Finally, I can prove my point that fish are more capable of learning what we’re up to, more than we’ve ever believed.
You see, one of the many problems I have with the logic used by the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council is how in the world are they going to gauge the population of sea bass, when they are bound and determined to keep us from fishing for them most of the year. I was silly enough to raise the question, “If we ain’t catching them, how will you know how many there are?”
On more than one occasion I’ve heard different environmental experts, that wouldn’t know the difference between a sea bass and a toadfish, tell me how they can photograph the reefs and do a count of how many fish they can catch on camera.
AHA! As you can clearly see in these pictures, after only one year of serious regulations, the sea bass have already figured out they’re under surveillance. These pictures were taken from my boat off Saint Augustine last weekend, and none of my divers had EVER seen healthy, thriving sea bass hiding in the sand before. So the obvious answer as to why this strange (never seen before) behavior has to be that the sea bass have learned that if we can’t count them, they’ll never get opened up to harvest.
This raises some serious questions. Are they stacked in the sand, like bullets in a clip? If I catch one does another just pop up out of the sand? Heck, there may be entire populations of sea bass stacked under the sand. Is each one standing on the shoulders of a red snapper hidden below him?
I’ll tell you this much. I’m calling on the council to reopen sea bass for a twelve month season immediately. If those little boogers have already figured out, how not to get counted, they are darn sure smart enough to stay away from my bait.