Monday, January 01, 2024

Fish Report Quicky 1/1/24

Fish Report Quicky (Have to do the annual reef raffle grand prizes soon!) 

Finished sea bass with a bang - fabulous - Have had two decent (for these days!) tog trips 12/31 & 1/1/24. 

I see the weather appears sweet on Wednesday, 1/3/24, now too. Am adding that date 

Wednesday 1/3/24 - 7 to 3 - sells out at 12 - $150.00... 

See details below if considering the trip. 

Fish Report 12/27/23  

One more Sea Bass Trip and then begin winter toggin.. 

41,000 Blocks 

My Boat's Tog Regs Are Tougher Than State Regs! 

Looking for MAD drop and reel tog fishing? Yeah, umm.. Bygone days my friend! 

Well, Just a few DD (double digit) tog then? 

Derned if I know. Lot of heat on these. I tried to warn everyone.. I'm just glad if clients get bit!!


I used to have a service with even 3 ladies answering calls. That went toes-up and now I just have Anna. She will almost certainly 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. 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. 

I used to have a service with even 3 ladies answering calls. That went toes-up and now I just have Anna. She will almost certainly 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. 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. 

One Last Sea Bass Trip. 

After that, Tog only - cbass close Jan 1st because of NOAA's bad catch estimates..

Dec 29 - Sea bass - long run - really long! 6:30 to 4(or 6?!?) - $175.00 - 16 sells out. 

Always leave a half hour early if all are aboard. 

Tautog Trips: Kickin around the home grounds. 

December 31st & Jan 1st 2024 - 7:30 to 3:30.. 

January 4th & 5th, 2024 - 7 to 3 - 

Tog trips for now sell out at 12 - $150.00

Sakes Man! If you're going to celebrate the New Year with youthful exuberance - please don't come chum for tog. It doesn't work. Poor Aunt Myrtle in the hospital isn't good for a refund either when you're praying your head doesn't explode New Year's Day. 

Boat Rules - Not Maryland Regs: 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. 

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

Cbass close Jan 1st because of NOAA's bad catch estimates..

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 Has Hurt This Fishery ..But Nowhere Near As Much As Bad Sea Bass Regulation)

Agreed With Or Not, All Regulations Observed – I believe Maryland Party/Charter Guys are all 3 Tog @ 16 Inches - that's what my boat is - 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." 

12 Anglers Sells Out so anglers can move to the bite. Boat has 18 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 & winter. 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 - when folks kept their limit & the crew's too? Those would have been today's jumbos. Wish we'd gone 3 fish at 16 inches in 2004..

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. 

Block Update - As of 12/27/23 we have 41,008 Reef Blocks & 1,801 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 240 Reef Blocks; Rambler Reef 360 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 2064 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 1,722 (+30 Reef Pyramids) - Farewell/Kathy's Cable 208 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 4,344 (+ 90 reef pyramids) - Al Berger's Reef 1,906 Reef Blocks (+36 Reef Pyramids) - Great Eastern South Block Drop 248 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.

My Trip Post From Facebook (with lots of pics!)

Tautog 1/1/24 

Last Call For OCRF's Annual Reef Raffle!  

Caught a nice New Year's Day sunrise at the inlet; came a pretty day too - calm. Ryan gave a stack of 50 concrete pavers a shove and we were soon fishing. 

Not catching so much, just fishing. The very first drop, you see, Brian had a real one take drag back into the hang and bust off.. I've seen it many times - Instant bite toggin? Bad juju! 

Well, that and the current was about still. 

(Have also seen it become a mad bite - but the short lived 'instant gratification-instant halt' kind of day stand out in painful sort of memories..)

Despite a tough start, the day finally came our favor. The more current we had, the better. Seemed like most everyone caught a keeper - some their limit - not many actually kept a keeper though. We released more legal fish than we bled. 

Pat took top honors with a 25inch male that he released. 

Usually in our pics a tog you see with the third dorsal fin torn was released. 

Weatherman had called for a bit of NE breeze come 7 tonight. 

Naaawww! Wind came early afternoon!

