Epic falls short in describing today’s fishing trip. We were targeting tide-runner weakfish. Bill Collins landed 12 weakfish topping it off, with a 10 pound plus tide-runner. Ed Teise kept his reputation going, finishing the trip with a 10 pound weakfish. I ended this memoirable trip, with an 11.70 pound spring tide-runner weakfish. So wonderful, to see the weakfish return to Cape May Point, NJ and other historic locations. 99% of all the weakfish I have caught have been released.
The weakfish population is at fishable numbers, however.
The stock is at a point, that with a few management adjustments, could be completely rebuilt. Bringing with it, a significant increase in economic benefits:
1) Management mind-set adjustment. Currently it is, natural predation is the cause. Anything we do makes no difference. To: mistakes have been made in the past. Lets fix it, not cover it up, by claiming natural predation is the cause.
2) Close the market for the sale of weakfish for both commercial and recreation fisherman, until the population is restored.
3) make adjustments to the commercial seasons. To avoid large amounts of commercial by-catch.