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  1. Hat's off to the ECO's: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan today announced the charging of a Shirley man with multiple violations of the Environmental Conservation Law after Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) observed the individual allegedly possessing 268 blackfish over the state’s fishing limit. "This arrest once again demonstrates the work that our ECOs do each day to protect the public, and our natural resources," Commissioner Sheehan said. "ECOs are tireless in their pursuit of violators of the State’s Environmental Conservation laws." ECOs observed Arthur C. Reilly, 46, of 39 Cypress Lane, Shirley as he returned to Senix Marina, Center Moriches aboard his commercial fishing vessel "Flora-Jo." Upon docking his vessel officers observed him offloading live blackfish into three holding pens that were in the water at the boat slip. In total, Mr. Reilly had 293 live blackfish, 268 over the state limit, and also had five striped bass and fillets of three other striped bass in a cooler on the vessel. The state’s striped bass season ended on December 15. After counting the blackfish, 268 live blackfish were released. Mr. Reilly was charged with possession of striped bass out of season and possession of blackfish in excess of the limit, all violations, with additional charges pending. In addition to the work done by Long Island area ECOs to investigate marine fishing violations, the DEC also formed a Marine Enforcement Unit in June 2005 under Commissioner Sheehan’s leadership. The MEU is specifically responsible for protecting the State's marine resources by enforcing State and Federal laws and regulations concerning habitat preservation and the recreational and commercial harvesting of fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. ECOs in the unit are assigned to the lower Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island. The MEU includes 10 officers and an investigator.
  2. My name is Dave Hollinger,I've been posting for awhile now.I live in York,Pa where I install inground swimming pools.We have a small trailer in Bishopville,Md where we try to spend as many weekends as possible.I love to fish and boat,and would like to get into surf fishing.I really injoy this site and the friendly people who frequent it. Hopfully with your help my fishing adiction will turn into a catching adiction. Daveh 8)
  3. The weather is still warm to hot and the fishing is the same, some days warm; some day we have hot fishing. The water temps in the area are getting to late July temps already in June; I believe this is going to give us a summer trend of fishing for most of the season. To the fishing report>>>. We are still seeing so good numbers of Cobia around the area waters. The Cobia are around the inlets, shoals, and bars just off the beach. We are also still seeing them offshore a bit; around hard bottoms and reefs. Live bait has been the key to the bigger fish lately. Smaller Cobia have hit jigs around the inlets and ocean sand bars. Sight casting live bait to bigger Cobia just off the beach has produced some nice Cobia form Carolina Beach to Topsail. When we drift fish for Cobia, we are using carolina rigs with three to four once egg sinkers and 7/0 circle hooks with an eighty pound Berkley big game mono leader. The baits we are using are small Bluefish, Mullet, and Menhaden. The Flounder fishing is really starting to pick up. We are seeing Flounder inshore as well as just off the beaches. The places we look for Flounder are in the ICW, Cape Fear River and Creeks off the ICW. Look for drop offs on the edge of the main channel with current or any where baitfish are passing by. Most of the Flounder are eating little menhaden and Mud minnows on light Carolina rigs. The Flounder are mixed in size to just under keeper size to a few over five pounds. We have caught some Flounder on Artificial baits as well. We have had the best luck with Berkley Gulp 3” pogy in pearl white and smelt colors. Rig the grubs on a red or black jig head for best results. We have had some great Sharks fishing trips in the last two weeks; the bigger fish are just starting to show up. We are already even starting to see a few Hammerheads just off the beach. Shark fishing will be good until early October. Best baits for the near shore sharks are, fresh and live Menhaden. When we use bait to catch the sharks we use spinning reels, with 300+ yards of thirty and fifty pound Spider wire Ultracast braid. Rigging the baits; eight feet of 80 pound mono leader; some will wind on to the reel. Connected the 80 pound mono to a fifty pound swivel, then to Two to three foot of #9 SS wire and an 8/0 or 9/0 off set J hook. If you prefer Fly fishing, I like Striped bass flies in Menhaden patterns with 4/0 and 5/0 hook sizes. We use ten to twelve weight set ups; have lots of extra flies with you! When Shark fishing gets good, it’s not long before we start to see some Tarpon in the area. We have seen some nice schools of Tarpon pushing up the beaches in the last two weeks. Tarpon fishing in North Carolina can be very fun but it can be a challenge to get one to bite! We fish for Tarpon on the bottom or free lining, using live and fresh dead baits like; spots, bluefish and Menhaden. We are rigging these baits on fish finder rigs, with three to five feet of 80 to 100 pound mono leaders. Circle hooks are the best bet for good hook ups and landings for Tarpon in hook sizes 7/0 to 9/0 depending what hook series you like. I have also had a fair share of Tarpon on my kite rig with live baits like greenies, bluefish and menhaden. Nothing like seeing a Tarpon hit kite baits! Redfish are still biting well, but with all the hot weather its best to go early in the morning or later afternoons when the water is a bit cooler. Topwater lures and rattling corks in the shallow waters earlier mornings and afternoons will produce some Redfish. Working grubs like Berkley Gulp later in the day in deeper waters will also produce Reds for ya. Sometimes it can be just like colder mouths, slow down your presentation a little when the water gets hot. Give the Redfish a little more time to catch up with your bait. A few other fish that are biting lately; Spanish mackerel bite has been hit or miss lately. The best catching have been earlier in the morning and casting jigs and spoons to jumping fish, has put most of the fish in the boat lately. The Sheephead bite has really picked up in the last few weeks, fishing around bridges, pilings and bulkheads will produce some nice Sheephead. Off the beach from five to fifth teen miles the King Mackerel and Mahi are showing some. Fast trolling Ballyhoo or slow trolling lives baits a working for the Mackerel and Mahi. There has also been a few Sailfish caught as well lately in the same areas. Fishing Gear we use: Reels Penn Conquer and Sargus spinning in sizes 2000 and 4000. Spiderwire Ultra-cast braid in 10 and 15#. Rods: Ugly stick lite 6’6” and 7’ Med & Med-Heavy and the All Star ASR spinning rod ASR844S and ASR845S. Cobia, Shark and Tarpon: Spinning setup Penn Conquer 7000 with an Ugly Stick Tiger lite Jigging rod 6’ 6” and Penn 320LD Reel and a Tiger lite jigging rod. Line for Cobia, Shark and Tarpon: Berkley Big Game 30# mono and 50# Spiderwire Stealth High-Vis Yellow. Thanks for reading this report, if you would like to go fishing drop me a line. Book now for this coming summer fishing season and don’t forget to take a kid fishing! Good Luck, Captain Jot Owens Ranger Boats Pro Staff PENN Reels Elite Staff Wilmington North Carolina Guided Fishing Charters Wrightsville Beach <acronym title="North Carolina">NC</acronym> Inshore Fishing Boats 910-233-4139
  4. I have had a very busy summer of inshore saltwater fishing trips here on the Mosquito Lagoon flats and in the Backcountry at Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach, Florida. On the grass flats the Redfishing has been very steady with the summer pattern of fishing the mullet schools early and sight casting the sand holes later in the morning. Also some nice size Seatrout coming aboard. Backcountry trips have had steady action with some keeper Seatrout, Black Drum, and Mangrove Snapper. The Jack Crevalle and Ladyfish are always there to provide exciting strikes and fish fights from these fun catch and release game fish. We even had a few exciting moments from Tarpon strikes and jumps which were a little to much for our light Trout tackle to handle for long. Here are a couple of pictures from recent trips. My nephew Christopher Frost with his first ever Redfish and client Mike with a nice Black Drum caught on one of my Backcountry mixed bag trips. Come fish with me on beautiful Mosquito Lagoon for flats fishing, we will target Redfish and Seatrout.This type of sight fishing can be challenging and very rewarding when you hook up with a drag pulling Redfish or Trout. Good for experienced anglers or the less experienced anglers looking for a new fishing challenge. Or you could try one of my Indian River Backcountry Fishing trips, that is mixed bag fishing for Seatrout, Redfish, Black Drum, Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish, Bluefish, Snapper, & many more saltwater fish. On the average Backcountry trip we catch between 10 and 15 (or more) different species of saltwater fish.You never know what will bite with this type of fishing, mainly drift fishing while free lining live shrimp on light tackle make for lots of rod bending and drag pulling. Fun for experienced anglers and an easy way for less experienced anglers to be successful at catching lots of fish. MY BOAT COMFORTABLY ACCOMMODATES 1 TO 4 ANGLERS Located close to DAYTONA BEACH, NEW SMYRNA BEACH and ORLANDO, FLORIDA. Feel free to contact me at any time with questions you may have about my fishing charters. CHILDREN ALWAYS WELCOME – FAIR PRICES Capt. Michael Savedow Edgewater River Guide, Inc. 386-689-3781 email> EdgewaterRiverGuide@cfl.rr.com website> Daytona Beach,Orlando,New Smyrna,Mosquito Lagoon,Redfish,Fishing Guide, Charter Fishing
  5. I departed Messick Boat Ramp in Poquoson Virginia at 0600 hrs and headed 15 miles across the Bay to the Fourth Island of the CBBT. It was almost flat so I was able to easily average 45 mph. I bottom fished around the piles with big live minnow and caught and threw back two flounder that were around 17". I then tried for a little while at the spine of the rocks around the island with no luck. Around 1000 the tide died out and I could see lots of spadefish around the piles, so even though I did not plan on diving today the decent visibilty tempted me. I got geared up and dove around several piles and speared my 4 spades. After that I went back to flounder fishing, this time I was off of the Third Island. I saw several decent flounder caught but I only managed one more throw back and a couple of Oyster Toads. I had some plans this afternoon so headed back around 1330 hrs. I covered 40 miles and burned 10.5 gallons. I am glad I have a big jet ski with plenty of storage. I took a couple of pictures of just some of the gear I bring with me on a typical day. Some fishing, diving, safety and paperwork.
