Welcome to the New York Fishing Podcast with George Scocca
July 25, 2022

Sand Tigers, Bunker and Balloons

Sand Tigers, Bunker and Balloons
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In this episode of the New York Fishing Podcast, I speak with Mr. Chris Papro on a number of topics in the marine life around Long Island. Chis aka @fishphotoguy spends plenty of time in around our waters and he captures some great content. He also does a lot of hands-on work with sharks and other pelagics and he's a wealth of information on the subject.

Give it a listen as we talkabout the recent in-shore shark "nibbles" that have beachgoers out of the water.

Be sure to visit our friendly and informative fishing forums at www.nyangler.com

George Scocca:

Hello and welcome everyone to another episode of the New York fishing podcast. My name is George Scocca. I will be your host here again for another wonderful episode, brought to you by N myr.com. New York anglers reporting on the New York fishing. So today I speak with Chris Patro. This episode is kind of dedicated to the news of the week, but there are other issues that we discuss. And Chris is really up on things, very educated on things as the best social media. A content that I know I enjoy his the most, and he is very educated on what's going on. And I kind of wanted to get away from this hype, this whole thing with this sharking going on. So we talked to him about that and a few other things. So without further ado, I am going to go to the interview, which we had this morning. I would like to welcome Chris Paparo to the show. Chris is pretty much an expert about everything that I don't know, not only swims, but flies and nests around long island. He has by far, in my opinion, the best social media, photos and videos. You can find anywhere, some amazing stuff, Chris, and you always seem, I, I I've said this before. How does this guy did all this stuff, you know, it's like you see things I've been on the water for, I don't know, 40 years. And you see stuff every day that like I've never seen before. So yeah, no, it's, I, I, as you know, I spend a lot of time in and around and on the water. There's not a day that goes by where I'm not at least at the beach for a few minutes, you know, and I always have a camera or a drone or something with me to try to capture something something to share with the public. Well, it's pretty amazing. And, and I really urge everyone to follow the Phish photo guy. And he'll, he'll give you all the info at the end of the show. So Chris, I wanted to discuss a couple things. Few of my pet peeves are obviously yours. And, and actually just about all anglers and concerned, anglers, those of us that.

Chris Paparo:

You know, on the water a lot. And that's this time of year, all the garbage, all the Mylar balloons and all like the disregard that people have. I mean, they let balloons go and they think, I think they think they're going to heaven, but yeah. You know can you talk, I, I know you, you, you know, you're making an effort to bring this. Yeah. I mean, you know, for those that follow me on Phish guy photos you know, that I rarely post negative stuff, you know, for no, I know for the most part, for the most part, I like to post focus on the positive cuz you know what, there is a lot of stuff, wrong out you with our environment and, and the world around us. But you know, there are other people that talk about that. And I think what happens is people get. Bombarded with the tomb and gloom and they just don't care anymore. So that's why I try to like showcase all the really cool stuff and positive things that are happening here. But like you mentioned, there are just a few things that irk me and one of them by far has gotta be balloons, you know? And I mean, you know, you spend time on the water, you can't go off shore or actually not even off shore, just you can't go in the bay, the ocean. And honestly, I spend a lot of time in the woods. You'd be amaz the amount of balloons I find in the woods. They're not, it's not just a Marine problem. What happens is, you know, I'll find trash out on the, you know, around about. And, you know, I often like to, I like to think that maybe it's there cuz it's by accident fell off of something blew away, but all the balloons that are out there are there because somebody let it go and you know, so they did that on purpose. So for me, it just seems like a really easy fix. To just not buy them in the first place. You know, don't release, don't release some or, you know, better yet just don't buy 'em. I tell a lot of people I'm like, you know, I've been to parties with balloons. I've been to parties without balloons. There's no difference. But what I would do is take your balloon money and buy better food or better yet buy better beer, you know, spend the money on other stuff. Cause like you said, it goes up it, you know, I, I picked up one the other day and it was, you know, oh, pop pop. We really miss you. We love you so much. XO, XO. And I, I feel really bad that they lost pop pop. I really do. But all that balloon is gonna do is potentially send a sea turtle to heaven, to be with pop pop, you know, like don't, don't do that just, and, you know, yeah. Just so that just to me is even worse, you know, it, it's not going to heaven. It's just going up and coming down and potentially entangling some sort of wild. Well, I mean, we saw photos. I suspect you saw him. Chris be had posted last year, literally. Yeah. With, with a turtle, with a balloon around his neck and you know, out west, this is, they deal with the same thing there. And the guys in California they're tournaments, they actually have a separate award for the person who brings in the most, my law balloons during their tournaments. So what we did that. So we did that this summer. So I'm, as you know, I'm part of the south fork, natural history, museum's shark research team. Mm-hmm and the last two summers. Now we've done a balloon tournament and it's a $25 entry fee. And this year we went for two months. And what happens is we allow people to find balloons, land, air, sea by boat, by shore. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and whoever collects the most balloons wins a trip for two to go take sharks with us that summer. Wow. And for us, it's a great way to, you know, raise some money for our research. You know, we're not for profit, right. But it's a great way to get people aware of this problem, you know, and I, the numbers haven't come in yet, but the last I heard tallys they picked up well over 2000 balloons. Yeah. And that's, you know, that's just one. Mo, you know, one group that's organized doing it and yeah. I mean, like you say, you can't go out, especially this time of year, you got your weddings, you got your, you know, graduations mm-hmm birthdays, 4th of July. Yeah. I mean, it's, it is kind of ridiculous. And, and the thing is I truly believe a few. Here's a, there's a few things. First of all, there is a bill actually by a Congresswoman in Westchester. To eliminate the sale of more than 25 bylaw balloons. Now we've been in touch with that office. She seems willing. I mean, I think that a simple, you can't release the balloons. It's illegal period. The same way you can't throw a piece of paper out on the side of the.

