1. Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 38,500+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 473,000+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 5,500+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

striped bass

Discussion in 'Fish, Photos and Regulations' started by moshup, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. moshup

    moshup New Member

    striper hunting in the north east
    i am a new member to this site and would love any information on who to contact concerning fishing regulations in massachusetts. i have spoken with members of the division of marine fisheries several times but made no or little progress. specifically, i have been trying to get lawmakers in massachusetts to consider the idea of allowing people in state waters to spear striped bass. rhode island has allowed the spearing of bass for many years. i have watched the species come back from the brink and people seem to be very hesitant to allow the spearing of this fish. our waters seem to be over run with stripers. on any given dive i usually encounter 100 + bass to every 1 tautog. why is this fish stiill coveted by the hook and line guys. i know that a lot has to do with the economy and tourist/sportfishing dollars. a person off the street can purchase a commercial license that allows one to harvest up to 30 fish a day for an initial fee of $65. recreational fisherman are allowed two fish a day above 32 inches. the lawmakers seem to be so hung up on the size issue that they wont even look at spearing as an option. the argument is that spearfisherman cant measure a fish before he/she shoots. again, it is really frustrating to encounter such a prolific species on every dive and to know that this species is reserved for the rod and reel guys. why not allow one of the most selective forms of fishing? we all know the mortality rates of released fish caught by hook and line. does any one have any advice for me in how to start a dialogue with lawmakers? has anybody experienced any luck with different species in different states? happy hunting to all!
  2. kale

    kale New Member

    Same bs here in California, although I don't see tons of them. I have seen some very big ones. They are not native to CA and damage the native salmon. I hope we get it changed, I can't wait to spear one. Your experience should be helpful to me so please share more.
  3. moshup

    moshup New Member

    i forgot that stripers were introduced to the west coast. here in south eastern massachusetts we do not have a wide variety of fish species to hunt. our most prevalent fish that is "spearable" is the tautog and they are not much of a challenge. i'll never forget the dive that i made last summer and encountered a school of 50 + lb bass. scared the crap out of me they were so big. i will literally encounter 100 to 200 stripers per outing and every time i ask myself the same question "why are we not allowed to spear these fish". striped bass have become a highly coveted species due to their successful recovery. there is even a group out here that wants to make the striped bass a recreational rod and reel species only. i just dont understand the mentality of those who want to claim a fish for their own use. these fish should be properly managed and should be available to different categories of sportsman. ive even proposed the idea of 1 fish a week but the state reps and senators wont even hear the case. happy hunting out there in cali!
  4. kale

    kale New Member

    Freshwater spearing is illegal in CA. I suspect the idea behind it is that it would be a lot easier to spear salmon in freshwater while spawning, and the authorities would have a hard time keeping track of where anandromous fish were being taken. Unfortunately, stripers are grouped with the salmon and steelhead in that same category. My dream would be to have stripers opened up for ocean only spearing here. Thus avoiding conflict with the existing freshwater regs. Also most striper fishing is done in freshwater and bay/delta areas in CA, not in the ocean. So that would avoid conflicts with R&R guys as well.
    Have you spoke to the elders of any spearing clubs in your state? Is there a commercial fishery for stripers there? Maybe you could talk to r&r clubs and make some kind of alliance? Are there any public officials that spearfish and could help? Try to talk to some biologists from neighboring states that allow spearfishing to get some expert opinion, I'm sure whatever spearfishermen take is miniscule compared to other user groups.
    I'm just throwing ideas out there, I know how you feel. Keep up the fight.
  5. moshup

    moshup New Member

    i forgot that most of the striper fishing is found deep in the san fran bay closer to the tributaries. i live on the island of marthas vineyard off the south coast of massachusetts. the bass fishery out here is unbelievable. i realize that those who helped enact the 'hook and line only' regulations for stripers had all the best intentions. we new englanders are very resistant to change. the old addage applies, 'if it aint broke than dont fix it'. i wonder if some sort of petition would help make a difference. it just baffles me, as an avid bowhunter, that one can harvest a whitetail deer with a bow and not a bass with a speargun. i guess logic is out the window. i think it boils down to the fact that both the commercial fishing industry and more importantly, the recreational/charter industries have a lot of power in this state. striped bass angling brings millions of dollars of revenue into massachusetts so why tamper with it? thanks for all of your suggestions kale. i'll definately follow up. i have sent several emails to state reps and senators. who knows, maybe i'll get somewhere. for now, my buddies and i will continue to spend money on fuel to boat over to rhode island where it is legal to hunt these fish.
  6. alexrom1207

    alexrom1207 New Member

    I'm a law student in CT and I spearfishin RI. I figured I'd do some research for you as I have access to Mass. caselaw and regulations and such. I couldn't find the regulation that specifically outlawed the taking of striped bass by spear. One regulation said that only carp, eels, and suckers could be taken by spear and nothing else could. But I believe that was limited to inland waters, so it wouldn't apply.
    I did find a proposal which was presented to allow the taking of striped bass by spear, which by inference means that there is some regulation or law which is currently prohibiting it.
    The proposal was presented by Mr. Walsh of Boston and presented by petition of Robert Calvin to the House of Representatives on October 24, 2007. The House didn't rule on the proposal that day, and I haven't been able to find any subsequent records. It may be gridlocked in the process of going between the house and the senate, or it may have been ignored and forgotten. I'd suggest you try to get in touch with Robert Calvin who I believe is the representative to see how the proposed legislation is going. You also may want to get in touch with Mr. Walsh of Boston to see if together you two could get enough constituents to come and speak (any citizen of MA is allowed to come and speak, you just have to sign up before) and help push the legislation through the house and the senate.
    Anyway, thats all I could get for you. Hope it helps and good luck. As there is already a movement in MA for spearfishing stripers you may find that by the summer they'll have passed the legislation and you can shoot away...but your support behind the legislation will help.
    If the legislation got shot down then you can go to a new legislator, preferably one whose district has as many spearos as you can find, and get them to sign a petition to authorize the spearing of stripers. He'll present it and if enough of you go to speak in support of it, it may get passed. You may run into opposition from commercial fishing lobbyists and some members of the house and the senate who are loyal to those interests.
    LAST RESORT: If all else fails, and you REALLY feel strongly about getting the law through you could file a suit alleging that preventing the spearing of striped bass somehow violates your rights as a Massachusetts citizen. You'd have to hire a lawyer and the case would be difficult to win. I'm just throwing it out there to let you know its an option if all else fails. If you have a friend whose a lawyer he could help you (that's way above my head at this point in my legal education) But anyway, your best bet is definitely to go the legislative route... and as it seems there is already a movement it may succeed.

    Good luck
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
    Old Man Dave likes this.
  7. moshup

    moshup New Member

    i cant thank you enough for the info. i found it very helpful and its great to hear that others feel the same as i do about this subject. i will pursue the leads that you have provided and will give any updates as they happen. who knows, maybe someday we will be spearing bass off of the massachusetts coast. we have some incredible structure and beautiful vis in the summer off of the western tip of the island. good luck with your law studies. happy hunting. moshup

    Attached Files:

  8. riffehunter717

    riffehunter717 New Member

    same deal here in maryland, it SUCKS
  9. alexrom1207

    alexrom1207 New Member

    No problem, I'm glad I could help. I'm in RI all summer and I live on a boat in Narragansett. I'm usually looking for a group to go out spearing with so if you wouldn't mind one more person chipping in for fuel and you make any trips to RI this summer drop me PM and maybe we could meet up.

    P.S. Nice bass. I shoot with a biller too. Great guns.