Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fish Report 8/12/07

Fish Report 8/12/07
Hi All,
Left the dock this morning with high hopes. Calm, just a leftover swell from Saturday's NE mini-blow, cooler finally, and some great regulars ~ pretty day & easily one of my worst trips!
Thankfully, we did have a few days treat us well this past week. The flounder wouldn't cooperate after the big southerly swell kicked in, but some sea bass knotted up. Still uncooperative -had to work for 'em- but sure scratched dinner out of it. 
Friday's confused seas -the remnant southerly swell and a heave from the NE- had me convinced that my deckhand needn't put out any strip baits for fluke.
NET! Good flounder on clam... Best day on flatties this week. It's fishing.
The half day boats have had some decent shots of croaker - I anticipate that we'll find good hardheads knotted up one day very soon. 
I saw a chart of sea turtle sightings for our region. It's data. Really poor data. Anyone looking at it would think them quite scarce.
Been writing down coordinates to the ones I see -including my first Ridley- to help build a better picture of sea turtle distribution. Someone will want it I suppose.
Seems odd that I haven't seen a single Leatherback. Growing to just over a ton, they are the world's largest sea turtle and typically common -but not prolific- in summer.
Today we saw a few windrows of jellyfish several yards wide and close to a quarter mile long. That's a lot of jellies. Conditions have come together that pushed them in.
Ol' Leatherback eats 'em almost exclusively. Most of these turtles are likely far to our north, but now that the table's set I'd bet we'll see a few.
Abundance or scarcity isn't always about fishing. At least I don't think anyone's pin-hooking jellies or trawling them in this region. (yes, there is an overseas market for certain jellyfish!) Weather, currents, water temps and salinity are things we can not control and are difficult to predict. Yet the fisher and fishery manager are at their mercy.
There may come a day when such are factored into computer modeling. It's no time soon, at least in a fashion that may help to predict their effects on fisheries. Especially useful would be their favorable/unfavorable effects on spawning.
Not near as hard to get your arms around; we don't even have a chart of seafloor habitat yet. It's either there or it's not, or was and now isn't, or isn't but will be...
With the jellies come the leatherback ~ croakers bring sharks ~ sea robins the flounder. In the immense complexity of our region's marine ecology; some parts are quite simple.
Abundant reef habitat -a place where crabs and lobsters thrive- means everything to a host of species. A huge portion of our fisheries economy is driven by reef ecology. It's part of a tangled food web that stretches to the top predators.
We need to model it ~understand it~ and put that knowledge to work.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservations 410 520 2076

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