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Archive for the 'Striped Bass' Category

Jul 11 2012

Cool Fishing T Shirt

Fishing T Shirt by Tidal Fish Chasing Striped BassWe always like to give a shout out to those that pick up the Lateral Line brand. Tidal Fish picked us up in their online fishing store and we found something in addition to their site worth giving a shout out. Their striped bass fishing t-shirt  jumped out at us as pretty cool design. If you are into the saltwater inshore fishing scene and chase striped bass this t-shirt is worth a look. It comes in short sleeve and long sleeve. And while you are surfing their online store make sure you check out the hot new performance fishing t-shirt designs by Lateral Line. They have them up in their fishing shop before we do…. ouch that hurts man. Keep an eye out for them here on the Lateral Line soon.

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Feb 23 2011

Report Finds Menhaden Decline Effects Health and Migration of Striped Bass

Striped Bass Patterns change because of lack of menhadenAn ongoing study by the Chesapeake Bay Ecological Foundation (CBEF) determined that low numbers of Atlantic menhaden, the predominate striped bass prey species within the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast,  have affected the growth, health and migration of striped bass.  Since 2004, the CBEF, with assistance from East Carolina University, has examined over 7,000 striped bass from the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean along the Virginia and North Carolina coast.
Data collected by this study indicates that malnutrition observed in 16” to 24” striped bass from Maryland’s section of the Chesapeake Bay (upper Bay) is a consequence of ecological depletion (insufficient numbers of young menhaden less than 10” and bay anchovy).  Malnutrition is also exacerbated by low numbers of other forage species.  CBEF studies of resident and migratory striped bass determined that in most years since 2005, menhaden constituted over 75% of their diet (by weight).  Within the Chesapeake Bay, striped bass growth decreased, a significant percentage of striped bass have mycobacterial infections and striped bass natural mortality rates have risen.
Diminishing striped bass numbers culminated in threatened species status in the upper Bay in 1984 and a fishing moratorium in 1985.  In 1990 the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), which is responsible for the management of menhaden and striped bass, partially reopened the fishery in state waters and in 1995 declared striped bass fully recovered.  Within the upper Bay a harvest cap was imposed for the first time and the 14” minimum size was raised to 18” (4-5 years of age).  This size limit protected more than 90% of immature female striped bass which historically emigrated to coastal waters and became ocean residents before reaching 18”; only re-entering the Chesapeake Bay on spring spawning migrations after reaching maturity at age 6 or older.  Within ocean waters the minimum size was set at 28” to allow most females to spawn at least once before reaching harvest size.  These actions resulted in a greatly expanded striped bass population, and intensified feeding on menhaden and adult bay anchovy in ocean waters.
During the early 1990s, coincidental with burgeoning striped bass predation on menhaden and bay anchovy, adult menhaden were severely overfished off New England concurrent with intensive fishing by the purse seine reduction fishery (large scale harvest of fish for processing into products such a fish oil and meal) in the Virginia section of the Chesapeake Bay (lower Bay) and in ocean areas from New Jersey to North Carolina.  The Omega Protein Corporation currently owns and operates the only remaining menhaden reduction fishery.  This fishery, the largest on the Atlantic coast, competes with striped bass, fish eating birds and many marine predators.  During 2009 and 2010, approximately 500 million young, immature menhaden (less than 10”), about 43% of the total numbers landed, were harvested in the lower bay and nearby coastal waters by Omega Protein.  These immature menhaden are crucial to the diet of the Bay’s malnourished 16” to 24” striped bass and are supposed to be protected according to ASMFC’s ecological objectives in their Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.
This study revealed that large numbers of striped bass greater than 28”, predominately females, which historically migrated from summer habitat in New England waters during the fall to feeding grounds in coastal ocean waters off Virginia and North Carolina, now arrive in the upper Bay during late fall and remain through the spring spawning season – a previously undocumented event.  This study also documented a significant increase in the population of immature female striped bass in the upper Bay during October through December of 2010.  These females represented 25% of striped bass in the 18” to 24” range; two times higher than the 12% average in 2008 & 2009 and four times higher than the 6% average in 2006 & 2007.  Immature females in this size range normally inhabit ocean waters and are protected by the 28” minimum size limit.  However, within the Chesapeake Bay, immature female striped bass greater than 18” can be harvested by recreational and commercial fisheries.
Diet analyses, body fat indices and the unprecedented shift in established feeding patterns by migratory striped bass indicate that menhaden and bay anchovy are severely depleted on their coastal feeding grounds.  Consequently, migratory striped bass that over-winter in the Chesapeake Bay are competing with resident striped bass for menhaden of all sizes.
ASMFC decisions that address menhaden overfishing must also resolve the fundamental problem – ecological depletion of Atlantic menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

