Sunday, February 19, 2023

Fish Report 2/19/24

Fish Report 2/19/23

Opening Some Trips 

An old (but deeply researched) Fish Report.. 


Boat Rule: 3 Tog @ 16 Inches - only one can be a female. (Maryland is 4 of any sex - we're fishing the boat rule.) Release of all sizes encouraged. Keep a few for dinner? Sure. Load the neighbors up? Not so good for the fishery's future. Very rare when opportunity for limits presents.. 

Funny too, 3 tog at 16 inches was my boat rule from 1992 to 2003.. 

Anna might be slammed when I hit send.  (or maybe not!) 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. She won't take reservations for trips that are not announced. If you leave a message that you want to book Feb 32? ..she probably won't call you back. 

Tog only - unlike VA, cbass are closed in MD because NOAA's bad catch estimates could close us all summer - not playing that one-armed bandit. Never good; NOAA's recreational catch system, MRIP, has become absolute garbage. I fully intend to see that proven & MRIP swing from a yardarm.. 

Have had some great fish of late - have also had really good anglers goose egg too. Happens almost every trip. 

Long Tog - Tues/Wed- Feb 21/22 - And Saturday Feb 25 - 5:30 to 5:00 - 14 Anglers Sells Out - $225.00

Experimenting with a new voice mail too - a warning when sold out.. 

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

Bait is provided on all trips: green crabs for tog. (Whites are available from crew for a reasonable cost.) 

Our Tog Pool Is By Length: A Tog That's Been Released Counts The Same As One In The Boat.

No Live Tog Leave The Boat - Dead & Bled - Period. (I Believe The Live Tog Black Market Hurt This Fishery ..But Nowhere Near As Much As Bad Sea Bass Regulation)

Agreed With Or Not, My Boat's Regulations Observed – 3 Tog @ 16 Inches or better - only one can be a female. 

Does the thought of not keeping a state legal limit gives you pain? Then you will not like tog fishing with me.. Shoot, I may have some clients skunked every trip all winter. Seriously. 

Togging is a most unkind fishery - especially for the novice. Then, I've also seen abecedarians bowed-up steady while incredibly skilled anglers suffer in hubris. 

But, when it is kind? 

As Tommy said, "The tug is the drug.. Bully Bob says, "They're Delmarva Grouper." 

14 Anglers Sells Out so anglers can move to the bite. Boat has 20 well marked spots. If someone's in a spot? No mugging. If it's open? Have at it. If in between two good friends? Well… But they'd better be good friends! 

Green crabs provided. You're welcome to BYO crabs for bait too. Anglers are further restricted than state regs would have  - Boat Regs are 3 fish (not 4) only one can be a female. This fishing will not be over the horizon runs.. 

If fishing the stern area waterproof boots are advised in fall & 

. Shoes & sneakers will ruin your day. 

It'll be chilly in the AM too! Cabin is heated. 

If you want a spot call the reservation line! Emailing me is no good - service handles reservations. I do ck email for questions - sometimes ck FaceBook messenger.. 

*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.  

Honest truth about Tog Trips!

Do you like a good old fashioned 'drop and reel' sea bass bite? Like steady action? 

Yeah, umm, toggin/blackfishing ain't that. (Except in the rarest of occasions!) This fishery, tog fishing, is the hardest from among my target species. Skunks can and do happen! Even skilled tog fishers, and I mean from among the very best, can get their head handed to em. Worse still - I've even been completely skunked while tog fishing! (Whoever said "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work" dern sure didn't carry fishing parties for a living!) 

Still, because the challenge of catching tog is both our test & attraction - we go! 

If you're this guy: "Ah, Capt, I thought we'd catch 20 pounders today?" Oh Mercy! I'm just glad if clients get bit!

I'm telling you here - I had many, many anglers get skunked last winter and in years before also.

This fishery is tough getting tougher. Those 'dinner fish' kept 10 & more years ago would have been today's jumbos. 

I run Tog Trips light so anglers can move to the bite - or try too!

For those in need of the blow-by-blow catch reports, I post after every trip to facebook..

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

In addition to OC Reef Foundation deployments of barges, tugs, & bargeloads of material (such as Tiki XIV's recent deployments of 750 reef pyramids,) I take reef blocks every time the boat goes in the ocean. 

