Hi-Grading of Striped Bass [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Hi-Grading of Striped Bass


juro
06-28-2006, 08:11 AM
After observing EVERY gear guy tethering TWO live striped bass of keeper size at an undiclosed location last weekend, and STILL FISHING I wanted to point out the regulations for this action:

To prohibit the practice of high-grading, recreational fishermen may not retain legal-sized striped bass and release said fish in favor of another larger legal-sized striped bass captured subsequently. It shall be unlawful to keep striped bass alive in the water by attaching a line or chain to the fish or placing the fish in a live well or holding car. Striped bass are measured from the tip of the snout or jaw (mouth closed) to the farthest extremity of the tail.

I was a little uneasy about what they were doing now I see it's unlawful. The way I see it, you catch your limit you are done. If you want to fish, don't keep the limit.

I am going to seek clarification on that aspect as well, when a limit is retained the fishing should stop. This is as important a rule to prevent high-grading as the already established rule above and I think it should be clearly stated in the regulations. High-grading or not, it's common sense - you keep the limit, you are done. This is the rule in most states for most species.

rel1
06-28-2006, 08:30 AM
juro- Not everyone high grades after catching their limit, I have in the past caught my limit and kept fishing and released all of them. Some may high grade, but then again some keep everything they catch, which is no different to me. Should fishing only be allowed during the daytime when the EPO's are around? If the law is being broken then its up to us to notify the authorities so they can deal with the problems. When I have caught my limit I just leave them on the beach until I'm ready to leave, and this may mean usng a stringer to help me keep track of them as I move a bit while fishing. Just my $.02 Ron

Adrian
06-28-2006, 09:31 AM
Wether or not they were high grading, if the fish on the stringers were alive then they were breaking the law and a call to the authorities would be in order. If someone could post the apropriate number (DEP?) I'll make sure its programmed into my cellphone.

juro
06-28-2006, 10:02 AM
1-800-632-8037 hotline

Part of this boils down to people not knowing the rules and the rules not sending the right message IMHO. The rest is intentional law breaking.

I am going to try mentioning politely that I read tethering is illegal but not call the first time. However if I see them doing the same thing over again then it means it's being done with knowledge of the law and in defiance of, thus I think the EPO's should know about it at that point.

IMHO - if the law stated that the second fish retained means you're done that would make a big difference. You'd always get to keep the first one and have a reason to fish well for the rest of the day.

BUT this automatically incriminates an angler for throwing out another cast into the same hole where they killed the previous two, but not if they killed only one. Otherwise there is a hole in the reg and the striped bass suffers again.

All coastal states were given two fish bag limit by the ASMFC. MA only adopted it to have something to concede when/if the governing body decides to demand a cut-back from MA as has been the case historically (due to highest mortality occurring in MA).

BigDave
06-28-2006, 10:03 AM
Juro did you actually see someone remove a smaller bass from a stringer and replace it with a larger specimen? Otherwise what leads you to beleive these gear fishers where high-grading and not simply C&R the rest of their catch?

High-grading is wrong however I see no problem with keeping your limit and continuing to fish C&R. I have done this on occasion over the last couple of years due to gill-hooked fish, etc.

When I keep fish while wade fishing I string them up onto my wading belt and drag them along behind me while i fish. I do not consider this unlawful and will continue to do so.

I don't see that the folks you saw were doing anything unlawful. However if I saw them swapping fish already on the stringer I would have been the first to call them in: MA DEP Poachers Hotline: 800.632.8075 - this # should be in every sportsman's cell phone directory.

juro
06-28-2006, 10:16 AM
Dave -

Whether you consider it lawful or not does not matter, it is written up as unlawful in the regs and if you do so you are breaking the law.

I did not say I witnessed the actual exchange. However we all know it happens, and I can not agree that we as anglers should put our selfish desire for meat ahead of the welfare of the fish - specifically I am saying I hope the state amends the law to prohibit fishing once the second fish has been killed.

If you gill hook two bass and kill them to keep fishing I have to ask who the hell are you feeding the salvation army?

In other states the regulation is tied to the method. If the officer sees your method as one that is targeting the same species, then it is a violation. Most cases are written up and you can argue with the judge that a pencil popper is a good technique for fluke etc.

The purpose of the two fish limit is not to kill twice the fish.

