I untied the lines and head directly to the spot I was fishing yesterday, but today it was dead. The conditions were different today, so I was not surprised. I ran at full throttle to a new location, based on the conditions. Sure enough, the striped bass were in the area. It was a short trip today, I only fished about 45 minutes. The water temperature is moving up again, it was 76 degrees on the top of the tide. The water was clear about an 8, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the clearest.
Please do not misconstrue the condition of the overall striped bass stock, it has been in steep decline for ten years. The striped bass run last fall was non-existent in Cape May County, NJ. It was the worst I have seen, since the 80’s. In 2005 a warning was issued by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council’s biologists : “reduce the harvest by x % or the weakfish stock will collapse. The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) and others pressured the council into disregarding the warnings. The ASMFC did not make the reduction in harvest, and the weakfish stock totally collapsed.
Collectively we can ensure they do not make the same mistake with striped bass, by making a call, sending an e-mail, writing a letter or attending a meeting.
On September 4, 2014 at the Galloway Twp. Branch of the Atlantic Co. Library, 306 East Jimmie Leeds Rd., Galloway, NJ 08205, at 4pm. there is a meeting to discuss options to reduce the striped bass harvest. The option that provides the largest cut back in harvest, over the shortest time frame, is the only option that brightens the future.
Rest assured, that there will be interested at the meeting that will not support the necessary harvest reductions. They will be looking out for their short-term financial situation, in complete disregard of the future of striped bass and the jobs they support.