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Found 302 results

  1. Got a question about Rocks this happened to a friend of mine and me the same night. My Buddy had 2 nice rocks that he had caught and had on ice for 2 days I had 2 nice rocks that I had caught and had on ice for less than 20 hours we both fillet them and he cooked his one way and me another (used a crab cake res. spread it out on top of the fish and broiled them). Took em out of the oven and they looked a tad bit over cooked but nothing tooo bad. Man o man took one bite of them and the fishy taste was sooo bad and over powering that I couldn't eat another bight. Felt bad about that and put them down for the dog to eat and she couldn't even finish them. Called my buddy up the next day and he said his fish had a real bad fishy taste to them as well. When I cleaned the fish they looked good and I even cut out the dark meat on the fillet. Not sure what went wrong but was wondering if anyone has had this happen to them and what I could do in the future to make sure this doesn't happen again...Tanks
  2. 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
  3. Captain Rob Salimbene – Mangrove Man Charters June fishing has been a little slow for me this year, but with some hard work and some minor adjustments strategy wise we have been able to put some great days together and make for some memorable times on the water. Tarpon are still throughout the entire Tampa Bay area and within the coming weeks should make another strong showing. Most of the fish have moved offshore to take care of their spawning, but once they come back, they will be hungry and looking to eat. I prefer to fish 60lb. fluorocarbon leader rigged on a 7ft. heavy spinning rod with a 5/0 to 7/0 circle hook depending on the size of the bait. (smaller bait, smaller hook) Egmont Channel or the Sunshine Skyway are great places to start your Tarpon search. The best advice I can give for someone new to Tarpon fishing in these areas is to go out to one of these areas and watch how people are fishing; are they drifting, or anchored, are they using crabs or some type of baitfish, are people hooking up on the downtide or uptide side of the structure? Taking a little time to watch will ultimately lead to making you a better angler and will minimize the chance of you upsetting someone who understands how to fish that particular area. One of the best pieces of Tarpon advice I have ever heard is, “Go slow, like between idle speed and 1500 rpm’s and you will be amazed at how much you can pick up.” Another species I have been fishing the past couple of weeks have been redfish. I have been targeting redfish on the higher tides around oyster bars throughout the entire south bay area. The best bait I have found has been fresh cut threadfin chunks on a 2/0 circle hook. A lot of the areas I have been fishing are heavily pressured, and I believe that the cut threadfin is catching the most fish because it’s unthreatening. Nothing moving, just putting some stink on the bottom. Most of the fish I have been catching have been overslot, however there are a few mixed in that definitely could come home to the dinner table if you choose. Remember keep only what you will eat and revive the fish you put back carefully to make sure they swim off strongly. Lastly, the snapper fishing has picked up nicely and should only continue to get better in the next month. I have been targeting the snapper around the skyway, but all the local bay structures should be holding fish within the coming month. A small live greenback or a fresh piece of cut threadfin has been producing some snapper up to 17 inches. I prefer to chum some cut pieces of threadfin to get the fish active and then begin working hooked baits in the same area. 25lb fluorocarbon leader and a 2/0 circle hook has been producing very well in the past couple weeks. Overall the fishing is very good if you can tolerate the heat. I must say that I was concerned at how the fishing would be this summer following the hard freeze that we had this past winter. As a guide that relied on Snook for the majority of my charter trips, I was not sure how things would work out, but I have been pleasantly surprised at how well the fishery has held up and even how the Snook have recovered. There are definitely not the same numbers of Snook that we have seen in past years, but I think the future is still positive for our great fishery.
  4. hit the beach early yesterday with my room mate. wind started off out of the south, then out of the west, then out of the east. got a little rain, nothing crazy, just a few sprinkles here and there.... we had almost everything for bait, fresh bunker, spot, mullet, squid, peelers, and crab. while we didn't catch anything big, we still caught a bunch of little things....we got about 6 or 7 puffer fish. they were fun to play with. 4 or 5 smooth dog fish and 4 clear nose skates. the puffers came off fishbites and squid. the smoothies were pretty much off anything, and the skates were only spot/bunker sandwhich. we were hoping for striper, or a drum, but still happy with the productive day.
  5. Arrived a bit late this AM, due to Daddy duty and saw the good Doc Bubba walking off with a bog o blues he had just finished nailing. Walked over the dune and there was Bucket bowed up and DS422 to the left of him doing the same. I caught the tail end of it and was struggling to get a fish on, but finally got some pullage with some 1-3 pound blues on light tackle. After Bucket left DS422 took me to school crushing them compared to me. For every one blue I would get, DS422 would get 5+ in the same amount of time. After he left I managed to get on a little better bite as I had it all to myself. Kept 6 blues and they are filleted and given away or in the freezer already. Hit NOB Pier after that for a few, but nothing going on there! Get your gotchas, storms, grubs and stingsilvers and have at it!!!!! Nice to be out fishing again!!!!!
  6. Well it appears at long last the first big schools of blues are starting to show in the Va Beach area giving us shorebound anglers something to finally catch along with the croakers which have picked up over the last week or so! Check the ususal places from Sandbridge all the way up to Cape Henry to the CBBT and to The Spit and take your light tackle and Gotcha plug with you and ya should be able to get into a few. Looks like I will get my gear ready and do the same, nothing like pluging on light tackle, fun stuff! While a few and very few small flounder have been picked up from the shore, look for that to improve over the next few weeks (according to my logs ) if we can get some decent air temps warming the water up just a touch more!
  7. 4/10/2010 This past weekend was significantly better, but not great yet. The wormer weather is bringing the fish towards the banks. Just fishing around the shore line I had loads of bites from small pan fish. I even pulled in my far share. I even walked down to the river and caught some. I missed a nice bass in the shallows; she nailed my top water rig, jumped completely out of the water and spit it back at me. And those are the ones that keep you coming back. I only got to go fishing an hour here and there. The shifter cable on the bass boat broke, so I had to go on foot patrol this weekend. Theres nothing wrong with that. I enjoyed being out and walking around and seeing all sorts of things you wouldn’t see from a boat. Also when I was down in the river I could see 8 or 10 fish in a school about as long as my arm. I tried my best to get there attention but I was unsuccessful. I even hit one of them with a plug. I’m guessing they could be catfish or carp. I though I saw one roll over, it looked like I could see something there size that was white for a moment. Maybe time will tell, ill go do some further investigating.
  8. I hit the Washington Marina looking for some LMB and snakeheads....I found the bass a bunch of bucks[small males]...the lures of choice was swim jigs , sweet beaves, and crankbaits...nothing big on this trip ...the yr is still young
  9. The hickory shad and herring are really making a strong run in the upper Rappahannock. There is nothing like catching hickories and herring on zabiki rigs. What a blast!
