Thursday, April 25, 2013


It should have been better.  I fished a lot for stripers yesterday. I started off in the Bay. I hit several high percentage spots for a couple of hours and had exactly one hit. As I fished I noticed a strong southwest wind developing. Southwest winds combined with warm, sunny weather can usually light up the fishing at the oceanfront so I headed down there in late afternoon. The spot I fished had PERFECT conditions. The strong southwest wind was blowing in and setting up a white water surf with lots of current and movement. Such conditions in past years at this time would have delivered big days of fishing. Not yesterday.
I managed to land 6 schoolies in 4 hours, not exactly setting the world on fire. Got them on Cocahoes and shrimp fly teasers. I saw maybe 20 other fish taken by about a dozen fishermen (see photo of one them at left).  Just a few years ago, a day like yesterday would have produced hundreds of schoolies. The good news here is that the fish are getting bigger, averaging 20-22 inches. There's even news of a few small keepers landed earlier in the week.
I talked with a few sharpie friends of mine who were also fishing. They were complaining about the mediocre fishing thus far. Most think we are seeing the beginnings of a severe decline. They mentioned myco disease, overfishing, poor YOY index and liberal size and catch limits as the culprits. I'm still not buying into the collapse argument, but I also have no explanation for the fair to poor fishing. It should be better at this time.