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Catching an octo in NJ

Tommycs

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#1
I've heard that Octopuses are somewhat common at the beaches of california. I live in New Jersey about 1000 feet from the ocean. Are there Octopuses here? I have found starfish in the jetty's before, caught striped bass while fishing, caught a few skates, some fluke and a few blue fish. But that is about all of the marine life that I have seen around here. Oh and I caught a sand shark while swimming (don't ask how). So are there any octopuses that inhabit this area? Or are there even any octopuses in the northeast?
Thanks
 

Tommycs

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#2
After doing some research I found that this is the closest reef to me. http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/reefconcrete06.htm (actually directly off the coast of where I am) by looking at the one picture, does it look like an environment of which an octopus could live in, or does anybody know how far octopuses have been found on the east coast (west atlantic).
Thanks
 

Tommycs

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#4
Are their even laws made specifically for catching octopuses? Not so sure it is a common thing around here, because I am not sure if there even are any octopuses this far north.
 

cuttlegirl

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#5
Oh yeah, there are laws... here is a sticky about regulations in California, I'll see what I can find out about New Jersey. Sometimes having a fishing license is enough...

http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/9858/

Here is some info about New Jersey. http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/marinelicenses.htm

Here are the complete set of regulations. I can't find anything about octopus (or squid) but be aware, it is illegal to collect whale sharks... :lol:

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/pdf/2009/comregs09.pdf
 

Tommycs

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#6
Thank you very much, however like I said the chances of me finding an octopus are very slim, however I will still read through the regulations and I will be sure to follow the law. Thanks again.
 

cuttlegirl

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#7
Tommycs;137835 said:
Thank you very much, however like I said the chances of me finding an octopus are very slim, however I will still read through the regulations and I will be sure to follow the law. Thanks again.
I think you may need a shellfish license because it states all molluscs except conch. You may want to contact them directly to get more information. The shellfish license has this to say...
Maximum harvest 150 clams/day for personal consumption only (sale prohibited). Harvest prohibited from: condemned waters; leased grounds (except by lessee); before sunrise, after sunset, and on Sundays. Minimum hard clam size 1.5 inches. Valid through June 1 - September 30
 

Tommycs

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#8
Alright, well when I do decide to head out to one of those reefs (sometime this summer) I will be sure to call and get the appropriate license.
 

DWhatley

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#10
I love the clam ruling you found Jennifer :grin:. It becomes quite humerous when applied to octopuses but would make collecting a briareus impossible. I suspect octopuses don't fall under the molluscs rules though.

Generally speaking, little is thought about octos and squid in the US (except the bimac in CA). The octopuses are usually considered a nuisance by commercial fishermen (especially crabbers) and are cut up as fish bait when found in traps or happen to get caught on a fishing line. In the Keys, at least some of the crabbers will check with local fish collectors to see if there is a market for the critter that ate their crabs should it still be in the trap. Trapper, my first octopus was named after her captor, Trapper Jeff, and was preserved because Ken put in a request to keep one alive for me. I read an article this season that said that many of the stone crab trappers quit early this year (roughly November - March) because the octopuses were excessive and raiding too many pots.
 

Tommycs

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#11
I'll be sure to ask some of the crab fishermen around here if they had ever caught or seen one. After researching a bit, the only octopus that I found that could live in these waters is this. If you look at the map and go to suitable environments there is a small speck that looks to be right off the coast of NJ. Thanks D
 

cthulhu77

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#12
You might be able to get an octopus from one of those crab fishermen...give them a five gallon bucket with a tight lid (home depot sells them for 5 bucks and slip them ten bucks when they bring it back to the dock with a live animal.
 

Tommycs

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#13
Perhaps I will. I will just ask one of the crab fishermen around here. (anybody know when the peak of crab fishing season is around here?)
 

Joe-Ceph

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#14
I've caught bimacs in California. All you need is a fishing license and to make sure you are not in a protected area / reserve. Save yourself days of trial and error and find someone who knows where, when, and how to catch them. The local crabbers are a good bet. Here in California, some recreational fishermen catch octopus for use as bait. If you ask around at a few local bait/tackle shops they might know how to catch them, or at least where. You can also ask a local dive club if they ever see octopus, just to find out if any live there.

The basic method here in CA is to go down to the tidepools at really low tide (less than -0.5 feet) and tip up rocks to see if there's an octopus under it. Don't roll the rocks all the way over, just tip them up on edge, and put them back down in the same place when you've had a look. Otherwise you may kill/squish things growing on the rocks, or destroy habitat. Never flip the rock and leave it upside down, or you'll kill everthing living on it. Big flat rocks are best (but not so big that you risk getting hurt!). And do it in water that is only a few inches deep. That's what works here, but your local species (if you even have one) may have a completely different MO.

Isn't the water sort of cold in NJ? I need a chiller to keep my tank at 62 degrees because the local water is that cold. Will room temp be too warm for a NJ octopus?
 

Tommycs

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#15
Well in the summer here the air temp gets to about 100 at its highest ( once a year we will have a day or two of 105 or 106) so I am guessing that if I caught an octopus in the summer, than the room temp would probably be alright, however I'll be sure to test the water for its temperature and If I do catch one here and the water is colder than the room temp than I will pick up a chiller to install on my tank. However like I said, if it is caught in the summer I don't think that the temperature will be a problem. I am aware of that method of which you described of catching octopus, however I cannot seem to find any tide pools here so instead I try to look in the jetties however it is hard when you have waves smashing at you from behind. I am sure that there are still many places of which I have yet to find here in NJ that will resemble the tide pools of which you speak. I have a couple of friends who work at bait shops and there is a dive club down the street so Ill be sure to check in with both of them to see if they know anything.
 

mucktopus

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#16
I don't know of any octopuses that would be easy to catch in NJ. I grew up going to the Jersey Shore during the summers (Barnegat Bay area, between seaside and pt. pleasant), and regularly fished and crabbed the beaches, lagoons, bay, and Manasquan inlet. Alas not once did I see or hear of an octopus being brought up. Every once in a while you might find Amphiocotpus burryi coming up with the gulf stream. Some local divers might have a better idea about this. Good luck!
 

Tommycs

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#17
thanks, but I too don't really think that I will catch one. Never hurts to try.
 

lockburn

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#18
I've spent many summers at the beach in NJ (Long Beach Island) and have never seen one. I'm very interested if you happen to have any luck though!

When I ordered my first octopus from OctoPets many moons ago, I also ordered some baby clams as food. These are very plentiful on the NJ beach. Just go to the water line and you'll see them washed up onto the beach each wave. They'll wiggle to get seated back into the sand. This could be good food for a small octopus, but'll it'll need something bigger once it grows.

Good luck!
 

Tommycs

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#19
Yes, the clams sure are plentiful here, I am about 45 minutes north of LBI and I will be sure to let everyone know how I make out. However I am really almost sure that I wont find anything.
 

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