Friday, April 22, 2011

Fish Report 4/22/11

Fish Report 4/22/11
One Day In Five
Try Again
Habitat Works
Sea Bass Trips open from May 22cnd on - Stern spots & Saturdays are disappearing...
Inshore tog fishing Monday & Friday - April 25 & 29 - 7 AM to 3 PM - $100 - 10 people sells out - Looks like a big wind mid-week.
Going Long-Tog on Saturday & Sunday - 11 hour - Deeper - Further - April 30 & May 1st - 5:30 AM to 4:30 PM - 16 Sells Out - $150 - No Slam Dunk But I Do Have A Plan - Still, Try Hard--Fail Hard..  
Green Crabs Provided - Spider Crabs too - Clam if you want it - Reservations Required @ 410 520 2076 - LEAVE THE BEST CONTACT NUMBER IN CASE OF WEATHER CANCELATION. 
Be early. Everyone likes to leave early. Show up late and you'll see the west-end of an east-bound boat..
Reef Dinner Soon - May 4th - Hall's Restaurant - $15 at the door - Lots of fishing items, even some Morning Star tickets and hand-picked tackle..
Hi All,
Got Tuesday in.
That was it.
An inshore trip: Fishing was very good, sometimes bordering on great; especially with a flurry of good sized tags going by the rail at the end of the day.
I've scheduled some more long trips and inshore days. One day in five; I hope the weather man and my anglers get along better this coming week.
Just 3 reservations last Tuesday. Another pair of anglers fell from the sky and off we went.
Kicking around inshore, fishing very small pieces of reef: I was reminded that every little bit helps, that each and every piece of rock, concrete or steel that will sit still long enough to be colonized by growth will be used by our reef fish--our tautog and sea bass..
Each and every bit counts... Indeed, altogether it counts a significant amount, is carrying almost all recreational reef fishing effort.
Were we to pull up the Army Corp's rock jetties and rip-rap, Were we to pull up the accidental and sometimes horrific shipwreck sinkings, Were we to finally pull up all of our artificial reef constructions too: We'd find that our reef fisheries had all but disappeared; That reliant only on the still unrecognized & undiscovered natural reef remnants we'd be far worse off that we were at the bottom of the fisheries, say in 1985 or so..
Much worse off.
Curiously -since no one would be catching- absent all accidental & artificial reef our present management scheme would find that overfishing was not occurring, that no one was exceeding quota and therefore no action would need to be taken.
We really need that to change. Yes, we need management to maintain & increase fish populations, but there is no need of management without habitat production--There would be no fish to manage.
If there's a reef habitat/fishery restoration component in the mid-Atlantic I'm unaware of it. Even the obvious & exceedingly well-documented loss of oysters is treated only as an oyster/water quality issue: Loss of Essential Fish Habitat that oyster reefs once served as appears to be of no consequence in present management.
In my reef video (YouTube search Maryland Corals) there's a film-clip of a shipwreck (starts at 7:35) that was sunk with no cleaning: Any oils & PCBs went down with it. The wreck is simply one of the most stunning coral reefs in our region.
Then too there is the Marine Electric and Bow Mariner, both sunk more recently. They're huge ships with harrowing tales to tell & sunk with a multitude of pollutants; yet both wrecks are serving as reef: Reef that grows better and better each year.
Now the Radford, a 563 foot Destroyer slated to be sunk early this summer, has been cleaned far beyond any accidental wreck ever. When laid on the seafloor it'll begin to colonize with corals nearly at once. In a half century those corals will only have room to grow thicker; the fishes that lived & spawned on it will have numbered in the millions..
Environmental responsibility here is hard for some to gauge. I hold that trace amounts of PCBs locked away in an epoxy that will become buried in life--in coral--is an acceptable risk, that building reef with well-cleaned substrates is never a bad thing, that creating an opportunity for sea-life to thrive offers far more purpose than to have fought to keep the bottom barren.
In our estuaries even adding rock and concrete back to a now-naked bay floor in places where men labored for centuries to scrape away all oyster hard-bottom is coming into question..
Meanwhile, every piece of concrete pipe, every steel boat the Ocean City Reef Foundation has taken offshore and sunk has joined in production. That tiny little piece I could barely anchor over the other day is holding magnificent spawning tog ..the fish will do as they must.
Creating habitat works.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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