Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fish Report 4/17/10

Fish Report 4/17/10
Toggin - See Below
Recreational Saltwater Fishing Summit
Hi All,
Just spent two days in beautiful downtown Alexandria, Virginia. Shame--Never saw any of it - nor even a glimmer of sunlight. It's more clear why folks appreciate the services we fishers offer..
I gave up two days of fishing to go to the Recreational Saltwater Fishing Summit; the fellow to my left, a magazine publisher, had traveled from Saipan. He showed me pictures of where they had loaded the Enola Gay on her infamous run -- And pictures, mouth-watering pictures, of their reefs and fish.. To my right was a salmon advocate from Oregon; Across was a Californian who'd had a bitter taste of a No Take MPA closure, banning even from fishing from his kayak; Next to him a fellow from Florida spoke critically of the impending red snapper insanity; A lady representing manufacturers..
We were small cogs. Lots of big tackle industry and big rec group representation, a who's who I promise.
The panels and discussions, Q&A sessions; Rank this and give an opinion on that.. It was more down-to-business--less warm & fuzzy---than some I've been to. I suspect that it wasn't just me, many of the fishermen there were glad of that --- No Kumbaya thanks.
Ten hour meeting done; enjoying Crown Royal on the rocks --for just $18 for a double-- while old hands spoke of management battles going back decades was priceless.
Next day, Saturday, RFA & CCA sat next to each other on a discussion panel. The world is still here.
Both organizations dished out many ideas for moving recreational fishing forward.
A lot of people were talking about closures. None of it was nice-talk.
NOAA & NMFS were there - all around - listening.
NMFS new chief, Eric Schwaab, was there always. His boss, NOAA's newly appointed chief, Dr. Lubchenco, was there--some; Made remarks--answered questions--listened.
Really new position was Russ Dunn, NMFS's new recreational fishing guy..
Good stuff.
I know they heard.
We'll see. Actions are everything with government: Words, pretty brochures, smooth glossy booklets, nice pictures---all the coral/fish habitat stuff: meaningless.
I told Jon Carson, head of the Whitehouse's Council on Environmental Quality, that NOAA's marine habitat work has so far reminded me of an old refrigerator -- Made a lot of noise, didn't work. 
Felt different though.. Dr. Lubchenco is a fisheries habitat ecologist. I'm positive she knew she was 110 miles from coral reef. I'm positive she understands that just as oxygen, fuel and heat are all required for fire; So to are management, habitat and spawning populations necessary to make succesful fisheries..
I'm positive I spoke with a lady who had vision far beyond catch-restriction, a lady who wouldn't try to build a fire without fuel..
We'll see.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076
The reservation book is open from April 18th to the 25th for tog trips. I also have the book open for sea bass trips from May 22cnd to the end of June. I will open more days with the next email.
On April 23rd & 24th I am sailing 6 am to 4(ish) 10 hour trips for $125.00 -- All the other tog trips are $100.00 regular 7am to 3 pm days. 
We are catching - occasionally a dandy - skill helps a lot - luck too.
Boat sells out at 14 - Green crabs provided - Cabin heated if need be - Leave as scheduled or earlier if all are aboard - PLEASE be a little early so we can leave early - Return as scheduled or a little later - Reservation a must, that phone number in signature - Email does not work for reservations - Call - Leave a good phone number--Cell--in case of cancellation.
Tog Limit is 4 fish @ 14 inches - We encourage the release of all females under 16 (and some way bigger too!!) Fish Pool is decided by length so tagged and released fish count too.
Yes, we have caught some big tog this year and in years past. No, I can not pick what size, if any, are going to bite on any given day -- We are going fishing. Inexperienced tog fishers frequently find this an exasperating sport.. So do the sharpies some days. It's more about presentation than in our other fisheries.

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