The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council , at a meeting in Galloway Township, voted 5-4 to end this years fluke season the day before Labor Day! Yes, you heard it correct. This Council was given ten options this year for cutting back on what they say is, â€œ Overfishing .â€
This is the part that most of the fishing public has a lot of trouble trying to grasp: â€œ New Jersey had a target catch of 801,000 fluke in 2008, but 843,365 were harvested.â€ Are you F_ _ _ _ _ _G KIDDING ME!!!! How in God’s name (I shouldn’t say that after my last sentence) can anyone tell me that 843,365 were caught? I actually thought, after my research, that only 756,892 fish were caught and I would suggest that both of our methods in obtaining such data are equally reliable.
After reading some of the articles on this subject one thing seems to remain very troublesome, and that is the hatred that exists between recreational and Commercial fisherman. Recreational fishermen blame every bad day fishing on the Commercial fishing industry . (don’t forget to order fresh fish from China next time you go out to eat) I have even had someone tell me he saw a commercial fishing boat fishing for fluke a half mile off Spring Lake this past year and when I asked him if he got the name of the boat he said it was a black boat called the Skimmerâ€¦..Well I informed him that the Skimmer was a clam boat that catches bait clams, used exclusively by recreational fishermen. He insisted that his poor day fishing was entirely the fault of that boat taking all the fluke.
There is something that brings out the worst in every fisherman when he even thinks someone is catching more or bigger fish than he is. If you are drifting on the Sea Girt reef and the guy near you is bailing fish while you struggle to put a keeper in the box( most of the ones I catch are keepers) you begin to hate that guy. So it is with most recreational fishermen when they see a dragger. There are very strict limits on not only how much they can catch but also, mesh size and days at sea. The size of the commercial fishing fleet in NJ has been greatly diminished over the last couple of decades and because of regulations such as, â€œLimited Entryâ€ the fleet will NEVER get any bigger, it will only continue to shrink.
The National Marine Fisheries Service and all the phony ass, strap hanging bureaucrats sitting around waiting for their retirement to kick in, just love it when fishermen fight amongst themselves, because it takes the heat off them. If at some point in time the two sides, commercial and recreational, can get on the same side and fight the NMFS, only then can we slay the dragon. The quote of the meeting was from a disgruntled bait and tackle store owner, Bill Alexander who correctly stated, â€œI think the whole thing is as dumb as a football bat.â€