Archives for January 2012


Today we will look at Bluefish recovered tags.Bluefish are one of the toughest to get returns from. Some taggers belief it is result of other Bluefish biting the yellow ALS tag. I do have a few interesting  returns on the 1485 Bluefish I have tagged

My first return was from Blue tagged in Great Bay 5/91 at 33″ and re-caught 7/91 Black Point,CT 34″     5/93 18″ tagged in Corsons Inlet   recaught 8/93 Shoreham ,Long Island 19″    9/97 tagged in Whale Cr Strathmere 15″   recaught 10/97  Chincoteaque,Va 15″       4/04 Ludlam Bay  18″” re-caught  Plum Is,NY 19″     5/04   Ludlam Bay  17″  re-caught Cold Spring Hbr,NY  18″     5/05  ICW Ocean City  16″‘  recaught   8/05 Montauk 18″       8/06 Ludlam bay 14″    re-caught 5/07 Pamilco Sound NC  19″       4/08 Ludlam Bay 17″  re-caught 5/09 Staten Is ,NY    24″     6/09  Ludlam Bay  15″   re-caught by M/V Squibacket  15 miles off Mass. 9/09 17″    5/09  Strathmere  23″  re-caught   11/09 Amagansett,NY 26″    9/11  Ludlam Bay 13″”  re-caught 11/11 Myrtle Beach ,SC 13″   9/02  Strathmere 14″      re-caught  11/02  Kitty Hawk fishing Pier,NC 15″      7/02  Strathmere  13″  11/02 Duck Is,NC 15″                                                                                                   

As you can see some do some traveling fairly fast but have not had any out more than 17 months most within  4 months  There is a good north south migration but I suspect once they get over 24″ they move more East-West but until I get returns that indicate that ,it is just a theory



Several years ago I was asked if I would be interested in tagging black sea bass and I decided to do it. I would usually stop on my way home after a morning fishing and tag 5-10 each day beginning in August when they moved inside. First couple of years only returns I was getting came from same area origianlly tagged.However after a couple of years some interesting returns showed up

9/3 strathmere 8″   re-caught  1/04  by a NJ Fish and Game Survey trawler  16 miles off NJ     9/04    3–9″ sea bass tagged in Ludlam Bay   re-caught by trawler Travis and Natlie 11/04, 10/04   10″  15 miles off Ocean City NJ and  3/15  re-caught by same trwaler 27 miles off Ocean City NJ      10/04  8″  Strathmere  —re-caught  10″   6/06 in Deep Water canyon off Nantucket Sound mixed in with codfish      10/05  Ludlam Bay 8″   re-caught  8/06  3 miles off Cape Pogue,Ma   9″        8/05 Strathemere  7″    re-caught 8/06  Montauk Lt ,NJ 9″    11/05  9″Strathmere   re-caught  4/07  30 miles off NY by F/V Emily Brooke  14″     9/07  Strathmere 8″   recaught 9/08 Rockaway Beach NY  Headboat BULLET  9″    8/06  Strathmere 8″  re-caught  5/09  Martha’s  Vineyard Party Boat 18″  ,reported by MA DMF officer   and finally 9/06 Strathmere 8″   re-caught  6/11 Woodcliff Canal,Freeport,NY  12″   
As you can see some of these little 8-9″ Black  Sea Bass put some miles on in their travels. Overall most are recaught in NJ close to original tagging and within 2 months

Total  tagged  1294    total tag recovered     51    3.94%  by State NJ-41, NY-4   Mass–5  RI-1


If you search Bing Maps and click on NJ  to get to your area you can see an excellent view of the waters you fish with decent definition of water depths  .deeper holes etc . This is a good way to search for potential spots that potential could hold fish . Even though I have fished my area for over 50 years I found some areas I never tried that potentially look pretty good and will hit them next Spring.

