The songbirds are coming back, and the trees and bushes have buds on them. Lots of freshwater species are becoming more and more active.
But you’re a saltwater angler and also want to take advantage of some of these nicer days that will eventually foster in the spring. There’s plenty to catch, but there are a few things getting in your way.
Mainly federal and regional regulations.
Anglers working coastal wrecks for tautog and the occasional flounder are finding massive numbers of seabass. Trouble is, the seabass season is closed because of an over-catch last year and reduced numbers ordered for this year (but there’s no shortage of seabass along the Virginia coast).
The waters off North Carolina and Virginia are holding good numbers of bluefin tuna…
Oh, season just closed there as well. Too many fish being caught.
Tilefish and other deep-water bottom dwellers are showing in good numbers offshore, but the number of fish you can keep hardly makes the trips worth it.
In a nutshell, these are non-issues around these parts. Stocks here are healthy, says the multitude of anglers who work the waters.
But because of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission – which clearly is controlled by northeastern states (where there are some population problems for some of the same species) – the rope continues to get tightened around the rods and reels of anglers here.
There are plenty of things wrong with this situation, but fixing them causes organization to a fault, and a ton of money. Until those two things come together in a massive show of unity, expect more of the same.
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