MA Fishermen are Struggling to Catch Stripers – Does That Mean We Should Open More Days to Commercial Fishing?

By this time of year, the Massachusetts’ commercial striped bass fishing season is usually in the books. After the late-June opening, the rod-and-reel commercial fleet usually tops off roughly 800,000-pound quota by the end of August. But this year, as of this afternoon, the quota is just over 71% filled.

At the current rate that the quota is filling up, Massachusetts Marine Fisheries projects that commercial fishermen would need to fish into October to catch the full 847,585 pounds of striped bass they have been allocated. And that’s if the notoriously fickle fall weather allows fishermen to get on the water enough to catch those stripers before they leave Massachusetts.

In response to that, on Tuesday, Mass Marine Fisheries opened a public comment period to ask about adjustments to open commercial fishing days for striped bass. The release read as follows:

Current quota monitoring data demonstrates that just under 250,000 pounds – approximately 30% – of the commercial striped bass quota remains. In recent weeks, daily harvest levels have averaged about 20,000 – 25,000 pounds. If current conditions persist, we do not project closing the fishery until October. Moreover, current weather projections and typical fall weather may constrain fishing activity reducing our ability to utilize the available quota.

To ensure that the 2018 commercial quota is taken, the Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries is taking public comment on increasing the number of open commercial fishing days. DMF is proposing to increase the number of commercial fishing days for striped bass for the remainder of the 2018 season. This would adjust the number of open fishing days per week from two days (Mondays and Thursdays) to three or four days per week, by adding Tuesdays, Wednesdays or both.

The Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFAC) will review DMF’s recommendation and vote on whether or not to authorize the Director to take this action at its September 13, 2018 business meeting. Additional notification will be sent out this Friday – September 14, 2018 – to inform the public of the MFAC’s decision on this matter. If approved, these new fishing days will go into effect for fishing week beginning on September 17, 2018.

DMF will accept public comment on this proposal through 5PM on Tuesday, September 25, 2018. Any comment received will be provided to the MFAC and DMF may recommend further revisions to the 2018 commercial striped bass limits based on these comments.

If you’ve kept up with the On The Water Fishing Forecasts for Cape Cod and Massachusetts this summer, you know that there have been great numbers of schoolies and small recreational-size keepers (28 inches and larger) around, but larger striped bass have been harder to come by. There were fewer large striped bass around Race Point and the Outer Beaches this spring, a big bass, topwater fishery that has happened like clockwork for the past several years. The large stripers that show up in Cape Cod Bay in the late summer were late arriving and fewer in number. Besides a few big fish blitzes in the Cape Cod Canal, it’s been an alarmingly quiet summer for big striped bass in Massachusetts.

Knowing that, do you think it’s a good idea to increase the commercial pressure on striped bass? Or do you think that this is a sign that there are fewer commercial-sized striped bass (34 inches and larger) in the population?

You can share your thoughts with Massachusetts Marine Fisheries at the following email:


79 on “MA Fishermen are Struggling to Catch Stripers – Does That Mean We Should Open More Days to Commercial Fishing?

  1. Martin Post

    It is time to CULL THE SEALS. Without doing this, the striper fishery north of CT and RI is doomed.
    I have seen seals ball up, then attack, schools of striped bass. Made me cry.
    I have found drowned harbor seals with bite marks from gray seals. There are no more harbor seals.
    I used to fry flounder on the beach with my Dad. There are no more flounder.
    The Outer Cape is being fouled, and its ecology destroyed by these protected marine mammals. Until something is done, all other regulations are meaningless

    1. Moe V

      Yup we should invite some Inuit from the far North to come down and do some seal hunting over the winter.