George Scocca:

Why should you be able to release those balloons? Well, up in, up until only a couple years ago, the law for Suffolk county, the way it was written in the books, it was unlawful to release 25 or more. So you could release 24 every day. And that was perfectly legal, right. Which is just absurd. That that was even per, as a law. like, it just doesn't make any sense. So here, I know in Suffolk county, or at least on the east end, a lot of the local towns have banned the sale of balloons, you know, And a lot of people, like when I post these balloons, they're like, see, but we should, we Bann it. Why are they still here? They drift far. So, you know, we can ban 'em in the state of New York, but I guarantee more though, those balloons are coming from the west. You know, you gotta remember, they go off, they drift. So a balloon released off of east Hampton. Is gonna float out over the ocean and be somebody else, some problem out out further, it's not gonna go to Jersey or Pennsylvania. It's gonna, you know, so it really needs to be a large scale passing of this to band releasing of these balloons, you know, to, yeah. I mean, that's gotta be the way to go cuz once you try to stop the sale of something, forget it. The, the, you know, I dealt on the legislative end. Very heavily. And once you try to stop someone and they're like, oh, you're gonna put me outta visit. And the other thing is, you know, maybe we can find funding or someone can find funding to simply educate the people. Yeah. That don't, that's what I try to do. I really don't think people realize, like they don't think, you know, they let it go. And, and I think if someone says, you know, look, this is what's happening. Please don't release them. Here's how you should dispose of them and just give a card or a sheet or whatever. Yeah. You know, well, you're a hun you're a hundred percent, right. Cuz when I first started posting about the balloon things a few years back, you know, I had quite a few people say. I had no idea, you know, and, and then they're like, I will never release a balloon again. And I'm like, all right, I reached someone and I know that person is then gonna tell their friends. And so like, it's an educational thing. And well, you know, I, I'm not a fan of laws and, and rules and all this other stuff, you know, I'd much rather just. Get people better educated, like really get them educated about cases what's going on. Yeah. In many cases that absolutely does work. All right. So let's move on. The balloons are a problem. I, you know, there's gotta be a group out there where we can all get together one day and maybe there's a weekend next year. We'll see where there's a bunch of tournaments going on. And we can, you know, basically maybe pull 'em all together and work together. Yeah. Because I know every single tournament direct anyone that fishes, it knows this is a problem and knows it needs to be dealt with. So you dealt with it, you know, this is. See, like years ago we had groups we could go to and say, Hey, look, guys, help us with this right now. We don't have that. But but we'll be able to get the word out. So. All right. So the next thing again, I don't want to go negative, but I caught a video of a dive where it literally looked like a junk you at the bottom. Of the bridge. And I was, I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that and what you guys are seeing, because I, I was shocked. Yeah. So, you know, I mean, again, it's not just above the surface that there's garbage, there's garbage down below. And this, this earlier this summer, I was talking with Randy Randazzo from Hampton dive center in Riverhead. And he was like, Hey, let's try to organize. A beach cleanup at P qu bridge. You know, it's a place that we dive a lot. I mean, me personally that bridge has a lot of just memories and it means a lot to me. So I jumped on. I was like, yeah, let's do it. And you know, it's tough to get permits and stuff in the summertime cuz of parking and whatnot. But you know, we had about 20 divers show up and we went down and the bridge is a tough dive, you know, the current and the visibility. Wasn't great. But. As you saw, we pulled up quite a bit of garbage, a lot of it, fish and gear fishing line. But then just a lot of just trash, you know, bags and old t-shirts and stuff. So, I mean it was great and it was a great way to get some of that out. There's still way more down there. But it was again, a way to bring awareness to it. And we're gonna try to organize another one this fall. So you could follow me or Randy at Hampton dive to kind of get notified next time that we do. Yeah, I'd actually like to go out there and see maybe I do, maybe I don't cuz. You know, like I'd like to have more faith in people to realize that they just can't throw garbage in freaking water, but you know, people still do it. And yeah, but again, it's, it's an educational, it's an educate. It's a way to educate people, you know, just so show showing what we've brought up and, you know, again, there was a lot more down there. You know, I brought my camera to try to document some of it. I honestly should have left the camera home. Cause it was really tough trying to cut stuff and bring stuff up, which is one hand. So. Yeah. So next time I'll probably leave the camera home, but we'll but yeah, we're gonna do it again and again, it's it's just every little bit helps. And again, it brings awareness and yeah, exactly. Let me tell you those, those type of thing, a video and a photo brought to, I know you don't like laws, but unfortunately that's the way his place were, but you know, like those photos are very. Yeah. You know, they're very helpful and they, people look at that and they go, you mean, this is going on under the water. Well, yep. That's exactly what's happening. All right. So another subject let's move on and, you know, please keep us in touch on or me or whatever through your social channel on, on that next dive. I'd like, I'd really like to know more about that. And I think, you know, there's funding available for that type of stuff, but that's a whole nother. Whole nother thing. All right. So I I've been saying now for a couple of years, and I'm not the only one, many scientists researchers. I, I mean, I'm, I'm on the web of all time looking at this stuff and it's the general consensus that we have warm water fish. Walmart fish are moving north and. Fish that are traditionally in certain areas seem to be moving north and offshore. Now, when I follow your. Your feed. You know, I noticed earlier this year you mentioned how you're seeing more and more tropical fish earlier in the season. So, you know, we are seeing a lot of stuff. That's, you know, look, it looks like sea bad. I mean, this year we have a lot of fluke. I'm not gonna say the, the fluke can's been pretty good, but you could tell kind of C bass and move it in and, and starting to move in on that territory.