  6. A few things to consider before shark fishing By Mark Sampson OCEAN CITY -- I applaud those who pursue sharks from the beach. I'm sorry that I don't have the time during the summer months to do so myself. But the more photos I see of sharks taken from the beach, the more concerned I get about the well-being of the sharks that are caught and released. Sandbars, duskies and sand tigers are the larger sharks most likely to be landed by local surf anglers, since they are also three species of sharks that may not legally be retained at any time by recreational anglers, in most cases when a large shark is taken from a Delmarva beach it must be released. As the sport grows, too many anglers are jumping into it without the knowledge or skills needed to ethically deal with such large animals. Anglers who choose to mess with 100- to 200-pound sharks have better have their act together or the results might not fare well for fish or fisherman. Obviously there are safety issues for those handling the sharks, and one bad move could result in serious injuries. These ain't stripers, boys! For now I'll just suggest that fishermen keep their limbs out of the pointy end of their catch. I see too many photos of gut-hooked sharks and sharks that have been dragged too far from the water's edge. Anglers must keep in mind that just because they see a shark swim away after release, that it doesn't mean it's OK. Sharks can be so stressed out or damaged by improper handling. That's not a good outcome for the three species so often caught in the surf that are on the Prohibited Species List because their populations are so low. Do not pull sharks up onto the dry sand for photos or any other reason. Dragging a large shark by its tail can cause injuries to its vertebrae and other internal parts. During the day, the temperature away from the wet zone of the beach is going to be a lot warmer, and warm, dry air does a shark's skin no good. Before a shark is even hooked anglers should have a plan ready for a quick release. Cameras, tags, measuring devices and any other tools should be ready and available so there's no fumbling around at the last minute. Anglers should also forget about calling in friends or family to "come down to the beach and see what I caught!" There's no time for that. Get the shark in from the surf just far enough that it can be safely handled, snap a few photos and get it back to its home ASAP. In many of the photos I've seen of sharks on the beach, it's clear that the shark was gut-hooked. While gut-hooking does not necessary mean a death sentence for every fish, it certainly increases the chance for mortality. If a hook impaled in the gut isn't bad enough, imagine the internal damage to a shark that's done if the animal is dragged partially up the beach by the leader. The hooks would likely tear the stomach and impale other organs inside the animal. I know a lot of beach fishermen are wisely using circle hooks, but some are still doing things the old way and using big double hook rigs with J-hooks. Double J-hook rigs kill sharks. They should never be used. I know a lot of sharkers like to use large baits such as rays, and feel that two hooks are needed to keep the bait properly attached to the rig. That problem can be overcome with a little creative rigging and sometimes the use of cable ties or rigging wire. Single, non-offset circle hooks -- I suggest the Mustad 39960D -- are the only way to go for shark fishing from beach or boat. Still, circle hooks still have a 5-10 percent chance of gut-hooking. There's something about the way a shark's throat closes-up that too often traps even a circle hook and allows it to embed itself inside the shark rather than in the jaw as it was designed to do. Observing this, we began experimented with different rigs and hooks that would help ensure that sharks would be hooked in the jaw every time. What we came up with is what we call a blocker rig, a length of plastic pipe mounted perpendicular to the leader a specific distance from the hook. The pipe prevents or "blocks" the fish from swallowing the bait. We've documented an almost 100 percent success rate of preventing gut hooking since we started using these rigs in 2008. This season we're trying to determine if the blocker-rig is as effective at getting bites as a standard nonblocker rig. We've been fishing both type of rigs side-by-side and recording the results of every bite. So far our records indicate almost a perfect 50-50 split, indicating that the sharks are not shying away from the awkward looking rig. I didn't really plan on promoting this rig until we'd finished tweaking it out a bit more, but the aforementioned evidence of so many sharks being gut hooked from the beach has prompted me to do so now. I'm certain it has saved the lives of a lot of sharks that would otherwise have eventually died after being gut-hooked. Blocker rigs are easy to make using PVC or any other type of plastic pipe. For small sharks we use an 8-inch length of plastic tubing, drill a hole through its mid-section and run our wire leader through the hole. Using crimps or twisted wire, the pipe is fastened to the leader 4 inches above the eye of the hook; it can rotate but not slide up or down on the leader. When we expect larger sharks such as makos, blues, tigers, or sand tigers we'll use 14-inch lengths of half-inch PVC mounted 7 inches above the eye of the hook. For really large sharks such as big tigers we increased the length of the pipe to 24 inches since they have such wide mouths. The measurement from the eye of the hook to the pipe is important because if it's too long, the hook can still reach the shark's throat. Anyone who wishes to try making blocker rigs of their own are welcome to call me in the evening for more details at 410-213-2442 or e-mail me at modernsharking@ gmail.com. Source - A few things to consider before shark fishing | delmarvanow.com | The Daily Times
  7. It was a great day yesterday, the weather was perfect and the fish were plentiful. I took Chad Baniowski of Williamsburg Virginia out to the Chesapeake Light Tower. Chad is a Chef at Berrets Seafood Resturant in Historic Williamsburg so I am looking forward to getting some new recipes for ways to cook Spades from him. I had been telling him all about Spadefish and spear fishing and he was eager to give it a try. We departed Rudee Inlet around 0930 and went straight to the tower, it was nice, there was not another boat in sight so we had the tower to ourselves. The current was ripping but the visibility was decent at about 15-20 feet. There were tons of spade fish and we saw quite a few Amberjack as well. Chad speared his first spadefish and we were able to get our limit of 8 after a good workout of fighting the strong current and swells. Chad also tried some jigging but could not get one of the Jacks to bite, I am sure a live bait would have done the trick. About the time we were leaving two other jet skis showed up to try and catch some fish (I may be starting a jet ski trend). We were back at the ramp and on the road around 1530, just in time for rush hour traffic. Ha. The Chesapeake Light Tower is about 16 miiles off shore from Virginia Beach. I carry a Spot GPS Tracker with me here is the link to one of my "Spots" showing the Lat/Long of the tower. http://fms.ws/3BiSy/36.90466/\-75.71265 It was another great day, here are some of the pictures I took while out.