    2. chris

      or at least neuter them – im strongly in favor of culling but political will is weak. it would take the political muscle of bird lovers to do anything and unless the seals somehow impact birds they wont care. surf fishing on the cape is dead i havent bothered for years and no longer visit

  2. Paul m

    Seriously? No! I catch plenty of stripers when I’m out. However the fisheries can only sustain so much and it’s only a matter of time before the striper fishery collapses like the 80’s. With social media, poaching and the increase in pressure what do you expect to happen. Do I feel bad because they can’t make their quota? Not for a second It’s time to put a federal slot limit and for anyone who’s caught breaking the law punished to the maximum on the first time. It’s really not that hard to figure out

  3. gerard p wojkowski

    I have made 20 plus fishing trips out in CC Bay this year from Barnstable Harbor. I have caught a good number of small keeper stripers. A few have been in the 35 plus inch range. Given the amount of time I have been on the water this year it is apparent there are not a lot of large commercial fish in the Bay. Based on that I would suggest keeping the same 2 day per week commercial schedule and let the season play out as is. There just aren’t a lot of large fish around.

  4. Ambloplities Rupestris

    Ok I’ll take the bait…”to ensure the quota is taken”, that statement sums ups what is rotten with our current fisheries “management”. Obviously if the quota can’t be filled that should be self evident that those fish aren’t here to catch and the quota should be lowered. As Ian Anderson once said so eloquently the Director of DMF must as Thick as a Brick.

  5. James Jewkes

    Why is it the quota isn’t filled it’s not because we are not catching fish it’s because the fish aren’t there sure the better fishermen are catching but my opinion is that the sticks are declining at a terrible rate and the quota should be lowered and not add more days we went thru this before

  6. Bigly

    Quotas should decrease, otherwise it will become harder and harder to fill quotas. Stripers are in decline obviously and there needs to be a slot limit for recreation and decrease in quotas for commercial fisherman

  7. Tom Tomkiewicz

    Quota is not getting filled because 90% of the striper guys are fishing for sea bass in the summer time. It’s a lot easier to get your limit of sea bass than to get your striper limit. 50 to 70 boats behind Nomans this summer pounding on sea bass while the striped bass was open. I’m willing to bet a lot of those boats are striper guys as well.

    1. Kevin Robishaw

      Who told you that ? That’s stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

  8. Evan

    Extending a pointless commercial season on an already over pressured fish species, that is worth far more in the recreational sector, is a horrible idea. Make striped bass a gamefish.

    1. Koo Delany

      I couldnt agree more. Let the striped bass population be from commercial fishing. Lower the quota, make a slot limit, and keep these gamefish around. The larger fish are the ones that are reproducing so by killing them with commercial fishing then we are killing our fishery. Make a slot limit from 24- 32 inches ONLY for commercial guys and cut the quota in half at the least. These fish are a vital part of the ecosystem. Also, we should cut down on the commercial limits for the baitfish commonly used for striped bass because if the limits are too high on bait then the striped bass won’t have enough food and that also will cause the stocks of striped bass to tank! It is so stupid that we see a fishery that is declining at a rapid pace and we automaticially think to open it for longer. Keep the same days as we have now and cut the quota. It is the only way that these wonderful gamefish that people all over the East Coast and all over the US want to catch. Protect our fish so that they are here for our children and grandchildren. Again, It is incredibly stupid and ignorant to increase the days and keep the quota the same on a species of fish that is obviously struggling.

  9. Chris

    Working in a small fish market on long island bass sell retail at 24-30 dollars a pound bone out. Its high but it is a reasonable margin for the return we need to see to keep the bills and staff paid. It moves at that price and fast. Price is up this year on whole fish in NY markets a pound by a significant margin
    (to lazy to crunch numbers).
    Allot of this fish is coming from mass and montauk fisherman. I hope they are seeing some of this increase on the dock, it’s possible no but not very likely. If the quota is not met by this date, then leave it alone. the market responds to catch on a daily basis, if the price is up as much as it is they are out there fishing hard for a payout. We had salmon and cod readily available in the northeast, and it seems like soon enough you will be able to say the same about the bass. If we dont protect our fisheries
    Aquaculture will be our only supply for freshwater fish, and wild narkets woukd essentially run

  10. Evan Weeden

    Extending a pointless commercial season on an already over pressured fish species, that is worth far more in the recreational sector, is a horrible idea. Make striped bass a gamefish.

