Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fish Report 3/26/13

Fish Report 3/26/13
Toggin Along
Better Plan
Big Three
The Boat Is In Sunset Marina At The End Of B Dock While The Channel's Being Dredged. Reservation Staff Will Have Directions & GPS Info.
Long Tog - Friday, Saturday & Sunday - 3/29, 30 & 31 - Cbass Closed - 6AM to 5PM - $150.00 - 14 Passengers Sells Out - Even Very Good Anglers Could Be Skunked - Only Tenacious Anglers Need Apply; Unyielding & Unwavering Fishers Able To Stare A Skunk In The Eye..
Reservations Required @ 410 - 520 - 2076.
LEAVE YOUR BEST POSSIBLE CONTACT NUMBER - Weather Cancelations Are Common - I Make Every Attempt To Let Clients Sleep In If The Weather's Not Going Our Way..
No Live Fish Leave The Boat - Dead & Bled - Period.
(I Believe The Live-Fish Black Market Is Hurting The Tog Fishery)
All Regulations Observed - 4 Fish @ 16 Inches.
Green Crabs & Shrimp Provided. You're welcome to bring any hard bait: Lobster, White Crab, Blue Crab, Hermit Crab: Even Gulp Crab .. No Squid, No Clam = No Dogfish.
Be A Half Hour Early - We Like To Leave Early.
Clients Arriving Late Will See The West End Of An East Bound Boat..
Will Open Reservations For Summer Sea Bass (Soon I Hope) When (the really nice people at) NOAA & NMFS (who I never-ever bicker or quarrel with) Have Given Approval To The Council's Sea Bass Plan.
3,936 "Oyster Castle" Reef Blocks By The Rail. (1,144 @ Jimmy's Reef) (Unchanged Because Of Dredging)
Greetings All,
Had 18 tog Saturday. Only 3 of them were under 20 inches. Most were about 10 pounds.
Sunday I had a light rail of regulars. The forecast was NE wind & rain - same forecast I'd cancelled for a week ago.
Not a drop of rain.
Blew 20 for about an hour then fell out pretty.
Sizes more mixed; we got back early with a boat limit and 20 tags by the rail..
People often ask, "When's the best time to go?"
I suppose the answer is, "When they're biting"
..but you won't know if that happened until we pick up anchors and head in.
A lot of my winter clients are super-dedicated tog fishers. If there were bluefin tuna & 30 pound striped bass bumping into the hull, they would calmly bait-up with crab and drop straight down..
Indeed, several times earlier this winter I had incredible sea bass fishing on the jig; yet guys were mostly baiting up with crab.
Easter's coming. Spring fever will leave a burning desire to go fishing in some: We're Still Tog Fishing.
Last Saturday I had a few VERY SKILLED anglers watch while other skilled anglers caught well.
Tog fishing should loosen-up as waters warm ..but its still tog fishing.
You can't imagine the changes in my life since the recreational sea bass fishery lost stability in the fall of 2009.
Things are very bad.
I remain convinced recreational catch-estimate data has hijacked true science from reef fisheries management.
For now I just wish they'd announce a season.
MRFSS & MRIP somewhat-accurately have Party/Charter sea bass landings now falling far below historic lows.
We were CATCHING while sea bass populations were growing to a multi-decadal high in 2003. Party/Charter were catching millions and the population grew every year.
Now, inexplicably, MRFSS & MRIP have private boat landings rocketing to where one state's private boats can outfish ALL U.S. Party/Charter - sky high landings where, just a few years ago, private boats accounted a much smaller percentage..
Below are a few MRIP tables where I have calculated a state's private boat landings by day. Just how fantastic these assertions of the last few years are becomes more evident in this fashion.
I've also included Mid-Atlantic Party/Charter estimates back to 2000.
Many managers now grasp how its perfectly possible for an estimate to be so wrong --either too low or too high-- that it is random & in no way indicative of any real fishing that took place. I also think many in management's camp realize MRFSS/MRIP are based on extravagant participation data; numbers of anglers far higher than state license sales & FWS surveys would have.
We're almost at a tipping point; a place where these estimates will be formally viewed in a different light. If the Omnibus Amendment for Recreational Accountability Measures passes the Mid-Atlantic Council, regulators will be able to realign data in accordance with its "Margin of Error" or PSE.
For now the estimates remain a crushing weight on recreational commerce.
We'd make so much more progress in sea bass restoration if they'd consider instead where sea bass feed, shelter, spawn & grow to maturity.
Consider too at what age they spawn.
