For possibly the last time, the N. J. Legislature is taking up bills to set new striped bass regulations in the state. Current law requires that this be done by legislation in the case of striped bass, but the new bills change that so the Marine Fisheries Council can set the regulations without further delay.
Saturday's Hi-Mar Striper Club Fishing Flea Market got a break in the weather, and drew a good crowd looking for bargains and taking in the seminars. The next Hi-Mar event is their annual Spring Striped bass Tournament which is set for Saturday, May 16 from 5 30 a. m. to 4 p. m.
Free seminars are also provided, and refreshments are available. 00 (kids 12 and under FREE) (includes all four seminars) Seminar times, speakers and topics 9 00 am Bucktail Boys (bucktailing techniques for fluke) 10 00 am Capt Rich Kosztyu from MR Charters (striped bass techniques) 11 00 am Capt Chris Bauer from Long Shot Charters(inshore sharking techniques) 12 00 pm Jeff Dement from the American Littoral Society(striped bass migration and surf fishing on Sandy Hook) The note about Surf Day in Friday's column didn't note the date -- which is next Saturday, Feb. 21.
They left at 4 30 a. m. in order to get in some bottom fishing that produced small trevally, reef fish, cuda, whitetip sharks, and a 6-foot gray reef shark before switching to trolling. The World Fishing Outdoor Expo will be running at Rockland Community College in Suffern, N. Y. from March 5 to 8, and the biggest show for saltwater anglers in the northeast, the Somerset Saltwater Expo, is set for March 20-22.
Driving back from that meeting, N. J. Governor's Appointee Tom Fote called to report that the Striped Bass Management Board had approved the various state conservation equivalency proposals, including New Jersey's which allows for both a 28-to-under-43-inch striped bass and another of 43 inches or more rather than the basic coastal reduction to just a single striper with a 28-inch minimum. The disparity of N. Y. anglers having a higher minimum than those in N. J. fishing the same waters was the driving force behind the ASMFC forcing N. J. into regionalization with N. Y. and Ct. last year, but there was so little sympathy with the same inequity in Delaware Bay that Fote couldn't even get a second in his effort to create a region to the south.
The following release from the DEP sets forth the proposed new rules for the state's artificial reefs -- and how to comment on them The Department of Environmental Protection this week proposed new rules that will fully implement a compromise between recreational and commercial fishing interests over access to artificial reefs off the coast of New Jersey, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today. Under the rule proposal in the New Jersey Register, commercial and recreational fishermen utilizing lobster, fish and conch pots will be permitted to continue using portions of two existing reefs in state waters off Sandy Hook and Manasquan.
Using large shiners, Matraxia caught 16 peacocks to over 5 pounds plus 10 largemouth black bass. The sheepshead spawning run is just getting started on the west coast, but Massa sent along a photo with one of at least 5 pounds.
Muffley doesn't anticipate any problem there, and is also working on getting legislative sponsors for those regulations as striped bass regulations can only be changed in N. J. through the legislature. Fluke regulations will also be decided when the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board meets from 3 30 to 6 30 on Feb. 4.
Even the great 2011 Chesapeake year class failed to produce the volume of small bass expected, and the lack of stripers to the east was reflected in the poor boat fishing we experienced in the fall -- while the surf fishing at that time would be better described as terrible. The bay fishing was so good last summer that on July 16, Chuck Many of Annandale released 48 bass from his Ty Man out of Highlands while hosting Nellie Greer of Bethlehem, Pa., Matt Calabria from Hazlet and me.