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Captain's Focus

Posted on February 18, 2020 Bluefish scoping hearing in Toms River this evening A bluefish scoping hearing is being held from 6-8 this evening in the Ocean County Administration Building, 101 Hooper Ave., Toms River — Room 119. This hearing involves possible changes in the Bluefish Management Plan, including a change in recreational and commercial shares. Though that plan was a good one, it was abused by the regulatory agencies which transferred so-called unused rec quota, due to almost all of the catch being released, to commercial fishermen despite any authority in the plan to do so — and in the face of a declining resource. The net result is the 3-bluefish rec limit this year, if there are any blues to be caught. That rule is in place, and isn’t within the scope of tonight’s discussion. I’ll have more about this tomorrow. Capt. Al Crudele said blackfishing Sunday on his Bayhound out of Sea Isle City wasn’t as good as it has been during a windy morning, but his three anglers combined for 8 or 9 plus a dozen ling and some large bergalls. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar had an almost flat calm and mild Monday that produced decent blackfishing.  The high hook had three keeper pollock, and a few managed two tog. There were also a few ling and small cod. Phil Fischer got out from Highlands to 17 Fathoms for cod, a few ling and big tog. Small craft warnings are up through Wednesday evening. Tomorrow starts with northwest winds at 15-20 knots with gusts to 25.      

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