  11. Andrew Posfai

    I’m seeing almost as many large bass off the rocks on cape ann as i did last year, they just arent hitting my plugs nearly as much. even in perfect conditions where i would hook up every other cast in previous years proves difficult to hook up this year. Again, im spotting the fish on these outings. Perhaps they are evolving to not get caught. Maybe more and more people practice catch and release and those fish wont make the same mistake twice. just a thought.

    1. Kyle

      The amount of pogies in cape Ann/Beverly has been a big reason in my opinion that the fish arent eating. The ones I am catching now are really fat. Wondering if that’s the same for you guys in the cape. Are there more pogies there than in recent years and these bass are picking them off at will?

      1. Brian

        bingo – when the pogies are around hard to get them to eat plugs. You need to get under the schools. I like the tsunami 4oz deep shads or a diamond jig if I am not fishing a live pogie

  12. Stan

    Rules are rules, why change them ? You set them in place for a reason and now you want to bend the rules. Keep taking and there will be no stripers to take.

  13. Tom

    Yes, catch the quota in September. October is notoriously a windy month, most striper fishing is done from small boats which would prove to be dangerous in the late fall fishery.

  14. Gene

    Im sure there is a financial impact of not meeting the quota but every business has bad years. Kinda obvious the fish need a break, this should be the sign to cut the season short and let the fish try and rebound for next season. As said above we will be talking about the good old days of bass fishing soon.

  15. Paul

    So typical of this day and age. If the rules that are in place for a reason don’t work then adjust them so they do. Maybe there aren’t as many big bass around because it’s take, take, take. Everyone has a hand in this. Commercial, charters and recreational alike. We had better do something sooner than later or this will be a pointless discussion. Why have set days then if your just going to do whatever needs to be done to get X weight. When it involves money all bets are off I see. I also think that the understaffed EPO’s should be required to seize all assets when poaching is noted. Boats, cars etc. whatever is used in the activity. Sell it and use the money for further enforcement. And this is on the first offense. Not the BS 5,6 or 10 th time. Lay down the law hard Just like when boats are caught fishing inside the canal. One and done

  16. BrianP

    More commercial days plain stupid. Don’t forget all the poaching numbers not collected

  17. Phillip

    If you have ever watched a dozen or so plug fishermen during a blitz did you notice how many schoolies sized bass are getting torn up by double treble hooks before a keeper sized bass is kept? Notice how long the striped bass are out of the water when said treble hooks are fouled and hard to remove? Ban treble hooks. Single hooks only. Spare damage to the schoolies!

  18. Koo Delany

    Everyone, email your thoughts to the email linked above. Maybe they will cut the fishery off

  19. Joe Chase

    Now that the summer has come to an end, people have to work more and go to school for the younger commercial fisherman. If they were to extend the quota, they should make the day on the weekend. Adding it on a Saturday or Sunday allows for the many kids who have their liscense to help fulfill this slow growing quota. Now that summer is over, this leaves only the professionals to try and catch 250,000 pounds of fish in a short amount of time. Making it over the weekend will bring more fisherman to help get the extra 250,000 pounds of bass.

    1. Chris

      The last thing we need is more weekend warriors comm. fishing for bass to fill their recreational fishing boat with gas

      1. Palcuz

        Last thing we need is more weekend warriors.

  20. Dan

    Last Summer we had an unprecedented run of large fish in the canal. given the barriers to entry for commercial fishing and given the reduction in daily quotas and fishable days, it’s no surprise that the quota isn’t filled yet.

    Remember, MA striped bass commercial gishery is all rod & reel. Fish swim, if you cover the same patch of water all Summer, you’re setting yourself up for failure. They’re out there.

