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  #21  
Old 03-22-2019, 04:03 PM
bulletbob bulletbob is offline
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Default Re: Winter Flounder report

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Originally Posted by bassnblues View Post
I think sometimes we look at the good old days of flounder fishing with rose colored glasses. I remember quite a few days as a kid freezing my ass off in a tin boat on the navesink with my dad catching squat.
Navesink never was as good as the Shrewsbury or Shark rivers for flounder, and they tended to bail out of there early... None of the river fisheries ever came close to Raritan Bay in my opinion , others might disagree... bob
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  #22  
Old 03-22-2019, 04:55 PM
Gumada Gumada is offline
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Default Re: Winter Flounder report

I remember the daggers scouring the rivers and bay all winter long pulling the flounder and anything else right out of the mud ! Kind of reminds me of the fluke offshore, no ?
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  #23  
Old 03-22-2019, 05:14 PM
bassnblues bassnblues is offline
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Default Re: Winter Flounder report

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Originally Posted by bulletbob View Post
Navesink never was as good as the Shrewsbury or Shark rivers for flounder, and they tended to bail out of there early... None of the river fisheries ever came close to Raritan Bay in my opinion , others might disagree... bob
Behind the quay restraunt was supposed to be the hotspot.

Round shoal was the place when they had a little resurgence in the 90s. Had a boat slipped in keyport then.
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  #24  
Old 03-22-2019, 07:28 PM
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hammer4reel hammer4reel is online now
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Default Re: Winter Flounder report

shark river in a tin boat was a blast, and caught way more flounder than we should have back when it was good,
IMO only reason its not good now is the river is 95% silted in.


Did very well this time of year up until the 2 fish closure fishing keyport flats , then moving out to the cedars later in the season.


Been a decade already , thinking it could be good again, but few guys are going to spend what it costs to chum them up for 2 fish each.


.
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  #25  
Old 03-22-2019, 08:07 PM
John D. John D. is offline
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Default Re: Winter Flounder report

I remember marine park in red bank was the best early season spot around st Patty’s day. Regulars used dog food and corn for chum at the pier. Then in mid April the parking lot at rum runner restaurant in the shrewsbury river. No joke, you had to throw the same weight as everyone....it was wall to wall over 70 yds and walk it down with the tide and usually you had a flattie by 50 yds. During slack, everyone was on quickly. 40 catch days were the norm when it wasn’t muddy. I miss those days and we did all take more than we should have back then. It seemed limitless.
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  #26  
Old 03-23-2019, 08:45 AM
NoLimit NoLimit is offline
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Default Re: Winter Flounder report

It was limitless - decade after decade until the staggers found their offshore spots
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  #27  
Old 03-23-2019, 11:40 AM
dakota560 dakota560 is offline
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Default Re: Winter Flounder report

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Originally Posted by NoLimit View Post
It was limitless - decade after decade until the draggers found their offshore spots
Bingo! Fished Shark River my entire life and even though it's more silted today then it was in the 60's / 70's there were flounder everywhere and should be today except for one reason.......they're gone. The fyke net, trawling for blue claw crabs and flounder aren't helping but believe that fyke net was there back in the day when the fishery was thriving. The biomass has been destroyed and not by recreational anglers. And it hasn't moved north because Quincy Ma. while showing signs of rebounding recently has tanked as well. We fished Shark River every year even throughout the winter and caught fish. Spring flounder fishing always marked the beginning of the year for salt like opening day trout does for fresh water. It was incredible fishing, fish of every size....the ultimate sign of a healthy fishery. Outgoing tide was the best but you caught fish on the colder incoming as well. Manasquan, Barnegat and Sandy Hook were all the same, massive amounts of flounder. It's over just like every other fishery targeted by commercials. Even with a large recreational harvest these fisheries thgrived. When commercials got involved with flounder with off shore harvest during the summer, it was done. Why, for the very same reason that destroys every fishery they target. Relentless netting of larger fish and killing reproduction to en extent the fishery is no longer sustainable. Year after year you could count on flounder, many have no idea how consistently good it was. And like weakfish, cod, whiting, ling, mackerel, herring, porgies until only recently, bluefish, fluke, stripers, sharks, tuna, tile fish etc. reckless harvest by foreign and domestic commercials operations destroyed every one. I remember buying fresh bunker once at Belford Co Op and going into the storage area to fill a cooler for chunking bass in the spring. There were tote after tote of the largest flounder you've ever seen. Any fishery that has year round pressure and a commercial proce on it's head is doomed in the absence of regulations to protect the resource and in particular the spawn. With a 2-fish minimum in place for all these years, flounder should be at all time highs but they're not. That's how exploited this fishery was. And even if it did rebound, a blood or sand worm would cost you $1.50 each to fish for them since they were commerciallly over harvested as well. Read up on elvers and what happened to that fishery by commercial netting and being sold overseas for enormous profits. Commercials have rights like recreational to harvest the ocean's resources but they shouldn't have greater rights or the right to destroy an entire ecosystem at everyone else's expense. Until fisheries managment grasp that concept, every species with commercial value is at risk. NJ had an 8 fish limit at 18" ten years ago and now were faced with 3 at 18", NMFS themselves say recruitment is down for the last six years when from a relative perspective in fact it's down for closer to 25 - 30 years compared to SSB. YET fisheries management gives commercials a 40% increase in catch quota for '19. Say no more.
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  #28  
Old 03-23-2019, 12:19 PM
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hammer4reel hammer4reel is online now
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Default Re: Winter Flounder report

