Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Virginia Joins North Carolina in taking Unilateral Action

Virginia has joined North Carolina in taking unilateral action to partially close down rockfish/striper fishing. Several other North East states are exploring additional options. all of the data indicates we are approaching a critical point near the edge of that same cliff we went over in the 1980s. Have we learned anything since then? I certainly hope so.

(ARLINGTON, VA)—The Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted today to close the trophy striped bass fishing season this spring following concerns about the striped bass population. Virginia's fall striped bass season remains unchanged. Next week the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will consider a striped bass stock assessment that is expected to show that strong action is needed to conserve the fishery.

Maryland Says', "F*ck Everyone Else."

Maryland has a terrible record when it comes to protecting resources such as the rockfish/striper fishery, and while other states are beginning to take unilateral action, Maryland is foot dragging as usual.

The following link is to a recent op-ed in the Baltimore Sun by Mark Eustis who has for years been advocating for better policies to ensure the sustainability of our fisheries.

Maryland overfishing imperils rockfish population

American Saltwater Guides Association - Check It Out

For some of the most important and insightful, up to date information on the state of our striper fishery, I follow American Saltwater Guides Association. We're at another really pivotal point in the future sustainability of these fish, and I'd like to leave a thriving, healthy population for future anglers.

Parts One and Two of a 3 part series:
Part 1 - How Did We End Up Here?
Part 2 - Moving Forward...

Tight Lines,

Monday, April 15, 2019

No Wasted Trips

No fishing trip is wasted. Of course I want to catch fish, but on those outings when I don't, there's always something of value. Whether it's a new environment, striking up a conversation with fellow anglers during a slow bite, or just soaking in the surrounding scenery on one of the first truly spring evenings, I always leave with something that makes the effort worthwhile. Saturday evening provided all of the above on an outing that didn't produce any of the big, Lake Ontario brown that I was hoping for.

My brother, son and I had already faced a tough day steelhead fishing with high, muddy waters on the Salmon River, and looking for an alternative to the jam packed tribs like Orwell, I decided to take a drive over to Selkirk Shores State Park, as word was there was a decent brown bite from shore that morning. Doug wanted to stay in and watch the Richmond NASCAR race, and Danny just wanted to catch up on sleep, so I headed over on my own to catch what I hoped would be a last light bite.

I arrived to find a few guys set up and fishing, along with the dog walkers and families out taking advantage of the first warm weekend of the year. I was rigged up with a 3/4oz. blue and silver Cleo, with an assortment of other colors and sizes in my bag. The only crowded spot was the end of the concrete jetty, but there was more than enough beech for the half dozen of the rest of us.

I'm perfectly happy to find my space and fish in solitude, and I'll rarely approach anyone else that looks to be doing the same. I appreciate the fellow anglers who give a nod and a greeting but then finds their space and doesn't continually invade the peace and quiet. At the same time, on a slow night such as this, when I step back from casting and take a pause, I'm more than happy to jaw with other guys out looking to do the same. I've met some of the most interesting folks from all walks of life hanging out on beaches at times like this. I can talk fishing with guys I've just met like we've been friends for a lifetime. Some I'll see out again, a few I'll actually end up fishing with quite a bit, and many I'll never see again.

This particular night it was a young guy from Utica with his Dad from out of town, both looking for any advice I'd share, and a local guy Dale who works at Pineville Sporting Supply right down from where I was staying. Contrary to what many on the internet might have us believe today, fishing advice is not like Cold War espionage. It's OK to give as well as receive. That's how we've all gotten to wherever we are today. Hopefully, the father/son team left with a few ideas for the rest of their trip, and I certainly soaked up what Dale had to say about fishing the area. The fact that I didn't land a brown did not diminish the evening one bit.

So my advice is this. Don't measure every trip by how many or how big the fish were that you landed. If that is your sole yardstick, you will find disappointed when you need not be. Look forward to and enjoy the entire experience. Landing that monster fish or hitting the blitz just makes it that much better. And you know what they say. "If you don't catch fish, take sunset pictures." Enjoy the sunset photos :)