Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fish Report 8/26/08

Fish Report 8/26/08
Fisheries Task Force
Hi All,
Though not without some bright spots, the fishing remains pretty much as it has been: scratch up dinner.
And occasionally bag a few for the freezer.
The target species varies between cbass and flounder. Not what you or I want, or even think will bite. Simply what does bite.
Had a super light rail the other day. Since mate Ritch and I were going to be using Spros for fluke --with Lucy's 6 1/2 pounder fresh in my mind I had every intention of showing no mercy-- I told the clients they should get some of the fancy bucktails in 4 to 6 oz.....
We caught sea bass.
A few nice flounder too, but you get my point.
Saturday we had some pretty good cbass fishing -excellent for this summer- and also had a pair of fin whales.
As I was in mid-move anyway, we came along-side - got a closer look. Continuously coming up to together; for awhile it seemed they were in an Olympic synchronized spouting event. Fairly clear water; you could see them well before they surfaced. An active pod of dolphin cruised with them...
Tough business, especially this year, but every once in a while the office views are stunning!
Piece of fresh fish once in a while too.
That summer fish fry - the one with the season's first sweet corn and a huge, ripe all the way through tomato - is way behind us now.
Coming time for fall fishing.
Maybe this NE wind will clear the inshore waters some and get the fishing where we want it.
Reckon I'll open the reservation book to October.............
The Governor's Fisheries Task Force is something I see as a sincere effort to change how Maryland regulates our waters.
There are people that have volunteered hundreds of hours and gone to dozens of meetings - trying to get management fine tuned and in-line with it's 21st century users.
Having attended fisheries meetings; folks in the thick of this have put in an incredible effort.
The document produced might -just might- be the first to recognize a need to locate and manage our nearshore corals.
From the most distant wooded stream; it all ties together.
Last few weeks there's been a body of water 'stuck' on our coast. Pea green, it's the precursor to anoxia -a dead zone- where most of the water's oxygen is used up as algae -phytoplankton- blooms die.
Now I sure don't think we're going to have a dead zone -it ain't all that- but I do want to use it to illustrate that the work of stream, river and estuary restorations all play a part in the marine realm too.
Garbage in - garbage out.
Clean, well oxygenated water is the primary need of fish. All the work with buffer zones and storm water capture on land --- and oyster restoration to filter the estuaries --- needs to accelerate in order to have a shot at rebuilding our marine resources.
No fishery restoration is a stand alone project.
Once I was surprised at seeing mahi-mahi 3 miles off the beach. I've heard many stories from the 50's and 60's of guys targeting them --setting out to fish for them-- 5 miles out; the buoys at Fenwick and Great Gull. Caught 'em too.
Never would have happened with the water we have now.
It can be fixed though.
A different 'garbage in - garbage out' situation is happening to our north; the dreaded medical waste closing some Jersey beaches.
Believe me, we've had close calls with vast stretches of trash along Maryland's coast - only favorable winds preventing headlines had our beaches been closed too. There were intense efforts to keep the August '04 croaker kill from stinking up the beach; mostly picked up by hand as they washed ashore.
We assume that an oil spill disaster couldn't happen here, yet just off the coast huge tankers offload to lightering barges everyday.
Under ever greater restriction; our commercial trawl fleet sits idle much of the time. They have all the equipment. With some modification they could provide an incredibly useful service should a trash slick or serious fish kill approach our beaches.
The cost of equipping and training a few of these boats would be repaid many times over if they prevented a beach closing. And, perhaps in time, serve as a model for distant deep water clean-ups.
With clean water, healthy reefs, focused management and foresight, I think it's possible to restore, and in some cases even exceed, our historical fisheries.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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