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Absecon Bay Sportsman Center

Absecon, NJ, U.S.A.

Endorsed by 10046 people

I established Absecon Bay Sportsman Center on July 1st 1985 when my wife Judy and I bought what was at the time simply Absecon Boat Yard, which provided docking, winter storage and limited repair service to the local boating population and a very limited selection of bait and tackle. Mostly catering to the extremely popular Summer Flounder fishing.

It has been a long haul, but I have transformed this into what I believe is the best total Fishing Center in Southern New Jersey. I specialize in Back Bay and Inshore Fishing and carry every type of Bait and Tackle which is necessary for this type of fishing.

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1/2 Day, Full Tide Trip

Charter Boat / 4 Hours / Conventional Gear
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  • 1-3 People $375.00
  • 4 People $475.00

Full Day Fishing

Charter Boat / 8 Hours / Conventional Gear
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  • 1-3 People $550.00
  • 4 People $650.00

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Endorsed by 10046 people.

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GOT SHRIMP ? It looks like this thaw is going to stick with us a while so, I did a little spot checking this morning and yes they do exist.  Maybe not what I would like, but enough to have some Live Grass Shrimp for Sale.  I'm not giving them away.  $10 a 1/2 pint.  It looks like some mixed size minnows are also moving around.  If I get them same price.  Plus I've got all the Perch gear you need.  Please CALL Before You Come 609-484-0409.  If I get some response I'll try and keep the shrimp in stock.
Not much going on, but we came thru the last cold snap and we are a few more days closer to Spring. One thing you can do is to take a minute to renew your Saltwater Fishing Registration. It's one thing the State of NJ does give us for FREE, take advantage of the down time and get your 2017 Registration NOW. http://www.nj.gov/dep/saltwaterregistry/
It doesn't look like Flounder fishing weather out the window, but Mike Shepard will be talking last Thursday's Flounder Meeting and the proposed regulations from 7 to 8 am. on WOND 1400 AM . Or follow the link http://wondradio.com/  I'll be looking to get on the radio and remember that this is a live call in show so you are welcome to call yourself.
It's going to be an interesting meeting.
The following are the comments that will be presented today by Nick Cicero.  I hope you will take a few minutes and read what he has to say about the importance of the Summer Flounder Fishery and the effects of bad management on the Recreational Anglers and Industry here on the mid-Atlantic and north east.