  8. This will be my last update until October. I’m having a surgical procedure that will keep me off the water until then. We are in the long hot days of summer. That means that fishing tactics have to be changed to put together a good catch. The dolphin season has been for the most part disappointing in our area. It started out good and once again when it should have kicked into high gear, the bottom fell out. We’ve had a lack of weedlines and floating debris. Even the birds have not ventured offshore in large numbers. Those that have found fish have found small ones that either wouldn’t eat or were below the legal size limit. Yes, there have been some good catches, however, dolphin fishing has been very hit or miss. In on the reef, it’s been bonito and kingfish, AJ’s on the wrecks, and some blackfin tuna along with a few sailfish. The change in tactic for the hot days has been to fish the baits deeper on break away leads, downrigger, and bottom rods. The best action we’ve seen has been in the 130 – 250 foot range. Tarpon fishing has been excellent in the Bay. It just requires adjusting the hours you fish so that you can take advantage of the best tide conditions. The fish have been in the 15 – 40 pound range and are putting on a great aerial show as well as pulling extremely have. It’s gorilla tarpon fishing at its best to keep them away from the structure they are trying to cut you off with. Robert Oldin and Mike got into some outstanding tarpon action in the Bay. Normally the land to hook up ratio with Bay fish is about 50%. The circle hooks and anglers did an outstanding job and we finished the evening with a 4 for 4 record. Way to go guys. Ash Suresh and Jeff Moyle came all the way from Australia on a business/pleasure trip. Tarpon action was on the pleasure part of the trip. We had to fish much later hours to catch the tide. We had a shot at 3 fish. Two of the fish hooked up and we landed and released one of them. The third fish bent the rod, however, the hook didn’t find the mark. Brian Spann and his son Jordan saw plenty of arm pulling action with bonito. At one point, we had four fish hooked up at once and neither angler had a chance to catch their breath between fighting fish. Fred and Michael Gates along with Benjamin Siboni got in some kids fishing trip action as well as offshore action. Benjamin was visiting from France. He spoke very little English, however, fishing is a universal language that all anglers understand. We anchored up in 25 feet of water and put out the chum bag. It didn’t take long before we had lots of fish behind the boat. Michael and Benjamin fished the bottom catching yellowtail snapper, triggerfish, and grunts just as fast as they could put baits in the water. Fred freelined his baits and caught yellowtail snapper, mangrove snapper, and a giant bluerunner. It didn’t take long before everyone’s arms were tired and we ran out to finish the trip. We caught a bonito fairly quickly and then had to wait a bit before we were rewarded with a nice blackfin tuna. Debbie Currier and Wade Robinson saw plenty of action on their half day trip. The flatlines and downrigger shined on this day. Bonito and kingfish kept Wade busy pulling in fish and Debbie busy with the camera. The bonito were of the bionic size and would not give up. The kingfish gave Wade plenty of steaks and fillets to take home as they weighed in at 13 ½ and 18 pounds on the scale back at TNT Marine Center. Lewis and David Carroll along with Lloyd Wruble saw lots of tarpon on their trip. David and Lewis used fly tackle and Lloyd used jigs on a spinning outfit. The fish were moving through in singles, doubles, and triples. Everyone got fish to bump their offerings, but no strong takers. As the movement slowed down we set up to use live bait. Before I could pin the bait on the second outfit, David hooked up with a beautiful 30 pound tarpon that jumped numerous times and buzzed plenty of line off the reel. Lloyd got video of the fight as David brought the fish alongside for release. I took my bath as the fish exploded while I was releasing it and got soaked. Michael Richmond, Andrew Arnold, and Mike Bess had dolphin fillets on their mind as we headed offshore. We had a flat calm day and found several slicks with weed in them. The third line that we worked in 850 feet gave us our reward. Both slow trolled baits got hit and the action started. Almost as quickly as it started, it ended. Then a rain storm pushed offshore and it took about a half hour for it to move through. Another weedline produced nothing. The next line had us hooked up again, but one fish threw the hook on its first jump and the hooked pulled on the other fish while we waited to see if there were any buddies following them. The final action of the morning came in the form of a very large tripletail that was hanging out around a large plastic livewell floating in the weedline. That brings me up to date. Check back in October when I get back out on the water. In the meantime, give me a call or send me an email to get that date booked to get in on the Fall action. Captain Dave Kostyo Knot Nancy Fishing Charters, Inc 305-965-9454 Charter Fishing in Miami and Miami Beach for Sailfish, Tarpon, Dolphin and Kingfish aboard the Knot Nancy nkostyo@bellsouth.net
  9. August 8, 2010 INSHORE - The inshore fishing has improved over this past week with the snapper bite being the best thing going. Try along the channel edges or around any structure and use a small live shrimp. Most of the fish this week were 1 to 3 pounders. The redfish has been a little on the picky side but I did have a few reported coming from along the docks of North Indian River Drive. Try using a gold spoon or a live shrimp. The trout bite has been steady but you had to be there before first light or just before dark. Most of the trout were 5 pounds and under. Try using a topwater bait if you are fishing early or late and the rest of the time use a pigfish. There has been good catch and release snook action in the Ft. Pierce Inlet. Fish the first hour of the out going tide and use a pinfish, pigfish or a mullet and keep them on the bottom. OFFSHORE - We had very few dolphin come into the docks this weekend. The ones that did have dolphin caught them in 60 to 120 feet of water and the biggest one was 15 pounds. A pink/white skirted ballyhoo worked best. Several anglers reported sailfish in 100 to 120 feet of water to the south of the Ft. Pierce Inlet and they were also hitting ballyhoo. Over the reefs and wrecks there were the usual snapper, seabass, jacks and plenty of cuda's to keep you busy. Several anglers reported seeing tarpon off the North Beach but said they were not feeding. The divers that went out of the motel had a good number of lobster and there were several over 5 pounds. One boat had 6 lobster over 5 pounds and most were 3 to 4 pounders. JUNIOR TEEN ANGLERS - The first from shore tournament for the new school year is scheduled for Saturday - August 28th at Harbour Pointe Park in Ft. Pierce. Junior Teen Anglers is for the 5 to 11 age group. If you have a child that would like to fish with the Junior Teen Anglers you can call 772-201-5773 for more info or go to the web at National Teen Anglers If you would like to report a catch you can e-mail me at cward11605@aol.com or call me at 772-201-5770. You can also reach me on the web at Indian River Lagoon Fishing Charters - Ft. Pierce Fishing Charters - Vero Beach Fishing Charters - Capt. Joe Ward Capt. Joe Ward Capt. Joe's River Charters
  10. Fish Report 7/25/10 Sea Bass Anchored on Quota "The basic steps needed to repair severely damaged fisheries are now well recognized; the quality and area of supporting habitats must be improved and fishing effort must be reduced." Bell et al. "Advances in Marine Biology - Restocking and Stock Enhancement of Marine Invertebrate Fisheries" Hi All, Fishing remains precisely as it has; Nick a few keeper cbass for dinner - catch a lot of throwbacks; Now and again we box 'em up pretty good. Flounder puzzle.. Evidence of the Yeti but nothing consistent. Teasing.. Heat's breaking. Hasn't been too bad at sea. Have to come home though! Weather's looking good now, after Monday's wind at least.. If you accept that Bell's quote above is true, then our restoration of sea bass, a reef fish, with no factoring of reef, is plainly imbalanced. Sea bass management in the mid-Atlantic is all --and only-- about catch restriction. No reef. Yet. Working on a new video that encourages factoring in that habitat. Lot of folks went to school. Get paid a guvmint wage.. I did my last video for the professional fisheries/regulatory community back in '04. It's still on YouTube. (search common seafloor habitat mid-atlantic) First one was for my Congressman in '01. I'll speak more plainly in the 2010 one.. If the solution to this fishery's restoration is well recognized, then our current system is imbalanced. I can't leave the dock without quota, without the good fortune of having escaped MRFSS overestimates; without an 'open season'.. Once I've left the dock though we can't anchor on a size limit or recreational quota. Have to have habitat: Reef. Balance. Fishing when we get a few folks. Mostly making them glad they went. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 Morning Star Fishing
  11. Sent to me by Capt. Max King 37' 2010 Contender Check out this Contender that "ran aground". Boat was only 6 hours old. Operator claimed he was doing 28 knots. Both people on board were 100% sober. Cost him $10,000 to have Tow Boat US pull him back to the water. 4 tow lines parted in the process. MSRP on the boat ranges from $300,000 to $400,000 depending on options."
  12. In the past year i have witnessed some very rude and some dangerous moves made by my fellow anglers. Growing up on the Eastern Shore i had a boat at a young age. The very first thing that i was taught by my father was safety and ethics on the water. Most of these ideals that he taught were mainly common sense and courtesy toward other boaters. This past year was my first year fishing the mouth of the bay for strippers. I had a very good first season, but saw things that really bothered me. This past Saturday was just as disappointing as last winter. I had three boats drift so close to my boat that I had to push them away from me with my hands. All while the captain stared in disbelief that I was upset with him. I had my line cut, while anchored, by a boat that passed wide open by my stern within 40ft, and not to mention the wake that he threw over me. One thing that I really don't understand is how people can take the entire bay and feel the need to run at high speeds in between 20 anchored boats on their trip north or south. One of my friends I had on my boat with me is in the USCG. He told me that there is a law in place that will require boaters to have a drivers license within the next few years. I think that this is a great idea. The things I mentioned above aren't just gripes, but concerns of the safety of myself and other anglers. Some things that people can do to better the experience for everyone on the water would be to go around a group of boats that are anchored up instead of through them on your way to your destination. Be conscious of the fishing lines of others, (your hook isn't the only one on bottom). Be aware of your wake and where it is going to head once you've left the area. If it can be proven that it was your wake that caused damage, you are responsible for it. Don't drift or anchor to close to another boat. Be particularly careful when passing or motoring around a boat that contains children. I saw 2 almost get thrown off the other day when a 25ft Parker passed at 1/2 throttle no more than 50ft from their boat. I could go on all day. The bottom line is that most of the anglers out there do know these things and are respectful of others on the water, but its that ever growing percentage that can make a great day on the water aggravating or even dangerous. I'm sure that many will read this and agree. Maybe even have had similar things happen to you. To others, this may piss you off. If so, you are the problem. Keep your boat on the trailer and next to the SUV / station wagon thing.
