Joe Greco developed plenty of fishing experience while living in Edison and running his boat for stripers and fluke in the Raritan Bay area, but he's been retired to Ft. Myers, Florida for 16 years and doing pretty well in a much different fishery with his 21-foot flat-bottomed skiff that can navigate the shallowest inshore waters. The Jersey guy was a hero when he returned to Gulf Star Marina in Ft. Myers Beach with the big cobia in his small boat.
The ASMFC meeting in Virginia finally came up with a summer flounder regulation for 2017, but NJ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin is standing fast in insisting on status quo regulations pending completion of a new baseline summer flounder stock assessment which many expect will show that species is in much better condition than outdated statistics presently indicate. com shore blogs fishing or updates on the fluke situation as well as other species involved at the ASMFC meeting.
The sad news of Capt. John M. Connell's passing at just 48 was received today. The Tautog and American Eel boards were meeting today, while the Shad River Herring Board is on at 9 30 a. m. tomorrow -- followed by the Menhaden Board at 2 15.
There were a few legal blackfish and some shorts, but the Ocean Explorer is expecting better results offshore in lighter winds on Tuesday. Sunday's porgy fishing on the Jamaica from Brielle was slower than expected due to strong currents, but there were catches of up to 25 to 30 scup along with a few ling -- and several weakfish.
The Ocean Explorer is planning to head further offshore for big tog that may contend for the seasonal pool that's up to 3,400. Both the Somerset Fly Fishing Show and the New York Boat Show conclude on Sunday.
Despite the relatively short notice of a weekday morning rally at a time of year when many anglers (including me) are on vacation in warmer climes, Paul Haertel of the JCAA counted about 300 on hand to hear DEP Commissioner Bob Martin detail the potential economic disaster that a 19-inch fluke minimum and short season would ensure for Shore party and charter boats plus tackle shops. Martin assured the crowd that the DEP is doing everything possible to retain status quo regulations pending a new baseline stock assessment that many experts feel will show the summer flounder population is in much better shape than outdated estimates suggest.
Fluke won't be coming inshore along the N. J. Shore for several months, but the effort to to save that season is winding into high gear during the 10 a. m. Friday public press conference by DEP Commissioner Bob Martin at Fisherman's Supply, 69 Channel Drive, Point Pleasant Beach. Yet, they will not be able to maintain that stand unless the ASMFC accepts status quo as an option when they meet next month in Kitty Hawk, N. C. Martin wrote a letter to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commissioner this week in which he noted that the proposed regulations amount to a a defacto moratorium on summer flounder for the recreational fishing industry in New Jersey He further states that it threatens to jeopardize businesses such as bait and tackle shops and party and charter boats that cater to recreational anglers.
DEP Commissioner Bob Martin will hold a press conference rally in favor of status quo for fluke on Friday at 10 a. m. at Fisherman's Supply, 69 Channel Drive, Point Pleasant Beach. Joe Melillo even lost his phone service at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, but remains open during the winter.