Block Update - As of 1/24/23 we have 38,928 Reef Blocks & 1,248 Reef Pyramids (170lb ea) 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… (and, boy did those pyramid numbers recently rise!) 

Currently being targeted oceanside: at the Brand New Rambler Reef 260 Reef Blocks & 10 Pyramids - Tyler Long's Memorial Reef 598 (+18 Reef Pyramids) Virginia Lee Hawkins Memorial Reef 406 Reef Blocks (+72 Reef Pyramids) - Capt. Jack Kaeufer's/Lucas Alexander's Reefs 1,988 Blocks (+46 Reef Pyramids) - Doug Ake's Reef 4,174 blocks (+16 Reef Pyramids) - St. Ann's 2,867 (+14 Reef Pyramids) - Sue's Block Drop 1,642 (+24 Reef Pyramids) - TwoTanks Reef 1,323 (+ 15 Reef Pyramids) - Capt. Bob's Inshore Block Drop 912 - Benelli Reef 1,552 (+ 118 Pyramids) - Capt. Bob's Bass Grounds Reef 4,151 (+ 90 reef pyramids) - Wolf & Daughters Reef 734 - Al Berger's Reef 1,545 (+33 Reef Pyramids) - Great Eastern Block Drop 1,528 (+25 Reef Pyramids) - Two more brand New Drops Begun at Cristina's Blast 120 Reef Blocks & 2 Pyramids & an Unnamed Site South Side GEBD 180 Reef Blocks & 2 Pyramids - Capt Greg Hall's Memorial Reef 222 Blocks & 2 Pyramids — And 325 Castle & Terracotta Tog Blocks, 10 Pyramids, & 16 pieces pipe 81 feet Bass Grounds Unnamed. 

Greetings All, 

Busy as heck with boat show and trying to get reef building ideas funded - I'm going to drop 4YO "Fish Report 3/27/19 -- MRIP Catch Estimates Worse Than Ever Before - Promise.." for those who enjoy an MRIP rant. 

Its my belief that, with enough letter writing(!), we can soon force NOAA's hand on their recreational catch data. We need only have the numbers from Ocean City inlet's video camera. 

Now, some have been following along, and for some this will be the first of my work ever.. In a nutshell - I have always held, since 1998, that NOAA's recreational catch data from MRFSS (1981 to 2012) & MRIP (2012 to present) has Far Too Much Recreational Effort - too many people fishing. 


Arguing how many people went fishing has always been like pushing with a rope. Don't work. 

No matter how lunatic an estimate seemed   NOAA would say their method was "peer reviewed" and that would be that. The only time I remember management being allowed to back off was when NY's Private Boats were credited with killing over 6 million pounds of cbass in 2016 and over 5 million in 2017.. That was more than all Party/Charter caught for the whole coast - and, if I recall correctly, Private Boats "caught" more than all Commercial and Party/Charter landed too. 

In all other instances whatever the estimate said was what management had to respond to.. (That's where perpetual battles for a few more days of season et al come from..) 

Always when I've looked at catch down to the individual level, however, what would be called 'Catch per unit of effort', or CPUE, they seem sensible. 

What's CRAZY is how many people they say went fishing.. 

For Instance New Reader.. MRIP has 742 boats fishing from Ocean City's one inlet every day in July/Aug 2021.. 

We have video. 

The boats can be counted. 

We can pull with a rope. 

We can PROVE NOAA's recreational catch estimates are slam full of bologna. 

I'll be shocked if we averaged even 35 boats a day - let alone 700 more daily.. 

Anyway - some background perhaps for anyone trying to really understand our predicament. 

Soon we'll need to write. 




 "Fish Report 3/27/19 -- MRIP Catch Estimates Worse Than Ever Before - Promise.." 

Between the Coast Guard, who will do  several inspections on my boat before long—& theirs is a necessary task ensuring public safety—we partyboat owners also have to apply for a fisheries permit for nearly every species we land. Most Charter boats too. I'm thinking perhaps toadfish, conger eel, seatrout(weakfish) & maybe croaker aren't covered. Any other fish? Get a permit. It's only a matter of time before recreational For-Hire permits become 'moratorium permits' where no more are issued. At least then they'll have value.  

We also have to report our catch for every trip electronically - an "eVTR" or  'electronic Vessel Trip Report.' VTRs used to be paper. I've filled out some form of daily catch report since the mid-1990s. 