  13. RESTORED 1989 AQUASPORT OSPREY200,GONNA BE GOOD BAY AND INLET FISHING PLATFORM.WITH F-150 YAMAHA IT WILL GET YOU THERE QUICK.I ORDERED THE AQUASPORT NAME DECAL TO MAINTAIN ITS IDENTITY.SOLID HULL.:clock:TIME IS ON MY SIDE
  14. Fish Report 7/19/10 Sea Bass Flounder? Eh.. Et Tu SSC? Hi All, Sea bassing remains unchanged. That is, it changes everyday as fishing might, but in aggregate we're scratching up dinner and throwing a lot of fish back. Two days this week were much better than that. Much better. Another day we got a mile past sea buoy only to turn tail and run for home: Rough. Reschedules or refunds. Still another -perhaps rougher but with a saltier crew- boxed 'em up. Carry more grandkids this time of year. I try to keep it in mind. Flounder tease.. a few keepers plus 20-some shorts --the fluke we tag-- caught in with the cbass. Swell dies & picks up. A sustained calm should do it; Get'em fired-up. Hope. Caught a few mahi on the troll of late. Running at hull speed isn't entirely too fast; We catch a few fish a year just coming and going to the reefs. Even caught a mahi inside the Bass Grounds, about 7 miles out, last week. Pretty water. Mahi closer & closer. A trend. Up early. Rummage in the attic for all the goodies that we pull behind a moving boat. Some lures from decades ago--each a story, super-expensive stainless steel hooks, crimping sleeves, 250 pound test, more beads than a kindergarten summer camp: Some assembly required. Ready to give clients just a taste of offshore fishing. Perhaps wet their appetite for a trip on a charter boat or even a mega-yacht that 'charters' as a 'business'.. Ready. Chatter on the radio turns sour. What was clean, clear water has turned green. The fleet is turning offshore. C'mon oysters.. Ah well, throw some lures out anyway. There's still the kites and chum too - a few sharks. Young Gavin; who allowed he was, "..surprised to see fog this morning but glad that it burnt off so soon" -- And, after checking with Mom, knows he's going into 3rd grade, caught some keeper cbass and helped reel in a shark off the kite. Mission accomplished. One of 'em..... Among many efforts to get more people fishing--kids too; I think the single most important work is to make fishing better, to make fish populations more abundant so that catch may be increased. No matter the nation's economy, I promise this: When fishing is great, more people go fishing. I'm positive of that. In today's fisheries, however, it is often regulation that determines whether fishing is great or not. Saturday's clients caught a lot of fish but won't be inviting many neighbors to the fish-fry.. With this 'Fish Report' in past weeks, months & years I have tried to encourage a deeper look at methods of restoring our region's marine resources. We are now tied --inextricably bound to-- data sets in which similar verbalized utterance could get a person committed. Take for instance Maryland's shore fishing catch estimate of summer flounder in "Wave 5" -- Sept/Oct. In 2002 the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey --MRFSS, say "Murfs"-- estimate holds that 874 flounder were landed from shore in that two month late-summer/early-fall period; In 2003 the estimate rises to 978. That 10% increase is fair enough. In 2004, however, these poor shore fishers are thought to have caught zero/none/no fish. Bonanza the following year: In 2005 they are estimated to have caught 12,773. But - Darn the Luck!! - In 2006 these fishers again goose-egged, a big Zip/Zero/Nada in the cooler for '07.. Ahhhh, but in 2007 the sun and stars aligned.. A mad slaughter of 36,017 fish is estimated to have been carried home by Maryland's shore anglers in this same two month period.. Talk about patience rewarded. Then, less than half of the year before's catch; In 2008 14,962 flatties are thought to have been boxed-up from Maryland's shores.. Unfortunately, in 2009 all that shiny new tackle went unused as shore anglers are again thought to have caught Zero flounder... I suppose that there is a "Statistical" remedy here; That everything together --all these estimates-- are OK in a broader sense. I think that's BS. (bad statistics) Personally --though I'd believe 2002 & 2003-- I think the rest are as clearly thought out as if by an alcoholic who had won a shopping spree at State Line Liquors.. Just lunacy. Lots and lots of other data sets with similar characteristics. All backed to the very top by force of law. Crazy Uncle Murfs with his old, rusty double-barrel shotgun and a fresh fifth of whiskey; He's ready to kill any fishery. Sheriff, Natural Resources Police, State Police, Coast Guard Fisheries - All standing by, waiting with carbon copy forms and handcuffs. "Now you boys listen to your Uncle Murfs." Or Else. This is the modern fisheries dilemma. Everyone wants resurgent populations, but because managers have to use this type of data their credibility is following in true Coriolis fashion--Flushing counter-clockwise down the hopper. Distracted by WWI-like trenches charges; State & federal fishery managers must constantly defend these statistics from those affected by them--The set above indicative of why we have a 19 inch flounder size limit this year. Similarly, there was recently an "Emergency Closure" of sea bass and tighter regulation.. Our fishing village withers in economic pain while much of real restoration science remains unused because managers must, by law, listen to the voices in their hard-drive..... The voices of fishing's history, however, and from the yardsticks around the rail of my party boat, warn of bad things in wasting so much opportunity. Lately I have tried to offer management some indication of their miscalculations in sea bass restoration. I have asserted that, in itself, historical seafloor habitat decline in the mid-Atlantic would preclude restoration of past reef-fish populations without an aggressive habitat restoration policy; That habitat fidelity makes this an absolute imperative. Some hurdle. There is no science whatever on our region's corals and only the beginnings of charting existing reef remnants. ...given a drop camera cord of 60 or so fathoms I could video coral communities that no human has seen, but may well have been trawled upon last winter or suffered a scallop dredge last week. It is almost exclusively the footage from my 130 foot cord that has established any nearshore coral reef in the Mid-Atlantic. I have also pressed that sea bass's habitat fidelity necessitates tighter regional fishery controls because concentrated, multi-state, industrial effort in winter can cause real, unsustainable, damage to an area's cbass population - yet remain well within thresholds of current 'coast-wide' fisheries controls. I have asserted that size limits can control the number of fish in the spawning stock biomass both by natural means -More small fish join the spawning stock when surrounded by mostly other smalls- And via regulation which requires we make dead discard of some of the spawning stock --Here where fish under 10, perhaps even 11 inches, survive barotrauma of release out to 120 feet of water better than fish closer to and over 12 inches. In other words, management has not concerned itself at all with habitat issues for fish known to live only on reef; And are reducing the spawning population of this region's fishery through regulation. When fishing is great, more people go fishing. Fairness in regulation can determine whether fishing is great or not. I have, this week, had several indications that my theories have been dismissed out of hand because of the success of sea bass management in Massachusetts. You see, when everyone else was starting cbass management at 9 inches 15-some years ago; Massachusetts, with scarcely any fishery, went straight to a 12 inch commercial limit with tightly controlled landings and a 13 inch recreational limit of 20 fish.. POW! Their commercial cbass fishery is now like an Alaskan herring fishery: Measured in days I'm told, their state's commercial quota is caught very rapidly -- And all in state waters. All in state waters.. Hmmm. Massachusetts is well-known to have a rocky coast. Massachusetts state waters are pretty shallow too. And: Massachusetts is well known to have aggressive trawl-gear restrictions. ..maybe the stuff growing on rocks always stays in the productive habitat loop? And there's a lot of it? ..maybe all recreational and commercial trap released cbass live? ..maybe it's not possible to have multi-state effort occur yet remain undistinguished in catch reports? It's good to know that where there is a thriving, protected, rocky/reef-like ecology; A shallow water fishery where recreational release and commercial trap discard almost always means survival to rejoin the spawning stock; And tight, state controlled, access to a region's fishery -- Massachusetts is having great success with restoration: Very likely exceeding rebuilding targets. Somehow has a familiar ring to it.. Almost as though it supported rather than disproved my thoughts. Data in coastwide collection hides regional calamity. Dig deeper Science & Statistical Committee. Look for successes and failures in management, not the pretty bikini-clad statistics, so distracting in scientific allure, that deserve a straight-jacket: Look for real regional restorations and real regional crashes occurring under highly restrictive coast-wide management: Look for the lessons they offer. Soon. Our industry is dependant on it. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 Morning Star Fishing
  15. :glasses1:Pat Fitzgerald and his sons have fished with me for years. This year, the boys brought some friends along for a boat-load of six, including Pat, sons Jimmy and Tommy and friends, Matthew, Jacob, and Brandon. We headed out of New Pass Thursday morning, 7/1, to fish in 44 feet. The boys caught a mess of yellowtail snapper and kept two of those that were 14 inches. They also caught a few nice whitebone porgies to 15 inches, along with a 44-inch king mackerel. We caught a big blue runner, about 4 ½ pounds, and used him as bait to hook and release a huge goliath grouper—I estimated him at about 375 pounds and about as big around as an oil-drum! We also released small mangrove snapper, triggerfish, Spanish mackerel and porgies. Friday, 7/2, Scott and Jeanette Thron and friends, Mike Radkin and Jerry Vojtush, had hoped to spend a full-day fishing offshore. But, after checking the weather forecast, I had to tell them that we’d likely be lucky to get a half-day in before the rains. So, we headed out of New Pass with intentions to fish as long as we could. We did well with hogfish, catching four of them, three of which were keepers to 16 ½ inches. We also caught eight keeper mangrove snapper to 14 inches, keeper porkfish to 12 inches and some keeper whitebone porgies, all on live shrimp. We released smaller porgies and yellowtail snapper, along with a 90-pound goliath grouper that bit a 25-inch mackerel. We made it in just before the heavy rains began so we got wet while cleaning fish but, at least, we were off the water. After a rainy weekend over the 4th of July holiday, long-time customers, Dennis and Jamie Riddell brought their friends, Doyce & Kay Paine along to fish offshore with me on Monday morning, 7/5. We fished with live shrimp in 34 feet, off of Naples. Dennis caught a keeper gag grouper at 23 inches and Jamie caught two keeper hogfish, 13 ½ and 15 inches. The group also caught a half dozen keeper mangrove snapper to 15 inches. We had tried to catch a grouper on a pinfish at one point, reeled in the bait and had it hanging just at the water’s surface to lure a cobia, when a 4-foot bull shark bit the pinfish—we released him, along with some smaller mangrove snapper and undersized triggerfish. Tuesday morning, the rains held off but seas were pretty sloppy early in the day, having been churned up by storms the evening before. I headed offshore with Tanner Rust and family to 45 feet, and we decided not to venture further than that in the sloppy conditions. The boys had a great time with goliath grouper, hooking and releasing seven of those, to 150 pounds. They also released mangrove and yellowtail snapper shorts, short red grouper and short gag grouper to 21 inches. They caught a mess of good-sized whitebone porgies and grunts so they could have something to cook after their day of goliath adventures. Tim Otterlee and his three young sons fished Wednesday morning with me, over live-bottom in about 35 feet, near-shore, where we caught keeper mangrove and lane snapper, porgies and Spanish mackerel. We released red grouper shorts. Robert Duhlberg was in town on business, along with his boss, Lair, so the two snuck away for a morning of fishing in Estero Bay on Thursday. We used live shrimp to catch eleven trout, though only one was keeper size at 16 inches. We also caught fifteen mangrove snapper, two of which were keepers. Monday morning, 7/12, Frank Krumm and his twelve-year-old son, Jordan, fished in 75 feet with me, using live shrimp. They caught six keeper yellowtail snapper and released smaller ones, along with porgies and triggerfish. They had planned to fish all day, but decided they'd had enough heat by 1PM, so we returned then. The photo shown is of young angler Alex Bayer, with a 28-inch kingfish, caught on shrimp on a recent offshore trip.
