Srfcast, what I mean by restrictive allotments is what we presently have in New York right now, 1 – minimum size 28” fish per person, per day, with the season being May 8th. thru December 15th. It’s hard to get any more restrictive then that without a total moratorium on the fish. I have no problem with this, as 1 fish per day is more then enough for the table, and catch and release is fun, after all, we are sportsman correct?
As to large fish, yes, 50#, 60#, and up fish are very scarce, but there are plenty of fish in the 20#, 30#, and 40# class. Above that and I consider them to be VERY large fish. I have caught, and know plenty of people that have caught these 20 – 40# class fish.
Fishing being what it is, an activity that requires a certain amount of skill, knowledge, and luck, to excel at, has left many people feeling that there are not many of these 20 – 40# class fish simply because they have not, nor do they know anyone who catches these fish. Even in the best of times we have seen, not many people catch the big fish. I would even venture to say that a very high % of people don’t catch any fish at all most of the time they go.
Historical data can be of tremendous value when trying to evaluate stocks and plan for the future, however, I don’t think we have ever seen such a resurgence in stocks as we are presently seeing right now. I have been Bass fishing for over 40 years, and have never seen the populations of fish the way they are today. It is not uncommon now to fish a few hours on a tide and catch, 25 –50 or more fish, many times, all legal size too. This was unheard of years ago. I think we are seeing something that combined with the allotments, will help to insure that we will improve the stocks of big fish in the future, but that’s just my humble opinion, I’m not in that line of work. Make no mistake though, there will probably never be great numbers of the big fish, that’s just the way it is, and there are 1001 reasons why, it’s survival of the fittest.
Just my $.02