Monday, May 28, 2007

Fish Report: Memorial Day '07

Fish Report: Memorial Day '07
Sea Bass & Rods That Don't Float
Hi All,
The earlier parts of the week were far better than the weekend's fishing ~ lots of high teens to 25 fish limits decreasing to mid-teens around the rail. Today the bite came back around our favor. 'Why' will remain a mystery.
Pool winners most days are over 4 pounds. Two gals won the money during the week - one in high school, the other about to graduate college.
Nothing terribly unusual about it; it's just that I greatly enjoy watching skilled anglers wrestle with the fact that a young lady is trouncing them. Badly.
A bruised ego part of the fun? Depends on your sense of humor, but it's definitely part of fishing ~ like when a 4 hour boat finds a hot wreck while I turn the ocean inside out trying to scratch up dinner ~ or one of the most broadly skilled anglers I know gracefully tosses a favorite rod overboard. Happens.
An old tug boat skipper told me, "If you ain't been aground you ain't been nowhere." Truth in that...
Dogfish are pushing through. We were crushed by them Thursday afternoon ~ double headers. Sunday we had 7 or 8 during the whole trip. Not that I'd wish 'em on anyone, but it seems like they're moving north for the rest of the summer
Still an odd tog here and there. One of the 'all winter' toggers caught a new personal best ~ 18 1/2 pounds. Didn't seem to mind that he had 5 lonely sea bass while many others had limits - not a care...
Quite a few tog tag returns too. I'm thankful that all the recaptures were measured, re-tagged and re-released. That's going to make great data.
I knew summer was near when I stopped at the Wawa for 5:30 coffee the other morning ~ young lady in front of me was giddily purchasing an ice cream cone. Oh yeah, OC's not all-about fishing! Memorial Day is traditionally the first really big weekend. Some of the events like the hot rod weekend are sure giving it a go, but for boating, this is the opener. 
That made it a fine time for the Rt. 50 drawbridge to quit. Half open for a while; boats couldn't get through nor cars across... Glad I was in the ocean.
Don't know when, but someday that old bridge is going to make some fine reef habitat!
Caught a 10 pound monkfish the other day - first one in a long time. We never saw many; maybe two a year. But they were bigger ~ lots bigger, and usually ate a sea bass that someone already had hooked. This one ate a huge jig.
Easily in anyone's 'top five ugliest fish on the planet' list; the goosefish/monkfish has been targeted for over a decade by commercial effort. There are special permits and landings limits - gear restrictions; all for a fish that was hardly a notion 30 years ago. Crews might have kept some to sell -shack money- but dern sure didn't make a living on 'em.
They'll probably go into a 'natural cycle' ~ catches will fade away...
There's a lot of work to do out there.
Maybe I'll see you on a summer's day.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservations 410 520 2076

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