  16. Fish Report 7/11/10 East Wind Broadside of a Barn Message to SSC Hi All, This week past was not a hum-dinger. Monday a Grady-White outboard came screaming by with more people aboard than I had. Ouch. Had its moments though.. Hot & hotter, the heat finally broke in an east wind. Wonderful relief. By Friday that wind had produced a deep bodied wave-set that likely made local surfers go to work late and leave early. Swells to 8 feet but with a fair distance between them; conditions reminded me of approaching tropical weather. Seemed to make the sea bass snap though. Friday we had the best, most consistent, bite in a while. Current forecast at http://weather.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/fmtbltn.pl?file=forecasts/marine/coastal/an/anz650.txt Kite's been up quite a bit. Chum out. Mahi, several small sharks, one bruiser deep that we probably didn't have a bait big enough for and a good hammerhead that came up hot ..right after we pulled all the gear to make a move. Some get caught, they all make a sight.. Especially the 6 foot ocean sunfish that chilled down-current no more than 5 feet astern.. It's fishing. I am having some clients get into the mid-teens on cbass--certainly no majority, just high-hook. Scratch up dinner & hope to see something big. Perhaps the fluke will turn on as this easterly swell settles. Did catch a few keepers before it developed. Catching cbass is plenty fine and tasty, but let a couple head-shaking fluke come over the rail and most will switch gears to go after the flatties. . . . . . Three feet of slender energy; a houndfish dashes away -bounding- with 30 some leaps in the early morning sun. Escape. Couple flicks of the tail would have put it out of harm's way. The calories used evading my boat were wasted. While its instinctive response made an enjoyable sight, it wasn't about to be eaten. Clients have to fish for what's biting. Don't waste effort on flounder until we see them; Worry with the tog next winter. Managers also have to watch how they expend their efforts, need to see through the smoke & mirrors of their own paperwork for real success and real failure, need to stop wasting recreational fishing's economic potential in search of safety from that big mean boat shadow - the paper-tiger of MRFSS asserted overfishing.. Crunched some numbers to see what the difference in the years might be for this week. Not a very sound or useful comparison but factual. Here-goes: In 2000 we averaged 11.37 sea bass per person last week ~ 54.01 in 2003 ~ 22.13 in 2004 and 33.92 in 2010. I'm sure client satisfaction was the worst in 2004 because most of those folks had limited out with me the year before: They had far higher expectations. This year's client caught more yet kept fewer, but bigger, fish. It's just a one week snapshot in a handful of years. If management similarly compared same-fisher's catch rates of sea bass over larger time scales then the truth of "regional" importance to management --as opposed to an all-inclusive "coast-wide" mounding of data-- would be easily seen. Using the same mandatory fishing vessel trip reports (VTRs) they could get a sense of habitat's importance too.... Among many, I have a spot I call Franky Two Fingers' Rock. It's a small spot, a couple square yards of emergent hard-bottom that has avoided trawl impact for 15 years or more. Well grown in; had a nice shot of fish off it one day this week. Two pound bass, 3 pounder, flurry of keepers, a cod and a couple good tog on clam.. Sometimes a reef goes hot--the bite is on. Usually when tog bite sea bass rigs it's time to get with some serious fishing -- Unless tog are the only fish biting sea bass baits.. that will probably be a long day for all aboard. Point is: This rock patch is small, real small. Even with the hyper-precision of GPS I'll have to make a few passes to locate it. Any small hard-spot, be it Clay or fossil-laden sandstone; Granite or waterlogged wooden shipwreck; Concrete or steel -- Even a piled-up lost gill net: So long as it ain't sand -and sits still- it becomes, through the growth upon it, hard-bottom reef. I hold that in the mid-Atlantic we have lost a fantastic percentage of a once vibrant --but susceptible to damage-- reef community. It wasn't beach replenishment where sand bars are dug into and pumped ashore to protect a tax base; It's not the marshes filled then built upon and from where property-tax dollars now flow: It is fishing gear towed by some of the hardest working men and very often good men; Gear that sometimes scrapes growth off rock, Gear that has liquefied clay fields to near-gone, Gear that picks up smaller rock for deposit elsewhere, Gear that simply flips rock over smothering whatever was growing upon it. An easy solution to restoring the productivity of stern-towed gear impacted areas would be simply banning all the gears. In those places where the physical substrate remains we'd get fantastic growth, a real resurgence of life, starting in under a decade. Bolstered by select restoration using artificial reef we could improve many-fold even on that. But that would be like the red snapper reef closure to our south which robs a coast of their hard-earned fishery; Especially right now when they would have a jubilee of clients. Ban & closure accomplish much. So can training-wheels and an adult hand balance a toddler on a bicycle: "Mommy, I did it!" Fiddle. Regulating the surf-clam fishery was the first work of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. In the difficulties of creating sound regulation, of creating control in what was an all-out free-for-all, men died. The first-ever U.S. individual fishery quota or "IFQ" as solution, the industry is now almost wholly owned by a few corporations. Very well funded, deeply entrenched, influential: Where fishers have size limits that go up when populations dip, clammers have quotas that stay the same and size limits 'suspended.' How nice for them. Ten tons of dredge, more, with high-pressure water jets that cut the bottom--liquefy it--so that clams tumble into the dredge. It's the most destructive stern-towed fishing gear in the world. I am certain that this fishery can exist harmoniously with reef. I'm also certain that, in times past, it didn't. Trawling has a gentle touch compared to clamming. It too can coexist with reef but hasn't. First management has to recognize where our reef-dwelling fish live & then protect--in remarkably fine scale--those habitats. To date we have 'discovered' no natural reef in the mid-Atlantic save in the canyons some sixty and more miles out & in 600 feet of water.. To my knowledge there's no data on our nearshore natural reefs. There's scarcely even any interest. Those couple rocks I call Franky's are in 95 feet of water. They are among what's left after fishing's industrial revolution. There's more. Need to take the training wheels off. The simple biological truth that habitat is crucial in fisheries restoration must be dealt with. There will be very few instances where real, firm & lasting fishery restoration can be accomplished without habitat restoration. Whether it's food supply in prey base, the very difficult task of restoring water quality or "epibenthic faunal communities" that most would simply call Reef: Habitat consideration is a necessary component of fishery restoration. That bad data can destroy businesses also needs to be accounted. The Courtiers who delight in "The Emperor's New Clothes" demonstrate their paper-rebuildings with smokey data sets whose values drift like fashion. For real restoration the data must be brought closer to truth. Data in coastwide collection hides regional calamity. I once heard that building the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel caused the collapse of croaker; That the pilings took so much suitable sand habitat away that the species collapsed.. Pretty remarkable assertion. I'm sure some think the same of mine. Spatially challenged; How much sand bottom was left in the Chesapeake after the bridge pilings were constructed.. how much was gained in the loss of the oyster. Still, I think it can be very difficult to envision how much area these reefs I write of--and fish on--actually occupy; How much of the seafloor really is reef. More importantly, one day we'll need to know how much reef once was, how big an area has been lost. . . . Hand-sawn and hewn, Pennsylvanian barns from the 1800s are a wonder. Sometimes made of chestnut: those trees, the whole species, is now lost to blight. Unlike loss of marine reef, the tree's clearing made for vital tillable farmland and wood for construction. The blight that wiped them out did not take the woodland creatures too: There are other trees. A wealthy landowner in that time may have been able to contract construction of a barn built with clear lumber--boards without knots. Yet upon completion, and despite best effort, a few boards have small knots. You'll have to really look for them in that 100 by 30 foot side but they're there; allowed because they're insignificant in the side of a barn. Stretch the side of that barn to 100 miles of coast and out 30 miles: Now the knots, those very few knots, represent an idea of how much reef there is -- including our modern artificial and accidental reef. Paint a few whole boards, not just the knots, an odd color and we might approach an idea of what reef once was. At sea I ride over mile after mile of sand I know there is no use of dropping a line on save perhaps the chance intersection of school fish. Two anchors tight--catching--requires precise adjustment so all are over small reef. Plenty of room for trawling and clamming, scalloping too further offshore. Just watch the knots. When the Science & Statistical Committee (SSC) meets this week I hope they see that there can be no possible natural restoration of each region's black sea bass population. Each local stock will either be engineered --managed-- for increased spawning population that bolsters economic output; Or be made to appear as a natural stock might have--an illusion in the modern era--with lower fecundity: Size limits are key. In either event, without reef's discovery & attempted restoration, one could say management hasn't hit the broad side of a barn. Management's rebuilding of reef species with no grasp whatsoever of needed supporting habitats; fishers are now squeezed against mandatory population rebuilding timelines. It's costing us our livelihoods. ..help Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 Morning Star Fishing
  17. Put the boat over at Wise Piont monday around 7am and headed out to the CBBT. I very quickly realized that the weather man had missed the wind predictions for the day as the chop was around 4ft. Took my time and made it to the 4th island for some spade fishing. I sat on the ocean side for most of the morning with no luck. I had a ton of hickory chad in my clam chum and they kept stealing my bait. I did manage a nice 24 1/2 inch flounder while jigging on the bottom. I moved to another spot that had produced spades last year and was rewarded. I had a limit of 2-3 lb fish in an hour and headed back in much calmer water. Got home and the wife and i took our year old son to the pool. It was a great way to end the holiday weekend and an even better dinner last night!!! Hope everyone had a safe and wonderful 4th!
