Sunday, August 05, 2012

Fish Report 8/5/12

Fish Report 8/5/12
Flounder/Cbass Summer Fishing
Precious Commodity
Blocks By The Rail
Sea Bass & Flounder Fishing 7 to 3 Everyday - Longer on Saturdays - Keeping Most Sundays Open In Summer For Research & Different Trips - Plenty Of Spots Open - Always Try To Leave Early & Stay Late - Reservations Required @ 410 520 2076 - We Obey Regulations Whether We Agree With Them Or Not - Bring Food & Beverage Plus A Cooler & Ice For Your Party's Fish - Cheap Styrofoam Coolers Rarely Survive A Day - A 48 QT Igloo Works Great - Dramamine The Night Before Is Cheap Insurance - Be Early, We Like To Leave Early; Rarely In On Time..
Hi All,
Sakes we've had some pretty flounder fishing.
But not everyday.
Had some really nice sea bassing too.
But I can't guess which will bite better.
Flexibility is good.
One day I had numerous long-time regulars, an old friend from Snow Hill and several local fishing legends using their most precious commodity--a day off: Weather forecast suffering in accuracy, hardest fishing day this year.
Stoicism exemplified, I'm pretty sure everyone went home with dinner.
Most days are much easier.
If you want a box full of sea bass come see me this fall.
Fresh fillets to enjoy with summer vegetables? C'mon, traffic's light in the morning.
Did a Sunday long-trip a while back with excellent results. Scheduled another which was blown out -- then, Sorry Bob, had to cancel the whole thing.
That Sunday -- July 29th -- was a gorgeous, calm day.
Wrangled up the Cannuli brothers, dockhand Ron & mate Mike as victims/volunteers & loaded the boat with 2 pallets of Allied Concrete's Oyster Castles (usually call em Reef Blocks cause we ain't growing no arsters off here -- just coral.)
Passing blocks as if building another Wal-Mart, we distributed the 144 blocks' weight safely and, triple-fall block & tackle ready, off we went to Jimmy's Reef some 6 NM East of the inlet in the SW corner of the Bass Grounds.
Jimmy Jackson provided invaluable knowledge & assistance to me in the few years we knew each other. Although he loved blue water & big fish, he also enjoyed the challenge of tog fishing. I aim to see Jimmy's Reef become a very toggy place; A reef enjoyed many generations into the future, A reef he'd of been proud of..
Two anchors tight off my bow--both just missing stainless-steel subway cars when set; a highly modified steel boat lay reefed on the bottom 20 yards ESE; directly below my stern lay a pair of 7 foot tall concrete pipe tog condos. We worked for 3 hours building and deploying multi-block units all around the condos.
That makes 15 rail cars, a 50 foot steel boat, two tog condos & 370 reef blocks at Jimmy's so far. It's going to be a place where corals grow well, a very toggy place.
Too rough to fish or even get to Jimmy's today. Instead we took 110 more reef blocks to the Ben Sykes Reef at Kelly's Reef about 2.5 NM south of the inlet.
Boat-deployable reef material has been a goal of mine since the early 90s -- this is huge. Fishermen have all heard of washing machines & refrigerators being used for reef. I've tried rocks & plastic barrels bolted together with 500 pounds of concrete.. Good units were not practical, home appliances are a wish--they can't last. The concept of building viable, long lasting reef languished.
Now with Allied Concrete's reef blocks I believe even the island building Bacardi commercial is possible..
Friend of reef building, Capt. Ted Green has a different angle. At two different locations we've been positioning single blocks, individual blocks dropped w/o cabling together for the scuba community to do their thing.
Here's the OC Diver's 1st reef building u/w video --
You can see how the flat steel decks of barges & ships can be made more productive. By the time divers circle the ship fish have already begun to use their creation.
Here flat steel, we'll also restore productivity to scoured-in reefs such as the Nichols Concrete at the Queen Reef. For three years in the mid-90s those broken concrete slabs were fantastic reef -- I could go there with 75 people and keep everyone busy.
Then they sanded in and the reef was no more.
That lost concrete will now serve as a foundation for boat deployed reef blocks. We take 21 blocks out every trip to deploy somewhere along the day's route: lobster, tog & cbass will again use that bottom.
