I got a question from a board member who stated, how do the tighter blackfish limits effect him while he is on a party boat. Thats a good question.
First the regulations effect all fishing off the state of New Jersey to three miles off the beach. What this means is that the rule effects all inshore fishing for blackfishing during the late spring, and early fall season.
Second is that party boats are categorized and must obey recreational limits for all species unless specifically noted, (such as striped bass).
Now, if you are on a party boat, that stops and fishes offshore first then comes inshore to fish some wrecks, can the person have more then 4 fish in his possession during the spring, or 1 fish during the fall till Nov. 14?
As far as i know and understand the law, while fishing in ANY STATES waters, you must obey that states possession limits! Let me repeat, when you fish that states waters, no matter if the fish are caught in another states waters, or in federal waters, you must obey the limit on that given species.
So where does that leave the fishermen on a party boat that is blackfishing especially in the early fall when fishing spots off of Sandy Hook, the Highlands, and Sea Bright. Or when fishing the inshore portions of the Sandy Hook reef? I really do not know what to tell you after you catch your 1st keeper blackfish on a early fall blackfish trip.
Someone mentioned on another thread about culling fish throughout the day, and then choosing what ever size fish you want for dinner. This happens to be impratical on a party boat, especially a crowded one, which usually happens on the weekends. Fish handling is stressful to a fish, and 'culling' leads to tossing back fish that are sometimes to far gone to survive once tossed back.
I thought i would hear more protest about these limits, but i guess for many it has not sunk in how restrictive these limits are. Just be aware of this when you are fishing off New Jersey waters for blackfish this year.
EC NEWELL MAN*
(This post edited by EC NEWELL MAN on 03/12/2003)