Monday, June 20, 2011

Fish Report 6/20/11

Fish Report 6/20/11
Cbass and C'Ya Cod
My Kind of Research
Thursday - 6/23/11 - Long Cbass Trip - 5:30 to 4:30 - $135.00
Thursday - 6/30/11 - Another Long One.. $225.00 Blueline Tile & Sea Bass - 3:30 AM to 7 PM - 12 people sells out.  
Otherwise Fishing A Regular Schedule..
Hi All,
Some remarkable trips this last week. Had the very best cod bite I've ever seen--ever--on the 18 hour trip 6/14. 
Cod are leaving, moving north. We simply stumbled into a bunch.  
Tagged 40 or so since my last report. Not sure what the future holds but I believe lots of 20 pounders are in our not-too-distant future.. 
Also on that extra long trip we had three tuna strikes, one that really dumped some line -- caught none
Laid in a day to recuperate then went and had a very fine regular trip with good sea bassing --- And Three Tuna!
Ol' Murphy (of Murphy's Law) started working our side of the luck the day after when a client, watching our forest of cedar plug lures trolling astern, declared loudly on the way out Friday: "You'll never get a bite. You're going too fast." 
Ghosts of Murphy-past cheering in merry devilment.. A triple, a double, some singles -- 7 bluefin tuna trolling in one day is certainly my bottom fishing record.
Caught cbass too later.
We're allowed 1 bluefin under 47 inches so we tagged the others.
The next day again: Charter boats see this kind of fishing -- not me. Very fun.
Tagged the throwback tunas -- went cbassing.
I'm honored to have had so many long-time clients bowed-up on their first tuna; I'm certain this was more tuna in a week than I've ever caught in a year--Ever.  
Sunday/Monday we made a 2 day search for deep water corals, Places where fish from our inshore reefs winter. I doubt if undamaged deepwater coral communities exist. I'm positive most are lost.
We didn't find any this trip. Will one day.
Did find some rocks; And, using Rick's newest camera creations, captured fantastic video.
Also found blueline & golden tiles living in clay-cliff pueblos.
Man that's fun fishing; but too deep for our current video capabilities. 
At 2AM, June 20th, 2011 --23 hours into our trip-- after a double anchor set we lowered a camera onto a thriving reef community. Cod, sea bass, tautog, a few flounder, many types of growth & two types of coral graced the rocks we were anchored over.
Despite many invitations, I only had one scientist aboard. He, with many decades of benthic studies, was fascinated with what we viewed for the next hour.
Among the shortest nights of the year; we looked at a few other inshore corals. At sunrise several dozen cedar plugs danced astern -- Fish On!
Catch 4 more bluefins.
My kind of science.. 
Its been difficult to convince Management that building/restoring reef restores fish.
I do understand; I appreciate and recognize some of the convoluted history of fisheries, of who's funded & by whom, of political whim and present reigning financial power: Perhaps soon substantial investment in re-reefing will finally be understood for the biological/economic driver it is.. 
In darkest night with an underwater camera far below, we loosened an anchor line to slip off the reef just a few feet and see barren bottom--post industrial fishing bottom--what it looks like when scraped bare. We could then haul-back a few feet of anchor line and watch life unfold, see many species of economic import where they live, feed & spawn.
Here is where fisheries restoration will occur.  
Our era of catch restriction--the dawn of regulation--was and will always remain necessary: Putting the habitat back, however, will offer management opportunities to create super abundances of fish.
In darkest night with an underwater camera far below, it was plain as day.
National Ocean Council is accepting comment right now. See item #6 on this web page; Regional Ecosystem Protection and Restoration.   
I emphasized discovery -- It is simply impossible to restore what you do not know is missing.

When the day comes that we have a coral restoration plan -- shallow & deep, region by region -- we'll have truly begun fisheries restoration.. 
YouTube search "Common Seafloor Habitats in the Mid-Atlantic" & "Maryland Corals" for video evidence - especially see the second half of Nick & Clarita's "Natural 3-D Bottom, Mid-Atlantic Bight" -- much clearer, more professional(!) video than my work.

"The Government" still thinks the mid-Atlantic is "all sand & mud" per Wigley & Theroux 1981..
We must discover important hard bottom habitat remains.
Then discover there used to be a lot more of it--An awful lot more.
Get to work re-reefing it.
..just a simple truth.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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