Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Fish Report 11/22/23 - Just Black Friday..

Fish Report 11/22/23 

Opening Black Friday 11/24/23

Good News & Bad News.. 

Sea Bass fishing remains very good to excellent. My last three trips were boat limits - "Some Limits" has been the worst result of the last month.. 

Will our luck hold? 

Derned if I know. 

Going fishing. 

Eighteen Anglers sells out my sea bass trips - makes for lots of room.  

Just Black Friday 11/24/23 - Just ONE decent day! 6:30 to 4:00 - $165.00

Anna (Way Above Duty!) will check messages TG Day too!!

Will depart up to half an hour early.. Burning fuel - long runs.. 

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 (unless you've not had a call back after 4 hours!) - 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. 

Block Update - As of 11/22/23 we have 40,784 Reef Blocks & 1,800 Reef Pyramids (170lb ea) deployed at numerous ACE permitted ocean reef sites - there are also 1,336 pyramids deployed by MD CCA at Chesapeake Bay oyster sites working to restore blue ocean water - Counting those awaiting deployment there have been over 4,500 pyramids made since my crew and I fashioned a prototype mold in late August 2019. 

Currently being targeted oceanside: at our brand new Uncle Murphy's Reef 180 Reef Blocks; Rambler Reef 340 Reef Blocks & 11 Pyramids - Pete Maugan's Memorial Reef 92 Blocks & 6 Pyramids - Tyler Long's Memorial Reef 698 (+18 Reef Pyramids & a 115 ft barge!) Virginia Lee Hawkins Memorial Reef 526 Reef Blocks (+76 Reef Pyramids) - Capt. Jack Kaeufer's/Lucas Alexander's Reefs 2040 Blocks (+49 Reef Pyramids) - Doug Ake's Reef 4,194 blocks (+16 Reef Pyramids) - St. Ann's 2,969 (+14 Reef Pyramids) Lindsay's Mini Reef 140 Blocks - Sue's Block Drop 1,702 (+30 Reef Pyramids) - Farewell/Kathy's Cable 188 blocks(3 pyramids) - Rudys/Big Dad's Barges 140 Reef Blocks (+9 Pyramids) - Benelli Reef 1,552 (+118 Pyramids) - Capt. Bob's Bass Grounds Reef 4,324 (+ 90 reef pyramids) - Al Berger's Reef 1,866 (+36 Reef Pyramids) - Great Eastern South Block Drop 228 Reef Blocks (+ 8  Pyramids) - Cristina's Blast 120 Reef Blocks & 2 Pyramids - Capt Greg Hall's Memorial Reef 362 Blocks (+2 Pyramids) - Kinsley's Reef 756 Pyramids - Bear Concrete Reef 44 Blocks and 512 Pyramids plus 16 pipes -  We've also an Unnamed site at the Bass Grounds in 80 feet with 345 Castle & Terracotta Tog Blocks, 10 Pyramids, & 16 pieces pipe.

Greetings All, 

Good News?? Kinsley Construction delivered two tractor trailer loads of pyramids (520!) to Capt Stormy in Lewes. They'll be added to the Bass Grounds Reef in two trips before long. 

The bad news?

I am deeply troubled by the new MRIP tables - I cannot look up two month wave data. Even MD's top coastal fisheries biologist can't. 

No Steinbeck can gain entrance the slaughter house - sausage is being made, but we're not allowed to watch.

All our regional regs are done now. If there's a giant surge in NY Private Boat sea bass (as has often been the case!) we're no longer protected from the madness by a DelMarVa region.. Every little bit of tagging data shows habitat fidelity in sea bass. What happens in Massachusetts or NY has zero factual impact onnour sea bass off Lewes/CapeMay/OC/or coastal VA.  

Summer Flounder/Fluke must take a 28% cut from Maine to Hatteras - but we cannot confront our accuser - I cannot see where the spikes are. 

Commercial fish quotas were raised 50% and more when MRIP's "recalibration" was folded in to stock estimates (fish population estimates). 

At first they left a lot of meat on their brand new bone - quotas went unfilled for years. Now, I'm told, they're getting closer to filling quotas. 

How bad was the recalibration? It raised rec catch unbelievably - here an example I've used many tomes but is supremely illustrative.. 

From "MRIP Comment July 20, 2019"

..In the mid-2010s I was raising a stink about the Wave 2 (March/April) NJ Shore 2010 tautog landings estimate. MRFSS (NOAA's catch estimates before MRIP) had NJ's shivering early spring anglers catching more tautog (when they Are Not biting from shore!) than All Party/Charter throughout the species full range. At about 64,000 fish, it would have been funny had it not been "science." 

Already foremost in mind, this was the very first estimate I checked when MRIP was released in 2012. The new and loudly cheered MRIP had taken a purely ridiculous shore tautog estimate and made it unfathomably impossible — they'd added 100,000 more tautog to NJ's March/April Shore estimate.. 

But that MRIP nonsense was just the beginning. Now, after MRIP's two "recalibration" events, that same estimate - where a couple fellows are trying to catch NJ's very first shore-caught tog in mid/late April - is now shown as over 800,000 lbs. 

That's more tautog in a few weeks than All Party/Charter & All Commercial fishers catch in a year throughout the species entire range. 

The estimate still stands. You can look it up. 

It's really dumb. 

Well, that was then. Now you cannot look it up. 

Those sorts of estimates have inflated population numbers incredibly. 

Our recreational quotas too were raised - but we are already catching them! They're all 'cloud fish' shown as caught on a computer - very much like 800,000 pounds of shore caught NJ tautog - never happened, but it's science. 

Commercial fishers, however, catch real fish.. 

And if a species is obviously collapsing?? Recreational fishers - perpetually overquota (on a computer!) will be the fall guys. 

Believe it.. 

Unless MRIP gets repaired (really repaired!) we will look worse than foreign factory trawlers of the 1970s.. 

I'm reminded of my late friend Capt Jim Whaley's tale - he was fishing Christmas 1974(? year is fuzzy - pre Magnuson-Stevens for sure).. Jim told me there were 34 trawlers in tip of the Washington Canyon and only two were American.. 

Hmmm.. That's right around when the snowy grouper habitat on slab rock above the canyon was lost too. 

Bad catch data - incredibly bad. 

No sea floor habitat science nor even interest so far as I can gauge. 

The tools we need to truly restore fisheries do not yet exist.

Keep working on it!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Capt Monty Hawkins

Blog Archive