Saturday, October 08, 2022

Fish Report 10/8/22

Fish Report 10/8/22 

Beautiful Weather Coming - Opening Sunday 10/9/22 to Thursday 10/13/22 for Sea Bass Trips.. 

A long blow and some bad luck.. 


Anna might be slammed when I hit send.  If she cannot pick up, Leave her a message. She has a method to her madness.. Reservations at 443-235-5577 - She's a one person operation & has other jobs too. The line closes at 8pm and reopens at 8am

Weather Cancellations Happen - I Make Every Attempt To Let Clients Sleep In If The Weather's Not Going Our Way.

Fishing for Sea Bass Sunday 10/9/22 to Thursday 10/13/22. Trips are sold out at just 18 passengers from 7(6:30!) to 4 @ $175.00.. When black water stirred up by Ian's long-lasting remnants settles we'll see a few fluke. Until then? Sea bass only.. 

*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. Seriously, with a limited number of reserved spots, I do not refund because you overslept or had a flat.. If you're reserved and the last person we're waiting on - you'll need to answer your phone. I will not make on time clients wait past scheduled departure because of a misfortune on your part. 

Try to always leave a half hour early (and never an hour early!) I rarely get in on time either. If you have a worrier at home, please advise them I often come home late. It's what I do. 

Trips Also Sometimes Announced on Facebook at Morning Star Fishing 

I post after action reports (or lack thereof) (and sometimes detailed thoughts on fisheries issues) for every trip on my personal FB page and Morning Star page..

Bait is provided on all trips. 

No Galley. Bring Your Own Food & Beverage. 

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! 

It's Simple To Prevent Motion Sickness, Difficult To Cure. Bonine seems best because it's non-drowsy. Truly cheap & effective insurance.

Honestly - If you get to go on the ocean once a 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 Cooler Is Fine For A Few People. Do Not Bring A Very Large Cooler. We have a few loaners - you'll still need ice. Should you catch some monstrous fish, we'll be able to ice it. 

No Galley! Bring Food & Beverages To Suit. A few beers in cans is fine for the ride home. 

Wishbone doesn't replace backbone.. Have to keep a shoulder into reef building to make it happen.

Donations help too!

As of 10/7/22 we have 38,140 Reef Blocks & 544 Reef Pyramids (170lb ea or an equivalent) deployed at numerous ACE permitted ocean reef sites - there are also 786 pyramids deployed by MD CCA at Chesapeake Bay oyster sites working to restore blue ocean water…

Currently being targeted oceanside: at the Brand New Rambler Reef 220 Reef Blocks & 10 Pyramids - Tyler Long's Memorial Reef 468 (+17 Reef Pyramids) Virginia Lee Hawkins Memorial Reef 406 Reef Blocks (+71 Reef Pyramids) - Capt. Jack Kaeufer's/Lucas Alexander's Reefs 1,928 Blocks (+46 Reef Pyramids) - Doug Ake's Reef 4,174 blocks (+16 Reef Pyramids) - St. Ann's 2,847 (+14 Reef Pyramids) - Sue's Block Drop 1,642 (+24 Reef Pyramids) - TwoTanks Reef 1,303 (+ 15 Reef Pyramids) - Capt. Bob's Inshore Block Drop 912 - Benelli Reef 1,552 (+ 118 Pyramids) - Capt. Bob's Bass Grounds Reef 4,051 (+88 reef pyramids) - Wolf & Daughters Reef 734 - Al Berger's Reef 1,445 (+33 Reef Pyramids) - Great Eastern Block Drop 1,528 (+25 Reef Pyramids) - Two more brand New Drops Begun at Cristina's Blast 60 Reef Blocks & 2 Pyramids - Unnamed Site South Side GEBD 40 Reef Blocks & 2 Pyramids - Capt Greg Hall's Memorial Reef 222 Blocks & 2 Pyramids — And 325 Castle & Terracotta Tog Blocks & 10 Pyramids 81 feet Bass Grounds Unnamed ..

Greetings All, 

Rain & wind gone; sun out and seas calmed; the governor (primary throttle control on an engine) I needed for my port side finally comes in 

..and my mechanic takes ill.

Life happens like that sometimes. 

A fishing we will go. It was just later than I'd hoped rather than sooner. 

