Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fish Report 11/26/13

Fish Report 11/26/13 
Cbassing OK 
Counting Curse 
Regulatory Season Opens  

Black Friday Looks Very Calm & Fishable.. (11/29) Many Spots Available. 7 to 3 (But arrive EARLY so we can get a head-start.)

First December Offering — Going Long — Sea Bass — 5:30 AM to 4 PM —Sunday, Dec 1st— 18 Anglers Sells Out (and unlikely) — $150.00 — High Probability Of Bites On The Jig. 

Will Open December Sea Bass Trips Via Email Only Pending Weather Forecasts. 

Bring A (not terribly big) Fish Cooler With ICE For Your Party.. A 48 or 54 QT Cooler Is Good For 2 Guys. Even Now You Should ICE Fresh Fish.. 

Eight Hour trips $110.00 - 7AM to 3PM – Saturdays 6AM to 3:30PM - $125.00 
Reservations For Sea Bass Trips at 410 - 520 - 2076. 
LEAVE YOUR BEST POSSIBLE CONTACT NUMBER - Weather Cancelations Are Common - I Make Every Attempt To Let Clients Sleep In If The Weather's Not Going Our Way.. 

Be A Half Hour Early - We Like To Leave Early.
Clients Arriving Late Will See The West End Of An East Bound Boat.. 

If You Won't Measure & Count Your Fish The State Will Provide A Man With A Gun To Do It For You. We Measure & Count — ALWAYS — No Exceptions!

Bids Too Low! A Gift From Tom Jackson, There Are Three Jimmy Jackson Prints – Numbered 1 of 1, 2013 –  on display & set up as silent auctions at Ake Marine, Ocean City Fishing Center & Sunset Marina. Stunning. Proceeds To Ocean City Reef Foundation, a tax deductible 501c3.. Auction Ends December 15th @ 5PM..  
7,980 "Oyster Castle" reef blocks by the rail – 2,414 at Jimmy's Reef – 1,444 at Ake's – (still) 216 at Lindsey Power's.. 
Need a new batch of blocks soon. See ocreefs.org if you'd care to help fund the next truckload, or snailmail a check – any check! (Thanks Dennis..) 

Trying to keep a large selection of OCRF long-sleeve & ss t-shirts aboard.. Best Stocking Stuffer Ever! (aside from Morning Star Gift Certificates) 

Will be needing a new deckhand.. Part Time for now. Do not call if interested – email only. Responses Take Time. 

Greetings All, 
Beautiful calm before the storm; took a tiny handful of clients out today, Tuesday. Caught sea bass very well & in early; one guy limited mostly on the jig. 
Monday was tougher. Had to wait out the last of that NW wind with ice making on deck while anchored inshore nicking away at throwback tog. By afternoon it was calm as could be with a nice sea bass bite. 
Lost the weekend to gale winds. 
Friday I had a long-time client shoot up to 18 fish in his cooler. The last two stops, despite at least some keeper sea bass being caught all around him, he hooked shorts & dogfish – the counting curse. 
Thursday my 83 year old friend Jerome had 19 when we counted his cbass. He then caught 4 enormous bluefish in a row & never had that last cbass.. 
Fishing's OK – but derned if limits haven't been hard to come by. . . 

Regulatory Season has opened. 
Anaconda tightening its grip on cbass again. At least we're not staring at a year long closure.. 
I haven't had a chance to look at the data; just know a 10% cut has been proposed for the recreational sea bass quota.  
Next year's regulations were being based off of 2012 MRIP(?) estimates when, suddenly, four more months of 2013 data became available.. 
Hmmm.. I wonder what they will look like, this burst of "New & Improved" MRIP Estimates..

Sea bass fishing effort is at an incredible low. Recreational catch is at an incredible low. 
I thought, hoped really, sea bass would remain in a regulatory peace so that a management plan could be devised w/o deadline pressure. 
With length of legal season, ticket sales & landings at all-time lows, it should be abundantly clear to managers that sea bass population numbers not being what anyone wants has no tie to "Overfishing" - More Regulation Won't Fix It. 
The answer to "How Can We Reinvigorate Sea Bass Stocks" does not lie in further catch restriction. 
Forcing sea bass to spawn young is key to Optimum Yield in the sea bass fishery. 
Bold management action far away from the well-worn path of estimate-driven recreational regulation is needed. 
In fact, it is exactly estimate-driven regulation that has gotten us here — regulation derived of bad estimates. 
I hope to convince managers to adopt regional sea bass management with reef habitat & age @ maturity at its core. 

Sorry for those enjoying short emails, I'll soon have time to write.. 
Soon have to write. 
If regulators do not incorporate population biology & fisheries ecology into sea bass management we'll find this multi-year numbness permanently set: Congratulations will be given in earnest for a fishery stabilized at 10 to 15% of its optimum yield. 
The population spike during the late 1990s/early 2000s was no accident; that was real fishery management working: Working before being completely waylaid by bad MuRFSS estimates.

I believe we can engineer higher sea bass populations than have ever existed  ..but we're headed the wrong way.

Capt. Monty Hawkins 
Partyboat Morning Star
Ocean City, MD

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