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Fishing - New Jersey New Jersey Fishing Reports and Information covering Sandy Hook south to Cape May

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Old 02-06-2007, 09:48 PM
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Default Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

Fluke anglers weighing options for 2007 rules
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 02/6/07

BY JOHN GEISER
CORRESPONDENT
Fluke anglers are anxiously studying the options as the countdown is under way for a decision on what regulations they would prefer for the upcoming season.

New Jersey has been saddled with a harvest limit of 954,272 fish down from landings of 1,578,349 fish in 2006. This translates into an estimated 4 1/2 fluke per angler for the entire season.

How and when these fish are to be caught will be decided by the state Marine Fisheries Council next month.

There was some talk over the weekend of options other than the six presented by state biologists last week, but there is not much maneuvering room when all is said and done.


Raymond D. Bogan, legal counsel for the United Boatmen of New Jersey and New York, warned that the impact will be severe on the casual fluke angler whatever option is chosen.
"We're going to hold a meeting to see what folks want," he said. "I personally lean toward a season opening June 9 and closing Sept. 18 with a 17-inch minimum and an eight-fish possession limit (Option 4)."
In his opinion, choosing Option 6 with a season running from May 6 through Oct. 9, with a 17 1/2-inch minimum and an eight-fish possession limit — an option some big fluke specialists prefer — will, in the long run, hurt participation.

"I've spent thousands of hours on the decks of party boats and I know what an inch difference can make," he said. "It was hard enough for the average person to catch a 16 1/2-inch fluke last year. Imagine what it would be at 17 1/2!

"A minimum size of 17 1/2 inches would really hurt participation," he continued. "After a while, people would stop going. I don't mean the hard-core guys, the trophy fishermen — it wouldn't stop them. But the average fisherman would just stop fishing for fluke."

Bogan said the state Marine Fisheries Council's fluke advisory board will meet later in the month to discuss the options and make recommendations to the council.

James A. Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, said he is hearing from fluke anglers all over the state, and there is no agreement on one option yet.

Some anglers at the shows, flea markets and tackle shops over the weekend said they preferred eight fish at 17 1/2 inches with a season running from May 6 through Oct. 9 for more opportunity; others wanted the short season, July 1 through Sept. 3 with a 16 1/2-inch minimum and an eight-fish limit to land more fish.

"The RFA will support whatever the majority of anglers wants," Donofrio said. "This is the most important recreational fishery in the state, and it's a shame that, with the biomass at a record high, we have to go through this."

Other options include a season opening June 26 and closing Sept. 8 with a two-fish bag limit and a minimum size of 16 1/2 inches; a season opening June 10 and closing Sept. 20 with a 17-inch minimum size and an eight-fish limit; and a season opening June 5 and running through Sept. 22 with a 17-inch minimum and a two-fish possession limit.
No juggling or creation of additional options, such as four or six fish in possession, for instance, will put more fillets in the pan. The summer flounder, scup and black sea bass board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to accept the coast-wide total allowable landings of 17.1 million pounds.

The door is closed, sealed and wallpapered over. New Jersey will get a 39.5 percent or more cutback this year, and any option, presented or conceivable, will not increase the harvest much above 954,272 fish.
The only option that exactly meets the 39.5 percent harvest reduction is Option 1 with the July 1 through Sept. 3 season, 16 1/2-inch minimum and eight-fish limit. Option 2 has a 42.4 percent net reduction; Option 3 has a 44.2 percent reduction; Option 4 has a 43.7 percent reduction; and Option 5 has a 45.3 percent reduction, the same as Option 6.

New Jersey has chosen the more conservative position for the last several years. Last year this was not enough, and the state landed 135,349 more fish than the harvest limit.


To me, regardless of which "option" we get, we're still going to exceed the harvest limit they're setting and that's gonna really accelerate the downward spiral.

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Old 02-06-2007, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

Fluke fishermen face some tough decisions on regulations
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 02/3/07

Fluke anglers have a month to decide what regulations they want to fish under this year.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's technical committee has approved at least six options submitted by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife. All are necessarily harsh.

The state was constrained in putting together its recommendations by the National Marine Fisheries Service mandate that the New Jersey fluke harvest must be cut by 39.5 percent from 2006.


The options are as follows:
1) A season opening July 1 and running through Sept. 3 with an eight-fish possession limit and a 16 1/2-inch minimum size.

2) A season opening June 26 and running through Sept. 7 with a two-fish possession limit and a 16 1/2-inch minimum size.

3) A season opening June 10 (Sunday) and running through Sept. 19 (Wednesday) with an eight-fish limit and a 17-inch minimum size.

4) A season opening June 9 (Saturday) and running through Sept. 18 (Tuesday) with an eight-fish limit and a 17-inch minimum size.

5) A season opening June 5 and running through Sept. 22 with a two-fish limit and a 17-inch minimum size.

