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Discussion Starter #1
NJ SALTWATER FISHING REGULATIONS OVERVIEW 2019
NAME SEASON BAG LIMIT SIZE LIMIT NOTE
Bluefish OPEN 15 NA No Closed Season
Bonito OPEN NA NA No Closed Season
Cod OPEN 10 22.00 No Closed Season
Fluke CLOSED NA NA
Ling OPEN NA NA No Closed Season
Porgy OPEN 50 9.00 No Closed Season
Sea Bass CLOSED 15 12.50 Season Opens 2019-02-01
Sea Robin OPEN NA NA No Closed Season
Skate OPEN NA NA No Closed Season
Striped Bass CLOSED 1 28.00 Season Opens 2019-03-01
Tog OPEN 4 15.00 Season Closes 2019-02-28
Weakfish OPEN 1 13.00 No Closed Season
Winter Flounder CLOSED 2 12.00 Season Opens 2019-03-01
 

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They need to seriously up the catch on Stripers.
They've over-protected them for so long they've decimated or severely impacted other species, like fluke and weakfish.

I miss the days of more sensible regulations, where you could sit on a jetty or drift the bay and catch weakies up to 10lbs like it was nothing...

And don't get me started on the whole method of setting fluke regs... short version, the method is designed to put the recreational catch over its allowed landed lbs every year by ever increasing the minimum size.

Need to go back to the days of 8-10 fluke @ 13" or 14", reintroduce the "slot" fish on stripers and start balancing out the populations.
 

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NJ SALTWATER FISHING REGULATIONS OVERVIEW 2019
NAME SEASON BAG LIMIT SIZE LIMIT NOTE
Bluefish OPEN 15 NA No Closed Season
Bonito OPEN NA NA No Closed Season
Cod OPEN 10 22.00 No Closed Season
Fluke CLOSED NA NA
Ling OPEN NA NA No Closed Season
Porgy OPEN 50 9.00 No Closed Season
Sea Bass CLOSED 15 12.50 Season Opens 2019-02-01
Sea Robin OPEN NA NA No Closed Season
Skate OPEN NA NA No Closed Season
Striped Bass CLOSED 1 28.00 Season Opens 2019-03-01
Tog OPEN 4 15.00 Season Closes 2019-02-28
Weakfish OPEN 1 13.00 No Closed Season
Winter Flounder CLOSED 2 12.00 Season Opens 2019-03-01

Birch...when was this passed....NO 2019 FLUKE SEASON???
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
They usually do not release a season, quota and size till early March when the Marine Fisheries commission make up their minds while it holds all the recreational fisherman in suspense.
Loggy, the closed just means the season in Jersey is presently closed and NA means the number, size and open dates are not yet available.

Any year I do expect to see them post a closed season for fluke in Jersey anyway.
Last year it almost wasn't worth running 50 miles round trip at 1.2 MPG out to the Old Grounds for the 2 or 3 legal size fish we caught.
With the dismal sea bass season, poor fluke and the past couple years of strippers staying outside the 3 mile line I had them pull the bigger boat in September and just used the CC in the back bay crabbing and catching short stripers.
 
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Thanks Birch. I mostly fish VA and the flounder fishing has been pretty decent last coupla years. 2018 was minimum size 16.5" & 4 fish limit. Haven't seen anything on 2019 yet.
 

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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.
 

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Are there any areas in NJ where Winter Flounder can still be found?
 

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Are there any areas in NJ where Winter Flounder can still be found?
I know a few guys who've had some limited success chumming them in the back bays behind Wildwood and Stone Harbor... but I think their measurement of "success" lies more in how many hours they can be out of the house/at the bar afterwards than in how many they catch....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Winter flounder is almost a joke any more too. I have not even tried for them in years.
We use to have a tradition of going down to Long Beach Island and renting one of those old inboard Garvey on St Patricks day and using plungers and chains to stir up the bottom, tossing out some cracked corn and using blood worms and having all he winter flatties we cared to clean and being in the bar by noon.
Back then most of the fish were not much bigger than a ping-pong paddle but they were thick, today's limit is 2 at 12"

Like with most other species of saltwater fish back then no size or catch limit didn't seem to have a lack of fish to be caught.
Today the recreational angler is regulated to death and you pay big money to come back with a tan.
 

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For many years we used to fish the backwaters inside Indian River Inlet Delaware in/around Massys Landing from mid February to April for winter flounder. It was a blast on light tackle plus those little flatties were great eating. Not sure if anyone fishes those areas anymore?
 

