Stripers in The Surf @ The Point

wildcat3

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Thread starter #1
Why don’t the stripers show up in December and January along the Outer Banks and on the point like the used to. I remember when October and first parts of November were all about the drum and then when it winter came the stripers would work their way down south and be in the surf. Maybe they still make a run that far south and I just haven’t heard. It’s been several years since I fished Hatteras.
 

Wildlifer

Twelve Pointer
#4
I think the commercial bunker operations put a hurt on it. I remember being able to watch huge shoals work down the beach and just wait for them to come to me. The bait is slowly making a come back but its not like it was. They are still out there just not on the beach. I would also be interested to see water temp trends from then and now.
 

wildcat3

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Thread starter #5
I was wondering about water temps and weather too, if any of that played a part. It seems like in the past the bulk of the drum bite was over by this point in the fall also.
 

23mako

Six Pointer
#7
It is probably a combination of a lot of things including stupid regulations back in the day, over harvest of larger fish, higher water temps, and lack of forage food.
 

Justin

Old Mossy Horns
#8
It’s a mystery. The fat back still show up in droves in the late fall and winter. There just aren’t that many stripers left in the bay to migrate.
 

Justin

Old Mossy Horns
#11
They say the striper fishery in the Bay is a shell of what it used to be. I'm sure that has something to do it. Omega Protein is to thank imo.
Omega is a bitch, but there’s still a lot of fat back that come down that should have fish but don’t. The good news is most of the November and early December schools have big drum on them😬😬😬

That said, Omega has friends in the VA legislators pockets unfortunately. I’m all for commercial fishing but that’s a flat out raping.
 
#13
Omega is a bitch, but there’s still a lot of fat back that come down that should have fish but don’t. The good news is most of the November and early December schools have big drum on them😬😬😬

That said, Omega has friends in the VA legislators pockets unfortunately. I’m all for commercial fishing but that’s a flat out raping.
They straight up ignored overwhelming public opinion on new menhade managment plan last year. They took a public vote that and it was like over 90% in favor of new management plan. Politicians didn't care. The public isn't making them rich.
 
#15
I took a look at a fairly recent Omega Protein Shareholders report (you can find it online).
There are maps for their set up locations for netting operations from Maine to NC for netting menhaden.
I was curious why the Point at NC had no set ups shown on that map. I thought for a minute - maybe they don't want to conflict with sport fishing. Right.........
Then I saw the plans to expand their Reedville VA operations in NC in the coming years.

You can also find some great creative PR work by Omega on a brochure online...extolling the virtues of their community involvement and sensitivity to the environment. They mention "sustainability", but asides from proclaiming they follow state/fed regs....(what good are they - if the legislators are lobbied by the industry interests and the attempt to reduce the half billion lbs annual haul by 50% is reduced to 10 %) I didn't see anything about protecting the resource for the future...but I saw a lot about "maximizing their catch" on their shareholders report.
I think its well and fine that Omega provides some jobs (Q:how many are seasonal/temporary and given out on H2B visas for foreign workers), contributes to the local community (not sure to what extent of their profit), runs a clean business, and follows regulations, but there needs to be some resource management responsibility. Otherwise they could eventually put themselves out of business if they deplete the resource. Sport fishing folks like us will be high and dry before then.
 

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23mako

Six Pointer
#16
Omega Protein is owned by Cooke Aquaculture who is trying to get rules changed in NC to allow out of state (and foreign I might add) corporations to be able to lease bottom and water column (much larger than currently is allowed I believe up to 300 acres from 50 currently) for large shellfish farms. I believe they already have rules in place for fish to be raised in open water pens (despite their relatively poor track record of doing this in other states/countries) in NC waters. They'd ideally like to move more menhaden operations to NC so they have feed for their pen raised fish (at least that is my understanding).

This article gives a good summary of the whole fiasco: https://outerbanksvoice.com/2018/06/14/commentary-questions-abound-with-industrial-oyster-farm-bill/
 
#19
After reading this article and the comments which follow my butt is jacked even further up on my shoulders.

When the cost to register a boat of 11' to 27' was boosted to almost triple it's previous level I was informed that the additional monies generated were to go to dredging the navigation channels so the commercial and charter fleets could get out to sea. That information immediately peeved me no end since I derive little to no benefit from the commercial operations even though the benefit to those fishermen and the State of NC no doubt does a lot of good, but then to read that the channel is closing up and can't be dredged leads me to wonder what the millions of dollars generated have been used for. Are they dredging or are they not, and if not, why not? When the new bridge is open will the fees be reduced? Hell no, and no doubt will eventually be increased. Why do I have to pay such usurious fees to register an 11' paddle boat just because I want to put a trolling motor on it to fish the ponds and streams of the state?
 
#20
I would imagine milder winter water temps play a role in stripers not coming south (as far as Cape Lookout prior to 2008) but Omega Protein weighs heavily too. Good reading on this topic is a book "The Most Important Fish in the Sea" available in many NC public libraries.
 
#21
According to all the global warming alarmists, the ocean's not risen more than a degree, so I don't think it's warmer temps that have kept them away...the answer my friends is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind. This has been boiling my blood since moving to NC not so many years ago. It all has to do with water quality, fishing pressure and forage, not temps.

Just ask California where their stripers have gone. They won't tell you it's temperature...oh wait...
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesal...en-sue-big-oil-for-its-role-in-climate-change

If they win can residents of California sue the state for the worst city planning, horrible water quality issues and water usage, which invariably killed off the striped bass populations in the Sacramento River System. I would like to think so.
 

1SHOT1KILL

Old Mossy Horns
#22
IMO, the reason you don't see stripers at the point in any numbers is because there just aren't the stripers that there should be these days. They aren't in the Chesapeake Bay like they have been in years and decades past. Some even say that the situation is worse than it ever has been in the Chesapeake Bay.

The 2 major reason they say are the devastating impact of the Menhaden fisheries (Omega) and over fishing by the commercial and recreational fisherman. I recall about 6-8 years ago seeing articles and photos of trawlers off the NC and VA coast (between Oregon Inlet and Chesapeake Bay) dumping 10's of thousands of dead small stripers overboard from their nets. All of this has taken an accumulative toll on the striper fishery in the mid-Atlantic region.
 

30/06

Twelve Pointer
#23
I'm sure a lot of reasons. Temp, bait, #'s of big fish, etc. Just like the tuna fishing out of Morehead, the YFT fishing was pretty much extinct for years and then this past year they're back in good numbers. Why? Who knows!
 
#24
Biggest Striper I ever caught was on the South point of Ocracoke on Thanksgiving Weekend. It sure was a fun fight. I wish they would still venture south again....
 
#25
IMO, the reason you don't see stripers at the point in any numbers is because there just aren't the stripers that there should be these days. They aren't in the Chesapeake Bay like they have been in years and decades past. Some even say that the situation is worse than it ever has been in the Chesapeake Bay.

The 2 major reason they say are the devastating impact of the Menhaden fisheries (Omega) and over fishing by the commercial and recreational fisherman. I recall about 6-8 years ago seeing articles and photos of trawlers off the NC and VA coast (between Oregon Inlet and Chesapeake Bay) dumping 10's of thousands of dead small stripers overboard from their nets. All of this has taken an accumulative toll on the striper fishery in the mid-Atlantic region.
That's right they killed way to many. The Rec. And charter fleet hammered the big female's too. Trawlers were only allowed so many. But like you said the dead discards was sickening. Omega murdered the menhaden that sure did not help.