6) A season opening May 6 and running through Oct. 9 with an eight-fish limit and a 17 1/2-inch minimum size.


Fishermen must decide what option they want, and make their decision known to the state Marine Fisheries Council, which will make the final decision in March.

The stringent regulations come as a result of a congressional mandate to fully rebuild the stocks by the year 2013.

The service determined that New Jersey overfished its quota of 1,443,000 fish last year. Landings totaled 1,578,349 fish, according to the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey.

It was further determined that New Jersey's harvest limit for this year is 954,272 fish the first time in the history of fluke fishery management that it has been this low.


Capt. Marty Haines, skipper of the Sea Pigeon IV out of Perth Amboy, said the fluke regulations coupled with harsh winter flounder regulations and impending cutbacks in blackfish landings leave the party boat captain little room to maneuver.
"We'll have very little to fish for," he said. "It's good that we have the ling to fish for now."
The abundance of ling is fortunate, and it is interesting that the species made a comeback without government imposition of possession limits, seasons and minimum sizes.
Haines said he is sailing on weekends only, and his last trips were rewarding both for blackfish and ling.
"Saturday I made three drops south of Scotland, and there was life on all of them," he said. "We had a good catch of blackfish with a lot of limits, and some nice fish in the 5- and 6-pound class, and a lot of ling.
"Sunday we made four drops, and caught mostly ling and some blackfish. The water was colder - 40.2 in the morning on the outgoing tide, and 42 in the afternoon."
Richard Bielefeld, Wyckoff, and Nick Huzar, Manalapan, combined for a catch of 50 ling and three blackfish. Richie Hansen, Perth Amboy, had a 5-pound blackfish.
Haines said there were some spiny dogfish on the grounds in 75 feet of water, but they were not as bad as they were. He advocates a two-hook rig with both hooks on the bottom rather than a high-low rig.
"You catch more ling that way, and you avoid the dogfish," he said. "We're baiting with clams for the ling and crabs for the blackfish, but the blackfish hit the clams, too."
Haines said an effective bait is a strip cut from the side of a bergall. The strips can be triangular about three inches long with a base of one-half to three-quarters-of-an-inch.


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Old 02-07-2007, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

XXX!!!

17 1\2" is a fairly big fluke, and some options have the season closed at the best times.

Personally I think a mid-July start running through the first week of Nov. would be the best to put that size fluke in a cooler. I see more keepers caught from the beach and having to be released in the end of Oct. beginning of Nov. than I do when people are actually targeting them From Mid-May through Aug.

How long are these regs. going to be in place for??? Is it just this season???


I think they'd be better slotting the bag limit. I went on one fluke head boat last year, and the average throwback coming over the rail was about 14" with a good number pushing 16". Why not run a slot with 3 @ 13.5"-14", and 2 @17.5"+. It doesn't even seem like they gave a slot limit a thought.

Either way this blows!!!

The population that's really gonna' take the hit is the weakies, followed closely by blues, and eventually the bass. What else is there to fish for in the summer when most casual party boat goers are runnin'??? I know when I set foot on a party boat I'm thinking meat. Why else pay that money for a boat ride???

THE WEAKFISH{whatever are left} ARE DONE!!!


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Old 02-07-2007, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish Tank View Post
XXX!!!

17 1\2" is a fairly big fluke, and some options have the season closed at the best times.

Personally I think a mid-July start running through the first week of Nov. would be the best to put that size fluke in a cooler. I see more keepers caught from the beach and having to be released in the end of Oct. beginning of Nov. than I do when people are actually targeting them From Mid-May through Aug.
The boats find the big fish, these regs are not about the people fishing from the beach as most fluke fishermen are fishing from boats, but as a chow blower, I see where your coming from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish Tank View Post
THE WEAKFISH{whatever are left} ARE DONE!!!
As you stated, the weakfish have been hit for a long time now. Slim pickins at this point. Maybe local bluegill populations will be next.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

It's like I told you. Ima go off teh Fluke jetty B40 style yo!
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

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Originally Posted by BennyB View Post
It's like I told you. Ima go off teh Fluke jetty B40 style yo!
Fluke jetty, B40 style... translation please!!!

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Old 02-07-2007, 12:39 PM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

I better let GT splain that one. Maybe on the DL. I don't want to piss no one off or be labeled a P*****r.
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

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Originally Posted by BennyB View Post
I better let GT splain that one. Maybe on the DL. I don't want to piss no one off or be labeled a P*****r.
Uh oh, do I hear the whisperings of fluke anarchy due to the new regs???

When you see laws so uninformed and off base get enacted that it causes normally law abiding people to break the law something is wrong. I always thought the purpose of legislation was to make things fair and put people on the same playing field. It's scary to see law begetting lawlessness!!!

I kinda' catch your drift with the "fluke jetti" "B40" thing, but I still can't envision you putting a short in your bag!!! Then again maybe the fluke regs. are so far out there that the backlash, and poaching, will enact change on the legislative level governing the fish stocks.

