Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fish Report 10/30/11

Fish Report 10/30/11
Cbass Reopen Soon
World Series
Exceeding Expectations
New Dates Mid-November - Long Cbass Trips - November 9th & 10th - Wed & Thurs - $125.00 - 6 to 4.
Regular 8 Hour Trip Friday the 11th - $100.00  
Going Long Saturday the 12th & Long Again on the 15th.
Morning Star Trips For Early November, 2011: Some Trips Sold Out.
Openings on the 3rd & 4th - Regular 8 Hour Trips - $100.00 -- Sea Bass
Tautog, Not Sea Bass, Tog - Back to 4 Fish Limit - Tuesday - Nov. 8th - 10 People Sells Out - 10 Hour TAUTOG Trip - 6 to 4 - $125.00 - Tautog, Not Sea Bass..
More Sea Bass Trips Will Be Announced Via Email Including Thanksgiving Weekend by Nov 13th.
Please arrive 1/2 hour before scheduled departure with food, water, beverage & a medium-sized cooler w/ice for fish. Bait is provided but you're welcome to bring your own. We often -almost always- leave early. Show up late and you'll see the west end of an east bound boat.
Hi All,
Last weekend was some kind of beautiful.
Not this weekend; Not this early snowstorm nor'easter, but the weekend before.
Wish we'd been out fishing--Boat Work Instead. Have to look forward to capturing those few pretty days in December when we'd usually be hauled out..
Four guys working on the Morning Star.. We replaced 40-some feet of rub-rail--entire sections of stainless-clad mahogany that hits a piling first when I make a not-so-perfect docking: Also disassembled the anchor pulpit for inspection and discovered 25 years is about how long an aluminum samson-post lasts. Here the heavy-weather bit where storm lines are made-fast was eaten away at the point -well hidden- where it passes through fiberglass. It's been replaced with a far thicker, stronger post. We also painted waist & scuppers, coated the bottom with anti-fouling paint and, for the first time in years, added a small boot-top just above the waterline.
I'm sure it was the nicest weather I've ever had for a haul-out, that I'd never been out of water during Indian Summer before.
May as well haul out; Sea bass being closed in October knocks the wind out of our sales.

On Tuesday cbass reopen. NOAA is forecasting northerly gusts to 45 -- Sales suffer in that wind too..
All through the 90s and 00s we fished sea bass every possible day in fall. Best time of year really.
Before management began and during the early days of size-limit-only regulation it wasn't uncommon in late fall for high-hook to have 150 or even 200 cbass at days end.
Incongruent with modern management's single-focus restoration policy of catch restriction: Fishing got better & better.  
There was also a time when charter/party skippers wouldn't dream of fishing for sea bass in fall. In the 1960s and 70s recreational clients wanted --demanded-- weakfish, aka seatrout. OC's for-hire fleet would have the World Series on AM radio while anglers drifted squid strips for weakies..
Everyone had an AM radio back then, it was vital navigation equipment. Only the fanciest rigs actually had RDF or a Radio Direction Finder. Most skippers tuned in to a station with a simple handheld AM radio. Turning it to null--no signal--would confirm compass course or send a boat 180 degrees off: You did have to know whether you wanted to go east or west.
Protected with a plastic bag for spray; On a good day they could pick up OC's WETT 20 miles out and be guided into the inlet perfectly. 
Stories of coming full-stop in fog --engines off-- and listening for the inlet's rockpile horn or bell buoy; Of judging how far away the sound of those breaking waves was; Even hearing children playing in the surf and occasionally actually asking a swimmer,"Which way to the inlet?" are all from a bygone era.
Its difficult to underscore how completely different the reef fisheries were conducted prior to precise electronic navigation; Before LORAN C and then GPS could guide you back to a reef or wreck with unerring precision..  
The early sea bass fishery was accessible without aid of advanced electronics. It was a fishery found with rudimentary navigation--with what we call "dead reckoning." 
RDF could bring you home; didn't help much getting to the fish..
During the early/mid 1990s sea bass fishing became better & better despite increasing & unregulated fishing pressure, while seatrout increased for just a few years under escalating regulation before collapsing again. 
Then, following several rounds of regulatory tightening, in 2004 our region's sea bass population declined sharply. Now restabilized at a lower population than in the early 2000s, additional recreational regulation will have no further effect on restoration.  
These conundrums illustrate how focusing on catch-restriction/overfishing can offer poor results in fishery restoration..
Finding causes for population declines which occurred despite tightening regulation and seeking to understand instances where fish populations increased remarkably beyond regulation's anticipated result will create sound fisheries policy.
Catch regulation does not necessitate increased fish populations; Catch regulation in conjunction with habitat improvement does.
My boat was hauled-out because of "Recreational Overfishing."
Sea bass were closed for 20 days of prime season, Will close again until well into our spring season.   
Soon we'll have new recreational catch estimates. Any asserted overfishing will have us back in the trenches, defending from further regulatory harm.

Currently set far below commercial sea bass landings of the 1950s; To exceed rebuilding expectations management must delve deeper than today's single focus on overfishing, Must strengthen regulation's true impact upon regional fish populations in habitat based quota, Must consider the "Protect, Conserve & Enhance" portion of Magnuson's Essential Fish Habitat clause, Must explore biological means of escalating spawning production, Must allow fishers to escape the worsening punishment of poor recreational catch data as sole source of regulation..
Fish populations greater than we imagine will be possible when sound science displaces the hollow, illogical assertions of present-day recreational catch estimates.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076 

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