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I'm wondering if decline also had something to do with an effort shift, at least in the NY Bight Throughout the 70s and at least part of the 80s, by December, the NY Bight recreational fleet had switched to whiting. "Bottom Fishing" as it was commonly known, was a mixed bag of porgies, seabass, blackfish and ling. In the Bight, I recall Tog was more of a transitional fishery that got anglers through the fall until the whiting arrived (and cod).
Oldtimers out there...what kind of fleet was on 17 fathoms in Dec-Jan soaking crabs? Anything like what we saw build in the late 80s and 90s? Other aspects of effort shift, you'll note that the long range seabass trips didnt exist years ago. The thought of going 75 miles for seabass would have been had all the fish you wanted at Ambrose or Scotland. Well. I'm suer some folks think I'm making this up, I might as well be telling you that you could get a bucket of whiting by just walking the beaches at night to pick up fish that got beached.

(Yeah the pots are to blame for a big part of it, but this fishery has had to deal with that, plus the effort shift, plus a glowing clan of legal and illegal pinhookers chasing bigger and bigger bucks)

This message was edited by johnP on 1-30-02 @ 10:58 PM
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