I just sent this email to Senator Brown. Its just my observation over the last few years.
We have been going to Emerald Isle in Oct. for the last 9 years and i have never seen the surf fishing getting so bad. Its not just Emerald Isle its all up and down the coast where there are netters. You don't have to be a scientist to see what is going on. Ask any of the old timers on the Bogue Pier and you will have all the proof you need. These guys are straight up ole school folks. Some nights these commercial boats are parked right on the breakers. You can see everything going on they are so close to the surf. Whats also disturbing is this net they are allowed to put out down below the Bogue Pier where they secure the net and run it out in the water to catch all the fish that passes by! They will leave this net in the water for days before they haul in all those fish. Who knows how many hundreds and hundreds of fish die in these nets. This is the direction the fish are coming in in the fall and that net stops them in their tracks. No wonder things are so bad and getting worse by the month. You got to be a fisherman to see the reality of this whole picture. If you don't fish you can't relate. I was told surf fishing generates far more revenue than commercial fishing. Last year you could hardly find bait fish in the surf which is unreal! It was pitiful. Over the last 7 years it has been getting worse and worse. There is no denying what the problem is. Maybe you can get these small boat netters out of the sound area where they are just wiping out the fish by the thousands and then take the commercial netters on the ocean far enough out away from the surf so they don't pose a threat to the surf fishermen. Something must be done. I used to look forward to coming down in the fall with my family but this year i am going somewhere else. Its like fishing in an empty bath tub. God Bless You So Much Mr. Brown and thanks so much. I pray you guys can come up with a real solution without it taking forever. Take care. Jerry