All back together - the newly rebuilt engine runs as she should at shifting speeds. That's comforting. I had to buy a new gear (marine transmission) last October and would prefer not to repeat that again. Shifting at high rpm's will get a gear in trouble quick..

I suspect we'll see some good to great sea bass fishing. Flounder/fluke fishing, which should be at peak right now as they begin spawning in earnest, will have to wait while our deeper waters clear—until our 'black water' has settled. Not many weeks like hurricane Sandy, but it'll be a while more - a few more days. I sure hope it doesn't have the same effect on flounder's spawning success that Sandy did. That dead water wiped out nearly the entire year's spawning production. That was a big hole in production that took years to work through. 

The same sort of snow—the organic, even microscopic debris of life that scientists see falling through marine waters at their very deepest—is much thicker inshore today than ever before. A storm such as Ian's remnants stirs months and even years worth of 'snow' back into the water column and creates a condition where no light can penetrate. 

It's a huge part, the legacy actually, of the Chesapeake & DE Bay oyster collapse of 50 years ago and more. Oyster's amazing ability to individually cleanse even thirty to fifty gallons of bay water a day has been absent fifty years. 

Along with many other efforts at estuarine water quality restoration, oyster restorationists are at last seeing wonderful successes - so too commercial oyster men! The centuries old decline and finally collapse; their legacy of dead zones in our bays—dead zones formed when algae blooms decay and bacteria use all available oxygen—it is being repaired. 

Oysters are on the mend. 

Unless willing to pry it apart and dig for larger truths, most of what we 'know' is what we were taught. In 1980 I was told "Thrown back fish do not survive in the ocean." Cut & dried, that was that. Do Not Allow Clients To Throw Fish Back. 


Took a long time to unlearn it. In 1992 when I made boat limits of 16 inches and 3 per person on tautog and 9 inches on sea bass because they had all spawned(some twice) there were many who still thought everything died if thrown back. By August of 1992 we were seeing small sea bass with 3 & 4 hook wounds - even 5! - around the lip and that wasn't evidence enough. Not until I found out about the ALS tagging program in 1994 and tag returns started to accrue was it finally enough for even the gravest doubters: Yes, fish can survive being thrown back. 

In the 1920s Reginald Truitt (who founded the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory) was trying to get watermen to sign on to the idea of "giant brood stock preserves made of concrete" so there would always be oyster spawning stocks in the various regions. A long time before ecosystem services for fish habitat—and especially with no understanding oysters were responsible for the entire region's water quality as biofilters was understood, Chesapeake Bay men would have none of it. To this day, and perhaps with greater vengeance, concrete is seen as a terrible thing to put in the Bay. 


Just like "No fish live if thrown back" - it's nonsense. Oysters do fine on concrete. Rock too. Commercial oyster dredges, tongs and divers can all work in concrete rubble; tongs and divers on cement precast.

Several times in Maryland's lower Bay we've seen concrete reef balls cover over in naturally colonized oysters. These were not "pre-spat" balls soaked in tanks loaded with oyster larvae. They're just plain old fresh cement reef balls that oysters have taken too like kids to candy. 

MD CCA's habitat program, through the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative, (MARI) built a reef in 2017 with cement pipe - (pipe even to ten feet tall I would kill for on an ocean reef!) We've recently gotten images from a drop camera set up similar to mine of a tiny bit of that pipe (visibility reported at less than a foot) that show fabulous oyster coverage. That's a lot of oysters.. See pics on Facebook.  No reef built of pipe would ever need be a 'sanctuary' because commercial oyster gears cannot get inside pipe. Divers could, but there'd be plenty. 

Pre-spat reef balls certainly serve to establish spawning populations. Once established, however, its all about rolling rocks and precast concrete off a barge. 

There's an amazing amount of miscast and test unit scrap concrete in the Chesapeake region. Those bone yards are added to every week. 

Precast cement manufacturers have to pay to crush the cement into road bedding. It's very much to their advantage to have reef builders pay for trucking to haul it away - a giant cost saving. 

While I'd rather have every piece of precast cement scrap barged to our ocean reefs to grow coral, oyster restoration in enormous biofilter sized reefs is equally important to marine restoration. 

All that concrete should be put to use - barged and deployed to MD's lower Bay Area reefs. 

The Mid-Atlantic ocean turned green in oysters' collapse. 

Rereefing the Chesapeake & Delaware Bays can, & will, turn the ocean blue again. 



Capt Monty Hawkins

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