Hi Folks !
I caught my first stripers of 2007 last weekend. I had missed the main "bite" by an hour, so I was told, but I managed to get a couple. My girlfriend and fishing partner Kathy, didn't fare so well though. When I offered what I thought to be a "helpful" solution, that she might be holding her mouth wrong to get a fish to bite, she kinda gave me a "dark" look. Geez !
It had been a cloudy and gloomy weekend, and as I write here today it is raining again. But every day that goes by the amount of Striped Bass in our Cape Cod waters grows more abundant and of a larger size. Add a few days of sunshine to the mix and the Cape waters are going to explode with fish. The squid have started to be caught in the Nantucket Sound by the trap boats, and that means the mackeral are not far behind. Its just starting, so if you want to go jig up a few squid get going. There have been a few pogies as well, so we know the bigger stripers will be moving into the area right behind. The best bet for a decent sized fish is to use a big bait. Since you can't use a live herring from the herring runs anymore, a pogy or mackeral chunk or a large live eel should sort through a few of the smaller fish.
I don't have any cod information to share with you as I have been out of the loop for a while with the boat out of the water. I have heard of a Green Harbor boat that went to Stellwagon and did OK, but what exactly is "OK" ? I heard it was rough as hell, raining, and the reporter was not feeling so well.(puking)
I am working on researching some history of the existing regulations as it pertains to striped bass fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone or "EEZ" as it is commonly known. Technically, it is illegal to fish for striped bass outside of a line 3 miles off of the Massachusetts or other state coastlines. This law was put in place back in 1988 as part of an appropriations bill to the 1984 Striped Bass Conservation Act. This Act was neccessary to protect striper stocks from overfishing. It called for moratoriums, and other conservative measures. It required the sacrafices of all fishermen of striped bass in all local fishing grounds and all states. It was one of the most successful fishery recoveries to date thanks to all of us that were willing to let the fishery recover. Since then, the populations have rebounded to record levels, and the striped bass stocks were officially declared "recovered" in 1995. We have all gone back to fishing our beloved striped bass as we used to. Yet there is a problem. The restrictions on fishing in the EEZ were never lifted for the traditional fishing areas of the southeast Cape Cod and Island charterboats and commercial fishermen. This has not been a problem until recently because the US Coast Guard and the other authorities were not enforcing this law. With recent Dept of Homeland Security budget allocations to the MA environment police, they are now actively enforcing this 1988 law, even though the striped bass stocks have recovered, and these traditional fishing grounds should have been reopened to the local fishermen.
I am carrying on here and this "report" has become too long. There will be lots more on this in the future here. I will show you how the some of the recreational fishing groups are misrepresenting this issue and ignoring many of the facts about harvest data of the striped bass. Misinformed or selectively missing information email postcard campaigns have shut down a fishery for a single region (southeast Cape Cod) of high productivity.
Thanks for listening,
Now go catch something !
Bruce & "Marilyn S"