STRIPED BASS: Poachers Caught in Connecticut

Via Stripers Forever, this news report about a fisherman caught with $3,000 worth of poached striped bass. Poachers and anglers who keep illegal fish or ignore limits, even if for personal use rather than selling, offend me as much as anyone, because they weaken the argument that the recreational side will be the more responsible stewards. So don’t be that asshole who makes us look like we’re just as greedy and are only fighting for a larger piece of the pie to exploit. Like this guy:

The fisherman, Sean Bradshaw, 44, of Pawcatuck, was charged with the landing and sale of striped bass without a commercial license, commercial fishing without a vessel permit, possession of untagged striped bass and the commercial sale of scup without a license and during the closed season….

…The Connecticut and Rhode Island environmental police acted on information that Bradshaw was catching bass and bringing striped bass back to his dock in the Pawcatuck River near his home. He would ice and store the fish at his home and Guerrieri, the Rhode Island seafood dealer, would then come to his house and buy them, officials said.

7 thoughts on “STRIPED BASS: Poachers Caught in Connecticut”

  1. Hold on here………

    Anyone SELLING FISH is NOT a recreational fisherman. He is a commercial fisherman that is selling fish….. in this case without the required license. Don’t confuse this illegal commercial activity with the recreational sector.

    This bust was 100% about the commercial sector. When money changes hands the activity changes from recreational to commercial.

    Not all recs are pure as the driven snow for sure and yes the outlaws amongst us do give us a black eye and make the gamefish fight a tougher battle…. especially in the arena of public opinion. However this story is about the existence of an on-going, black market, commercial activity perpetuated by commercial interests …NOT RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN.

    The commercial interests would like to pin this on the recs to give the recs a black eye and to distance themselves from what is in reality a pure under the counter commercial activity.

  2. Good point, Dean, in distinguishing the difference between poachers, who you rightly call out as black market commercial fishermen, and recreational anglers who keep illegal catches for personal use.

    Poachers are a huge problem here in the Northeast. And as one commenter mentioned, this bust is just the tip of the iceberg.

    I’m not saying it’s the same degree of problem, but I still want to call out recreational anglers who take shorts or more than the limit. I see guys do it, and it really pisses me off.

    But to be clear, I am a 100 percent believer that striped bass should have game fish status.

  3. Pete,
    You could make them a game fish and they will still be on the menus of restaurants all over the place.
    Banning the sale of them would take tremendous pressure off the species
    Selling a few illegal bass to a local fish store or eatery pays for an awful lot of gas

  4. I’m down with that Crowldawg. It worked with snook and redfish.

    I still remember the words of a Texas redfish guide I once hired who was a commercial fisherman before the ban. He said he at first wanted to kick the asses of everyone responsible for the ban, but then he switched to guiding and he said he makes more money doing less work and killing fewer fish.

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