Friday, June 26, 2009

Fish Report 6/26/09

Fish Report 6/26/09
Full Stop - Then Picking Up
How Nice For Them
Hi All,
For several days last weekend through Tuesday; while that low was stuck to our north, we had the lousiest, slowest fishing possible - and this over some of the biggest schools of cbass this year. Cold water? Cbass's equivalent to what goes on in Ocean City's popular night clubs? Bellies full? Maybe to all of them: Ripping current from the NE had to be colder; Colors of male cbass very bright - spawning time coming or happening; Fish were at times 50 to 60 feet off the bottom - indicative of krill & plankton feeding.
All at once? Derned if I know.
Most customers barely caught dinner during the period.
Glad that's over!
I hope..
Much improved, it's now sea bass with a few flounder. Except when there's more flounder than cbass.
This is summer fishing - have fun, nick a few for a family fish fry, throw a bunch back. Best I can do with it.
It can be made better in the future.
Capt. Greg took another step in that direction on Thursday with the siting of a 20 x 50 barge at Kelly's Reef in the inshore Bud Bower reef set. Cabled to the barge were many reef units welded by Parkside High and another by Mumford's Sheet Metal.
This particular Mumford unit was the second "Gun Reef." Millsboro Delaware PD must destroy their confiscated weapons. The guys at Mumford's incorporate the pieces into their reef units - grows coral.
Betcha there's more guns confiscated/scrapped over on the 'restore the oyster' side of Maryland..
We are getting our recreational teeth kicked-in by management in these difficult times. Regulations MUST be set that will rebuild whatever stock of fish you care to name by next year or the year after. 12 1/2 inch sea bass.. 18 inch flounder.. And these fish populations are increasing - big time. Just not enough to suit their best guess as to previous populations.
So I was pretty proud of the surf-clam community -- from the MAFMC press release: "..It was also recommended by the Council that the minimum size requirement for surfclams be suspended." 
At a MAFMC meeting a while back I saw an ecologist testify that he'd seen surf clams stage an incredible comeback; wasn't concerned in the least that catches and biological assessments were trending down.
Same quotas - no size limit.
How nice for them.
I see present day management of our reef fisheries as if a squirrel management team stood square-center of a Nebraska cornfield pondering how to restore them to the area using only hunting controls.
Seafloor habitat has to get found and protected; habitat fidelity must be factored into regional management or stocks will, through ignorance, continue to oscillate without apparent cause.
Sea bass in 2003 -the best I've ever seen- were still far below their 1950s  population, yet I'm confident that we were nearing the remaining habitat's holding capacity.
Ain't many trees in that cornfield...
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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