The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission failed once again to make a decision on a summer flounder quota for 2007.
Tom Fote, legislative director of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, was at yesterday's meeting in Atlantic Beach, N.C., when the ASMFC first voted for the same 19.9 million-pound quota that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council had already approved -- but it then rescinded that vote and couldn't come up with an alternative.




As a result, there will be no decision until the December meeting, when results of the recreational survey will be available. Fote explained that the 19.9 million-pound vote was initially won by a single vote, but New York pulled back when the National Marine Fisheries Service representative threatened to cut the quota even further in federal waters if the states instituted the higher quota within 3 miles.
Fote noted that commercial fleets worried that they'd have to give up their federal permits in order to fish the extra quota in state waters, and were also concerned that recreational fishermen would overfish their 40 percent portion of any quota and create an even greater problem in 2008.
There'll be more about this as the situation becomes clearer.

TOP CATCHES
Surfcasters have had some good shots of stripers and blues, though there's lots of frustration in between as large quantities of peanut bunkers and rainfish may be spotted with nothing bothering them. There was a striper blitz Sunday afternoon at Deal and Long Branch, and blues have been coming in to Monmouth Beach and Sea Bright the past two mornings.

Rich Rusznak of Mountainside got there early yesterday and hit bass right away before the choppers took over when the sun came up. Even then, long casts with poppers were required when a few blues would show within casting range.
Nick Honachesky of Normandy Beach found a school of peanut bunkers near his home yesterday morning and followed it south while snagging baits and hooking into large bass -- beaching four of 32, 33, 35 and 37 inches, while one of about 25 pounds broke the leader in the wash.
At Highlands, Capt. Lou Grazioso said he couldn't do much Sunday with stripers under birds from his Striper Mania, but used eels in Ambrose Channel for a limit of 18- to 22-pound bass.
Frank Rella and Mike Fett of Woodbridge, Capt. Hans Kaspersetz of Weehawken and I fished Saturday in Rella's The 2 F's from Twin Lights Marina and got into lots of surface action in Sandy Hook Bay. It seemed to be all bluefish in very uncomfortable conditions due to the strong northwester, so we moved to the tip of the Hook where peanut bunkers produced a couple of legal stripers plus shorts and blues. At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc was disappointed after a fine week of jigging and eeling stripers from his Sea Hunter to find only a few bass over the weekend to go along with lots of bluefish. He expects stripers to show in force after the new moon.
The Teal is finding more legal stripers on night trips than during the day, but Patrick Kostka from Bordentown won Saturday's day pool with a 29-pounder.



Capt. Ron Santee of the Fishermen is picking away at stripers, though he says that sport hasn't hit its fall peak yet. Last Friday he had bass swirling around the boat in a school of small rainfish but, as is so often the case, when bass are on tiny bait, they wouldn't hit.
Capt. Art Hilliard had 17 Fathoms all to himself last Thursday night as the Eagle loaded up with blues to 15 3/4 pounds and was releasing after two hours. Clamming was slow Saturday morning, but a switch to jigging under birds produced more than 70 3- to 4-pound blues. George Lopez of Albrightville, Pa., won the pool with a 14-pound striper.
The Mercer County Anglers jigged 3- to 4-pound blues under birds that evening before anchoring on the clam beds, where more blues and some short bass were hooked. Better conditions later in the evening for eeling resulted in some legal stripers plus shorts. Susan Anderson of Union took the pool with an 18-pound striper.
There was no drift while eeling Sunday morning for Meisters Fishing Club, and they had only a pick on the clam beds, though all but one bass was a keeper up to a 16.6-pounder by Richard Gagliardi of Basking Ridge. A move to the reef then added porgies.
The Capt. Dave will be running open for striped bass on Saturday at 7 a.m. The cost of the six-hour trip is $55, and reservations can be made by calling (732) 613-8307. Last Saturday's northwester made for tough conditions, but 15-year-old Linsey Mayberry of Somerset overcame adversity to boat a 23-pound bass on a live eel at Buoy 31 in Raritan Reach.
Allen Riley of South Plainfield had caught small stripers before daylight in the Sandy Hook surf on eight straight trips before Tuesday, when he had only three hits and a dropped fish. His brother, Ed Riley of Edison, beached a 34-inch bluefish on a Heddon Super Spook during the coldest morning so far. Most of Ed Riley's bass have been shorts caught plugging with the Mann's Super Stretch 1-Minus and an Ultimus black teaser. He also beached a 5-pound bluefish Sunday.
Gerard Vitiello and Dave Barry from Nutley and Danny Catalfulmo from Montville limited on yellowfins and added three albacore during last Thursday night's canyon trip of Miss Barnegat Light. They also released a blue shark and were surprised to see a great blue heron, a golden finch, a storm petral and a bat all fly aboard.
At Brielle, Capt. Francis Bogan got into very good porgy and sea bass fishing Sunday with the Paramount, and also had good catches of ling last week during Tuesday and Wednesday Mud Hole trips. Both those Mud Hole sailings and the inshore wreck trips other days depart at 6:30 a.m.
At Point Pleasant, Capt. Jim O'Grady had a successful striper special Monday. He was able to anchor the Cock Robin over a reading that produced almost 60 bass. Daily striper trips depart at 7:30 a.m.
T&A Tackle at Port Monmouth weighed a 32-pound, 11-ounce striper caught on clam at the pump station by Jimmy Onate of Edison. Dave Dagney of Stanhope fished from his kayak west of the Ammo Pier where a 20-3/16-pound bass took an eel. Paul Stachowitz of Port Monmouth used clam at Belford for a 17-9/16-pound bass, Brian Lonergan of Fair Haven caught a 14-7/16-pounder on clam at the Rip, and Mike Stefuryszy of Miffletown landed a 12-pound, 14 1/2-ounce striper at Sandy Hook.
T&A recently weighed a 27-pound, 5 1/2-ounce striper caught along the Bay Shore on sandworms by Anthony Valasa of Middletown, and George Theis of Cliffwood Beach added a 16 1/4-pounder.
Alan Beneroff of Morristown fished a Berkley Power Eel in Sandy Hook Channel for a 16-15/16-pound striper. Augie Hillman of Leonardo used an eel in Shrewsbury River to tempt a 23-7/16-pound bass. A 21 3/4-pound striper was caught on clam recently at Sandy Hook by Jason Bardenhagen of Union. Don Liberty of Morgan also fished clams there for a 13 1/4-pound bass. Jerry Benino of Port Monmouth used a bunker chunk to catch an 11-pound, 5 1/2-ounce bluefish.