Just another way to spend a winter night getting ready for the Spring run of 2012 fish

JAN 20,2012 —FLUKE recoveries continued

In this segment I will  finalize my interesting Summer flounder (fluke) tag recoveries

8/05 Ludlam Bay 14″- re-caught 7/07 Indian River,De 18″  4/08  Ludlam Bay 15″  —re-caught 8/08 Townsend Inlet 17″ and confiscated by C/O as undersize— 6/08 Strathmere 17″  –re-caught Long Beach,NY   6/09  21 1/2“—7/08 Strathmere 13”  re-caught  8/09 Staten Is,NY 15 1/4” —–6/08 ICW Strathmere 12″ –re-caught 8/09 Moriches Inlet,NY 16″ –9/09 Corson sound 14″-re-caught 3/10 Spencer Canyon 50 fathoms 15 1/2″—8/09 Corson sound 14″  re-caught  3/10 Spencer Canyon 15″— 8/09 Corson sound 16″  re-caught 46 fathoms 65 miles off NC  17″    5/09 Ludlam Bay 19″   re-caught   3/10 Hudson Canyon  21″   7/08 Ludlam Bay 12″  re-caught  3/10 Hudson Canyon  15″, 6/08 ICW Ocean City 14″  re-caught  6/10 Merrick Bay NY  19 1/2″    8/08 Corson sound 14″  re-caught  6/10  181/4″ Great South Bay ,NY     6/07 Strathmere 14″  re-caught  8/10  2miles south of Verrazano Bridge ,NY 18″     5/09  Whale cr Strathmere 19″   re-caught 2/11  62 miles east Cape May NJ 39 fathoms 21″   6/09 Strathmere 16″         re-caught  2/11 Baltimore Canyon  17″   5/10 Ludlam Bay 15″  –re-caught 2/11 Baltimore Canyon 16″  — 9/08 Corson sound 15″   re-caught 6/11 Freeport NY  18 1/2″

As I began digging into the statistics involving all catches it appears that fluke migrating north are growing slightly faster than those migrating south. I totaled  up all recaptures found north of original capture including those re-caught in NJ but  at least 20 miles north   of original tagging and compared to fluke recaptured that had migrated south before being recaught and found the average growth was .65″ more per year in those migrating north. Not sure what this means but it was interesting to note. The data also  indicates the winter commerical fishing should be  limited in winter months to assure fluke get at least on spawn but I doubt if Feds will listen to this.  Fluke decline BEGAN when commerical  interest found  them on continental shelf in winter . In any event my personal feeling is due to 99% of fluke over 18″ being females there should be a lowering of size  for recreational anglers to allow for more taking of males and give larger females more opportunities to spawn. 18″ and larger females will produce 2-3 times the eggs of a first time spawn of a 14-15″ fluke

TOTAL  RECOVERIES BY STATE   NJ-569   NY  42  MA 2  VA 3  MD  3   RI 3   NC 15  CT 2  DE 5                                                        TOTAL TO DATE RECOVERED–  644

I will report on some other species in later reports



Picking up where I stopped yesterday with recovered Flounder returns follows

7/01  ICW Ocean City 14″ —re-caught 7/02 Hempstead,NY 17″   8/01 Ludlamd Bay 10″  —re-caught   7/02  Great Kills NY   15″ now a couple of southerly moving fluke  4/02 Ludlam Bay 16″ –re-caught   8/03  Cape Charles,Va 17“—-7/02  Strathmere 20”  -re-caught 2/04  offshore Virginia 22”  –6/04  ICW Ocean City 13″ –recaught  3/05   40 fathom line off Ocean City .MD 14″   — 8/05 Ludlam Bay 13″  –re-caught 3/06  15″   35 miles off NC—8/05 ICW Ocean City  13″ —re-caught  3/06 Hudson Canyon 16″–   back to northern migration  —  8/05  Ludlam BaY 14″  —re-caught 8/06 Rhode Is Sound 16″  —   8/05   Corson Inlet 14″ –            re-caught 9/06 Island Park,NY  17″—-7/05 Strathmere 13″  –re-caught   8/06 Shinnecock Bay,NY  17″  9/06 Corson Sound 15″  recaught   17″   8/07  20 miles off Jones Inlet,NY—-8/05  Ocean City 12″  —re-caught  8/07   Freeport,NY 17″— 9/05 Ludlam Bay 16″  -re-caught   9/07 Shinnecock ,NY 21″–  10/07 Ludlam Bay 17″ and 8/o6 Ludlam Bay15″  –re-caught by F/V Tamara Marie 2/08 in Hudson Canyon  17″ & 19″— 10/07 Ludlam Bay 15″   –re-caught 20 miles South Fire Is Inlet,NY 17″—-8/07  Corson Sound 15″  —re-caught 9 mi S Block Is RI on NMFS survey boat 17″… 6/07 ICW Ocean City 12″  –re-caught 6/08 Niantic,CT  14

I will stop here and pick up the balance of fluke recoveries later

JAN 18, 2012 summer flounder recoveries

This week I will begin covering Summer flounder (fluke) recovered tags.

