Any changes in herring regulations?
Far as the bass population. I believe their main food supply is to blame. I think these fish are finding other bait fish than our herring elsewhere after the spawn. Between fish oil boats and coastal dredging damaging clam beds, they're going farther out.
I've heard a few folks in cape cod that stripers have been caught eating small squid.
I'm nice and conservative with the bait I catch and use in the Creeks as most of us are. Big Fishing nets are just hammering the herring.