  21. Steve

    When was the last time a massachusetts was a striped bass fishing destination. More and more mass boats are fishing out of state to catch large stripers. things need to change because fishing in mass in a waste of money when all the fish are tiny.

  22. bunker

    Probably because most catches arent reported? And sold on a “black market” directly to restaurants etc that dont wanna pay top dollar from a fish market? Ive witnessed it first hand all summer. Cut out the middle man go straight to the buyers. Im not gonna turn people in, but its definately sad to see 44″, 42″, 46″, 49″ and 41″ bass all taken in a matter of 2 hours by 1-2 guys and thrown in a truck to be sold to someone who owns a restaurant. Its fucked up. Makes me sick to my stomach. But theres your reason.

    1. The Truth

      Why wouldn’t you turn people in?? That doesn’t help. I see it I call it. Too bad so sad

      1. bunker

        Bunch of reasons. Personal safety probably number 1. these guys aren’t just your everyday fishermen. they are “organized” in another breath of life, so to speak….


      26-34” FISH !

  23. LOU


  24. Jonjon

    A slot seems perfect to me. It is clear that the number is not being filled due to a lack of fish not a lack of skill. Adding more days is only negatively affecting stripers! With all the poachers along the east coast, adding more days will only affect the number of these fish even worse!

  25. Blue Dog

    I say a slot limit for the Bass for commercial fishing and rec. fishing 27 inches – 32 inches for commercial. 24 inches to 33 inches for noncommercial .

    Close the Canal Down for Eight years, to protect the bass. I grew up fishing the Canal using Alewife (river herring) for live bait back in the 80’s and 90’s. Loved it!!! Now it is a slaughter house killing on the 20 – 50 pounders. There isn’t enough of them to be killing or fishing for them.

    Tighten up commercial bait fisheries, mackerel, pogies etc.

    Need to open up a kill quota on grey seals, like they do up in the Boston Blue Hills on the White Tail Deer.
    Grey Seals will eventually become sick do to lack of food.
    There is no Orcas around and not enough White Sharks to sustain a healthily population.

  26. Joe

    YOU PEOPLE ARE SOFT!! If you really put yourself out there around the cape you would learn that there is an abundance of striped bass schools from schoolies to 50 pounders on any given day. Get away from the fleet for once in your lives then try to tell me it’s hard to catch bass or that the seals are destroying them. And one more thing, stop trying to bend us commercial guys over because you feel bad for the fish. – Seasoned Commercial Fisherman

    1. YFB

      Joe, very well put!! To find fish you must burn gas!!!!!! Get away from the fleet y’all!

  27. John Sousa

    Good Day Fellow Fishermen,

    I have written letters to my congressmen saying that the use of treble hooks when live lining mackerel and pogies should be outlawed. It is disgusting to see the numbers of floating fish between 24-33 inches on days when all the boats have loads of mackerel and the bite is on. As a commercial fishermen who is on the water quite a bit I see this as the biggest problem, people cutting their lines and throwing a fish with a treble inside or ripping the guts and hooks out, very sad and hurtful to the future fish populations.

    1. Kyle

      They should give a hook puller away with every amazes me to see so many people not know about this life saving tool

  28. Patrick Burke

    Mass. Was one of the leaders concerned with over fishing and brought in
    The graduated minimum
    Length reaching 40″.
    Over the last ten years, we have watched RI not control the over fishing of bait for (dog food?) Catch Shares have become, as well, money grabbing and
    disastorous to all species
    And then we have the natural sea bait and fish eaters. The Seals increase in numbers south of Cape Cod….
    When did they move north at a particular time? Could a scientist question to study combined with ALL THE FACTORS MENTIONED above.
    So the fishermen can take a breath and look at the decline and pay more attention to WHY THEY
    are decreasing from the south Chessapeek Bay to north to Canada and
    mackerel population and how Tuna are regulated.
    Game fish, not old school
    Disemination stripers as
    the cod diminished by the large nets capturing the
    Many species dwindle by
    old school methods.
    Just as technology has
    replaced industrial revolution occupations,
    so must we really open our eyes to what the
    Ocean has been telling
    us all – commercial & recreational persons who care more about eating fish sustaining their families rather than old school occupations which
    Will not sustain our future

    1. Marcuswelby

      …on top of that, the striper has a very high mercury content…not the healthiest of fish to eat.

