President's Report

by Tom Siciliano

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association February 2004 Newsletter)

Winter has really set in.  Cold arctic winds, snow and freezing temperatures.  My advice, Go South!!!  If you canít get away there are boat and sportspersonís shows to fill the time until the weather breaks.  The Atlantic City Boat Show starts February 4 and goes to the 8th.  The JCAA will have a booth so stop by and say hello.  But we need volunteers to work the booths at these shows so show your support for JCAA and volunteer some time. Contact Mark Taylor at 732-929-259.

We will have a petition for you to sign to keep the EEZ closed to striped bass fishing.  This closure was part of the reason for the comeback.  Why change something that is working?  The commercial fishermen would like to see the EEZ open.  The larger bass (the big cows that contribute so much to the spawning biomass) school up and winter in the EEZ and would be easy pickings for the commercial fleet.  The JCAA is in the forefront of this battle to make sure the EEZ remains closed and we need your help.

For the hardy souls among you there are still opportunities to catch big sea bass on the far offshore trips that the party boats have available.  There are also mackerel and blackfish along with ling and maybe even a codfish or two on the few boats that are still sailing.  It sure beats sitting around watching the snow melt.

Even with the cold weather the fisheries management arena is still hot.  There are lots of activities and meetings to attend.  The ASMFC continues to meet and will decide how and when we can fish for various species next year and beyond.  The JCAA is represented at all these meetings presenting the position of the recreational angler.

One of the big questions that is always discussed at these meetings is the viability of the data that is used to regulate the various fisheries.  JCAA has decided to help in compilation of data.  We will be conducting five surveys of fishing and environmental issues during the upcoming fishing season.  We are in the process of writing up the questionnaire that will be used.  We are also looking for a striper, tuna and shark tournament to partner with to conduct the survey.  If your club sponsors one of these tournaments and would like us to consider using your tournament for the survey please contact us before March 15th.  The contacts are Tom Fote at 732-270-9102 or email him at tfote@jcaa.org, Dr. Eleanor Bochenek at 609-898-0928 ext 12 or email eboch@rci.rutgers.edu, or myself at 732-477-8186 or toms6363@comcast.net for further information.  The tournaments we will consider should have at least 100 boats and a five-year history.  We will also consider a surf tournament if it has at least 200 participants.  The survey committee will review all interested clubs and decide which tournament will provide the greatest opportunity to gather important data.

The JCAA Fluke Tournament will be our cornerstone survey.  The JCAA Fluke Tournament is an opportunity to gather a one-day snapshot of information on Fluke fishing throughout New Jersey.  This one tournament will provide more information than can possibly be obtained by any other means.

In order to conduct this survey the JCAA will be hiring an intern to assist with the tabulation of the data.  If anyone is interested or has a son or daughter who might be interested in working on this project please let the survey committee know.  We would also like some training in ACCESS.  Is there anyone out there who would be willing to teach a training session for about four people at the JCAA office?  More information is contained in the two articles below

The corresponding secretary position for the JCAA is still open.  Anyone with the talent and interest in this job may contact me.

JCAA is still looking for major sponsors for this years JCAA Fluke Tournament. Most of last yearís major sponsors are on board but there are still places available.  If you have any questions on becoming a sponsor or donating door prizes contact Richard Pasko at 609-971-6120 or Tom Fote at 732-270-9102 or email him at tfote@jcaa.org.  We are looking forward to breaking last years record 1009 boats and we need your help to do it.  So mark your calendar for June 12, 2004 for the biggest tournament on the East Coast. We will be back at Trumpís Marina Hotel Casino for the Awards Ceremony on the Friday following the tournament (June 18). 

Well enjoy the winter and donít let the inclement weather get you down.

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