Thursday, January 12, 2017

Fish Report 1/12/17

Fish Report 1/12/17
Weather Next Two Weekends Broke Our Favor  
New Fishing Dates 
A Reef Video. 

Folks - This is WINTER tog fishing. A trip can go south fast. Tog DO NOT always bite! 
(If they did they'd more closely resemble the distinguished portly rotundity of a partyboat skipper..) Yes, my clients have caught 7 tog over 20 pounds   ..but there were many other days when we paid dearly. 
My crew MIGHT have white crabs, usually do. The boat provides green crabs. Reservation staff hardly know what species we're after, let alone whether there will be a certain kind of bait. 

Sea Bass Are Closed. I sincerely hope this will be the last year of that nonsense. 

Adding Saturday - January 14th - 8 to 4 - $110 - 12 Sells Out
Saturday - January 21st - 6:30 to 4 - 125.00 - 16 Sells Out 
Sunday - January 22nd - 7:30 to 3:30 - $110.00 - 14 Sells Out

Trips posted yesterday plus today's in order. A few are sold out.
All Winter Trips Posted Via Email. There's just no use trying to go everyday in winter.. (especially THIS Winter!)
Saturday - January 14th - 8 to 4 - $110 - 12 Sells Out
Tog Fishing Monday - January 16th - $150 - 5:30 to 4:30 - 16 Sells Out - (When swinging for the fence we try twice as hard; sometimes fail twice as hard too! Very, very long boat ride..)
Tuesday - January 17th - 7:30 to 3:30 - $110.00 - 12 Sells Out. 
Wednesday - January 18th - $150 - 5:30 to 4:30 - 16 Sells Out - (When swinging for the fence we try twice as hard; sometimes fail twice as hard too! Very, very long boat ride..)
Thursday - Looking much worse - January 19th - 7:00 to 4:00 - $120.00 - 16 Sells Out. (this trip is tentative in a big way. Advise switching days if you're booked. 
Saturday - January 21st - 6:30 to 4 - 125.00 - 16 Sells Out 
Sunday - January 22nd - 7:30 to 3:30 - $110.00 - 14 Sells Out

Reservations Required at 410 520 2076 - On My Rig You Can Reserve What Spot You're In. Please See For How The Rail's Laid Out..
LEAVE YOUR BEST POSSIBLE CONTACT NUMBER - Weather Cancelations Happen - 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..

My Crew Have (usually have!) White Crabs For Sale AT THE DOCK for the low, low price of just $5.00 per generous dozen. There Is No Guarantee We'll Have Whites For Any Trip. Sometimes they all die. That shrinkage is why I prefer greens. We may be bringing some whites with us in the ocean. Green Crabs (not Whites!) Remain Provided As Boat Bait And Are Included In All Fares.   

Skunks are always possible while tog fishing. 
Really. It's a frequent occurrence. Sometimes even the very best toggers get their head handed to them despite folks all around having done well. 
Then too, sometimes the whole boat can do very poorly. 
If you can't take the heat, and there ain't much of that either, stay out of the kitchen. 

Going Toggin Anyway! Tog Only, Sea Bass Are Closed Because NOAA Has Absolutely No Real Idea (but learning) How Best To Manage The Fishery. 
No Live Tog Leave The Boat - Dead & Bled - Period. (I Believe The Live Tog Black Market Has Hurt This Fishery ..But Nowhere Near As Much As Bad Sea Bass Regulations)
Agreed With Or Not, All Regulations Observed – Maryland: 4 Tog @ 16 Inches 

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! 

It's Simple To Prevent Motion Sickness, Difficult To Cure. Bonine seems best because it's non-drowsy. Truly cheap & effective insurance. 
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 Cooler Is Fine For A Few People. Do Not Bring A Very Large Cooler. We DO have a few loaners - you'll still need ice. 
No Galley! Bring Food & Beverages To Suit. A few beers in cans is fine for the ride home.   

In winter waterproof boots are almost a necessity. (and great socks! like over the calf smart wool .) While some rarely, or never, wear gloves for fishing, you'd not likely see me fishing this time of year w/o at least the half-finger wool gloves. 
Layers are best because, believe it or not, sometimes it can be very pleasant offshore--especially when the wind lays down. In winter it's warmer offshore owing to warmer waters. In summer it's cooler..