Chris Paparo:

And I kind of feel like. Little bit at a time, you know, they're gonna start taking over. And I was wondering what your theory is on this whole thing. I mean, we, we lost all, all the lobsters. I believe it's due basically to water temperatures, but it could be wrong. We'd lost all the pecan base gallops. There's just so much we lost in the sound. And I was wondering. What your thoughts are. Yeah. If you have it and yeah. Yeah. I mean, so lobsters and scallops, there's a lot of factors in play there, you know, lobsters in the sound, you know, a lot of that was pollution. A big part of that was pollution. You know, temperature sure is definitely not helping there either. As far as the base scallops researchers at Stony Brook have been looking into several. Temperature disease harmful algal blooms, you know, again, they're, they're facing a lot of different changes in the environment all at once, which is kind of not good for the scallops. So, so we're still trying to figure that out. As far as like the tropical fish, you know, tropical fish have been coming to long island ever since the Atlantic ocean was formed. Right. And you know, they drift on the Gulf stream. And often when I, when I mention tropical fish on long island right away, everyone says, see climate change. I told you, you know, and you know, the ocean's changing. The ocean's definitely getting warmer and the climate's getting warmer. You know, you can argue about how, and I'm not gonna get into that. I'm just saying, you know, you look at numbers, it's happening. It's you can argue all day long on how or why it's happening. It's happening, but you know, so some of these tropicals, I blame it on that, but I'm like, again, they come in on the Gulf stream and with that it's so variable year to year, cuz it's all based on winds, you know, right last year was actually a decent year for tropical fish. We had a lot of Southeast winds. If you remember, there was like six weeks in a row where it just. Constant constant winds outta the south Southeast. And we had all those Souths that washed in those clear little tuna kits that covered the beaches. Right. We had the Portuguese man of war. Last year I found quite a few butterfly fish and angel fish. I found some lion fish. Prior to that the last five years was horrible. I didn't even go collecting cuz it was just so bad. But why was that? Well, most of the winds were out the west Southwest, which just pushes coastal water. So a lot of those tropical things and it's not just small stuff, you know, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks. They come in off the Gulf streams. So again, they can be variable with the years as it goes. But lately there's been a lot of, you know, things like Toby being. Sheep's head being caught black drums, you know, some of these species, like the sheep's head and the black drum, you know, they're oyster reef, fish. We eradicated oysters on long island years ago, you know? Yeah. My feeling as oysters are coming back is we're, you know, a lot of organizations, including Stoneberg are putting 'em out there. You're gonna start seeing a lot of these oyster reef, community fish returning as well. But then you're also what we're also seeing is a, a shift north of some population. So as things warm up. Things like Kobe, you know, would be common to maybe south Jersey, you know, then they would, their, their historical range would be up to Cape Cod historically that they've always been there. But, you know, as things warm, we're seeing them a little bit more frequently, few more in numbers, you know, as, as things, you know, as, as water temperatures warm and, and you mentioned sea bass, they're having a problem in the Gulf of Maine right now with sea bass, because that's a fish that historically was not in the Gulf of Maine. Right. But is now in the Gulf of Maine, the problem there is, is they eat lobsters. I was gonna say, that's their number one thing. They eat the little bugs. They swallow 'em whole. So now the lobster industry up in Maine is all freaking out what to do because now we got these sea bass, you know, and it's funny, everyone, when I mentioned stuff like that. And. You know, like tarp in, on long island people like, oh my God, that would be awesome. I don't, you know, like I don't have to go far to catch these fish, but yeah. Just think about what's going on, where these fish normally would be. So it's not, you know, you start seeing tarp in on long island regularly. That's probably not good for down south where they're normally coming from. So, you know, this is all stuff that one you know, that needs a lot more research into what's exactly going on. But you know, that's part of what we're seeing is, is, you know, these is this kind of population shift as, as things warm up. Right. Right. Yeah. See, I mean, you mentioned Kobe, right? So there's a prime example. So let's say three, four years ago, you know, I'm always following the fishing. So I'm following, what's being caught and what's happening. I'm always looking at different things. And I was like, you know, it's starting to catch some co.

