Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Fish Report 3/7/12

Fish Report 3/7/12
Couple Tog Trips
Cbass In May
Ominous & The Whale
Hi All,
Opening up my reservation book to May sea bass fishing. Pretty dern sure May 19th is when they'll open. Lot of folks want to make reservations for that early season. Going to be a gun-shot start.
Book's open 6 days a week thru summer. We'll fish just a few of these first Sundays -- I'll leave the rest booked-out for special trips and research.
Going Toggin - Sunday, 3/11/12 - Daylight Savings Time - Spring Forward - 5:30AM to 5:30PM - $150.00 - 16 Sells Out - Hunting Larger Fish - Some Clients Will Likely Get Skunked.
Tuesday & Wednesday - 13th & 14th - Regular Tog - 7 to 3 - $100.00 - 12 Sells Out - Its Toggin.
Bring a cooler & ice for (I hope) your party's fish.
BYO Raw Shrimp Or White Legged Crabs - Boat Provides Green Crabs.
We very often leave early - Be early.
Reservations Required @ 410 520 2076
Fishing tickets do not include GPS coordinates -Ever- See Website For Details.
Had a crazy-long tog trip last of February..
Hours before sunrise and with the lowest of low tides, I had clients move to the bow so we could clear the sand-bar.
Bioluminescence in small whitecaps, summer constellations Scorpius & Centaurus crisp in black winter morning's sky; I held course to a wreck many hours away..
Bob landed one 18.6 pounds for the money, but I think Chris was happier with his new personal best. Looked like it was pushing 16 or so.
Big, beautiful fish - and some of the coast's top tog fishers were skunked.
One fellow in particular; Yes, even very dedicated anglers can have a turn in the barrel..
This can be tough fishing!
действительно не так, Александр?!
Got out Sunday to find winds a bit higher than forecasted. As they calmed we moved further off. Turned into a calm day. Fishing was good - but not for everyone.
With the same hooks that have landed many jumbos this winter including Charlie's 23 pounder, a young and very skilled "pulla" from up north bent both hooks on a good fish 20 feet off the bottom. This stuff really makes you wonder.....
Rode most of the winter with my wheelhouse window open - snowed Monday.
Wasn't terrible, just more adventurous than I thought.
One fellow had a 16.1 pound fish, others had a decent catch--some goose eggs; Mostly we tested everyone's endurance.
Bought my first boat in the early 80s, a very-used wooden rental boat for about $300.00 if I recall; four horse outboard and I was good to go.
Big storm moving up the beach; Among many preparations, that little skiff was the last thing to get taken care of. Finally got her headed down the bay. Big swell rolling in the inlet, heavy air, dark sky and, ominously, two square storm flags --Hurricane Warning-- flying at the Coast Guard Station: Trouble was near.
Back in those days we had Boston mackerel every spring, would be gearing up for them right now if we still had them.
Amazing fishing, clients often brought trash cans instead of coolers. Catching 3 or 4 at a time was normal.
Commercial fishers would flood the market in just a day or two - the price would fall from 25 cents to near-nothing..
Then, in the last of federal "Underutilized Species" programs I believe; in 1991 foreign factory processors were allowed to buy mackerel from US trawlers.
Catches tapered, we started finding smaller & fewer macks mixed more often with herring - and then it was over.
Blamed now on warming waters, I say horse hockey -- That one strong pulse of commercial effort wiped out the southern stock of mackerel.
I do have hope they'll come back, that one day we'll have every boat in OC loaded with folks come spring
..but I haven't caught one in years.
And now we're not allowed to keep a single herring - not one caught with a rod & reel..
Looked like herring on the screen. I'd just turned & slowed for a short, broad blow: Right Whale.
Never did get on him right for a positive ID.
Looking aft I saw the two biggest commercial fishing boats I've ever seen.. Flicka & Dyrsten, they fish for mackerel & squid - herring. At least sometimes pair trawl.
Ships built for beyond canyon's edge were hunting inshore, hunting what's left; hunting the very, very last southern mackerel or herring..
First steaming south, then north; They weren't fishing: They were looking - Hunting.
An ominous sight.
Hope the whale got his.
I was up to Rutgers last week for a habitat conference. You may have never spent two days considering benthic/pelagic food web coupling; I found it stimulating..
Actually saw a scientist present an idea that tied long-lost oyster habitat to the decline of sea bass: What a switch!
Tried to explain to a room full of scientists that stock assessments which lean heavily on recreational catch data strike a lower reliability point than they realize - below zero percent accuracy.
Tried to comprehend the vastness of life through the water column..
Went over to Rutgers Oceanography glider lab, a fascinating unmanned mini-sub with no propeller -it glides- that they've actually sent across the Atlantic. Use it to hunt all manner of marine life - never gets seasick.
Made some great contacts.
Perhaps you've seen Nick Caloyianis' clear HD reef footage, especially the second half -
I went because these officially remain Non-Habitat Forming -- Non-Reef Building Corals.
There's No Essential Fish Habitat growing on those rocks.
And, just like in Council press releases, "Should an adverse gear impact occur it would only be temporary & minimal"..
I believe blue ocean waters turning green stems from oyster loss.
I believe re-reefing the estuaries is vital to our marine fisheries, the larger benthic/pelagic/riverine/estuarine/shelf/slope coupling..
Herring/Humpback, Bluefish/Mako/Blue Marlin, Oyster Filtration/Inshore White Marlin
..a better, cleaner ocean with a lot more fish.
It's just stunning how many fish, how much life, uses so little reef habitat when compared to sand ..and stunning how simple it is to replicate: roll some rocks off a barge, the life that makes a reef will take care of itself.
Habitat Fidelity is vital to restoration too.
Herring, mackerel, sea bass -- salmons..
Controlling fishing effort in regional quota while restoring habitat will reinvigorate our fisheries.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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