Morning Star Fish Report

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Fish Report 9/25/21

Fish Report 9/25/21 

Just 9/26 & 9/27 for now. Opening Sunday & Monday. Weather becomes awful later in the week. Rest of Sept scheduled as previously scheduled. Open October Soon! 


Offering Sea Bass Trips With Prices Same As Last Year. While sea bassing's still plenty dagoned good for September, it's certainly not what it was. 

But back in the 1980s? Impossible. Became fantastical better after we began self regulation in 1992. 

Currently we usually have a couple guys in double digits with one fellow close to or at a limit. 


Have had a few fellows catch flounder most every day. I'm primarily selling a sea bass trip—doing all I can to catch clients plenty of cbass. It will be a sea bass only pool. If you want to target fluke? Knock yourself out - just don't hold it against us if the guy 2 spots down is limited on sea bass while you have to head to McDonalds for a fillet of fish sandwich! 


Ticket Sales Limited To Four. (Let your friends take care of their own reservations!) Will sometimes sell all spots—a charter. Has to go through me and not terribly likely. I've built a livelihood carrying individual anglers and enjoy their company. 

Saturdays 6:30 to 3:30 at $155.00 — Weekdays 7 to 3 at $135 — All cbass trips sell out at a nicely spaced 18 Anglers...

Sundays & Mondays continue to be held in reserve. Day off? Special trip? (Usually I spend all day working on reef building..) Any special trips I might post will announce here.. 

Like the two sea bass/flounder trips Sunday 9/26 (tomorrow as I write!) & Monday 9/27. Regular 7 to 3 trip at $135.00. Weather for the fishing part of Monday looks spectacular - calm. 


Reservations Required  For All Trips - Call Anna (and sometimes Hanna!) Reservation Line is Open 8am to 8pm at 443-235-5577 


As ever, Be a half hour early! We always leave early!

..except when someone shows up right on time.

Clients arriving late will see the west end of an east-bound boat.

With a limited number of reserved spots, I do not refund because you

overslept or had a flat. No Refund or Reschedule for a missed trip! 


Trips Also Announced (but later - email is always first) on Facebook at Morning Star Fishing

https://www.facebook.com/ocfishing

My personal and Morning Star FB pages get daily after action (or lack thereof) reports..


Bait is provided on all trips.


If You Won't Measure & Count Your Fish, The State Will Provide A Man With A Gun To Do It For You. We Measure & Count — ALWAYS — No Exceptions!


It's Simple To Prevent Motion Sickness, Difficult To Cure. Bonine seems best because it's non-drowsy. This is truly cheap & effective insurance.

Honestly - If you get to go on the ocean once month, once a year, or

even less; why risk chumming all day? Similarly, if you howl at the

moon all night, chances are good you'll howl into a bucket all day.


Bring A Cooler With Ice For Your Fish – A 48 Quart Cooler Is Fine For

Two People. Do Not Bring A Very Large Cooler. We DO have a few loaners - you'll still need ice.

No Galley! Bring Food & Beverages To Suit. A few beers in cans is fine for the ride home.


As of 9/25/21 we have 35,023 Reef Blocks + 359 Concrete Pyramids (170lb ea) deployed at numerous ACE permitted ocean reef sites - and, as of August 2021, we also have 119 pyramids in Chesapeake Bay working to restore blue water…

Currently being targeted: Virginia Lee Hawkins Memorial Reef 99 Reef Blocks (+53 Reef Pyramids begun 8/18/20) - Capt. Jack Kaeufer's/Lucas Alexander's Reefs 1,856 Blocks (+44 Reef Pyramids) - Doug Ake's Reef 4,154 blocks (+16 Pyramid Reef Pyramids) - St. Ann's 2,777 (+8 Reef Pyramids) - Sue's Block Drop 1,582 (+20 Reef Pyramids) - TwoTanks Reef 1,223 (+ 11 Reef Pyramids) - Capt. Bob's Inshore Block Drop 912 - Benelli Reef 1,491 (+ 15 Pyramids) - Rudy's Reef 465 - Capt. Bob's Bass Grounds Reef 3,508 (+56 reef pyramids) - Wolf & Daughters Reef 734 - Al Berger's Reef 1,009 (+11 Reef Pyramids) - Great Eastern Block Drop 1,094 (+10 Reef Pyramids).. And a soon-to-be-named reef at Russell's Reef 30 Blocks & 49 Pyramids - We've also begun work at Capt Greg Hall's Memorial Reef with 92 Tog Monster Blocks & 2 Pyramids… 

