October 25, 2015

As I reflect on my fishing exploits this past summer, keeping in mind they were not very productive, I couldn’t help but think about who or what affected my outcome. Yea, there was NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service and their closed seasons, work, (it does get in the way) the excessive amount of northeast wind we had to endure late in the season and the seal population explosion in the northeast which I have written about in my prior post. But it became very obvious to me, on my way home every day that there might very well be another problem? The often overlooked but dreaded CORMORANT!th-1

 You see, on my way home most days, I happen to cross over the Point Pleasant Canal, on Route #88 where these, “Coyotes with wings,” can be seen perched on the cables that stretch across this waterway.     IMG_5307

Studies by the New Jersey Audubon Society, which seems to be dedicated to animals and not humans, estimates that each one of these birds eats about a pound of fish per day. There are about 150 birds digesting what they ate in the above picture.

Now let’s do the math: 150 birds, (150lbs. of fish per day) times 30 days per month equals 4,500 lbs of fish per month. Now lets assume that they are present in our area for about 8 months per year, because they do migrate. Now 4,500 lbs. times 8 months equals 36,000 lbs of fish per year that these things eat. OH…and by the way, if your local water quality is important to you? Yea, what goes in goes out. NOW THAT IS OVER/FISHING!Hook-'Em_fluke

If it were only the 150 cormorants in the the above picture that I was competing with for a meal or two it might be something one could easily dismiss, but there are so many of them that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has come up with a program to cull them by using sharpshooters with rifles and shotguns in and around the Columbia River in Colorado. I just happen to know of a good spot we could start taking out about “150” of these predators locally.

I will therefore abide by all the, “Allowable” catch B…S… if the seals and the cormorants do the same!


In the meantime…I’ll keep an eye on the situation!



Gray seal hanging around at the Chatham Fishing Pier.APRIL 10, 2015

“Overfishing” is the reason, or should I say excuse, that The National Marine Fisheries Service and their left wing radical affiliates use to justify the relentless cutbacks in quotas for ALL fishermen and women. Not too many people trust what they call, “The best available  scientific data.”

It seems to me they all have overlooked an extremely important piece of, “SCIENTIFIC” information.  It is a scientific fact that when nobody was paying attention the seal population in the New England section of the Atlantic Ocean has multiplied to such an extent that there very well might be too many seals and not enough seafood to support it’s population. According to research done by Woods Hole Marine Research Center in Massachusetts, there are approximately 10,000 seals now present in New England waters. ththEach seal eats about 6-8% of their body weight per day which is about 10 lbs. per seal. (follow me on this because there is no telling where this is going end) Just maybe the seals should be on a strict quota, because 350,000lbs. of fish per day is, OVERFISHING!

Too Many Seals Not Enough Sharks, is a great article that says it all, but there is more to this as far as the depletion of fish stocks go. It has been reported that, used to be Pro wrestler, now actor, Rock Johnsonth consumes over 820 lbs. of codfish per year as part of his diet!

It really is quite simple and this overfishing thing can be an easy fix if we can switch The Rock’s diet to harbor seals!

As you all can see, most every problem has a solution and “Normal” everyday people like you and I can fix them without help from NOAA and The National Marine Fisheries Service. As I read somewhere recently, “What is the statute of limitations for logic?”

Bob Hackem


th-1-150x121March  13, 2015

What is, “Good for the goose is good for the gander” is an age old saying that simply put means the same rules should apply to everyone and not the  privileged few. For many years now the Federal Government, through The National Marine Fisheries Service has turned valuable fishing grounds in United States waters into (MPA), Marine Protected Areas.  Some of these areas are said to be so sensitive that no human activity at all is allowed. No mining, no commercial fishing and no hook and line fishing. (Not even catch and release)

There are, at present, 750 protected areas, which is 30% of the USA’s territorial seas that are in this category. The enviro nazis will tell you that it is for future generations, (you know..for the children) that restrictions have to be placed on all of us. It seems to me the generation we should all be worried about is the present one and encouraging them to get outdoors and fish would be far more preferable than to have them inside playing video games or smoking stuff that limits one’s vocabulary to, “WOW!”

Now I don’t expect everyone to agree with me…(why would that be) but why is it then the stated policy for another Federal Agency to completely destroy well known fishing areas in the northeast for beach replenishment?


The Army Corp of Engineers has already wiped out known and very productive spots like Harvey Cedars Lump near Barnegate Inlet. Now, without further delay or input from local fishermen and women, they are bound and determined to wipe out a huge shallow area known as The Manasquan Ridge which for many, many generations has been an extremely productive place to go at different times of the year for fluke, bonita, spanish mackeral, bluefish, and

You will have to excuse me for being a bit cynical, but with Government Agencies continuing to run rough shod over everything, we the citizens cherish, it is easy to see why most of the fishermen and women who I come in contact with have been made into pirates. The rules and regulations to everything seem to only apply to the citizenry, just like the Hillary Clinton e-mails, and so it is that another season of, “HOOKEMANDHACKEM”  will be the order of the day.


