It seems like just a little while back we were gearing up in preparation for a new season and yet here it is the second week of December and the year is nearly past. Christmas and New Year are right around the corner and we have officially ended our regular 2010 fishing season with my regular all-day trips.
Quite a lot has been going on over the last two weeks, water temperatures have taken a serious nose dive, the Tautog have been biting a little better out in the deeper warmer water along the coast, Sea Bass are moving offshore following the warmer water and the food, and the Stripers have been in a full migration pattern along the beach chasing bait with the cooler temperatures.
I haven't been out too much since my last report but we did manage a few days on the Tog. One trip was a complete bust and the other few were just what I would call "so so" with pick fishing and a few decent sized fish mixed with several throwbacks. It was somewhat of an anti-climactic ending to a rather interesting fishing season. We haven't completely wrapped it up for the year, we still have several long range trips scheduled for the Jumbo Bass and Tilefish and we should continue to see some good fishing up until the Sea Bass closure at the end of the year. These special trips are reservations only with limited space and there is a complete list of dates on our special trip link from the home page. We will also try to continue fishing for the Stripers as long as we can get some decent weather and a few willing sponsors.
As the year comes to an end and the new year begins all fisherman's eyes and ears will be on the pending regulations for the upcoming year. It is quite a sad situation that we have found ourselves in as fishermen, at a time when those that are in control, namely NOAA with it's appointed director Jane Lubhenco and her conglomeration of what should undoubtedly be an entourage of the best fishery scientists and biologists with management expertise in the world. Fisherman now find themselves at the center of a feeling of helplessness and mistrust towards those very same minds that are making up the rules and pulling the strings on what we can and can not do. It is frightening how they can just whisk a swipe with a pen and we can no longer fish for our target species just because of, in their own words, " the best available science"
which also in their own words is "flawed". It likely wouldn't be so much of an issue if there was a sense that things were getting better or even headed in the right direction, however they are not, and it is seemingly getting worse with more and more restrictions, total or near total closures, and threats of coastwise catch shares for recreational fisherman all around the coastal areas of the United States. There is what will undoubtedly be a very heated meeting with the Mid Atlantic Fishery council the middle of this week when these same "scientists" will once again tell us what we are allowed to do during the 2011 fishing season. If you are interested I was informed by a reader that there is supposed to be an interview on CNBC Thursday morning Dec. 16th with sports writer and Charter Capt. Al Ristori along with Rick Robbins from the mid-atlantic fishery council.
This will be on Cnbc's program squalkbox at 7:15 a.m. and may provide a little insight to our plight. With all that is a stake I urge everyone that loves to catch fish, eat fish or just go fishing, to get involved on some level before it becomes to late. I hate to get involved in the politics however this is a very serious issue for all recreational and even commercial fisherman and our voices must be heard.
For the most part this year we have had a pretty decent fishing season in my opinion and I would like to thank all of our patrons for making the most out of the hand we were dealt. Fortunately there are still enough people that just want a nice day on the water and maybe a bonus fresh fish for supper. Sometimes you just have to look past all the rules and regulations that get you frustrated and just go fishing! With only a handful of trips scheduled for the next couple of weeks it's going to come to an end quick this year and it is doubtful that we will be able to fish for Sea Bass until much later in the Spring of 2011 however if there is any changes I will be sure to post them. If you want that last good chance on the Bass now is the time to make your plans before the closure on December 31st. We will start back fishing For the Tog in the Spring.
If you would like any more information about trips sailing out of the Wharf or you would like to book a private charter or reserve space on one of the upcoming Sea Bass trips, please give us a call at (302) 645-TUNA.
Until Next Week Happy Fishing!
Capt. Rick Yakimowicz
Thelma Dale !V