June 10, 1957 Being ten years old and having summers off from school could not be any better than it was for me, here in Point Pleasant, and living just one block from the Manasquan River. Shoes were thrown in a corner of my room (I did have to share my room with two brothers) when school got out and I didn’t have to look for them again until September. Most of what we did on a daily basis involved the river or the canal. Fishing, swimming, water skiing and seining were all that mattered.
I never did much fishing in the river, for fluke, because you couldn’t get you bait down past the massive schools of blowfish. You could catch all the blowfish you wanted by simply scooping them up in a crab net as they swam by. Over the years the schools of puffer fish, or blow fish as we knew them, seemed to diminish until they finally disappeared from this area. Not just for a few years but for decades. Only in the last few years have we seen a reemergence of this species that tastes like (you guessed it CHICKEN !)
My whole point to this is to try to bring some facts into play when the subject of, “Overfishing” comes up in any conversation. Why did the blowfish disappear? It was certainly NOT, from commercial or recreational fisherman for there was NO market for blowfish! So isn’t it possible that there are natural cycles that are responsible for the shortages as well as the abundance of certain species from time to time? YES is the answer. If we could only get that through the thick skulls at the National Marine Fisheries Service we might all get to enjoy what we love to do…Hook’ em and hack’ em.