The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) issued the following press release after last week’s summer meeting:

Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board Approves

Draft Addendum VI for Public Comment

Arlington, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board (Board) approved Draft Addendum VI for public comment. The Addendum was initiated in response to the 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment which indicates the resource is overfished and experiencing overfishing. The Draft Addendum explores a range of management alternatives designed to end overfishing and reduce fishing mortality to the target level in 2020.

“The Draft Addendum is a critical first step to stem overfishing as quickly as possible and begin efforts to rebuild the biomass,” said Board Chair Dr. Michael Armstrong with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries. “Following approval of the Addendum, the Board will likely initiate a new amendment to consider a longer term strategy to fully rebuild the resource.”

The Draft Addendum proposes management options for both commercial and recreational sectors in the ocean and in Chesapeake Bay in order to reduce total fishery removals by 18% relative to 2017 levels. The proposed measures include reduced quotas for commercial fisheries, and changes in bag limits, minimum sizes, and slot size limits for the recreational sector. Since catch and release practices represent a significant component of overall fishing mortality, the Draft Addendum also explores the mandatory use of circle hooks when fishing with bait to reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries.

It is anticipated the majority of Atlantic coastal states will conduct public hearings on the Draft Addendum; a subsequent press release will announce the details of those hearings once they become finalized. Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. The Draft Addendum will be available on the Commission website ( under Public Input by August 19th. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on September 27, 2019 and should be forwarded to Max Appelman.

Speaking of striped bass, this morning couldn’t have started any better for me when I got to the beach at first light. I was reeling in my second cast on open beach and already starting to walk toward a more likely spot when my Storm Big Bug popper was nailed almost in the wash. I was sliding a 25-inch striper out of the water wnen Vinny D’Anton arrived and said “They’re here. We should have a good morning.” Long story short — no one raised another fish before I left to give Point Pleasant Canal a try for blackfish.

Some sandworms left over from fishing with Chuck Many Friday evening were immediately attacked in the canal — but by the young-of-the-year sea bass that have arrived in force. It’s hard to get through the 5-7-inch sea bass with soft baits. I released a couple of tog to 14 inches yesterday morning on the slack, and a 13-incher today among all the sea bass. Green crabs are the best bet for blackfish in the canal as usual.

Though the weather forecast kept many anglers home, it was a very fishable day. Capt. Ron Santee said he hit the change of tide just right in the morning, and there was a good pick of keeper fluke as everyone went home with a fluke dinner from the Fishermen out of Atlantic Highlands.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had mostly sea bass on Sunday, but also a surprise tuna.


Jon Falkowski of Linden fished aboard the Misty Morn from Morgan yesterday and was pleased with the results. He had a keeper fluke plus nine shorts. There were seven keepers among nine fares — which isn’t bad for Raritan Bay this year.

Scott Leadbeater has been frustrated by the lack of bluefish to cast to in the bay from his 20-footer out of Atlantic Highlands he managed a consolation prize of two legal fluke in Swash Channel and at the towers.

The forecast is for northwest winds at 5-100 knots in the morning.



1 Comment

  1. Al we have discussed this a few times before. And we know that circle hooks work it’s not a a no-brainer on that one but I still think there’s too much under the commercial and as far as pressure is concerned they know where these fish are and all they have to do is set a circle around them and they take hundreds of pounds. It is not just the recreational sector it violates the law. It’s those ones that they don’t see on those nights when they can till they’re both full of stripers and send them off to different places to sell them. There’s a lot of illegal activity that goes on in the commercial ends. I have said this many times to game Fish status up and down the coast from five miles out to the coastline anything within the 5-mile range is under the guidance of game 4 status. In other words of a commercial boat does anything within that boundary or anybody does anything illegal within that Foundry. The fine are heavy. You have to make the laws just. And they have to be enforced there is enough manpower from each state to have it over scene. I know many sport Anglers including yourself and I every least hundreds and hundreds of stripers back into the waters wondering whether they were going to get caught up in the Nets as they go north and south along our coastlines. If the federal government wants to give a quota to commercial fisherman it should be outside the 5-mile zone. I feel that would allow these fish free rein once they get up and down within the 5 Mi over range to get into their spawning phase without being impeded by a commercial net. As far as tournaments are concerned there shouldn’t be any during spawning season and perhaps maybe even delay to some degree the opening of the striped bass season. Until these fish start to exit. We know that up in the New York Bight we have our own Fishery. But again it is in shaky conditions due to an onslaught of party boats and recreational boats and the Jersey side is commercial free due to the game 4 status so we do have a lot of spawning that goes on within our own back estuaries. The navesink river and the Shrewsbury River produce a lot of young of the year as well as many of the other tributaries to come down from Newark Bay Area in the marshlands and so on the Hudson River produces a lot of fish also. So we are in Define shape as that is known as. But we are still shaky from the migratory fish that we depend upon also these are all things that we can look at and there’s a veteran Angler as well as you we both know to conserve a fishery the game 4 status is a very important degree and allowing them to spawn. I also know that the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries council is loaded with commercial fisherman we need more representation then we have now and meeting should not just be held down there they should be held all the way up to Atlantic Islands give everybody a chance to hear these meetings I think that when they were put into a place that no one can get to do the weather or travel that is not right. Things must be set up for the public to hear and to put in their arguments whether they accept it or not. And sometimes some of the best ideas come from people who can attend these meetings. Is the highlands bridge is giving up some fish. The later you fish at night the better chances you have of hooking something more monsters. You wrote a bad Ken Peters the other day what is 10.5 door mat I’ve known Ken for a long time he used to fish with me on my boat so it’s not uncommon that he would finally break into the dorm at category and I congratulated him today on the phone.


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