George Scocca:

Some guys are actually, you know, targeting them. And then this year, I mean, I don't know if you've seen the fish, I mean, weighed in bay park is weighing in like, 30 40 50 pound fish every day. Every day. Yep. And from what I used, well, you know, keep in mind though there, you know, COPI are on have, are, and have been on the books for New York state as far as a size limit for a long time. Oh yeah. Yeah. So it's it, you know, when, when you look at something like that, that can't just be a, you know, like, oh, well just in case, you know, they're, you know, they, they have them on the, the books for a reason. Well, it's funny because I always used to say, why do we have that? You know, like, and red fish, red fish are on the books too. Exactly. I'm like, why do we have those? Well, it won't be long before the red fish comes up here. Right? Well, well, and they have, and they have caught some red fish. There was that guy. I wasn't the name, Liz, Eliza, I think. Oh yeah. Yeah, he'd caught several red fish. I don't, he never gave the location, but I know he fished to the west, so, wow. So he was picking some big bulls up here in long island. So again, you know, I think there's a lot of different things going on with some of these fish that are here, you know, is it a cycle? Is it some of them just being pushed for, for the north coast of climate or populations growing. To maybe do to conservation. A lot of these fish populations are rebounding and growing and spreading, you know, so there's, there's so many variables that could be at play with some of these different species. You know, I think everyone is, I think is gonna have to take a little bit different of a you know, look at on why. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, there is a targeted, you, you probably know this, but right now there is, it's short. It's less than a month, but there's a targeted Tarpon Fisher. In Chesapeake bay, they're they're corn places in that bay. I know fisherman mm-hmm two, two to four weeks a year. They literally catch tarp and in Chesapeake bay, so, well, I mean, I know a couple commercial, I know a couple commercial guys that get at least one or two every year. Inlanders. You know, so, so they're there they're there and I've had some other locals that know their stuff that said they have seen tarp in, you know, coming up and taking that breath and all that. And they just, you know, I've never heard of anyone catch one on rod and real in long island, but, but you know, they, you know, even for the, for the years that I've been involved with this, you know, 20, 20 plus years, I've been seeing at least one Tarpon every year from a local fisherman commercial guy usually usually caught in a pound net or something like that. So, you know, again, it's, maybe they're not, you know, and that's the thing. There's things that we just don't get to see because you don't catch 'em. But these commercial guys, they see all sorts of weird stuff, cool stuff in their nets. And then today with social media, you know, back 20 years ago, if somebody caught one, you didn't see, maybe you saw a picture that they had in their wallet or something, but you didn't. Texted to a friend and everything. So, you know, some of that is also I think, kind of taking place too. Yes, absolutely. Totally agree. All right. So the last one, I'm sure. It's your favorite one? I'm I'm sure your phone is ringing off the hook on this is we enter, I think it's like shark week or something coming up on TV. And so we've got these supposedly. Ensure tiger sharks immature. I mean, I think they can't. How big could they be there? Wasn't. So I want, I want to correct you on that one. Yeah. So the media and some of the local politicians have been claiming that tiger sharks are doing these bites. It's not tiger sharks. They're sand tiger sharks. I, what? I said sand, but if I didn't, I take the, no, you did. Okay. No, you, I, I heard you say tiger, but I've also, again, it's been in the news that it's tiger sharks. It's tiger shark. And it's definitely no, it's not. It's a, because a bite from a tiger shark is definitely gonna leave a bigger mark than a sand tiger shark. So yeah. So can you explain to us why? I mean, you know, you hear all these bites and this and that, and then you're reading a paper. Oh man, the guy got two stitches. I'm like, He got, I get a bigger bite from a blue fish, you know, sometimes so. Yeah. Yeah. So I'm wondering, I mean, my thought is that that's supposedly a popping ground, not too far from there. Yes. And you've got these little fish coming in. On bait. Or just because there's more now than there were before, or maybe there could be a million different things, right. It's a, you know, it's a, it's a lot, it's a lot of different things. Just like everything that we've been talking about. There's no really one, you know, thing, you know, the species such as the SANDAG or the sandbar, the dusky, they were heavily fished in the seventies and eighties, you know, especially for the fin market. Right. You know, they're all those three are prohibited species, which, which means you're not even allowed to target them for catch and release. So a lot of these shore base surf fishermen that are targeting sand Tiger's duskys and sandbars, it's completely against the law. You know, and if you happen to be blue fishing and catch one of these. You're not allowed to