Monday, May 02, 2011

Fish Report 5/2/11

Fish Report 5/2/11
More Toggin
Sea Bass Soon
Three Completely Different Days
Ocean City Reef Foundation Spaghetti Dinner - Wednesday, May 4th, Halls Restaurant, 61 Street Bayside, Ocean City - A casual fundraiser with lots of tackle, live auction, 50/50s and last-chance at an awesome hand-made nautical quilt.. 
Inshore tog fishing Thursday, May 5th, 7 AM to 3 PM - $100 - 10 people sells out.
Friday & Saturday, May 6th & 7th, Going Long-Tog - 11 hour - Further Out - 5:30 AM to 4:30 PM - 16 Sells Out - $150 - No Slam Dunk - Try Hard, Fail Harder.. (but hopefully catch bigger fish) 
Sunday & Monday - May 8th & 9th - Inshore Tog - 7 AM to 3 PM - $100.00 - 12 people sells out. . .
Green Crabs Provided - Clam if you want - Reservations Required @ 410 520 2076 - LEAVE THE BEST CONTACT NUMBER IN CASE OF WEATHER CANCELATION. 
Be early. Everyone likes to leave early. Show up late and you'll see the west-end of an east-bound boat..
Sea Bass Trips open from May 22cnd on - Stern spots & Saturdays are disappearing...
Hi All,
Man, that was a pretty sight; Ben's keeper double of cod.
It's May already, yet Saturday and Sunday we caught cod. Haven't had 'em in weeks.
Off hunting big tog, we did have a few dandies. Long-time sea bass regular, Ralph, took the pool with a 13.8 pound tog Saturday. Sunday Alex had top fish with a 10.3 pounder.
What an odd couple days..
Friday I had a NY City area native catch a jumbo tog--about 12 pounds if I recall. He hollers "%$*%$@#*!!!" in glee.
Perhaps not what you or I might shout in joy, but there you have it.
I cautioned him sternly on language - trying to run a family operation..
Auditory foul gone with the wind, we enjoy a nice day..
On the way out Saturday I smell something funny. I explain to Who-Me? that it might be a belt in the engine room and if I get scent of it again I was headed back in -- period.
Then, on our first drop of the day: Fish On - A Dandy ..but the lady's reel pops off the rod. Three people are bringing the fish up.
Net-scooped up & over the rail. Really Good Fish: She hollers, "%$*%$@#*!!!" 
The very same auditory bomb as the day before..
What could I say? It would have been for her that I would have cautioned against language..

The bite that day was strange. Black-belt expert toggers --the sharpies-- could only watch as dandies were caught by those equally enthusiastic, just not as practiced.
Cod bit too - a gift (and very tasty dinner.)
Most were pleased with effort and catch -- some had one among their best trips.
Sunday we took a very long paddle looking for Big Mo.
Couple dandies right out of the gate, "Net!"
Then slower.
A few cod, a few more tog, very fine sea bass getting tagged; Tapering. I needed a move, a place to go.
None close - off we went.
More cod. Less tog.
A pair of sharpies get a good shot of crab-crunchers.
In late. Pictures, smiles: Finished the day with most clients quite happy but only a couple limited on tog..
Then, on Monday's inshore trip, we were in early with a boat-limit of tog and a single cod. Paul's 9.7 pounder took the pool.
I look forward to more........
It's late. I'm bushed.
Was going to write an odd weekend's fish story and announce a few trips..
Get an email from PEW, "Help Us Prevent Overfishing In The Southeast!" 
Nose around for 5 minutes in the MRFSS data, the official recreational catch estimates. Looks mighty familiar: 30K red snapper caught by private boats then 120K caught the following year in the same 2 month period.. Bet they tightened regulations yet still we dark evil wraiths of sportfishing managed to evade management's purpose.

Yup, I can just see crazy ol' Uncle Murfs taking a long pull from his clay jug, "Hay, You There! Triple that catch estimate! They can't do nothin bout it no-way!"
The Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey -- MRFSS -- Is, in part, used to gauge how many fish once were and, therefore, how many we need to 'put back' in order to restore our nation's fisheries.
It is the only measure of whether we have overfished any particular quota.  
The government knows MRFSS stinks. That's why they're spending bank to fix it, replacing it with MRIP. . . . .
I have asked for the red-snapper/grouper habitat restoration/enhancement plan -- nothing. Just crickets..
Dern sure they know they have habitat down there--reef habitat. Unlike here, they even have scientists that swim around it; take pictures and stuff.
They have lots and lots of reef dinners, of state and county reef programs; can muster the juice to spend millions on sinking an aircraft carrier..
And have a huge gas/oil industry (with accompanying danger) that builds reefs all over called 'oil rigs.' 
Many years ago -- decades -- The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council began a management plan for the surf-clam industry. A first-in-the-world; many ideas were only conceptual.
As management grew stricter and stricter boats were finally allowed 1 day a month to fish. Captains were not able to chose that day, the government did. There was no flexibility: They either fished or they didn't.
Boat & house payments ..simply food on the table -- They went clamming no matter how bad the weather.
We fish on the Norman D, pieces of the Marblehead, the Patty B, Atlantic Mist, Riggins; the Misty Blue is up the way a touch.
These and others sank -And Men Died- because management was so rigid that they would suffer no infusion of common sense into their 'clam restoration plan.'
With 30 years in the game I believe recreational fishers have no need to fear truthful catch estimates.
Rigidity on management's part, however, is another matter.
You'll soon be running into folks who collect catch data in pristine form, The data-takers who interview fishers. Know that all the many years of these "Angler Intercepts" --this coming year and in every year past-- will prove vital when the new MRIP estimating program is up and the STATISTICAL FORMULAS into which angler intercepts are fed have finally been modified..  
Rigid, inflexible, habitat-ignorant; Determined to create and strictly enforce policy based solely on wildly inaccurate recreational fishing data: Of the ways to wipe out fisheries, rough seas & overfishing are but two. 
Ptolemy, though certainly a genius, used bad data to determine the solar system had a stationary Earth at its center..  
Catch estimates lie: Reef Restoration Makes Fishery Restoration Simple.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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