Winter is finally releasing her grip on the Cape. As the days get longer and the sunshine warms further the ground and waters of our area, life again begins to stir and grow. Clams move closer to the surface. Eels and small fishes come out of the mud bottoms, spring holes and peat marshes into the less stagnate and previously cooler waters. Along with this movement comes the migrations of herring, squid, sand eels, mackerel and other forage species that our stripers and bluefin tuna feed upon. By June first, we will be seeing the great game fishes of New England back into our waters in a big way.
Bluefin tuna, striped bass and the voracious bluefish will be taking up summer residence along our Cape Cod shorelines and putting on the feedbag. If you and your family are considering some of the great fishing we have to offer here, send us an email, or call me with any questions you might have. By the time July rolls around, we are usually pretty booked up, so its really good advice to set up your fishing charters well ahead of time. We can only do so many trips in a day, and if you wait till you arrive this summer to call for a boat, you are likely to be disappointed. Our fishery managers have proposed quite a few changes to our fishing regulations this year. Both NMFS, NOAA and MA DMF have some changes scheduled.
Regarding Bluefin Tuna, both NMFS and NOAA have initiated changes to both commercial and recreational BFT regulations. The recreational daily bag limit for both charter head boat and recreational boats has been reduced to ONE fish between 27” and 73 “ per day or per trip. The recreational limit for the “trophy category” (larger than 73”) in the northern area (north of 39.18”N latitude) is ONE fish PER YEAR of 73” or greater. The Trophy category for the southern area (south of Great Egg Inlet, NJ) has been landed and is now closed. The commercial BFT fishery had 51 metric tons transferred from the reserve category into the general category, specifically into the “January” sub quota, also known as the Carolina winter fishery, effectively increasing their quota to 100 metric tons. Their quota is now been caught and NMFS closed that sub quota on February 24.
Regarding striped bass and bluefish, MA is still debating the recommended proposals.
For bluefish, they are considering a daily bag limit of 3 per day for individual boats and 5 fish per day for a charter boat.
The striped bass regs have not been decided as yet either, but they are looking at an ASMFC mandated 18% reduction in both recreational and commercial annual harvest to reduce overfishing. Ideas they are considering is a slot limit for recreational fishers at 28” to 35”, and one fish per day. Effective Jan 1, 2020 all recreational bait fishers will be required to use circle hooks. MADMF is also considering the mandate to use non lethal methods to remove fish from the waters, such as a net or boga grip etc. On the commercial sector, they are considering an increase in the size limit to 35” over the previous 34” and moving the season start date to June 1 instead of June 23. Their idea on these is to spread the harvest over the time the fish are in the waters, and on the size limit is to reduce enforcement problems with different sectors of the fishery retaining the same size fish. It will likely further reduce the total allowable catch on the commercial quota in numbers of fish taken, as a 35” will weigh more than a 34” fish. We will know more by the end of the month is my guess.
Reservations can be made via email or by phone. I require a minimum one third deposit, payable by check or credit card. There is an amazing (and maybe boring) amount of information on my website as to where we are located, what to bring, rates, cancellation policy, and parking, etc. Have a look around there, at www.sportfishingcapecod.com and if you like what you see, give me a call, or send an email to me at email@example.com. We also have reviews. If you have already been with me and have an honest review to share, please do. Thank you.
Thanks very much,
Captain Bruce & “Marilyn S”