Adrian
06-28-2006, 10:21 AM
If you continue to fish after having taken two legal fish, according to the regs above, then the fish on the stringer must be dead:

"It shall be unlawful to keep striped bass alive in the water by attaching a line or chain to the fish or placing the fish in a live well or holding car."

There is nothing in this statement about intent. The way I read it, even having a single live striper tethered in the water is illegal.

If the tethered fish are dead then continuing to fish C&R should be fine, unless the regs say otherwise. I'm not sure what happens if you accidentally kill a legal fish having already taken the two fish limit?

Presumably you have "accidentally" broken the law?

juro
06-28-2006, 10:23 AM
Also if you gill hooked the previous two what makes you think you aren't going to gill hook more?

BigDave
06-28-2006, 10:52 AM
Whoa...touchy, touchy TOUCHY!

Maybe I missed the point that the fish has to be alive on the stringer to be an infraction of the law.

When I have kept a fish "tethered" to my belt it has been killed first. I kill the fish not becuase of the semantics in the rule book but because it's the humane and respectful way to harvest a fish IMHO.

Regarding keeping 2: this has only happened when one was already designated for the dinner table and another happened to get deeply hooked late in the day. I would rather take responsibility for killing that fish, clean it and share it with the family, than feed the crabs. Call me crazy.

All I am pointing out is there is a big difference between intentional high-grading and keeping the legal limit imposed by MA Marine Fisheries.

juro
06-28-2006, 11:03 AM
Juro did you actually see someone remove a smaller bass from a stringer and replace it with a larger specimen?

Touchy touche' my friend :lildevl:

Thanks for clarifiying; energy comes across as ire all too often on the web in both directions. I should have put more smilies, my rhetorical dander is only up to get attention :D

But meaning no disrespect what do you say about the gill-hook / gill-hook more argument?

If you keep fish because they are hurt, then keep fishing aren't more going to get hurt?


(IMHO / FWIW - I think the law should prohibit fishing with equipment and methods customary to striped bass fishing once the two fish limit has been killed per day)

Smcdermott
06-28-2006, 11:22 AM
Juro,

As we discussed last night I am not sure your argument holds water. Frankly, I don't see the difference between the guy who catches and releases all day vs. the guy who chose to keep two fish and keep fishing, which is his legal right. Keep two and bleed them out. Keep fishing. If you find yourself gill hooking fish change tatics or stop fishing that is your choice. I have heard you say you have had days where you caught and released more than 10 keepers. Why didn't you stop fishing once you have caught two keepers even if you released them. Isn't that a C&R form of highgrading using your logic?

Sean

juro
06-28-2006, 11:29 AM
C & R and high-grading are mutually exclusive, so simply put "no".... it's obvious that if you keep ZERO you aren't culling the catch!

Legal right is acknowledged, it's the logic behind it that is in question.

I have to admit that I get the impression this is less a matter of rational angling conduct and the welfare of the fish than it is a "rights and privileges" matter to you with all due respect.

If you keep fishing for the same species it's too late once you've gill hooked another - you've killed it.

As you know I don't fish bait but it's documented fact that mortality is related to method and if the regulations won't push things like circle hooks required for bait then they must be responsible for controlling mortality some other way.

The reason for raising the limit to two fish is not to kill twice the fish. The real reason MA adopted it is to provide a concession when the ASMFC comes to the table for cut backs due to the MA mortality rate (highest in the country).

How is it not appropriate to balance this doubling of the limit with a corresponding regulation to prevent the mortality rate from increasing in MA?

Smcdermott
06-28-2006, 11:57 AM
[QUOTE=juro]I have to admit that I get the impression this is less a matter of rational angling conduct and the welfare of the fish than it is a "rights and privileges" matter to you with all due respect.
QUOTE]

Juro,

I think you have me all wrong. I just don't think your argument benefits the fish any more than the current regs. As I read it the reg states you can't high grade by keeping live fish on a stringer. If an EPO is there all he has to do is walk up and ask to see the fish on the stringer. If they are alive he has a law breaker to deal with. If they are dead he doesn't. My understanding of your argument is that you are concerned with further harm from continued fishing and therefore assume a high release mortality rate. If that is the case than C&R is the true issue and shouldn't be allowed at all. We should all catch two fish regardless of size and stop fishing or not fish at all if we don't plan on keeping them. I think you are walking a fine line with this and should be careful what you wish for. I don't think there is great data available on mortality rates so I go with my judgement depending on species and circumstance and make the call on whether to harvest or not within the current regs. I usually err on the side of low mortaility and give the fish a chance. Easy for me as I don't eat fish but I understand others inclination to lean the other way. You want to talk about what is best for the fish I think we should focus our efforts on habitat, reduction fisheries of primary forage and possibly game fish status (still on the fence on that one myself.)