  10. Tuesday morning, 3/16, the trout bite was nothing like it had been the day before. I fished with Mark McCarthy, his father-in-law, Richie Jenkins, and friend Matt. Richie caught the only trout of the morning, measuring 15 inches. We released ladyfish and sheepshead. Wednesday morning, light rain fell until after noon time, but that didn't deter Mark Loverude, son Ben, and friends Casey Miller and Chris Church from fishing Estero Bay with me. The group used live shrimp to catch five keeper sheepshead to 18 inches, a keeper flounder and two keeper trout, each 18 inches. We Brian VandenBossche and his son, Charles, fished Estero Bay with me Thursday morning and caught a keeper trout and three keeper sheepshead, on live shrimp. We released lots of smaller sheepshead. We also released a lot of ladyfish. Mark Loverude and his sons, Ben and Brandon, along with friends Joe Goodall and son, Alex, fished Estero Bay with me Friday morning. The boys had fished the bay with me earlier in the week and we had considered heading offshore Friday but, with seas just calming down after three to five footers Thursday and three young children aboard, we decided to play it safe in the bay. We did well there, using shrimp, and caught six keeper sheepshead to 15 inches, two keeper whitings at 14 inches each and a 16-inch trout. We released lots of smaller sheepshead and sand perch. Rick McGrath treated his daughter, Carrie McGrath, and her three friends, Jenn Conley, Nora Fload and Sidney Minnis, to a spring-break fishing trip offshore Saturday. We used live shrimp, and the girls did well with snapper and sheepshead. We caught a half dozen keeper mangrove snapper to 18 ½ inches, a 14 inch keeper hog snapper, a mess of sheepshead to 17 inches, and grunts and porgies. We released grouper shorts. Monday, 3/22, began rainy. My scheduled full-day offshore trip was scaled down to a half-day bayside, due to rough seas offshore and a small craft advisory. After the rain tapered off a bit, I headed into Estero Bay with Kent Swedberg, his son-n-law, Bob Ericson, grandson Zack, and friend, Rob. We caught six keeper sheepshead ranging from 13 ½ to 15 inches and released ladyfish and crevalle jack. Tuesday morning, Omar & Sheila Jama and their children, Ayden, six-years old and Fiona, three-years old, fished Estero Bay with me. We caught, on live shrimp, eleven keeper-sized sheepshead to 16 inches, and the family kept the five largest of those. We released the rest, along with eight smaller sheepshead. Long time customer, Doug Grieble, drove from Tampa with his dad, John Grieble and friends, Bill Conklin and Skip King to fish offshore with me on Wednesday, 3/24. Seas were still a little sloppy early in the day, but a nice calming and warming trend was in place. We fished about twenty miles west of New Pass in 45 feet with live shrimp. We caught a dozen nice mangrove snapper to 18 inches and a mess of keeper-sized sheepshead to 20 inches—we kept five of the fattest of those and released the rest, along with red and gag grouper and triggerfish shorts. We also caught some porgies to 15 inches and a 15-inch hogfish. We had a 4-foot shark on the line at one point, but with no steel leader on, it broke the line and swam off before we could photograph it. Another long time, annual customer, Stuart Norris, fished with me Thursday morning and brought his friend, Frank Cappellino, We fished in 45 feet again, out of New Pass, with live shrimp and caught a 14 inch hogfish, two keeper mangrove snapper to 16 inches, a 14-inch keeper triggerfish, three sheepshead to 15 inches, grunts and porgies. We released red and gag grouper, along with an 18 inch true black grouper. We were between weather fronts and had some sloppy seas, but most of the morning was fairly calm. Mike Connealy and Tom Stover fished in Estero Bay with me on a rainy Friday morning. By about 10 AM, they had caught six keeper sheepshead to 18 inches and released ten smaller ones, along with a crevalle jack, and decided they had enough fish and enough rain, so we headed back to shore. The folks I has scheduled for Saturday were dead-set of fishing offshore, but feared the predictions of two-four foot seas, so they cancelled their trip for that day, and I remained in port. Monday, 3/29, brought rain and wind, once again, with unpleasant conditions inshore and unsafe conditions offshore. I cancelled another trip. The photo shown is of angler, Ron Musick, with a 28-inch gag grouper, caught on shrimp and released on an offshore trip this month. As of April 1st, grouper season reopens and we’ll be able to keep a fish like this one…now, if we can only catch him again!
  11. Fish Report 3/27/10<o:p></o:p> Fish Report 3/27/10 <o:p></o:p> A Tease <o:p></o:p> A Taste<o:p></o:p> Data Broadly<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Hi All,<o:p></o:p> Snuck out Thursday and were not warmly received by schools of tautog swirling under the boat like a Tarzan movie's piranha awaiting the next tasty crab leg to fall. <o:p></o:p> No, it was a slow bite. Still chilly. I had a demon on briefly; personally lost every fish that bit. A few clients goose egged with me. One guy limited and tagged but was way off his game in-so-far as the bites he had: Don't like to use names here but his initials were Dennis. <o:p></o:p> It was just an odd bite - a tease. Tagged two short cod as well. <o:p></o:p> Sunday was another matter altogether. Best bite since late February. Four guys limited, most caught dinner, there were a pair of skunks: Pat T. took the pool when he tagged & released a 25 inch female. <o:p></o:p> It's getting ready to happen. <o:p></o:p> But first we'll take a couple more days for maintenance & CG readiness on account of weather: Resume toggin Wednesday 3/31. <o:p></o:p> We have CG inspection next week. After that I'll open a lot more days.<o:p></o:p> Very late now, this fishing has to bust loose.......<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Data-data-data! Here I want to give some simple examples of what our recreational catch estimating system was designed to do and some glaring examples of what it could never do. Entertaining with statistics is challenging at best so stick with me; I'll try to mix a few fish stories in. Our official catch-estimates are a lot of what's wrong with the fishing we have, not the fish.. The conflicts constantly resulting from poor data and its ill-advised use distract us from the fish we really have lost, fish that could use our fully focused attention; where we really do need to get to work.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Some readers will remember our Boston mackerel fishery. Triple headers, quads; Heck with a cooler, many guys would bring a trash can for the wear-you-out crazy-good fishing. It was always a big deal when local TV personality, Scorchy Tawes, would arrive at the docks come spring and interview the old timers, "When will the mackerel arrive?" <o:p></o:p> In an age before internet we had 2 or 3 days from when we first caught a load of mackerel to selling out 7 days a week.. The run usually peaked around Easter. Once we started chasing the fish north passenger numbers would fall off.<o:p></o:p> And then it would be over.<o:p></o:p> Sanding and painting 'till sea bass got thick. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Almost 20 years now, they could come back of their own accord. May yet.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> The mackerel fishing that everyone had known since boats were launched from the surf, since before there was an inlet, died when a Joint Foreign Fishing Venture circa '91 & '92 was allowed. Huge factory processors bought American caught mackerel--All They Could Get. <o:p></o:p> Although it was happening all around us and to many species, we had no notion that there could ever be an end to what always was. At that time striped bass & weakfish were the only recreational species I can remember under management. Flounder may have had a 12 inch limit; The surf-clam industry was under intense regulation. <o:p></o:p> It was then, when these last "underutilized species" were being sought, that the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) arranged for these foreign processor ships to buy American commercially caught macks..<o:p></o:p> I think we still do not understand that just because biologists have created a coastwide stock assessment that the fish will behave to suit. We had not learned, and still have not learned, that we should never manage fish as if there were no regional separation in spawning stocks.. <o:p></o:p> With disappointingly inadequate scientific deliberation the US allowed the southern stock of atlantic (or Boston) mackerel to be overpressured with an incredible surge of fishing effort. <o:p></o:p> It has yet to come back..<o:p></o:p> Recreational clients have long-since ceased coming. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <acronym title="Maryland"><acronym title="Maryland">MD</acronym></acronym>'s Pete Jensen would forever make the argument that recreational fishing is never about catch, just camaraderie. <o:p></o:p> Yeah UhHu. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Nowadays the more northern stocks, which survived just fine apparently, are taking more pressure than ever.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Ah, Wandering.. I want to use Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS, say Murfs) catch estimate data on mackerel to illustrate what MRFSS was designed for: Catch Estimates That Show A Trend.<o:p></o:p> See if you can spot it. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <table style="" class="MsoNormalTable" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody> <tr style=""> <td style="border: medium none; padding: 0.75pt;" colspan="3"> Species: ATLANTIC MACKEREL Maryland Rec. Landings<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> Year<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> HARVEST (TYPE A + B1)<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> PSE<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1983<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 655,859<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 42<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1984<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 263,320<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 57.9<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1986<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 167,094<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 44.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1987<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 285,035<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 52.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1988<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 195,732<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 41.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1989<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 264,121<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 40.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1990<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 537,301<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 52.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1991<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 176,571<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 50<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1992<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 53,464<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 59.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1994<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 16,373<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 46.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1995<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 6,594<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 50.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1996<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 109,822<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 58<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1997<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 48,923<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 53.