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Winter flounder is almost a joke any more too. I have not even tried for them in years.
We use to have a tradition of going down to Long Beach Island and renting one of those old inboard Garvey on St Patricks day and using plungers and chains to stir up the bottom, tossing out some cracked corn and using blood worms and having all he winter flatties we cared to clean and being in the bar by noon.
Back then most of the fish were not much bigger than a ping-pong paddle but they were thick, today's limit is 2 at 12"

Like with most other species of saltwater fish back then no size or catch limit didn't seem to have a lack of fish to be caught.
Today the recreational angler is regulated to death and you pay big money to come back with a tan.
We used to do the same, just further south.

The problem is really two-fold. First, they shifted the allocations to heavily favor the commercial (especially "International" commercial interests) and lack of enforcement.
Hard to bust all those "professional poachers" that dump every living thing they catch into huge tanks in the back of their vans to transport to markets and buffets when there's all of 2 fish cop boats for Ocean and Cape May counties. There was a lot more self/peer-policing occurring back when there were more guys fishing, but the tightened regs drove a lot off. The majority of the shore and back-bay "fishermen" I see now are of the "professional poacher" variety.

Toss in some "beach replenishment" projects and loss of public access, exhorbitant beach tag fees/rules, surf fishing is on the outs to all but the die-hards and poachers.

I miss the days/years I could roll to the shore on a Friday, leaving work a little early, and by 5 o'clock be sitting on jetty with a spinner, a bucket and a 6 pack, and catch a nice variety for dinner and the next morning's breakfast. Doubt I'll see that again....
 

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I grew up fishing barnegat bay off of LBI right around the light house and back towards the mainland. Fluke fishing is horrible. We used to be able to drift basically right off the lighthouse and always catch tons of fluke and sea robbins. Now doing that we kill more beers and cigars than we catch fish and if you do catch one they are tiny throwbacks. We mainly stick to bluefishing the jetty. The last couple of years that has been great but theres always a couple of big 30+ foot sportfishers trying to horn in on the action. Like bro, go out to the canyons why are you in the jetty in a huge boat haha.
 

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Like bro, go out to the canyons why are you in the jetty in a huge boat haha.
Seen the price of diesel at the marinas lately?

A canyon trip trolling in the 41' averages around $750 in fuel. It was one thing when you could almost guarantee coming back with 18+ yellowfin, a slew of mahi, and a few bluefin.
Not so much anymore...
 

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Seen the price of diesel at the marinas lately?

A canyon trip trolling in the 41' averages around $750 in fuel. It was one thing when you could almost guarantee coming back with 18+ yellowfin, a slew of mahi, and a few bluefin.
Not so much anymore...
I get that if its a personal boat, these were charter boats. In fact one last year had about a dozen Amish guys fishing. I guess if you don't have a boat thats the only way to get out in the inlet/ocean. I know most of the boat rental guys have a no inlet/ocean policy. I don't think you're supposed to beyond the lighthouse.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I get that if its a personal boat, these were charter boats. In fact one last year had about a dozen Amish guys fishing. I guess if you don't have a boat thats the only way to get out in the inlet/ocean. I know most of the boat rental guys have a no inlet/ocean policy. I don't think you're supposed to beyond the lighthouse.
Most of those livery boats would never handle the tide change in that inlet.
I was coming in 3 seasons ago with my friend in his 23' cc and the tide and wind were against each othetr, we took a wave over the front that washed coolers, PFDs, net and 2 deck chairs out the back.
 

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Most of those livery boats would never handle the tide change in that inlet.
I was coming in 3 seasons ago with my friend in his 23' cc and the tide and wind were against each othetr, we took a wave over the front that washed coolers, PFDs, net and 2 deck chairs out the back.
I have a 16 foot boston whaler. It can get pretty lively at times haha. But I've been running that boat/inlet since I was old enough to stand on my grandfathers tacklebox and steer the boat.
 
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They need to seriously up the catch on Stripers.
They've over-protected them for so long they've decimated or severely impacted other species, like fluke and weakfish.

I miss the days of more sensible regulations, where you could sit on a jetty or drift the bay and catch weakies up to 10lbs like it was nothing...

And don't get me started on the whole method of setting fluke regs... short version, the method is designed to put the recreational catch over its allowed landed lbs every year by ever increasing the minimum size.

Need to go back to the days of 8-10 fluke @ 13" or 14", reintroduce the "slot" fish on stripers and start balancing out the populations.
I honestly can't tell if this is a trolling post or serious. Stripers over protected? You do realize that most of the larger sought after stripers are females and they're primarily the fish kept because everyone wants to show their trophy off. So what ends up happening more females harvested then males means poor reproduction rates causing less yoy fish the next year. This means less fish to target in the future. So the limit now makes total sense it encourages the harvest of a male versus female. And if you get a bonus tag you have the opportunity at two stripers and thats a lot of meat. A 40+" striper alone can feed a small army.