All these permits and required catch reports for the recreational For-Hire boats....Gosh - between CG & NOAA Fisheries, it's as if regulators recognized the For-Hire sector as a prominent part of the recreational fisheries - a powerful extractive force that carries a lot of people. 

And we are. 

We're here for all the folks who do not have a boat, or who have a different boat than what's needed; or, especially in the shoulder seasons, we carry many boat owners who already have their rig put-up until late spring.

Bottom line: There's just a LOT more people who like to fish than those who have a boat..

Yet one of MRIP's statisticians told me, as if I were a bit dull in the head, (and maybe he has a point!) "There's a lot more Private Boats than For-Hire boats. They Have To Catch More Fish." 

Oyyyyy... despite the For-Hire recreational fishery's innumerable NOAA/State Fisheries permits, and obvious potential for large harvest/catch/landings; despite management's desire to "keep a close eye" on the For-Hire sector with their special permits -- and especially despite what we see fishing, where oft-times For-Hire are the only boats out: since 2004 MRIP began increasing Private Boat to where today MRIP invariably shows Party/Charter For-Hire landings as inconsequential. 

In fact, of the last two years (2017 & 2018) For-Hire have, according to MRIP, landed less than 10% of the Mid & North Atlantic's sea bass. (9.7% in 2017 & 7.9% in 2018) 

For summer flounder (fluke) it's often less than 5%.. (3.8% in 2017 & 5.4% in 2018) 

Why must For-Hire skippers do all this paperwork if there's no real impact on the fisheries? least 'no impact' according to NOAA's MRIP Recreational Catch Data. . .

We turn in VTRs daily. We raised a stink in the late 1990s/early 2000s about spikes in For-Hire catch estimates—statistical leaps in catch we knew were not true; we sought repair of For-Hire catch estimates and got it. For all MRIP's recent "recalibration" bluster in Private Boat & Shore landings, For-Hire estimates haven't budged. 

At all. 

But Shore & Private Boat catch estimates sure have. They've gone up like a rocket.

MRIP, which replaced MRFSS in 2012, was wrong right out of the gate. It's done nothing but grow worse since. 

Incredibly worse. 

Owing MRIP's initial launch & then further fantastic increases in recreational catch estimates over the last three years through two "Recalibrations" we're going to see more of this type of thinking from big Enviro & Commercial lobbyists: "Recreational Fishing Effort MUST BE CONTROLLED!

Rec catch Private Boat & Shore landings of flounder are now suddenly said to be so large, scientific population assessments are thought too low. With these now much higher levels of Private Boat/Shore catch, there wouldn't have been enough flounder to support the MRIP estimates had there not been a lot higher fluke population than thought. Stock assessments now raised - Commercial summer flounder quota just increased 49% - while recreational fishers saw no loosening of regulation at all because "we're already catching too many" ..according to MRIP. 

Our allowable landings are disappearing as ghost catch on a computer screen while commercial landings factually hit the dock. 

Here's how bad some of these estimates can be. MRIP says "They average out" - I say you can't average the impossible. 

The very day MRIP estimates became public in 2012 it took me about 5 minutes to see we'd been had. (Regular readers will have seen this estimate a dozen or more times - but here it's newly updated for MRIP's latest recalibrations.)

A prime indication of just how far off the rails MRIP was going to run was the New Jersey 2010 Shore-only March/April Tautog estimate. MRFSS had earlier claimed those shore-bound anglers (guys trying like heck to catch the first tog of the year from NJ's shores) were assigned a landings number of 74,000 tautog -- the largest March/April NJ shore estimate ever in the old MuRFSS estimating system - most years were zero, and rightly so.

I was using this 74,000 estimate at meetings to show just how out of touch MRFSS was with recreational catch's reality. No One Believed It. Nobody. Blackfish/tautog experts on NJ tog fishing thought the real answer closer to "under 100" tog caught from NJ's shores in March & April..

I figured if the then-newly-released MRIP offered any repair of bad catch estimates, then this utterly impossible NJ catch estimate from 2010 would fall sharply. 

Very sharply. 

That's why it was the first estimate I checked. 

Instead of a repair, the "New & Improved" NOAA product, MRIP, added fully 100,000 more tog to those lonely, wind-swept, early NJ spring tog anglers' catch. Instead of 74,000 tog, now those anglers had killed 173,000 tog! 

