Re: Striped Bass Management - ASMFC to take action
Big problem in the 'recreational' area are the charter boat guys. "Problem" in the sense that they will cry "any change will put me out of business".
But I just don't see chartering for meat fishing high on the priority list when discussing preservation of such an important coast wide fishery. Of course, it's not my business either.
While, in my experience, most true recs don't put all that much of a hurting on the fishery, the charter and serious rec boats in the NY bight area do, with the drag and drop bunker fishing, jig fishing on schools, trolling umbrellas and bunker spoons, it's clear that of the recreational catch, those account for the vast majority of the recreational catch.
In the spring/early summer when the bunker schools are thick, drag and drop fishing yields many *limits* which for a 6 pack charter, with bonus tags, of 18 fish a trip. Sometimes morning and night. One boat can (legally) do 36 fish a day this way, perhaps more if the captain and mate are included. And these are all larger breeding fish.
That's counted against our "recreational" quota, which I think is wrong. If you're chartering IMO it's a commercial operation, but that opens a whole other 'can of worms' in the regulatory mix.
Geesh, my head hurts thinking about it.
Bottom line though is that some clampdown is coming, either voluntarily or, if they wait too long, by a collapse of the fishery.