Bob Hackem


Aug 27, 2013

Not being able to sleep, in anticipation of going fishing the next day, I thought about putting in motion a plan to pick up all the essentials for tomorrows fishing trip. I picked up some bait and decided to go to the local commercial fishing dock to see about getting some ice when I bumped into an old friend, sitting on a bench staring out at the water, who has been a commercial fisherman for over fifty years. When I asked him, “How have you been Marvin,” he slowly turned my way and said he has just about had enough.

Not knowing the full extent of his problem I sat beside him and asked him why he looked so down and out. He began by saying, “You know, Bob, I have worked very hard over the years learning from my Dad all about fishing and have raised a family, fed them and even sent them to college because I went out this very inlet every day the weather allowed, in an effort to be the best at what I do, catching fish for people to eat. All I ever wanted to do was be independent and provide for my family.”

It’s not like me to be silent for a long period of time, but the emotion Marvin displayed, and his serious tone made it impossible to interject any of my own thoughts about a subject that makes my blood boil. Marvin continued…”At first the government wanted me to keep a log book of all the places I fished, and I complied, then they convinced me to not fish for cod for a couple of years so they could make a comeback. Now they have all the times and places that I fished over the years and I am on a very small quota, so small that if I went out to catch that quota it would not even pay for the fuel that I would consume. You see Bob, my quota is based on the years that I was convinced NOT to fish for cod! Now I could sell my fishing permit for cod to a big corporate boat who has been buying all the small boat quotas, but they are the ones that got all the log book entries, that I was required to fill out, from the government.” Again, I was speechless. I had no idea that government intrusion in every aspect of regular peoples lives had gotten this bad. (well…maybe I did)

After a few minutes of absolute silence and me wondering how to console my old friend, he spoke again. “Bob, I just might be able to continue to fish for a living even though I am getting old but I can’t find a young guy to teach what I have learned and been successful at. There are no young people who want to get into commercial fishing for it’s future is doomed because of government regulations and environmental wackos who keep feeding the public bogus information on how we are destroying the oceans of the world.”

I finally got up the nerve to add something to this very depressing conversation when I added, “Marvin I am really sorry for all that you are so sadly going through but I’m sure things will improve.” Although I knew better, his plight is the same as so many of this countries hard working fishermen are going through. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and environmental organizations like The Pew Foundation and Environmental Defense Fund have all had a major role in the demise of the American fisherman.

He replied, “No it will not Bob, because one of my children, who my wife of fifty years and I raised and sent to college, now works for NOAA, the other younger daughter works for the Pew Foundation and my oldest, who graduated from the Coast Guard Academy boarded me three times last week fifty miles offshore, to make sure I was in full compliance with all fishing regulations.”



Wicked Witch of the Waters

December 13, 2012


The great news yesterday, for sport and commercial fishermen, is that Dr. Jane Lubchenco will be leaving her post as the head of The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (NOAA) An article on December 12, 2012, in The Gloucester Times by Richard Gaines, points out her many, “Accomplishments!” (the newspaper does NOT allow me to link) Please Google the article and I will not have to repeat it here but it boggles the mind to think that this educated idiot could put so many hard working people out of business in such a short period of time and then vanish without having to pay for her misdeeds.

February can’t possibly come quick enough and I surely hope the door DOES, hit her in the ass. We can all hope that the new head of NOAA brings some sanity to the department although the person who will appoint the next head of this dictatorial department has, and will continue to be suspect when it comes to decision making. (“Four more years.”) Thee of most dreaded words in the English language!


Bob Hackem


March 13, 2012

My blood pressure is a bit elevated this morning after reading an article in the Gloucester Times which specifically addresses Dr. Jane Lubchenco’s (Head of The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) plan to put ALL fishermen and women, off the water.

Dr. “jelly fish” Jane, former board member of The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), or, Left Wing Loon Fringe (LWLF) of the Obama Administration, has begun the process of trying to buy back fishing licenses of recreational fishermen. (with, YOUR OWN TAX DOLLARS) She has already put a significant amount of commercial fishermen out of business with her,  “Catch Share Program” and is now coming after the rest of the people who spend some spare time trying to enjoy what the Good Lord provided.

I have written, in the past, about the efforts of these LWL’s, and their sinister motives to put commercial fishermen out of business and how the recreational fishermen would be next on their hit list. Well, in my humble opinion, I WAS DEAD RIGHT!

In an attempt to get an interview with a couple of NOAA administrators on this subject, I followed two of them to a meeting but lost them in heavy traffic although I did get a photograph. They were easy to identify being that they are, “Horses Asses.” (my apologies to the horses)

Get on the bus to D. C.,

Bob Hackem

TALAPIA AND THE TALIBAN, (“Jelly fish Jane”)





February 15, 2012

Everyone who puts a hook and line or a net in the water, should take a good look at the face of the, “Taliban” (above) who has taken the lead role in trying to eliminate any human activity on our oceans and in our rivers. If you don’t already know, her name is Dr. Jane Lubchenko. Yes, the same individual who served as a big wig in The Environmental  Defense Fund and The Pew Foundation, two of the very far left groups who would have us all eating, “TAINTED TALAPIA FROM THAILAND!” (I wouldn’t use talapia as bait and you wouldn’t either after reading, “ARE YOU BEING FORCED TO EAT SHIT.”)

