Well here we go again- April 15th and the New York State striped bass season opens. Plenty of questions will be answered in the next few weeks, but most conservationists and fish management people seem to think that bass fishery is in trouble. Apparently indicators of spawning results, and whatever combination of tests and monitoring they use to determine such numbers, indicate a down cycle. I’ll be the eternal optimist and hope for the best.
I think as climatic conditions fluctuate, tempered with the cycle of baitfish, and add to those a million variables, you see it’s a very complex answer. Sandy obviously didn’t help the bay and coastline much, so there’s a lot of anticipation here.
My own observations over the past several seasons have shown a slowdown in Jamaica Bay with the bass population. Now is this because the fishery is declining or perhaps the fishery is changing? I like the fact that we had a cold winter. This hopefully means the bay will remain cooler throughout the spring and the fish will linger around longer. Once the bay water temperatures spike to the upper sixties, the bass, for the most part, turn off and hit the ocean for cooler water.
As of this writing I haven’t heard too much regarding other species like spring flounder and baitfish. Let’s face it. It’s been cold and blowin’ a gale plenty of days. I’m sure by the next column will see some activity. Until the next tide…