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1998<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 11,279<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 64<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1999<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 30,444<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 34.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2000<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 4,172<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 73.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2001<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 39,222<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 63.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2002<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 3,616<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 68.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2003<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 7,026<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 67.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr></tbody></table> <o:p></o:p> Note - 1993 is missing as are 2004 thru '09 -- I presume those are zero catches. <o:p></o:p> Point here is you can easily see a shift in catch starting in '92.<o:p></o:p> Did we really catch exactly 109,822 in 1996? Heck No.<o:p></o:p> Did we really catch exactly 537,301 in 1990? Heck No. <o:p></o:p> Did we really catch exactly zero in in 2009? Well, probably. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Trends in catch, however, are evident. That is allMRFSS was ever designed to do. Never a two month or wave by wave real time analysis: "Warning! Warning! Recreational Fishers In Sector Nine Are Approaching Fifth Week Quota!"<o:p></o:p> Um, No.<o:p></o:p> More like..<o:p></o:p> "Seems like the recreational catch on mackerel dropped off pretty fast after the factory processors were let in; Do you think we screwed up?" <o:p></o:p> That was its design. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> But we are using MRFSS for real time analysis. <o:p></o:p> No manager I know has ever pondered the lost mackerel fishing.. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> For this report I tried to access our historical landings of red hake too; called them ling or lingcod. Used to be up on the recreational statistics site. Fishery's gone & now the data's gone as well; I think both are restorable, the data far more simply...<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Very importantly, the PSE or percentage standard error that you see to the right of each catch-estimate in the chart above represents the real statistical answer. Political polls would be scrapped if they exceed 4% PSE. To them 4% represents a very high margin of error. <o:p></o:p> Yet throughout MRFSS there are numerous examples where the PSE is above 50%.. Even 100% PSEs occur. <o:p></o:p> Still & importantly, a statistician will say that is the answer, that the centerpoint is only a number that represents a large field where a true number might be found. <o:p></o:p> Statistically perfect or nearly so: I'm sure the internal policy of using the statistical centerpoint as if it were hard-data is where recreational fishing's troubles source; That when the centerpoint wanders far above the correct number, beyond and inexplicably higher than any other catch-estimate, the system fails.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Now, just for something out of left field, how could we fairly allocate these Atlantic mackerel with recreational Catch Shares? <o:p></o:p> Popular right now; lot of folks think Catch Shares are the new answer to fisheries restoration. I might too without a sense of how fouled-up the data is, how lacking some management plans are in basic understanding of the managed species' behavior; In a world without waves the paper & flat-screen calculations all look so good. <o:p></o:p> If we use MRFSS to permanently divvy-up recreational catch, some are going to hit the jackpot, others will get robbed. The chances that mackerel will be divided up using a 5 year average from the 80s is miniscule.. I wouldn't possibly have enough landings to qualify for a catch-share of mackerel in the last decade, despite that I fully participated before the collapse; And didn't create it.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Ok-Ok. Catch shares another day. Fast forward a piece. You have seen in many of my past reports examples of summer flounder and black sea bass data that are accepted and used by management; Yet those data sets are thought laughable---in most anguished fashion---by fishermen.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> This catch estimating program, MRFSS, that was supposed to show by general trend how recreational fishing was doing now needs be as a predator drone with real time transmitted aerial surveillance to satisfy the needs of modern managers.. It's not about where the enemy was an hour ago, it's where they are now: Not rec-fishers catch-trend of the last 72 months, managers now want the last 72 hours.<o:p></o:p> MRFSS, however, is still equipped with black & white film that has to be delivered, developed & analyzed.. Apparently the enemy has infiltrated the system too, is frequently creating diversionary decoy data sets that send staff off to create trouble within our ranks--Closures. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> We know MRFSS is over-tasked, that's why the new federal registry system was developed to take over -- MRIP. <o:p></o:p> Folks I know on the inside do not think MRIP will necessarily deliver speedier data; Its enhancement of our present system will come as a much better estimate, almost a hard number, of participants.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Because field interviewers give a broad spectrum of pure catch data--what really got caught by an individual angler in a face to face interview. MRFSS must then take fantastic guesses of how many people participated: Here is where the system occasionally flies apart. MRIP, with its Angler Registry, will have a much better idea of how many people went fishing; can call them...<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Simply smoothing the data, removing the flyers, should be enough for all but the most high-pressure fisheries. Adding truth to catch estimates will preclude the most contentious management: Where bad data leads to poor governance, better data must lead to improved governance.....<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Now I'll present some for-hire tautog numbers that I think would certainly interest anyone who has read this far. Party and charter boat catch only here - I know quite a bit about it because <acronym title="Maryland"><acronym title="Maryland">MD</acronym></acronym> has only one seaside inlet. Managers must think there are crazy pulses of fishing effort - that our clients demand one species or another but almost never two years in a row.. Scroll down through this real data.<o:p></o:p> <table style="" class="MsoNormalTable" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody> <tr style=""> <td style="border: medium none; padding: 0.75pt;" colspan="3"> Species: TAUTOG Maryland Charter/Partyboat<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> Year<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> HARVEST (TYPE A + B1)<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> PSE<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1981<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 4,670<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 65.9<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1983<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2,126<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 57.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1984<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 36,008<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 59.9<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1985<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 486<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 59.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1986<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 5,476<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 64.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1987<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 765<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 42.9<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1988<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 14,849<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 63.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1989<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 3,150<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 52.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1990<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 541<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 61.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1991<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2,413<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 47.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1992<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2,354<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 84.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1993<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 8,652<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 44.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1994<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 19,314<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 37.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1995<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1,799<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 66.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1996<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 216<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 81.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1997<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2,461<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 67.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1998<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1,235<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 62.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1999<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 3,604<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 63<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2000<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1,165<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 90.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2001<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 3,635<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 60.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2002<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 17,650<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 39.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2003<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 6,532<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 26.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2004<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 6,439<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 26.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2005<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 5,693<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 20.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2006<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2,969<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 14.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2007<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 9,417<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 25.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2008<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 5,572<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 16.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2009<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 11<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 90.