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Striper Bass — Because We Fish

By Kastking | 22 January 2018 | 0 Comments

A wave of controversy has surrounded the striper fishery in the North East where striped bass are the king of recreational fishing.


I spend a lot of time on social media sites in the winter because it’s my downtime from running a charter boat.  The divides between anglers that have recently developed because of the new striper (Morone saxatilis) size limits are deeply distressing.  The main item of this discourse is the pending harvest cutback to striper bass for the 2015 season.  Hopefully, now that NY and most other Atlantic states have opted for 1 fish at 28-inches across the board for all recreational user groups, the rhetoric will ease.


I believe striped bass need a harvest reduction, others feel differently, that’s okay, as an adult with half a brain, I, can agree to disagree.  I can also disagree without wishing the other person physical harm or financial hardships to their fishing based business. To those who can’t be civil with those who think differently than you do about a freaking fish…please grow up for God’s sake.  There are much bigger problems in the world for you and your family to worry about. That being said, fish pictures on social media leave little doubt in my mind that schools of big striped bass are hammered endlessly as they migrate up and down the coast.   The pressure now put on the striper population is higher than ever before.  In spite of this, I believe all would be okay if spawning success was average or better each spring.


Stripers by nature are a cyclical fish. Recent spawns in the Chesapeake Bay, the main producer of striped bass, have been spotty. The bottom line; anglers are removing more stripers from the stock quicker than they can be replaced from spawning.  However, the spawns during 2011 and 2014 were good, so there is hope that we will have fish coming up through the pipeline in the next few years.  (Note: a “keeper” striper of 28-inches is normally 7-years of age.)


At this point all anglers should be reminded; whenever one hooks a fish, whether or not that fish is released back into the water, there is going to be mortality to a percentage of the fish hooked.


Striped bass sure brings out the passion among anglers, and equally disturbing online is the musing of some anglers that Marine Protection Areas (MPA) should be designated by the government in order to protect great spans of water for fish species.  That means NO FISHING whatsoever.  This is crazy talk, and should be scary to any angler that owns a fishing rod.  Where do you think these MPA’s would be created? Of course the main areas where the fish live would become prime targets.  How would you like to say goodbye to fishing at Montauk Point, Block Island, Cuttyhunk, Long Island Sound, the Great South Bay, the Hudson River etc. How happy would you be then? So, please stop with the insanity that we need MPA’s.


striper, striped bass, size, limit, NY, DEC, www.eposeidon.com

Fishing the false dawn for stripers off Montauk


Many anglers love fishing for striped bass.  For me, the hopes of hooking a huge striper have been an obsession for me since the 70’s.  Over the years I’ve been fortunate to catch many big striped bass. However, with each striper caught came an insatiable quest to catch another one. I release many more big striped bass than I catch, that is the reality of recent regulations, and how I feel about the fish in my heart.  However, the plain truth is, not all of these big fish survive the/my release. Therein lies the problem within the sport fishing community… we love striped bass so much, that we’re loving them to death.


striper., bass, striped bass, size, release, www.eposeiodn.com

A striper, as big as they are, can suffer from poor catch and release tactics. Photo courtesy of Capt. Tom Mikoleski


So please, let’s give the inflammatory bombast a rest. It’s also time to realize or remember that a good day fishing should not be judged by how many dead fish are in the cooler at trip’s end.  Simply put, fishing is so much more than that because:


We love getting up early and sipping a steaming hot coffee as false dawn develops into majestic sunrises… because we fish.


Ditto the wondrous evening hues that appear while we wet a line as the sun dips below the horizon… because we fish.


The smile on a newbies face while fighting their first big striper is priceless and well worth all the effort invested into arriving at that moment in time… because we fish.


Trying to devise methods and rigs to outwit a fish with a small brain, but keen instincts, results in countless hours of studious behavior and sleepless nights… because we fish.


Casting a lure blindly into an endless sea as waves thrash and birds dive into a churning melee of both bait and game fish is a rush few will experience… because we fish.


striper, blitz, montauk, striped bass www.eposeidon.com

casting blindly into a striper blitz off Montauk, Long Island NY – Photo courtesy Captain Tom Mikoleski

The adrenalin rush as a big live bait is presented precisely where you think a trophy striper is lurking is a desire that many will never feel… because we fish.


 — By Capt. Tom Mikoleski



Captain Tom Mikoleski is the successful fishing charter captain of the Grand Slam who sails out of Montauk, NY for trophy striped bass, doormat fluke, jumbo porgies, humpback sea bass, and monster sharks. Captain Tom is the author of Bass Buff — A Striper Fishing Obsession Guide





Eposeidon (www.eposeidon.com  Eposeidon Outdoor Adventure, Inc.)  brings a fresh, innovative approach to anglers by offering quality fishing tackle products at the best prices and no cost, or low cost shipping. Eposeidon’s goal is to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service and superior product value to their customers. Eposeidon is continually expanding its product lines, which include KastKing(r) fishing line, fishing reels, and fishing rods, MadBite fishing lures, Ecooda reels, and other fishing tackle products, to meet individual fishing equipment needs. Eposeidon is headquartered in Garden City, NY, USA and sells fishing tackle products globally. Eposeidon is the sole North American Distributor for Ecooda fishing reels.

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