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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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Old 10-11-2011, 04:37 PM
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Default "Montauk Madhouse"

From my Friend Frank D. who has a boat in Montauk:
___________________________________________


Jason,

So here is the official report from Montauk this weekend from a very reliable source..........On both Saturday and Sunday I heard that boats were on the radio and taking
bets over how many boats were fishing off the point. I heard that the bet went unresolved because noone could get an accurate count !!!!!!!! a few patient counters reached
300 but could not count over that without making a mistake......most gave up after 300. I heard it was closer to 400 thereabouts........and as usual for this time of year the bass
bit their heads off all day and all nite. 90% of the fish were between 20 and 38 lbs. there were obviously many 40s taken as the top 3 finishes in the Sunday tournament were all
40s and all the top calcutta fish were over 40 as well and all killed !!!!!!.........

SO LETS DO THE MATH-------Shall we !!!!!!

Lets use the figure of 300 boats all fishing eels or trolling as reported. Many boats were charter boats holding 6 passengers and there were at least 5 party boats doing this as well.
SO lets be conservative and say that each boat killed 5 bass between 20 and 35 lbs. And believe me this is very conservative......the Marlin princess headboat had 80 passengers
on both days and they limited out each day........we are counting them as only 1 of the 300 boats.

SO--------300 boats times 5 dead fish each is 1500 dead bass-------dead BIG bass-------dead breeder stock BASS !!!!!!! thats 1500 dead bass times 2 days. The conservative estimate
is 3000 breeding stock bass killed this weekend !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 THOUSAND.

Now----that is NOT including Monday/Columbus day.......lets not forget that the fish are cursed for 3 days not 2. So-----Mondays catch not included and I am also not counting
the 100plus light tackle boats that were casting for school size bass all the way down the southside. Many of these light tackle enthusiasts kept their share of 30 inch bass as well.
I am also not accounting for the dozens of 6 man charter boats that had 2 half days and many boats that had 2 half days plus an evening bass charter. There is one report on noreast
from a well known charter captain who bragged about limiting out with big bass for all 3 trips he had in one day------he probably had a double on Sunday and Monday as well. So with all
of these additional facts counting, the total kill far exceeded 3000 big bass. If i was a betting man and had to bet my mortgage, I would put my life savings on the number 5000 for the amount
of bass that were pointlessly killed this wonderful 3 day weekend in Montauk.

Conservatively---5000 big healthy breeding stock bass DEAD in just 3 days. The DEC is doing a wonderful job managing this fishery. You guys Rock !!!! If only they were at the
docks to see the Holocaust for themselves.

Frank
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

It would open a can of worms to have different regs for surfmen than those for fishing from boats. But, lets face it, the boats slaughter the fish. So much so that surfcasting is becoming a thing of the past. There has been only one fifty pound bass taken from shore this year, ONE!What they are doing in Montauk is also magnified by wht is done at Cuttyhunk, Block Island and then off the Outer Banks in winter, Chessie Bay bridge. Somebody better wake up or web-sites like this one will be all "back in the day". Our government is a joke. Tell me, I gots to know: who is winning the paper clip to the butt contest in Washington?
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

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Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
It would open a can of worms to have different regs for surfmen than those for fishing from boats. But, lets face it, the boats slaughter the fish. So much so that surfcasting is becoming a thing of the past. There has been only one fifty pound bass taken from shore this year, ONE!What they are doing in Montauk is also magnified by wht is done at Cuttyhunk, Block Island and then off the Outer Banks in winter, Chessie Bay bridge. Somebody better wake up or web-sites like this one will be all "back in the day". Our government is a joke. Tell me, I gots to know: who is winning the paper clip to the butt contest in Washington?
I have it on good word too that a rather high percentage of these bass are going into the back doors of restaurants. The black market in NY is beyond staggering. I spoke to a poacher friend of mine today who is getting $5/pound for tagged (legal) fish and $3.50 to $4.00 for untagged fish. This friend has been a serious poacher since 1986 and he has never ben caught, fined, ticketed or anything else. He is one of 100's of such persons on Long Island, NY. Enforcement is a complete joke!

JC
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

When I have commented on the decline of bass the first thing that is pointed to is the great fishing being had in specific spots. But what they miss are the vast stretches of shoreline that are void of fish that years back were great fishing.
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Old 10-12-2011, 06:42 PM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

Enforcement is a joke everywhere, your neck of the woods is paricularly bad to JC. Poaching in Boston is also common place, even river herring show up in packs of five for 25.00 in the tackleshops around the metro area.
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

Just found this gem:

http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?Q=487936&A=4121
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

Ok sit back have a cream soda and really think about what you are writing, and BTW you write beautiful. Save you breath on the what happened this weekend. FYI there are these very large ships off the coast of the USA which destroy the Striped Bass and many other fish life by miles of nets .I tip my cap for your concern.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

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Originally Posted by fishinglsister View Post
I have it on good word too that a rather high percentage of these bass are going into the back doors of restaurants. The black market in NY is beyond staggering. I spoke to a poacher friend of mine today who is getting $5/pound for tagged (legal) fish and $3.50 to $4.00 for untagged fish. This friend has been a serious poacher since 1986 and he has never ben caught, fined, ticketed or anything else. He is one of 100's of such persons on Long Island, NY. Enforcement is a complete joke!