  18. We are having a great fun filled summer of fishing here in Edgewater Florida and Mosquito Lagoon. On my backcountry trips we have been catching all the summer species with fast fun action from all kinds of saltwater fish as listed below. On the Mosquito Lagoon, Redfish and Seatrout are being caught on each trip with the summer pattern of Redfish on the shallow flats and Seatrout on the deeper drop-offs. Pictured is my regular client George with a great Redfish, on George’s trip along with his 2 grandsons we caught 6 Reds and many Trout. Also pictured is new client Jerry with his 26” Seatrout, on this trip along with his 2 friends we caught 10 Reds up to 27”and several other smaller Trout. Come fish with me on beautiful Mosquito Lagoon for flats fishing, we will target Redfish, Seatrout.This type of sight fishing can be challenging and very rewarding when you hook up with a drag pulling Redfish,or Trout. Good for experienced anglers or the less experienced anglers looking for a new fishing challenge. Or you could try one of my Indian River Backcountry Fishing trips, that is mixed bag fishing for Seatrout, Redfish, Black Drum, Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish, Bluefish, Snapper, & many more saltwater fish. On the average Backcountry trip we catch between 10 and 15 (or more) different species of saltwater fish.You never know what will bite with this type of fishing, mainly drift fishing while free lining live shrimp on light tackle make for lots of rod bending and drag pulling. Fun for experienced anglers and an easy way for less experienced anglers to be successful at catching lots of fish. MY BOAT COMFORTABLY ACCOMMODATES 1 TO 4 ANGLERS Located close to DAYTONA BEACH, NEW SMYRNA BEACH and ORLANDO, FLORIDA. Feel free to contact me at any time with questions you may have about my fishing charters. CHILDREN ALWAYS WELCOME – FAIR PRICES Capt. Michael Savedow Edgewater River Guide, Inc. 386-689-3781 email> EdgewaterRiverGuide@cfl.rr.com website> Daytona Beach,Orlando,New Smyrna,Mosquito Lagoon,Redfish,Fishing Guide, Charter Fishing
  19. Was our first trip this year caught 4 in about 2.5 hrs. The Gods smiled on us and gave one for diner The boat ran great which is an achievement all to its self and we had a great day on the H20. Can't ask for much more than that. :eusa_dance:
  20. Springtime has progressed to the hot weather of summer. Along with this change comes changes in the fishing. With a few changes in techniques, the action will continue to keep fish pulling on the line and anglers smiling. Offshore, the search for dolphin becomes a matter of covering more ground and sometimes traveling further offshore. In on the reef, the downrigger and bottom outfits will start producing better than the flat lines on most days. You can expect action with kingfish, AJ’s, and muttons on the bottom rig. Bonito become the predominant fish and will leave many anglers with sore arms and backs. Inshore, the tarpon action out along the beach has slowed down. The good news, however, is that they are in the Bay and feeding with a vengeance. With all that said, let’s get caught up again with the individual trips aboard Knot Nancy. Alex and his friends caught dolphin offshore before motion sickness took over and we had to run back in to calmer water. The fish were under birds and around floating debris. The next evening, the same group caught tarpon at Government Cut on the south side using crabs. James, Mark, and Sharon Banta picked a beautiful weather day for their dolphin trip. Searching was the name of the game and changing techniques produced once we found the fish. The schools were small and didn’t want to stick around to long before moving on. At one point it took switching to trolling small lures to get them going. James got to catch a few fish on his fly rod much to his delight. On the way in we found a very good weed line and that’s where we found a larger school of fish that stayed around longer. A fish fry with dolphin fillets was the plan for that evening. Sherman Gambill and Andy Sun took good advantage of the afternoon/evening trip that I offer. We had to work hard to fill the livewell with bait, but it got accomplished after three bait spots were visited. Within minutes of putting out the first baits and slow trolling, we had action with bonito that kept both anglers busy. Once we made it out to the depth I wanted to start in, a drift was set up. The flatlines saw first action in the form of dolphin in 180’. Andy got the 18 pound fish and Sherman caught the schoolie. The bottom rod saw action with a mutton snapper. The wind finally picked up enough to fly the ex-light kite which produced a barracuda for Andy and Sherman’s first sailfish. We capped off the trip with tarpon action at Government Cut with Sherman catching his first tarpon. The next trip to Government had Aaron Demers catching and releasing a permit and Jeff Demers catching his first tarpon. In the Bay, we jumped one tarpon before calling it an evening, Richard Chase and his grandson Rick fished a late afternoon trip that started slow and picked up speed as the trip progressed. We started straight out from Government Cut with the action being slow. When the north current pushed us to the middle of the Anchorage area, things changed quickly. Slow trolling herring in 90-120 feet gave us steady action with kingfish on the flatlines. When that action slowed, we moved out to 180 feet and as soon as I set Knot Nancy into a drift, the downrigger popped and the kingfish action picked back up again. Meanwhile, the flatlines also got hit and both Richard and Rick were very busy with bent rods and line screaming off their reels. Besides the kingfish, the bonito also got in on the action too. The last evening trip made to Government Cut for tarpon was with Robert Oldin and his friend Mike. Neither had caught a tarpon and were eager to do battle with one. The action along the beach was non-existent. After the tide changed and it got dark, we moved into the Bay and things changed quickly. After setting up and putting out the baits, it only took about 5 minutes for the craziness to start. The tarpon pulled hard, jumped a lot, and had the anglers running around the boat. When it was time to head back to TNT Marine Center, the final score was 4 for 4 with two very amazed and happy anglers. Knot Nancy is currently at Birdsall Marine getting a new upholstery make over. My next scheduled trip is on July 18. In the meantime, call or email to get your trip scheduled to take advantage of the good Bay tarpon and reef action. Captain Dave Kostyo Knot Nancy Fishing Charters, Inc 305-965-9454 Charter Fishing in Miami and Miami Beach for Sailfish, Tarpon, Dolphin and Kingfish aboard the Knot Nancy nkostyo@bellsouth.net
  21. Fish Report 7/4/10 Sea Bass, Fluke & Mahi An Angry Wife Hotspots Hi All, Been many years where we didn't lose a day to windy weather in June. Lost three this week. Did get out Tuesday with an extra-light crowd. Pretty day, cbass biting well, a few tog on Gulp sand eels, mahi trying to steal the show.. Was our first mahi of the year. Used to call them dolphin, then dorado. Restaurants were under intense pressure not to sell dolphin from a letter writing campaign in the early/mid-80s. Sakes, the writers thought the longline & 'recreationally' caught & sold fish were bottlenose dolphin: Flipper. The Hawaiian moniker, mahi-mahi, apparently sold dinners better - now shortened. So a pair of mahi came in under the boat hungry for that world-famous bluewater bait, clam. Fed one on a fairly light spinner; Gave the rod --with a now-very-active & jumping fish-- to a lady who's been out with us many times. "I don't know what to do!" OK, so it's her sister that's been out with us many times.. She did fine. Ritch's gaff shot stilled the fish; Pictures taken before colors fade: Fishing is good. Another angler that day was a real surprise to have aboard. Just out of the hospital & still recovering from a stroke, an old sea-dog that's done near every kind of fishing in the ocean; he had hopped aboard at the last minute. "Yeah, Monty, my wife gave me the credit card. Told me to get the heck out of the house. You got any room?" I'm sure he was high-hook; That he caught more fish than anyone else.. His wife, who knows an awful lot about getting people well after illness or injury, was positively livid when we got back in. Near a month in hospitals; Doctors' orders were bed-rest & therapy. The old skipper had a different therapy in mind.... Some had a good day Friday--excellent perhaps. Fellow won the pool second time running. Others aboard scarcely scratched up dinner. Saturday's weather was as close to "Perfect" as this ocean offers. Cool, calm, a light westerly breeze. Sea bass biting pretty good.. tapering. Keeper flounder in the net. Another. One guy limited, flat-fish to 5 pounds aboard. On the last wreck, the last stop, we did not catch a sea bass - only flounder, summer flounder; They call 'em fluke north of us. So it goes. You're not going to rush out and buy a new freezer on our account for a day's fishing, but we are catching dinner. Occasionally better. Targeting sea bass & fluke. Sometimes we'll catch both. Sometimes just one or the other.. Hope never neither! If you want to know exactly what we're going to catch and how big they'll be you'll have to wait till we get back in. It's fishing............ Got a heads-up about a "Pre-Decision Webinar." (seminar on the web, yes?) The Councils' Science and Statistical Committee will soon be dealing with several species of fish dear to us along the coast. No striped bass so off the radar for most Marylanders.. Flounder though.. I've read through some of the material. Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Meeting Materials Will try to get to all of it. Consider this a comment to the SSC's pre-decision meeting. May want to send it along to your state's fishery representatives. The data --in coastwide collection-- is given to the best and brightest in our region's fisheries to review before setting future quotas. It's therefore brutally important that it be right. Just my thoughts. Here goes. There's a recent graph showing age at maturity for cbass, the age at joining the spawning population. It shows that at 13.38 inches 100% of sea bass have joined the spawning stock. I believe similar work from 1991 showed how ALL sea bass had already spawned, some twice, by 9 inches. Both assertions are true depending on the variables of size-limit regulation & fishing pressure. We can see, have seen, all of our region's cbass in the spawning stock at age one. (From memory that's roughly between 6 3/4 & 9 1/2 inches. 