Current Plan: Choke Catch Off By Regulation Until Effort Is Minimal.
Better Plan: Make billions more fertilized eggs with more & more places to feed & grow in restored habitat...
Managers should very carefully consider why sea bass populations peaked in 2003 in just the second year of a creel limit & a 12 inch size limit. The population had rebuilt wonderfully with no closed season and with only a 9 & 10 inch limit.
Managers should ponder why cbass are not at peak now despite habitat expansion to our north & far tighter recreational restrictions.
Reliance on bad data hides opportunity for fisheries science & habitat restoration to make true progress.
The estimates holding Party/Charter down sure look like random numbers to me.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076
New Jersey Private Boat Catch Sept/Oct.. Not Party/Charter
Estimate Status Year Wave Common Name Landed [open season & catch per day] PSE
FINAL 2007 SEPT/OCT SEA BASS 7,239 [60+ days - 120 daily] 83.9
FINAL 2008 SEPT/OCT SEA BASS 288,409 [60+ days - 4,800 daily] 56.9
FINAL 2009 SEPT/OCT SEA BASS 37,269 [35 days - 1,070 daily] 37.4
FINAL 2010 SEPT/OCT SEA BASS 392,432 [30 days - 13,100 daily] 47.6
FINAL 2011 SEPT/OCT SEA BASS 1,119 [11 days - 102 daily] 104.8
PRELIMINARY 2012 SEPT/OCT SEA BASS 238,010 [23 days - 10,350 daily] 41.5
MA Private Boats Only - Not Party/Charter
Estimate Status Year Wave Common Name # Landed in MA @ 20 per-person per-day until 2011 -- then 10 fish per-person] PSE
FINAL 2007 MAY/JUNE BLACK SEA BASS 30,335 [ 61 days, 497 daily] 79.2
FINAL 2008 MAY/JUNE BLACK SEA BASS 54,678 [ 61 days, 896 daily] 65.6
FINAL 2009 MAY/JUNE BLACK SEA BASS 34,493 [ 61 days, 565 daily] 51.3
FINAL 2010 MAY/JUNE BLACK SEA BASS 448,181 [ 40 days, 11,204 daily] 68.6
FINAL 2011 MAY/JUNE BLACK SEA BASS 77,397 [ 40 days, 1,935 daily - @ 10 fish limit] 42.9
PRELIMINARY 2012 MAY/JUNE BLACK SEA BASS 275,657 [ 44 days, 6,264 daily - also @ 10 fish limit]
NJ Private Boat Only - Not Party Charter
Estimate Status Year Wave Common Name # Landed in NY @ 25 per-person per-day until 2010 -- then 20 per-person in 2010; 10 fish per-person in 2011 & 15 per-person in 2012 PSE
FINAL 2007 JULY/AUGUST BLACK SEA BASS 37,686 [61 days, 617 daily] 55.8
FINAL 2008 JULY/AUGUST BLACK SEA BASS 39,834 [61 days, 653 daily] 51.2
FINAL 2009 JULY/AUGUST BLACK SEA BASS 183,775 [61 days - 3,012 daily] 59.7
FINAL 2010 JULY/AUGUST BLACK SEA BASS 83,513 [40 days - 2,087 daily @ 20 per-person] 48.7
FINAL 2011 JULY/AUGUST BLACK SEA BASS 53,740 [16 days - 2,985 daily @ 10 per-person] 52.5
PRELIMINARY 2012 JULY/AUGUST BLACK SEA BASS 129,441 [18 days - 7,191 daily @ 15 per-person] 57.7
All Mid-Atlantic Party/Charter - All Year Combined
Estimate Status Year Common Name Total Harvest (A+B1) PSE
FINAL 2000 BLACK SEA BASS 1,730,581 13.1
FINAL 2001 BLACK SEA BASS 1,776,213 8.1
FINAL 2002 BLACK SEA BASS 1,975,258 7.2
FINAL 2003 BLACK SEA BASS 1,959,135 6.0
FINAL 2004 BLACK SEA BASS 599,912 22.4
FINAL 2005 BLACK SEA BASS 516,975 14.4
FINAL 2006 BLACK SEA BASS 636,451 11.6
FINAL 2007 BLACK SEA BASS 856,834 11.2
FINAL 2008 BLACK SEA BASS 341,751 11.1
FINAL 2009 BLACK SEA BASS 343,831 13.2
FINAL 2010 BLACK SEA BASS 358,704 15.6
FINAL 2011 BLACK SEA BASS 218,460 20.2

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