Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fish Report 5/28/11

Fish Report 5/28/11
Sea Bass OK
A Jumbo & A Limit 
Re-Reef The Chesapeake
You Should Comment
Long Double-Anchor Wreck Trips - Tuesday, May 31st & Thursday, June 2cnd - 6AM to 4PM - $125 - Supposed to be pretty weather. Have a few distant spots I want to look at.
Otherwise, fishing everyday..
Reservations Required at 410 520 2076.
Hi All,
Sea bassing isn't bad.  
Have often had high-hook in the twenties this week. That's not an easy task at 12 1/2 inches.
Had opportunity to nick a few cbass myself using gold & silver spoons; jigging up a pretty bass now & again.
Ricky sees it's game-on with the spoon and drops a good ol' Bridgeport 6 ounce diamond jig -- Six for six! ..and a quarter. One of the five biggest sea bass I've ever seen -- 6 1/4 pounds.
Sea bass are not "Running Huge" off Ocean City -- Just that one was.
We're weeding through should-be-legal shorts for keepers. Nicking a cod or a tog now & again on clam too.
Hitting bait only Friday. Cbass wanted no part of a jig. 
Saturday we saw a wonderful bite with Dae boxing the first cbass limit on my rig this year, while the captain had a blast on a gold hammered spoon.
Dae took the sea bass side of the pool too with a 4 pounder. Very good fishing for all aboard..........
Went to the MD Legislative Sportsman's Foundation dinner Thursday. Had opportunity to speak with some key folks about re-reefing the Chesapeake.
Had hoped to 'bump into' the Governor and tell him that Marty Gary et al. have found a nearly endless supply of ancient fossilized oyster rock in Florida's panhandle. The folks who mine this calcified shell have a practically direct rail line to Baltimore.
Great Mercy It's a Wonderful Looking Reef Material!
Biofiltering is a vital oyster reef function in desperate need of restoration. So too is fish habitat; even for species long off the radar. 
Jobs Now while reef building. Greatly increased sustainable fishery harvests; Even new fisheries will follow.
That biofiltering is positively critical to restoring our ocean ecosystem even far offshore--We need clean water out front here from the estuaries' outflows
My vision of re-reefing MD's Chesapeake uses an underlayment of MD quarried granite with this FL super-substrate laid over top: Lots & lots & lots of granite with calcified shell lain overtop.
Great things will happen.
I hear sheepshead were once prolific in MD's Chesapeake; now all but extinct.
A story often repeated in modern fisheries..
I'll just guess that there were fellows who targeted them. As the oystermen leveled more & more reef only the most robust oyster bars were left. That made the sheepshead easier to find. With the fish pressured harder as they had lower juvenile recruitment (fewer juveniles surviving the early stages of life due to habitat loss) the fish's population dwindled.
When the last of the oyster bars were leveled, MD's Chesapeake sheepshead were evicted.
It may be that fishing had nothing to do with their extirpation. (localized extinction) It may be that habitat loss is solely to blame.
Oyster habitat actually targeted for market; In other fisheries habitat is simply bycatch.
Many of the places where party boats full of anglers once drifted for sea bass in the era before precise navigation have been so altered by industrial fishing gear that no reef-species of fish can now survive there.
Lucky for today's sport-fishers that some rocks were just too big and that weather and war left places for corals to grow.
NOAA's going to pick-up on that before long..............
There's an important opportunity for us to comment about Annual Catch Limits (ACL) and Accountability Measures (AM).
e.g. Q: What happens if recreational fishers have exceeded quota by MRFSS catch estimates--exceeded ACL?
A: Seasons shrink or close, size limits go up & creel limits decrease--Accountability Measures for "Overfishing."   
Cut & Paste: 
My Comment As Submitted:  
Recreational fishers must not be held liable for Accountability Measures due to exceeding Annual Catch Limits (quota) until such time as Management is able to provide reasonably accurate catch estimates.
MRFSS data needs to be frozen in 7 year averages until MRIP's catch estimates are fully functional.
MRFSS catch-estimates have Ocean City, Maryland's tiny private boat fleet --perhaps 20 boats serious about tautog-- catching 23,904 more tautog than ALL the Mid-Atlantic & New England party boats combined in 2007 -- And more than double the entire coast's partyboat catch in 2010.
These estimates are so fantastically wrong that they are an embarrassment to all in fisheries--or should be.
There are many more like them.
Many fisheries are now destabilized in collections of bad catch data.
System needs immediate repair via long-term averages while MRIP is finalized.
Monty Hawkins

Management really needs to take a hard look at my assertion that MRFSS could not possibly be correct in its MD tautog estimates -- probably ever.
Because the estimates will lessen the season, it needs to get fixed before the human part of the fishery fails.
Here's the real head-kick: It is my observation that there are FANTASTICALLY more tautog off our coast now than in 1985..
NOAA: "Good job building all that reef, men. Now we want your fish for our paper restoration."
MRFSS is killing businesses while distracting management from the many tasks at hand. The catch data needs to be addressed--Reef needs to be found.
Make a comment.
Then come fishing!
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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