The Deadly EEL and Artificial Lures
4 May 2017

Still on the subject of Cobia and the status of the stock . In my last post I began to focus on some of the reasons why we have seen a decline in the fishery. My last post focused on the price put on the fish as a leading motivation for harvest rates that have become higher than the fishery can apparently stand and we are seeing that at this rate it’s most likely not a sustainable level that will allow the fishery improve or at least stay at a good level. But the price on its head is only one of at least a dozen reasons managers are going to have to look at changing management of the fishery. Another contributing factor started about the same time the fishery began to decline. It was the introduction of the freshwater eel. Prior to the eel , most Cobia were caught with artificial lures or fin baits that you had go catch before you went fishing. Using artificial lures took skill and accuracy to present it to a fish and entice  into bite. Also took skill not to choke and snatch it away from the fish and miss or get slack in your line .Most small private boats didn’t have live bait and if the fish didn’t bite a lure it would get to live to fight another day. And even if you did have live fin  baits it was a 60/40 chance the fish wouldn’t eat that either so before the eel the harvest rate of Cobia was far less than what took place after the eel became the bait of preference. So now anyone could stop by the tackle store or marina and get a bucket of eels throw it in front of a fish ( even blow the cast and still get a bite) and the new bait technology increased the death rate of Cobia by ten fold because now everyone became a effective killer. In my next post I will bring up2 more reasons the fishery is in decline and before it is over I will give you some ideas on  how to fix the problem. Until then , “Lets Go Fishing”

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