Fish Report 4/16/12
Of Castles & Concrete
New Tog Trips
Friday & Saturday - April 20 & 21 - 6 to 5 - $125.00 - 12 Sells Out.
Reservations Required at 410 520 2076 - Leave Your Best Contact Number In Case Weather Forecasts Change.
NEW SIZE LIMIT IS HARDER - 16 Inches..
Green Crabs Provided; You're Welcome To Bring Any Hard-Bait.
This Is Tog Fishing - It's Possible Some Clients Will Be Skunked.
Fishery Regulations Followed Or Exceeded - Yes, We Check Coolers & Fish.
Passage does not include exact location of fishing spots - Ever - GPS units float tested.
No Live Fish Leave The Boat.
Bring A Cooler w/Ice For Your Party's Fish.
So There! (Brooks, Mel: Blazing Saddles 1974)
Snuck out Thursday, Friday & Saturday last. Not that I'm fishing weekends, that's just how the weather's breaking.
Carried light crowds.
Carried light crowds.
A father & son team had me concerned Friday. Their first trip in the ocean; I also had 3 regulars. No fish pool, just a reef raffle - I didn't want them feeling played.
"Here's how you put your thumb on the reel; Here's how to put the crab on: Yes, tautog actually live in our wrecks & reefs so make sure you're on the bottom.."
Twenty-Pound Dennis, probably daydreaming about his next grandchild--and now a beautiful baby girl, finally sets the hook on a good fish. Pat, having started sooner, is bowing-up every drop.
Meanwhile, our newbies had a one limit of good males and were already putting back large females.. Not sure who got played!
After the bite tapered, we quickly assembled some coral-castles (see video of a SC oyster project) http://videos.thesunnews.com/vmix_hosted_apps/p/media?id=18369378&item_index=3&all=1&sort=NULL
Made of 6 oyster-castle blocks and tied together so we could lift them over the rail with the boom's triple-fall hoist, we lowered the 3 reef-units precisely atop an older artificial reef from a two-anchor set.
Been looking/experimenting for a long time to find/develop a boat deployable reef unit..
Lot of promise here.
Saturday we returned to the hunt. I played it close to home because I though we'd see more 20 to 25 than 10 to 15 -- didn't pick up until late though.
Anyway, it was a difficult bite. Ended up with my 91 year-old friend, Dewey, taking the pool with an 11 pounder. A couple somewhat younger guys--65 years younger--pretty much tied for second with 9s or 10s. Could have limited out most--if not all, but we tossed almost all our females back
That day's coral castles were deployed singly on a larger reef unit as we've been doing: Guys lined-up across the stern pick up a block when I say, "Standby;" Then toss it when I say, "Mark."
I've contacted Gus Lorber of Allied Concrete to order several more pallets of Oyster Castle blocks - Do a dozen or eighteen of these blocks every calm day - make a lot of reef in a year's time.
Consider This: While the ASMFC has a 'rebuilding plan' for tautog, the plan has no habitat restoration component. Fishing for tog more than any party boat in Ocean City, MD; I've spent less than 2 hours on natural reef since October & spend more than 90% of our fishing time on habitat that wasn't here--didn't exist--when I started fishing from Maryland in 1980.
Reef building created our tautog fishery - Had we not built reefs ASMFC's 'Tautog Rebuilding Plan' would only have size-limit effect on our jetties & bridge-pilings; Would have accomplished nothing along Maryland's seacoast nor anywhere reliant on oyster reef restoration for tog habitat.
Because it must be true that Reef precedes Reef Fish, That we can not support reef species w/o reef habitat; Then it must also be true that various ratios of fish to habitat & habitat to fish can be devised to demonstrate whether conservation tactics are working. Presumably, because abundant reef habitat must be a necessity for abundant reef fish, then there must have been fantastically more reef habitat to sustain the incredibly higher catches of reef fish in the 1950s
..until the habitat was lost.
Present State Of Fisheries Science In The Mid-Atlantic: There is no reef habitat now and there's no reason to believe any has been lost; Reef Restoration needs no consideration in any fishery rebuilding plan in the Mid-Atlantic.
Gonna change that.
Not only does Reef Restoration Make Fishery Restoration Simple, in some cases Reef Restoration Makes Fishery Restoration Possible.