Steve

20 years ago, what happened to these??

28 posts in this topic

I came across this publication while cleaning up. What a hog!! What happened to these babies? Everyone has forgot about them, eh?

Seen any like this in the last few years?

Anyone know this guy?

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My brother pulled a small 14 or 15 inch trout in last year around this time.

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We used to catch those frequently in the fall. Wish they were still around...

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I think i read somewhere that it is tied to the lack of bait - some species have rebounded (which is good) but there isn't enough bait for all the fish any more (which is bad) so some lose the competition for bait....least that is one theory...

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My guess is the little ones got eaten by the big blues in the 80s which used to herd and run the trout up on the beach. Then the stripers came back and probably did not help the baby trouts cause any. Seems fish species run in cycles and maybe they will come back one day. Hopefully in my lifetime. Also never seen so many sharks so late as this year. Its a brutal ecosystem out there.

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Marine biologists say their numbers are down from natural mortality, and that mankind is having a very limited impact on them.

The rise of the striper coincided with the downfall of the weakfish.

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I enjoy looking back! Thanks Steve, Dose anyone know this guy?

Image007-01.jpg.392262d960f59df48fcc9925

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Looks like Flip Pallet.

But it's really Dave, right?

My pic looks like a member of our's, dunno' who though..

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Yeah, it would be nice to see them fish that size still in numbers!

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I saw more trout this year than I've seen in a long time....although not in the surf.....near the Assateague bridge. They were mostly in the 10-12 in. range with a few keepers and one that went 18in. Perhaps this is the beginning of a comeback?

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I miss those big tide runners to. We caught lots of them in the 70's and 80's; some up to 16lbs.

It seems like it is a combination of factors. Lots of the trout end up in commercial fishing nets in the Carolinas or Virginia before the have a chance to grow up. If the survive the winter they have to run the gauntlet of nets in the Chesapeak and Delaware bays. Some are by-catch and sometimes they are the primary target. For years I have been seeing small trout with net marks on them, especially in the Chesapeake. They were just small enough to squeeze through the gill nets down south. Competition, food, and climate changes all seem to have there effect on them.

In the late 60's the rock fish were declining, there were tons of kingfish around, and we started to see some of the first spike weakfish and bluefish over 5 lbs. It had been so long since the folks had seen gray trout or large bluefish that many of the surf fishers did not know what the were. By the 70's there were lots of large trout and bluefish, and the rock continued their decline. In the 80's we started to see floating gill nets everywhere in the bays during trout spawning season.

Hopefully they will come back, and they could really use a break from commercial fishing. Unfortunately they are one of the inshore species that is cheap and easy for commercial fishers to target. If they don't get eaten by bluefish, flounder, rockfish, or drum they can easily end up as bycatch in shad nets, pound nets, or shrimp nets.

Like rockfish, drum, and flounder the trout really deserves protected gamefish status.

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Well, perhaps we need to lock these guys out for a few years like the Rock were. But what happens when we do? Do they come back like gangbusters later on and eat all the small Blues or Kings? Do they decimate the crab population in the Bays?

The only way, it seems, is to stop fishing for everything and allow nature to fight it out. Of course, that won't and hopefully will never happen. We all love to fish.

Look at where the majority of Trout are being taken, commercial nets or recreational, and lock it down, close it out. I feel strongly it's as Jay states. I haven't heard of a large recreational catch in a long time.

It's hard to perfect a balance, even for nature. I doubt that mankind would be able to do it. A high number of one species ends up consuming the larger quantity of food and starving or forcing another species to relocate.

How about all the huge Blues we caught in years gone by?

I don't see them as a treasured commercial catch....

Are the Stripers eating the young in massive quantities?

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Steve, The big blue questions is a good one and the most important study that was ever done on them was lost in a fire or something. In the 1930 and 40's it was thought that the bluefish had been fished into extinction. There was a large commercial industry in the Northeast that decimated them. For years no one saw any bluefish and the few that were seen in the 60's were very small. When they started to come back most bluefish were under 3 lbs., and then something happened in the late 60's. No one is sure, but it is hypothesizes that the larger sized races of bluefish from Africa or South American that get up to 30 lbs. mixed in with our race of blue fish and within a few years we had lots of bluefish over 10lbs. Not long after that we had fish over 20lbs and that explosive growth many have been helped by a sand eel population explosion that happened about the same time. Initially everyone thought that the offshore bluefish schools and inshore schools were they same race of fish. Once again the commercial guys went after the inshore fish because it was cheaper; less fuel and time to fish for them. Since then the inshore race of bluefish has never really come back to levels they were at in the 80's. We now know that the inshore race and offshore bluefish races are not the same and that they have different feeding and spawning habits. We now have tons of blufish offshore and the inshore race has never totally recovered. A classic case of un-natural selection. Things seem to be improving and I have seen more choppers in the surf than I have in many years. Several years ago at AI I hooked what I thought was the mother of all rockfish and was suprised to see an 18 lb. bluefish. I had forgotten how hard these fish fight. They are the main reason I use shock leaders because their tail fins will wear through your running line like rough sand paper.

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The Atlantic Bluefish runs from the western shores of Africa along the Tropic of Cancer all the way east to the US. These fish are up to 40 pounds!!!

Yeah, you want a fight? Hook one of the fish from the 1970-1980's..

These suckers were 20 pound plus!

Pound for pound, nobody can argue about the fight from a Blue. If they do, then they haven't caught a REAL Blue....

Big Blues, big Trout......

Gone but not forgotten....

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Steve, I couldn't agree more.

