I can attest to what Birch said.
Pretty darn frustrating to spend time and a ton of fuel running around the reef site, OG and Bay trying to get 18" flounder.
Keeper to throwback ratio for the 4 trips I ran was at best 1:50.
We did get several 5-man limits out of those trips, but it cost a ton, and just wasn't as enjoyable as it should've been.
Gets pretty painful and tiring tossing back 16" fluke (which are really the upper limit of decent fish-fry size, fillets get too thick as they grow beyond that)
Toss in how bad overall the weather was during the season, and it just plain sucked to be heavily invested.
The fisheries management isn't going to get any better without a major legislative upheaval, starting at the federal level.
There's just too much lobby money involved, diverting the catch to commercial (and foreign commercial) interests at the expense of the recreational guys.
Toss in some absolutely junk "science" promoted by environmentalist whacko's being used as the basis for regulating the recreational creels and you have the current recipe for the slow-boil demise of east coast sport/rec fishing. I know a lot of captains who have hung it up, sold out and found other hobbies/professions, or moved ops to South America.
The commercial guys have it bad too. Over-regulation is what gives us $18/lb scallops, not scarcity by any means.