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Hey anglers, here’s why the catch is ‘way down’ this year

Just about everyone I know who’s been out this year, says the fishing is way off. People have been talking about the stock getting depleted and hitting a wall for a couple of years now. Well, if we haven’t hit the wall yet, it’s getting uncomfortably close.

I had the pleasure of going out on a charter boat Monday with Shark Inlet Charters out of Belmar. We boated one at 42 lbs. Captain Mike Formichella and first mate Dave Rooney are veterans of the New Jersey striped bass fishing scene and know where they are and when they should be here.

Fishing season is underway in New Jersey

This years’ catch is way down. One of the reasons could be the varying state laws in which these fish can be found on their migratory journey each year. From North Carolina to Massachusetts strip laws and limits vary. That’s about nine states with nine different sets of rules. New Jersey prohibits commercial sale of the fish but other states don’t and some states allow a massive amount of a catch for one individual or small group. I hate to say it but the feds need to get involved and make a uniform rule for all of the east coast where stripers can be found.

Many feel it’s the only way to save the species from being severely depleted. If you’re planning to go looking for them during this spring run over the next two weeks, it’s best to hook up with an experienced charter with all the contacts and knowledge those guys have. I’m afraid the days of the average guy going out there and hauling a few in, may be behind us….at least for now.

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