As the sun sets on the 2023 fishing season, I’m finding it difficult to put together a closing article. What does come to mind is that next season, 2024, has already started; not in the way of actually fishing, but in the way of planning and taking a stand as a stakeholder in fisheries regulations. Phone calls for today consisted of when my boat will get hauled out and when it will get splashed in 2024. But more important was the phone conversation about the upcoming Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) 2023 annual meeting. On the 18th of October from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., the Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board will be meeting as part of the ASMFC. There is a link and time slated for public comment.
So here we are already working on next season. The months we don’t have lines in the water are, in fact, the most important. The meetings take place for all species that we fish for as well as their predators and prey. We are in the water for six months, but those of us who make a living on the water are working for 12 months. The much-important boat/engine/gear maintenance is well-deserved care for the equipment we run so hard and count on every day to bring our customers the best experience possible while safely doing so.
People often ask me what I do to keep busy on Nantucket after the charter season wraps up. So as fishing season ends, what do we do in the off-season? What off-season? Deer season started October 1st with archery season. Pheasant and duck season with my son fill up fall into winter. I’ll be commercial scalloping starting November 1. And kids' sports keep us quite busy.
After all that I’ll be working on gear. It’s the quiet winter months where we work on gear, figure out what we need for the coming season, and get things ready to see you in the spring.
Thanks for a great season. I hope you all got to see some action on the water. Those that are still after it have a few more weeks of solid fishing. They’re on the move, but that’s what keeps it exciting. It’s what keeps us interested in the “thrill of the hunt”.
The inshore classic is wrapping up this week. As of Thursday evening, 613 total fish have been entered. The competition ends on Saturday October 7th. The weather looks good for Friday, so there’s still time to get one on the board. We wish all the entrants good luck!
Can’t wait to do it all again next season!