Monday, October 16, 2023

Fish Report 10/16/23

Fish Report 10/16/23 

Opening 1.75 days. (One's a shorty!) 

Of Old Science, Video Camera Counts and Estimate Guesses.. 

MRIP's Black Curtain.. Is It Even Legal? 

Sea Bass fishing is at a sudden peak after the early October closure. 

After not having a complete boat limit (that I remember!) all season - now clients are 3 for 4. Even the day we didn't boat-limit we had about of third of clients boxed out..

Will our luck hold? 

Derned if I know. 

Going fishing. 

Eighteen Anglers sells out sea bass trips - makes for lots of room.  

Tuesday Oct 17 - 7 to 3 - $125 (Inshore has been kind lately with some triggers too! Being Tomorrow(!) it's dern unlikely to have many sponsors - which can be even more fun!) 

Wednesday & Thursday Oct 18 & 19 - 6 (so actually 5:30 am if all goes well!) till whenever we get done. $180 (Best forecast)  

Anna is a one person operation. She 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 want a spot call the reservation line at 443-235-5577.. Emailing me is no good - any info I give could well be wrong time you receive it - service handles reservations. I do check email for questions; check FaceBook messenger too.. 

Be a half hour early! We always try to 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. 

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.

I've recently discovered ZOFRAN - prescription anti-nausea for chemo and surgery. Seems to work - has worked - for motion sickness. Serious day saver really. It's a prescription - though one Doc I trust thought it should be over the counter.. 

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. 

(Will post reef block update next time!) 

Greetings All, 

Perhaps of interest & from recent correspondence with NOAA Fisheries Science.. 


The 1977 NMFS Sandy Hook Blue Book on Black Sea Bass Habitat has "Females mature as 2 year olds at a length of 17 cm. (6.6 inches) (we know that's solidly age age 1 now) Generally, males tissue is first seen in fish 3 years old at about 18 cm (7.08 inches)." (nope - also age one) 

While surely this early work got the lengths right; from Gary Shepherd's collection of aging work up & down the coast, however, both these measurements are solidly age one. A sea bass of 6.6 inches & 7.08 inches could easily have been born on the same day. 

Thing is - These days there are no small males at all. 11.5/11.75 with one or two 10.5 inch males all summer. 

Here too from the same 1977 work: (page 15) "Since black sea bass are protogynous hermaphrodites,  sex ratio varies with age & size of the fish. Larger fish are all males. Nearly all fish >25 cm (9.8 inches) are males. Thus catches of large fish will consist of males." 


You can catch thousands and thousands of 10 inch cbass now and not see a single male!!

Promise - the two periods in my life when we DID see innumerable males of even 6.5 inches sometimes; that's when spawning production was off the chain. 

They're easy to fool. We make cbass believe they're underpopulated - if they see no large males about - they will spawn young.



Greetings Everyone, 

I'm trying to write about the affect subtracting even 40% will have on MRIP's accuracy. I have many instances where 80% would not be enough. But I always, always double ck my numbers 

..and now I cannot even see the numbers. (MRIP two-month 'wave' data is closed to the fishing publicAnnual only - which tells us nothing of where errors are accumulating.

What is this. What great shame has caused NOAA to obfuscate this data???

Why in BLAZES am I not allowed access? 

Regulatory season is right around the corner and we're disarmed? 

Must we await some new recreational catch insanity on Council/Commission's screen to know what we're up against?? 

As I write the site is closed - period. 

We've not been allowed access to wave data in nearly a year if memory serves. 

Video cameras to allow a COUNT of Private Boat effort (not an estimate!) are needed. Access to the madness that has come from Van Voorhees' threat too. (Dave Van Voorhees and Gordon Colvin were lead on the Congressionally ordered transition from MRFSS to MRIP (Because so many were complaining about MRFSS catch estimates being too high in the mid-2000s!) MRIP was higher again at its outset and made fantastically worse in two successive 'recalibrations'.) 

Dave tracked me down in the parking lot of Ake Marine (now Atlantic Tackle) on a windy day in 2017(16?) and said "..if you keep going it's going to get a lot worse." 

Man of his word at least. We soon had the second recalibration. 

Remove the cloak. Open up MRIP data. 

The argument "Ewww! Cherry Picking" is because there are so many cherries to pick from. To demonstrate WHY an annual estimate is garbage, it is necessary to pull out the worst of the infection for inspection. 

My work often compares annual totals to wave estimates that are just nuts.  

And I need to keep doing that. 

But I cannot. 

Despite the bravery in admitting MRIP needs a 30 to 40% haircut; we cannot examine for accuracy without access to wave data. 

Open the gates!



Capt Monty Hawkins

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