Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fish Report 7/14/09

Fish Report 7/14/09   
Cbass or Flounder?
Hi All,
Some very enjoyable days since the 7/5 report, a few 'not so much' trips too.
Flounder have been the highlight. Told my deckhand, Mike, to catch me a 7 pounder for Sunday dinner. Made a drop and did just that.
Would that it were always so; settle for pure luck once in a while!
Biggest of the year for us came Monday the 6th with an 8lb 12oz dandy.. until Saturday's 9lb 2oz was netted.
With a 17 inch rule we would have seen a lot of limits. Instead, a lot of tags going by the rail.
Had I written the 'fish report' Sunday, flatties would have been 'it'.
So Monday and Tuesday we scarcely caught the flat ones - but the sea bass bite picked up.
Marking sea bass better than in weeks, I knew Wednesday that we were going to mug'em-up: caught flounder to 6lb 9oz and probably the most releases of fluke ever for me.
There were a few days that triggers stole the show too.
Going wreck/reef fishing folks. No promises on species. Just fishing.
Kite's up, pair of live bluefish for bait hanging from the clips. SNAP! Super fast run off -awesome Hemingway & Zane Grey sort of fish- then bitten off above the three foot steel leader.
Would like to have seen what ate that bait.
Ritch is bowed-up. "Good fluke capt."
He's been catching them for a long time - means it.
Up and down. Short gain - short run.
Dropped it.
Would like to have seen that one too.
I'm hooked-up. Not bottom, it moved. Coming easier..
Giant eel.
Wish he'd gotten away!
Summer fishing's just that this year - fishing. Cooler filling it ain't. Sure can be fun.
Took another sea bass release mortality trip Monday. East wind & cloudy; have proven that I can pick the best day for sea bass survival two weeks in advance.
Hot and calm in over 100 feet - tough on the fish. Overcast and a bit of breeze, they do fine.
In cooler conditions they still often float a while before they go down. We're gathering lots of float time data.
Will do at least one more trip - data set will be good for something. Maybe several things.
Required now in the Gulf; we don't need to puncture, or 'vent', the air bladder here in the mid-Atlantic. Usually.
Also seeing the wide-gap 'Kahle' hooks performing nicely. No gut-hooked fish yet. (Only get a 1/2 dozen a year)
Tagging results have the sea bass 'homing' after winter migration. Makes sense to release as best we're able. 
Since my last report I've caught fluke in 125, 110, 90, 80, 65, 40 & 25 feet of water. Surf casters have caught some. Our back-bay is loaded with present day under-size fish and a few dandies.
Enough rebuilding? I'd say management has created an accidental shift in the ecology!
Lots to do in fisheries restoration, lots and lots. Need to get flounder on a back burner and focus elsewhere.
"Marine Habitat" is popping up in numerous places. Not just some of the sloughs where I'm seeing an expansion of the natural reef footprint as I did over a decade ago, but in print too. Guvmint print..
Great Scott, I hope we soon put habitat to work in fisheries management.
The Kerhin, Maryland's very high-tech research boat, will be in OC to do some artificial reef monitoring come August. I am advocating hard for her to be put to work 'finding' natural reefs off Delmarva too.
Those fellows have incredible capability for finding and mapping live bottom.
Discovery - protection - expansion - restoration.
Ought to lead to a lot of folks truly enjoying their fishing experience along coastal Maryland.
We haven't a clue about the seafloor's role in our fisheries. Now here comes the wind mill & drill here, drill now crowd. Their Environmental Impact Statements will cheerfully quote the existing "ain't no hard-bottom corals here" science. 
Bring on the energy - lets do it. Wisely.
Everything needed for discovery: Hope the Kerhin can find funding for a few more days.
If you are active in such things an email to fisheries & your representatives wouldn't hurt.
A couple grand more of funding and suddenly corals would exist in the mid-Atlantic.
Reckon I'll go nick some fluke, maybe some triggers and bass.

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