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr></tbody></table> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Dang! <o:p></o:p> Eleven fish in <acronym title="Maryland"><acronym title="Maryland">MD</acronym></acronym> for 2009 in the entire for-hire industry? <o:p></o:p> Whaaaaat....<o:p></o:p> That certainly requires adjustment.. maybe move the PSE up a couple digits? What if that got thrown into a recreational catch-share average? <o:p></o:p> We all did at least some toggin last fall. Cbass closed, had to target tog. There is no excuse for an estimate this low. <o:p></o:p> Crazy.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> The catch shown in this table in 1988 & 1994 never happened. <o:p></o:p> At all. <o:p></o:p> Nor the decline from '94 to '96.<o:p></o:p> The catch in 2002 is fantasy; We were solid into some of the the best sea bassing I'd ever seen. Maybe 10 guys on the planet can fish a crab while doubles of nice sea bass are coming over the rail. There were no party boat trips targeting tog at all in 2002.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Eleven fish.. It was a proportionally similar --but opposite-- data failure that was used to close sea bass by emergency regulation last fall. <o:p></o:p> ..despite that we turn in a 6 layer deep carbon-copy catch data form taken on a day-by-day basis: Mail it to 'em.. <o:p></o:p> There really is no excuse for saying <acronym title="Maryland"><acronym title="Maryland">MD</acronym></acronym> Charter/Party caught 11 tog last year. <o:p></o:p> It is a gigantic Screw You - Fishers have never fought the data and won - MRFSS says we caught 11 fish or 8 million - They always win.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Still, here's an easy one, 11 tog, a slam dunk--multiple eyewitness--error. Almost 30 years of data though.. You see a spike in 1984. Happened too. It kept right through the next year in real-life, but that got missed in the data. They didn't pick up on the fact that the surge in tog effort continued for 2 1/2 years. <o:p></o:p> I remember - was working deck - netting peoples fish - would catch big tog on diamond jigs when the day's crabs were gone. <o:p></o:p> With no limits on a species with a narrowly defined and shrinking habitat -- We crushed 'em.<o:p></o:p> And then our tog catch stayed very, very low and flat for about 2 decades. Wasn't the commercial bad guys - We did it.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> In 2003, after over a decade of a self-imposed 3 fish at 16 inches limit, a hard lesson learned about habitat and fishing pressure, and having failed in an effort to get <acronym title="Maryland"><acronym title="Maryland">MD</acronym></acronym> to go with a larger size limit in the ocean to increase egg production; We resumed tog fishing with the State's 5 fish at 14 inches limit. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> I could pry this farther apart by researching my own logs but you can see again that trends are evident in the party/charter data though not perfectly so: OK, it's very poor here, but evident if you have background knowledge---perfectly evident that some estimates are just wrong at least. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Another Then: The slipperiest data sets are almost always the private boats--except when shore estimates go badly wrong. Here's the set for private boat ocean fishing for tautog -- does not include the back-bay or jetties. Watch for consistency. (but don't hold your breath)<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <table style="" class="MsoNormalTable" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody> <tr style=""> <td style="border: medium none; padding: 0.75pt;" colspan="3"> Species: TAUTOG Maryland Private Boat - All Ocean Combined<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> Year<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> HARVEST (TYPE A + B1)<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> PSE<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1982<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 8,507<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 100<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1987<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 62,758<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 69.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1988<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 64,332<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 68.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1989<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 910<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 0<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1990<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 438<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 75.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1991<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 282<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 100.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1992<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 7,971<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 43.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1993<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 6,913<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 30.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1994<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1,215<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 100<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1995<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 4,747<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 100.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1997<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 20,859<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 49.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1998<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 3,713<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 71.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1999<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 0<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 0<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2001<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 5,952<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 91.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2002<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 0<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 0<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2003<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 538<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 93.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2007<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 20,082<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 75.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2008<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1,350<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 0<o:p></o:p> </td></tr></tbody></table> <o:p></o:p> Hmmm.. I'd call HS on the whole data chart. That means Highly Speculative and has nothing to do with what gets cleaned from a horse's stall.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> I'd wager 1991, 2003 & 2008 are the best sets here. Remember, this estimate does not include the jetties and such, just the ocean. <o:p></o:p> The 1987 & '88 sets are hallucination; There were maybe 40 private boats that might target tog, less than a dozen were serious about it.. <o:p></o:p> Zero caught in '99 - Zero again in 2002 - 2004, '05 & '06 are zero by omission: And 20,082 were caught in 2007? <o:p></o:p> This is precisely the type of data that is being used to destroy the recreational fishing industry...<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Below is Everybody in Maryland's Tog Effort --Boats, Shore, For-Hire-- Everybody. See what you spot..<o:p></o:p> <table style="" class="MsoNormalTable" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody> <tr style=""> <td style="border: medium none; padding: 0.75pt;" colspan="3"> Species: TAUTOG Maryland All Areas/All Effort<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> Year<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> HARVEST (TYPE A + B1)<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> PSE<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1981<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 4,670<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 65.9<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1982<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 35,105<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 61.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1983<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2,126<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 57.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1984<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 42,835<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 51.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1985<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 486<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 59.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1986<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 5,476<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 64.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1987<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 90,523<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 53<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1988<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 107,570<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 45.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1989<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 34,709<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 42.9<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1990<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 45,467<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 26<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1991<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 26,770<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 36.9<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1992<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 106,255<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 35<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1993<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 60,231<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 30.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1994<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 157,260<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 31.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1995<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 43,542<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 36.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1996<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 9,695<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 43.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1997<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 85,682<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 34.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1998<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 6,512<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 45.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1999<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 20,180<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 44.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2000<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 20,129<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 50.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2001<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 23,715<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 40.9<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2002<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 42,038<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 29.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2003<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 13,555<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 31.