Black sea bass catch limit reduced starting Wednesday
Black sea bass, the all-purpose offshore catch for recreational anglers, is about to leave a little more space in the cooler.
Starting Wednesday, only five black bass per person per trip will be the bag limit for the popular species. The NOAA Fisheries Service ruling reduces the bag limit from the current 15 bass. The ruling had been expected for months; it comes three weeks after the season was re-opened and just after offshore anglers reported some of the best fishing and biggest fish.
The recreational fishery was shut down in February by the National Marine Fisheries Service, after the commercial fishery was shut down in December 2011, when reports indicated the annual catch limits had been reached. The closures are mandated partly by federal law designed to end overfishing and partly by a management plan put in place to meet that law.
According to the plan, when an annually determined poundage of fish has been caught, the year’s fishing ends until the year begins again in June.
The black bass is a mainstay of offshore fishing — tasty, always around and easy enough to catch that it routinely has filled coolers.
Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744.