Sean

p.s. rereading this it may sound as if I was a little heated. I am not just didn't want to go back through and add the right emoticons.

Smcdermott
06-28-2006, 12:08 PM
Juro,

You cheated and edited your post to include the mortaility information after I started my response so it now sounds like I didn't read yours. I now understand your logic and it is not without merrit (assuming your underlying mortality assumptions are correct.) I think you owe us the backup to the "mortality linked to method statement" though. Big statement if you don't have the goods to back it up. Lets assume its fact though. If the same guy using bait keeps one and keeps fishing vs. keeps two, does that really help the fish if the same high mortality rates are applied. Here I think our efforts are better spent at coming up with method regs or education pamplets vs. changing it to 2 fish and done.

Sean

JimW
06-28-2006, 12:46 PM
What's all this gill hooking talk? Everyone knows it's much more effective to gut hook 'em. I assume we're talking bait chuckers here which is great since I love the one sided debate it recieves here, but I'll leave that alone for now.

Just maybe some of these folks are practicing c&r after catching one or two fish. I like to keep a bass in the livewell, no need to keep two fish really.

Is it legal to keep one on the stringer and continue to fish c&r? I know many who have done this at the canal with no intention of keeping another fish, this is when anything under 3' was a schoolie and the possesion limit was one. Probably illegal but there was no harm done. High grading happens and I've seen the epo's crack down on the stringer thing, too bad since the stringer thing was such a great way to keep the fish fresh when a cooler isn't an option.
I guess what I'm trying to put across is obeying the letter of the law vs. recognizing the spirit of the law are two different things. I've never been a letter of the law sort and will continue to keep the occasional fish the the dinner plate legally as far as size, species, time of year etc... if it's from the boat, she's going in the well - illegal I guess, just because freshly bleed they taste better.

Does anyone have the regs on tuna - can I bite one in the belly before releasing it? That 47" fish is an entirely different animal than the 27" keeps of last year. For sport I'd prefer the Rhody 10lbers to the CCB / Northshore fish.

juro
06-28-2006, 04:32 PM
Sean -

Citing first that release mortality exceeds intentional retention of striped bass in MA... http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dmf/publications/sb2002_tr-19.pdf

One can assume that methods play a role in fish mortality since the effect is so significant on released fish.


A study by US Fish and Wildlife Service states:


Factors affecting mortality.— Hook location was the only variable that significantly affected the survival of striped bass (Table 3). Specifically, individuals hooked in the gut had a higher likelihood of dying than those hooked in the lip (P < 0.05).

Many factors can increase hooking mortality, such as the use of barbed hooks (Taylor and White 1992 ), the use of “J” hooks rather than circle hooks (Orsi et al. 1993, MDDNR 1998), the use of single hooks instead of treble hooks (Nuhfer and Alexander 1992), the use of live bait instead of artificial lures (Clapp and Clark 1989, Hysmith et al. 1992, Taylor and White 1992), lower salinity, higher water temperature (Hysmith et al. 1992, Muoneke 1992), larger fish size (Hysmith et al. 1992), deep instead of shallow hooked (Bendock and Alexandersdottir 1993,
Gjernes et al. 1993, DuBois et al. 1994, Persons and Hirsch 1994, Schisler and Bergersen 1996), longer playing and handling times (Schisler and Berhgersen 1996), and angler inexperience.

Hooking mortality will also likely be higher in fish released into areas of less than three mg/l dissolved oxygen (Lee and Bergersen 1996).


Here is a link to a circle hook study by Maryland DNR:
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/recreational/articles/crsb.html

I am sure I can dig up reams of evidence from legitimate government and university studies.

