• At some point over the next few days NC Hunt and Fish will be migrating to a new server. We are not changing our hosting provider, but we are changing machines within that provider. The reason is that an external vendor, cPanel, has increased the price of their software and we need to migrate to a different control panel. When the migration occurs, the site will be unavailable and it will remain unavailable until the DNS servers are populated with the new IP address. This could take a day, but usually happens overnight. Once the site goes down you should clear your cookies and cache in your browser so you no longer attempt to connect to an old instance. Instructions will be posted on the old server so people who are stuck there will know how to find the new server.

This may shock some people but....

23mako

Ten Pointer
Flounder, bluefish, red drum, black drum and sheepshead.

But it has impacted all landings in those areas because most of those guys are doing something else now so they're not there to fish small mesh either.
Thanks for the info.
 

longrifle

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Pamlico County use to thrive on commercial fishing, most of the county's population was involved in one way or another. They never got rich from it but most of the families in the county relied on it. These days most of the county's population has to leave to find work. That's been the case for decades.

As sort of an unofficial poll today I asked all of my friends in the County how many people, of all the ones they knew, were still actively working on the water. Grand total to this point: 3. I know all three of them and none of them pul trawls anymore, they run crab pots.

One's wife is a sweetheart, I've known her since we were kids, and she's owned and operated a little one chair hair salon since our high school days. Her husband doesn't sell directly off the boat to a wholesaler because what blue crabs are bringing at the dock hardly makes it worth his time. Instead they have a big building out behind their house filled with saltwater tanks. The catch goes into the tanks and when they molt and become softshells they sell them to local restaurants and friends. That's the only way they can make a decent living off of the water these days.....

So my question is this: if all the commercial shrimpers in THIS county...and I suspect many other counties along the coast as well... have either left the business or are no longer trawling, who is to blame for this perceived shortage of game fish? Do a half dozen large trawlers....operating within the strictest guidelines in our history in what few areas are now not off limits to shrimping....do more damage than say....the many hundreds if not thousands of small vessels in the past did when you could shrimp anywhere and everywhere including the creeks?
 

wanchese

Ten Pointer
Pamlico County use to thrive on commercial fishing, most of the county's population was involved in one way or another. They never got rich from it but most of the families in the county relied on it. These days most of the county's population has to leave to find work. That's been the case for decades.

As sort of an unofficial poll today I asked all of my friends in the County how many people, of all the ones they knew, were still actively working on the water. Grand total to this point: 3. I know all three of them and none of them pul trawls anymore, they run crab pots.

One's wife is a sweetheart, I've known her since we were kids, and she's owned and operated a little one chair hair salon since our high school days. Her husband doesn't sell directly off the boat to a wholesaler because what blue crabs are bringing at the dock hardly makes it worth his time. Instead they have a big building out behind their house filled with saltwater tanks. The catch goes into the tanks and when they molt and become softshells they sell them to local restaurants and friends. That's the only way they can make a decent living off of the water these days.....


So my question is this: if all the commercial shrimpers in THIS county...and I suspect many other counties along the coast as well... have either left the business or are no longer trawling, who is to blame for this perceived shortage of game fish? Do a half dozen large trawlers....operating within the strictest guidelines in our history in what few areas are now not off limits to shrimping....do more damage than say....the many hundreds if not thousands of small vessels in the past did when you could shrimp anywhere and everywhere including the creeks?
There's no shortage of shrimpers up here, some small boats but a lot of boats 30' to 45' and a lot of bigger ones in the Pamlico.


As to Pamlico County, there's a bunch of shrimp boats working in Pamlico Sound that come from there.
 

kwag

Button Buck
Do a half dozen large trawlers....operating within the strictest guidelines in our history in what few areas are now not off limits to shrimping....do more damage than say....the many hundreds if not thousands of small vessels in the past did when you could shrimp anywhere and everywhere including the creeks?

I live in Jamestown (Guilford county) and get to the coast to fish 6-9 times a year and never seem to catch as much as I would like, but that’s mostly to my skill level. I do enjoy reading these threads though! I have especially enjoyed a particular thread on waterman that discusses the effort of trawling. Granted that website is tilted towards the conservation side but this thread shares some interesting information. Particularly the size of some of these trawlers!


Good read.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Mr.Gadget

Old Mossy Horns
I am serious but I admit I am no salt water fisherman. I looked at the chart just out of curiosity and saw dolphins. I didn’t realize that was a thing. My bad if that is basic knowledge or it i read it wrong......no malice intentions here.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Just wonder....
How old are you and do you ever get out to eat seafood.
 