The battle we, as fishermen, (and women I guess) are up against seems monumental when you take a look at the funding that groups like, The Pew Foundation, The Walton Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Betty Moore Foundation and The Rockefeller Brothers Foundation supply to anti fishing causes. For a list of the “causes,” that these groups donate money to please go here. This is the most extensive list that I have encountered to date, detailing the extent of financial hurdles that all fishermen face. It is virtually impossible to mount a campaign against such zealotry but we do all have another option. Not that any conversation I have ever been involved in has ever been political or controversial in nature, but… WE HAVE TO CLEAN HOUSE AND VOTE the present administration out of office or put all of our fishing gear in a big pile and have a bonfire. (I forgot, you can’t do that…EPA, you know) Talk to you again soon and feel free to add your own thoughts, unless you are opposed to my, “Hook Em and Hack Em Habits!”

Sincerely ?

Bob Hackem





Fishing is the only activity that held my interest, for more than a few minutes, while I was growing up here in Point Pleasant during the 50’s. You could grab a handful of clams right out of the mud and crack them on the rail of our old wood row boat, pick out the broken shells and then slide, the clam, whole, right down your throat. (or chew) I might mention that before you got to use the rowboat you got pushed out in the river with nothing but oars, after you learned to swim of course, which served as your first, “BOATING SAFETY COURSE,” (There was no written test)

It was so simple back then primarily because there were no fish police or clam cops and you could identify what kind of fish you caught before it broke the surface. Nobody kept really small fish, except for snappers, mostly because of peer pressure. If you attempted to put a small fish in the fish box your fishing buddy would usually chide you into making a different decision the next time.

It wasn’t easy finding anyone to go fishing in the canal with me for my track record with safety issues was not the best so I usually dragged my younger brother along, who shall remain nameless for reasons that will become obvious as we proceed.

One beautiful day, when I was about ten years old I dragged said brother along to go bottom fishing in the canal with a couple of small hooks, a few blood worms and one fishing pole. We both knew from our vast experience, that the hot spot would be right next to the old Point Pleasant Hospital. (someone was watching over us, with good reason) As a matter of record, I caught the first fish and instructed younger, “no name,” brother to remove the hook. He screwed up and got the hook implanted in his finger next to his thumb nail. We tried to remove the hook but were reminded of why there was a barb. No it would not come out and as, “no name,” started to cry I sprung into action and told him to start walking up the hill to the emergency room. Getting through the front door was somewhat problematic since the hook was still attached to the line and yes to the rod and reel also. (My dad would not allow me to have a knife in my tackle box or I would have cut the line. I guess it had something to do with me shooting “no name,” in the head with an arrow a few months earlier? …story for another day)

The nurses seemed rather amused although I didn’t think it was the least bit funny. This unfortunate event was severely cutting into my fishing time. I was very relieved when the nurse approached my younger brother with a pair of scissors and cut the line. I knew he would be in good hands so I told him that when he got fixed up to meet me back at the same, “Hot spot!”

Apparently the nurses called my home and while I was fishing a very large mean looking grown man…(MY DAD) came strutting down the hill to inquire why I had left my brother at the hospital, by himself, and continued to fish. Somehow I knew, “The fish were biting,” was not the right answer and remained silent. I think I remained in my room when we got home for an awful long time before anyone ever spoke to me again.

I finally was able to purchase a fillet knife years later (I think I was twenty five years old) and my hookemandhackem life began….OH HAPPY DAYS!

…Bob Hackem…




September 11, 2011

As more and more onerous regulations are imposed on fisherman and women all over this country, I have been contemplating the effects of the National Marine Fisheries Service, (NMFS) and its fascist parent company, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , (NOAA) are having on all fisherman and women.


Over 49% of the commercial fishing fleet is required to have a government employee, called an “OBSERVER,” on board when departing the dock. Most recreational fishermen could care less or are totally in favor of that kind of regulation because it does not affect them. But like every other regulation that blankets our lives like a cast net, it is just a mater of time before they put you and I under the same magnifying glass. How many fishermen do you know that would be willing to take some geek with a pad and pencil out on his boat to observe and detail, not only how many and what size fish you catch, but exactly where you went to catch them and every other detail it took you years to master? I don’t think, “Jellyfish Jane” (Head of NOAA) would like it much either if I was to follow her around on her time off to record her every move! (god forbid)

In an all out effort to put some common sense and and fairness into the process I have drafted a well thought out plan to improve the “OBSERVER PROGRAM.”

1.) I will personally interview every applicant for these new positions in way that insures the integrity of “MY” new system.

2.) Each applicant must (at time of interview) have all equipment required:

a- a sharp fillet knife,and a cutting board

b- a blindfold

c- a thirty pak (not required but an option)

d- some fishing experience

e- a ruler

If all positions are not filled in a timely manner … the requirements and standards will be lowered.

We will start by observing only seaworthy Rybovich boats that supply food from Joe Leone’s.

Please submit all applications at: