Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fish Report 3/31/13 - Easter

Fish Report 3/31/13 - Easter
One Trip
Sea Bass Season Reservations Begin Tuesday
Wet Nets & Disappointment
Ready To Write
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. We'll Be Moving Back To Our Regular Slip Soon.
Tog Trip - Wednesday, April 3rd - Cbass Remain Closed - 6AM to 3PM - $120.00 - Twelve Passengers Sells Out - It's Possible Even Very Good Anglers Could Be Skunked - Whining & Tog Fishing Do Not Go Together..
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 Provided. You're welcome to bring any hard bait or shrimp: 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..
I'm going to open my reservation book to sea bass reservations on Tuesday, April 2nd, at 7:30 AM..
NMFS Will Probably NOT announce our season until a few days before the season Starts May 19th. Ticket Prices For Sundays & Weekdays In 2013 are $110.00 - Saturdays $125.00..
Opening Day, Sunday, May 19th & Monday the 20th, however, will be Long Sea Bass Trips 6AM to 3:30PM - $125.00.. Ditto Friday & Saturday, May 24th & 25th.
Please Do Not Call For Sea Bass Reservations Until Tuesday.
Pre-regulation sales will be transferable--BUT NOT REFUNDABLE.
The MAFMC & ASMFC have made their respective seasons & size limits - We Await NMFS Approval.
This year we'll be allowed 20 fish per-person at 12.5 inches.
A very large unknown hanging over all of this: NOAA/NMFS may announce the sea bass plan is OK a day before it opens or they may decide it is insufficient & not even allow it -- NOAA/NMFS might start the season in June --- No One Knows Including Them.
Therefore pre-regulation sales will be transferable--BUT NOT REFUNDABLE.
I have every reason to believe May 19th will be correct. Unfortunately, owing to current federal law being sorely misguided by bad catch-estimates, these are dark times in Federal Fisheries Management.
The law governing all of fisheries management, the Magnuson Act, is just beginning to be re-written; its currently being discussed by our representatives. I hope many will follow-along with my fish reports and write letters to DC.
We can & must influence the conversation. We Have Re-Insert Common Sense Into Management's Tool Kit.
Greetings All,
My Thanks To Captain JP & Mrs. Captain Amanda Peterson from the party boat Osprey out of Port Jefferson in Long Island for an emergency bait delivery.
Had 13 barrels hanging with a bushel apiece. Culling dead crabs from every barrel, we had three 5-gallon buckets of live crabs left.
That was an emergency...
Tog Fishing -- even on a very good day, an awesome day; Friday, a day when we pounded on 'em and tagged legal fish -- even in a crazy good bite some clients didn't fare well.
Stelly rightly called it "a pickle-barrel bite."
I knew the piece ran underneath the boat and toward the port anchor, was marking structure on the port sounder beautifully.
No joy to port. Bite was only mid-ship on the stb side.
That's why I limit the number of clients, so everyone can move around to the bite..
But I couldn't get everyone dropping into this "pickle barrel."
Frustrating fishery. Sent everyone home with fish though.
Saturday the fish were spaced around the rail. Did a little fishing myself. Dropped a great fish, caught a handsome male one of maybe 11 or 12 pounds.. There just isn't anything like it. Big tog are hard to catch --frustrating-- but fun and rewarding when it happens.
Had a couple limits aboard; some good fish around the rail. Tagged a dozen or so sub-16 inch shorts..
Since February 18th I've been advertising "skunks possible" in every Fish Report.
Goes without saying really; nature of the fishery. Big Risk - Big Reward.
So I had two guys get off the boat Saturday with a few fish saying, "You owe me one" & "disappointed."
Nets got wet dipping good tog. I thought it was a nice day.
Not sorry for that trip; I won't miss them.
Perhaps one day I'll learn how to write more plainly..
I'll try this for now, from above: It's Possible Even Very Good Anglers Could Be Skunked..
There's no chance you'll get off my boat with short tog, however; ditto over the limit. We always measure & count. We never sell our fish & refuse to cooperate with live-market fishers.
I'm a staunch advocate of sensible fishery regulation & factual advertising.
Sea bass fishing's a lot different than togging. More prolific; they can stand a lot more catching. Its very, very rare that anyone gets skunked sea bass fishing on my rig. Its still true that we always count & measure though..
If someone does get skunked its almost always, A) Because they get car sick too and should never have stepped foot on an ocean-bound boat, or B) Because they decided to multiply the effects of a wicked hangover by rocking violently while experiencing severe digestive reversal..
No helping those folks; A Dramamine the night before and another in the morning will help everyone else enjoy their day..
Very soon I'll post a fish report with addresses & a request to lobby your representatives.
A major part of the 2006 re-write of the Magnuson Act was repair of our catch estimates.
Utterly unbelievable catch estimates have been grinding away at management's credibility for decades. They're seriously hampering or have already ruined many recreational fishing businesses, sea bass included. Now, with Accountability Measures upon us, bad estimates could shut down whole fisheries for years for nothing more than a lie.
Then too there's the question of this math: If sea bass recovered wonderfully when party/charter were catching millions of much smaller fish, why must we suffer emergency closure after emergency closure while taking only a quarter-million much larger fish annually? Shouldn't there be millions & millions & millions of uncaught sea bass by now?
Because there are not those many extra millions does that mean something other than catch restriction is needed to create & support a much larger sea bass population?
Is it possible that reproductive biology and Essential Fish Habitat will ever become management factors?
Logically there should be less penalty for taking larger fish & more penalty for smaller fish. Wouldn't actually work for making cbass more prolific, but it would be logical.
Illogical & poorly informed; management has been FORCED to fail by following the 2006 Magnuson re-write. We must convince our nation's law writers to help.
We're presently being governed by MRFSS for sea bass regulation, yet now the MRFSS web site has been completely taken down. We cannot confront our accuser.
MRIP's up and running though.
What a crock. The dumbest estimate among a really long list of candidates was MRFSS 74,000 tog from Jersey's jetties in Mar/Apr 2010. (Its the end of March and no one has caught a tog from a Maryland Jetty let alone a Jersey jetty) Our Congressionally mandated repair of those sorts of estimates, MRIP, has come forward and said, "No! It Was Really 174,000 Tog Caught From Jersey's Shore Locations!"
That's more tog from shore in two months than all US commercial effort landed all year; Its 170,000 more than Jersey Party/Charter caught during that same period; Its 167,490 more tog from Jersey's jetties than all US Party/Charter effort landed during March/April, 2010 ..and 77,961 more tog than all US Party/Charter caught in the entire year.
That's What The Repair Looks Like. People got PAID to do that
..and the recreational fishing industry is getting crushed.
I sure wish I had had the money they wasted on that sort of 'estimate' to put into building reef.
Reef Fish Come From Reef Habitat.
Bad Statistics Create Bad Science & Worse Management.
Very few will take the time to read this email. Fewer still will write.
Yet our letters will make a difference.
In The Next Weeks & Months We'll Have To Write ..or suffer bad statistics & ill-thought management for another decade..
Never know, NMFS might just find coral off our shores too. They've never tried very hard. Almost as if they didn't want to.
It could happen.
Hope You Had A Wonderful Easter.
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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