I fished the past three mornings. Hurray right! The first two, for a variety of reasons, I fished an area where gill netting is prevalent. Even had a congenial conversation with one at the boat ramp. This time of year the reds start to move around and in years past this is when we’d start to see the reds herding shrimp down the shoreline in packs. The fishing this year is not as bad as it was the past two and indeed I caught some fish, although no packs were seen.
Today the conditions were perfect to go to an area where gill nets are NoT allowed. It was like a completely different world. The fish were basically everywhere. If you saw a spot that looked like it might have a fish on it, there was. I saw bay anchovies in a cove and reds were right in there with them. At one point I was surrounded by a school that milled around my boat as I attempted to get one of their buddies in quickly so I could make another cast. It was amazing! Literally one of the best fishing days of my life.
The significance of course is that if gill netters were allowed in there again, these fish would be easily netted in this clear shallow water and would be gone in a matter of minutes, and of course, I released them all. This area I actually swore off fishing many years ago due to the preponderance of nets. All you would see were hound fish and pin fish. I hope our fisheries managers realize how special this area is and keeps,the nets out. The value of this fishery with no nets in it will outstrip anything the netters have ever done.