JC
To be the devils advocate...
If you know this person to be a long time poacher, and are concerned about it, why not drop a dime on him? No names given, of course...
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

Rod and reel commercials are forced to follow a stringent set of rules during the commercial season. When quotas are met and the striper season shuts down, they keep on fishing and just sell them at the back door price out of season. This has been going on since and all through the moratorium.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Daignault View Post
Rod and reel commercials are forced to follow a stringent set of rules during the commercial season. When quotas are met and the striper season shuts down, they keep on fishing and just sell them at the back door price out of season. This has been going on since and all through the moratorium.
Frank,
I am sure that is true. However, someone who is so concerned over overfishing the stocks, and admits to knowing a long time poacher and does nothing about it, should take his head out of the sand.
Put up or shut up, you cant have it both ways....

I'm sure I'm going to hell for posting that...
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Old 10-13-2011, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragman View Post
Frank,
I am sure that is true. However, someone who is so concerned over overfishing the stocks, and admits to knowing a long time poacher and does nothing about it, should take his head out of the sand.
Put up or shut up, you cant have it both ways....

I'm sure I'm going to hell for posting that...
GO TO HELL BOB!

No, you are correct that "I should" rat him out but: 1. he is my friend. 2. I've known him for 33 years. 3. he is one of 1000's of guilty people doing the same thing. 4. if the enforcement people were at all concerned about catching poachers they would simply do it but they choose not to for whatever their assinine reasons. I know if I was a fish cop I could arrest many people per day and there would be a deterrant, the word would get out that many poachers are getting caught and the crime would become risky, it might not evey "pay". To rat out one poacher, friend or not is a drop in the bucket compared to what needs to be done.

JC
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

The world you guys are talking about is long gone from my life. I want no part of being the lone voice in the darkness out there who opposes poaching. Not about to spend the few years I have left checking my pocket for assurances my Smith is there when walking past my bushes. If the people who are in enforcement won't do anything about poaching, they won't do anything about the guy in my bushes who kills me.
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

1. A charter captain friend from Montauk called me today to say that 1000's of bass were not killed this weekend due to the excessive winds. However, a few days ago he was on a "commercial expedition" to fill a crew members 60 remaining tags. In NY, commercial striper fishermen are allowed 224 tags each that they are required to affix to a fish's jaw that they are going to retain for sale. The fish are required to be 24-36 inches but in order to get the most weight out of their tags they want those fish to be as close to 36 inches as possible. They saw a dragger go by in the fog with a large pile of bass on the deck and shortly after that they started seeing 100's of dead bass floating. They grabbed the landing net and in less than 10 minutes they had the 60 fish they wanted (35-36 inches) in the boat. They didn't even have to wet a line!
This kind of fish kill is very common and this captain has documented these incidents well. This was done with ONE DRAGGER and there are many 100's of draggers fishing for striped bass up and down the coast. Even where it is legal to take bass via dragger there is never a way that they can stop killing bass after their limit is reached. 5 minutes extra in a tow can easily result in 100's of extra dead fish; it can't be helped. The only way to put an end to this waste is to stopp all draggers from targeting bass.

2. I also have heard that many of my former "commercial bass fishermen associates" (commercial rod and reelers from the 70's and 80's) are "splitting tags" with 100's of "latent fishermen" who either do not have boats or (more likely) can't catch a bass if you threw one at them. They get the same 224 tags as everyone else and the real fishermen catch and ship the fish for a dollar split. At $4/pound this is quite lucrative for all as these guys are averaging well over 1000 pounds/night.
New York States D.E.C. is a XXXX, they will sell a license to anyone!



Captain Jason Colby
Little Sister Charters
fishinglsister@aol.com
617-755-3740
www.littlesister1.com
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragman View Post
To be the devils advocate...
If you know this person to be a long time poacher, and are concerned about it, why not drop a dime on him? No names given, of course...
the math is scary and sad...
you know ..
the thought of being alone in the dark for hours and throwing back a 36" fish legal fish and keeping an 18" fish for dinner seems - right..

illegal but seems moral.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: "Montauk Madhouse"

Reading the recent arrest records for Rhode Island, they are writing up guys shore fishing with a short tautog or going over the numbers on scup. Meanwhile the boats tong and connive to their hearts content. Of course if you are a minority, say from Southeast Asia, they will cut your balls off because it is what everybody wants.
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