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Captain's Focus

Some pretty good weather is ahead of us, and anglers should take advantage of it since there's a tropical storm warning posted for Tuesday. There's already a large swell on the beach, and that will get even larger if Jose continues to swirl around offshore. Ocean chumming for bonito, little tunny and chub mackerel has generally been very good, and the Golden Eagle from Belmar reported they also had limits of blues caught today. The Ocean Explorer from that port had another day of hot porgy fishing plus triggerfish, while those fishing green crabs got the one blackfish presently allowed. The Jamaica from Brielle was catching dolphin and some runa up to 60 pounds in the canyons today, but has room on a limited bonito and little tunny trip at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations. Though there had been quite a few bluefish hitting 6-inch Tsunami Shad in Point Pleasant Canal, that action wasn't there this morning. A couple of anglers had obtained some green crabs and already had a keeper tog when they invited me to use some of their bait. I made a quick change to my light spinning rod and quickly released a dozen small tog by fishing along the wall as the current was roaring. Nothing big,but lots of fun with a tough fish on light tackle. I was at nearby Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant  later on when an angler came in looking for green crabs. Joe Melillo was sold out, but is getting a supply in Saturday morning that won't last long. That angler said he was using clam without success at the canal while fishermen using green crabs were catching one after another. While it's hard to beat green crabs for tog, I was surprised that blackfish would turn their nose up at clams and thought they might be salted clams. Yet, he said they were fresh. Vinny D'Anton of Wall caught three blues from about 3 to 5 pounds on a Chug Bug in Shark River yesterday morning, but there was no action there today. It was the same thing when he tried the Spring Lake surf.     The following report about revision of Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Management Act was received earlier this week: Recreational Fishing Leaders Testify in U.S. Senate Senate Commerce Subcommittee Continues Series on Magnuson-Stevens Act Reauthorization Washington, D.C. - Sept 12, 2017 - Today, the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard held a hearing entitled "Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act: Oversight of Fisheries Management Successes and Challenges." The Subcommittee heard from two panels of witnesses representing recreational, commercial and charter-for-hire fishermen. This was the third hearing of a series focusing on America's federal fisheries laws. Phil Faulkner, president of NauticStar Boats; Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance; and Chris Horton, fisheries program director for the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, represented recreational fishermen. "The message we are bringing to Washington is simple: recreational anglers want fair and equitable access to America's public marine resources," said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. "Marine recreational fishing is one of America's oldest and most beloved pastimes that supports a $63 billion annual economic impact and 440,000 American jobs--proper fisheries management is critical to our economy, our culture and the conservation of healthy marine resources for future generations." On July 10, 2017, Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), John Kennedy (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced the bipartisan Modern Fish Act (S. 1520) to address the challenges facing recreational fishermen in the federal fisheries management system. A companion bill, H.R. 2023, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on April 6, by Congressmen Garret Graves (R-La.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.). The bipartisan Modern Fish Act would finally recognize the differences between commercial and recreational fishing by allowing alternative management tools for recreational fishing that are proven in other jurisdictions; reexamining fisheries allocations; smartly rebuilding fish stocks, and improving recreational data collection. The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making. "Uncertainty about access, uncertainty about consistent fishing seasons, uncertainty about fisheries management will often discourage a potential angler from justifying an investment in purchasing a boat. Therefore, the market never reaches its potential," said Phil Faulkner, president of NauticStar Boats and CSP partner. "Congress can provide balance and consistency to the long-ignored recreational fishing sector by modernizing recreational fisheries management by passing the Modern Fish Act." "The role that anglers play as conservationists and our dedication to having sustainable fisheries for the future is often misunderstood or even ignored," said Chris Horton, fisheries program director for the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation. "It is important that the committee understand and appreciate that managing for better recreational fishing opportunities is not counterproductive to the conservation goals of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, as some may lead you to believe, but rather complimentary to the goal of sustainability and conservation of our marine resources." "Recreational fishing businesses are not confined to coastal regions but span nearly all 50 states," said Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance. "Those businesses and jobs can be protected by giving anglers access to fisheries which in turn spur economic activity." V

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