2008-12-19 / Sports

Rockaway Outdoors/Tales From The Wheelhouse

By Captain Vinnie Calabro

Another striped bass season has come and gone. It seems like only yesterday it was early April. Where does the time go?

On Saturday, we talked ourselves into trying the bay one more time but reality set in. It was forty-two degrees on the top of the incoming tide and a moon tide at that pretty much sealed our fate.

The bay was a little cranky, brisk, and the northwesterly winds made for some sloppy sea conditions. White caps were two-to-four foot swells …. you get the picture.

So without much action in the bay, we decided on heading back to the dock for some much needed boat maintenance. On the way, we stopped at a wreck on the north side in an attempt to catch a few "tog" but the effort was half-hearted, so we called it an early day.

Blackfish closes this week for sport fishermen. For now, I guess we'll have to be content with ling and maybe if we get lucky, some mackerel.

Here we are entering into prime blackfish time and we can't fish for them. Being the stewards of our environment at times comes with sacrifices.

Many of our fisheries over the past decades have been exploited and harvested to dangerously low stocks. You needn't be a marine biologist to see that. True fishermen aren't the only ones to blame. The environmental impact in the form of habitat destruction, climate amelioration, and scores of other problems all compound matters.

Hopefully the stocks will rebound, if not, rough roads lay ahead for fishermen and environmentalists.

Looking at the big picture, overall fish management in order to be successful needs to have a mission statement that not only addresses quotas and restricted seasons but has more research directed toward, as previously mentioned, environmental concerns.

Add to that equation stocking programs, and then you fight the battle on several fronts.

Nature is not a controlled lab, fish swim and the point being cross state boundaries.

What does that mean?

Simply stated, that restrictions, I feel, should have some standard or uniformity across the board. That is and will continue to be a topic debated in fish management.

This article isn't intended to purvey doom, but to create awareness and arouse more interest in our fish. This past election, more people became involved with our nation's future and we need to continue that in all matters affecting our lives.

Reports on the black fishing offshore Saturday saw some very good catches. The deeper drops seventeen fathoms and the surrounding bottom seemed to be the ticket.

At least the season ended on a good note.

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