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2004<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 14,049<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 55.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2005<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 39,993<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 48.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2006<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 14,314<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 48.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2007<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 107,061<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 30.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2008<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 24,127<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 28.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2009<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 38,194<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 34.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr></tbody></table> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> You may well remember in 2007/08 when we had to pick an "Option" with which to take our mandatory reduction; That because we had "Over Fished Our Quota" in 2007 we would be allowed less the following year.. I spent maybe an hour trying to refute the data. <o:p></o:p> No Mercy. <o:p></o:p> Irregardless how obvious the implausibility of the data, managers won't even fight it. Policy is to use the centerpoint: Subordinates need a paycheck and will use the data as ordered. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Their defense: The data Couldbe right. Just add more fishers - lucky ones at that. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Lots of people want to add greater and greater layers of complexity to our data collection; Make it real-time like the hi-tech surveillance on an Afghanistan hillside's battlefield. <o:p></o:p> I think greater complexity leads to higher expense and often to failure.<o:p></o:p> Were we to take the hic-ups out of the MRFSS flounder, sea bass & tautog data we'd have management flowing along fairly well. <o:p></o:p> Remove data sets that are only supported by managers under duress of job loss and fishers wouldn't be in such trouble. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Instead though, managers are running around from emergency to emergency, fishers are trying to cope with closures in the great recession; A great embattlement over the sourest of data sets ensues.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Below are the MRFSS sea bass tables that I think were pivotal in closing our season last year. They're self explanatory. Yet these are some of the data sets that have taken our sea bass season from 11 months to 3 months. We really need fairhanded governance here.<o:p></o:p> Words on paper can change how numbers on paper are used. <o:p></o:p> Then we can get back to fixing where the fish live, a place where paper has, thus far, been nearly useless. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> We did not overfish. <o:p></o:p> Sea bass habitat remains undiscovered.<o:p></o:p> Habitat fidelity remains unused in a coastwide management approach.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> The very worst that can happen is we go back to a size/creel/season that we know rebuilt sea bass and other species for well over a decade. <o:p></o:p> Sacrificing an entire industry in worship of MRFSS data is shameful. <o:p></o:p> There's a new team in place that can fix it.<o:p></o:p> Ought to. <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Fishery Closed: Shifting fishing effort to whatever remains open then retards progress in other restorations. <o:p></o:p> The fishing public's faith in governance goes lower.<o:p></o:p> Lifetimes of work are destroyed by complex calculation without the simple posit: Could this catch estimate possibly be correct?<o:p></o:p> See cbass data below. I'd wager any would see what I'm talking about.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Needs Fixin. <o:p></o:p> We need our sea bass season back.<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Regards,<o:p></o:p> Monty<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 Morning Star Fishing<o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <table style="" class="MsoNormalTable" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody> <tr style=""> <td style="border: medium none; padding: 0.75pt;" colspan="3"> Species: BLACK SEA BASS - <acronym title="Massachusetts"><acronym title="Massachusetts">MA</acronym></acronym> - Private Boats - Wave 4 - July/August <o:p></o:p> 1,122.28% Increase<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> Year<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> HARVEST (TYPE A + B1)<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> PSE<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2005<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 43,478<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 42.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2006<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 27,518<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 44.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2007<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 13,062<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 71.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2008<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 13,548<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 69.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2009<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 165,595<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 25.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr></tbody></table> <o:p></o:p> <table style="" class="MsoNormalTable" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody> <tr style=""> <td style="border: medium none; padding: 0.75pt;" colspan="3"> Species: BLACK SEA BASS -<acronym title="Massachusetts"><acronym title="Massachusetts">MA</acronym></acronym> - Partyboat - All Areas - Wave 3 - June/July<o:p></o:p> 14,564.64% Increase<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> Year<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> HARVEST (TYPE A + B1)<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> PSE<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2005<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 204<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 32<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2006<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 74<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 31.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2007<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 3,015<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 31.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2008<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 526<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 19<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2009<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 77,136<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 32<o:p></o:p> </td></tr></tbody></table> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> Wave 2 <acronym title="New Jersey"><acronym title="New Jersey">NJ</acronym></acronym> Party Boats - March/April<o:p></o:p> <table style="" class="MsoNormalTable" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody> <tr style=""> <td style="border: medium none; padding: 0.75pt;" colspan="3"> Species: BLACK SEA BASS<o:p></o:p> 15,230.5% Increase<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> Year<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> HARVEST (TYPE A + B1)<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> PSE<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2005<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 61<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 71.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2006<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 30<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 99.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2008<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 134<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 100.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2009<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 20,543<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 37.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr></tbody></table> <o:p></o:p> Wave 2 March/April - From 1998 to 2009 - New Jersey, Private Boats<o:p></o:p> <table style="" class="MsoNormalTable" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody> <tr style=""> <td style="border: medium none; padding: 0.75pt;" colspan="3"> Species: BLACK SEA BASS<o:p></o:p> 942.2% Increase<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> Year<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> HARVEST (TYPE A + B1)<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> PSE<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2002<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 9,921<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 92.9<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2007<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 3,302<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 74.1<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2009<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 34,418<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 56.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr></tbody></table> <o:p></o:p> <o:p></o:p> <table style="" class="MsoNormalTable" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="3"> <tbody> <tr style=""> <td style="border: medium none; padding: 0.75pt;" colspan="3"> Species: BLACK SEA BASS - Private Boats - New York<o:p></o:p> 455.2% Increase <o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> Year<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> HARVEST (TYPE A + B1)<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> PSE<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 1999<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 23,711<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 62.8<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2000<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 13,179<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 66.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2001<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 0<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 0<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2002<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 59,718<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 55.3<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2003<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 59,282<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 25.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2004<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 4,852<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 59.6<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2005<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 17,591<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 95.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2006<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 58,051<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 81.4<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2007<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 12,461<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 89.7<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2008<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 15,320<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 47.2<o:p></o:p> </td></tr> <tr style=""> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 2009<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 85,056<o:p></o:p> </td> <td style="padding: 0.75pt;"> 36.5<o:p></o:p> </td></tr></tbody></table>
