Sunday, May 24, 2015

Similarities to Last Year Developing

It's been a better spring than last year for
Well, it's a different year, but already we are starting to see some similarities to last year developing. I've had two lousy outings my last two times out from shore with only one bluefish to show for my efforts.  Already there are rumblings among many fishermen complaining that the abundant schoolies of early May seem to have moved on. This same type of thing happened last year and the year before and the year before, etc. So, here's a quick summary of what I have seen thus far and how it compares to last year (only a fair to poor year according to most):
* There were real good numbers of schoolies around in late April until recently.  I like the fact that there were all sizes from small ones to near keepers.  That bodes well for the future. This spring was BETTER than last year.
*Already fishermen are complaining about the lack of keepers. Some of the boaters fishing menhaden seem to be scoring, but I have to agree there should be more of them from the shore. Of course, this is why we've dropped down to one fish a day.  This was a problem last year and this year so far it is about the SAME.
*There is little or no small bait to hold the schoolies along our shores. That is why they migrate and then just keep moving to other places where there is food.  I've seen a good amount of adult menhaden but very little small bait.  In other years we have not seen the abundant small bait until fall when the schoolies seem to reappear. About the SAME as last year.
*Bluefish numbers are abysmal.  There are a few here and there, but no numbers close to shore.. Maybe it's too cold; maybe they are in more trouble than the stripers. No one seems to care about the blues. This is about the SAME as last year.
* The number of fishermen from shore is down, way down.  All this negative press about the decline of the stripers have caused a lot of fishermen to give it up or cut back.  But, this same thing happened last year also.  About the SAME.
So, you can draw your own conclusions about where we are headed this year. Meanwhile, I plan to just keep on fishing and hope for the best.