Saturday, March 30, 2024

03.30.24 Ready for April to arrive...

     And now it really begins. For some reason my body's internal DNA is conveying to my brain that it's go time. Yes, fish have been caught here and there in the usual spring time spots round New Jersey and those that braved the cold nights, rainy days, and the stupid amount of wind this spring have been rewarded with good fishing or at least their starter fish, like I scored the other day. 

    But now it begins. I think after this wind turbine gets shuts off and April rolls in on Monday we'll see things, which are really on a normal pace this year, start to kick off. We'll see those bay and river waters hit 50 and stay there. The air temps will hopefully hold in the 60's and the wind will hopefully at our backs and blow us around like it did yesterday. 

     This past week an early spring fisherman lost his life, "Doing what he loved". 37-year old Diego Ferreira from Long Branch was out fishing the Navesink River in his kayak when something went wrong out there and he died. What can you say? It's an early spring spot, in the recent years totally blown up, better at night, well at least less traffic, and a great boat/kayak/dingy spot. But you have to know your water and limits, and of course be safe. Our rush to catch fish sometimes interfere with our logic and preparation, which includes safety. I'm not judging nor do I know the story but I can say this when I hit the Navesink, or any river, in my new water craft, I'll be sure to wear my lifejacket and play by all the safety rules. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes someone getting hurt our killed for the rest of us to pay attention. RIP Diego. 

     Things can go sideways in an instant and if you are in uncharted territory it can diminish the chances for a happy ending. At any minute the boat gets swamped, you lose your footing, or you get caught where you shouldn't be on a tide. If you can fish with a buddy, let someone know where you are going

if solo, and for me I let my wife have my "Find My Phone" location so she knows. If you're not straight up with your partner I'd advise not going with that option. And as far as PFD's, there's plenty of compact inflatables that you can wear when out on bigger or sporty water. 

     And as the deadline for ASMFC compliance arrives we've had some milky-flinky antics going on down in and around the Chesapeake Bay. But first, New York has been approved for the following changes on the Hudson River north of the GWB. They went from an 18-28 inch slot to a 23-28 inch slot. The marine striped bass fishery falls within the 28-31 inch slot. But, and always amazing to me, the Hudson River folks can still catch and use herring for bait. I thought protecting herring was a thing?

     Then there's Maryland, the Potomac River Fisheries Commission, and Pennsylvania. Those three have been balking on coming up with agreeable plans for the ASMFC. These include commercial reductions for Maryland and recreational for the PRFC and Pennsy. There has been talk of lawsuits and states "going out of compliance". Yeah yeah yeah. 

     The Pennsy situation is a little closer to me because the ASMFC said no to that state imposing a one fish, rather than two fish, limit on the Delaware River during April and May. Why? Because Pennsy said it couldn't do that in timely fashion for this year. The ASMFC stated it would approve their reduction if it was implanted by May 1st, 2024, halfway through the April-May "spawning" striped bass season.