  12. Tampa Bay’s red hot black drum action is hardly a secret any longer! Good friends Dave and Dan found the school exactly where I directed them and it was game on Wednesday. The school was not happy and broken into several smaller groups due to heavy boat pressure. By time Dave and Dan left there were 9 boats after the one school. Be patient and let the school come to you, chasing the drum in skinny water will only shut down the bite for everyone. My guys used live shrimp while Captain Justin Asherman used Gulp baits to entice these bruisers. Let the drum settle down and they will go back to feeding with their tails in the air in just 2.5 - 3’ of water. Amazing sight and photo opportunity. Captain Jim Fesperman of Hook Setting Charters also jumped into the Black drum action and reported good action on large fish. Captain Jim also reported as many as 15-20 boats on the school this week! Sounds like Boca Grande Tarpon fishing. I’ve gotten several reports from fellow Captains that Mackerel are starting to show up. Captain Bill Miller reported Mackerel were at the Skyway Bridge per his report in the Tampa tribune. That’s always a good sign spring is about to explode. Inch by inch it’s getting better every day. Redfish are certainly perking up along oyster bars and mangrove shorelines at higher tides. Look for improved action next week’s mid day high tides over 2.0’. The forecast shows below normal temperatures the next 10 days but overall mild with temps in the low to mid 70’s. The action is about to bust loose and when it does are you ready? If you are a boat owner I promise wait time for repairs is nothing compared to what it will be once the bite goes off. Have you replaced last year’s braided lines? Is your license valid? Is your tackle bag clean, neat and replenished? Have you booked your spring charter dates? Captain Steven offered late afternoon / early evening snook trips last year that were amazing successful for my out of town business people. We would fish 2-3 hours till sunset then chase snook under the stars. We will be running these same trips starting in April. Captain Steven Markovich Florida Fishing Charters | On The Mark Fishing Charters | Tampa Bay | Clearwater | Boca Grande
  13. <DIV> Fish Report 3/23/10 Goin Fishing Flounder Regs CCA's "Train Wreck" Regular Tog Trips Sailing Through April 1st: (Light Winds Thursday 3/25!) Boat sells out at 14 - Green crabs provided - Cabin heated - Leave at 7:00 for these trips (or earlier if all are aboard) - Return no later than 3 - 3:30 (usually) - $100.00 buys a spot - Reservation a must, that phone number in signature - Email does not work for reservations - Call - Leave a good phone number--Cell--in case of cancellation. Tog Limit is 4 fish @ 14 inches - We encourage the release of all females under 16 (and some way bigger too!!) Fish Pool is decided by length so tagged and released fish can count too. Stay tied-up Easter Sunday. Have Coast Guard inspection in the second week of April - Will announce more trips when I get an all clear from them........... Hi All, There is a sigh of relief among the coast's flounder fishers today, Maryland DNR has reversed course and adopted a longer flounder season with a 19 inch fish. We can officially fish until Thanksgiving. Very nearly had a much shorter season. Atlantic Coast MSSA, Larry at the Coastal Fisherman newspaper, OC's State Delegate--Jim Mathias, myself & many other fishers, local press and even Candy Thompson at the Baltimore Sun set up an awful howl.. Different somehow.. Eh, having DNR listen isn't so new; It's having them dig in, see if there's substance in the complaint -- and respond. That's different. Pleasantly so. Can't swear to it, but I think the same thing is happening at the Federal level. I was on a huge rec-fish conference call last week with NMFS director Eric Schwaab & staff; From Alaska down and around to back up the East Coast it seemed pretty evident that accumulating errors in the data are pinching the system all over---many different problems all stemming from data. Nothing concrete yet in way of action, just possibilities: Lot of listening getting ready to happen. NOAA just announced that Russell Dunn has been appointed National Policy Advisor on Recreational Fisheries. That's a brand new position, reports directly to the boss-lady, Dr. Lubchenco. In the same press release they announced a 22 member Recreational Fisheries Working Group.. In mid-April there's a recreational summit in Silver Spring. Big possibilities. There still remains the darker possibility that 2010 was the year few party boats could survive. Black sea bass regulations are still up in the air. We rebuilt these fish with barely a care, first just a size limit, then increases in size with a 25 fish creel.. I still assert that we do not have a management plan on sea bass that can actually work, but even in its scientifically-impaired fashion we somehow have a better sea bass population than before management. We just can't go fishing. With cbass closed that fishing pressure shifts--All along this coast tautog fishing will not be made better because of the extreme reaction of closing sea bass over highly-suspect data. That's just the tip of it.. Plenty more fisheries in similar trouble. Closing sea bass--reacting to the data in such fashion--was just wrong. We ought to know by now that the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey--MRFSS--is being replaced for good reason. Just today one of the guys that is always digging into data, Buddy, sent me a bit of raw 2009 MRFSS flounder data -- 44 observed fish from private boats in July/August are tossed into MRFSS's computer---just 44 observed flounder.. These practitioners of the statistical dark-arts turn 44 into 45,281 flounder caught/kept and 595,190 caught/released.. Pow! That's so cool. Reminds me of the guy that used to sell tickets when I was in my early twenties.. Always biting -- Always filling up sacks.. Crunched a bit, just back of the envelope stuff; 45,281 flounder means 91 boats with 3 people aboard limited out everyday it was fit to go --- the rest of the boats had a solid bail of smaller ones. Hmmm.. that's not how I heard it. No, I don't think so.. Looked at another way: During the same period (July/Aug 2009) 725 flounder are said to have been caught/kept on the party boats that fish exclusively for flounder in the back bays and a few on the Chesapeake. MRFSS also has 18,325 thrown back--released. Using just their fish data and a ball park guess of clients, I estimate the back-bay party boats caught/kept 12.8 fish per day on average or 0.04 keeper fish per person. <DIV>Party boats turn in daily catch data so we should be able to see almost exactly what they caught. Sometimes it seems like MRFSS is using that data, sometimes not. Given my familiarity with the fishery I see no reason to seriously doubt these
  14. Fish Report 10/19/09 Goin' Fishin' Another Letter to Dr. Lubchenco Hi All, Dogoned-no-good-stinking-nasty weather... (That's the Hallmark version) Have not fished since before the last report. West at 10 Tuesday & Wednesday - forecast like that, ought to be able to do something with it. Sea bass remain closed. Great big water temp drop, anticipate a tog bite - should snap. Go see. Two fish limit - practice/dinner/tagging.. Some fun. Rail sells out at 15 for tog trips. Sell a ticket, weather's good, we're going. That's it for the "what's biting" part of the report. Below you'll find a couple other things on my mind.. Regards Monty MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! That's how I titled a recent letter to Senator Mikulski, Senator Cardin, Congressman Kratovil, Dr. Lubchenco and others. Tried to convey the sense & reaction of hearing a real mayday call, the spine-chilling, survival instinct-activating response that is the mariner's. Sometimes an engine overheat is mistaken for fire, a live-well pump's hose--disconnected--has only to be turned off, a diabetic need only eat, a child playing on the radio - false alarm. But when its real, even when its not, responders get going. DNR Police, volunteers, Coast Guard assets---moving---boats, ships, helicopters, airplanes, satellites - unrelenting action - rescue. Mayday response from Congressman Kratovil - yes. Good thing too or I'd have thought my 'radio' broken. The rest ain't pickin' up what I'm putting out. Or, maybe they are.. yawn.. What is occurring in our fisheries is as if the Coast Guard's electronic data stream, the radio transmitting weather buoys, were broken. Showing impossibly dangerous sea conditions: their only correct response would be closing ports & inlets to traffic, halting all commerce at sea. Unwilling to check the data, they scoff at mariners' observations of calm conditions. Now years later, knowing full-well the buoy data is rotten and bearing the scars of a flogging by the National Research Council, they still close off traffic when these monitors light-up - without ever checking actual conditions. That is exactly where we are with the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey - MRFSS. Sea Bass, summer flounder, and many others fishery plans depend on MRFSS to estimate catch.. Well, it isn't exactly that, its management having to use MRFSS' center, a huge statistical spread, a spread which well may contain the correct estimate of the number of fish caught--somehow statistically valid--but only rarely in its center. Irregardless: the coastal buoy data, these recreational fish catch estimates, are as rotten as a one of those 'cooler surprises' when, a week or two after your last fishing trip, you open that Coleman and--instantly overcome--gag-retch-spit, odor foul enough to make a skunk blush. Like the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, fishers now starve next to a sea full of bounty. They in need of knowledge to catch them, we the skills to prod a system into action; neither wanting more than to eat. This MRFSS data is causing economic pain to fishing crews, bait sellers, sinker makers, tow-boat operators, .....the restaurants in which fishers might dine, the hotels where they might stay and, indeed, the very people that would enjoy use of these services. From Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod, all this fiscal pain to all these people can be reduced--not eliminated-but lessened--by reopening sea bass & flounder to recreational fishers that have done nothing more than cooperate in their restoration. The sea bass "Emergency Closure" is not fisheries restoration. I have no idea how to convince the higher-ups that reef-dwelling fish need reef: that the obvious effects of stern towed gears used decade upon decade have diminished these reefs: the fact sea bass return 'home' to spawn each summer leaves the idea of a 'coastal stock' untenable, that they must be managed regionally: and that in their unique physiology, that they change sex in response to population rise and fall, is the greatest means of population increase if we can but grasp it... No, this 'emergency closure' is only causing crisis, not fixing one. Catch restriction but a handy wrench; the tools for real restoration remain unused. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/
