Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fish Report 4/27/08

Fish Report 4/27/08
Reef Foundation Dinner
Fuel Pain
Disrespectful Tog
Hi All,
Sunday's weather forecast of N 10 - 15 didn't quite pan out.
Brand new gigantic flag stretched taut by an ENE wind. Doesn't get worse than that. At least for 25+ knots.
Handful of really nice days this week though. Made the best of 'em too. Don't think we boxed anything under 16 inches on Saturday; tagged & released 28. That may not sound like many considering some of my reports, but I'm sticking to my personal "Paperwork Reduction Act" and only tagging 18+ inch fish. Most of them were large females plus a 10 pound male I put back after I noticed his exceptional 'golf ball' chin and broad square tail. Hope he's a ladies man..
Lot of nice fishing this week.
Looks like we'll get Tuesday and Wednesday in for pure toggin' --cutting it back to 10 people for those two trips-- and then gradually transition to sea bassing.
I say gradually. There's been a few cbass front runners; some quite nice, but no real push of numbers. It'll happen. Soon.
The first week of May I have set up to sell-out at 15 people so that we can target bass or tog - both really.
If it gets right I'll open the rail to 25 people.
Odd but necessary.
Also necessary is a rate increase; my last when $2.00 a gallon was breached. The $3.85 for marine diesel is just incredibly painful. Can't absorb that and meet all other obligations.
Up $10.00 starting May 1st. Saturday's long trip price remains the same. I'll certainly honor tickets already purchased.
If you know a young man that wants to fish when he grows up, send him to me and I'll try to impress the need for higher learning and business foresight on him..
Great Scott...
Anyway, got so caught-up with the idea of a Maryland Reef Program --a funded, staffed, aggressive program to which we could then donate even more time, money, and materials-- that I forgot about to write about an incident that occurred during the big ground swells of a week and a half ago.
Dreadful. Cold sweats in the night; my 'forgetting to write' likely a psychosomatic memory loss.. I bring myself to type it only at the urging of my cell-phone text-message mental health advisors.
It started with a goose-egg on the first stop.
Anchored anew, terrible slow bite, and a lady, Joan, catches the first one.
Ah good, break the ice - get the skunk out.
Then she caught the second one.
Had some talent on the rail. Mate Ritch and I were fishing too.
She then caught the third fish of the day.
Went to investigate... Her husband, still as skunked as the rest of us, was using live crabs. 
She wasn't.
The pain.. 
My precious tog were eating plastic.
Shades of Dido's Lament, daytime soap operas, and all the unscrupulous lies on the web rolled into a singular moment of tragedy unknown to this fisher.
Yes, they were eating Berkley "Gulp" sand fleas and crab. Actually favoring, with dramatic emphasis, the plastics over live green & rock crabs ~ the crabs they call 'white leggers' up north.
The next day, in a bigger ground swell, some of the fellows had plastics and they again out-performed.
Wasn't big fish taking these artificial baits, but some were keepers.
Both days saw an afternoon bite when the real stuff caught up.
Still, when the chips were down the plastics worked.
Fish that I hold to be clever, challenging, fussy, requiring angler skills finely honed with long hours at the rail.. I had no idea that our tog would commit to such lowliness as taking a plastic bait over live crab. Downright disrespectful.
Ignoring all of history's painful lessons of tolerance; maybe we can get Maryland DNR to allow any tog caught on plastic to go in the cooler. Surely the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission would side with me..
Ah well, if you must, it's BYOP...
A week and a half to go before the Reef Foundation's Dinner at Hall's Restaurant on 61st Street Bayside. If you're in town, looks like lots of fishing gear and other great stuff being donated by local businesses for the live and silent auctions. May 7th, 5 to 8pm, all you can eat Italian for 15 bucks --entire dinner sponsored by the Hall family-- all proceeds go back into reef building.
There is so much to do to rebuild the region's fisheries. I consider reef building the greatest in importance. And the most permanent.
Concrete as it were...
See You on the Rail, or perhaps at the Dinner,
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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