September 25, 2003

She's Not Singing Yet

Frank G. Dwyer
September 25, 2003

They say it's not over until the fat lady sings, and she certainly has not found the Port yet. Fishing continues to please both shore and boat fishermen and perhaps the late start to the season this year will extend our saltwater fishing later into the Fall than usual.
This past week saw the return of the bluefish. Reports from Cape Ann to Portsmouth had schools of hungry bluefish chasing pods of bait to the pleasure of those anglers lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Reports from shore anglers had bluefish-- with a few stripers mixed in--being landed in Hampton, Rye, Salisbury and on Plum Island.
Joppa Flats has been a hit or miss proposition over the last few weeks, with sporadic schools of fish chasing bait, and then dispersing. Anglers fishing with plastics as well as bait have reported some success with striped bass in the vicinity of Woodbridge Island, as well as around the moorings near the AYC.
Fly fishermen have battled some steady winds over the last weeks, however those persistent enough to stick it out have been finding fish in the swift moving currents of the Merrimack, as well as in the wash of the ocean beaches. Fast sinking lines with silverside or sand eel imitations have been working well.
All in all, it makes sense to keep getting out to wet a line as the fishing action continues on the Seacoast.
Kay Moulton at Surfland Bait and Tackle on Plum Island reports that anglers are enjoying catching bluefish from the beaches on the northern end of the island, as well as in the river at Plum Island Point. Just about any surface plug or metal lure is going to entice these feisty blues.
Striped Bass continue to be caught off the beaches of the Parker River NWR with fish being caught along the entire reservation. Anglers fishing near Emerson Rocks have been landing keeper size bass on Kay's snake-sized sea worms.
George at Captains Fishing Parties on Plum Island reports that the fishing continues to be good. On this past Wednesday, a lucky angler won the pool with a 52-pound Cod. Many cod in the 20-pound range were also caught. Haddock and pollock continue to bend the rod of fishermen, as well as some cusk and wolfish. The ½ day trips have had luck with bluefish on the surface, with anglers enjoying the terrific fight the bluefish put up.
Fishing will continue through the end of October, with full day trips running on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as Columbus Day. Half-day trips are running on a less specific schedule, so please call for further information.
Last, but certainly not least, let's all join together for a collective "Boo" for our governor, Mitt Romney. Apparently Romney has taken money from the Fish and Wildlife Service and moved it to the state’s "General Fund". As I understand it, because of budgetary shortfalls, Romney has taken the money collected for the Inland Fish and Game Fund and Land Acquisition Fund –which have been eliminated-- and put that money into state’s General Fund. The Governor brought this to the state legislature as a “budget consolidation” effort, which was approved.

This means that approximately $9 Million dollars collected from various sources such as hunting and fishing licenses and land stamps, may not be applied as promised and may be used as the governor or legislature sees fit.

The effect is already being felt as the state Board of Fisheries and Wildlife announce earlier this week that it would be closing two of its five fish hatcheries because of lack of funding and staff. This will ultimately lead to fewer trout being stocked in Massachusetts’s waters. Another problem with this action is the possibility of losing millions of dollars in federal excise taxes devoted to wildlife management. All states must use hunting and fishing license revenue solely for their fish and wildlife agencies to qualify for the federal funds.
If you’re like me, you’ll write your state senator and state rep to let them know that this in not right.

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