Jim, say what you will but I have never gut hooked a striper on a fly. I think a circle hook for bait regulation (not lures just bait that can be swallowed) is reasonable, since there is mountains of proof out there that gut hooking kills more fish than lip hooking, and that's just a fact void of personal views or emotion, just a simple fact.

Up until this year one fish was the limit, now suddenly stopping at two the same size is a violation of "rights"? I am amazed by the sudden phenomenon that two is not enough.

Fact: You know why MA adopted the two fish limit? In case the commision came looking for cutbacks they would concede the extra fish to appease them.

The objective was never to kill twice as many fish.

And I say BS that C&R is the same as limit + C&R... the difference is two dead fish.

juro
06-28-2006, 04:41 PM
Juro,

You cheated and edited your post to include the mortaility information after I started my response so it now sounds like I didn't read yours.

HEHE no cheating Sean, if you edit it within a minute or two there is no edit message, same for all members.

You must have been reading it within that window. :tongue:

sean
06-28-2006, 05:25 PM
Well my 2 cents is the tethering of live fish is a no brainer, against the law. Pretty cut and dry and selfish of the anglers who practice that method.

Now the 2 fish thing seems a little excessive. Say what you want about people needing to feed their families but 2 keeper stripers is a lot of meat. If you are on big fish or use methods that increase your chances of big fish like live bait one guy can take alot of poundage in a week. Far more than is needed for eating purposes. 1 a day is more than enough. When limits get set high some guys just cannot stop themselves and kill all they can if they need em or not. Look at some folks you see out there going after bluefish. Who needs 20 or more of those things, especially when you leave them on the beach to cook for a few hours before taking them home:Eyecrazy:

Guys that continue fishing for is fine by me as that is their right as the law stands. Like Juro I would like to see the bait guys switch to circle hooks as it has been proven to drastically reduce hooking mortality for bait. Unfortunately they are not that great with flies as most fish do not take the hooks quite deep ebough for the circle to do its thing.

Personally I would probably stop fishing after I decided to bonk a fish which I have yet to do which is more just circumstance than anything else.

We had this debate all the time when I lived out west for steelhead. Those fish are different though and hooking mortality is greater I imagine than for stripers. Stripers are tough fish and actively feeding so a proper release is going to do them alot less harm that a steelhead who has not fed in weeks or months. Just think of how many schoolies we release every year and I for one am not seeing the shores litered with dead fish in May when guys are catching 50 a day. Stripers can deal with getting hooked and released far better than most fish.

Tunoids are different with hooking mortalities pegged at 50% in some studies. I know I for one have head stories of divers in buzzards bay seeing hundreds of dead albies due to being caught and released. This is one reason I am against the upping of the limit for BFT. Tuna do not do well after a long battle and just imagine how many smaller fish will most likely die while sports are out there looking for the 47 incher to bring home. The previous rule of one and done at 27" and greater made more sense to me as its seems most fish are between that 27 and 47" inch mark.

Sean does bring good points about habitat and forage species conservation as being a must but I always think back to what almost wiped out the stripers in the first place...overfishing by sports and commercials. I hope we do not make that mistake again but the loss of forage species may beat us to it this time. Overfishing is the problem there as well though...

-sean

juro
06-29-2006, 01:23 AM
Well I went a few rounds on "the internet journal of saltwater flyfishing" (a questionable claim for a site that is 99% gear) and another site from further south down the coast (which doesn't pretend to be a fly fishing site) and received a bludgeoning welcome from the staunch "kill two first" then fish all day crowd.

I thought that there might have been some more angler support for a "keep one, then C&R till you keep another" ethic but it was not forthcoming.

I remain amazed that suddenly since 2006 rules came into effect people have the mentality that stripers are just meat and not worth any kind of consideration for well being.

Most even said they would retain live bass on stringers etc even though it is clearly illegal.

I know for a fact that the two fish limit was adopted by MA to have something to concede when/if the commision wanted a cut back in MA. MA has the highest striped bass mortality in the nation, and the released fish mortality (ie. accidentally killed) exceeds the retained fish mortality which are killed on purpose.

There is evidence to support that fishing method is directly related to mortality, yet there is no constraint on method.

Allowing C&R after killing two fish is measurably more damaging to the population and IMHO a selfish act by the angler.