'Age one' is the second year of life -- 0 to 12 months being age zero.) A super-abundant spawning stock is what we saw prior to the first creel limit in 2002; That, as any species might, our region's cbass joined the spawning population as soon as possible under heavy fishing pressure. It's part of -instrumental to- why our region's stock expanded so nicely under our self imposed and then, later, Federal/State 9 inch size limit regulation. An immediate effect of creating a larger average size fish by upping size limits and then adding creel limits was that age one fish did not join the spawning class.. Then age two also failed to recruit among the spawners.. Wasn't it fun to limit-out the whole boat on jumbo cbass more days than not in '03 -- To have clients select only 15 inch or better fish.. The stock mushroomed. And crashed. This story is very complex. These fish all start life female; only some transition to male.. And they are all genetically programmed to return to a specific place to spawn. What a philopatrist might call habitat fidelity; Perhaps in sea bass we'll one day discover the behavior is natal fidelity--think salmon and their well-known return 'home' to spawn.. What I see in the fishery here, and I do not/can not see the whole coast--Just here--is that where the population bubble of all legal-sized spawners --and no sub-legal spawners-- was under intense fishing pressure, it collapsed. That is why a 1/2 day boat could go 6 miles out in 2003 and have some clients catch 25 fish limits, yet go to that same spot now -today- and catch very few with no keepers. Areas under less intense fishing pressure faired better but were not unscathed. There's a whole lot of sub-legal spawners out there now. A happy accident..... Another chart, a pie chart, in the meeting materials shows 14% of the total sea bass catch --including commercial-- as recreational discard. When we sports think of the fish shoveled by the rail as dead discards in a commercial fishery we should know that we too have our regulatory dead discards: Our own bycatch. Don't want it. Certainly wouldn't feed sea bass to the sharks or gulls if we weren't forced to. Commercials either. In total, 18% of the whole sea bass catch from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod is thought to drift away dead but unused; That >25% of the recreational catch is lost to regulatory discard mortality. That's a lot of cbass.. And it's a bunch of stuff. Barnyard stuff from over in the bull pen. No, this too is a complex story involving depth, weather conditions, feeding behaviors, hook selection & size regulation: The WAG that we have 25% release mortality gives terrible disservice to all fishers. I tried last year to show scientists that there was a correlation between size and release mortality, That bigger fish are more susceptible to barotrauma than smaller fish, That releasing 9 and 10 inch fish --even 10 1/2-- is fine even in quite deep water, But in over 110 feet of water some 11 & 12 inch fish are lost--can not recover suitable air bladder pressure before over-heating kills them. In two trips with fishery staff aboard we couldn't kill a fish on release - even in 125 feet of water - even with up to 8 minute float times. They all lived. I'm now confident this is because the fish were feeding well up in the water column, that their air bladders were adjusted for 90 feet or so--this 30 feet off the bottom and therefore the air bladder's expansion wasn't as traumatic. So far this year cbass are often holding tight to the bottom, a different feeding behavior. Just in the last two weeks my clients have had to indulge me in the time it took to collect dead fish drifting far behind the boat 3 times: All were measured; Almost all were thrown back again as required by law. Despite catching numerous fish at these locations as small as 7 1/4 inches, only one of the dead discards was below 10 inches. The majority were over 11 inches, many were 12 and a bit - nearly legal. One was 12 3/4. We ate that one. If you are interested in and might understand a really detailed hypothesis that considers gill size, heart rates, blood volumes and why there might be a consideration in how age/size of the fish matters in barotrauma you'd want to contact Rudy Lukacovic with MD DNR. He's a real scientist - I just provide observations. Among the dead-discards I have observed this year - under no circumstance was the mortality rate 25%. Less than 10% more likely & that only on very few days in very specific conditions. But what of its aggregate.... I hold that by size limit and fishing pressure we control at what age cbass join the spawning stock. Also by size limit we control what percentage of sea bass become dead discard. If believed, one could see where regulatory indiscretion, management lacking depth of consideration, might push the stock backward. The biggest problem I see is that if this collection of data were perfectly correct, this mountain of facts, figures & numbers whole & complete; Within it restoration still could not be found without major adjustment to management's philosophy & action. On our present course the size limit will continue to go up until most of our quota is taken by discard mortality; That eventually we will kill far more on release than what sizzle in hot oil. That by Regulation, As required by Law, we will have become like the pelagic sealers of just over a century ago, the men who shot seals for fur & oil that lost at least two thirds of their kills as they sank away. They didn't care. There were more, far more, to shoot..* In this present-day growing-size-limit style of management the whole spawning stock is allowed into the fishery--'recruited' they might say. The fish drifting away dead are those tasked with replacing what we've caught, with spawning: They can't spawn dead..... In practice what is occurring is loss of interest by anglers; There are things more fun than winding up sea bass and throwing them back. To those concerned with only the paper population models as a target, any reduction is good that increases populations. A "Fishery" however, must encompass the human-use side of these populations.. where fishing businesses fail so has management. (*From "The Unnatural History of the Sea" by Callum Roberts -- 2007 -- Wow! Just picked it up, a quarter way in..) Hold up. Nevermind the spawning stock a minute: How in Great Blazes can we expect to rebuild a reef-dwelling species if no one goes to check on the reefs? I suspect we'll find that habitat fidelity --combined with certain stern-towed fishing gear's ability to destroy that habitat-- was pretty important in restoration. Reef fishing's hotspots are simply places with less pressure, their production less encumbered and perhaps even unhindered by hook, trap or tow. Habitat restoration simply multiplies the amount of productive bottom, the number of hotspots and, hopefully, will do so in advance of increasing fishing effort. Those that argue in favor of "Natural" habitat restoration need be very patient - Another ice-age or two should do. Rock, Concrete & Steel. Add salt water - Reef forms. Fish spawn there. Clients of restaurants, party boats & guvmint management can then enjoy fish dinners, sport and economic stability. It's among a few simple truths.. ..while the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey --MRFSS-- is not. The scientific community responsible for seeking truth in this data ought to screen it far more carefully than the present dogmatic --For the Truth Is Written Here-- crowd would have. Put some of those data sets on Jeff Foxworthy's "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" and see what passes their sniff test.. An estimate of 36,017 flounder caught from shore in two months when the average is thought to be about 5,000 -- And even then half of the sets have a zero value.. Acceptance of such rubbish causes severe economic repercussions and loss of fisher's faith in management; Leads to 19 inch size limits, shortened seasons & Emergency Closures.. More. Plenty more. Fiddle. Starting with the megafaunal (large animal) mass extinctions at the end of the Paleolithic era due, I think, to advances in making stone points (think mammoths but there are many others) we have continued to wear away on earth's species list with our technological improvements in capture. If fishery managers are to succeed where whale and seal management all but failed, then they too must seek better use of their technologies. I do not want my clients to come fishing only on the hope of great gambling profits, of some lucky lottery tag or million dollar dead fish; I want the catching--while safeguarding for the future; The fun and camaraderie of good sport, The seeking of good fish, And the dishwashing at day's end.. Management now, inadvertently, carries us further from those goals. The "Emergency Sea Bass Closure" last fall was due to a statistical system failure and a management failure. Had these systems been correct it would have been a greater failure still: At no time should our regulations allow a whole coast's sea bass quota to be captured in one small region. Ever. Lower the size limit on sea bass a half inch a year to eleven inches so that "Released" always means "Returned to spawn another day" & also so that more age one fish join the spawning stock. Incorporate habitat into management both in restoration and susceptibility to over-pressure so that real restoration can begin: Divide the stock into management units to protect each region's population from the greatest overpressures in winter & similarly upon the most nearshore reefs. Swift and huge increases can be had in the amount of natural reef simply by protecting barren rock bottoms that are not lost; They regrow to productivity in under a decade. And, lost as Atlantis; Perhaps tubeworm colonies were once more important seafloor habitat than hardbottoms. I have witnessed these frail habitat makers run through succession identical to an artificial reef's or regrown/recolonized rocks: Juvenile fish settlement, maturing, spawning, increasing numbers and continued controlled harvest. Now I can't find any tube worms. At all. It's all anecdotal, I didn't think to film any. They're gone. Could come back. A great deal of this sea bass discussion also has applications to other reef species such as summer flounder and tautog. It likely has merit with more southern reef species such as red snapper too. Numbers on paper with values that shift like smoke are at no time as firm as anchors down, poles bent & banknote due: We --All Fishers-- need restoration to work. As the war for our nation's independence was fought one battle at a time, so too will fisheries restoration be won. Find the habitat. Make every release count. Increase the spawning stock. Restoration can be carried far beyond present expectation. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 Morning Star Fishing
  22. It was a great Independence Day! My wife and I took the Grady out for an afternoon cruise of the Poquoson, and York River here in Virginia. Everyone with a boat was out having a good time on or in the water. I always love to see the colors flying so I thought I would share some of the pictures I took while out yesterday. Treasure and hold dear your freedoms!