I have tagged 6931 fluke and have recoveries of 644 or a 9.3% recovery rate.

Tagging began in 1990 as flounder were at an all time low .Generally speaking fluke are not as entertaining as Striped Bass as their movement is generally East to West but as you will see there is some movement while going East to West to the north and a few to south

07/91   13″ Ludlam Bay  recaught 9/91    25 miles off Atlantic City  13″—-    2  tagged in Ludlam Bay 07/93  1- recaught Hudson canyon 1/94  13″  the other recaught Captree Channel long Island 5/94  14″—— 7/94   14″ Ludlam Bay  recaught  Point Judith RI  6/95  16″—–  7/94  13 Corson Inlet  recaught Buzzards Bay,Ma  7/96  18″‘  out 25 months—-   7/93 13″   Ludlam Bay   recaught  Oregon Inlet NC  10/96   out 39 months–7/96  Ocean City ICW 12″   recaught  Bass River,Mass  18″  — 9/98  Strathmere  11″   recaught Baldwin,NY  5/00  16″

I will stop here today but pick up from 2000 later this week


Jan 14,2012 striped bass recoveries

This will be the final recap of my Striped bass recoveries and begins with 2006.

Bass tagged in Ludlam Bay 11/06 20″  re-caught 05/07 in Nantucket,Ma 21″, another tagged 10/05 25″  re-caught 6/07  Wellfleet,Ma  27″, 23″er tagged  ICW Strathmere at 24″ in 4/07 recaught 7/07 in Newburyport,MA, bass tagged 4/07  Ludlam Bay 23″  recaught Provincetown,Ma 8/07 24″, 35″er tagged  in Strathmere 11/05  re-caught  10/08 Montauk,NY  42″, 10/06 14″ bass tagged and re-caught  5/09 Hudson Ri Selkirk,NY 20“, 11/06  ICW Strathmere 29” re-caught Waterford Ct  32″  9/09, 8/09  26″bass tagged Ludlam Bay  and  Found in an oriental fish Market  Washington Canyon,Va.  11/07, 20″er Ludlam Bay re-caught Cherry Is Flats ,26″ bt Del Fish and Game,  5/05 Strathmere 20″  re-caught  05/10   31″ The Race ,Long Is ,NY,  10/08  27″ Strathmere, 10/10 re-caught  Morichies Inlet .NY   32″, 10/08 Strathmere  22″  recaught  Oregon Inlet ,NC   1/11  35”    10/08 Strathmere  24″  re-caught Fire island ,NY 31” and finally a bass tagged 9/02 Strathmere at 15″ recaught the same spot  10/09 at 25″  out for 85 months

[Read more…]


Stripers Forever members – The Stripers Forever 2011 Anglers Survey is complete.  We had excellent participation again with more than 1,000 surveys completed from up and down the coast.  This LINK will take you to a page on our website that has all the results of the survey, including a Word document with our commentary on the answers we received, an Excel spreadsheet that gives a summary of the responses to the survey questions on a state by state basis, and on Tab 2 gives all the angler comments that we received.  There are some very interesting statements included.  A third attachment graphs out the responses to several key questions about the fishery.  
Stripers Forever has done a press release on this information and will be sending it to all of the ASMFC decision makers.  We thank everyone for their willingness to participate and help document the anglers perception of the changes in the striped bass fishery.  