  15. Fish Report 10/25/09 Two Tog Window Dressing Hi All, Fished near-bout all week with light crowds.. er, all put together it wouldn't have been a crowd. Did fish Tuesday to Friday though with Saturday's south at 30 ending the streak. Was fun. Bite alternated between steady all day to fussy with a couple good flurries. Different daily; just as you'd expect of tog. Had a couple folks aboard that had no experience with the fishery. Light rails.. its been a great time to learn; clients enjoying as much individual instruction as needed, I think. Even Cathy, who I've fished with since 1982, who can bring a tear to a grown man's eye while sea-bassing and surely did trout fishing back when: even though she fed the tog a steady supply of crabs for about an hour without a hook-up, Cathy can no longer say: "I can't catch tog." Poor tog... I had a voice in the creation of our tog regs. So did many others. Sea bass now closed - I'm hit by ricochet bullet I helped load. The two fish limit was to be an 'incidental catch' limit, slowing directed effort, easing pressure while many other species were available in the bays and ocean. Never anticipated cbass closed in the best time of year. Ever... Had I written the tautog regs it would have been: Ocean - 3 at 16 inches, only one of which could be female, dropping to one fish in summer. Coastal bays I'd slowly up the size limit - work it to 16 over a long period, six or eight years. I was recently saddened to learn that a local fishing club's highliner in the coastal bay-category had the lead with a 15 1/2 incher.Guy eats, sleeps & breaths tog.. Lot more ovarian bang-for-your-buck in the larger fish. We all 'know' more eggs means more fish. (fecundity study Himchek, NJ) Its not that simple of course. Those eggs have to survive. Then the juveniles have to survive. Then fishing starts to be a factor. I received an interesting email from Rich Wong of the MAFMC this summer who did his masters on juvenile tog. He argues that tautog populations are limited by suitable grasses & especially macro algae in their earliest weeks and months of life, this when they've first settled to bottom from the plankton stage. Little chameleons, these youngsters change color to match, exactly, the color of the growth they're in. His argument: more juvenile habitat in our estuaries would allow more fish to 'recruit' to the fishery--to grow up: that the species is not limited by hard-bottom reef habitat: rather, any bottleneck of stock expansion is in juvenile habitat limitation. I remain unpersuaded that juvenile settlement does not occur in the ocean, but Wong's work is certainly convincing of the importance of inshore habitat. Fair-many sea bass fall from that same patch of sky. Lot of folks working on this region's bays, get these factories back into full fisheries production. "Enviros" some call them... Meanwhile, all the coastal artificial reef we have built has been settled to some extent by tog. In our tag & release work there is no evidence of migration; a couple on walkabout, but nothing resembling sea trout, striped bass, or even sea bass: our region's tog are homebodies. Fishing now with a two fish limit, we're doing lots of tagging. Have had a couple good recaptures--old returns, fish with a story--and keeping at least a big fish dinner. Opens back to 4 come November 1st. Soon do a fish report on these 652 and counting tag returns. Wonderful developments in artificial reefing too. Need to match a $25,000 grant towards the Radford.. But not yet. Sea bass under martial law - addressing that issue more important, discussed below. Keep bringing a .22 to a sniper match; playing the fish-pool though Sam, Larry, Dennis, Henry & Brian are onboard.. Writings form rampart, logic grape & chain-shot, email as cannon - no surrender. Like Custer, I can't. Regards, Monty Warning: The following verbiage has been modified from its original format for profanity. Despite lead scientists' findings that the black sea bass quota could be safely doubled, the current stock assessment and statistical data review committee's recommendation has 'safe harvest levels' for 2010 the same as 2009: the lowest quota ever. Current MRFSS catch/discard mortality estimates hold that recreational fishers have far exceeded this year's quota. If I'm not mistaken, this means the sea bass season in 2010 will be greatly shortened with a smaller creel limit and larger size limit. And, if that's correct, then the piano-wire necktie will have done its job perfectly, a low-budget guillotine, though no other aspect of management has. This window-dressing, the numbers on paper or screen in offices where payroll is unquestioned; these estimates that are truly important to some very few people will be as they'd like, as if an architect could submit as-built drawings before the foundation's been poured; this tiny sub-set of the management community happy with their efforts while hundreds in business experience severe economic repercussions and thousands are denied access to a fishery they too have helped rebuild. Pretty numbers with ugly consequences, experienced in an ugly economy. This sometimes-uneasy alliance of regulators and fishery scientists call sea bass a "data poor fishery." They know full-well there are errors, not just in the catch estimates, but in the stock assessments too--the larger guess of just how many fish are out there. Scientific trawl data to estimate how many fish live where no trawl-net can be towed.. Recreational catch estimates discredited by the National Research Council, NRC, that guess how many have been caught by sport fishers.. An estimation of almost half our quota, not as catch, but dying of release mortality, this when I couldn't force an under-size sea bass to go belly-up with scientists aboard.. Inferior data, no matter how thick its binder, leads to poor decisions. So why in the Billy-Blue-Blazes haven't fishers been asked to provide supporting data that might better these decisions? Maybe there is a full-press effort to get accuracy from Vessel Trip Reports, VTRs. Maybe there is a dedicated effort to find truth with existing, but unused, data. If so, they're awful quiet about it. Ought to share the news. Make headlines around some parts. The fellow that looked at our assertions of over-estimated flounder catch last year reviewed the exact data set that had created the errors. He would not use our airplane over-flight boat counts, or any other reasonable data source we offered, to lower the number of shore and private boat fishers. We sought to compare known catch rates of party/charter fishers with an improved estimate of the number of other participants, and--refusing anything remotely anecdotal--got the same data looked at with the same result. Rote: mechanical repetition of something so that it is remembered, often without real understanding of its meaning or consequence. (Encarta) Above I had an example of juvenile tautog production being limited by habitat. My anecdotal assertions and video--YouTube search 'Common seafloor habitat mid-Atlantic' & also see Nick Caloyianis "Natural 3-D Bottom: Mid-Atlantic Bight"--these images not enough: coral reef in our region remains scientifically unsubstantiated.. The NRC has a book, albeit thin, titled "Effects of Trawling and Dredging on Seafloor Habitat" that has multiple descriptions of habitat damage. The American Fisheries Society has a book, thick--could be used for self-defense, is--entitled "Benthic Habitats and the Effects of Fishing" with numerous examples worldwide of habitat loss. Yet repetition of known-to-be-safe statements by rote leads to this sentence from a recent MAFMC Press Release titled: MPA Designations moving forward. 10/19/09 "...3.) For fishing gear impacts - the Council should adopt its prior determination that hydraulic dredges may adversely impact EFH but that the impacts are temporary and minimal..." There are areas where that is a true statement. There are also habitats, some already lost, none already found, some completely gone for forty and more years, where "temporary and minimal" may understate the stern towed gear's effect. Every square yard of reef has a production value many times greater than sand. Some of this production, from the most sizable boulders and, as in Russian roulette, those bottoms that simply haven't been impacted in a long time, is still enjoyed by modern fishers. Much of it though has been lost and will only be enjoyed by future fishers if we accept the task of finding and restoring it. The production of our many artificial reefs is shared, not cherished nor even recognized, amongst all. The loss of our natural reefs' production, through reduced catch, is shared by all too. Management's single, laser-like focus on catch restriction--and its use of poor data to base regulatory decisions on--has brought my industry close to death. Now, after 12 years of federal sea bass management we are denied access: closed, not in a time of crisis for the fishery, but for a minor paperwork crisis of dubious origin that coincides a national economic crisis causing intensifying effect. It is management's refusal to find, protect and enhance Essential Fish Habitat--this a clinically diagnosable denial of restoration biology: their unwillingness to look deeper, search harder, for positive results in regional stocks that have--though accidently--already occurred: to model means of maintaining very high spawning stocks plainly evident in the fishery and use those models for betterment of commercial and recreational opportunity: and, finally, to use regional stock divisions--regional quotas--as a decisive and fundamental management tool supported by science that meets any gold-standard test. I find the absence of this type of work negligent, especially since 'more of the same' has proven disastrous. I believe its inclusion, the embracing of restorative work instead of relying solely on fishing reduction, would send the Mid-Atlantics' fisheries well beyond rebuilt; that management has no concept of what is achievable and, as of now, has no firm tactic to achieve anything other than temporary restorations, stock oscillations, in which no business can survive. Forget the window-dressing. Side with jobs, not problematic fishery data. Pull those research boats out of their NASA-like deep trench research. Put them to works of immediate economic importance. Find the natural reef habitat that is and once was. Build more too; its easy. Seek realistic catch data using the knowledge of those deeply involved with recreational fisheries. And reopen sea bass before regulatory mortality climbs near 100% - for fishers, not fish. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/
  16. Fish Report 11/3/09 Toggin' Reefing Possibilities Hi All, Long stretch of bad weather.. might not be done yet. Snuck in Tuesday, eased on out; paced as an enjoyable walk. Throttle down - over structure - lay starboard anchor well up into a considerable but diminishing swell - port anchor far below the wind & off a stern cleat; drawn tight, we're saddled just so: not gonna ring the bell on that one piece of steel, no sinkers banging-clanging: won't spoke 'em.. Man did the tog chew. Hungry. My aft deck, despite 40 some legal fish tags today, wasn't a picture of conservation. Or was it? I promise this, we could have taken an awful lot of tog today, but stopped. Limited. Perhaps the single best illustration of fisheries management I can recall this year.. except.. Have I mentioned artificial reef lately? ..those scurvied rascals managing sea bass will wait a bit, a little bit... Department of Defense--DOD - They are, one day, going to be given a lot of credit for fisheries enhancement. SHA too.. More? Anyway, Maryland's at a jog, then a sprint, trying to catch-up.. For the first time in over a decade the State has just staffed the Reef Director's position - Erik Zlokovitz - strait-up - good guy. DOD's putting in new 'green roofing' at a facility. With a little luck the old roof, plain ol' concrete--and clean--is going to get a very green recycle in way of oyster reef.. So here's DOD wanting to reef. Will truck a scadjillion loads to near Baltimore Harbor. Maryland's NRG, Erik, needs a tug & barge company - big time & low budget! Erik Zlokovitz <A href="mailto:ezlokovitz@dnr.state.md.us"ezlokovitz@dnr.state.md.us/A> Upper Bay reef looks like... Heck of opportunity. Some readers know players - some readers are players - make this happen - key parts falling in place - legacy of improved water quality and fishing.. not just possible, probable. And so is the Radford. Navy Destroyer almost 600 feet long.. In what is already a well developed reef site, though not yet seasoned; DelJerseyLand promises to be a serious fishing and diving destination. I guarantee it. Need to fund Maryland's share of the Radford - The Morning Star reef-raffle ponied-up $1000.00.. Need a big donor - TV coverage, show of its own kind of deal. And I don't even know where to send you, except certainly to Erik.. We'll get the CCA website switched up a little for us regular folk http://www.ccamd.org/MARI/MARI_home.htm Here you can still "Buy a Ton" but it doesn't say Radford yet. You can, of course, funnel donations through the Ocean City Reef Foundation at http://www.ocreeffoundation.com/index1.php .. Call Marta at OCRF, she'll straighten you out. Down-home here, our small foundation has a couple projects rolling into place - another tautog/trigger/cbass/spadefish super-sturdy hilltop