  23. Report: Fishing law enforcers used fines to buy luxury boat, vehicles without oversight
  24. There are plenty of light tackle anglers out there. The challenge of catching fish with smaller gear or line is greater when you're trying to reel in the big fish. A few anglers take it a step further - trying to turn their passion into a world line-class record. Few are better at it than Virginia Beach dentist Julie Ball. Ball, an area representative to the International Game Fish Association, said she had 12 world line-class records to her credit. She now can say 13. Ball finally met another goal two weeks ago, tackling a 74-pound cobia on 20-pound test line to set the women's record for that line class. Twenty-pound line doesn't sound like light tackle, but it is when it's spooled on a spinning rod and you're fighting a big cobia. "I've had my eye on that record for about three years," Ball said. "But it's always been something - a buoy or pilings or something - so it never ever worked out." Things fell into place nicely on this trip, though. Ball was fishing with Jason Legg and Capt. Rudy Lavasseur - a pair of accomplished sight-casters (meaning they look for fish to cast to). Ball said she was getting a drink when she noticed that the two men had quit talking before shouting to her: "Julie, this one is your record." Ball dropped her iced tea, grabbed her rod and spotted the fish the two were talking about. She begged for the fish to "please eat, please eat" after making her first cast. It did - instantly going on a line-peeling run right at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Ball and her crew were able to turn the fish, which got close enough to the boat where they almost had a chance to gaff and land it. The cobia, though, skirted off, sounded, then settled in for a grueling fight. After 1 hour and 40 minutes of back and forth, Ball had her record - which turned out to be about 3 1/2 pounds heavier than the existing mark. Ball said she now wants to set her sights on several flyrod world records. "I've been so busy lately with work and IGFA stuff that I haven't been fishing as much as usual," she said. "So I really want to make my trips count now." Lee Tolliver, (757) 222-5844, lee.tolliver@pilotonline.com Source: Hamptonroads.com
  25. “No oil—No spoil Our Beaches are Clean—Our Waters Pristine” Mike Mercer and friend, Bill, were hoping to hook some big fish when they fished offshore with me Tuesday morning, 6/15. They got lucky: Between them, they caught and carefully released eight goliath grouper, ranging in size from 30 inches to 56 inches, fishing over rock piles with Spanish mackerel and blue runners as bait. Bill also hooked a big kingfish, on shrimp, but the fish ran out about 150 yards, got a loop in the line, swam back toward the boat and pulled off. We also released a 4 foot sand-shark, along with short triggerfish and yellowtail snapper. The guys also went home with some good eatin’ fish, including six keeper mangrove snapper to 14 inches and a mess of whitebone porgies. Rick Lang and his three young sons, Tim, Chris and Ben, fished in 38 to 45 feet with me Wednesday morning. The boys had fun catching and releasing four goliath grouper to approximately 100 pounds: the smaller the angler, the more impressive the enormity of those fish! Dolphins showed up at my favorite snapper hole, so we moved from there and went to another spot where we caught nine keeper Spanish mackerel to 23 inches, grunts and whitebone porgies. We released short triggerfish, three 19-inch gag grouper shorts, and small red grouper and snapper. The boys were cut off a few times, probably by king mackerel but, after the goliaths weakened their arms, they weren't too sad about that! Saturday, with calm seas offshore, I headed out of New Pass, with a bait-well full of live shrimp, to 70 feet with James Seay, his girlfriend, Sunny Green, and friends Les Heller and Jordan Dykftra. The group was most interested in grouper and they caught three keeper red grouper, one 21 inches and a pair of 22-inchers. They also caught keeper yellowtail and mangrove snapper to 14 inches, and a mess of nice-sized whitebone porgies. They released short red grouper and snapper. Chris Morrow, Dave Bayer, Dave’s son, Alex Bayer, age eleven, Bob Schneider, Bob’s son, Zack Scneider, age eight, and Buck Bachara, the boys’ grandfather, all fished Monday morning, 6/21, with me in 35 feet of water, west of New Pass. It was the official first day of summer and it surely felt like it, with temps approaching 90 early in the day. Fishing was pretty hot too, and we caught a variety of species. We got one kingfish, 28 inches long, and were broken off by a larger one. We also caught eight keeper Spanish mackerel, two hogfish, one of which was a keeper at 15 inches, ten keeper porgies, and a mess of grunts. We released small mangrove snapper and red grouper shorts, along with two goliath grouper at 30 pounds and 60 pounds. There were three cobia swimming around the boat at one point, and we did hook one of those, but one of the goliath grouper got to it before we could reel it in. Gregg Runge and son, Jay, fished with me Tuesday, about 37 miles west of New Pass and at a few ledges on the way in, using live shrimp. Winds had picked up and there was a good sized swell offshore. We also ran through a big rainstorm on the way in, so it took a while longer to get to our fish-cleaning. The guys caught three very large whitebone porgies, at twenty inches plus, along with keeper mangrove snapper. We released red grouper to 19 1/2 inches, just short of keeper-size, as well as undersized triggerfish, small snapper and grunts. Jay also caught and released a 45-inch sandbar shark. Wednesday morning, Jason Dempsey fished Estero Bay with me, using live shrimp. We caught a half dozen keeper mangrove snapper to 12 inches and released a bunch of shorter ones. We also caught two keeper sheepshead, 13 and 14 inches, and two keeper redfish, 19 inches and 21 inches. Chris and Jan Heapy fished Estero Bay’s islands with me Friday morning, 6/25. Using shrimp, Jan landed a 16-inch trout. The couple also caught five keeper mangrove snapper and released lots of smaller snapper. The Mike Bochman family reserved a few days of fishing in June with me many months ago. Saturday morning, we took off for the first of those and headed offshore, where we fished in 33-to-45 feet. The calm winds we had the beginning of this week had picked up quite a bit and were out of the east, about 15 knots. Seas were a little sloppy but we did fine. The group caught a keeper lane snapper, a keeper yellowtail snapper, and a mess of whitebone porgies 13-14 inches. They released short mangrove snapper, red grouper and triggerfish. We had what would have been a keeper gag grouper hooked, but a barracuda helped himself to all but the head portion of that. We casted that back in and caught the ‘cuda on a light spinning rod, with a piece of wire. Mike photographed the 47-inch barracuda and we released it. We also saw a 9-foot lemon shark, which circled the boat three times. Mike Bochman, son John, Dennis Ring and son, Dennis Jr. had fished with me on Saturday, 6/26 and did so again on Monday and Tuesday, 6/28 and 6/29. Saturday, we focused on catching some good-to-eat fish, but we also released a big barracuda, which got the boy’ adrenalin surging for catching some big ones. Monday, we released eleven goliath grouper, ranging in size from 25 pounds to 100 pounds. We used Spanish mackerel and blue runners for bait, and the group returned with sore arms and a lot of stories to tell! The Bochman group, comprised Tuesday of Mike Bochman, Dennis Ring and friends, Marty and Kevin, finished out their fishing adventures with an inshore, catch-and-release trip in Estero Bay, where the group released a mess of mangrove snapper, six of which were keeper-size, two 14-inch sheepshead, small redfish and crevalle jack. The photo shown is of angler, James Seay, with a 22-inch red grouper, caught on shrimp on a recent offshore trip.