23mako

Ten Pointer
Pamlico County use to thrive on commercial fishing, most of the county's population was involved in one way or another. They never got rich from it but most of the families in the county relied on it. These days most of the county's population has to leave to find work. That's been the case for decades.

As sort of an unofficial poll today I asked all of my friends in the County how many people, of all the ones they knew, were still actively working on the water. Grand total to this point: 3. I know all three of them and none of them pul trawls anymore, they run crab pots.

One's wife is a sweetheart, I've known her since we were kids, and she's owned and operated a little one chair hair salon since our high school days. Her husband doesn't sell directly off the boat to a wholesaler because what blue crabs are bringing at the dock hardly makes it worth his time. Instead they have a big building out behind their house filled with saltwater tanks. The catch goes into the tanks and when they molt and become softshells they sell them to local restaurants and friends. That's the only way they can make a decent living off of the water these days.....

So my question is this: if all the commercial shrimpers in THIS county...and I suspect many other counties along the coast as well... have either left the business or are no longer trawling, who is to blame for this perceived shortage of game fish? Do a half dozen large trawlers....operating within the strictest guidelines in our history in what few areas are now not off limits to shrimping....do more damage than say....the many hundreds if not thousands of small vessels in the past did when you could shrimp anywhere and everywhere including the creeks?
Why did so many people stop commercial fishing? Do you think that the tens of millions of pounds of spot, croaker, and weakfish caught directly and as bycatch by the commercial sector hasn't had a detrimental affect on the current populations of those fish?
 

longrifle

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
The response I got when I asked that question was that they'd been starved out over the past 30 years because of the ever increasing hoops they had to jump through. Now if any part of that is true, and some of it has to be, exactly just how long do you think it takes that many people NOT affecting the resource for it to recover? They use to allow trawling in creeks and anywhere else they could make a turn. That stopped decades ago, and according to the article, only 15-20% of inland waters are being trawled and the mandated 40% reduction in bycatch has actually been surpassed. So someone has to ask the questions: with all those improvements/restrictions working for the betterment of the resource has it truly not recovered or are there now other factors adversely affecting it? Or maybe, just maybe, we're being handed a line ourselves....

The point I took away from of the article was something I knew all along: lol, some people just suck at fishing! They won't get up early enough or often enough to be on the water when the bite is most likely prime, they don't have the knowledge or ability to find the fish when they ARE on the water, or the patience to wait for the bite when they do. Heck, I'm sometimes guilty of some of those myself! Whose fault is that?

I'm thinking some of those people should take up tennis or golf or something.......
 

redbow

Ten Pointer
Pamlico County use to thrive on commercial fishing, most of the county's population was involved in one way or another. They never got rich from it but most of the families in the county relied on it. These days most of the county's population has to leave to find work. That's been the case for decades.

As sort of an unofficial poll today I asked all of my friends in the County how many people, of all the ones they knew, were still actively working on the water. Grand total to this point: 3. I know all three of them and none of them pul trawls anymore, they run crab pots.

One's wife is a sweetheart, I've known her since we were kids, and she's owned and operated a little one chair hair salon since our high school days. Her husband doesn't sell directly off the boat to a wholesaler because what blue crabs are bringing at the dock hardly makes it worth his time. Instead they have a big building out behind their house filled with saltwater tanks. The catch goes into the tanks and when they molt and become softshells they sell them to local restaurants and friends. That's the only way they can make a decent living off of the water these days.....

So my question is this: if all the commercial shrimpers in THIS county...and I suspect many other counties along the coast as well... have either left the business or are no longer trawling, who is to blame for this perceived shortage of game fish? Do a half dozen large trawlers....operating within the strictest guidelines in our history in what few areas are now not off limits to shrimping....do more damage than say....the many hundreds if not thousands of small vessels in the past did when you could shrimp anywhere and everywhere including the creeks?
They over harvested in the past, abused the resource because of their greed. They (your "friends") made their bed, now they're laying in it. Very, very simple.
 

kwag

Button Buck
They over harvested in the past, abused the resource because of their greed. They (your "friends") made their bed, now they're laying in it. Very, very simple.
Well I think a few corporations have taken advantage of the situation.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

longrifle

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Laughing. They've made this bed huh? All by themselves and no one else even handled the sheets. You're not looking for a solution, you're looking for a scapegoat.
 

kwag

Button Buck
You are the type of dude that keeps us from finding an amicable solution that keeps both sides "in business".
I would be ecstatic to find a solution to preserve the occupation! Let’s limit it to North Carolina residents and companies though. Can we be a little protectionist?


