In the past twenty four hours, ever since that storm front came through, the striped bass fishing has picked up immensely. Boats at the Overfalls, to the lumps near Sea Colony, and between are picking up limits of striped bass. We went from random keepers at maybe one per boat at best, after hours of fishing, to lots of hookups for all of the boats in no time. Stretches and bombers are working well trolling. Captain Brian Wazlavek of the Lil Angler II just sent in this picture and the boat limited out quickly today. There have been lots of birds and whales working just inside of the 3 mile line before the EEZ (federal waters). If you do go out that far for these fish make sure you know exactly where you are because the Coast Guard is on high alert this year to keep people from violating the 3 mile limit of the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone ) for striped bass. Make sure you have the proper equipment to keep you out of that area.
Five days from now, two years ago, on December 8th, Ben Smith broke the Delaware State Striped bass record. The weather is perfect, but the fish are just not showing up at the beach yet, the surf has been quiet so far. Not many surf anglers have been fishing the past couple of days. Jim Haug tried yesterday in the rain and had a nice run off but no hook up. He was all alone in CHSP. I’m hitting the sand tomorrow, as soon as all these meetings are finished, the back bay action has been fun for shorts. There have been a few random shorts in the surf, near structure and the bigger cuts. Keepers have been random to non existent on all of the beaches. We are having our weekly Nor’Easter storms it seems, so I am hoping to see some fish pushed closer to shore, finding bait fish near shore would help a great deal. Short action for the inland bays has been good on bucktails, swim shads, and poppers. The Indian River Inlet has seen some decent short action one day and nothing the next. Night time with flies long lining has produced some decent catches. Otherwise the surf has been a skate and dog fest.
Rule clarification for the EEZ ….
From the National Marine Fisheries Service, the official regulation regarding striped bass in the EEZ reads as follows:
(b) Atlantic striped bass fishery. In addition to the prohibitions set forth in
§600.725, the following prohibitions apply. It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:
(1) Fish for Atlantic striped bass in the EEZ.
(2) Harvest any Atlantic striped bass from the EEZ.
(3) Possess any Atlantic striped bass in or from the EEZ, except for the following area: The EEZ within Block Island Sound, north of a line connecting Montauk Light, Montauk Point, NY, and Block Island Southeast Light, Block Island, RI; and west of a line connecting Point Judith Light, Point Judith, RI, and Block Island Southeast Light, Block Island, RI. Within this area, possession of Atlantic striped bass is permitted, provided no fishing takes place from the vessel while in the EEZ and the vessel is in continuous transit.
(4) Retain any Atlantic striped bass taken in or from the EEZ.
The regulation goes on to define “fishing” as:
(A) the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish;
(B) the attempted catching, taking, or harvesting of fish;
(C) any other activity that can be reasonably expected to result in the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish; or
(D) any operations at sea in support of, or in preparation for, any activity described in subparagraphs (A) through (C).
Such terms do not include any scientific research activity or the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish in an aquaculture operation.