Tom, I think the reason there aren't fish in shark river is because its about 95% silted in.
The places we used to fish have less than a foot of water on them at high tide.
even the marinas are silted in . Parking lot dust brought in by all the mall storm drains
Wish they could do the right thing for the river and dredge it in entirety.
would be good for another hundred years.

all the unlimited fishing as well as the commercial fishing def hurt these fish .
Now their spawing grounds are totally destroyed.
centuries of fish going there , to now find a mud wall.

I would like to HOPE the fishery in the bay is rebuilding. as said its been a decade.
Only way to find out would be to spend a considerable amount of money on chum and give it a try.
.
Def miss those days of starting the season early spring.

.
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  #29  
Old 03-23-2019, 03:10 PM
dakota560 dakota560 is offline
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Default Re: Winter Flounder report

Quote:
Originally Posted by hammer4reel View Post
Tom, I think the reason there aren't fish in shark river is because its about 95% silted in.
The places we used to fish have less than a foot of water on them at high tide.
even the marinas are silted in . Parking lot dust brought in by all the mall storm drains
Wish they could do the right thing for the river and dredge it in entirety.
would be good for another hundred years.

all the unlimited fishing as well as the commercial fishing def hurt these fish .
Now their spawing grounds are totally destroyed.
centuries of fish going there , to now find a mud wall.

I would like to HOPE the fishery in the bay is rebuilding. as said its been a decade.
Only way to find out would be to spend a considerable amount of money on chum and give it a try.
.
Def miss those days of starting the season early spring.

.
Dan while I agree with you about Shark River being it's such a small body of water, I disagree with you about the health of the fishery up and down the coast and overall cause of the fisheries decline. Looks at the attached charts and it's the same problems hurting the summer flounder fishery.

There's two regions involved with winter flounder, Gulf of MAine (GOM) and Southern New England / Mid-Atlantic (SNE/MA) which is more our back yard. The attached chart represent SNE/MA, our immediate area.

First chart, look at the increase in commercial landings between 1976 and 1982. Approximately 7.5 million pounds to approximately 25 million pounds, an increase of 17.5 million pounds or over a 200% in a 6-yr time frame. This is when the fishery began it's collapse. Important to point out like summer flounder, winter flounder attain sexual maturity at age 3 but unlike summer flounder are smaller, slower growing and appproximately only 7"-9" in length at age 3. Once filleted probably not even marketable. So assume larger fish were being harvested like the ones I witnessed at the Belford Co-Op, all older sexually mature fish, breeders and the future of the fishery. Also notice the disproportionate relationship between recreational and commercial harvest (black versus yellow bars), in particular from 1990 through current. The 2 fish recreational limit was imposed in 2010 so today's harvest is for all practical purposes almost entirely commercial.

Second chart is a trend of Young of the Year "YOY" and age class fish 2 years old from Ct. It's an indictment on recruitment, both trends show recruitment and 2 year old fish have been annihalated over the last 30-yr period. In fact, they're both at historically low levels over the last 30-yr period.

Last chart almost identical to summer flounder trend, approximately 65,000,000 eggs produced in 1980 on a Spawning Stock Biomass "SSB" of almost 20,000 metric tons declining to approximately 5,000,000 eggs produced in 2010 relative to an SSB of approximately 7,000 metric tons. That translates to a decrease of approximately 92% in eggs produced or 60 million less eggs annually relative to an approximate 65% decrease in SSB. Larger fish being harvested, recruitment being destroyed and recreational catch limits being cut to a point where it's not worth the effort to fish for flounder any longer. EXACT cycle we're in with the summer flounder fishery.

Based on the above statistics, I would bet the fishery in the bay is not rebuilding since recruitment means everything to salt water fisheries and it's been destroyed. Just note the decrease in recruitment on the last chart. It's not possible for the fishery to rebuild without strong natural reproduction in spite of draconian cuts in catch levels. Sound familiar?
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Name:	YOY and Age 2 Ct Statistics.jpg
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Name:	Recruitment_SSB Winter Flounder 1980 through 2010.jpg
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Last edited by dakota560; 03-23-2019 at 03:12 PM..
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  #30  
Old 03-23-2019, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Winter Flounder report

Those charts show the crash , any current charts since we went to 2 fish and everyone stopped fishing for them ?

As the last year we had the larger limit fishing was still pretty good in the bay .

.
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