I will  cover in this report interesting catches up to 2005 of my tagged Striped bass returns . 2001 I retired and returned to Cape May county which allowed me to increase my days per year fishing as well as increase the yearly number tagged.Generally speaking the bulk of my tagging was in upper Cape May County between Townsends inlet and north of Corsons inlet to Ocean Airport.As noted in previous report I was begining to see a shift as to where the bass went after tagging and it continued as you will see

2001- 2004 resulted in no fish being recaught firther north than Mass. but we also saw an increase of fish returning to local waters or being caught in Del River ,Egg Harbor Ri.One interesting catch was a 15″ bass tagged behind Strathmere in 95  recaught  in aug 2003  aMonmouth Beach,NJ at 28″ ,another bass out 67 months . I was also beginning to see more tags returned from south of where they were originally caught in DE ,MD. The pattern in this time frame covered Mass to Md . One bass tagged at 14″ in ICW behind Ocean City  in 6/ 1998 was recaught  9/03 in approxmately same area of ICW and out for 62 months and 27″, Numerous fish were being recaught in same general area after being out for 1-2 years .This was a new pattern. 2nd bass tagged in 8/99 behind Strathmere at 19″ was re-caught in Townsend inlet 6/04 at 23″  58 months out.  A bass tagged 7/98 at 16″ in Strathemere was recaught  10/04 in Avalon at 28″  and  out 75 months It is interesting to note that this angler (RyanPetrick) had also caught a previous mentioned bass that was out for 58 months

2005 saw a return of some catches north of Mass.  One tagged behind Ocean City at 28″ in 10/03 was recaught in Portsmouth NH at 30″ in 7/05. Another tagged 5/05 at 21″ was recaught 2 months later in 7/05 in Wells .ME at 21″.Another was recaught in Maine from a tagged bass in 10/04 at 18″ and recaught in Portland ,ME in 7/05 at 19″. It now seemks like the normalpattern has returned as in addition to returns from north I’m seeing returns from South. 22″ bass tagged behind Strathmere at 24″ 10/02  recaught 1/05 Nags Head ,NC at 28″

I will stop here for now and pick up 2006 -2011 at a later date which probably will be after Jan 13th .

Anyone interested in a complete breakdown of all 371 re-caught Striped bass tags can e-mail me at and I can forward a file back



Over the next several weeks I will be providing some information on interesting re-captures of my tagged fish. Currently  I have 16,902 fished tagged in 35 species and first species covered will be Striped Bass .I have 5600 striped bass tagged and 371 returned.(6.6%) I have been tagging since 1991 with first 10 years while living in Indiana. While in Indiana I managed to find a way to return to Cape May County for the Spring and Fall run of Striped bass. And some years found them in mid-summer

Nov 1991 resulted in 3 -34″ bass caught in Cape May Rips being recovered in MA the following summer and another at Montauk NY clear indication at that time the bass were part of the Cheaspeake Bay spawning mass.

1992  tagged bass were recovered following summer once again in Ma and NY

1993  a slight change in patterns was noticed , while there still were 4 re-caught in MA and 1 in NY .A couple showed up in Tuckahoe river in 1994 and Somers point same year.Also one showed up in NH the following summer which was the furthers north re-caught to date  . 2 bass one caught in Nov93 and one caught Nov94 were re-captured by same angler consecutively in the Boston Harbor in 1995

1994-1996 there was a mixture of re-capture locations ranging from NY all the way to Maine but also we had 3 re-captured in the Delaware river up as far as Tacony Palmyra Bridge. Now with 5 years of tagging I had returns from every State from NC to Maine but was beginning to see more re-captured fish from local South Jersey rivers in addition to Delaware

1997-2000 resulted in a fairly even split from all States on East Coast BUT  an increase in those re-caught in NJ including  1 tagged behind Corsons Inlet at 13″ in 1994 being re-caught in Mas Landing at 27″ in 2000 ,bass was out 67 months .Another tagged behind Corsons in 1994   at 12″ was re-caught by Bucktail Willie  himself in 2001 at 27″ once again out 67 months .Clearly I am seeing a pattern change and strong evidence that good spawns are taking place in Delaware and local NJ rivers with healthy fish being re-caught. One added special find was by a Marine Biologist for ASMFC ,he found a tagged bass in a fish market in Maryland ,by using the  coded wire tag required by gill netters he tracked down the Gill netter and than tracked down my tag to American Littoral society

OK ,I’m stopping at this point and will pick up at a later date 2001-2011 following more research. Clearly I am witnessing a couple changing patterns but best of all seeing a growing population of locally spawned bass and given the reports coming out of Cheasapeake on disease and polution this is a welcome sign

FEEL FREE to comment or ask specific questions if you have any