An ongoing study by the Chesapeake Bay Ecological Foundation (CBEF) determined that low numbers of Atlantic menhaden, the predominate striped bass prey species within the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast,  have affected the growth, health and migration of striped bass.  Since 2004, the CBEF, with assistance from East Carolina University, has examined over 7,000 striped bass from the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean along the Virginia and North Carolina coast.
Data collected by this study indicates that malnutrition observed in 16” to 24” striped bass from Maryland’s section of the Chesapeake Bay (upper Bay) is a consequence of ecological depletion (insufficient numbers of young menhaden less than 10” and bay anchovy).  Malnutrition is also exacerbated by low numbers of other forage species.  CBEF studies of resident and migratory striped bass determined that in most years since 2005, menhaden constituted over 75% of their diet (by weight).  Within the Chesapeake Bay, striped bass growth decreased, a significant percentage of striped bass have mycobacterial infections and striped bass natural mortality rates have risen.
Diminishing striped bass numbers culminated in threatened species status in the upper Bay in 1984 and a fishing moratorium in 1985.  In 1990 the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), which is responsible for the management of menhaden and striped bass, partially reopened the fishery in state waters and in 1995 declared striped bass fully recovered.  Within the upper Bay a harvest cap was imposed for the first time and the 14” minimum size was raised to 18” (4-5 years of age).  This size limit protected more than 90% of immature female striped bass which historically emigrated to coastal waters and became ocean residents before reaching 18”; only re-entering the Chesapeake Bay on spring spawning migrations after reaching maturity at age 6 or older.  Within ocean waters the minimum size was set at 28” to allow most females to spawn at least once before reaching harvest size.  These actions resulted in a greatly expanded striped bass population, and intensified feeding on menhaden and adult bay anchovy in ocean waters.
During the early 1990s, coincidental with burgeoning striped bass predation on menhaden and bay anchovy, adult menhaden were severely overfished off New England concurrent with intensive fishing by the purse seine reduction fishery (large scale harvest of fish for processing into products such a fish oil and meal) in the Virginia section of the Chesapeake Bay (lower Bay) and in ocean areas from New Jersey to North Carolina.  The Omega Protein Corporation currently owns and operates the only remaining menhaden reduction fishery.  This fishery, the largest on the Atlantic coast, competes with striped bass, fish eating birds and many marine predators.  During 2009 and 2010, approximately 500 million young, immature menhaden (less than 10”), about 43% of the total numbers landed, were harvested in the lower bay and nearby coastal waters by Omega Protein.  These immature menhaden are crucial to the diet of the Bay’s malnourished 16” to 24” striped bass and are supposed to be protected according to ASMFC’s ecological objectives in their Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.
This study revealed that large numbers of striped bass greater than 28”, predominately females, which historically migrated from summer habitat in New England waters during the fall to feeding grounds in coastal ocean waters off Virginia and North Carolina, now arrive in the upper Bay during late fall and remain through the spring spawning season – a previously undocumented event.  This study also documented a significant increase in the population of immature female striped bass in the upper Bay during October through December of 2010.  These females represented 25% of striped bass in the 18” to 24” range; two times higher than the 12% average in 2008 & 2009 and four times higher than the 6% average in 2006 & 2007.  Immature females in this size range normally inhabit ocean waters and are protected by the 28” minimum size limit.  However, within the Chesapeake Bay, immature female striped bass greater than 18” can be harvested by recreational and commercial fisheries.
Diet analyses, body fat indices and the unprecedented shift in established feeding patterns by migratory striped bass indicate that menhaden and bay anchovy are severely depleted on their coastal feeding grounds.  Consequently, migratory striped bass that over-winter in the Chesapeake Bay are competing with resident striped bass for menhaden of all sizes.
ASMFC decisions that address menhaden overfishing must also resolve the fundamental problem – ecological depletion of Atlantic menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

