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Thread: Legends of the Salt... Living Legends thread

  1. #21
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    I pick Finchaser. I have heard all of the stories first hand and not just from him. He says fishing with him is overrated, I totally disagree. Here is a pick of me having the chance to fish with Finchaser.

  2. #22
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    Default Finchaser - Legends of the Salt

    ** ^^(Rip, call or PM me and I'll walk ya through how to post a pic. I think ya may have done something at the last second before you posted that caused the pic to not be recognized)


    ********************
    I'm glad ya nominated Finchaser, Rip. I wanted to do it a while ago but was concerned people might think there was a bias there. After all, if I were to nominate a grouchy old basstard who insults me every chance he gets, is about as critical as my Dad was, and likes to rant and rave at me when he's upset about a current fisheries management issue, people might say that was illogical behavior.

    So, I'm glad you put his name out there, because he certainly deserves the honor. There are quite a few threads here detailing his fishing career, from the

    "Long Branch...back in time" thread
    http://stripersandanglers.com/Forum/.....back-in-time

    Where we learn, among other things, that...
    - Finchaser was fishing at the age of 5, when his Dad brought him out on the codfish boats and told him to "man up" or he wouldn't take him fishing again..
    - He was also part of the history at the Long Branch Fishing pier before it burned down,
    learning from the old timers there and fishing with them every weekend he could bum a ride there. Even in the coldest winters they would fish for whiting, ling, and whatever else was available, with old timers like Joe Melillo, and many others who have since died or moved to different areas.

    - He became one of the "infamous" Stevens Surfsters, the fishing club representing Stevens B&T in Long Branch, one of the lost traditions in the ever-growing commercialization of the shore towns. As part of the Surfsters, they dominated the fishing tourneys during that time, and usually crushed the competition.

    - How did they do this? Secret spots?
    Nope...it was sheer determination, and the dedication to fish 2 and 3 days/nights at a time that put them in the forefront of their peers. That type of fishing won them many trophies. It resulted in a surf-caught 50lb bass for Finchaser but also in the dissolution of several relationships and marriages.

    - Yep, these guys were "hard-core" before the phrase "hard-core surf fisherman" was even defined.

    They lived and breathed to fish, and all knew and respected each other, despite personality differences. In fact, the practical jokes they used to play on each other were legendary. Some of them are detailed in the above-
    referenced Long Branch thread.

  3. #23
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    Default Finchaser the Conservationist

    When he grew up, there wasn't a lot of interest in fish conservation. People fished less for sport and more for food. The country was coming off the economic downturn from overseas war involvement. People felt poor, and they were poor, relative to how we live today. So fishing, as well as hunting, was a valued way to bring protein home for the family.

    Gradually, awareness increased about overfishing. First, the 200 mile limit was passed in the 1970's to keep the foreigners, like the Russians, from decimating our groundfish. Unfortunately, by that time it was a free-for-all offshore. After the Russians were pushed out, our US commercial fishermen continued to over-fish cod, whiting, and ling.

    This was also happening to an extent with the striped bass. There was a feeling that striped bass were an infinite resource. Less attention was paid to things like biomass, YOY, and birth and fecundity rates.

    Some groups noticed their yearly striped bass catches declining. There grew a grassroots conservation movement along the East Coast. One of the most famous conservationists, Bob Pond, has been mentioned here in several threads.

    The opinions of these guys were not popular, to say the least. Eventually a drop in catches and bigger bass was so noticable that fishing clubs began to get involved in signing petitions and raising awareness. This was not enough to stem the decline in the striped bass biomass, and eventually in the early 1980's a Coast-wide moratorium was declared closing striped bass fishing down.


    Because of this, clubs like Stevens Surfsters, and many others like them, tried to get legislators involved in protecting bass so the moratium would hopefully never happen again. Finchaser worked with his club, along with the JCAA, and several old-timers who are members here and on other sites, to push for the protection of striped bass in federal waters (3 mi limit) and to get the out-of-state bunker boats restricted to where they could net bunker in NJ and NY waters.

    Bunker boats
    http://stripersandanglers.com/Forum/...highlight=jcaa

    Moratorium
    http://stripersandanglers.com/Forum/...***-Moratorium

    Striped bass a Gamefish in Federal waters
    http://stripersandanglers.com/Forum/...of-1984-HB2655


    This grassroots coalition managed to get some significant pieces of conservation-minded legislation passed in the 1980's. This, along with the moratorium and stricter regs, resulted in an unprecedented comeback of the striped bass, said to be one of the greatest comebacks of all times.


    Anyone who has participated in the Spring run of cow striped bass which come into the NJ surf zone from May - June, owes some of their success to guys like Finchaser and all the unsung or uncredited club members who toiled quietly and patiently in the background. Their patience and persistence, sometimes required for years of meetings, grew the biomass to the highest level it achieved sometime in the early 1990's. We owe a debt of gratitude to all these fine folks who took the time to think of our fishing future. They didn't get discouraged, and kept pushing and pushing until they got results.




