Eight tips for remaining safe when fishing on ice. Wochit
“I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing.” — Herman Melville, "Moby Dick"
Well, obviously things have been a little slow on the fishing front lately. Some very bitter cold weather blasted into our area bringing Wisconsin-like weather to our region.
Even back in the most hardened days of my youth when we drilled through the 2-foot thick ice of Tioga County, Pennsylvania, we wouldn’t have ventured out to ice fish in this sort of cold.
Even with things being at a total standstill on the catching front, things are moving on the regulatory front.
According to a press release from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, fisheries are seeking comments on changing the recreational fishing (no commercial fishing with pots or other gear) for black sea bass.
The proposed action is intended to provide additional recreational black sea bass fishing opportunities earlier in the year, during the month of February.
It is thought that this season might allow for more recreational opportunities for anglers.
NOAA goes on to point out that in 2015, black sea bass were the second most landed finfish for recreational anglers in the Atlantic. A stock assessment from December 2016 showed that the biomass was a whopping 129 percent over the biomass target.
The hope is that by extending the season, fishermen will have something else to fish for during a portion of the angling calendar that offers relatively few other fish.
This season would not, however, come without a cost.
“We would be charged either two days in Wave 3 (May, June)” said John Clark, fisheries section administrator for Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. “Or 3 days in Wave 5 (September, October) if we open in February, so there is a cost to opening.”
Somewhat surprisingly, there hasn’t been a whole lot of support for the February offering despite the fact that it allows anglers days on the water.
“We would normally be all for it,” said Capt. Rick Yakimowicz out of Fisherman’s Wharf in Lewes. “I know New Jersey is. We are all just afraid of losing days to fish for the sea bass when we would benefit more from the fish (during warmer months when there are more anglers around).”
“However,” he added in reference to just the short subtractions suggested for either Wave Two or Three, “those wouldn’t be too terrible.”
Another possible benefit might well be to aid a fish that has certainly taken a beating in the last decade. Given the dearth of practically anything else to fish for inshore during parts of the year or severe restrictions (such as a one fish creel limit on sea trout) angling effort for tautog has undeniably increased.
Affording fishermen something else to target such as sea bass would provide some respite, however slight, which can’t be anything but positive.
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Please submit your comments online through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal or by mailing them to John Bullard, Regional Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 55 Great Republic Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930.
Mark the outside of the envelope: “Comments on the Proposed Rule for 2018 Black Sea Bass February Recreational Fishery.”
The comment period runs through Jan. 23.
Comments, questions or (presumably from Florida) reports to captjackrodgers @comcast.net