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During the recent Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission public hearing on Draft Addendum XXV to the Summer Flounder Management Plan, recreational fishermen testified about how hard it is to catch a legal fluke and called the current and proposed regulations unfair. Indeed, how could anyone consider management "fair" when a commercial fisherman towing a huge net can fill his quota from a public resource with 14-inch fluke while an angler usually drifting over open bottom with a single baited hook must release not only that size fluke but also many even larger in an often fruitless quest to catch a 17 1/2-inch keeper? Is it "fair" that commercial interests get 60 percent of the summer flounder quota while the public is allowed only 40 percent — in spite of an NOAA document that estimated the recreational catch at about 70 percent before management started? When I was a youngster there were no recreational regulations on fluke at all, but with only small, inshore draggers, there were plenty of fluke for all. Is it "fair" that the need for management was created by large trawlers pounding the winter offshore grounds where fluke are concentrated — which then got them the lion’s share of the managed resource? Of course it’s not fair, though there’s little chance that there will be any fundamental change under the present system. Actually, New Jersey anglers could take another hit next week if the ASMFC opts for regional management at its Tuesday meeting in Crowne Plaza Hotel Old Town in Alexandria, Va. The Summer Flounder Management Board will meet from 1:15 to 4:15 p.m. As discussed in a previous column, the regional management proposal would join New Jersey with New York and Connecticut, resulting in an even higher minimum length. This effort is being opposed by the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance, the New Jersey Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, the Recreational Fishing Alliance and many other clubs that feel it’s only a ploy to get more fluke for New York. What management purpose could be served by combining such unrelated areas as Long Island Sound and Montauk with Delaware Bay? Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th-Dist.) sent a letter to the ASMFC opposing regional management as proposed. *** Captain Pete Wagner of Hyper Striper at Twin Lights Marina in Highlands is running his Dream Girl out of Los Suenos in Costa Rica for the winter. David Buist was down from Toms River with his family recently to release 10 sailfish and boat six dolphin one day, before bottom fishing the next to catch 65 groupers. Most were 2- to 6-pounders, but there were a few in the teens plus ocean whitefish that look like a small tilefish. Bobby Lee and his crew from Whitewater Marine on Long Island boated eight wahoo from around a floating log , and then released six sails. The Bob Centamore party from Gillette released 10 sails from 80 to 110 pounds. The conclusion of the 2013 season summary that didn’t make print follows: The pattern of hot striper fishing between the channels in the fall continued each morning as anglers enjoyed great sport jigging and casting among swirling bass while those seeking meat could limit out quickly by trolling rigs on wire line. Party boats did best on the roughest days as the bite would last longer with few boats around. Gary Quon of Tady Lures in California fished aboard Sheri Berri from Baker’s Marina on the Bay in Highlands with his friends from Brooklyn on Nov. 5 to determine how well those metal jigs worked on stripers feeding on sand eels. Once again, it was a red hot bite for the first half-hour or so as I slow-retrieved the Heavy (7 ounce) Chrome Tady to quickly release five legal bass while Quon and his crew utilized other Tadys just as effectively. Yet stripers were fussy on metal when I fished Nov. 11 with Chuck Many of Annandale and Nellie Greer from Bethlehem, Pa. on Many’s Tyman from Gateway Marina Highlands, but the 7-inch Tsunami Swim Eel was hot until big blues ate my supply. Many added a split-shot ahead of the lighter 6-inch Tsunami Eel to get it down where it worked as well. I also had some surface action with pencil poppers on bass up to 37 inches off Sandy Hook that day. During another trip aboard Tyman on Nov. 22, Brad Knecht of Nazareth, Pa., made his first cast off Sandy Hook on light spinning tackle with a diamond jig that snagged a 6-foot sturgeon in the pectoral fin before the mystery fish was released after a long battle. We ended up releasing 59 stripers up to Greer’s 37 1/2-incher, but most were shorts that day. Eeling in the channels was disappointing, but I got in one short trip with Gene Graman on his That’s It from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands as Fred Fessel and I caught four bass and a big blue on Nov. 6 despite very rough conditions and voracious spiny dogfish. By the time I made my last boat trip aboard Sheri Berri on Dec. 4 it was all small shorts for Joe Blaze of Brielle and Dave Cheli from Spring Lake until my 50th bass turned out to be a 37-incher on the same Tsunami 6-inch Swim Eel that was attracting the schoolies. Blaze released 26 bass on a fly as we totaled 110.

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