N.J. fishing surveillance nets man stuffing undersized fish into coat

Public domain image.

Public domain image.

New Jersey conservation officials continue to publicize noteworthy cases of fishing violations at the Jersey Shore.

During October, conservation officers conducted numerous hours of surveillance and inspections of recreational anglers targeting along tautog, also known as blackfish or simply “tog,” along the southern New Jersey coast.

According to the New Jersey Conservation Officers Association, officers issued many summonses for the unlawful taking of both over-limit and undersized tautog.

Anglers can only keep one tautog at 15 inches in New Jersey.

In one incident, state conservation officers observed a man catching several undersized tautog and stuffing them into the liner of his coat before walking off a jetty. When the officers confronted him, he denied having any fish until he was asked to remove his coat.

Officers also report that an elderly woman, who was fishing from a boardwalk, was catching undersized tautog, wrapping them in plastic bags, and placing them under the seat of a walker that she was using. When stopped, she denied catching any fishing and offered her bucket, but a conservation detective asked her to remove the fish from her walker.

Fishing violation fines can be steep in New Jersey. In September, three men were fined more than $2,000 each for striped bass violations.

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