Reports from the northeast fishing community are filled with stories of great trips and large numbers of fish. My own experience tells the same story. I have seen more flounder - and larger flounder on average - this year than in many years past. They seem to be everywhere.
I sometimes wonder what brings a particular species catch rate up in a given year. But I stop and realize that we are truly doing a great job managing the resource over the past several years. State government, the Federal government, and organizations like CCA and others are all making a difference. But perhaps the biggest difference I see is in the habits and attitudes of today's anglers.
We are more educated, more informed, and we take pride in practicing catch and release. Size and creel limits have been around for a long while, but lots of anglers ignored them. The chances of getting caught were virtually nil when you wanted to keep more than the limit. Marine patrol officers were (and still are) few and far between.
But today I see a different angler. They keep only what they will eat that night and release all the other fish. They pay attention to the regulations, and they are taking care of the renewable resource. It makes me proud to be a fisherman when I see that happening.
So, is it really the year of the flounder? I think so. I also think it is the year of the king mackerel, the year of the Spanish mackerel, the year of the red drum, et al. And I think this for the very same reason. I see increasing numbers of fish being caught because the resource is on the rebound. And it's on the rebound because of you!
So keep up the good work out there, all you conservation minded anglers! You are the reason my grand children and yours will enjoy fishing as much as we do!