****
Greetings All, 
Was at a public DNR Fisheries meeting when the wind energy fisheries staff showed.  
When I asked why the boats were surveying so far out of the box I was met with absolute denial save some silliness about weather. 
I guess my compass and radars were reading backward those days I saw/watched what appeared to be survey work even 7 miles east of the Great Eastern Reef. That would be out of the wind permit. 
Why get flustered by it though? Was there some rule they bent? Looks to me like once BOEM says go, nothing will stop it.
I reviewed MD's recreational catch estimates for sea bass before I went. Been complaining long and loud about their inaccuracies for 23 years. Every time NOAA says "They're Fixed" - they've instead grown far worse. 
A short illustration: At that meeting there was a good representation of local angling effort. Among private boaters there I doubt even one had gone sea bassing this spring. From among charter/party skippers present we'd had thousands of anglers out for sea bass, almost always successfully in May/June. 
MRIP (Marine Recreational Information Program - where regulators learn of recreational overfishing) claims private boats outfished party charter 11.84 sea bass to Party/Charter's 1(one). 
These sorts of data are precisely why NJ, NY & points north are in such trouble with sea bass - closed or 3 fish, huge size limits - and all because MRIP has (for instance) NY Private Boat catching nearly 10x what all Commercial and Party/Charter caught from Hatteras north several years back. 
It's all nonsense. There are no good private boat estimates - none. 
Been telling the same DNR people the exact same data complaints for 15 years or so. 
I didn't even bring it up this time. Numb. 
When I complained about disruption of sea bass' life cycle back in 2013/14/& 15 it was called Baloney by BOEM. I even took out half page ads. Yet in 2015 we had the worst, by far, (by really way super far,) ..the worst May sea bass run ever. There was ZERO hurry for those fish to come to their spawning grounds - virtually none did. 
I then predicted beginning in late summer 15, restated in 16, & 17 the fantastic surge of sea bass we've had in the last few years. With the recolonization of the survey area in 2016 it became "all hands on deck" come spawning & their number blossomed. (The MD WEA & out 4 or 5 miles beyond was fully evacuated by sea bass by late summer 2014. When surveys ceased in late August 2015 I'd predicted they'd recolonize and spawn as they always had prior to regulation hitting 12 inches - that sea bass would again spawn at 7.5 to 9 inches — boy did they!)
Now I'm predicting sea bass will fail 3 to 4 years out - & fail spectacularly. I've written a fair bit on it. If we don't lower the size limit they'll collapse far far worse than in the period of true overfishing. Even now our two "half day" boats are running 18 & 19 miles because there are no sea bass inshore. In a few years those 20 mile reefs too shall fail because of mis-managed spawning behavior. 
Fishermen will blame it on wind construction but management's failing to force sea bass to spawn at age one will be the real culprit. 
Anyway, I believe I saw survey boats way the heck further offshore than I ever saw them in the 3 years when MD first allowed surveying - even just past 38*10//74*34.. There's a deep slough there - I watched em survey on radar. 
What I wish I'd done was take pics of my radar! 
I do have pics of them SE of the whale listening buoy. (Crazy expensive. Wish we'd have put that money into habitat instead.) One of the survey boats absolutely destroyed my clients' sea bass bite that morning, so I took pics. 
Amazingly, one of their boats had a brand new survey rig that didn't affect sea bass in the least. The boat with the old-time gear? Shut us down exactly as they had in the mid twenty-teens. In fact, in this exact scenario the survey boat scarcely a mile away was doing no harm while the other 3 miles away had the bite shut perfectly. 
I saw many days in summer of 21 when they sure looked as though they were surveying way out of the MDWEA (wind energy area.) The fisheries liaison insisted they'd have only been there because of weather. 
What?
That's just silly. 
If I'm out there with my 55' boat and the survey boats were nearly triple that? 
But why deny it… 
I can't imagine they'd get in trouble for surveying. 
Dern sure didn't when I was begging for relief over sea bass. 
And now monopiles wind energy generators atop a single immense concrete monopile. Previous leaseholder promised multi-legged towers as an oil well would have. I suppose they can armor these huge single towers with stone to prevent scour and keep sand from being cast far down current. 
I sure liked the three & four leg towers better. Much less disruptive to the bottom & a dern site better 'reef' extending far up and away through the water column.. 
Perhaps they'll be a good neighbor. Maybe they will engage in the fight for blue seas. 
Sure looks like they'll take what they please and too bad for us. 
Has it ever been different? "The strong do what they will while the weak suffer what they must."
Cheers 
Monty 

Capt Monty Hawkins 
Mhawkins@morningstarfishing.com 
Info@ocreefs.org

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