Monday, December 12, 2016

Fish Report 12/12/16

Fish Report 12/12/16
Last Chance Cbass (for a while anyway..) 
Grass Roots Reef Building 

Sea Bass - Dec 13th - 6:30 to 3:30 - $125.00 (and that's IT for a week! Ain't even no weather fit for reef building up under the beach..) 
Reservations Required at 410 520 2076 - LEAVE YOUR BEST POSSIBLE CONTACT NUMBER - Weather Cancellations Are Common - I Make Every Attempt To Let Clients Sleep In If The Weather's Not Going Our Way..  

Be a half hour early! We always leave early! ..except when someone shows up right on time. 
Clients arriving late will see the west end of an east bound boat. With a limited number of reserved spots, I do not refund because you over-slept or had a flat..

Dramamine Is Cheap Insurance! (Meclizine's Better! Clients like "Bonine" brand best..) Crystalized Ginger Works Great Too. It's Simple To Prevent Motion Sickness, Difficult To Cure. If You Suffer Mal-de-Mer In A Car You Should Experiment On Shorter Half-Day Trips First! (Wockenfuss Candies sells crystalized ginger locally - We usually have some aboard - Better is Nuts.Com.. Chewable Meclizine is a good pharmaceutical, there's also a "less drowsy" meclizine pill that a lot of clients like, especially Bonine; Scopolamine Patches are the gold standard. Stay away from 'ginger pills.'
Honestly - If you get to go on the ocean once month, once a year, or even less; why risk chumming all day? Similarly, if you howl at the moon all night, chances are good you'll howl into a bucket all day.  

Bring A Cooler With Ice For Your Fish – A 48 Quart Is Fine For A Few People. 
No Galley! BYO Sandwiches & Soft Drinks. A few beers in cans is fine. (bottles break at bad times)

If You Won't Measure & Count Your Fish, The State Will Provide A Man With A Gun To Do It For You. We Measure & Count — ALWAYS — No Exceptions! 

14,725 Reef Blocks deployed at numerous sites: Doug Ake's Reef 2,689 - St. Ann's 1,555 - Al Giles/OC RUST Reef 1,077 - Eagle Scout Reef 904 - Sue's Block Drop 184 - Nichols' Concrete 738 - Capt. Bob's Block Drop 156 - Benelli Reef 341
Blocks Provided By Potomac Valley Brick - Thank You!
Support the Ocean City Reef Foundation! (lots of reef pics here..) We're Nowhere Near Reef Building's True Potential. Thank You! 

Greetings All, 
Another boat limit of sea bass Sunday past.. Water cools a little more these fish will shoot offshore further. It's nice fishing. Weather's going to put a hold on that fishing for a while though. Tuesday, 12/13/16, is it for a while.

Gift Certificates for Morning Star Fishing are available. Just call the reservation line..
I should also mention, (or Shout!) that Amazon Smile recognizes OC Reef Foundation and donates a small percentage of sales to our reef building. Tiny now, could become a good thing? Yes, I like to shop local & small too. But some things have to be tracked down on the web..

I sat on a small piece of wreckage Sunday and pondered; "What The HECK is NOAA thinking?
Not the first time I've wondered why habitat isn't a consideration offshore. Scientists put waders on, or see obvious habitat from a canoe or small boat; observe an unmistakable concrete river obstruction, a dam -- these things are very much in NOAA's purview, positively a part of fisheries & ecosystems restorations 
..but not seafloor. 
Photo Nick Caloyianis while diving from the Morning Star, OCMD, in May 2013 for self-funded post Hurricane Sandy impact monitoring. 
A tiny piece of robust natural reef habitat in over 90 feet of water off the coast of DelMarVa. The orange is sea whip, a 'soft coral' - the white 'cotton balls' are star coral, a hard coral known to grow surprisingly thick on artificial reefs. Because no one's ever recognized these corals as "Essential Fish Habitat" we have no idea how much was or remains, in any timeline, of this perfectly obvious fish habitat. 

We know; err, we mere mortals know this type of habitat is vital to reef fish. Recreational fishing professionals such as myself seek it's every location so we might offer clients just a little more opportunity. Commercial trap & hook and line guys too, but for a slight edge at market. 
I've had numerous deckhands & skippers from 40 to 65 years ago describe incredible impacts to a virgin seafloor. As I held a dried sample of a full sea whip in my hand, one fellow described his memory of sea whip thusly: "We used to dig through mountains of that stuff to get to our fish."
He, like his father before him, was a trawl skipper. 

Hey NOAA! Where this sort of stuff grew, but no longer does, should be considered with the same curiosity as a missing oyster reef, or vast sea grass bed gone AWOL, or pondered as a dam stretching shore to shore: What If This Habitat Were Restored? 

The good news is these reef fish, and all the life associated with our temperate reef ecology, haven't any way to discern "Fake Reef" from the real thing.. 
If the wreck I was anchored atop last Sunday had five enormous bargeloads of huge boulder deployed in patches within a mile of it, there would only be an increase in marine reef production, and no decline. If we created this same imaginary reef footprint with miscast concrete - same. Sank dozens of small ships and barges as a gunnery training exercise to reduce maintenance costs on mothballed Navy fleets - same. 
Fish & Corals can't tell. They just use the habitat. 
Seems like the more robust it is, the better fish make out. 

Reef Restoration Makes Fisheries Restorations Simple.. I've been handing that out on ink pens at fishery meetings & in DC for years now. (Thanks Alex..) 
If oyster reef is also considered as Reef Restoration, then reef restoration becomes vital. 
Ocean's turning green. 
To turn it blue again & fill it with fish we'll need to understand Mid-Atlantic reef loss in a historical context and begin its restoration. 

Our first reefs built decades ago and now grown-in with hard coral; we took a couple loads of new reef material out on my boat last week. 
Had volunteers from as far away as Harrisburg & Newark, De on Saturday. Made the work easier..
Both trips went to Doug Ake's Reef at Russell's about 4.5 miles out. 
Looking to make Ake's Reef a showpiece of what grass roots reefing can create. 
Deployed from a two-anchor set; the material is mounded, not scattered. First load Thursday was about 7,500 lbs & Saturday's run was 9,650 pounds of reef material. 
The soapstone slate was donated by Catholic University in Philly and trucked free of charge by John Homick, a contractor & strong reef supporter.
Thousands & thousands & thousands of blocks have been donated by Potomac Valley Brick in Salisbury. The 8 foot planks were also from them. Jeff Bauer, a reef supporter from the very beginning, is steering odd & miscast block our way.  (If you know of palletized & unsalable, yet truckable, block -- let me know!)

Working deck for me now. I hope Nick Denny's pics come through.
I have got to learn about this face thing..

Capt. Monty Hawkins 
Partyboat Morning Star
Ocean City, MD

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