While the angling community continues to come under fire from the feds, there’s still plenty of fishing to do.
NOAA and its fisheries division have proposed that professional anglers pay the salaries of observers to ride along and document everything that goes on and everything that is caught. Charter captains already have to file a ton of paperwork regarding these things and have to spend most of their money on licenses and permits – along with boat expenses like mortgages, property taxes, equipment, fuel and on and on and on.
They currently are fighting NOAA over the proposal, which most say will all but end charter fishing.
We all remember the black sea bass fiasco.
Is the recreational industry next? Very well could be, especially the way the agency that controls all fishing regulations works.
Least the government forget that fishing brings more money into state and federal coffers than just about anything else.
It’s been an ongoing problem and it appears to be getting worse.
But while the fight continues, there are a few things to catch while the rest of the folks stay warm next to a fire while the diehards put food – albeit sometimes expensive – on the table.
I’m going to start with my roots – freshwater fishing – because most of that action doesn’t experience the same force and expenses forced on the saltwater community.
Yeah, it’s cold. But freshwater species like bass, crappie, bluegill and perch still like a bite to eat every now and then.
The motto for winter the freshwater gang is: “if you think you’re fishing slow, slow down.”
But once you find some of the species you are looking for, chances are good you’ll catch more than a couple.
With the Suffolk lakes, private ponds and wind tide rivers plentiful in the region, a few warmer days offer up great opportunities.
This is the time of year – especially after a couple of sunny, warmer days – for yellow perch (like the one in the picture) action in most freshwaters. Drifting with bobbers and live minnows often produces, although bottom fishing will also produce. Anglers also can expect white perch and crappie while looking for yellows.
Currently on the saltwater side, tuna fishing off the Outer Banks of North Carolina are providing some excellent action when the conditions are good for a trip out. Some tuna also are being caught off Virginia Beach.
Both states saw excellent action for bluefin tuna, which still show from time to time.
Wrecks and artificial reefs are producing tautog. Both can also yield a few flounder. Plentiful sea bass are out of season until May 15 with a special open season in February.
Just not into it?
Well, spend some time working on your boat and fishing tackle while you wait for things to heat up.
You can reach the rest of us on the water.
To read more of my work, go to: leetolliveroutdoors.com