There is evidence that hi-grading is a common practice, in fact the laws are written specifically to address this problem. Yet there is a huge hole in the law that creates an environment where hi-grading is easier to practice because it's acceptable to continue fishing for a species that you have already limited out on.

Yet people rather than take a conservative and sportsmanlike position argue and acuse and frankly leave me a bit disappointed with what striper fishing has become since the recovery of the species.

Oh well but who the heck am I to say. I know how I will conduct my sport.

Maybe by revealing these discussions I would have influenced a few others to adopt a one-kill, C&R; two kill done mentality.

Adrian
06-29-2006, 08:59 AM
Sad but somehow I'm not surprised.

Juro, kudos to you for at least having the guts to give it a try!

I was thinking that there are many instances where our legal and constitutional rights allow us to behave irresponsibly with regard to the environment and the natural resources around us. I saw a post on one of those sites earlier in the year where people argued that catching and releasing a couple of hundred schoolies on plug gear and "accidentally" killing a bunch of them was "what it's all about man!".

In the extreme, one could almost be forgiven for thinking that the rights of an individual to perpetrate a criminal act in some way supercede those of the intended victim. :confused:

An individual's right to choose is his or hers to make but the consequences of those choices are borne by many, not just ourselves.

Chris
06-29-2006, 09:48 AM
As to keeping them alive to bleed them fresh, thats a bogus argument. Bleed them and ice them right away. Keeping them alive to bleed later only adds to he stress hormones released into the flesh tainting the meat. The best for the meat and the fish is to dispatch them immediately.

TimSt
06-29-2006, 10:07 AM
I remain amazed that suddenly since 2006 rules came into effect people have the mentality that stripers are just meat and not worth any kind of consideration for well being

Not sure that 'consideration for well-being' means to hook and release any fish you can, for any period of time (and I mean by the C&R crowd--probably the majority of this board's membership, not the kill and C&R crowd). Not everyone thinks that C&R is good, nor humane.

...the released fish mortality (ie. accidentally killed) exceeds the retained fish mortality which are killed on purpose.

So should we ban C&R?

There is evidence to support that fishing method is directly related to mortality, yet there is no constraint on method.

I'd be careful about wishing for constraints. Should we legislate minimum tippet/line class to prevent people from playing fish too long? Should we legislate fly rod weight for the same reason? Heck, should we ban fly rods altogether since many people can't fight fish as quickly (i.e. humanely) as they could on a heavier conventional or spinning rod?

Yet people rather than take a conservative and sportsmanlike position argue and acuse and frankly leave me a bit disappointed with what striper fishing has become since the recovery of the species...

I agree; all we can do is educate ourselves and each other. We could ask for more restrictive bag limits if the goal is indeed conservation. However, as long as the scientists say that the species is recovered (and that data is always open for debate), you'll always have a lobby of recs, charters, comms, etc. that will want to maximize their access to the resource. As an aside, this is my issue with Stripers Forever; they say they want to remove the commercial trade of stripers as a conservation measure, but I haven't seen any call for reduction in rec possession limits--the recs catch more than the comms, at least in MA.

Maybe by revealing these discussions I would have influenced a few others to adopt a one-kill, C&R; two kill done mentality.

Maybe you have, but I think on this site and RT, you're preaching to the choir. You may have raised some awareness on the NJ site, however, due to the vast size of the audience and the mix of gear types.

For the record, I've never kept a striper for the table (but will this year I think; we're eating more fish in my house these days). And I have no problems with C&R; it's what I do.

Smcdermott
06-29-2006, 10:10 AM
Juro,

Personally I think you have provided a somewhat convoluted logic with two main parts to it. I think it might help if we addressed them one by one.

1. The first is high-grading and as you stated we have laws to protect it. Maybe there is a whole in it as you can keep fishing but I think if there is an EPO there they can figure out who's doing it or not with the current law in place. To me this is a non-issue.

2. Post release mortality. Now we have something to talk about in my opinion and if you hadn't bundled it in with part 1 I think you would have gained more traction. In fact there is a thread on that subject below yours on RT that discusses it. Still mixed views but a good discussion IMO. I haven't had enough time to go back and read through the documentation you provided earlier on this subject but will and then I would love to discuss what possible gear restrictions might look like to help reduce PRM.

Sean

juro
06-29-2006, 10:30 AM
I got a 10:30 but will chip in...

