Striped bass season is about to close this Saturday, but a lot of local fishermen are stuck with unused tags which represents money to them. It’s fairly serious because fishermen can get $20 to $30 for a striped bass, and if they have 100 tags left over, that is a significant amount of money.
Commercial fisherman in East Hampton need to have a striped bass permit which entitles them to a limited number of tags. These tags have to be fixed into the gills into the fish they catch in order for them to sell the fish legally. Each year the number of tags vary. What’s happened this striped bass season is that the striped bass have not really appeared due to the warm water and Superstorm Sandy, which has made their southward migration late.
“It’s not just hurricane Sandy that is disrupting the season. The water is unusually warm, just last week a couple of guys caught a 220 pound bluefin tuna right off of the beach. That’s a fish that does not like to come into the shallows near the beach, but it was chasing the squid. Normally this fish doesn’t come near shore because it doesn’t like cold water, but now the water is warmer. It’s very unusual,” said Arnold Leo, the secretary for the East Hampton Baymen’s Association.
The East Hampton Baymen’s Association is attempting to extend the striped bass season in order to solve the problem by reaching out to Governor Andrew Cuomo in the hopes that the season can be extended and also asking State Assemblyman Fred Thiele for help.
“I think that it’s a bit of a long shot, but it’s worth trying. Fred [Thiele] is also going to create a bill to amend the striped bass law and try to get it passed in order to make the closing date later and also is going to speak directly with the governor,” Mr. Leo added.