Derned if it didn't breeze up near 20 NE too. Sure made for a more boisterous ride in than I'd anticipated. 

Pulling the Grand Prizes for the OC Reef Foundation's Park Place Jewelers & Bemelli USA Annual Raffle tonight. 

Feeling Lucky?? Still Time To Buy Tickets For Grand Prizes! 

If you fish, dive, or just want a healthier ocean? Buying these tickets automatically makes you a winner! 

About 8 o'clock tonight - 1/1/24 - we'll draw for a beautiful Benelli semiauto in 28ga donated by Benelli USA;

A gourgous diamond encrusted gold hook necklace from Park Place Jewelers;

A 'Name A Reef' donated by Creatures Great & Small. 

Another of Brian Mullhausen's custom trigger sticks - this one donated by Bernie O & the Morning Star's Daily Raffle. 

A 12 GA Stoeger OU shotgun donated by Paul; 

A Gift Certificate for a pair of Hook Sunglasses donated by Niki, Bob & Chris Pino (I'd get the double mirror/double dark upgrades. I use my 'double darks' a lot promise!) 

There's also a $100 Gift Certificate for Crabs to Go they've donated - Schweeet!

And, finally, we'll also pull two tickets for an OCRF sweatshirt, t-shirt & a shaker of Reef & Beef spice! 

I've saved two nice coolers that were donated - one from Bahia Marina and one from John G - for next years May Reef Dinner. Lewes Harbor Marina too will be there for us...

If you've been to a dinner? You know we fill coolers with donations from Anthony's Liquors (plus others!) and raffle them.. (Ahhh, the exuberance of youth.) (No, I don't have a dinner date yet. Want to help on the committee?? FB messenger or because my reef address is still down!) 

And..  Sure would be awesome if folks went to work writing and asking for dinner and even annual raffle prizes - helps build reef! Adam H made an incredible difference in last year's dinner! You don't need to "know a guy" - just need to ask. Write Diawa? Shimano? A local player? Whoever! Jewelry manufacturers? Camping or boating supplies? Restaurants?? Go for it! Start soon - you might amaze yourself! We're going to have a great selection of prizes and auction items at the 2024 Reef Dinner - YOU can make it better!! 

With any luck at all OCRF will be flat broke by May -- But Have A Lot Of Awesome New Reef! Sure could use your help! 

Lassssst Call!!!


Tix on ! Lasssst Chance!!

OCRF's 2023 Park Place Jewlers/Benelli USA Annual Reef Raffle. One ticket for $10 - six for $50 - fourteen for $100 - plus an additional ticket for every additional hundred. 

A buyer of $200.00, for instance, would be getting 15 tix per hundred; at $300 it would be 16 tix per one hundred so 48 tickets.. $500.00 would be 90 Tix & 1,000.00 would be 240 tickets.. Great Scott! 

Buy tickets online at at the 'donation' tab. Marisa will fill the name in on all your tickets, then send a pic via email. Our final drawing won't take place until tix are all filled in. We'll pull the 'tickets' part of the donation page and start pulling tickets!

This raffle is it for reef funding until our spring dinner. Don't have a date or location yet - will! 

Maryland does NOT have a state marine reef program. (Shocking for the Chesapeake Bay State, no?) 

The Feds do NOT have a marine reef restoration program either (nor even recognize we ever had reef and especially not that any reef was ever lost owing fishing gears..)

One Day! 

These things change and (I hope!) YOU are going to help! 

Having read this far? You likely already have. 

In the immediate line up for new reef building is a large tug donated by Murtech Marine (already named..) and now two tractor trailer loads of reef pyramids from Kinsley Construction in York! (Now they're named too!) Those will be taken out by the Tiki XIV in coming weeks - as soon as they deploy the pyramids from Bear Concrete!! Those pyramids will soon be in the thousands - it's a lot of reef! 

Among those great projects; Boy, It sure looks like we will also fund the multi-pipe units reef at the Bass Grounds. 

Reef building is already making a difference, promise. Now to make it better and better! 

Let's Make It A Great New Year!



Capt Monty Hawkins

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