Sean,

I agree however you've shifted some serious gears yourself in this discussion. However we might be at a good intersection to move ahead with a clearer view to your point.

Tim,

Good to hear from you - however we are comparing two kill + C&R against C&R, not two kill stop verses no kill C&R as your post implies.

My point is this - the difference between C&R and two-kill plus C&R is two dead fish, the C&R cancels out. Multiply that by the number of anglers in MA and the unconstrained methods, loose regs, etc.

back later

Smcdermott
06-29-2006, 10:59 AM
Sean,

I agree however you've shifted some serious gears yourself in this discussion. However we might be at a good intersection to move ahead with a clearer view to your point.

Maybe I haven't been clear either than because in my mind my views haven't changed. The issue in my mind has always been release mortaility as it related to your original proposal. I had never seen the data you provided so that has influenced me but my underlying postion the same. The two fish and done is a non-starter. I did through in habitat and bait as more important issues because I think they are and still do. By-catch kill is another big one.


Tim,

Good to hear from you - however we are comparing two kill + C&R against C&R, not two kill stop verses no kill C&R as your post implies.

My point is this - the difference between C&R and two-kill plus C&R is two dead fish, the C&R cancels out. Multiply that by the number of anglers in MA and the unconstrained methods, loose regs, etc.

back later

I think your a little quick on the draw in this one. If we agree release mortaility is the issue than given we bring that down to zero are you now arguing for a zero bag limit or a 1 fish bag limit? That didn't seem to be where your post started is that where we are now?

Sean

Roop
06-30-2006, 08:25 AM
Well I went a few rounds on "the internet journal of saltwater flyfishing" (a questionable claim for a site that is 99% gear) and another site from further south down the coast (which doesn't pretend to be a fly fishing site) and received a bludgeoning welcome from the staunch "kill two first" then fish all day crowd.

I thought that there might have been some more angler support for a "keep one, then C&R till you keep another" ethic but it was not forthcoming.

As someone who has learned the hard way that the tone & manner in which you think & speak about a topic is rarley translated properly when typed onto a BBS - I have to say your post on the other BBS along with your responses on the plover issue gave me the impression that you had joined Greenpeace as one of their sacrifical guerillas... :wink:

That being said, having an emotional investment in something you obviously love, like the striped bass fishery, is one of the traits that I really admire in you.

There is evidence to support that fishing method is directly related to mortality, yet there is no constraint on method.

I too see this as targeting bait fishermen & I think it's a slippery slope.

As someone who went from being a FF only person to learning other methods including bait-fishing I have to say, I have never gut hooked a striper, blue, black sea bass or scup & I have used plenty of J-hooks. I can even say this about my kids experiences using bait.

I've even caught one or two stripers on the fly rod & you know what? I firmly believe that several of the stripers I caught in skinny water or heavy current and released have had a less then 50% chance of recovery. Why? Skinny water stripers = stressed out & over-heating fish, add using light tackle and not knowing how to fight a fish aggressivley and you are just as guilty as a someone who releases a schoolie that's gut hooked or "bleeding like pig" from the gills from a treble-hooked popper.

How about the guys who fish Chatham & release stripers to the waiting seals?

So how about making fishing with a fly rod lighter than an 11 weight & a leader lighter than 25# against the law? We could require saltwater licenses to fund the EPO's on their four-wheelers patrolling South Beach & Barnstable + a few dozen Hell's Bay skiffs patrolling the flats. Anyone caught not using the right gear will be fined a few hundred $$ & have their gear confiscated.

Pretty stupid & extreme right? But that is what a lot of NON-FF think. Personally, I think the blanket of guilt being thrown over anyone who is not a fly-fisherman or isn't a 100% C&R is unseless until you can ensure that ALL FF know how to hook land & ensure 100% survival upon release.

I guess my point has something to do with people who live in glass houses.

Allowing C&R after killing two fish is measurably more damaging to the population and IMHO a selfish act by the angler.

There is evidence that hi-grading is a common practice, in fact the laws are written specifically to address this problem. Yet there is a huge hole in the law that creates an environment where hi-grading is easier to practice because it's acceptable to continue fishing for a species that you have already limited out on.

I would love to see the evidence that "high-grading is a common practice".

Oh well but who the heck am I to say. I know how I will conduct my sport.