  29. John scagliarini

    Leave it alone it will take care of itself if it’s not filled so what when you have family’s of people sleeping on Canal ,pitching tents on Canal carrying fish back to there minivans all night it takes a toll then add seals commerants eating bait fish don’t stand a chance stop blaming commercial fisherman

    1. Arthur Bishop

      So a few people fishing the canal at night makes a bigger dent in the striper population than 800,000 pounds per year by commercial fishermen??
      That makes sense, sure thing. Idjut…

  30. ted murray

    40 years chasing stripers….. seen it all. The answer? A moratorium on the sale of bass for 6 years. And open season on seals.

  31. Brian williams

    Have an open season on these seals, seriously why are some ppl so blind that it’s not the seals causing a major impact on the fishing around the cape. 20yrs ago it was cute to see a seal here & there, now there’s 30k+. What do these ppl think seals eat sand & seaweed? Control the seal population & the great whites will (be fewer) and the fishing grounds will start to replenish. God damn you don’t need a marine biology degree to use common sense.

  32. Roman Dudus

    Are you kidding me? Is there no common sense out there? We have a lack of fish out there so we want to take more? Do they listen to this garbage that they are saying? This is why the fish population is spiraling downward!! We have idiots running the fisheries. They should all be fired. So sad!!

  33. Kevin Robishaw

    Just open it till the quota is caught. It’s bullshit two days a week ? Why ?

  34. Lee

    Quoting a reply – “So typical of this day and age. If the rules that are in place for a reason don’t work then adjust them so they do. Maybe there aren’t as many big bass around because it’s take, take, take. Everyone has a hand in this. Commercial, charters and recreational alike. We had better do something sooner than later or this will be a pointless discussion. Why have set days then if your just going to do whatever needs to be done to get X weight. When it involves money all bets are off I see. I also think that the understaffed EPO’s should be required to seize all assets when poaching is noted. Boats, cars etc. whatever is used in the activity. Sell it and use the money for further enforcement. And this is on the first offense. Not the BS 5,6 or 10 th time. Lay down the law hard Just like when boats are caught fishing inside the canal. One and done”

  35. Brian

    Definitely have a seal culling season.
    Use the meat to feed the children.
    There shouldn’t be any problem with
    That solution.

  36. striper King

    To extend the commercial season and add more days is not the Dept. of fish and games best idea. Don’t let GREED get in the way of common sense. Maybe we should allow limited commercial fishing every other year or introduce a slot limit rule…Oh, we also need better enforcement from the game wardens they are non existent! Saw many big stripers hauled away by non commercial fisherman at the canal, one dude wanted to fight when i said, “1 fish”. Guys at the top need to get the lead out and get a plan that is good for everyone.

  37. Bill

    Sadly, if they under-catch the quota, the quotas will be increased next year to allow even more fish to be taken. It’s the biggest critical flaw with the lagging-science model that our fisheries management takes.

  38. Capt John Domings

    Yup! Let’s make the striper go the same way the cod went! I gave up striper commercial fishing because 1) I could see the plight of the striper going down hill, and 2) I was getting $2.50-$3.25 a pound for my catch and striper selling for $12 a pound in the market. That was years ago.
    I started doing charters and preached to my clients the importance of saving the striper by releasing the big fish and keeping the 28-32 inch fish for the table. That was when we had a two fish limit. Now with just being able to keep one fish people want the biggest they can catch which is our breeders. I can see the striper going the way of the cod if commercials get their way. This should be a sign that the striper is in trouble, not a time to increase the commercial season!