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darenative

Ten Pointer
I would be ecstatic to find a solution to preserve the occupation! Let’s limit it to North Carolina residents and companies though. Can we be a little protectionist?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
As much as i' like to agree with ya, iirc, it violates the interstate commerce act...iirc
 

longrifle

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
These guys have to migrate with the catch, if they didn't they couldn't survive. Their boats(from out of state, fishing in our waters) sell to our wholesalers, ours sell to theirs when the situation is reversed...
 

23mako

Ten Pointer
The response I got when I asked that question was that they'd been starved out over the past 30 years because of the ever increasing hoops they had to jump through. Now if any part of that is true, and some of it has to be, exactly just how long do you think it takes that many people NOT affecting the resource for it to recover? They use to allow trawling in creeks and anywhere else they could make a turn. That stopped decades ago, and according to the article, only 15-20% of inland waters are being trawled and the mandated 40% reduction in bycatch has actually been surpassed. So someone has to ask the questions: with all those improvements/restrictions working for the betterment of the resource has it truly not recovered or are there now other factors adversely affecting it? Or maybe, just maybe, we're being handed a line ourselves....

The point I took away from of the article was something I knew all along: lol, some people just suck at fishing! They won't get up early enough or often enough to be on the water when the bite is most likely prime, they don't have the knowledge or ability to find the fish when they ARE on the water, or the patience to wait for the bite when they do. Heck, I'm sometimes guilty of some of those myself! Whose fault is that?

I'm thinking some of those people should take up tennis or golf or something.......
I think with certain species it takes a very long time for them to recover. The newfoundland cod fishery still hasn't recovered after an essential moratorium since the early 90s.

From 1980-2016 the commercial harvest of croaker, weakfish, and spot was the following:

  • Croaker: 292,108,808 lbs
  • Weakfish: 184,261,953 lbs
  • Spot: 88,342,090 lbs
This doesn't include any bycatch numbers either and during that same time period the total shrimp harvest was 260,595,448 lbs

Do you really think that taking out that much biomass won't have long term effects on the total population of those species? Fish only spawn during certain times of the year, and coupled with natural mortality, most likely don't replenish as fast as they are removed.

I don't think those species are close to being recovered at all. That is based on my personal observations and stock status reports. Back in the day about 80% of my fishing was focused on those three species. I cannot help but draw a correlation between these largest numbers of removals on these 3 species over decades has had, and continues to have a detrimental affect.

I completely understand people bitching about not catching fish and only going fishing for a few hours and jawing and playing loud music on their boat etc etc. It is frustrating to hear that when you know they haven't put in the time to catch fish I agree with you.

At the end of the day we all want a healthy fishery. It is good to have these discussions and I appreciate hearing your thoughts.
 

longrifle

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Get the big draggers out of the sound. Lower the headrope limits. That's where i'd start.

Now lets hear your suggestions that keeps both sides up and fishing.
I'd look at those. I'd also like to see stricter policing of sewage, pesticide, and herbicide runoff into our estuaries from both cities up the line and from the massive amount of encroachment into the wetlands.
 

sky hawk

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I'd look at those. I'd also like to see stricter policing of sewage, pesticide, and herbicide runoff into our estuaries from both cities up the line and from the massive amount of encroachment into the wetlands.
I think the problem with that is those issues span many agencies at multiple different levels of government. The DMF can recommend fish quotas but they can’t do much for the rest of that. NCDEQ can set regulations for what’s under their purview but then you have DOT, NCDA&CS, etc. and that’s just at one level. Each organization at each level has to make and enforce the regulations that it is responsible for. We can say that we need to make those changes on all fronts, but they have to be addressed individually.

To do that effectively, we also need to know what exactly is causing the problem. We can’t just sling blame at everything that sounds bad. Is it herbicides causing the problem? Is it pesticides? Which ones? What are they causing? How do we know? You can’t fight a battle if you’re guessing at who the enemy is.
 

longrifle

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I understand the logic sky hawk. I also understand that various agencies have to be involved and getting ANY of them on the same page is like pulling hen's teeth...

This is starting to sound more and more like a gun control discussion. We can't solve the root problems because they're so many, so varied, and it would take a ridiculous level of inter-agency cooperation.....so let's just regulate the crap out of the ones we CAN see....
 

Roanoke

Six Pointer
How good the fishing was? We have been pounding the founder this year. Limits every day. All depends on where you fish. Several crabbers have been getting a good amount of keepers in their pots. That is saying something. People are not seeing as many when they go gigging at night. Much of that has to do with pressure. Gigging has gotten popular with bow fishermen. I see tons of camo boats rigged out with big lights. Many from the western part of the state. We see people gigging most every night behind the house. Fish learn to stay away from those lights.

I think there are only 1400 pound netters left in NC. Six years ago there were 4,300. NC has a lot of water and people want to eat native flounder. Most of my friends are only rigging out half of their pound nets this year. They are expensive to rig and people are tired of being regulated to death.