    During the middle part of the 2000 decade, some of these old timers again started to notice a decline in the breadth of different year bass classes. It was enough to cause concern. Finchaser and scores of other fishermen began writing about it...
    http://stripersandanglers.com/Forum/...e-Striped-Bass

  4. #24
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    Default Finchaser today

    I'm fortunate to have come to know him not only as a conservationist and intense fisherman, but also as a friend. I may joke about his grouchiness, but that's because of his incessant hammering of where he thinks the fishery is headed.

    He was once part of a group of fishermen who weren't as concerned as they should be.

    Then, they saw the light and fought for years to bring us the great fishing we've experienced since the mid-80's.

    The fact that he sees it going into the toilet again, with lots of newer fishermen in complete denial, is too much for him to process.

    At times he can't understand why people don't see things the same way he does. He also sees commercial gill-netters decimating our juvenile weakfish and other small fish, and is not willing to accept the decline of a fishery as he once witnessed. Coupled with the fact there is so much apathy when it comes to thinking about the future, no wonder the guy is a bit grouchy sometimes.

    He's a true sportsman, and would give ya the shirt off his back if ya needed it. Also one of the most generous fishermen I know....
    with his advice, time, teachings, always willing to help a new guy out, and having taken many anglers under his wing to show them subtle ways to effectively present to the fish, he certainly has earned a place in this thread.

    And he's a tough old "bird" too. Having encountered some health difficulties which cut down on his fishing a bit, he's full of **** and vinegar. He still seems as enthusuastic about his love for fishing as when he was 5years old and his Dad took him offshore cod fishing in January for the first time.

    OK, now off of the Finchaser soapbox.

    If any of ya's have anything to add to this story, please feel free, and thanks!

  5. #25
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    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #26
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    Something happened with the pic so I did it again.

  7. #27
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    Nice tribute. I didn't realize all he did. I remember when the Spring fish started getting better with the bunker coming in. Thanks for all finchaser

  8. #28
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    Hey thats a primo nomination lads. I hope to get the chance to fish with him someday. And thanks for all the politicking you guys did finchaser. Rip, I'm assuming you're in the forefront. In that pic you look like you just got done robbing a bank, what gives?

  9. #29
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    I was not ready for the pic that's the the only thing I can say. I looked over and there's Dark standing there and snap.

  10. #30
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    You guys are crazy! Dark sounds like a picture stalker, sneaking up on you. Nice story about finchaser, I really enjoyed that and learned a few things.

  11. #31
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    Dark is like the guy on candid camera. He has so many cameras and video eqipment hanging from his neck you would think he is a chinese tourist. lmfao.

  12. #32
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    I wonder if he drives like he's from China too?
    Finchaser, thanks for all you have done, I didn't know your complete history. It would be an honor to fish with you one day, or just be on your cell phone chain (hint hint) Just kidding, I definitely appreciate the bunker being around in the spring. Some of us would never catch big bass if it weren't for that.

  13. #33
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    Thanks for all the kind words but I still say fishing with me is over rated

    Remember

    Pay attention to what history has taught us or be prepared to relive it again

    Do your part to save a precious resource (the bass )

    Pay attention to what history has taught us or be prepared to relive it again

  14. #34
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    I still say fishing with me is over rated

    i cant rate it yet ! we have to fish first . lol

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by finchaser View Post
    Remember

    Pay attention to what history has taught us or be prepared to relive it again

    Do your part to save a precious resource (the bass )
    Hey that looks like some simple advice to follow. They say history repeats itself. If people are aware of that, why would they let that happen? I venture a guess in many cases it is due to greed and arrogance. Shame. Thanks for all the conservation work you have done finchaser. Keep up the good work!

  16. #36
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    We will see who is actually paying attention or who actually cares when the spring comes. I vow to only keep a smaller keeper. If I do get lucky enough to get a fish 20lbs or better its going back.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by finchaser View Post
    Thanks for all the kind words but I still say fishing with me is over rated

    Remember

    Pay attention to what history has taught us or be prepared to relive it again

    Do your part to save a precious resource (the bass )

    I would still like to meet you one day. It seems you have done a lot, when not too many other fishing guys were interested. Thanks.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by jigfreak View Post
    I would still like to meet you one day. It seems you have done a lot, when not too many other fishing guys were interested. Thanks.

    same here

    Pay attention to what history has taught us or be prepared to relive it again

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by finchaser View Post
    same here
    Wow, all that and humble too.
    Good luck in your fishing career finchaser, hope you catch another 50 pounder. Did you get that fish on artificials, or bait? I'm assuming you caught it at night. Can you tell us the story of how you caught it?

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Legends of the Salt... Living Legends thread

    I nominate Jack Yee. SJ just put this video out.


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