I think you personally could have a significant and positive impact on the whole C&R, two-keeper issue.

However, all 5 people in my family love to eat striped bass. I'll keep a fish each time I go out and will fight for the right to keep 1-2 fish per outing. The resource belongs to everyone.

juro
06-30-2006, 08:05 PM
Wow

A lot said, let me see if I can catch the salient points...

- thanks for the vote of confidence on the passion for the sport, I certainly do have that

- not 'targeting' anyone but if you read the research there is a difference between gut hooking and lip hooking and various methods (not people) gut hook more than others. If anything (and it could not have been said more clearly) the methods are targeted not the people and methods don't get offended just people

You'd make a terrible example of a gut hooking slob being a fish magnet with a surgeon's hand, I've seen you in action.

- the methods analysis includes examples of low oxygen situations where the mortality is increased and this should be watched if the fish is to be released. In these situations when a large fish is taken and beyond the point of recovery it should be retained for sure. I think we all do that, I certainly do and those I've fished with. However you probably know that I seek other venues when these stagnant areas occur, even when there are fish feeding there I walk away (much at my client's surprise) to fish other fish. The real reason being the pursuit of fish in a more aggressive mood, but better survivability nonetheless.

- evidence of high-grading is as obvious as the regulations! You obviously have not spoken to the fisheries enforcement folks. They will give you all the evidence you need, in fact it was the impetus for the regulations of live-tethering and discard of dead stripers in effect today.

Also, you might not see this on the boat but I see poaching along the shore constantly. I think I've spoken about this before. The most memorable (or unforgettable) case being a crew of guys who looked like candidates for the old man of the sea on the fish sticks package in yellow slickers and pipes filetting shorts all night and "hi-grading" the carcasses into the drink while putting the filets in the cooler. No attempt to hide their actions.

You also haven't been to Plum Island lately. Go there on a weekend and tell me if you still think there is no problem or relationship between mortality and method.

The view from your deck must be quite a bit more high brow I mean bow ;) than mine as a bona fide shore schlepper :lildevl: That's one of those quotes where you need to see me winking and smiling (and ducking) :)

The last point about eating fish oddly keeps coming up in the rebuttals... no one ever said not to keep your legal limit, I can't figure out why that keeps coming up. If your family can eat two keepers from every trip you make, great! Healthy protein and nothing wasted.

Anyway I've already wasted too much energy on this cause around the web, thanks for the challenging yet considerate review of the topic.

If nothing else maybe a few folks will adopt the kill one, C&R; kill two done mentality. Or maybe even a kill one and C&R without the second kill if they already got two yesterday, etc. Maybe some will feel that striped bass fishing is worthy of sportsmanlike behavior.

Now off to practice single hook barbless aggressively fought C&R (with a possible retention) for the weekend :D

happy fourth to all

dewey
07-01-2006, 12:17 PM
After reading through all two pages, it really seems like we're splitting hairs here. In the grand scheme of bass population, probably any change among those who already C&R to any degree, in terms of when they do it (after or before or without a limit), won't make much of a noticeable impact. A few things:

1- We should adhere to the spirit and letter of the law in these issues. This is important for our sport both in practical terms for the fishery and for its reputation. The perception by the general public of outdoorspeople as outlaws and litterers is perhaps among the most harmful things to the sport (after habitat degradation).

2-I believe a much more relevant effort would be in the education of all fishers on proper fighting and releasing tactics. Establishment and enforcement of rules around fish handling would probably help reduce mortality. To me, if you drag a fish up the beach and manhandle it for twenty minutes and then throw it back, you've killed it just as much as the one in the cooler - if you do it with two in the cooler, you are poaching.

3 - For every argument we as fishers have among ourselves as bait drowners or ff'ers or once-a-year fishers, we need to find common ground on TWO issues related to habitat. Habitat degradation causes mortality over release procedures (or lack thereof) manyfold. As sportsmen, we all need to focus on this battle together much more than we need to argue among ourselves about methods.

thanks for the discussion.

JimW
07-01-2006, 09:48 PM
I wasn't going to get into that but Juro you have even said the 9wt is sometimes no enough muscle on the bigger fish.
I've got a 12wt redington that I got on a warranty for a 9wt that I broke Hi-Stickin' gotta try that out on some snake flies one calm eveing in 90'