What a farce. 

But Wait!! 

Now we've had 2 "recalibration" events from MRIP. 

Originally, and quite erroneously, at 74,000 - to a ridiculously implausible 173,000 - today MRIP has this what-would-actually-be-tiny tog catch at an astounding 341,441 fish in coolers.. That's three quarters of a million pounds where knowledgeable anglers & writers doubt it was even a couple hundred pounds.. 

Compare that 800,000 lbs of Shore-caught NJ against ALL Party/Charter & Commercial tautog landings in 2010 - All Year.  

Commercial Tautog/Blackfishers are said to have taken 285,814 lbs. 

All US For-Hire tog catch is estimated at 341,488 lbs. 

Therefore All Party/Charter/Commercial tautog catch for the entirety of 2010 equals 627,302 lbs -- that's 180,210 lbs less than MRIP has NJ Shore anglers landing in March & April 2010..

No wonder everyone suddenly sees recreational fishing as the problem!

That's just one illustration. There are so many more. 

NOAA/MRIP & the National Academy of Sciences seem to think there's no way to test these estimates. I believe there is, especially in Private Boat mode where an amazing amount of our ghost-catch comes from these days.. 

I have tried to get NOAA & the National Academy of Sciences to examine MRIP from a "Percentage of the Catch" viewpoint. Thus far they seemingly have no interest in what For-Hire skippers actually out on the water think. To me the evidence is overwhelming -- I believe recreational catch estimates are incredibly worse today than ever before. 

For instance.. If someone out sea bass fishing sees an outboard or two on their favorite wreck, they'll keep heading that way & see if they can sneak in there too. But if you see a hundred-something foot partyboat railed w/clients, you'd likely reconsider your fishing location and try a different spot. That big partyboat's dropping a lot of hooks - vacuuming up a lot of sea bass.. 

Say a large partyboat is railed with clients; how many private boats might it take to equal that partyboat's effort? (assuming they're targeting the same species..) 

Probably about 35 Private Boats would equal a large partyboat's extractive equivalency--to equal their catching. It's a very common complaint among Private Boaters - "Partyboats are catching 'em all!" Whether the back-bays of Ocean City MD, or the reefs off Long Island - I've heard the complaints...

NOAA: Sit down with folks who go fishing a lot and you'll pretty quickly devise "Percentages of the Fishery" .. For instance, where Party/Charter and highliner Private Boat operators think a state's sea bass catch is split 40% For-Hire & 60% Private Boat -or any other split that's agreed to- then far firmer (much more accurate) Party/Charter estimates will give managers an incredibly better Private Boat catch estimate than they're getting with just MRIP. 

With a fair percentage split agreed upon by those engaged in the fishing, it's it's simple math to devise the entire recreational catch owing one side, For-Hire, is almost a "known value." 

NOAA could move on to daily reporting for Private Boats too, if they must. We really don't need that much accuracy though. We absolutely do need to get rid of estimates that could not possibly be true though. 

Briefly consider NY's Nov/Dec 2016/2017 Private Boat sea bass estimates -- where MRIP claims For-Hire only caught 0.8% of NY's sea bass in early winter 2017 and were outfished by Private Boats 120 to 1.. Though professional skippers doubt seriously Private Boats catch 10% of NY Nov/Dec sea bass landings, MRIP has those few NY Private Boats actually out fishing in early winter landing nearly the entirety of the recreational quota. 

If the good folks at MRIP had a chart in front of them saying the NY Wave 6 (Nov/Dec) Percentage Split 90% For-Hire and only 10% Private Boat, that egregious estimate would have never made it to a computer screen.

Even upping it to 20% for Private Boat's share, NY's sea bass tally would have been 31,759 lbs - not 3 million lbs.. Upping it to 50% would not make it much higher.

To achieve that three million pound Private Boat estimate, caught in early winter when I could only get out 21 days, would require 2,496 Private Boats, with everyone catching a limit, going every fishable day. 

That would be 357 Private Boats running Every Fishable Day from EACH of NY's inlets w/winter sea bass access. 

That sure isn't what big NY Partyboats saw offshore... 

While that estimate's ineptitude is glaringly obvious, creating "percentage of the fishery" comparisons offer much finer detail as well. 

