Thursday, January 05, 2012

Fish Report 1/5/11

Fish Report 1/5/11
Two More Dates
Finer Points of Toggin
Buy A Bullet  
Have Spots For Tog Trips Friday, Sunday, Monday & Wednesday to 1/11/12 - 7am to 3pm - Green Crabs Provided - $100.00 - Twelve Sells-Out.  Reservations Required at 410 520 2076.
Hi All,
Lost Thursday to a bad weather call on my part; I'm looking forward to Friday & Saturday and now opening Sunday, Monday & Wednesday to tog trips also - January 8th, 9th & 11th - 7am to 3pm - Green Crabs Provided - $100.00 - Twelve Sells-Out. Half as good as our last trip will be plenty OK, but I'll shoot for better. 
Green crabs provided.. However, you're welcome to bring your own fake, mole, blue, hermit, white or rock crabs -- I've even had guys bring lobster (yes, really). Please arrive 1/2 hour before scheduled departure with food, water, beverage & a medium-sized cooler w/ice for fish. We often -almost always- leave about 20 minutes early. Show up late and you'll see the west end of an east bound boat.
Toggin is THE TOUGHEST bottom fishing.
You can stand adjacent to someone who's catching and not get a sniff. I've seen 3 guys rod-tip to rod-tip & only the center guy catching. I've seen experts catch when none others could & beginners trounce the skilled.
Being "On the piece" -on structure- is key. That's why I fish a light rail, so people can move around. This helps a lot but you can still get your head handed to you.
I ask that anglers keep within the spots laid out on the rail and not double-up. There are 25 spots. The most I'll carry togging is 16 & right now just 12 - You can move and try another part of the hang/wreck/reef.
If you are taking a fish off, especially after calling "Net!" and hear Splash-Sploosh then you have likely been "underhand mugged." No one's in your spot at the rail but there are suddenly sinkers landing in the water at your feet -- Fair Game. 
Overhand casting has never been allowed since I had a little girl get hooked in the head many years ago - underhand only.
Among friends I have seen over-the-shoulder mugging. Where, seriously, a guy catches a tog and his "buddy" lays his rod on his shoulder to drop right in his spot..  
I have heard of instances where over-the-shoulder muggings have occurred among strangers - not on my boat -- Ever.
One man to a spot..  
I've yet to see "A Natural" at toggin. You have to build skill. However, It doesn't hurt to get lucky now & again.
Here are some of the diverse techniques I've seen used.
Learning to "Larry" a fish takes decades. This is when you can consistently hook tog under the chin, apparently just before they bite.
Much more difficult is the Frank where you hook a tog under the chin and in the tail. This makes the fish appear as though it's 10 pounds heavier and is VERY impressive with fish over 15 pounds.
Only the best toggers, however, will "Sam Away" undesirable fish. Here what to you & I would be an exciting bite is perceived as a nuisance. With a fish up to 12 pounds nipping/tasting your bait, shake the crab purposely to spook it while muttering, "Go away. Send me your Mama." (advise this only after many, many 12 pound fish and are only looking for 20+)
A sure-fire way to raise eyebrows if there are skilled toggers about is to let "Rodney" set the hook: A "Ruvi" they call it. All an angler need do is bait, drop & engage the reel while setting the rod in the "Rod" holder. Especially effective is walking inside to get warm while Rodney hooks the pool winning fish.
I couldn't recommend doing "The Colonel" in this day & age. It involves being extremely inebriated and reeling in very, very slowly: So slowly that no one realizes you have a fish on. Then, just before the day's over shout, "Hey Meathead, bring this fish in for me." Anything over 15 pounds will do sp long as it sweeps the pool; but, again, its very difficult in the modern day to evade detection with spectra line and a composite rod.
Each & every angler is fully capable of describing a catch; Examining each and every lost fish, however, is a top-togger's skill.
Sometimes you'll see such an angler "Mulen-It-Over." Here the fisher may be quite sure he's just lost one of the biggest tog in all history. He ponders the precise position of the hook as it slipped out, the piece of coral the line cut-off on, or the frayed section of top-shot that was not replaced in time.
This dissection, this seeking to understand failure, this introspection centered on every possible manner of human & mechanical fallibility stems from seeking angling perfection and can, in fact, lead to being in the 20 pound tog club.
Seekers of Oneness With Chiseltooth should begin their oratory with a 3 to 5 minute description of "The Bite"
..then allow just a moment for "The Take" followed immediately by how the behemoth was hooked. Possibly running hours; It's really best to begin with an estimation of where and how deeply the hook went after eating what part of the crab first.  
Though rare, I have seen persons as young as 6 quite accomplished at such after-action reporting.  