A 40 lb. plus rock will give you a great fight, but a 20 lb. plus blue will kick your a$$!

We had a pretty good run of them late last year. Lets hope that their numbers continue to grow.

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I would have to argue that pound for pound the Redfish has it on all species we catch here in the surf.

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Dave, if you are speaking of a Red Drum, some of us rarely catch them and can't remember the fight. But I do remember the one early this month, a big hoss that fought like a ST.

:bunny:

But then again, I haven't latched onto a 50 lb Blue either! :D

It used to be normal to have a great fight from a big Blue, and once in awhile a big Trout.

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yeah but Steve, you caught that on a shore winch. Any "fish" that can fight like a 100+# sand tiger on 50# gear gets a thumbs up.

Gotta agree with CG here...Red Drum = Tuna from shore. And I haven't caught but a few.

Caught some blues close to 20# and one over way back when in the bay when I was 10-12 and they were a blast. Wish I would have tossed them back.

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I don't know, those skates can give a good fight. Especially when they bite your fingers when you are trying to get the hook out.

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There is not doubt that a large red drum will give you a harder pull, make much longer runs, and probably has greater endurance, but it is a different type of fight. I have not had a large red drum change direction in a heart-beat, take off as fast from a complete stop, or wrestle you the way a gorrilla bluefish will . A better comparison to a large drum might be the bluefish's distant cousin the amber jack, and since I have never caught a reef donkey from the beach it would be impossible to really make a fair comparison. If bluefish got 50 lbs I think there would be more converts. In 1988 I caught a 25 lb. blue on the North Beach at IR, and it gave me one of the toughest fights I have ever had in the surf. The most remarkable thing was that I hooked it in the last curling wave of the first slough and still made it over the outer bar on 25 lb test and about 8 lbs of drag. If it weren't for the jetty it probably would have taken me whole lot further down the beach. The Jack Crevalle is another cousin of the bluefish, and a few years ago some very large jack crevalles blitzed the point at Buxton. I watched as they busted up many a drum and cobia fisher's tackle including mine: lines snapped, reels smoked and even some rods broke. Now that is one tough critter. There were so fast, so strong, and changed direction so quickly that it was impossible to control them in close quarters. Drum are like beautiful athletes that give you everything they have. Blues and Jacks are like back room brawlers that are tough and unpredictable. They are all great game fish, and they are all great to catch. The fact that all the different types of game fish are unique is one of the things the keeps our sport interesting and challenging. You really never know what you are going to catch out there; maybe a big shark or cobia, and if it gets away then you really are left wondering.

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Jay good point on the Jacks. I have never caught one but one day years back Joel Love was just wetting his drum heaver line after respooling to set up for a drum bite that evening He just tossed a new shiny sinker w/ red bead against his empty hook 100 yds out and while winding in a fish grabbed tha bare hook and the fight was on. Thought it had to be a floating drifting snag of sorts but was a fish. He is big guy and with that heavy tackle he put the hammer down and that thing took him from the south side to the tip and then finally to the north lagoon. We still had no idea what the hell he had and we were all walking around saying who needs to use bait anymore. Well long story short he finally beached a monster Jack Crevalle. Apparently as he was retreiving his shiny new sinker and red bead bouncing on the bottom the Jack jumped on it. That was a fight I shall never forget and on drum tackle. Yep I stand corrected that was one fightin mother of a fish. Most big blues I catch up here are always in 50 degree water and I think they are just sluggish due to the temps. The big blues back in the 80s down in Buxton were a different class of fight than I catch up here in cold water. Got one skin mounted that was 40in and 22lbs in 81 which was a memorable fight indeed. Taxidermist wants to repaint it to the proper color with acryllics and airbrush as it has yellowed in 26 yrs

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my wish list probably includes the surf's meanest.

Cobia, Rooster, giant crevalle, and Tarpon.

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CG,

Good point on the fishing conditions as far as water temp. I would add that it also depends on the physical condition of the individual fish. In the spring we used to catch what we called racer blue fish. They were extremely skinny after their wintering season and while they were fast they did not have much weight to them. I think that we have all seen differences in how individual fish fight. I have caught rock fish that did not give me much of a battle, and then I have caught rock like the big ones we caught that extremely warm day in December that really gave me a real battle. That was over 10 years ago and I remember you and Eric came down to look at one of those fish. Each of those fish tried to take me over the bar at least three times. They also seemed to be smart. They would rest for a little while in the first slough and then use the back wash from a large wave to make a sprint for the bar.

That is one big blue fish and it was great that you were able to find someone who could mount it. Blue fish skin mounts are extremely challenging to make and that bad boy would look great with a new paint job. When you look at its tail you can see how it could wear through your line when it is laying across the fish's back.

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yeah but Steve, you caught that on a shore winch. Any "fish" that can fight like a 100+# sand tiger on 50# gear gets a thumbs up.

Hehe, actually, it was 80# gear with 100# running line! And let me tell you, it was screaming the line out. Oh by all means, that fish deserves a thumbs up, no doubt! It went a little left and a little right but kept trying for Portugal, three times. Had the head shakes like a Chark too.

I miss the aerials of a big Blue. I fished the mid CB and AI back in the 70's and 80's when they were around up to 40"+ or so. They were absolutely vicious on the line, would charge in, out, left and right. You would even get a few jumps out of 'em. A couple of the big ones on trolling gear would put you down hard and sore!

I just really respected the fight that critter had.

A neighbor is giving me some Bluefish today, ought to taste great! Same guy that catches the Pups and shares.

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I landed this guy last fall and I tell you I love fighting blues!

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