Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fish Report 8/14/16

Fish Report 8/14/16 
Catching Flounder Decent - Very Few Cbass
Two Sides Of Luck
MD's Permit To Land Whales 

Sunday Specials! Aug 21st, Aug 28th and Labor Day Monday, Sept 5th -- Buy two tickets, get a spot free. This offer DOES NOT carry to other days - use it or lose it. I was trying to think of how regulars could invite a friend or bring a child/grand-child - it's working. Newbies are having fun.. In summer it's especially important new anglers are aware of motion sickness preventatives. Being sick all day is no fun at all.. (see section below)

September Reservations Open Monday, August 15th. We'll book flounder/sea bass trips until Sept 18th when sea bass close. From Sept 19th to the 30th we'll be straight flounder fishing - no sea bass in closed season. 

Sailing Daily For Flounder & Some Sea Bass - Weather Permitting - Saturday's 6:30 to 3:30 - $125.00 – Otherwise 7 to 3 at $110.00.. 

There's no way to know whether fluke or sea bass will bite better on any day. I absolutely couldn't guess ..but I do know my crew & I will be trying our best to make everyday a success. 

Reservations Required 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 always leave early! ..except when someone shows up right on time. 

Clients arriving late will see the west end of an east bound boat. With a limited number of reserved spots, I do not refund because you over-slept or had a flat..

Dramamine Is Cheap Insurance! (Meclizine's Better!) Crystalized Ginger Works Great Too. It's Simple To Prevent Motion Sickness, Difficult To Cure. If You Suffer Mal-de-Mer In A Car You Should Experiment On Shorter Half-Day Trips First! (Wockenfuss Candies sells crystalized ginger locally - We usually have some aboard - Better is Nuts.Com.. Chewable Meclizine is a good pharmaceutical, there's also a "less drowsy" meclizine pill that a lot of clients like, especially Bonine; Scopolamine Patches are the gold standard. Stay away from 'ginger pills.'

Honestly - If you get to go on the ocean once month, once a year, or even less; why risk chumming all day? Similarly, if you howl at the moon all night, chances are good you'll howl into a bucket all day.  

Bring A Cooler With Ice For Your Fish – A 48 Quart Is Fine For A Few People. 

No Galley! BYO Sandwiches & Soft Drinks. A few beers in cans is fine. (bottles break at bad times)

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! 

13,731 Reef Blocks Deployed at numerous sites: Doug Ake's Reef 2,503 - St. Ann's 1,519 - Al Giles Barge 902 - Eagle Scout Reef 864 - Sue's Block Drop 168 - Nichols' Concrete 662 - Capt. Bob's Block Drop 72 - Benelli Reef 204

Blocks Provided By Potomac Valley Brick - Thank You!

Support the Ocean City Reef Foundation!  (lots of reef pics here..) We're Nowhere Near Reef Building's True Potential. Thank You!

Greetings All, 
Been seeing some limits of flounder. Fishing ain't bad. On occasion it's very sweet indeed. 
Sea bass have tapered sharply although we still have bait on the rail for them. 

Might be something to this Gulp! thing & flounder.. Sometimes the guys w/Gulp hold the high ground. Sometimes cut bait is king. 
Was an article recently where the author held: "..if the Capt. fishes, find another boat."
Promise, I fish every chance I get! 

Fish 36+ years, so I'm really good at it, right? 
Last week my old friend Dae was aboard. As luck would have it, I had opportunity to fish next to him. I catch two keepers, he catches eight. (he's a mad-man with Gulp) 

Another day my favorite Uncle is aboard with my Cousin from Philly. I even booked the port corner out for this special family trip. 
Couple guys in the stb corner box a bunch of flounder & sea bass, then top off their box with the dumbest tog ever - a 15 pounder that ate a flounder bait. Their many fish-fries were caught with rental gear & boat bait. 
IN THE OTHER CORNER - Team Morning Star - untold skill, vast expenditures on tackle, incredible depth of knowledge -- skunked.
I sent my Uncle to the grocery store for chicken. Good thing I'm not samurai.. (See harakiri in a google search) 
Still had a great day though. It was capped perfectly when my young friend, (code name Alex) slammed the door closed on the day's fish pool with a 6 pounder right at the buzzer.
Life is good    

..unless you consider the plight of whales in waters now busy with large boats. 
Recently found another whale, our second dead humpback this year. Still fairly fresh; although large sharks had taken big scallop-shaped bites from the youngsters belly, it didn't have the stench that often accompanies a belly-up whale. 
Will though. 

I reported the animal to NOAA's whale folks as I always will. 
Then I asked if Ocean City--the Town of Ocean City, could tow a whale back offshore if it were coming into the resort's beach. 
Ohs & Ahhs of a whale washing ashore wear off real fast when paying $500+ a night for an ocean front rental. Ughh. 
Last time a whale washed ashore, Ocean City spent bank to go bury the thing. (which is a far better alternative than this path chosen by an Oregon town years ago.. ) 

Here's part of what NOAA sent..
.. Secondly, if towing was considered the preferred alternative, consultation with the USCG, NMFS Section 7, and EPA needs to be initiated.  If towing is approved, EPA needs to issue an emergency ocean dumping permit that specifies requirements, such as disposal site and sinking requirements."