15,452 Reef Blocks deployed at numerous sites: Doug Ake's Reef 3,121 - St. Ann's 1,555 - Al Giles/OC RUST Reef 1,125 - Eagle Scout Reef 904 - Sue's Block Drop 184 - Nichols' Concrete 762 - Capt. Bob's Block Drop 156 - Benelli Reef 341 - 230 Wolf & Daughters Reef..
Blocks Provided By Potomac Valley Brick - Thank You!
Support the Ocean City Reef Foundation! (lots of reef pics here..) The OC Reef Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit with no payroll & no rented office space -- We Build Reef. Also registered w/Amazon Smile. We're Nowhere Near Reef Building's True Potential. Thank You! 

Greetings All, 
Weather man says we can sneak a big piece of Saturday in. Let's go. 
It also looks as though the following weekend will work. 
Sakes. I hope it all works. 

Here's a link to a Caloyianis Productions video from a few years ago. The u/w camera & housing Nick used was almost worth as much as my boat. 
Some of you will have seen this, but a lot of new folks are signed up. I enjoyed rewatching. 

Still photos run for 1 minute 49 seconds in the first section. The second portion of this 4 minute piece is the best video of our temperate reefs I'm aware of.

The stills show what was an amazing reef, a whip meadow, and is now an impacted bottom. You cannot believe how alive this reef was after a long period of very low trawl effort for fluke. When I first filmed it in 2004 the orange seawhip grew as grass in a field. One day a couple years later two party boats, a trap boat, & two private boats were fishing there for sea bass --catching too-- when an OC trawl skipper declared over the radio, "I've got a tow through there!" 

Guess he did. 

Haven't caught beans there since the whip got wiped out. 

It has not grown back - yet. Starting to though. 

In the second section (where the video begins) I do not know if that is a natural reef; perhaps stone calved by a melting iceberg in now-distant time; or a mini-spill from a barge in heavy weather 20 years ago. Thing is, all the coral, mussels, shrimp (not the eating kind), many species of crab, lobster (yes, the eating kind), & a hundred thousand fish that have spawned there -- none of them could possibly care how those rocks got there.
It's just reef. 
Yet NOAA is supremely resistant to any study or construction of our natural/artificial reefs. The corals closest to DC don't count. (that reef is approximately 110 miles from your Congressional Reps' offices..)

I promise you - we will one day see this era in reef-fish restoration as if we'd been trying to restore squirrels to an enormous Nebraska wheat field; land stretching horizon to horizon  ..with no tress. 
Fishing's history is very clear: the damage we know stern towed gears are capable of, especially from the early surfclam fishery; must have destroyed many square miles of reef-like bottom off Maryland's coast. And that's just Maryland! 

There were more sea bass landed from 1950 to 1961 than in all the years since all combined. That's fish caught and sold by the pound--not an 'estimate' as befouls recreational regulation. 
I guarantee today's reef ecology could not possibly hold that many sea bass. Post WWII, war surplus diesel engines were cheap; demand for fish robust. As stern-towed gears blew though the least robust reef bottoms week after week, year after year, they eventually destroyed them. 
No trees - no squirrels. 
Then they had to find a new forest to cut. 

Today's managers & restorationists remain skeptical of artificial reef's value. Many believe a newly sited reef only draws from existing natural reef. 

Yet in my experience we have no reason to believe any such thing. Reef production is reef production. If a hurricane uncovers a quarter mile ledge of rock by sweeping the sand away; new production occurring swiftly on that newly exposed natural bottom is precisely as on an accidental reef, or artificial reef.

We'll one day be able to estimate a reef's fisheries value solely from its cubic measure. 

Naturally deposited rock? Quarried rock accidentally spilled in transit? Or rock purposefully sited as artificial reef..

Corals & fish couldn't care less. 

But, for some reason, NOAA does. 


Capt. Monty Hawkins 
Partyboat Morning Star
Ocean City, MD

Blog Archive