Flounder are the prime example of this mismanagement. Most of the legal fish caught 18" plus are female fish. I've seen reports of guys that go years without one legal fish over 18" being a male. Most males are at the smaller 12-16" range and that's where they max out. Problem here is surplus of males with no females to breed once again dropping yoy numbers the following year. The limit suggestion I've seen the most and agree with normally goes along the lines of 3 fish @ 12-16" 1 fish >18". Once again encourages anglers to keep males.

As for weakfish look at the history of Corsons Inlet and you'll find your answer for why you're not seeing them. Has nothing to do with regulations and everything with beach replenishment. Weakfish habitat gets destroyed and they disappear who would of thought.
 

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Not a troll post.

There's more stripers than the waters can support long term.
There needs to be a reduction to bring back balance between the species.
For too many years, stripers have been over-protected, as they are the high $$$ gamefish of the Northeast.
Look at what's happened to the populations of weakfish, menhaden, bluefish, etc.

Stripers are the hoovers of the inshore waters. If it fits in their mouth, they'll eat it. And the current regs allow them to reproduce at an out of control rate.
It's time to up the harvest and balance things out. Besides, I'd rather have 2 fish around 28" for the table because the quality of the meat goes downhill fast the bigger they get.

Agreed, flounder are mismanaged, but it's not reducing their population either, it's over-protecting them from recreational catch to favor the commercial... just look at the annual landings.
Serious realignment of the catch needs to happen here... and studies have shown they can reduce bycatch/throwback mortality and lessen the overall impact to the population by going back to higher creel/smaller minimum.

No argument that habitat is a major player in the weakfish pops, but you cannot discount the resurgence of the striper as a factor as well. Weakies don't breed just at jetties and beaches.
 

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Not a troll post.

There's more stripers than the waters can support long term.
There needs to be a reduction to bring back balance between the species.
For too many years, stripers have been over-protected, as they are the high $$$ gamefish of the Northeast.
Look at what's happened to the populations of weakfish, menhaden, bluefish, etc.

Stripers are the hoovers of the inshore waters. If it fits in their mouth, they'll eat it. And the current regs allow them to reproduce at an out of control rate.
It's time to up the harvest and balance things out. Besides, I'd rather have 2 fish around 28" for the table because the quality of the meat goes downhill fast the bigger they get.

Agreed, flounder are mismanaged, but it's not reducing their population either, it's over-protecting them from recreational catch to favor the commercial... just look at the annual landings.
Serious realignment of the catch needs to happen here... and studies have shown they can reduce bycatch/throwback mortality and lessen the overall impact to the population by going back to higher creel/smaller minimum.

No argument that habitat is a major player in the weakfish pops, but you cannot discount the resurgence of the striper as a factor as well. Weakies don't breed just at jetties and beaches.
I’d love to see where you’re getting your info to support these claims of too many stripers the waters can’t support and they’re reproducing out of control. Facts are bud the last published stock assessment on the fishery showed decline in numbers and females not breeding. And prior to that study the numbers were already documented on a decline over a decade. Next study will be posted this month on how the fishery is doing. It’s speculated that results will show the fishery is overfished and subject to overfishing.

It’s the same thing with the Summer Flounder no idea where you’re a closet biologist at but facts are proven scientist from NOAA proved in 2016 assessment overfishing and biomass on a decline. So how would a higher limit help return already declining numbers? Makes absolutely no sense. Studies found most fish kept by commercial fisherman were the 3lb+ fish all breeding females which bring a higher payout. Across the board commercial/recreational needs realignment to encourage male fish harvest. Talking to commercial fisherman now at local South Jersey watering holes showes there is a higher demand for fish in the 14-17” range. This demand could improve the survival of larger breeding females.

I’ve read other interesting articles with the increased water temps the Eastern offshore spawn points for summer flounder have moved further north. The downside to this is when the yoy fish move to shallow water in Nov-March it’s typical too cold for the yoy to survive causing high mortality rates. But the more females fish in the water breeding a couple thousand eggs will you’ll have more yoy with the possibility to survive causing the biomass to increase.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Big problem with the Striper runs is about bait.
Since they started dredging the Delaware River the Delaware Bay is hurting for most types of fish. I have not fished the Bay or the Rips for stripers in the past 5 years.
Several years ago we started trolling North from the Cold Springs inlet up past Sea Isle, but the last few seasons the bunker and eels were outside the 3 mile mark and so were the stripers.
Loosening up the regs will not do much for the recreational fisherman since they cannot extend out past the 3 mile mark since that would be federal waters and that is in a very limited stretch off NY where they do allow this.
Now summer flounder is definitely the commercial fleet both foreign and domestic that have hurt their numbers, and the ridiculous size limits they push.

I ran across large schools of striped bass as far out as 10 miles from shore feeding on miles of peanut bunker. But they were way outside of where they are legal.
Last 2 seasons the big boat came out early, year before last was for a hurricane and this year I had them pull it at the end of September because I knew the signs were not looking good for a strong fall run.
 
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