    1. Marcuswelby

      John, great points.
      Increasing commercial days is a recipe for disaster!

  39. Mike Kelleher

    End the commercial harvest of stripers and implement a slot limit, maybe 28-36 inches. Those interventions saved the redfish and snook fisheries in Florida, and are needed here to prevent another collapse of the striper population, which is critically dependent on the big breeders

  40. LOU


  41. chris


    All of Jeffreys, Ipswich Bay , Stellwagen Bank, and all the way to P-Town will be fair game for all the trawlers come Oct 1 if we don’t act

    David Pierce, Doug Grout, and Council members need to know this is BS

    The Council will also take a vote on a number of things at the next Council meeting. One of the Amendment 8 alternatives is to ban midwater trawlers in Area 1A for all 12 months. This is within our reach if enough of us weigh in.
    NEFMC Herring Committee meeting @ Four Points Sheraton, Wakefield, MA @ 9 AM on Wed. September 18
    NEFMC Council meeting to review the most recent herring assessment @ 9 AM and then the Herring Committee meeting @ 1:45 PM @ Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor, 180 Water St, Plymouth, MA on September 25.
    It is very important that we all attend this Council meeting in Plymouth. This is our opportunity to get these trawlers out of 1A as well as establishing a buffer off the backside of the Cape and Islands. This meeting has been in the works for nearly a year and we need to fill the meeting room in Plymouth. If you can attend the committee meeting it will prep you for the Council meeting.

  42. Marcuswelby

    The Striped Bass is in deep decline, just as it was in the ‘80’s. This would not be a good time to increase the commercial fishing days.

  43. baitrunner

    I have read all of these comments….GUESS WHAT? everyone is right! The key is to work as a team and stop pointing fingers. Sure mass fisheries is always too little , too late! But it seems everytime i ask tons of people to go to a pogy meeting etc.. and share their thoughts and their votes…NO ONE SHOWS UP! Pogy quota almost doubled this year from 2017 [ they are making millions and dont kid yourself ] Shut it down……all of it get the slot at 36 inches, that worked before in the 80’s right? You know, in my humble opinion, we need to give these fish a chance, practice more catch and release and remember a 40 lb bass has sooooo many more eggs than a 20 lber!!1 look that up. Just start calling and emailing mass fisheries ……..dont we stand a better chance as one big team demanding more and better restrictions/ actions? THINK ABOUT IT!! Thanks , Baitrunner

  44. William Eldridge

    The amount of bass around Monomoy and the Islands early this summer was staggering so I don’t believe the Striper population is in trouble; in fact the fishing was spectacular.
    Seals a problem – yes!
    Slot system for commercial fish/game fish- yes!
    I would bet if you did a study on why they didn’t fill the quota it would have more to do with what they consider a “commercial fisherman” for striped bass these days. Let’s face it there are not many real commercial fisherman in the inshore fishery anymore. What is left is a bunch of teachers, painters, cooks, … you name it who take vacation or take time off to fish “commercially” for two days a week and when the summer passes they don’t have the time to go commercial fishing anymore.; hence the quota doesn’t get filled.

    No fishing with treble hooks – all for it!
    For all those who say the striped bass population is under duress you either don’t get out on the water enough or you simply don’t know where to catch them.

  45. Fishwish

    Seals are the problem you cannot land a striper on the outer cape beaches without the seals taking a bite first. Being a commercial fisherman for over thirty years I have seen fisheries thrive and seen fisheries get ruined. If we must have a commercial striped bass
    season how about 2 months July and August 2 days a week with
    a max quota of 400k pounds when the season is over it is over no
    matter what the poundage. There are an estimated 50,000 seals
    In mass waters alone no fishery will survive this onslaught something must be done soon.Good luck and bent rods.

