What’s happened to all the striped bass?

The author fishing for striped bass off Montauk, Long Island.

Some people jump out of airplanes or go rock climbing for an exhilarating time.

For me, it’s chasing striped bass—big, powerful, and beautiful. I always feel a rush of excitement as my fishing line goes screaming off the reel once a large bass takes my lure, knowing that while adult bass in the ocean typically weigh from 15 to 30 pounds, they can grow up to 6 feet and 125 pounds. They hit the lure with quick force, fight hard, and can, despite an angler’s best efforts, sometimes escape.

Lee Crockett reels in a striped bass off Montauk, Long Island.

I’m a catch and release fisherman, so the trick is to reel in the fish as quickly as possible so it’s not worn-out and likely to die when—after I admire my catch and maybe take a picture—I return it to the water.

For the past six years I’ve fished for striped bass a few days each fall off Montauk, Long Island, with charter boat Capt. John McMurray, a fellow Coast Guard veteran who is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which sets fishing policies in federal waters from New York to North Carolina. In the past, McMurray and I caught so —> Read More Here


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