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What happened to the big blues that were all over the bay years ago? I was thinking about this today when I was reading a report about catching big blues out at the triangle wrecks. My old man told me that back in the 70's and 80's it was mainly big blues and not so many taylor blues. What happened? Also, there are always TONS of little blues around, so how come they don't get big over time? Do they just head offshore when they get big now?
 

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cycles my friend all fish run them
 

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My theory is with the resurgence of the Striper population, all the little ones are getting swallowed, hence the lack of a population of the bigger Blues. Just my theory...:D

Skunk
 

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grey trout are hittin the skids for sure. And nobody seems to know why. Winter com fishery is there, but certainly can't be blamed for it all. Rec fishery takes bunches of small fish in spring and fall, but where have all the big fish gone????

Larger bluefish have been gone from the ChesBay, except in a few places, for quite some time. Previous overfishing, water quality, natural cycles, and lack of bunker would be my guesses. Although, some of the offshore stock has been making appearances the last few winters closer to shore. Even from the beach.

If i had to guess, we'll see big bluefish inside within the next 10 years. But, be prepared to kiss all these spex goodbye.....
 

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Start by thinking OMEGA PROTEIN...the single largest PREDATOR in the Bay.
Mix in an overabundance of Striper that compete for the too few Menhaden left behind. Blend in the nearshore feeding habit of the Striper that now has run the Bluefish offshore to the wrecks and reefs where they can survive. Add some pseudo-science from the Marine Fisheries Commissions (Politically Appointed Hacks) of several states and as they usually do, half-bake for several years.

Result : RECIPE FOR DISASTER
 

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As long as there is plenty of bait offshore the big blues will stay there no reason for them to venture inshore. I have always been able to catch big choppers trolling offshore. I remember the days of catching all the choppers you wanted trolling the bay then anchoring up at night and catching big grey trout. Hell the citation grey was 12lbs and easy to get now I think it is 9lbs and hard to get. But we now have stripers so an even trade off if I do say so myself especially for those that do not have a boat :)
 

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I agree with the above post about Omega destroying the population levels of some fish, especially the grey trout. The inshore species compete for food and with very few schools of menhaden around the larger inshore species especially stripers find other fish to eat. in the past few years I have seen many small grey trout in the stomach of cleaned stripers. I have also seen drum feeding on schools of small trout, were years ago I would see them mainly on schools of menhaden. Of course there is no scientific evidence to prove this and it may be a cyclic events affecting the grey trout population levels. Menhaden are the most valuable fish to the sport of fishing, IMO. Tighter regulations are needed to protect this valuable resource. The fish do not stand much of a chance with todays comercial fishing technology such as using spotter planes, the ocean fish really have no where to hide.

John
 

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chomper bluefish

Believe everyone is right. Also, add the dead zones in the bay and the pollution of its' tributaries in the last 30 years. Cyclic occurrences are common along the coast. We could always go to OBX in late March/April and October/November and catch them to your arms were sore. It subsided about the same time as the bay and was prior to Omega Protein and the Striper explosion. I guess we can only hope the cyclic theory is the right one. The last time I caught choppers (12-19 lbs) was in 1986. Sure hope it's a 25 year thing. By the way, don't know if anyone remembers the huge blue kill that occurred all over the bay in the early 80's. Their were thousands of them dead along the shore and up the creeks. Seemed they never returned afterwards.:confused:
 

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I have no idea what happened here. I do remember that in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Cape Cod in the early 80's you could walk across some inshore bays on the backs of bluefish they were so thick. There were many fish kills of the menhaden/bunker/pogies because the blues chased them into confined tributaries and inlets. The east river in New York also. They had them plugged in there so thick they used up all of the oxygen in the water and died. People were bitching about the stench. In about 85 or 86 the populations in New England disappeared. Toatally. No more nights of non-stop 12 - 18 lb blues. It sounds like the same thing happened here. I will say this, I was on vacay in Cape Cod and Rhode Island in the 1st week of Oct this year and had a blast with schools of big blues. It was loke old times. There is one difference between here and there though. I do not believe I saw any fish oil ships parked anywhere up there..... makes one think
 

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There could be many answers to this question and most all are just guesing but it could get ya to thinking.
We all know some fish will follow the same patterns their parents did and following that line of thinking do the bunker that leave the bay go straight out deep and so follows the drum, stripers and chopper blues. Now stay with me, since Omega catches a large number of bait in close are the ones who survive could be the deep water fish and they have been programed to go straight from the bay to deep water.

I have heard from some of the captians of deep water boats that there are plenty of chopper blues out deep, this year it seems when the drum left the bay that most of the folks that caught drum were in boats in deeper water.

Now I ain't blaiming Omega but it sure does seem they target the bay and closer to shore while fishing and if they kill off the inshore bait and bigger fish could it be the other fish are from deeper water or even the wildest idea is could they be learning :confused:

Yup I know all this sounds nuts and it can very well be cycles but it's all guessing at this point.:D

Dang, now yall went and made me go thinking and I had to do that once already this week so I will not be good till atleast next week :confused:
 

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They just showed up here in Delaware about 10 days ago along with some big cow Stripers .. Bluefish averaging 30+ inches along the beaches .. I got my new PB on a Fly that went 17 pounds .. Stripers to 48 pounds have been taken from these same areas .. I have taken 15 keeper fish in the last 5 days all on Swimbaits .. Some nights I am getting 50 to 100+ Fish From IRI . Guy along the beach front are getting Stripers to 40+ inches as well .. Have faith they are late and not past you by ;)
 

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Bluefish

:fishing:

I have fished out from Reedville to Sting Ray Point starting in 1995 and I lay the blame on OMEGA cleaning out the Bay of anything that swims in the bay and most of it get's processed into chicken feed.

Has anyone except OMEGA ever really seen what they pull in and sent to the processors !!! I can tell you it's a lot more than just Manhaden. Unfortunately the Virginia Mairne Resource Commission is in the pockets of the commercial interests and OMEGA makes the biggest fish haul on the entire east coast. In fact they worked a mile off reedville and cleaned out everything according to my fishfinder. It's TIME to put the HURT on OMEGA to move their operation out of the bay.

At least Maryland and most other states have banned them from fishing in their bays. Last June I fished in New York harbor just off the UN Building and caught more 3-4 lb blue fish than I could count, one on every cast including a limit of rock fish.

Is there anyone out there listening !!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I can't remember all the specifics, so don't quote me on this.

Sometime in the mid to late 80's there was an operation in the bay targeting bluefish. They used purse nets and spotter planes to capture entire schools of big chopper blues. They had a contract to sell the blues for cat food and it fell through. After months of hard work they had caught 100's of tons of blues and ended up losing their asses on the deal. The story was reported in the Pilot, that's where I found out about it. Prior to this operation, the bay had all the big bluefish you could want; afterward, none to speak of.

If I had to name the year that happened, I'd guess it was 86.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I can't remember all the specifics, so don't quote me on this.

Sometime in the mid to late 80's there was an operation in the bay targeting bluefish. They used purse nets and spotter planes to capture entire schools of big chopper blues. They had a contract to sell the blues for cat food and it fell through. After months of hard work they had caught 100's of tons of blues and ended up losing their asses on the deal. The story was reported in the Pilot, that's where I found out about it. Prior to this operation, the bay had all the big bluefish you could want; afterward, none to speak of.

If I had to name the year that happened, I'd guess it was 86.
That's just sad man.
 

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i got into them reel good 2 years ago in december 4 mile off of the third island they destroyed $150 of my striper tackle 5 times we had 8 fish on 4 rods
 
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