Well I had to get it done....and I did. Passed the national board exam to be an official Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Able to assess, diagnosis, provide therapy and prescribe medications to mental health patients from young to old. Cant wait until Theresa and I one our private practice......hopefully mid-September or October 1.
With that out of the way I headed down to the beach around 330 and had the place to myself. In two hours I caught 8 fluke, all shorts, and probably had a keeper flip off. All coughing up mole or other crabs, but surprisingly most took my trailing white bait fly.
The reason I was near the beach because I am a member of the American Saltwater Guides Association and we had an action meeting at Stella Maris on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. The AMSGA mission is to "...promote sustainable business through marine conservation". While most efforts to save the striped bass and other species are grass roots, this group is more astute to the data sets that are available and used by the ASFMC to set regulations regarding sustainable, or not, catch levels.
It's all about the data, regardless if you believe it or not. Testimony like, "I haven't seen it this bad since the 80's before the moratorium" have little meaningful impact when attempting to sway fisheries managers from the ASMFC to set regulations. While I am more of the personal angler responsibility kind of guy.....catch and release only, barbless hooks, fly-fishing only (kidding), and shutting down or making pre-spawning bodies of water no-fish or catch and release, it takes more than good intentions to save a fishery.
We can say, coms vs recs, fly vs the world, size limits across the board, 1@ 32" or kill them all, but what is needed is people in the seats either at hearings or writing letters to their politicians telling them of the impact of a downward spiraling fishery. Tackle shop owners, charter captains, even hotels, gas stations and food stores, become affected when a sport dies off, and fishing for striped bass of the beaches of New Jersey is dying off. The sharpies now hit the Raritan Bay early, or jump on a boat, or head to the Cape Cod Canal or Block Island to have some fun and catch fish, or at least have a shot at decent, meaning greater than 24 inch fish that we see on the beaches from Massachusetts down to New Jersey.
Striped bass numbers are down, overfishing is occurring, beach replenishment sucks, the Chesapeake spawning grounds are unsustainable from breeding and hiding little fish, Maryland blows as far any kind of responsible approach to striped bass conservation is concerned, Hudson fish are the only thing saving the species right now- and the Jersey and New York guys better start laying off them until May 15th, ......and thats about it. Oh, wait, our representatives to the ASMFC suck and are political lackies definitely on the non-recreational and conservation side of the issue. Don't believe their bullshit- no matter what they used to think or what they did 30 years ago.