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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This year certainly seems like an improvement over some of the past few years. I can recall yrs. in the 60's & 70's when the better Topsail piers would deck over 400 and sometimes over 500. They kept sheets of painted plywood lined off and each king was recorded with the date angler and weight. If it was caught on a sea hawk or jerk jigger or other lure they would write "plug" by or under the weight. Someone caught one in 72 or 73 off of Surf City Pier that got hit by a shark. What was left weighed 55 lbs. They used to catch a good many amberjacks, jacks, cobia and tarpon every year also. They had seperate boards for that group of species. Maybe we will see a return to those kind of years. The menhaden seem to be making a little progress and possibly the mullet also.
 

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Dunno, as long as those shrimp trawlers are allowed inshore,everything will be stressed in my opinion..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The shrimp trawlers have really done a lot to clean up their act. They were there in the same years they were catching 4 to 5 times as many kings. Back then it was common to avg. several times the amount of bycatch as they do now. They also hauled their nets less frequently.
Several years back the biologist got some shrimpers to use newly developed turtle excluders on their nets and the biologists pointed out that there was also less finfish bycatch with the turtle excluders. That was just enough to get the shrimpers to slowly start to address the issue of bycatch. Now the nets have features to further reduce the bycatch and their operating procedures have also improved.
The shrimpers lose when the bycatch is too high because not only is it extra labor but it beats up their shrimp. With the competion from foriegn shrimp they can't afford to lose quality.They check their try nets more frequently and if they are seeing too much bycatch they will haul in the big nets and move to where they think they can shrimp with less bycatch. It is a matter of survival now. They have to get the best price for their catch because of all the cheaper lower quality imported shrimp on the market.
Personally I think that you will catch more trout when the shrimpers are in close for the simple fact that the shrimp are in close. When the shrimpers are close to the beach USE SHRIMP. (But remember who is catching it.)
Bycatch isn't a good thing but at least it goes directly back into the food chain. Bigger fish like spanish, bluefish and larger fish feed on the bycatch as well as the shrimp in the area. Most of the bycatch are the small slower moving bottom fish such as spot, croaker, whiting and small flounder. A lot more of them make it back in alive nowdays.
I'm not trying to take sides but just recognize that the hard work by some biologists and other interested parties as well as the shrimpers cooperation and willingness to make somewhat expensive changes is paying off. For us and them from what I gather.
 

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Dunno, as long as those shrimp trawlers are allowed inshore,everything will be stressed in my opinion..
Sundrop, I agree with you. By catch from the shrimp trawlers is killing our fishery. They can yell "wall mart coolers" all they want to. A 4 ounce sinker and bottom rig will never do the damage that otter trawls do the bottom. I agree that bycatch has gotten better in the last few years. I don't want to run the trawlers out of business, they are entitled to make their living, and I respect them for it. It is not an easy job. Just don't try to convince me that people fishing from the piers and surf and even boats for a few weeks each a year catch as much as the netters do. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Make that 178 kings for SCP as of 10/16.....we had 10 kings today and 18 yesterday....3 guys alone limited out.....30 kings last week .....who knows whats going to happen the rest of the week....

I know someone who is tired of weighing and picturing guys with thier fish....means more work for me....


"Pier Witch"
 

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And congratulation on the three you personally caught yesterday! Her first time king fishing at that!
Ya holding out on us, PW?? C'mon, it's OK to brag a little! Sounds like you got to take a turn on the other end of the camera!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think she's afraid that they will put her picture in the paper or something. Not every day that a person gets al limit of kings on their first try. Sorta seems newsworthy to me. Somebody out ambush here with the camera and do a write up. I feel like the world got cheated out of a good story.;)
 

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PD - Actually it's over 220 now and counting!

Sinkerman - I have it from a reliable source that she called the local newspaper guy and told him she caught three kings on her first try. If you pick up a copy of next week's paper, you will probably see it (this week's paper is already laid out and gone to print so it's too late for this week).
 
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