Guess the goal is for everyone on the water to work for the government. Hopefully the Park Service, NC Ferry Department and Cherry Point will have more jobs in the near future. People need to spend some time on the water before they go making assumptions.
 
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Tipmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
The exact same crap happened to the commercial gill net fishermen in Florida in the 1980s. At that time it was mackerel and kingfish. The rec harvest DWARFED the commercial harvest every year. Why? Because commercial only had a handful of months out of the year when they could fish. Rec had all year long. There were also several thousand more rec fishermen per commercial. And those rec fishermen caught all sizes of fish. Whatever would bite the line. And lastly, rec could follow the fish wherever they went. Didn't matter how deep the water was, or how many sharks were in the area.

The rec fishermen also had the government lobby. It was clear to everyone involved what was happening and why and how it would all end. Those bastards litigated and legislated commercial fishing out of existence for their own selfish reasons. Had absolutely NOTHING to do with fish stocks or bycatch. Funny those damn hypocrites never went after the SHRIMPING industry.
 
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longrifle

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Look y'all, I'm not trying to be some big champion for the Comms but I've seen both sides of this BS...
I came across this post this morning. It's a bit long but so are the days out there and it's about as accurate as it gets.

So, you wanna be a fisherman?
The sun pounds your back on the deck as you work as fast as you can to return any by-catch back to its rightful place in the water. You respect the sacrifice that the ocean makes for your livelihood, you are thankful for it, and You want anything caught unintentionally to see another day. Someone on the internet, sitting at home in the AC comments that you are “violating the ocean life”. Their fridge is full of foreign farm-raised seafood. So, you wanna be a fisherman?

The work is exhausting and monotonous. Your hands hurt, your back aches and your skin is covered in scales and grease. The wind picked up from the southwest today, and the boat pitches up and down. You might feel a little queasy, but there is more work to be done. A wave comes over the rail and soaks you from head to toe as you haul in the nets. Capt says y’all will be side-to for a little bit, you zip up your rain gear because there are shrimp to pick up. So, you wanna be a fisherman?

Your crew has been working hard, but you haven’t broken even yet. You’re listening to the other captains around you, no one is having a lot of luck. You know that you and your crew both have bills to pay this month, but the shrimp just aren’t where you thought they would be. You’ll watch your fish finder, pay attention to the radar and try another spot. You hear over the radio that fuel went up and the price of shrimp dropped again. So, you wanna be a fisherman?

5am. Time to pull the anchor and get the day started. You’ve been out for 6 days straight now and only 2 bins are filled, mostly 30s. You stay hopeful and work every drag with the rest of the crew. Had to take time to grease the winch today, Sharks ate a few holes in the nets that need mending. Something always needs fixing, it’s just finding something more scarce than shrimp right now; money and time. The boat keeps moving, “we’ll drag tonight boys” the captain says. You need a little rest but you would forego any for a big haul of at least 26s. So, you wanna be a fisherman?

You get a little phone service to talk to your family. You get to hear about another ball game you didn’t get to see. You are glad that last trip was a good one so you could afford the uniform, your son shows a lot of promise on the field. You’re proud, you’ll try to make a game soon. You talk to your youngest, They tell you they wrote about you for school because they want to work on a boat just like you when they grow up. You have to say goodbye because it’s time to work. There is a thin pink line separating the sky and the water. The sun starts to come up. It’s beautiful. It inches higher in the sky, and light hits every corner of the water around you. The wind blows, the dolphins swim, the doors sway with the waves. What a magnificent office view you are blessed with. God reminds you that you always wanted to be a fisherman.
Griffin Hewett
 

23mako

Ten Pointer
Get the big draggers out of the sound. Lower the headrope limits. That's where i'd start.

Now lets hear your suggestions that keeps both sides up and fishing.
I also think lower headrope limits inside the inlets would help. Here is what Louisiana regs are in their designated internal waters which could be a starting point: "Regulations permit one trawl measuring 50 feet long or less along the cork line and 66 feet long or less along the lead line; two trawls not exceeding 25 feet each along the cork line and 33 feet along the lead line, with trawl doors no more than 8 feet long and 43 inches high; OR two trawls not exceeding 25 feet each along the cork line and 33 feet along the lead line, with no more than two outer trawl doors no larger than 8 feet long and 43 inches high and no more than two inner sled doors. Each vessel may also pull a test trawl.*"

I think there should me a minimum size and creel limit for croaker. I think there should also be a creel limit for spot.

But we both know that changing the current rules for inside trawling have a snow balls chance in hell of getting changed.
 
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