My name is Nick Cicero and I sit on the board of both The Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund and the Recreational Fishing Alliance. However, my comments today are from the prospective of how the pending regulations will affect jobs and small businesses in New Jersey and East Coast.
I’m the sales manager of the Folsom Corporation of Mahwah New Jersey. We have been a wholesale distributor and manufacturer of fishing tackle for over a 150 years! With offices in Mahwah, Tampa, New Orleans and Bentonville Arkansas we are one of the largest suppliers of fishing tackle in the country. We supply sporting goods stores, tackle shops, marinas, and chain stores throughout the country. At any given time, by looking at seasonal sales trends, I can clearly see where fishing activity for a particular species is vibrant and where angler catches, and angler gear purchases are less than normal! 
And, I can clearly state that my records do not match the activity reported by the NMFS angler catch data. 
Our New Jersey Folsom facility employees over 75 people who jobs depend on healthy recreational fisheries and the public’s access to those stocks. In the last 15 years we have witnessed an unprecedented number of New Jersey tackle shop closures which has been, in part, triggered by the continued mismanagement of our resources by the very government that we have entrusted to watch over our saltwater fish stocks.
Gone are the days when tackle shops and the for-hire fleet were busy year round with anglers flocking to the shore to fish for Cod, Silver Hake, Red Hake, Winter Flounder and Boston Mackerel - all species that National Marine Fisheries Service and its regulatory initiatives has failed to restore to historically abundant  levels!  Compound the aforementioned loss of opportunity with the mismanagement of recreational quota for other critically important species like black sea bass, and scup whose numbers are thriving despite diminished angler access including a controversial yet mandatory first-quarter closure on sea bass.
Today’s surviving tackle shops and Charter and Party boats are operating on such truncated seasons, that is so weather dependent, that a few rainy summer weekends can make or break a season for these small businesses. The proposed loss of a normal fluke season will spell the last straw for many New Jersey businesses both on and off the water! 
Besides, scup and sea bass, the summer flounder are one of the bright spots in the overall picture in both angler participation and rebuilt healthy stocks. Just a few short years ago we had a fluke population that was reported to be at an historical all time high and that success was achieved, it must be pointed out, by allowing anglers and commercial fisherman quotas that were almost three times higher than the quotas that will be implemented by these proposals! 
And yet, in spite of this rebuilding in the past few seasons our quotas have been decimated with even bigger cuts proposed for next year.  Reductions that are both scientifically unwarranted and factually unsubstantiated!
Why? Because decisions are being made without using the best available science or the best possible data! Recent information indicates that fluke populations are shifting northward and into deeper water yet the current NMFS data is not timely enough to incorporate those dynamic changes. 
1-     Because the reference points that NMFS assigned to Fluke are way too high and have been since their inception!   What are reference points?   Truth be told it is the contrived number of fluke that theoretically would exist in a utopian ocean that remained untouched by man, by pollution, weather, nursery habitat degradation and climate changes or forage base fluctuations. Point of fact is that many of today’s most respected stock assessment scientists concur and now believe that we reached our historical summit in fluke population 5 of 6 years ago and that our current population is healthy and  in no present danger what so ever.
2-     Because for the last 6 years NMFS research Vessel Bigelow has consistently been returning catch data on young of the year fluke that is substantially lower than previous research vessels reported Not only is that issue one that should have been questioned immediately, but more recently a review of the nets and techniques used by the Bigalow have come under scrutiny and the accuracy of the information is highly dubious at very best.  Six years of low recruitment is what we’re being told – But coincidentally, aren’t those the same six years that the research vessel Bigelow has been conducting trawl surveys?  Any real scientific protocol would warrant questioning “what’s changed “rather than arbitrarily accepting new data without questioning its source or accuracy! 
3-     Because NMFS Recreational catch reporting is in fact nothing more than a government sponsored dartboard! The catches that have been reported in 2016 are so highly suspicious as to be comical if in fact people’s very livelihoods were not in jeopardy!  Not a person in this room has any faith in the data that has been supplied. To believe, as an example that Connecticut, who’s anglers fish many of the same waters as Rhode Island went 3 times beyond their allowed catch while its sister state fell below is not anything that anyone with knowledge of both the fishery and the fishing pressure in both states would accept. No a single angler here believes New Jersey overfished as southern New Jersey continued to see good back bay fishing when the season was still closed in the spring and poor fishing during the open season as the fluke population continues its northward shift.  We hear a lot about “peer review” needed of the science and data left on the cutting room floor and unusable by NOAA Fisheries – yet when will see a “peer review” of the recreational harvest survey changes clearly demanded by Congress over 10 years ago? 
4-     Because we are burdened with an outdated Stock Assessment.   The last stock assessment is past its usefulness and we need a new benchmark assessment done before we can make any accurate determination on the size and distribution of the population. The newly developed sex specific model created by Dr Patrick Sullivan with funding from SSFFF and its partners needs to be incorporated as quickly as possible as it will produce a far more comprehensive and accurate look at the fishery than the currently used model. 
5-     Because the recent SSFFF Rutgers University onboard sex and length study results clearly detail what most fishermen already suspected which is that our current management strategy is putting undue pressure on breeding female fluke and that we would be better off harvesting a cross section of the population that would include more males. Increasing the size limit as mandated in these proposals would do nothing but increase the number of breeding females caught and retained along with increasing the angler discards.
Based on these five key points, so filled with questionable data that is not well defined or scientifically substantiated I believe there’s a sound argument to be made for asking NOAA Fisheries to approve “status quo” management on summer flounder this season, and to ask that they make every effort to fast track the required benchmark assessment and peer review using all the newest information available. 
All of the options developed and put forward in Addendum 28 are done so under the guidance of a 3.77 million pound recreational harvest limit.  Based on the key points detailed above, New Jersey’s anglers and businesses do not believe the recreational harvest limit should be set at 3.77 million pounds so we can't support any of the options in the addendum.  
In order to avoid this looming disaster the US Department of Commerce must revisit and reset the 2017 summer flounder ABC to 16.26 million pounds (status quo) and NOAA Fisheries must assume that we met, but did not exceed our recreational harvest limit in 2016.
On behalf of the recreational fishermen of New Jersey and those of us in our coastal sport fishing industry, I respectfully ask our state representatives at ASFMC and the Council to respond as such to the federal fisheries service.
Tell them clearly that these options as presented are not supported by, or are in the interest of the angling public or the good people of New Jersey and east coast. 

Best Regards,
Nick Cicero

Sales Manager | Folsom Corp. 
Tel: 201-529-3550 | Fax: 201-529-0291
Here is a link to the news release which President George Bush declares Striped Bass a Gamefish in Federal waters and therefore no Commercial fishing can be conducted in the EEZ . 
https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2007/10/20071020-3.html

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