Friday, November 10, 2006

Fish Report 11/8/06

Fish Report 11/8/06
Help Wanted
Hi All,
The year grows shorter. Grey November skies on a flat calm day: it's a time of year I truly enjoy.
The fishing isn't what I'd expect - yesterday's limit-out and in early was the exception. Mostly we're working to get folks 'there' or close to it - working through the smalls to get keepers. I'd say we're averaging half the customers limited out.
Some of the sea bass we're seeing are 'YOY', that is, young of the year. I'd sure like to understand how a cbass can go from fertilized egg to reef resident in such a short time. Can it be purely random? Can they really leave an estuary and 'accidentally' find structure 15 to 30 miles offshore? Did they navigate there by scent or is there an inborn navigation? Did they all actually come from an estuary, or is there an offshore component to cbass production awaiting discovery? Odd. There's room for some serious work here. And it's not just sea bass - I don't think we fully understand the mechanics of summer flounder's early months of life either, among others.
Bluefish continue to harass our bottom fishers. It's mostly been a good thing - not so many as to run us off a spot, just enough to allow someone to target them for a while. Not everyday though... A 6 to 8 oz. bucktail or metal jig on a short piece of wire serves the purpose well.
One fellow's chunk of fish on a bucktail was slurped up by a 'big blue', but, by miraculous transformation, turned into an eight pound flounder. Nice surprise!
So there's still a few flatties around, but targeting them just got a whole lot harder - last Friday the dreaded spiny dogs arrived. Evading these small sharks is a pain. Ugh. It brought a chuckle to a fisheries meeting when I offered to make a donation to the Maryland Waterman's Association for every tractor trailer load of spiney dogfish they caught. I truly think there's way too many - just part of a skewed marine ecosystem.
One regular put a porgy in his cooler the other day. He's been fishing here a long time. Said the last time he caught a decent porgy (scup) in OC was 1969 - 37 years ago! It was once a mainstay fishery of the party boats here.
Some work there too, I'd say - bringing 'em back that is. If you've caught good sized scup, you know how scrappy they are ~ lots of fun, tasty too! It would be worth the effort.
You can sure catch a light rail during the week - still sailing everyday the weather will allow. I'll switch to 'email alert' trips only for December and the rest of the winter. December's fishing depends on how the bass hold up. If the water cools too much then they'll go offshore.
I've seen a few bluefins inside 20 miles, nothing big yet though, and the striper/bluefish winter migration is, from what I hear, just to our north.
Looking forward to tog opening up in January - it's still closed in December in MD. Hopefully, those thousands of tags the last few years will show a better way to manage them and yet allow a re-opening of December in '07.
I need to find a mate that wants to work year 'round. Real drug testing - maintenance work - good people and boat skills - a good fisher. The first thing I always ask is to tie a bowline - the splicing can come later!
We'll see how that goes. Otherwise, there's a few weeks left of cbassing.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservations 410 520 2076

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