How about that. Whole bunch of red tape. Different stink. 
Local.guv weren't none to happy with federal.guv - promise. 
I wonder: What if Maryland had a special landing permit for whales in any condition? They could charge NOAA a robust sum to cover expenses. Maryland state waters, Maryland beach - dang sure they charge for everything else - feds ain't the only ones requiring permits  
..or NOAA could allow Ocean City to tow such a dead beast to Assateague's uninhabited stretches where scientists would have the beach, and stink, all to themselves. 
I have no idea where it is now. 
. . . . . 

Speaking of stink, the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) issued a press release last week. They're making 'adjustments' to Charter catch in sea bass & bluefish. 
You'll recall NY's Charter sea bass catch shot up 10-fold from 2014 to 2015, (up an honest order of magnitude in July/August when cbass catching gets tougher.) This two-month only, NY Charter boats only, MRIP estimate occupies a good-sized piece of the entire coastwide recreational sea bass quota. It could close our fishery/ 
If I read right, MRIP's going to lower the coastwide cbass estimate by 3%.. 
There's NO WAY anyone could EVER spot an estimate that was off by just 3%. 
Never happen. 
One friend wrote - 'They're rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
MRIP's off by HUGE percentages - HUGE!!! 
Let that whale cook at sea a few more weeks - cut it open and climb in - that's where MRIP's hiding the good data. 
Damn it stinks. 

The good news is there seem to be a lot of folks on the case; on MRIP's case, that is.
It never was "just me" that saw recreational data's discrepancies, but I've sure put a lot of effort into getting bad-estimate's stink out of fisheries management. 

There are entire wings of science's library not in restoration's use while everyone's fussing with each set of catch estimates. Every recreational regulation, for every species, gets adjusted every year because NOAA has long insisted catch estimates be used "as is." 

From my letter below: The logic is biologically inescapable: To rebuild fish populations of yesteryear will require at least the habitat footprint and water quality of yesteryear. 

Looks to me like most everyone's had enough of bad Statistics. 
Perhaps NOAA will soon be open to looking at what other sciences have to offer. Or maybe they'll return to their norm and close sea bass next year. After all, that's what the estimates demand.
Busy as this pretty weather allows; September comes around I'll see if I can get a pulse from the new Magnuson Stevens reauthorization in DC. 

I published an essay, a plea really, to bluewater fishers in the August 10th issue of Coastal Fisherman. (all of page 42)
That text below. 

We can turn the ocean blue - we know how. 
Maybe it would help if NOAA noticed: 'Oh Snap, the Mid-Atlantic's turned green.'


Capt. Monty Hawkins 
Partyboat Morning Star
Ocean City, MD

My Bluewater Friends, 
The Mid-Atlantic's ocean waters grow greener, not more blue. To catch marlin where men sought them on a daily basis just a generation ago is rare.
To catch marlin today, not 10 miles out, but 5 miles offshore where men trolled whole squid on piano wire before WWII, would be unthinkable. 

Marlin's nearshore diminishment has nothing to do with recreational overfishing or foreign longlining's greedy past: it's habitat loss in water quality - the loss of blue water.
Bigger & faster boats only delay the eventual. Greener & greener - bluewater fishers travel farther & farther. 
I tell you, I guarantee you: Our Ocean Can Be Repaired. 
I believe marlin can be restored to Jackspot, to Winter Quarter, to Suger Lump; indeed, even inshore to the Bass Grounds where the Marlin Club's tournament was won by Capt. Jim Whaley in 1958  ..and, perhaps one day, even to the 5 mile hills where Capt. Bill Burbage told me he always fished in 1935.

At mention of releasing marlin during the billfish conservation-transition mid-1970s/early-1980s, old Capt. Jay Coleman used to decry; "There's no use releasing them. The blue water's gone! They can't come back!
From that time to this we've seen the Mid-Atlantic grow greener still. 
And the boats grow larger & faster - run further..
Yes, easterlies push an occasional shot of pretty clean-green water in, but what we need is ecosystem repair.
As oysters collapsed in Chesapeake & Delaware Bays, so did marine water quality decline. Green water comes from failing estuarine reefs. Filter removed, algae thrive.

We know, at last, how to rebuild oyster reefs. Incredible progress has been made using rock & not shell. 
Oyster reef ecosystem function singularly important; the ocean can be turned blue with reef funding & letter writing -- I guarantee it. 

While our local Ocean City Reef Foundation grows corals where NOAA & BOEM maintain there are none; the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Building Conservation Trust is growing oysters where everyone's been told for decades - "It'll never happen". 
The Nature Conservancy & Chesapeake Bay Foundation have solved the mystery. Oyster reefs can now be restored.
We need only pursue their restoration in industrial scale.

The logic is biologically inescapable: To rebuild fish populations of yesteryear will require at least the habitat footprint and water quality of yesteryear. 
Perhaps along restoration's way we'll learn how to engineer habitat for even greater fisheries production than has ever been known. 

EcoSYSTEM - it's a lot bigger than canyon's edge  ..and even our canyons turn green sometimes these days.
Turning the ocean blue & filling it with fish will involve a lot more than catch reduction & releases. Oysters & grasses in our estuaries; coral & sea whip bottoms nearshore; the forage species: ecosystem. 

Help turn it blue.
Support CCA's Habitat Building Trust. 
Support the Ocean City Reef Foundation too. Where sea bass spawn, so do squid..

Capt. Monty Hawkins
Ocean City Reef Foundation

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