If you have to bring more than 3 back-up reels because yours are always blowing-up on fish, you might hear murmurings of 'Russian.' Catching this many fish is certainly not a bad thing if you can afford the reels or know the warranty people at Avet by name. 
If, however, you blow a reel up while stuck in the bottom; Or, far worse, declare, "Its a big one" while firmly snagged & deeply bowed-up on the wreck and hollering "Net! Net!" you'll be permanently type-cast under "Rookie."
We should also now look into "The Splash" but that rod category is far too large for this email. Universal among anglers, an old tugboat skipper told me, "If you ain't been aground, you ain't been nowhere." And, as in tugging, loosing a rod overboard can be painfully expensive.
Broken rod experiences too are a mutually shared experience. Of particular note to Morning Star clients is a rod snapped while swinging 10+ pound tog over the rail: That particular maneuver is called, "The Captain" and anglers will be well advised to sing its praises if they witness such clever angling prowess. Expressions of deepest anguish, such as were recently seen in North Korea, can also be appropriate. Unappreciative of the moment; less experienced tog fishers might guffaw in humor--They'll likely find their next drop resembles a wreck made of trawl nets and used razor wire...
Trying to fish the calms; I Do Enjoy Winter Toggin!
Now, crazy Uncle Murfs --not my real Uncle, Murfs is like "Uncle Sam" except with mystical statistical powers; He's the embodiment of the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey or MuRFSS. Crazy Uncle Murfs has been sentenced to house arrest for several years now, since the 2006 Magnuson rewrite. All involved anticipate that capitol punishment--The Death Sentence--will follow as MuRFSS' replacement, MRIP, comes on line.
Uncle Murfs' work is often certifiably worse than a drug-crazed alcoholic's, yet we remain unable to remove his wildest catch-estimates from fishery management.
Soon, 1/13/12 -- Friday the 13th -- we see new catch data from the "MRFSS Rest In Peace" program aka MRIP - or Marine Recreational Information Program if you must. We'll then begin to plan Uncle Murfs' execution.
A firing squad for MuRFSS could be profitable for NMFS. Lots of fishermen would "Buy A Bullet" at, say, a grand a pop.
Unlikely in the modern era: Perhaps For-Hire & Tackle Shop businesses could enter a raffle to see who gets to push the plunger for Murfs' lethal injection...
The outright lies, the statistical fantasies, the imponderable absurdity of recreational fishing's catch estimates must be put behind us in order to re-right our restoration strategies.
I'll include just a few MRFSS charts below. It's easy to scroll through and guess where "Recreational Overfishing" occurred; Where management decreed size limits must go UP while our possession limits and season lengths went down because we "Caught Too Many Fish."  
Never held to logical scrutiny, Whatever number MRFSS came up with became "America's Best Science." Accusations of recreational overfishing defamatory & slanderous; arbitrary & capricious; unwarranted, unreasonable & excessive in every way: Lady Justice has long been held captive and despoiled by Murfs in the guise of science: I'll cheerfully help strap him to the table and witness his demise.
Good Riddance You Scoundrel.
Catch regulation will always be central to fisheries; Now we must bring the science of ecology to this fight.
See tables below. Ignore the PSE Column..
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076 
Species: SUMMER FLOUNDER - Maryland Shore Fishers Only/no boats - Sept/Oct Only
2002 874 100
2003 978 100
2004 0 0
2005 12,773 58.8
2006 0 0
2007 36,017 48.4
2008 14,962 51.8
2009 0 0
2010 0 0
2011 1,806 100
Species: TAUTOG - Maryland Private Boats Only - March/April from 2002 to 2011 -- Years Absent Are Zero
2002 613 100.1
2007 12,482 76.8
2008 1,350 0
2009 3,319 100
2010 18,572 23.8
Species: TAUTOG - NJ - Mar/Apr - Shore Fishers Only - All Years From 2001 to 2011 - Absent Years are Zero
2005 0 0
2009 6,835 100
2010 71,756 70.2
Species: BLACK SEA BASS - NY - Private Boat Only - Sept/Oct
2005 7,749 50.3
2006 58,398 32.7
2007 42,352 25.7
2008 54,352 34.7
2009 105,256 45.1
2010 325,074 24.4
2011 52,918 48.2
Species: BLACK SEA BASS - Rhode Island - Private Boat Only - May & June
2005 6,160 57.2
2006 1,975 70.4
2007 3,601 43
2008 0 0
2009 989 90.4
2010 36,182 50.7
2011 0 0
Species: BLACK SEA BASS - Massachusetts - May/June - Private Boats Only
2005 53,349 32.3
2007 28,281 85.3
2008 65,376 29.1
2009 26,827 38.9
2010 221,028 31.3
2011 70,305 31.6
Species: ATLANTIC COD - Massachusetts - Private Boats Only - Mar/April  (March was closed by regulation in 2010) Here I'm Showing  All Fish Caught Including Throwbacks Because in 2011 NMFS scientists decided to use Recreational Discards as 100% Dead Discards - To Count Them ALL Against The Gulf of Maine Region's Quota..
This April 2010 Estimate Is the Most Miraculous MRFSS Assertion I've Yet Seen
..and the most damaging.
2004 2,663 69.5
2005 429,200 44.8
2006 55,916 32.9
2007 167,862 35.9
2008 180,518 37.5
2009 87,294 48
2010 1,467,493 39.3

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