Category Archives: Northeast

The Only Time I Bit The Cork

Urban Striper. Documented.

Thanksgiving 2002. I don’t know why I felt compelled to do it, maybe an insecure need to prove I actually did catch that bass on a fly rod. Although in reality it proves nothing; it could have been a stage prop for all you know. (It wasn’t, piss off.)

A recent post by Bows and Browns reminded me of my personal evolution in fish-related point and shoot.

I have a large catalogue of hero shots that will likely sit unviewed for generations until my offspring’s progeny discover them in a hidden box and discard them after the estate sale.

For a while I wanted to document everything. I bought a sleek and compact Elph and thought that Eastman Kodak really hit on something big there, only to throw it in a drawer after purchasing my first digital and taking advantage of all 3.8 megapixels.

Taking one or two pictures per season increased to one or two a trip, then ballooned into memory cards filled with images of me and my friends and sometimes total strangers hoisting bodies. I filled three albums with pictures depicting some variation of the fish across the midsection, a montage of bad lighting and autofocus.

The last pages of the last album remain unfilled. If anthropologists look only at these and not my hard drive, they’ll hypothesize I quit fishing or died in 2006.

The digital cam is still a bad habit–the waterproof version is point and shoot oxycontin–but the fish burned into silicon always seem diminished. But the ones that exist only in the hippocampus somehow get meaner in recollect.

SOMERSET: We Rocked Out With Our Pens Out

photo courtesy of Murdock*

We almost got trampled to death by the mob of black shirts, met some cool people,caught up with old friends, paid $4.5o for bad draft beer and all in all improved the world for the better.

Thanks to all who stopped by.

Special thanks to The Bears Den, Rise Fishing, and Ramsey Outdoor.

*(Pandemonium occurring just out of frame.)

MENHADEN: ROCK THE VOTE!

Photo from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

The fishing has been sucking. Here’s a chance where we can all actually do something about it. Rather than mince words, I’ll paste them directly from a mailing by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation:

In a matter of days, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will meet to discuss the fate of menhaden (AKA the most important fish in the sea). At the end of that meeting, it will adopt an addendum to its menhaden management plan, which will determine new overfishing thresholds and target fishing rates.

Now, more than ever, we need your help. In 32 of the past 54 years, we have overfished menhaden, and its population now stands at its lowest point on record—a mere 8 percent of what it once was!

But, we have an historic opportunity to rebuild the population of this important fish, which represents a critical link in the marine food web of the entire Atlantic coast, especially the Chesapeake Bay. Please write ASMFC today and urge the commission to set new targets that will allow the menhaden population to increase to a point where it can support a fishery and fulfill its vital ecological role. Please submit your letters by 5 p.m. November 2, 2011, in order for them to be considered.

If we don’t speak up now, this fish, so critical to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and the human community that it supports, could be lost forever.

Bass, Menhaden, Everything

Young

The striped bass of the Chesapeake, and therefore the Eastern Seaboard, got a dose of good news this week with a big spike in the Young of the Year numbers.

I spoke briefly with my friend John Page Williams of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation about it, and he said it has everything to do with ideal weather conditions during spawn and early life stage.

Of course, the best news for the striped bass in the long run could come out of the ASMFC meeting in Boston in two weeks. Williams and his friends in the CCA and other conservation groups have been working hard to ensure that the result comes down in favor of protecting the bass. “It looks to be a landmark vote,” said John Page.

Bunker

Also of paramount importance is what happens to the menhaden. The ASMFC has to vote on whether to raise the population threshold from eight percent to 15 percent, as explained in this article from the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Midcurrent also lays it out in detail here, with a link on how to write your local ASMFC rep about it. (Here is the direct link to the state by state directory.)

Here’s a chart that shows why you need to write.

The steep decline