************** It's a 501c3 tax deductable .org
If you want to help there's a PayPal button on the website (Yes, I know its limited to only one donation - $25.00 - I'll fix it!) or send a check to -- Ocean City Reef Foundation, P.O. Box 1072, Ocean City, MD 21843.
Grow Coral, Make Fish.
I believe Oyster Castles are, precisely, the building blocks of fishery restoration -- but really want bargeloads of boulder & rock..
Takes heavy coin to do that.
Done splashing concrete, anchors up; we dropped a line with small hooks on an older, nearby reef deployment. Up came tiny cbass & scup..
Fishery Production.
Hey NOAA, to need catch-estimates there has to be something to catch; To need reef-fish management requires reef.
Yet NOAA still recognizes no reef ecologies in our slice of ocean..
The numbers are truly amazing.
I've seen good fishing, know what it looks like, but I just can't fathom how many reef-fish were caught in the 1950s. There were more sea bass landed by commercial fishermen in that decade than in all decades since combined--All Together..
Must have been, had to have been a far-larger reef footprint.
Clearing the inlet one day last week I saw the biggest fishing boat I've ever seen. She was the 165 x 45 foot E.S.S. Pursuit, a huge double-rigged surf clam boat.
Doing biological survey work, the skipper told me he generally fishes Georges Bank far off the coast of New England. You need a big boat there -- no such thing as too big a boat on big water.
This was Power. Brute harvesting power. This rig nearly carried in beam what I have in length. Her forward stabilizing outriggers, though huge, looked diminutive. She had another pair aft, I assume to keep the twin dredges separated under tow.
Surf clams can grow big. I've heard of 18 to a bushel though usually more, smaller clams. We use 'em for bait on almost every trip.
To catch them water is pumped to the front of a dredge; water jets liquefy the bottom (hence hydraulic clamming) and allow clams to get caught. Here's a video of old-fashioned hand-culling on a clam boat in Cape Cod Bay.
Another video of a more modern operation shows the water jets coming on at about 2:20 -- this boat almost certainly employs automatic augers to put the clams in cages for shoreside trucking.
Scallop dredges don't use the hydraulic jets, just teeth.
I believe the early, unregulated clam fishery of the 1960s & 70s was, reef-wise, an ecological disaster -- but that modern clammers want nothing to do with rocky bottoms.
Some of the finest eating in the sea caught by the most powerful fishing gears ever known..
I plan on eating clams & scallops--especially scallops--for all my days, but I hope a habitat plan soon emerges for these very powerful gears.
The Cuyahoga River, an Ohio river that caught fire not once--but several times; an Ohio river that, when sampled in the early 1970s, had not one live fish for several miles; a river so polluted its waters could catch fire helped spark the environmental movement; was clearly a driver of the 1972 Clean Water Act.
Residents watched it's waters turn black over decades, heard the river's flow quieted in oily silence; watched it burn several times. They finally took action when a river-fire burned a bridge closing a local steel mill. People out of work got government's attention..
Many expect our fisheries restored, expect progress made to date with catch-restriction will keep multiplying.
Few realize we've burnt the seabed--the fires have come & gone: From upper tributaries' oysters to collections of old-growth corals in 100 fathoms; each a vital link in fisheries production, we have knocked habitat down for its fish or dredged it up & sold it where a profit might be made.
A lot of folks think sound ocean policy is right around the corner, yet policy makers have no idea our coral & fish habitats.
Sound policy can not emerge from ignorance.
Policy awaited catalyst on the Cuyahoga; What fire can we expect of corals?
The giants of modern fishing; scallops, clams--even menhaden, these industries will never close because of declines in hardbottom reef; they'll never be the catalyst for change an Ohio steel mill was.
Habitat decline occurred over several generations - slowly: It won't catch fire.
Boats in this week's White Marlin Open will travel further than Ocean City's first marlin fishermen ever would have dreamed; Now canyon's edge and beyond where once 20 miles out was "Offshore" -- A time when blue water fishermen rarely ventured beyond 30 miles, now they scarcely ever fish inside 50.
Inshore Blue Waters Gone In Oyster's Demise.
Find & Protect What Habitat's Left.
Build More.
Clean Bay Waters Make Blue Ocean Waters.
Oysters, Corals:
It's as simple as dropping blocks from a boat
..but bargeloads of rock would be quicker.
Be some good fishin.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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