  46. George Leydic

    They should have never had commercial fishing for stripers. I remember in the late 80,s stripers where hard to find in New England. It should go back to 1 fish per day over 36in no commercial fishing. Stripers bring a lot of people to the coast to fish them bring money to the area if they come and don’t get a keeper fish then the coastal towns will lose lots of money from them. I live in western Pa now was taking 3 or 4 trips a year to the coast to fish stripers the last yew years I see the fishing slowing down not as many big fish to catch. I never keep the fish but it is nice to get a big one. I took less trips to the coast this year only two times fishing not the same anymore. I surf cast for them and use kayaks not had a lot of big fish like I did in the past kids getting less into it as they did a few years ago when we where getting a lot of big fish. So if the east coast like the money coming in from people like me that spend thousands on fishing for stripers each year they will have to think about commercial fishing there it’s going to be the reason people like me will stop going there with there kids . And it’s good to keep the kids going then they will have there kids going and so on. So stop commercial fishing.

  47. Oceanbound86

    Thats funny i agree pogies have been thicker this year in Ipswich Bay than i have seen in past years but yet the biggest stripers iv caught have been on swim baits and tuna plugs.Haha strange place it is out there!

    1. William Stone

      I am a member of the H.F.F.A( Housatonic Fly Fishing Association) and i have been fishing the cape for about 6 years with a fly rod. Single or spey it all works. I also own a Maritime Skiff 20D and light line troll in my home waters.In the past few years i have noticed a decrease in the Striped Bass Fishery. Like someone mentioned the 70’s and 80’s were a bad time to try and catch stripers in the Connecticut area.The managers of this fishery need to act immediately and get some solid feedback to what is going on with the decrease.We don’t need another 70’s and 80’s era.

  48. Eddie Botelho

    I’m a commercial Bass fisherman and last year there was no problem catching big bass,the canal had the best run in can people think there’s no bass?that is the dumbest thing I’ve heard. I go out at least 4 to 5 times a week and there’s a lot of fish out there. .. people have to take into consideration the water temp,the warm weather,that all plays a huge factor on where the fish go and where the food for them are also. . In my opinion there’s a lot of Bass around but the conditions for them just ain’t right….l would like to bet that the fall bite will be great… We should be hearing all the stories of big fish by November….

  49. R Tyler

    The truth of the matter is, this past Fall season will be going on record as being by far, the absolute worst season for those that have been surf fishing the New York Bite for the past 30 – 65 years. The annual run of inland schools of peanut bunker, mullet , adult bunker and herring have all dropped by about 90% and has become almost non existent. Bluefish disappeared for the most part and anything over 2 pounds were rarely seen. Stripers of any size, never assembled for an organized run along the beaches from northerly to southern waters of New York at times making the beaches feel like a watery desert devoid of life.

    Things have become so bad that in the very heart of the Fall run season, Montauk was actually running ads on Tri-state area TV to try to attract tourism, because the tourism dollars that used to be brought in by fishermen have completely collapsed.

    There are many of those that are not actual “commercial” fishermen that put in as many, or in some circumstances even more hours, on the water and have done so for decades.

    Speak to those types of individuals, as well as the owners of local bait and tackles shops that are on the verge of closing their doors and they will tell you the truth…

    This past Fall season was the worst anyone has ever seen in this area since the 1970’s and if it is the same next year, the few family run smaller local mom and pop shops that still remain, will probably be breathing their last breath…

    Everyone points fingers at everyone else, but the truth of the matter is, it’s just as much the every day fisherman’s fault as it is the industrial sectors. As an example: how many “breeder” bass this past season ended up dead at the Canal for no other reason than bragging rights for catching a big fish, under the easiest possible circumstances?

    I am willing to bet that the sharpies that have patrolled the beaches of NJ have experienced things being just as bad here as they have been in New York.

  50. Mike Hunt

    It’s time to end the commercial fishery of Striped bass, they kill too many and they only hurt the rec catch. Plenty of fast food jobs they can take, no need to continue to kill SB at this rate

    1. S

      I’d rather be flippin’ cows over the rail than flipping burgers dude

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