There's not been any concern for MRIP's 2018 Wave 5 (Sept/Oct) Black Sea Bass (BSB) recreational catch estimate in Maryland (an estimate I'm deeply familiar with) - MRIP now has 200,036 lbs total for MD Wave 5 BSB. 

Holy Moly!! That's a LOT of sea bass! 

But, by MRIP's calculation, only 4.4% of the total catch was by For-Hire boats. For every 95.6 pounds of Private Boat catch, there'd only be 4.4 pounds of For-Hire Party/Charter sea bass.. 

I beg to differ. 

It should be quite the opposite, if perhaps likely a tad higher for Private Boats. That is, For-Hire should show about 80% of landings for sea bass in Sept/Oct - not a mere 4.4%! 

Percentages are funny. Merely jumping to 9% would more than double For-Hire landings. Since doubling the For-Hire estimate would be HUGE --we tell them what we caught!-- it seems far more likely an out-of-step estimate would require a lowering (or, on rare occasion, raising) of Private Boat catch. 

Here, based on "Percentage of the Catch," MD's actual sea bass landings in Sept/Oct 2018 would far more likely be about 11,137 lbs -- not 200,000.. 

I've been given rough percentage splits by many For-Hire skippers, and also actual VTR numbers by MAFMC staff. 

For sea bass coastal catch using MRIP's data, I arrive at 7.9% For-Hire from Virginia to Massachusetts in 2017 - & 9.7% in 2018. It's much more likely For-Hire landed about 40%, at least judging by the many conversations I've had with other For-Hire skippers. 

In fact, after pages & pages of calculation using the various percentages given me by other skippers from other states, I arrived at these comparisons for the entire Recreational Catch from VA TO MA..  

Black Sea Bass 2018 

7,111,868 MRIP's Actual Total Including Shore - This is What NOAA offers. 

? - I do not know what catch is assigned 2018 by Science/Management. Last year they canned MRIP's total.. 

1,667,007 Total via MRIP & For-Hire in a Percentage of the Catch estimate.. 

1,225,494 via VTR & For-Hire Percentage of the Catch estimate..

By my estimate it wouldn't be at all unlikely MRIP is 5.5 MILLION POUNDS TOO HIGH!!!  

Black Sea Bass 2017

11,447,940 MRIP's Actual Value..

4,160,000 Catch Assigned By Science/Management - Ignoring MRIP (A First? Demonstrates level of trust..)

1,961,129 Total via MRIP & For-Hire Percentage of the Catch estimate.. 

1,226,473 via VTR & For-Hire Percentage of the Catch estimate.. 

Here MRIP, by my method, is dern-near 10 MILLION POUNDS TOO HIGH!!! 

11.5 Million Pounds is Far More than All Commercial Trawl/Trap & All Party/Charter Landed in 2017...

Consider too MRIP's summer flounder estimates: If MRIP's assertion All For-Hire only landed 5.3% of coastwide recreational fluke were raised (perhaps 35% or better most likely) to just 15% - the Private Boat estimate would fall almost 6 million pounds in 2017 & 3.5 million pounds in 2018. 

And then there's MRIP's "Shore" caught sea bass. 

Sakes.. Yes, there are a lot of sea bass caught from shore. They spend their first few months of life in an estuary. People catch the heck out of them fishing from piers & jetties. For the most part, however, the 'shore' sea bass fishery has been closed since our very first size limit, 9 inches, in 1997. 

Now at 12.5 inches up to 15 inches, likelihood of a keeper sea bass from shore borders on Powerball odds, at least up to NY. 

When MRIP asserted Maryland had landed 178,082 lbs of sea bass from shore in Sept/Oct 2016 with an avg weight of 1.4 lbs -- I sought information on that catch from anglers who fish from shore many times a week. Finally found one fellow who had caught a single 12.5 inch keeper near the inlet from shore. That fish was not 1.4 pounds!  

Consider: In the 4 years from 2015 to 2018 MD For-Hire landed just 172,000 lbs All Together (6,000 lbs fewer) with a supposed avg weight of 1.3 lbs.. 

Yes, perhaps there are a few shore-caught sea bass in Rhode Island or Massachusetts where there are nearshore fisheries along the granite coast. But it's a few - not a lot. 

In 2017/18 MRIP has the shore sea bass catch at about 100,000 lbs. 

