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Fishing Report: Options to protect striped bass considered

Providence Journal logo Providence Journal 9/21/2019 By By Dave Monti Special to the Journal, Providence Journal
a group of people standing next to a child: Jamie Wong, of Cambridge, Mass., with his father, left, and two children -- Lucia and Xavier -- with the black sea bass they caught north of the Pell Bridge on Saturday. [Special to the Journal / Dave Monti] © Special to the Journal / Dave Monti/Providence Journal/TNS Jamie Wong, of Cambridge, Mass., with his father, left, and two children -- Lucia and Xavier -- with the black sea bass they caught north of the Pell Bridge on Saturday. [Special to the Journal / Dave Monti]

More fishing trips for striped bass occur than any other species. It is the No. 1 sport fish on the East Coast. Recreational industry leaders this week weighed in how to reduce its harvest after the most recent stock assessment striped bass report said the species is being overfished.

A minimum 18% reduction coast-wide has been mandated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). The reduction will not rebuild the stock, just stop the overfishing.

What's your opinion on how to reduce the striped bass harvest? However you feel, let fish managers and commissioners of the ASMFC know.

The ASMFC manages striped bass coast-wide and will conduct public hearings on striped bass Addendum VI management plan options. Anglers can also mail in comments or send via email. Visit www.asmfc.org for Addendum VI reduction options, stock assessment highlights and comment instructions.

Industry leader perspectives

The American Saltwater Guides Association (ASGA) supports treating commercial fishing and recreational fishing equally. For Ocean Fisheries, ASGA supports sub-option 2-A1: one fish at 35 inches minimum, which would achieve an 18% reduction. Chesapeake Bay Fisheries ASGA supports sub-option 2-B1: 1 fish at 18 inches minimum, which would achieve a 20% reduction.

Option 3.2, the Circle Hook Provision ASGA supports option B where states would be required to use circle hooks.

Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association (RIPCBA) supports Option1: Status Quo. This means that regulations would continue to operate as they are ... one fish/person/day. Commercial regulations would remain the same, too.

Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) supports treating commercial fishing and recreational fishing equally. RISAA supports sub-option 2-A1: one fish at a 35-inch to 40-inch slot, which would achieve a 21% reduction.

For Chesapeake Bay Fisheries, RISAA supports sub-option 2-B1: one fish at 18-inch minimum, which would achieve a 20% reduction.

Option 3.2, the Circle Hook Provision, RISAA supports option C: states would be required to promote the use of circle hooks by developing public education and outreach campaigns.

Public hearings

Rhode Island's public hearing is Tuesday, Sept. 24, 6 p.m. at Corless Auditorium, URI Bay Campus, Narragansett, R.I.

In Massachusetts there is a public hearing on Oct. 3 at the Mass. Maritime Academy, Admiral's Hall, Buzzards Bay, Mass.

Public comments accepted in writing or via email until 5 p.m. on Oct. 7.

Where's the bite?

Striped bass, bluefish, bonito and false albacore. East End Eddie Doherty, Cape Cod Canal fisherman and author says: "The canal is heating up. I caught three keepers, including a hungry 18-pounder that inhaled my Hurley 5-ounce white paddle tail Canal Killer on an early east tide. There were some nice fish caught this week in the 20- and 30-pound class." Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait & Tackle in Warren says: "It's been bluefish, bluefish and bluefish. They have been all over the East Passage from snapper blues to fish in the 12-inch to 24-inch range. There are a few striped bass mixed in. We have not seen a bluefish run like this in years. On Monday the false albacore were all the way up to Barrington Beach along with the bluefish."

Tautog fishing is slow. Tom Giddings says: "Anglers caught mostly small fish off Jamestown this week. They seem to be in but just have to get larger. We fished off North Kingstown at General Rock and most of the fish were short tautog this weekend. Manny Macedo of Lucky Bait said: "One customer limited out (three fish) on tautog at the Stone Bridge in Tiverton." Angler Derek Kolodziejczak reports on the RISAA blog that, "We fished the south side of Whale Rock (Sunday) in depths of 16-to-30 feet. We had plenty of action but managed only one keeper tog. Lots of scup, if you wanted them."

Black sea bass, scup and summer flounder. Anglers on my boat caught seven keeper black sea bass to 20 inches, two fluke and as many keeper scup as they wanted in the Pell Bridge area. Capt. Frank Blount of the Frances Fleet says: "The fluke fishing is off with black bass sea bass taking off like a rocket. We had near full boat limits to five pounds. The sea bass limit is now seven per person."

Cod. Angler Paul Boutiette says: "Arrived at Cox Ledge Monday with my wife at 11:30 a.m. and the current shifted at 3 p.m. and rods heated up. Began pulling in cod rapidly and ended up with seven cod, including a 10.1-pound beauty, five BSB and one Pollock. Both clams and jigs worked."

Tuna bite. Capt. Blount of The Frances Fleet says: "We had great results on our three-day trip. We managed 30 yellows to 100 pounds. Trolling seemed to have the best results with 22 of the fish."

Freshwater. "The largemouth, perch and pike bite have all been good. Little Pond in Warwick is closed due to algae, but prior to the closure the fishing there was good, too," according to Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box.

Dave Monti holds a captain's master license and a charter fishing license. He is a RISAA board member, a member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association, the American Saltwater Guides Association and the RI Marine Fisheries Council. Follow Capt. Dave on twitter @CaptDaveMonti. He'll be tweeting about 'Where's the bite', fishing regulations, national fishing policy, and issues that impact the fish. Forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at dmontifish@verizon.net or visit www.noflukefishing.com.

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©2019 The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I.)

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