NMFS has got to go!!!
When are we going to get real laws based on real science and data collection???

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Old 02-07-2007, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

I'm confused as usual.

If this is true:

"New Jersey has been saddled with a harvest limit of 954,272 fish down from landings of 1,578,349 fish in 2006. This translates into an estimated 4 1/2 fluke per angler for the entire season."

then why is there no option proposed with a 4 fish limit ???
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish Tank View Post
Uh oh, do I hear the whisperings of fluke anarchy due to the new regs???

When you see laws so uninformed and off base get enacted that it causes normally law abiding people to break the law something is wrong. I always thought the purpose of legislation was to make things fair and put people on the same playing field. It's scary to see law begetting lawlessness!!!
Unlerated, but kind of on the same page:
New Jersey is supposed to double the price of hunting permits this year from 28$ to 54$. They say that you now have to purchase a buck tag, which means people are just going to be breaking the laws and buying only a doe permit for 28$ and not tagging bucks.

Yep, they want to turn law abiding citizens who ove the outdoors into criminals.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

Everyone should be concerned regardless if you fish for fluke or not. These choices blow. Look at the two that are identical except for a day's difference

Fluke is the summer recreational king for private boaters and party boats. If the weakfish show up, they'll be the target of all those boats. Next and more likely will be striped bass. The other possible fall-back fish are ling and then porgies, seabass...they're going to be hit hard. With the other impending reduction like in the blackfish fishery, well, businesses are really going to be hurt.

As mentioned, there have been lots of fluke in the 15-16" class the last few years being returned to the waters where the comm can take them starting at 14". Going up even half an inch is going to be difficult. A vast majority of people that target fluke especially on party boats are the summer anglers that get out maybe a few times a year and alot of times with their family. Used to be the saltwater introductary fish for kids. I worked the deck of a party boat a few times last season and it's heart-breaking to have to throw back a 1/4" short fish time after time when a kid catches. Now, I perish the thought of how many more will get thrown back before maybe they luck into a fish that is actually of decent size.

I remember the days of a 13" fluke being a keeper. The regs will NEVER go down. Once we agree, that's it, they never give back even when the biomass of fluke is at all time high.

Going to get a lot less participation in the fluke fishery as it was already starting to dwindle. Less people going on party boats, buying bait, etc. B&T shops will have to try a recoop those loses so maybe price increases on those plugs some of you all love

That reduced limit will be overfished and next season the regs will be even worse, it's compounding downward spiral
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobS View Post
I'm confused as usual.

If this is true:

"New Jersey has been saddled with a harvest limit of 954,272 fish down from landings of 1,578,349 fish in 2006. This translates into an estimated 4 1/2 fluke per angler for the entire season."

then why is there no option proposed with a 4 fish limit ???
I believe they mean with the amount of people that target fluke, your seasonal limit per person would be 4.5 fish.

Maybe they'll start issuing fish tags next. You catch a fish, turn in a tag. When out of tags, you're done. Then we'll have to pay for those tags and then it'll really be a competition with the commercial sector.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

got'ya! I sort of read in my mind "4.5 fluke limit per angler for the entire season".

ok, so my initial assumption was wrong, but still why is it 2 fish or 8 fish only
in the options? Where did those numbers come from? no one likes prime numbers (3, 5, 7)? (dang primes are always misrepresented )
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

I'm with ya Benny! We all saw this coming and we talked about it when we hit the SP at the end of last year... I don't keep shorts. Never had, but XXX?? This is going to kill the PB's and private guys. Not to metion the tackle shops too.

Like GT said, if the weakies show up, they'll target the hell out of them and overfish them. No weakies, then they'll target bass... By taking fluke basically out of the picture, what's going to be the impact to the other species....

I agree, once we "give into" a lager size limit we'll never get it back. I'd take a smaller bag limit and a moved season (july-sept/oct) to keep it at 16.5"..

God help us all! See ya on the jetty!
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Pending NJ Fluke Regs!!!

Im lost

They mention that the biomass is at an all time high right now. Why would they cut back. I find it very, very disheartening to hear this news. I knew it was coming since i work in a bait shop in PPB right by the wall. I dont know if this will hurt business, but it sure as hell wont help it.

What is to stop someone who fishes the river and catches a short which would have been a keeper a year ago from taking it. It is going to take alot of will power to put that 17 inch or 16 3/4 fish back in the water for me. I caught my fair share last year, but please people.
For someone like me, it just adds to the challenge. But what about younger kids. They go out on the boat with there dad and dont get to take one home bc of a new rule. That may sway younger kids from getting into fishing.

Back in the summer I heard a rumor that they were thinking about shutting down the fluke season all together... Now I know thats not true, but I heard some of the party boats were getting ready to make off shore trips to compensate for not having a fluke season. Did you guys hear about those rumors at all last summer?
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