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Jan 31 2011

Cool Striped Bass Surf Fishing Video – New York Edition

Published by under Striped Bass

Caught this video today from a link sent by a friend. It is a video made by Peter Laurelli of his 2010 Surf Fly Fishing adventures in and around New York. Cool video worth checking out.

Surf Fishing 2010 – NYC Edition from Peter Laurelli on Vimeo.

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Apr 28 2010

IGFA 20lb Tippet Fly Rod Striped Bass Class Record Approved

IGFA Striped Bass Saltwater Fly Fishing Record in Fly Fishing Clothes Fly Fishing Shirt Company Lateral Line's Fly Fishing BlogA new approved IGFA World Record from Virginia saltwaters. Male 20 pound Tippet Fly Rod Class Striped Bass weighed in at 51lbs, 5oz

Richie Keatley of Norfolk was approved recently as the newest World Record holder from Virginia. The 51lb, 5oz striped bass he boated on the fly at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on December 17th, 2010 topped the existing 43lbs, 12oz record previously held by another Virginia resident, Harry Huelsbeck.

Richie was fly fishing in his 22-foot boat at the Bay Bridge Tunnel using a hand-tied 3/0 Clouser blue-tinted fly. After a nerve racking battle and three netting attempts, once again Virginia fishing history was made!
Congratulations Richie!!

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Apr 03 2010

Maryland Trophy Striped Bass Season Trolling Set Ups

Chesapeake Trolling Set up for Trophy Season Striped Bass Fishing in Maryland for all those who are fishing in Maryland this SpringThe Maryland trophy striped bass season is just a few weeks away and with the advent of great weather throughout the Chesapeake anglers are uncovering their boats and have fishing on the mind. While light tackle and fly fishing can be great fun, the preferred method by many anglers is trolling. You can cover a lot of water and with the stripers moving like they are this time of year it is usually a very effective method. Some light tackle and fly anglers employ trolling until they find a school of fish, then shut down the boat and the light tackle fishing anglers start jigging and fly anglers start dredging sinking lines or casting to breaking fish. Here is a great article by one a well known captains, Capt. Mark Galasso, on the Chesapeake where he explains several trolling set ups to get you started this spring on your hunt for that monster striped bass. (Note the link will take you to another site, TidalFish.com, for the full article with illustrations.  Click here for the trolling set ups article)

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Feb 02 2010

Learn the Secrets of Catching Striped Bass with Capt. Richie Gaines

Striped bass seminars chesapeake bay seminar chesapeake fishing guide Richie Gaines light tackle fishing for striped bassJoin Capt. Richie Gaines on Saturday, March 13 at Chesapeake College for a one-day seminar on how to find and catch striped bass (rockfish) throughout the different seasons on the Chesapeake Bay. All levels of anglers are welcome!

Fishing techniques such as trolling, chumming, live lining, and light tackle will be covered along rigging, knots, and equipment selection. Gaines will also share his knowledge on how to find and fish productive locations in the mid Bay.

Captain Richie Gaines has been guiding anglers in the Chesapeake region for over twenty years and has earned the reputation as one of the top light tackle guides on the Bay. He fishes the Bay from the Susquehanna Flats to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, moving with the fish to follow the best bite. Gaines serves as President of the Chesapeake Guides Association, is past Chairman of the Maryland Sport Fishing Advisory Commission, and has been featured in several national fishing magazines and television shows.

