruise the shallow edges of the back bay looking for worms or spearing.

But the best to come was the

Weakfish ripe to spawn, fins of yellow and spotted in copper with tinges of purple and blue iridescence. Excitement welled up from somewhere deep within like a primeval desire to hunt – I couldn’t wait to step waist deep in Spring’s salty cold waters.

Pulling up to the end of the road, several shiny new white and red signs lined the street with the words; no parking- no standing !

I thought what the $&”@, where did these come from.  Driving down the block to the next access road revealed the same horror, no parking – no standing !

My dream now fully thwarted,  I was faced with illegally parking or going home. What happened I mused as I sat behind the wheel.

This is an increasing dilemma many are faced with every year.

No parking, no fishing, no parking after dark, no vehicles on the beach.

I’m one of the lucky ones having grown up on eastern Long Island having access to drive on miles of beach and fish anywhere I please. Today is quite a different picture.

Recently taking the helm of the Montauk Surfcasters Association after the passing of legendary fishing advocate Willy Young, I pledged, drawing a line in the sand that we would not lose another inch and we will take back what is ours !

I ask every surf fishing enthusiast  to join me and The Montauk Surfcasters Association to take back what is ours, paid for by our taxes. We need you today for fishing access tomorrow!

Join MSA  Surfcasters.org or find us on Facebook

Editors note

Thanks to all that stoped by SJ table at Surf Day NJ yesterday and thanks to JSS for a great organization of yet another wonderful event. We know some of you cant make to all the shows so we are putting some Fox hoodies we have, new Tools of trade long Sleeve shirts and skateboards in our store for two days only. After that they will be available only at Ward Mellvile show