Yesterday’s Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting in N.H. agreed 0n striped bass regulations for 2020 that included a coastal limit of one at 28-35 inches; one at 18 inches in Chesapeake Bay; and mandatory use of circle hooks when fishing with bait.

The official release follows:

ASMFC Atlantic Striped Bass Board Approves Addendum VI

New Castle, NH – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved Addendum VI to Amendment 6 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Addendum reduces all state commercial quotas by 18%, and implements a 1 fish bag limit and a 28”-35” recreational slot limit for ocean fisheries and a 1 fish bag limit and an 18” minimum size limit for Chesapeake Bay recreational fisheries. States may submit alternative regulations through conservation equivalency to achieve an 18% reduction in total removals relative to 2017 levels.

Addendum VI was initiated in response to the 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment, which indicates the resource is overfished and experiencing overfishing. The Addendum’s measures are designed to reduce harvest, end overfishing, and bring fishing mortality to the target level in 2020.

Since catch and release practices contribute significantly to overall fishing mortality, the Addendum requires the mandatory use of circle hooks when fishing with bait to reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries. Outreach and education will be a necessary element to garner support and compliance with this important conservation measure.

States are required to submit implementation plans by November 30, 2019 for review by the Technical Committee and approval by the Board in February 2020. States must implement mandatory circle hook requirements by January 1, 2021. All other provisions of Addendum VI must be implemented by April 1, 2020. Additionally, in February 2020, the Board will consider a postponed motion to initiate an Amendment to rebuild spawning stock biomass to the target level and address other issues with the management program.

Addendum VI will be available on the Commission’s website ( on the Atlantic Striped Bass webpage in early November. For more information, please contact Max Appelman, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at or 703.842.07

ASMFC Presents Thomas P. Fote Prestigious Captain David H. Hart Award

New Castle, NH – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission presented Thomas P. Fote, New Jersey’s Governor Appointee to the Commission, the Captain David H. Hart Award, its highest annual award, at the Commission’s 78th Annual Meeting in New Castle. Mr. Fote has admirably served the State of New Jersey and the Commission since 1991 when he replaced Captain David Hart as New Jersey’s Governor Appointee to the Commission.

Mr. Fote’s longstanding service to marine conservation and management is notable. His history is one of dedicated volunteerism on a continuous basis. After volunteering to serve in Vietnam, Mr. Fote was medically retired from the US Army as an Army Captain in 1970. Upon his return, Tom began to carve out a critical spot for himself in the world of marine conservation through diligent study, hard work, the willingness to ask penetrating questions, and engagement into a wide spectrum of conservation and fisheries management roles, all as a full time volunteer. In the process, he has become a knowledgeable and staunch fishery advocate, acting locally on behalf of his fellow New Jersey anglers, while also considering the needs of other states.

A strong proponent of habitat protection and enhancement, Mr. Fote recognizes the critical role healthy habitat plays in fisheries management. As the founding member and first chair of the Habitat Committee, was instrumental in the development of the Commission’s Habitat Program. Throughout his life, he’s become increasingly active in environmental issues and has been a powerful voice in opposition to those who would degrade the marine environment. Having seen firsthand the devastation of “Agent Orange” in Vietnam, Mr. Fote found that this same Agent Orange had been made in New Jersey and dumped into Newark Bay. Mr. Fote worked with numerous conservation agencies to rid New Jersey’s waters of a whole spectrum of contaminants.

With his service to the Commission dating back to 1991, Mr. Fote has become the onsite “functional historian” for the Commission. His long range perspective puts difficult decisions into context and brings clarity to confusing dilemmas. Understanding how important it is to bring new members up to speed so they can quickly and constructively engage in the Commission process, Mr. Fote goes out of his way to help new Commissioners understand the complexities of the organization and how to work through the sometimes confusing maze of options.

Mr. Fote firmly believes in the inherent strength of partnerships and collaboration. He frequently communicates with others to develop a compromise and/or coalition for the common good. His extensive knowledge, reputation, and impassioned viewpoint are key catalysts in bringing divergent groups together for a common cause. This is exemplified through his work as a volunteer with numerous organizations including the New Jersey Environmental Federation and the New Jersey Coast Anglers Association. Throughout his life, Mr. Fote has demonstrated that a conservation ethic and spirit of volunteerism can be lifelong passions. Atlantic coast fisheries management is better because of his involvement.

The Commission instituted the Hart Award in 1991 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding efforts to improve Atlantic coast marine fisheries. The Hart Award is named for one of the Commission’s longest serving members, who dedicated himself to the advancement and protection of marine fishery resources, Captain David H. Hart, from the State of New Jersey.

Strong winds today resulted in cancellations and difficult fishing conditions. The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands found a few keeper and short stripers plus some shorts.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar cancelled today, but saw some bass splashing Wednesday though they were hard to catch and only some were boated. A few shorts and little tunny hit.

Bob Correll of Bay Head checked his boat at Crystal Point in Point Pleasant around noon and was surprised to see a couple of stripers in the 40-pound class being lifted out of another boat that had braved the seas in order to troll off Long Branch.

I tried casting in Point Pleasant Canal, which was very fishable — but had no hits and didn’t see anything caught.

The forecast is west gusts to 40 knots tonight with seas to 14 feet after midnight in a gale warning. Friday starts with west winds at 25-30 knots and gusts to 40 before diminishing in the afternoon. That should help flatten the seas and clear the surf for a good weekend.

Tha bass bag limit increases in N.J. on Friday, but so does the size limit which goes up to 13 inches. for the 15 sea bass you can bag through the rest of the year.

Capt. Vinny Vetere had a hot trolling bite of stripers up to the 40-pound class yesterday morning far west in Raritan Bay with his Katfish from Great Kills. This time his TGT bunker spoons were more effective than his Ho-Jos. The hot spoon was was the gold/white Rattle Spoon.

TGT spoon.jpg



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