The course fee for the seminar is $52.00. Participants should bring a brown bag lunch. For registration information, contact Marci Leach at mleach@chesapeake.edu or call 410-827-5833.

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Feb 27 2009

Learn the Secrets of Catching Striped Bass with Capt. Richie Gaines on March 28

richie_stripersJoin Capt. Richie Gaines on Saturday, March 28 at Chesapeake College for a one-day seminar on how to find and catch striped bass (rockfish) throughout the different seasons on the Chesapeake Bay. All levels of anglers are welcome!

Fishing techniques such as trolling, chumming, live lining, and light tackle will be covered along rigging, knots, and equipment selection. Gaines will also share his experiences on how to find and fish productive fishing locations across the ent ire Bay.

Captain Richie Gaines has been guiding anglers in the Chesapeake region for over twenty years and has earned the reputation as one of the top light tackle guides on the Bay. For over forty years, he has fished the Bay year-round from the Susquehanna Flats to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, moving with the fish to follow the best bite. Gaines serves as President of the Chesapeake Guides Association, is Chairman of the Maryland Sport Fishing Advisory Commission, and has been featured in several national fishing magazines and television shows.

Course fees for the seminar are $52.00 and include a continental breakfast. Participants should bring a brown bag lunch. For registration information, please contact Marci Leach at mleach@chesapeake.edu or by calling 410-827-5833.

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Nov 03 2008

Georgraphical Striped Bass Abundance Does Not Equate to a Healthy Stock

bass eating baitLarge concentrations of bass in some areas doesn’t necessarily equate to a healthy stock

Man, there were some crazy striped bass blitzes in Montauk this year.  The kind that make you just drop your rod and say “Holy *@$%!”.  Truly extraordinary stuff.  Understandably, such blitzes might make one believe that striped bass are extremely abundant.  Unfortunately that is not the case.  In other regions, particularly the Northeast, there are widespread complaints about the lack of quality stripers.  In Maine, guides are going out of business because of the very real lack of what was once a thriving fishery.
As guides like Capt. Dave Pecci and Capt. Doug Jowett point out, it’s not due to the lack of forage as there seems to be abundant bait concentrations in the areas that they fish.  Indeed I fear that Maine’s position at the northernmost part of the striped bass migration makes it a bellwether state.

In light of such Montauk blitzes, I ask you to consider the below passage taken from a University of New Hampshire Department of Natural Resources document titled   A Guide to Fisheries Stock Assessment.  This is the document used to educate members of the fisheries management councils on how fisheries stock assessments are conducted:

“Fishermen will actively seek out areas with greater fish concentrations. As a result, their catch-per-unit effort could remain stable in the face of a declining stock. Consider a stock that contracts its range as the population shrinks, or increases its range as the population grows. Despite the changing range, catch-per-unit effort may remain relatively constant if the fishermen focus their effort on the center of the range, where fish density remains relatively stable.”

With this in mind, I would think managers would be practicing extreme caution when managing striped bass, particularly in light of its immense recreational value.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.   Delaware and Pennsylvania want open two-month fishing seasons targeting mature male
striped bass.  Maryland has proposed to extend non-quota management for its trophy fishery in 2009 and until stock assessment indicates that corrective action is necessary, and Virginia wants to extend its season.   All of these measure will increase fishing mortality on striped bass.  In my opinion they are reckless, and they show no respect for the views of those hardworking Maine guides that are being forced out of business.  Undoubtedly, there seems to be a trend toward killing more bass rather than a move in the other direction.

That’s understandable given the recent stock assessment and the states’ understanding that their anglers want to kill more bass.  But I think there’s a large majority of folks that would rather proceed down a precautionary road.  Once which insures that we have plenty of big fish around in the future.  It’s up to these anglers to let their state reps know their wishes.  It seems as if the kill-more-fish-now folks are the only ones being listened to at this point, and that has to stop.

Captain John McMurray

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