Monday, October 09, 2023

Fish Report 10/9/23

Fish Report 10/8/23 

Opening just FIVE trips (and then, sakes, back to windy weather again!) 

Two New Reefs In One Day! (As ever, see FB for the pictures and video.)

Writing an important fisheries experiment -- which makes me remember Professor Elaine at CBL..


Anna is a one person operation. She might be slammed when I hit send.  (or maybe not!) If she cannot pick up, Leave her a message. She has a method to her madness.. 

Weather Cancellations Happen - I Make Every Attempt To Let Clients Sleep In If The Weather's Not Going Our Way..

I always try to leave a half hour early. 


This reservation announcement closes on 10/12/23

On Tuesday, October 10th and Wed, Oct 11 I'm fishing 6:30 to 4 & anticipate sea bass mostly with some guys heroically targeting summer flounder/fluke. This should be peak flounder but there's been so much swell.. Boat sells out with 18 Anglers @ $165.00 ea.. Leave 6:30 (6!) and return 3:30(ish)

Also offering a longer sea bass trip - Depart 6 and get back when we do - Oct 12 .. Looks to be a calm before the storm type day..

Now adding the 13 & 14th also - Boat sells out with 18 Anglers @ $165.00 ea.. Leave 6:30 (6!) and return 3:30(ish)

Anna is a one person operation. She might be slammed when I hit send.  (or maybe not!) If she cannot pick up, Leave her a message. She has a method to her madness.. 

Reservations at 443-235-5577 - She's a one person operation & has other jobs too. The line closes at 8pm and reopens at 8am. She won't take reservations for trips that are not announced. 

If you want a spot call the reservation line at 443-235-5577.. Emailing me is no good - any info I give could well be wrong time you receive it - service handles reservations. I do check email for questions; check FaceBook messenger too.. 

Be a half hour early! We always try to leave early

..except when someone shows up right on time.

Clients arriving late will see the west end of an east-bound boat. Seriously, with a limited number of reserved spots, I do not refund because you overslept or had a flat.. If you're reserved and the last person we're waiting on - you'll need to answer your phone. I will not make on-time clients wait past scheduled departure because of a misfortune on your part. 

I rarely get in on time either. If you have a worrier at home, please advise them I often come home late. It's what I do. 

Trips Also Sometimes Announced on Facebook at Morning Star Fishing 

I post after action reports (or lack thereof) (and sometimes detailed thoughts on fisheries issues) for every trip on my personal FB page and Morning Star page..

Bait is provided on all trips. 

No Galley. Bring Your Own Food & Beverage. 

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 a 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.

I've recently discovered ZOFRAN - prescription anti-nausea for chemo and surgery. Seems to work - has worked - for motion sickness. Serious day saver really. It's a prescription - though one Doc I trust thought it should be over the counter.. 

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 have a few loaners - you'll still need ice. Should you catch some monstrous fish, we'll be able to ice it. 

No Galley! Bring Food & Beverages To Suit. A few beers in cans is fine for the ride home.  

Wishbone doesn't replace backbone.. Have to keep a shoulder into reef building to make it happen. 

Greetings All! 

A couple recent pieces.. 

From FB 10/6/23..


C'mon Now! Really? 

Yup! Deployed a beautiful double today. How wonderful.. A 70 foot US Army Landing Craft, donated by Uncle Sam his dern self & now, owing a wonderful contribution by Marci at our May Reef Dinner, it's become Uncle Murphy's Reef at the Bass Grounds. His reef found bottom upright about 9:30 this morning. 

Just after lunch another long time project came to fruition when a 45 ft heavy steel tug from Murtech in Salisbury was plucked off a flatbed (TYTYTY Sunset Marina!) and quickly taken to the Bass Grounds again by Capt. Rob of Maryland Coast Towing. Now "Steve's Way" Reef, it was funded in honor of a dear friend gone too soon by family and friends of Carl T. Osterlof and Steve Braun; the old tug came to it's final resting place at 4pm exactly where I'd hoped. 

Some seriously good coral & fish habitat will come of it. You can't stop it. 

