Thursday, November 16, 2023

Fish Report 11/16/23

Fish Report 11/16/23 

Opening tomorrow! Friday 11/17/23

A Letter To MD Fisheries about our need of Video Cameras..

Sea Bass fishing remains very good to excellent. "Some Limits" was the worst trip lately. Wed 11/15/23 was fantastic..(Heading offshore now on 16th) 

Will our luck hold? 

Derned if I know. 

Going fishing. 

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

Just tomorrow! Friday 11/17/23 - Forecast turned nice! 6:30 to 4:00 - $165.00

Will depart up to half an hour early.. Burning fuel - long runs.. 

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 (unless you've not had a call back after 4 hours!) - 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. 

Block Update - As of 11/16/23 we have 40,764 Reef Blocks & 1,800 Reef Pyramids (170lb ea) deployed at numerous ACE permitted ocean reef sites - there are also 1,336 pyramids deployed by MD CCA at Chesapeake Bay oyster sites working to restore blue ocean water - Counting those awaiting deployment there have been over 4,500 pyramids made since my crew and I fashioned a prototype mold in late August 2019. 

Currently being targeted oceanside: at our brand new Uncle Murphy's Reef 160 Reef Blocks; Rambler Reef 340 Reef Blocks & 11 Pyramids - Pete Maugan's Memorial Reef 92 Blocks & 6 Pyramids - Tyler Long's Memorial Reef 698 (+18 Reef Pyramids & a 115 ft barge!) Virginia Lee Hawkins Memorial Reef 526 Reef Blocks (+76 Reef Pyramids) - Capt. Jack Kaeufer's/Lucas Alexander's Reefs 2040 Blocks (+49 Reef Pyramids) - Doug Ake's Reef 4,194 blocks (+16 Reef Pyramids) - St. Ann's 2,969 (+14 Reef Pyramids) Lindsay's Mini Reef 140 Blocks - Sue's Block Drop 1,702 (+30 Reef Pyramids) - Farewell/Kathy's Cable 188 blocks(3 pyramids) - Rudys/Big Dad's Barges 140 Reef Blocks (+9 Pyramids) - Benelli Reef 1,552 (+118 Pyramids) - Capt. Bob's Bass Grounds Reef 4,324 (+ 90 reef pyramids) - Al Berger's Reef 1,866 (+36 Reef Pyramids) - Great Eastern South Block Drop 228 Reef Blocks (+ 8  Pyramids) - Cristina's Blast 120 Reef Blocks & 2 Pyramids - Capt Greg Hall's Memorial Reef 362 Blocks (+2 Pyramids) - Kinsley's Reef 756 Pyramids - Bear Concrete Reef 44 Blocks and 512 Pyramids plus 16 pipes -  We've also an Unnamed site at the Bass Grounds in 80 feet with 345 Castle & Terracotta Tog Blocks, 10 Pyramids, & 16 pieces pipe.

Greetings All, 

A letter I sent to MD about video cameras..


My Point - Maryland needs a video camera at OC Inlet (and some staff time to make use of video!) to sharpen Private Boat Effort estimates.. 

I have long complained about recreational catch estimates - since 1998 actually; mostly for being astronomically too high, but estimates too low also rob fisheries science & management their most vital tool: How questions about recreational catch are answered creates a huge part of stock assessment science for many species, and then how stocks are divvied up among user groups too, but especially ( right down to wave & mode) when creating regulation. 

How many fish are caught by recreational anglers? How many are caught by rec anglers but released? Get it wrong and either inequity develops quickly or the very idea of 'fisheries restorations' smashes against the rocks..

So far what science and regulators know is commercial and for-hire catch from daily VTR submissions. It's fairly stout. Recreational catch data by MRIP, however, offers a sore representation of catch. 

In fact, it's so awful that the new science team at NOAA fisheries has begun to grapple MRIP. I think it's going to upend much of what Gordon Colvin & Dave Van Vorhees suckered so many brilliant people into believing between 2007 & 2012 - then again in two more 'recalibrations' ending in 2018. In fact, Jon Hare & Evan Howell, today's tip of the spear for NOAA Fisheries Science, have announced recreational catch shall fall 30 to 40%.. 

Well, I think further reduction still is needed, but it's a start. 

Was it coincidence that MAFMC had announced findings of a multi-year video camera study at OC Inlet before the fed caved on MRIP? I honestly couldn't guess.. 

I'll attach post results of that camera study in graphs to Facebook. 

In a nutshell?  When numbers of rec anglers were high - MRIP was incredibly too high. (approx 750 private boats Per Day - each with four anglers - would be needed to meet the wave four (Jul/Aug) 'official' estimate. As the MAFMC's video camera showed, we don't come anywhere near that level of effort even when hosting the world's largest billfish tournament..) When numbers of anglers was naturally low, however, MRIP wobbled all over. 

The video camera did fail for a period, but as a first-ever project some pain should be expected. 

When its grant money ran out the project was termed 'of dubious use' and discontinued. 


There's never, not once ever, been a better way shown to estimate 'ocean only' private boat effort. 

I bet there's a whole lot of folks in fisheries who wish they'd had good effort data all along.. 

As everything in fisheries is currently statistically driven, I think huge improvements could also be made by mounting video cameras in major access points of the Chesapeake too. Maryland would instantly lead the world in accurate Private Boat estimates. 

This video work needn't show detail down to hull numbers and such. A lot can be quickly assessed simply by shape. The long-time staffer who ran the project for MAFMC can tell you what he had in it for hours. Given its import? I should think the project deserving of serious funding. You'll instead find it quite a bargain. 

MAFMC found time to do years of data in a relatively short while. 

Bottom Line? Quit Guessing! Use A Count! 

Cheers All, 


Capt Monty Hawkins

Capt Monty Hawkins

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