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Jerry Vovcsko

First dunked a worm in Otsego Lake (upstate NY) some 68 years ago and began pursuing striped bass in Cape Cod waters 40 years ago. Pretty soon I should be able to get it right...maybe.

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March 31, 2015

Pond Stocking Trucks Roll Soon

by Jerry Vovcsko

The Boston Globe published an interesting article last week on overfishing by nations around the world. Here's the link:

the back-and-forth between commercial and recreational fishermen over dwindling stocks we sometimes forget just how dangerous an occupation the commercial fisherman is engaged in. There was another reminder this week when the Coast Guard located the body of a 54-year-old man who went overboard from a scalloping vessel off Nantucket this past weekend.

A helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod spotted the body in the water at 1 a.m. yesterday about 37 miles southeast of Nantucket, Coast Guard Petty Officer Myeonghi Clegg said. The man had been on the 85-foot vessel Hear No Evil out of New Bedford when he was reported missing and believed to have fallen over board at 8:30 p.m.

The crew from Hear No Evil was able to recover the body and make a positive identification before the body was transferred to the Coast Guard cutter Hammerhead and brought ashore. Weather conditions were good at the time of the man's disappearance, with clear skies and seas of two feet, Clegg said.

Speaking of rescue efforts, the Coast Guard rescued nine men from a Canadian tall ship off the coast of Gloucester after the vessel became disabled in rough waters Monday morning. Crew members on Liana's Ransom reported the ship's engines were out of commission and its sails were wrapped around the mast about 60 miles east of Gloucester around 12:35 a.m. Monday, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

As weather conditions worsened and seas reached nearly 10 feet, the Coast Guard sent two motor lifeboats to tow the ship into Gloucester. While the ship was able to connect to the tow lines, rough sea conditions broke them. Crew members were forced to jump from the ship to the lifeboats instead with one man injuring his head in the process. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital by a Coast Guard helicopter. No question but that these young guardsmen and women take seriously their motto: Semper paratus (Always ready.)

Mass Environmental Dep't has this to say about its spring 2015 pond stocking activities:
Close to 500,000 brook, brown, rainbow and tiger trout will be stocked this spring from MassWildlife's five hatcheries located in Sandwich, Palmer, Belchertown, Sunderland, and Montague. It has been a challenging year for the hatcheries this year given the extremely cold, icy, and snowy conditions that have prevailed this winter. Nevertheless, the close to 500,000 fish being stocked this spring, coupled with the more than 67,000 12+ inch trout stocked last fall should provide some excellent fishing in the coming months. Due to the heavy snow and thick ice that remains on lakes and ponds across the state, trout stocking likely will not begin until the last week of March or the first week in April, beginning with the eastern region of the state moving westward as the ice and snow melts.

Those efforts will likely start sometime this week when the trucks roll out of those hatcheries heading for the southeastern sector which, of course, includes the Cape. To date most of the freshwater fishing activity has been targeting bass and pickerel when it was even possible to access the usual locations. But the sun's been shining recently, air temperatures are due to reach sixty by the end of this week and once those trout are spilled into local ponds, anglers will be heading for open water areas.

Those ponds that receive plenty of sun will quickly lose their ice cover as melt-out accelerates. Sheeps and Long ponds in Brewster will see plenty of action once the trucks arrive, as will Peters Pond in Sandwich, Mashpee-Wakeby on the Falmouth/Mashpee line along with Long Pond in Plymouth on the mainland. Trout fishing becomes a bonanza until the newly stocked trout turn wily in their wild environment and local anglers will be out in force to capitalize.

Still not much happening on the salt water scene as water temperatures remain well on the chilly side. I noticed the other day that water temps in Nantucket Sound have been running at a steady thirty-six degrees for the past couple of weeks. Typically at this time of year the water temp is creeping up on the low forties and I'm wondering if the arrival of the first stripers is going to be set back this season. It's something to keep an eye on.


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