The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is looking into the possibility of making some practical exceptions to its requirement that circle hooks be used with natural baits for striper fishing in order to reduce angling mortality. The states of Maine and Massachusetts were given two year windows to study the effect of using the tube and worm trolling technique .
That method is very popular in New England, and I’ve never heard of a striper swallowing the long tube after hitting the worm on the hook. Using a cirle hook on the tube would be very inefficient in that situation. Surprisingly. New Hampshire and New York voted against that proposal at the recent ASMFC virtual meeting. However, there was a unanimous vote to establish a committee to study the specifics of the circle hook rule. For instance, the natural bait definition means pork rind can’t be used on jigs which are rarely swallowed in any case. The same applies to the use of eelskins and rigged eels. Then there’s the question of incidental striper catches by anglers using bait for other species with J hooks.
Thursday’s forecast is for north winds about 10 knots with light snow and two-foot seas.