drag it outta the water. You're not allowed to take pictures with, you know, you gotta release it as quickly as possible. So I mean, just that there. So they are still prohibited and because of protections, many of these populations are starting to rebound, right? So it's a sign of like a successful conservation efforts. Absolutely. And as you mentioned, you know, the sand tigers, you know my colleagues at the New York aquarium, they've been studying a nursery, a sand nursery in great south bay, and they've had years of data of sharks returning and, you know, so it's, so again, we got all these, like these little nurseries, my work at the museum south for natural history museum, you know, we, we put a paper out that proved that long island bite. Is it pumping is, is a nursery, not a pumping up, sorry, nursery ground for young of the year white sharks. Right. You know, and it's, and, and a lot of the work we do we're starting to, you know, look at the fact that you know, many of these species, this might be a nursery ground. You know, we we're catching dusky sharks that still have umbilical scars. Wow. You know, so it's like, these are pups, these are all young ones. So again, so a lot of these sharks are young. That's why you're seeing, like you said, two stitches, three stitches. They're smaller sharks. They're feeding on bait fish, you know, and the one. With these sharks is they don't have hands. So when they wanna investigate something, they bite, you know, that's a good point. And that's so like, you know, for example, you know, the lifeguard at Smith point, that was bit, you know, he was doing his training exercise. He was playing a victim thrashing kicking around well sharks. Can sense that they have the Amul eye of Lauren Zini that they can pick up on those electric pulses. So right. They go in thinking, oh, maybe there's a big fish dying and I'm gonna take a chunk out of it and, you know, get an easy, quick meal and they go over and they get up close and they go, what is this thing? And they take a bite and they're like, ah, that's not a fish. It's got bones. I can't break through. So even a, if these sharks, yeah. Right. But even if these sharks wanted to eat you, they physically can't, they don't have the jaw structure or the teeth to break bone and all that kind. Thank you because I've been saying that no exist that. Yeah. Yeah. So that's, I mean, that's some of what's going on there, you know, they're coming into feed on bunker, you know, you know, as you've been involved with a lot of that conservation work, mm-hmm, you know, we're seeing more bunker than we've ever seen before. Which as not only fueled sharks, but that's why we're seeing all the whales and dolphins. And I like to use that comparison because it's the. That's funny because whales were hunted to extinction. Yes. Near ex near extinction. Yes. So we're, you know, sharks were hammered with, by fishing pressure, both of the return, but nobody gets upset when there's a whale. they get upset when there's a shark, but we're seeing. More whales, which also is meaning we're seeing more boat strikes, you know? Right. And it's not because we're driving more aggressive, more whales. There's gonna be more encounters, more sharks. There's a better chance of more encounters. So a lot of it ends up being the numbers game. When you, when you start looking at that kind of stuff, you know, and then let's face it. The waters are much cleaner. You be fishing these waters longer than I have. You could probably attest to that better than I can. Oh, absolutely. Even the sound. I mean, I'm amazed at how clear the sound is. And any, you know, way you go to the water really is I think has improved dramatically. I mean, we haven't seen that you know, bring any. Great increase of, you know, life into these bays being that we dump well, you know, as well as I do more sewage than you can imagine, but sure. But look, everything we're still looking good that, and we're still seeing problems. It's not, yeah. I don't wanna say that our environment is pristine. You know, we still see. Brown tides, rust tides. You know, we're seeing red tides. So, you know, some of our bays are still very problem. It's not, we're not done. We're not outta the woods, but what I like to just point out is look, it's possible to make changes. You know, we can do things, right? So again, it all comes down to education. If we could just better educate people on little things, you know, you don't always have to, you know, Lifestyle changes, just minor little things here and there. Just to, if everyone did that, they make such differences. And again, it's just, it's just being better educated on what's around us. I totally, I couldn't agree with you more. And I, you know, what it amazes me is how the news is jumping all over this. I see you all over the place who quote a news date today. And I hear you've been interviewed by a bunch of people. Being that, you know, what's going on. But I have to say if I see one more picture that dead white shark I mean, oh my God. I mean, it was on every state. I'm like last year, four of those things washed up to our cost of the year. Yeah. And nobody even cared about it. You know, it was a timing thing. I was, so it was, you know, it was a quiet weekend. The media kind of got quiet and then my social media lit up with that shark. And then within minutes, my phone was off the hook and it's