Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fish Report 12/28/11

Fish Report 12/28/11
Tog Too
Jimmy's Reef
Sunday, January 1st - Tog Trip - 7 to 3 - $100.00 - 15 Sells Out - Green Crabs Provided 
A Sea Bass Trip First - Tog Not Open in MD Until January 1st.  
Saturday, December 31st - 6 to 4 Long Trip - $125.00 - Last Cbass Until May  
Hi All,
New Year's Day looks doable, I expect we'll go toggin.
Not a trip for those who enjoy howling at the moon; Late night revelers usually curse each passing sea while their "friends" make video for future Facebook & YouTube posts. If you're going to celebrate New Year's Eve--Sleep in. If, however, you want to start the New Year with fresh tog--Come see us.
There's a number of people who think we always catch BIG tog.. Yeah, um...
I'm just trying to get clients bit, Looking to put together a catch; There's no magic, We're going fishing.
Fish a lot, you'll see a few dandies.
Putting together a collaborative reef building effort with the Ocean City Fishing Center's Tuna Tournament to put an addition on Jimmy Jackson's Reef.
Jimmy caught billfish all over the world ..but he loved the challenge of toggin too.
Last year mate Mike & I built experimental 'tog condos' with the aid of Jeff Bauer at Eastern Shore Brick & Bob Perrone of Rinker Concrete. Blocking up the inside of concrete pipe creates a fantastic increase in habitat value -- instead of one bull tog, it can now house many -- Tog Condos.
Only the veneer, the outermost layer, is available for colonization in a mound of shell or stone.
I think we should instead build three-high concrete pipe pyramids with stone overtop. Here, by opening the center, by using the interior of the mounds and even engineering the pipe by using block, by making fish condos, We'll create fantastically more reef surface available to oyster & coral colonization -- "Inside" a reef is also the preferred habitat of tautog..
Jimmy's Reef is about seven miles east of OC inlet in the Bass Grounds Reef permit. I see these hollow stone mounds grown-over with hard & soft corals, I see them -not contributing to restoration- but carrying our region's tautog population higher than its ever been. Sea bass, lobster, rock crab, mussels, corals: Reef life will flourish on these modestly engineered reef sets. 
(YouTube search Maryland Corals for video of natural, artificial & accidental reefs off Maryland's seacoast)
Chesapeake too, I also see these pipe/rock mounds covered with redbeard sponge, mussels, oysters & loaded with fish not targeted in Maryland's Bay waters in over a century. Sheepshead & tautog were Maryland's original Rockfish. We know sheepshead used to thrive in the Bay from St. Mary's archeological digs. This temperate reef fish's bones are found in colonist's earliest kitchen midden layers but none are found in Maryland's oral history ..until very recently.  
Past generations having delved deeply into habitat's principal, fisheries restoration will now require capitol investment.
You can help build Jimmy's Reef at the Ocean City Reef Foundation's website - 
We'll start this next ocean phase straight-away with proceeds from The Ocean City Tuna Tournament & our daily Morning Star 50/50 Reef Raffle.
However, I'm still waiting for permission to use concrete pipe in the lower Chesapeake Bay.
Whether permission for pipe occurs or not, re-reefing the Chesapeake is vital to Marine restoration.
The Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative (MARI) has only recently received permission to use rock instead of shell. We should have bargeloads of rock building reef near Man-o-War Shoal before winter's gone by.
Using shell since just after the Civil War; It dredges well for oyster catching -- We sure haven't had much luck with oyster restoration.
Concrete & rock grow oysters but are bad for dredges.
I was recently shown pictures from The Nature Conservancy's Virginia Coast Reserve oyster restoration efforts. They've got the same Mid-Atlantic oyster disease & oyster drill problems -- but lots of wild oysters.
One revealing low-tide picture showed modified cement block --blocks designed by Gus Lorber of Allied Concrete in Charlottesville, VA-- sitting atop a shell mound; A Great Big Shell Mound.
Lots & Lots of Shells -- No Oysters Growing.
Little Bit of Concrete -- Lots of Oysters Growing.
Wild Oysters Growing Like Crazy On Concrete
..and not at all on shell.
I believe turning green ocean-waters blue again will depend on oysters -- not dredges; I also believe nothing will benefit dredges more than a LOT of spawning oysters.
We need to Build Big Rock Reefs in the Chesapeake
..overtop modified pipe would restore fish and oysters faster.
About 8 miles offshore, barely a mile from Jimmy's Reef in the Atlantic, is an edge called the First Lump. In my late teens/early twenties it was a great place to target bluefish and mako shark, there were sightings of blue marlin almost every year - No More.
A generation before party boats made long drifts there catching sea bass. Men such as Capt. Jim & Capt. Jack caught white marlin there -- won marlin tournaments on these 'inshore' grounds.
A generation before them, the First Lump was offshore: For those two generations Ocean City, Maryland was truly the "White Marlin Capitol of the World."  
Blue waters turned green, Reefs turned to sand: Re-reefing the Mid-Atlantic is vital to fisheries restoration.
If our private donations are the best we can do, so be it--We'll do what we can. Big, Industrial, American Style Reef Restoration would be better.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076 

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