New York and New Jersey Recreational Fishing Industry Reeling After Hurricane

"Sandy is gone. The Fish are still here, but not the fishermen."

Recreational guides and charter fishing services along the New York and New Jersey coast have told Stripers Forever that Hurricane Sandy is long gone, but the fish are still there – and they need anglers to get back on the water or risk financial devastation. But anglers are not coming, apparently scared off by images of destruction.

"Guys are hurting. We've lost property and equipment because of Sandy, but worse, we are now losing time on the water and the income we and our communities need to recover", said Captain Frank Crescitelli SF board member, well-known local guide, and chairman of the NYC based Fisherman's Conservation Association. "Sandy is gone. The fish are still here, but not the fishermen. "

Even as beleaguered coastal communities in the two states struggle to rebuild, guides and other businesses that cater to recreational fishermen– such as marina services, tackle shops, hotels, motels, restaurants, and mom and pop markets – have told us that striped bass fishing, which generates more than $440 million in direct retail expenditures and supports thousands of jobs in the region, is in danger at a critical time of year. Late fall is when striped bass head south for their winter grounds, and they gorge themselves in the waters off New York and New Jersey, presenting anglers with a chance at catching a true trophy. Businesses dependent upon recreational fishing rely on income earned during the fall run to sustain them until April.

"The New Jersey coast was devastated and there is limited access to many areas. However, those businesses that are open desperately need our support," said Paul Haertel, board member of Stripers Forever, and a local high liner. "The bass are here. I recently caught 9 to 33" eeling from shore near Barnegat Light."

Why not treat yourself to a guided striper trip along the NY/NJ coast. The LINK will take you to a listing of guides and tackle shops in the NY/NJ area that support making striped bass a game fish. There are more than 150 there for you to choose from. They may not all be back in business, but many are, so get together with your fishing friends and book a day or two on the water.

Also, please help us spread the word. The Orvis Company - who has already sent seven tractor trailers with over 2,400 boxes of clothing, food, tools, cleaning, and household supplies to New Jersey – has offered to post pictures and news from the guides on their OrvisNews.com. If you have something to post you are invited to contact Phil Monahan of Orvis directly at [email protected]

Last, if you know a guide or tackle shop that should be listed on Stripers Forever but isn't, drop us and e-mail and we'll contact them for their free listing. Please pass this message along, and if you get it, and are not a member of Stripers Forever, you can help conserve striped bass by joining free today. Go to www.stripersforever.org. and select Become A Member.