how crazy is it rare? Is it odd? Is it this? And like, no, they're here. I just, and I would have to reiterate, you know, we've, we've proven this is a nursery ground, you know, there, this, these sharks most likely were by catch, you know at least some of the ones that we've found when we do the knee crops, either, either have hooks in. Or signs of commercial interaction, you know, like tra or Gill, net or something along those lines, but again, right. There's, there's, you know, they're here, you know, and that's, that's, what's gonna happen, but yeah, it's just, it's, it's a hysteria thing. And I think it's because, you know, it's movies, it's Hollywood, it's, it's been put in our heads that we have to be afraid, you know, but last year, You know, getting back to like the shark attack thing, you know, there were 73 unprovoked attacks worldwide, you know, 2000 people on average a year die in New York state in car accidents. Oh yeah. But nobody gets like, we're not freaking out about that, you know 4,000 people in the us die every year drowning. Yeah. But again, people still go swimming. So that's where I, I get, you know, you see the news and people like I'll never go in swimming. But you'll get in your car. There's a better chance you're going to die in your car. You know? So that kind of stuff always kind of gets me. I just wish people had a fear of their cars. Like they do of sharks. We'd all be safer. Right. You know, and that's, those are like the things, but again, it ends up becoming Hollywood. We're not desensitized to it. Like where it's just a common, everyday thing, you know? You know, then there's, there's, there's a, I guess, so there's also that, just that primal fear of sharks, you know, I mean it's yeah. Oh yeah. Something fr, you know, so I, I do understand some of that, but like I said, I also, at the same point don't understand why people don't get upset about those other things that I mentioned, because there's a better chance there than, than the shark thing. Well, you know what, I think it doesn't make as good a news half the time. Sure. The other, the other thing. Like you say, people are para afraid. They get in the water. They don't know what's there. But I mean, look at in New York, I don't know if anyone's ever actually been killed by a shark bite. No. In New York, no, nobody's died in New York. So, you know, I mean, so there's a couple little bites on a beach now they're making this huge, they got drones. They got this they're higher. Like it's jaws, like they're gonna go around. Right. And with that though, I UN you know, and with that though, I understand all that because nobody wants to be the mayor from jaws. Right. Right now. Yeah. The features are safe. Go ahead. So, you know, so they're putting up the drones, they're increasing patrols. Do I think it's gonna help? Sure. It'll get people, maybe just, again, more aware of what's going on around them, but you know, and more relaxed maybe that they, yeah. Maybe more relax and. Yeah, but the beaches because of that are gonna be closed more often. I mean, absolutely. As we started this conversation, you said how I'm always finding this find out, cause I'm looking right. We've never been looking for sharks on the beach or at least lifeguards and patrollers. And so once they start looking, they're gonna be like me, they're gonna find them when they go out in the morning, they're gonna be there, you know, so, right. Yeah. So again, but that's gonna be just something we just have to understand and kind of go with, you know, and right, right. Realize that sharks. Our crucial part of the environment. You know, we need them as much as we need the Striped best that we enjoy and, you know, and the summer flounder, you know, it's all, it's all connected. I don't care what you agree. It's all connected. Yeah. I, and you know, I'm a little bit nervous when D C issued a statement in Newsday that it's the amount of bait fish due to their change. In in 19, remember they made that change and stopped the, in saw the inside pair walls. So. So they're saying, you know by doing that, we have more fish. And my answer to that is let nature take care of itself. Sure. I mean, do we need something called a reduction boat to come in and take bunker out of the water? I mean, it's ludicrous, so right. We gotta, and at that same point, they're gonna end up catching sharks, bass, everything that's also there. And, you know, you know what happens with the stuff that doesn't. Is not, they're not their target species, you know, that just gets discarded. Right. You know? So what impact would that have? So, I mean, yeah. It's, you know, it's funny. I have seen people like it's all the Bunker's fault, you know, it's like, all right, well, let's get rid of bunker. Well then the whales go away. Right? The tuna, the blue tuna that have been all over the place, go away, gone. The dolphin go away. I mean, it, it's not just the sharks. Exactly. It, it fuels everything, you know, everything eats bunker. It's the most important fish in our ocean. Abso and birds too. Yeah. That's what I mean, everything birds, crabs, fish. I mean, when they wash up on the shore, you get land down like raccoons and things, you know, it's, it's everything, there's it, you know, it's thera, it's everything eats them. So yeah, it's, it's an important. It's an important fish. And I, you know, again, and I'm not the type who says, all