Fisheries Come and Go For a time now I’ve been getting skunked, coming up “snake eyes”. Not seeing reds cruising the sandbar, not seeing them “tail”, not even spooking them in the sand holes as I pole the flat. Oh well, fisheries come and go.
Over the years I’ve seen it happen many time. A fishery can be red hot and then without warning wane and possibly disappear. When I used to fish in Long Island Sound, big bluefish were chewing the place up in the late 1980’s. Even a 15 pound blue wasn’t considered special. Then suddenly in 1993, bang they disappeared. Ouch. Weakfish started showing up in New Haven Harbor around 2000. Wow. We hadn’t seen them in decades. By 2004 they were gone. Out on Martha’s Vineyard, the spring striped bass fishery was fabulous in the 1990’s. I mean legendary. Crazy good. Man I’ll never forget it. But it shrunk like a picked balloon in 2003.
Exactly what causes these collapses is up for grabs. It might be population cycles. Successful reproduction requires certain conditions. Weather patterns can screw that up. Or it might be the lack of proper forage. No food no growth. And it might be us! That’s right angling pressure, regulations and fisheries management play a big role too. I’m just hoping the reds return to my neighborhood soon.