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Striper Fishing – It’s All Connected

By Kastking | 22 January 2018 | 0 Comments

Striper fishing factors into many angler’s agendas on the east coast. As with all fisheries, it’s a balancing act to keep the striper population up and intact. Truly a case of limit the kill; don’t kill the limit. 


Most saltwater anglers in the Northeast like to bring home fresh fish from their day on the water. This “keep every keeper” mindset has long been ingrained into anglers that spent countless hours of their youth fishing with their dads and grandfathers.  In fact, fishing as a kid with my father, Ben, we would never throw back a catch that was big enough to keep.  His feelings were simple; it cost money to go fishing, so a meal or two on the dinner table would go a long way towards justifying the expense of catching them.


During my early teens in the 80’s, I developed a great passion for striper fishing. Stripers were on a steep decline then, and catching was never a given.  During this time my older brother Pete shared my obsession with stripers, and as a result the two of us traveled the Tri-state area in pursuit of stripers.  Truth be told, my dad wanted no part of these striper trips.  The main reason was because we hardly ever caught any stripers big enough to keep, and my dad simply could not justify the expense when the return on the investment was just about zero.  Moreover, when the striper moratorium was put into place in 1986, my dad thought we were completely nuts to be fishing for a fish that we had to release.


stripers conservation

The mighty Morone saxatilis, known as stripers, striped bass, rock fish, or line siders

Thankfully, catch and release fishing has really caught on in most fisheries. For instance, millions upon millions of anglers pursue largemouth bass throughout the country, and hardly ever is a specimen kept for the plate.  The same goes for many saltwater game fish such as bonefish, tarpon, and marlin.  Striper catch and release fishing is also gaining steam every season, and hopefully this will help bring back their numbers once again. I’d like to say kudos to the catch and release anglers for giving back to the sport they love.


That being said, there is still a large segment of the fishing community that loves to bring home fresh fish. These anglers judge their success for a day on the water by the amount of harvest in the cooler at days’ end.  I’m sure these anglers love their sport just as much as the catch and release anglers.


Present day fishery regulations are strict.  The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) works under the direction of the Magnuson Steven’s Act. Basically this act states that fish under its jurisdiction have to be kept at a certain level of population.  If a fish is found in decline, an attempt must be made to re-build the fishery within 10-years’ time.  As a result, each year regulators examine how many fish were caught the previous year, and then decide how much quota will be doled out to anglers the following season.   Some believe the science used for these calculations is nothing more than a guess, I prefer the term Voodoo Science.  At this point, it is what it is, and all anglers simply have to deal with it.


striper, striper, striped, bassfishing

Striper on!


In spite of this, please remember, “it’s all connected.”  When strict harvest regulation is put on one species, another species will then get more pressure from anglers. For instance, cut the limit on striped bass and more people will fish for fluke, sea bass, or scup. Sea bass are presently a fish of great contention. These aggressive bottom dwellers are seemingly everywhere in the Northeast, and are being encountered in new areas where they were rarely caught before.  Because of this population increase anglers are catching lots of sea bass.  However, because we are catching so many of them, the NMFS believe we might be overfishing them…so, in their wisdom they say, “let’s reduce the harvest.”


This season Northeast anglers are seeing reduction in striper and black sea bass.  One, the striped bass, need a reduction, the other sea bass, do not.  As a result, more anglers will fish for fluke this season.  Conversely, I’m kind of worried for next season when this increased effort on fluke gets plugged into the Voodoo Science because after all, “it’s all connected.”


– 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. Capt. Tom is the author of Bass Buff — A Striper Fishing Obsession Guide.



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eposeidon, fishing, tackle, logoEposeidon (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® 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 exclusive North American Distributor for Ecooda fishing reels. striper

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