Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fish Report 7/5/09

Fish Report 7/5/09
Some Fluke/Flatties/Flounder - Precious Few Cbass
Belly Buster
Hi All,
Hmm.. This fishing isn't what I'd like.
Yet everyday we get a few good flounder, tag a bunch, and scratch up a few sea bass.
Even put together a very nice catch once in a while.
Doing all I can to get folks on fish; can not force the fish to cooperate!
Luck & skill, both can be improved by listening to the mates.
I strongly suspect that sea bass are more intrigued with making more sea bass than eating. I wish them great success! They'll get hungry soon..
Not just flounder, tagging a few triggers too. Message-in-a-bottle those tags; no telling where they'll end up.
The literature sez they come inshore and spawn on guarded nests at about 12 inches. I have advocated successfully for the building of shallow water reef specifically targeted at spadefish and triggers.
I thought Maryland would see the value of spreading the fun around and initiate size & creel limits on the fish. Dah.. Thought the feds might see the value of coral off the coast too.
May happen yet.
Don't see triggers every year. Never-ever do I catch them with any regularity. Ever!
Breakfast at a marina - pretty chancy. Yet some pull it off with great character. Had the opportunity to fish a few times out of Sailfish marina in Palm Beach. Their breakfast was bright lights, stout coffee and sharp-tongued waitresses.
Soriano's downtown OC wasn't dissimilar and the food was better.
Now the Fishing Center where I tie up is making a run at breakfast. Need it. Wawa's OK in a rush, but where's the local charisma.. 
Already contributing to some certain captain's portly rotundity; they have named one major item the the "Morning Star Breakfast Buffet."  Coincidence I'm sure.
..So I tell the cook, "Just make me a sandwich" and Bob's Breakfast Belly Buster is born.. Huge. Even the other half for lunch cold - delicious.
The lights aren't bright, the coffee's OK, deck seating magnificent.. 'Before too long I think it'll have it own character.
Going back for more sea bass release mortality work on July 13. The first trip we had very close to zero fish die upon release - most swam straight down even in 120 feet of water. Warmer water now.. Depth, sea water & air temperature are key: I think size is too. Smaller fish release quite well. 
I have the stern booked out for biologists: DE, MD & MAFMC represented. Selling the rest of the spots as we might normally do. No slam-dunk this trip. Research.
On the previous release monitoring trip I had the great pleasure of meeting a biologist who did his masters on 'young of the year' (YOY) tautog. Fascinating.
Chameleons they are: no matter if the seaweed is red, green or brown, at a few weeks of age they change color and blend in.
Estuarine - "No juvenile tog in the ocean" he claimed.
Eh, I thought that a bold assertion given our lack of seafloor research. He did look at some ocean wrecks for YOY tog without success.. But we still haven't 'found' the natural corals and tube worms..
Sure do tag a bunch of short flounder. Seeing reproductively mature sea bass as small as 7 1/2 inches and others to 5 1/2. Tiny scup at times. All that on 4/0 hooks.
I think the nearshore waters are as estuary - vital to marine production. 
There is so dogone much work to do out there.. Recognizing that fish do not fall from the sky; that their production hinges on habitat is key to really turning around the fisheries.
I have heard and read industrial fishers propose to bulldoze waterfront communities; they know the marshes were/are important to production. No acorns - no oaks.
Waterfront homes vital to a local tax base; what benefit to society when 100 pounds of fluke are caught but a reef is trawl-lost for a decade.
There are now some bottoms coming back to life, re-growing reef, as they did in the mid/late 90's.
Not on purpose, again by accident.
A few boulder piles, shipwrecks, and the horrors of Nazi U-Boats preserved our reef fisheries through the worst of the unregulated industrial fisheries.
We recreational fishers did our best to finish off what they could not.
Now both sides are strangled with regulation.
Habitat management will help. Increasing production benefits all fishers.
Need to get on with it.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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