Re: Twenty years from now?
Just got back from a good morning's surf fishing. We got on the beach about 4 AM and after a few mintues checking the nearby bars with our aquascanner, we found a small school of Appolofish harassing a pod of baitfish and a few Meggatarpin lurking down current.
We rigged up our surfguns and fired our moonlures upcurrent of the action. Several shots later, Therese was tight to one of the Meggatarpin I reeled in to give her space. Her surfgun was adequate for the job but it would be tough to keep that silversides inside our alotted surfspot. She held her own and manged to keep the big fish within the 110' of our surfspot. It's a good thing, with the new surfspot allocation being only 55' of beachfront per angler, they do allow husband/wife teams to double their alloted space. That rule has seen a lot more wives joining their spouses on the surfcoast. As she battled the Meggatarpin, we were surrounded on both sides by groups of two dozen or more fisheremen slowly stepping into our space.
The big fish make a last jump and run and then came onto the sand under pressure by my wife as the other anglers crowded into our space. Fortunately two robofishcops
arrived and made them move back.
Once we had released the meggatarpin unharmed and packed up our gear we got into our jetpacks and left for home, having met our release quota for the month. This was the first Meggatarpin we had taken in the last two years. They say these fish have been around since prehistoric times but that there are probably no more than 1,000 left along Florida's east coast. With catch and release fishing allowing each of the 30,000,000 florida anglers only two days/year to fish for them and a one fish allowance for releasing; it's doubtful we will ever catch another.
I guess we are lucky though. We heard last week that the ASMFC has just tightened up on the coastwise Striped Bass regulations. Each state gets 2 days per year per angler but fishing must be done by groups of 10 or more and that is 1 fish per group for each day allowed. Minimum size is now 52 inches and only handlines are allowed and no boat fishing either.
Good news is the NPS has opened all of the national seashores to fishing with a special permit which costs each fisherman $100 and allows him to enter a silent auction for the 2 one-day permits allowed in each national seashore. Rumer has it that the winning bids last year were over $50,000 each but, NPS will not discuss it.