Sunday, June 13, 2010

Fish Report 6/13/10

Fish Report 6/13/10
Sea Bass In Flurries
Bare Rock
Hi All,
Some very fine fishing of late. Working for 'em, shuffling around, changing bait, trying gulps. It's not 'catch a limit' sea bassing, but with high-hook pushing upper teens on a 12 1/2 inch size limit; Someone's heating a skillet.
Still just the one keeper flounder last week; that'll come.
An odd tog and, amazingly, we're still tagging undersized cod; two on Saturday.
Those cod speak to the slow change of the water this year. I often see white-bellied bass in spring, the sea bass that have been traveling across sandy bottom and have taken on that coloration for camouflage. After what may only be a very short time on reef they'll darken considerably. Perhaps we still have cbass coming in from offshore.
Bottom temperature codfish-chilly, there's no doubt topside's coming warm. Almost all the gannets -our winter dive-bombers- have left; Sooty terns have come and gone in their rapid northerly migration; Wilsons storm petrels & common shearwaters--what we call sailor gulls--are increasing in abundance.
Smaller than a robin, Wilsons nest in Antarctica and spend the rest of the year at sea feeding on oils plucked from the surface of the water; their darting, wave-top dancing flight familiar to many fishers, especially shark chummers.
Mola-mola, AKA ocean sunfish, drift along fin-up: "Shark!" But no.. To think of these marine oddities as 'sunnies' would miss nearly half a ton of difference and a shape that really defies explanation..
All these untold generations of birds, fish, turtle, mammal; they all depend on an ecosystem that is as it should be, that is whole & wholesome, that is doing what it has always done during their migration or spawning season; their development in the earliest days of life.. a system with parts missing or parts poisoned does not work.
Tried to fish a spot this week that I used to sneak away to now and again even into the early 2000s. Was a time I could fish it with 75 people and move around on it. Now -- This Week -- I could only see some rock on the sounder: No Fish, No Growth, No Sea Whip Meadow.. 
Rock so barren I didn't even bother to try it, to anchor, to fish.
From 75 people pulling steady for an hour or more and throwing back many to 7 anglers not even bothering to wet a line..
If we could see our region's natural reefs as we see that vile oil spill, managers would be far more engaged.
I know what happened to that reef. We lost it to a box or two of flounder; A trawl-net towed across the rock mowed the whip down: That reef is gone.
For now. 
As Wilsons storm-petrels dip, swoop; spoon up a bill-full of Louisiana crude and Ocean sunfish find patches of fake jellyfish tar-balls on which they will feed and in doing so die: Evidence of sudden change in an ecosystem is created.
Ocean waves roll ashore just as they ever did.
Have to look a little deeper to see resolution to the reef fisheries rebuilding dilemma..
Some research this week and then a comparison of red snapper and sea bass management; that closure looms ugly..
And fishing.
Perhaps some of it quite good.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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