Even if we'd painted these reefs stem to stern with top-shelf bottom paint they'd still grow in with all manner of reef growth in time. 

The sidescan picture shows Steve's Way center right - upper center left is a tug we sank in Oct 2022, and top rt box shape is a barge from three years ago or so - bottom of this same pic is a debris field (much larger than it would seem because I was going faster) with 17 truckloads of pipe and over 4000 blocks and pyramids - Capt. Bob's Memorial Reef. 

I'd say that whole reef group is coming along nicely.

In twenty or thirty years perhaps one of Maryland's most beautiful places..

Yes, Really. 

Help us build more! Fall Annual Raffle Starts Soon! 


Shewwwww.. Sent an email accross the top of management begging 'credit for time served' for this sea bass closure. I absolutely believe this was our worst spring/summer/early fall ever for lost days to weather - I showed 47 since sea bass opened and that was before the closure. 

Although that fell on deaf ears (as I knew it must) NOAA's top fisheries scientist wrote back asking I write an experiment for inducing exponential spawning production on our nearshore reefs... 

It's hardly an experiment to me having observed it twice. Sure makes great fishing. 

But fisheries management and science haven't observed it. For them sudden population growth is simply luck. 

Well, so far it has been. 

I am confident, however, that we can impose it on sea bass with the simplest of regulatory measures..

Reading an ex-library book "Growth and Ecology of Fish Populations" from the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory given me in the late 1980s by Dr Eileen Selter Hamilton. She and her husband fished with me now and again as a young captain on the old wooden Angler in downtown Ocean City MD. 

Found this about her on the CBL website.. (brackets) mine. 


In addition to research, Dr. Eileen Setzler-Hamilton was extensively engaged in teaching - she gave lectures, taught field-oriented laboratories to students from middle school through college, served as Chief Scientist on many research cruises and mentored individual students and teachers as well. She will be (is) greatly missed by her colleagues and by the many students whose lives she touched. 


From 'Growth and Ecology of Fish Populations" - Deevey's work in the late 1940s shows what I've almost always run into - the attitude "fish often display 'outrageous fluctuations in strength of year classes.'"

Biologists and managers throw their arms up, "There's nothing we can do! It's all a matter of luck!"

Oyyyyy.. But there is. 

A lot. It's brand spanking new management. That makes it a pain in the neck to write.  Studying long hours every day. 

Stand by.... 


Well, gosh, that came together fast. 

Saw we'd have one last chance to work in the reef block yard before sea bass reopened. (Have a trip tomorrow 10/10/23 when cbass open with a tiny handful of regulars - also adding coming Friday and Saturday owing the wind forecast falling out considerably! See fish report 10/8/23 & 10/9/23 at for details if you're not familiar..) 

I know folks want days/weeks notice about volunteer opportunities. Just not how life works on the water. Have to go whichever way the wind blows.. I posted last night (10/8!) with extremely short notice to see if we could get some help moving pyramids and concrete fence posts up to Capt. Stormy's wharf in Lewes. 

A post and a prayer..


Scott, Kerry, Ryan, Tim; plus my guys Vic & Brian were loading pyramids by 8:30 in three trailers and a super duty dually pickup. Got em all up to Lewes save a few experimental magnet units. (see pic of mini-sledgehammer) that I want to drop on Big Dad's Reef at Jackspot. 

All this material stockpiled for the Tiki XIV is going to Bear Concrete Reef at the Bass Grounds. The next load Capt. Stormy takes will also. 

Pyramids and such - pipe and, one day, boulder, aren't as eye popping as a nice sinking deployment (like the landing craft and a tug sunk in one day recently!) But believe this - they make fantastic reef, especially in their hundreds. 

I don't guess it'll be too long and we'll see Kinsley Construction's Reef go over a thousand pyramids.. 

It's a really important part of my thinking to rebuild the Bass Grounds to what it was in 1950. 

That will take incredibly far more work. The Bass Grounds once held approximately 4.5 sq miles of temperate reef bottom nearly all lost to surf clam fishing in the 1960s and early 1970s. 

We can put it back. 



Sea bassing should be pretty good. We'll know more tomorrow! 





Capt Monty Hawkins

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