NOAA Fisheries Closes the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Angling Category Northern Area Trophy Fishery

Fishermen aboard Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling category and Atlantic HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels (when fishing recreationally) may not retain, possess, or land large medium or giant Atlantic bluefin tuna (i.e., measuring 73 inches curved fork length or greater) in the northern area after 11:30 p.m., May 11, 2021. The northern area is the area north of 39°18’ N. lat. (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ).
How long is the closure in effect? The Angling category fishery for trophy bluefin tuna will close effective 11:30 p.m., May 11, 2021, through December 31, 2021.
Why is the fishery closing? Based on the best available landings information, the 1.8-mt Angling category northern area “trophy” bluefin tuna (measuring 73 inches or greater) subquota has been reached and exceeded.

Who is affected? This action applies to HMS Angling category and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessels fishing recreationally in the northern area (defined above).Note that the Angling category fishery for school, large school, or small medium bluefin tuna (27 to <73”) remains open in all areas except for the Gulf of Mexico, which is designated as bluefin tuna spawning grounds and where NOAA Fisheries does not allow targeted fishing for bluefin tuna.

Reporting
HMS Angling category and HMS Charter/Headboat permitted vessel owners are required to report the catch of all bluefin retained or discarded dead within 24 hours of the landing(s) or end of each trip
.
There was good striper news today as the Golden Eagle from Belmar fished the ocean with jigs and shads for “quite a few” keepers plus 20-30 shorts and three bass too big to keep

At Atlantic Highlands, the Fishermen got into a bite of big bass on the ebb. Shads attracted bass up to a 37 1/2-inch pool winner as larger stripers up to a 43-incher had to be released. A stop to fish with bait didn’t last long as dogfish took over. The Sea Hunter didn’t have enough to sail, but will be going tomorrow.
The forecast is for northwest winds at 15-20 knots with gusts to 25. which drop to 10-15 in the afternoon.
The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant is sailing open for stripers on May 12 and 14 at 6:30 a.m. with a 15-man limit for $120. On the 13th they’ll make a run for cod at 5 a.m. with a 15-man limit for $150. Call 732 370-8019 for reservations.

Capt. Dave DeGennaro has an open trip for stripers out of Barnegat at noon tomorrow with a limit of four at $175 on his Hi Flier. Call 732 33

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