right, we shouldn't harvest any bunker. You know, I'm not, I'm not like that at all. I just responsible harvest, I think is what we just need to keep in mind. Again, if the bunk, if the bunker population's at the point where it can sustain a little bit more harvest, I'm not against that, but I'm just, I just wanna make sure that it's being done responsibly and looking at the big ecosystem, not just somebody's, you know, pocket on what they're making. Yes. You know, I agree and disagree in the sense that they think that that's gonna. Right. It's not. Yeah, I truly don't believe. Let's say, they're gonna say, okay, let's take out, you know, let's hit the bunker that are in 30 feet of water, less or whatever, and that's not gonna help anything. No. So it's not gonna stop anything, you know, as well as I do, those shocks have been there forever. They have been there forever. They're just doing better now because of our conservation. Sure. So, I mean, that's how I feel anyway. Yeah, no, and I, I, I, I agree with you. I, like I said, what I look, what I look at is, you know, we often as anglers, you know, we say, well, there's so many CBAs, why won't they give us more CBAs? We should be able to get more CBA, you know? Well, that should apply to everything. Then that that's where I guess what I'm getting at, you know? So if there are more bunker well, and they should be allowed to harness a little bit more AB absolutely. I guess that's, that's just what I'm saying. Cuz sometimes we get it like. Only what's best for us, you know? And I, yeah, no, I look at the big picture and like, I'm, I am, I am for sustainable fisheries. Like if it's, if it's sustainable and they can increase the take on it, then I'm all for it, you know? But again, it's gotta be. Sustainable, you know, and that's guess that's, that's what kind of what I was getting at. Yeah. I'm not, no, I agree. I totally not a fan. I'm a fan of calls and all, cuz it, you know, calls have been proven not to work, you know, just, that's just, you know, other things move in when you pull out other stuff. So it, it's not a exactly. Yeah. You know, the only way calls work is wiping out, just like we did with the sharks and the whales and the seals, you know, when they're hunted to near extinction, then you don't have a problem with those animals. But you know, I mean, but you need. You need them you're part of the whole overall ecosystem. Yep. So, all right, well, Chris, I'll let you go. You gotta get your hat done cuz you, you, you might be on TV tonight. but did I give you like a makeup person or. No most of this has been zoom, so it, yeah, most of it's been zoom it's, you know, cause I'm all the way on south Hampton. So very rarely do they want to come all the way out here, you know? Cause this is the end of the world. Well, I, well, everything's zoom today. It's, it's a good way for them to save money. Anyhow, you know? Yeah. So, and you know what you're doing on zoom? I'm sure you'll have a nice background and oh yeah, you'll be all set up. So we need to do this again. I, you know, later on, I really enjoy speaking with you. You and I. Really on the same level. And I I'm telling you, I know for a fact we can make real change, especially now with the leadership we have in place and either way, you know, I mean, I know I don't wanna get political, but you know, Zelda has always been a good friend of ours and HOK seemed hours and Hule seems to be as concerned as anybody else about a fisheries. So hopefully moving forward, You know, will be able to put things in place and I'm sure they're gonna wanna clean up. So, you know, no, I definitely, I agree. I, I have a positive outlook. I think, you know, we've, we've proven that we've done some cool stuff. Like, like I said, the humpback whale, for example, you know, they're in the Atlantic, they're not listed as end danger or threatened anymore. And that's, that's huge, you know? Oh, I mean, they still, in other parts of the world are not in good shape at all, but just, it can be done. We just have to kind of work together and, and just again, be better educated. That's about it. I totally agree. Well, look, we're gonna have to do this again soon. Yes. You know, watch yourself with the shark frenzy. I will, because you know, they're gonna want you to say things that, you know, they're gonna say. Yep. Oh, these white sharks they're everywhere. Right? What happens? What happened to that one white shark that we've seen all shriveled up on the beach? Yeah. Like on every station, every five minutes, but Yeah. So, anyway again, Chris, I, I can't thank enough. I really enjoy everything from your wood ducks to I mean, literally everything, you know, my wife, I'm like, look at this guy. Yeah, my social media channel changes with the season. So it's a little fishier now in, in the winter time, it's a little bit more terrestrial, but yeah, you can, you can, everyone can follow me on Phish guy photos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo. I'm even on TikTok. But you can get me at all those different places. Again. Phish guy photos, all one word there. And no, George it's been great. Yes, Chris, we'll have to do it again and enjoy your shark week. Thanks. You too. Thank you. Bye bye. Once again, I'd like to thank Chris for his insights and for his time, he is a busy guy right now. He's kind of like Quint. Everybody's calling him about shark fishing. But