Are Tough Times Ahead for the Northeast Saltwater Angler?
In years past, the Northeast saltwater angler relied mainly on bass and blues for much of the season. The bass were here by May and the blues followed right behind them. And both hung around right into early November. Nice. Then in the fall bonito and false albacore arrived, to spice things up bigtime. Yeah they are the icing on our cake. All-in-all a long season with a very nice mix of action.
Now best I remember bonito and false albacore were not really not part of our game in the 1980’s. I think I caught my first “albie” on the Vineyard around 1991? And we have had times when either bass or blues were in short supply, but I never saw a time when both of them simultaneously declined. If that happened, obviously, the bulk of the season would collapse, leaving only bonito and false albacore to fill in. And we all know the local availability of these two species varies greatly from year to year.We would be in serious trouble!
But frankly isn’t that pretty much what had the last two years? Striped bass and bluefish are in short supply. And spawning success, especially for striped bass, is very, very weak. So there is no clear recovery in sight. Think I’m talking through my hat? Could I be wrong? Sure. But take a moment and look at these charts. They paint a dim picture.