Instead? It's probably under 1,000 lbs.. 

In 2018 MRIP has the average size of Shore-caught sea bass as 1.9 lbs while the avg Party/Charter cbass is 1.7 lbs.. 

So far as I can find out, this is a complete fabrication. Were statisticians tasked with finding how these numbers made it into our official catch estimates, we'd likely be closer to finding out what's wrong.  

I'm unaware of how to access the old MRFSS data sets. 

Below are just a couple MRFSS tables in "Numbers of Fish" from older writings of mine modified with the last two MRIP 'Recalibrations" and substituting percentage shift for PSE..

Whatever makes MRIP "spike" is at issue. Given their track record, it looks pretty unrepairable to me. 

If NOAA's going to call MRIP "The Best Available Scientific Information" - they'd better adopt some means of testing. It ain't 'science' if it can't be tested.. 

Truthfully, I think, given absurdities presented by MRIP, "Percentage of the Catch" data could replace MRIP all together. Results of regulation would swiftly become far better. 

Fisheries Science & Managers had better do something soon or they're going to look mighty foolish in years to come. Eventually the truth of recreational catch will come out. 



Capt. Monty Hawkins 

Partyboat Morning Star 

Ocean City MD 

These old MRFSS tables were in my "Course Correction" piece in 2011.. 

Here I've modified them to show MRIP's wild patterns of increasing once-accepted estimates. 

The reason they were in that paper was because I thought them rubbish back then - stink to high heaven now. 

Species: BLACK SEA BASS - Massachusetts - 

Wave 3 - May/June - Private Boat - 

Original MRFSS vs 2019 MRIP & % Increase Up



% Inc


MRFSS = 16,282 || MRIP = 35,268



MRFSS = 17,177 || MRIP = 29,742



MRFSS = 53,349 || MRIP = 91,288



MRFSS = 28,281 || MRIP = 36,977



MRFSS = 65,376 || MRIP = 85,998



MRFSS = 26,827 || MRIP = 68,544



MRFSS = 221,028 || MRIP = 1,014,263



MRFSS = 70,305 || MRIP = 232,336



Species: BLACK SEA BASS - Rhode Island - 

Wave 3 - May/June - Private Boat 

& Percentage Increase Up



% +/-


MRFSS =  1,745 || MRIP = 4,223



MRFSS =  5,686 || MRIP = 7,294



MRFSS =  6,160 || MRIP = 6,729



MRFSS = 1,975 || MRIP = 1002



MRFSS =  3,601|| MRIP = 1,923






MRFSS =  989 || MRIP = 1,815



MRFSS = 36,182 || MRIP = 99,777






Species: BLACK SEA BASS - New York - 

Wave 5 - Sept/Oct - Private Boat - MRFSS/MRIP

& Percentage Inc/Decrease



% Inc


MRFSS = 101,350 || MRIP = 209,143



MRFSS = 29,863 || MRIP = 51,433



MRFSS = 7,749 || MRIP = 7,369



MRFSS = 58,398 || MRIP = 104,695



MRFSS = 42,352 || MRIP = 133,138



MRFSS = 54,352 || MRIP = 160,890



MRFSS = 105,256 || MRIP = 401,463



MRFSS = 325,074 || MRIP = 561,289


Species: BLACK SEA BASS - New Jersey - 

Wave 5 - Sept/Oct - Private Boat - MRFSS/MRIP

& Percentage Increase Up/Down



% +/-


MRFSS =  238,830 || MRIP =503,310



MRFSS =  350,981 || MRIP = 780,778



MRFSS =  73,860 || MRIP =159,214



MRFSS =  97,767 || MRIP = 164,338



MRFSS =  18,116 || MRIP = 15,118



MRFSS =  160,799 || MRIP = 1,021,769



MRFSS =  32,815 || MRIP = 160,725



MRFSS =  234,150 || MRIP = 1,518,051



I have, admittedly, never had faith in MRFSS/MRIP data, not since the first data-based closure I experienced in 1998. There was absolutely nothing wrong with our sea bass fishing then - we did have a huge problem with recreational catch estimates though. 

Still do. 

But thinking "MRIP data cannot be tested" is wrong. This idea of "Percentage of the Catch" --if regulators bore down into it-- would create an accurate method of testing the recreational catch data. 

Capt Monty Hawkins

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