More conservative striped bass regulations on the way
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved more conservative regulations in addendum IV for public comment to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The draft addendum proposes new fishing mortality (F) reference points, as recommended by the 2013 benchmark stock assessment, and associated management measures to reduce fishing mortality to a level at or below the proposed target within one or three years.
With the approval of one of these options striped bass regulations will become more conservative. Specific options to be considered include bag, size, slot and trophy size limits for the recreational fishery and quota reductions for the commercial fishery.
The draft addendum includes a suite of management options to reduce recreational and commercial harvest under three reduction timeframes. The timeframes include (1) reducing to new fishing mortality targets in one year with a 25% reduction in 2013 harvest in 2015 (2) reducing mortality to its target within three years with a 17% reduction in 2013 harvest in 2015, and (3) reducing to its target within three years with a 7% sequential reduction in harvest for three consecutive years starting in 2015.
Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the draft addendum either by attending state public hearings (RI, MA and CT meetings to be announced) or providing written comment. The draft addendum will be available on the Commission website (www.asmfc.org) under Public Input the week of August 11. Public comment will be accepted until 5 p.m. on September 30 and should be forwarded to Mike Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703/842-0741 (fax) or at email@example.com.
Where’s the bite
Striped bass. Elisa Martin of Snug Harbor Marina, South Kingstown said “Striped bass fishing lit up again this week on the southwest side of Block Island with many large fish being caught. We weighed in a 44 pound fish from Ken Prendergast of New York and a 55 pound striper landed by Richard Dean of Massachusetts.” Tom Giddings of The Tackle Box, Warwick said, “A customer caught a 44 pound striped bass off Narragansett this weekend.” Nick McCarthy of Lucky Bait & Tackle, Warren said, “Michael and Jason Macedo landed bass to 39 pounds fishing with eels at Block Island aboard River Rebel Charters. And, Charlie Sores (noted local striped bass fishing exert and author) weighed in a 37 pound bass caught off Newport while trolling tube and worm. We also have customers landing bass with eels in the Brenton Reef area.” “Fishing for bass has been good with customers at Block Island, off Brenton Reef and we heard from local Air Force pilots going in and out of Quonset Point, North Kingstown seeing schools of bass off the airfield. These are all positive signs for a good bass fall run,” said John Wunner of John’s Bait & Tackle, North Kingstown.
“Offshore fishing has been hot,” said Elisa Martin of Snug Harbor. “Yellowfin and bluefin tuna were caught this weekend at the Gully and at the Suffix with thresher and mako sharks being taken south of Cox’s Ledge.” “Tuna trips are starting to book and reports from the canyons are hot!” said Roger Simpson of the Frances Fleet. “The first tuna trip is set for August 27 to 29, leaving August 26 at 10 p.m.” Visit francesfleet.com for information and reservations.
Summer flounder (fluke) fishing on the south side of Block Island has been very good but fishing along the southern coastal shore has been fair. “Conditions have to be right to catch fluke along the coast, but they are there,” said Elisa Martin of Sung Harbor Marina. “Customers are catching large numbers of fluke off Newport but many of them are undersized.” “Customers are catching some keepers right under the Mt. Hope Bridge from shore,” said Nick McCarthy of Lucky Bait & Tackle. “Fluke fishing in the bay has been difficult; one customer caught seventeen fish, all shorts,” said John Wunner. Roger Simpson said, “Last week on a few trips the weather was so gorgeous and calm that there was very little drift… biggest fluke for the week was around 8 pounds.” Capt. Rich Hittinger, RISAA vice president said, “Fluke fishing has been very good. We had some good luck off Sakonnet two weeks ago, but recently we have had a very good bite at Block Island. Many of the fish are over three pounds and I would say four out of five are over 18”, so most are recreational keepers.”
“Bonito reports are starting to come in from Watch Hill. They are on their way,” said Elisa Martin.
Shore fishing. John Brangaccio of Cardinal Bait & Tackle, Westerly said, “Fishing has been very, very slow. Anglers fishing from the beaches and jetties are not landing much… just scup and bluefish are being taken. At Ft. Wetherill, Jamestown, last weekend school striped bass and bluefish were surfacing… just out of shore angler reach.” Last week seven year old TJ Giddings of Warwick landed three keeper scup in twenty minutes when fishing with his dad at Rocky Point, Warwick. Scup are being caught in the bay and off coastal shores from boats and shore. Dave Henault of Ocean State Tackle, Providence said, “The scup bite under the Mt. Hope Bridge is good, as well as at Colt State Park, Bristol.”
Black sea bass fishing has been excellent with anglers catching their limit when targeting fluke. Steve Brustein of West Warwick landed sea bass off Newport last week to 19”. Roger Simpson said, “(The) biggest sea bass was 6.2 pounds!”
Fresh water fishing for bass continues to be strong with trout fishing starting to fade. “A customer caught a nine pound and a five pound largemouth bass when fishing at Lincoln Woods,” said Dave Henault.
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shellfishing for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. Visit Captain Dave’s No Fluke website at noflukefishing.com or e-mail him with your fishing news and photos at firstname.lastname@example.org.