truthfully, when you speak to him, he's like the furthest thing from Quint. But in any case, we are now dealing with like a strange phenomena. The sharks are so far have been small. I'm not one of these people that think like you gotta look out. I don't think, that these drones and all this other stuff, they're gonna find the sharks. They've always been there. They've been there for years. I've seen pictures of thousands sharks right off shore of fire island. They've been there forever. So what's happening, I believe is these Fisher starting to return. Remember they're they're on the endangered species list. They're almost totally bite. So now they're starting to return and we do have the bait ensure. So they don't for the bait. And you know, this is something we have to deal for a couple of weeks. It's no big deal is this is not jaws. So as much as I did wanna play that theme song, like to open this whole thing, but I didn't do that. I thought it was gonna be a little cheesy, but it's not yours. Are these fish? Right now are small. All the bites have been minor. I don't wanna downplay too much, but they have been so look, don't bite on no pun intended on the first thing. You're going to hear about how to fix it. And I'm telling you, I said this last week, when it first started, that they're gonna say we have too many bunk. Ensure, and that they're gonna want to take some out. It would be the worst thing for us with those bunker leave the Eagle population, which is starting to grow the osprays that are, that are flourishing, the bass that are following those, those bunker up and down the coast, as well as the blue fish and everything else. So don't bite on that. No pun intended. Let's not give up this, this bait fishery that we have that most, any state would love to have. Let's not give it up. You know, Chesapeake bay fish in there are starving. Here are fish are thriving. We've seen pictures of the Striped bass. We're catching here, and I've never seen so many big, healthy looking fish. So don't bite on the bunker. Yes. What Chris said was true. And if you could harvest a little bit more fine, but it's gotta be local commercial fishermen. I don't want omega coming back in with their giant processing ships, pulling the bunker, because if they do kiss the whales goodbye to dolphin, goodbye forget the bluefin fishery. It'll be just like, it was 20 years ago cuz you know this bill, I know they said it was 2019. This didn't happen three years. There was a much stronger bill that was passed early, you know, years ago. And since then we are seeing fine results. So don't bite on that. You know, this is just a strange phenomena. It's not gonna continue. And if it does find another beach to go to, I don't think we should kill all our bunker just to allow. X amount of people who go swimming for eight weeks a year. I'm sorry, I just don't buy it in any case. I'm I'll be back again. Next week. I have Billy, the Greek is gonna be on talking surf fishing for Striped bass at this time of year. And I'm reaching out to a few people to talk about the big Kobe that are being caught and how they're catching them. I hear they just run 'em with. With bunker bunker schools that look like they're being beat up. So I guess they're kind of fishing strip it. I mean, I don't know. 'em just guessing I don't know enough about that fishery, but I will, for the next episode, I hope to have it out right around this time next week. And again, I'd like to thank Chris. I'd like to thank all my listeners. I'd like to thank Glen over at New York, angler.com. Otherwise known. As the general, that's where you can find me as well, as thousands of really smart Sharpie anglers. And we're not stuck up and there's no person in fighting and there's no politics allowed, even though there's times, even I have to bite my lip, but yeah, come visit us new york angler.com. Sign. We got a lot in store coming up for this season. And once again, thanks for listening. Make sure that you click the subscribe buttons so you will get notifications every time. There's a new one and be sure to take advantage of the phenomenal fishing that we have. And I know the weather's tough, you know, like today the fish would probably be cooked by the time you got it in, but that's how it goes. The fishing's been great time to get out and enjoy. And once again, thanks for listening and good luck and good fishing.

Chris PaparoProfile Photo

Chris Paparo


Born and raised on Long Island (New York), I have been exploring the wilds of the Island for over 30 years. As the owner of Fish Guy Photos, I am a wildlife photographer, writer and lecturer who enjoys bringing public awareness to the diverse wildlife that calls the island home. My passion for coastal ecology, fishing and the outdoors led me to obtain a BS in Marine Science from LIU/Southampton and I currently manage the Marine Sciences Center at the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University.

An award-winning member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the New York State Outdoor Writers Association, I am a freelance writer for several fishing and wildlife related publications. Although my work tends to focus on marine life, everything in the natural world is fair game.

Follow my adventures on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube and TikTok at @fishguyphotos or by visiting my website at www.fishguyphotos.com