piece is ready, waiting for a calm-spell for deployment.. Oysters & temperate corals.. we're going to make a lot more; fish that live on 'em too. Ah good, we limited on tog. That was awesome. But we're fishing for tog in the height of sea bass season. That's not cool. Data is starting to become available, data that should firm-up NMFS's decision to throw lives under a bus by closing sea bass. Just a real quick data affirmation: Ricky up in Delaware.. hmmm, poor guy, my peer, a friend.. fishing forever, what of today? MRFSS has DE partyboats catching zero sea bass - none. Yet the state's anglers caught 44,322? Goodness Rick.. I've nearly lost it all, but I can still catch a sea bass.. Yeah, well, that didn't happen. Ricky caught fish. Others too. Maybe MRFSS will catch-up to DE later. Here in MD we killed 1,355 sea bass. That's just the party boats. Everyone else got skunked - I swear it. http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/recreational/queries/catch/time_series.html Of course those VTRs I talk about - the Vessel Trip Report that has to be filled out daily by Rick & I and all other charter/party skippers - I reported to the government more than twice as many sea bass in May as they have for MD's year. I must not have been to the right places in Jersey, I've seen party boats everywhere - even outnumbering charters in some places. But they only caught 1 out of 7 cbass in the state. At least in MD we get credit for killing 'em all; an opinion widely held in the fisheries. "But the sampling improves over greater area." This in an an age where even manure fertilizer is targeted with pinpoint precision. Mix a little wrong with little right - you got wrong. That just a tiny sample of the "Real-Time Hard Data" that was used to close sea bass.. Good riddance to the whole sorry no-good mess of rat infested bilge slime. The Marine Recreational Information Program--MRIP--starts January 1st. Replacing MRFSS, we'll soon see that horrible mistakes have occurred over the years. Lots of 'em. These errors in catch estimation will be like rats at the city dump with kids pickin 'em off as they scramble from the light. I don't know what I'll do with the carcasses, but I'm going to collect 'em. Show everyone what we were focused on in the decades we wasted watching the waves, suspecting nothing amiss at the bottom of the sea. Rebuilding. Restoring.. As if fish populations occurred without any other influence, save fishing.. Sanity in catch estimates will allow a hard won truce; allow the troops weary of fighting this alien--catch estimate--beast that can not be bested an opportunity, a chance to look for other ways to bolster fisheries production; they're out there. Bad time for truth, fishers & tautog. Except the fishers that want tog. They should do OK.. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/
  17. Fish Report 2/19/10 Blood-Letting Shell-Shocked Sue Foster Nails It Back to the Front! A few openings for the Monday, Feb 22 tog trip left. See the very bottom of this email if interested. Hi All, I did open the book for a tiny sliver of summer--May 22 to June 30th. In a typical year I'd have opened the reservation book on January 1st to sea bass bookings from May 1st through Thanksgiving. Usually, since May offers the best grade of cbass, it books first. Can't do that this year. Had to refund a lot of reservations last fall too when an 'emergency' closure of the sea bass fishery was enacted. Cash-flow is the blood of business, it is as oxygen; No business can do without, at least not for long. You can see the effects of blood/oxygen/cash deprivation on any drive through a business district of today. For two thousand years those who were physicians fancied blood-letting as a wonder cure.. Physicians of today still do--in highly specialized circumstance, and then only in the form of transfusion. Our fishery managers need to closely examine their procedures here.. We're bleeding out. Press releases tout the newly doubled sea bass quota - where the Science and Statistical Committee (SSC) reconvened with the Monitoring Committee & new information was brought to the fore regarding the first sea bass quota.. With all information available now input, the quota was doubled; yet still retains a comfortable safety margin that protects spawning stock*. {*Um, well.. I think that needs work too - been saying so for over a decade; doesn't need to be belabored here.} NEWS: Quota Doubled! Hurray! That ought to do it! Fooled: our Senator's Staff write; our State Fisheries Staff write; NOAA & NMFS write; Many others, friends from the environmental side, customers even.. Sue Foster, our regionally famous OC tackle dealer, said it like this: "It's amazing. They take away 90 percent, give back 35 per cent, and we're supposed to be grateful?" Yes, the quota was doubled: But recreational fishers still have a 44% reduction due--owed against this year's catch--because of the now-discredited & dead program, MRFSS*, which still has us having overfished last year. (*Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Program.) That doubled quota no easy task.. Managers & Regulators--many fishers too--have the thousand yard stare. They are--We are--Shell shocked. Straight from Wikipedia: "Combat Stress Reaction, Shell Shock.. Battle Fatigue; The most common symptoms are fatigue, slower reaction times, indecision, disconnection from one's surroundings, and inability to prioritize." Battle fatigued.. What the SSC did, double a quota, was astonishing to those long-in the game. I promise: There was a lot of heavy-lifting that went on behind the scenes to have this body reconvened. It was not a small task; Rather, it was one of the greatest I have seen in fisheries. Another battle remains; And there isn't anything more fruitless on this planet than a MRFSS battle.. When troops peer over the trench-top between artillery rounds and see MRFSS with their tanks, mustard & chlorine gas, water cooled machine guns and spotter aircraft; thoughts of victory drift far away.. Shell shock. A lot, perhaps all, of the people that helped fishers first get across enemy lines, fix the SSC quota error, have this thousand yard stare. They are well and truly battle fatigued, they want fishers to go away; They have done enough and need to get back to their work. I wish we could simply say, "Thank you for all your hard work. Much appreciated." and leave it at that. My Kingdom to utter such.. Unfortunately, this next battle is our greatest. Actions against MRFSS have always been the 'storm fishers could not weather..' We need our front line troops back. We need truth brought to the attention of the uppermost spheres of our nation's government. Clearing away all the back screw-ups in MRFSS's catch estimates would be an insanely difficult job. I think a common sense approach: "We know this worked before: Lets have ____ size limit & ___ creel limit while we await the new MRIP program's data." Such an approach could easily keep our fish populations stable--growing even--while we recalibrate for MRIP and seek truth from the carcass of a not-yet-shredded and land-filled MRFSS.. We fishers will Rally at the Capitol on Feb 24th before noon. We will press ahead. We will try to bring sense to all this. There can only be one winner; but since MRFSS has already been replaced by a new recreational catch program called MRIP, there could be two losers. No.. Not without a fight. If the first wave of troops can not be rejuvenated with a short rest then fishers must send their pleas higher, to the Secretaries and Under Secretaries, to their Senators & Congressmen, indeed to the White House. We must not let a discredited catch-estimation statistical program--MRFSS--take out a large part of the recreational for-hire industry just before MRFSS gets run through the shredder.. The States; The lower orders of Federal Government -NMFS & NOAA - are shell shocked. Fishers must now reach higher. Fishers must also encourage our marine regulators to snap out of it and join us in our fight against bad data. I could bring this letter to a close right but I press-on; show a few examples of MRFSS data that has had real economic impact despite there being no possible logical agreement with the data...... In Ocean City, Maryland, our partyboat clients outnumber shore fishers targeting flounder most days--I mean really outnumber the shore fishers. We, the party and charter boats of Maryland, very likely fish harder and better -with more knowledge & with more maneuverability: We certainly cover far more bottom than shore fishers. I think these MRFSS numbers, these statistically generated catch estimates are still too high for party/charter --but-- here, in this example are probably within a couple hundred fish of being perfectly correct. Keep in mind that this first data set represents the clients of For-Hire professional captains and--very importantly--is for the year, the whole year: And, for MRFSS, these are great--nearly perfect--estimates. Species: SUMMER FLOUNDER - All For Hire - All Waves - Annual Year HARVEST (TYPE A + B1) PSE 2006 2,314 21.8 2007 2,639 16.5 2008 2,337 18.6 2009 2,774 38.7 This next set is Maryland's recreational shore effort. Granted, there are shore fishers that are very good at catching fish -- I'd wager they complain about party boats catching way too many. We want visitors to catch fish! But, despite some local sharpies, no one would say every shore angler is a trained ninja.. These next MRFSS catch estimates are for Shore Fishers in a single Wave, a Two Month Period---Not All Year as above--Two Months, Wave 5, September & October - Not an annual catch estimate. Species: SUMMER FLOUNDER - Wave 5 - MD - Shore Effort - September/October Year HARVEST (TYPE A + B1) PSE 2006 0 0 2007 36,017 48.4 2008 14,962 51.8 That's one shore-effort two month wave vs. a party & charter boat's annual catch.. 36,017 caught in two months ashore vs. 2,639 by professionals. That's the data that affects us--makes us appear to have greedily gone far over-quota; the data that makes size limits go up & creel limits go down.. all with shorter seasons. Look at the numbers again. That is happening in America. Its every bit as bad in these same years for the 'private/rental boat' MRFSS category. We fought these data sets hard. In the end it was a "Can't prove a negative" a "Can't push with a rope" argument that kept fishers from having some truth brought in: That all there had to be was more fishers, hundreds of thousands of them I suppose, and they would have indeed caught those kinds of fish - NMFS won.. Always does. What a bunch of horse-feathers. And now, outflanking sea bass fishers---red snapper too I hear-told---is another battalion of these crazy catch estimates, the MRFSS catch-estimates that could only be loved by a crazed statistician--because the ones I know, sane, don't like this type of data at all.. We can not push with a rope, We can not argue a negative until true; No one can assert enough proof.. From Wiki: "The argumentum ad ignorantiam [fallacy] is committed whenever it is argued that a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proven false.." But, look, when you're the government this argument works fine.. All there ever had to be to achieve any catch estimate was more fishers, lots and lots of imaginary fishers... More. In each of the following two-month data sets MRFSS asserts 2009 to have been fantastically-incredibly better than any cbass fishing previously known to anglers in these northern regions. Here too MRFSS asserts that our fisheries bureaucracy allowed the entirety of the coast's black sea bass quota to be captured in one region, despite the proof that habitat fidelity would make that a tragically ruinous event for a single region's fish 'stock' or population.. A quick glance; call it as you see it. Species: BLACK SEA BASS - Wave 4 - Private Boat - MA Year HARVEST (TYPE A + B1) PSE 2007 13,062 71.3 2008 13,548 69.4 2009 165,595 25.6 Species: BLACK SEA BASS - Wave 3 - Party Boat - MA Year HARVEST (TYPE A + B1) PSE 2007 3,015 31.1 2008 526 19 2009 77,136 32 Wave 2 NJ Party Boats Species: BLACK SEA BASS Year HARVEST (TYPE A + B1) PSE 2005 61 71.1 2006 30 99.6 2008 134 100.1 2009 20,543 37.7 Wave 2, 1998 - 2009 New Jersey, Private Species: BLACK SEA BASS Year HARVEST (TYPE A + B1) PSE 2002 9,921 92.9 2007 3,302 74.1 2009 34,418 56.4 Years ago ol' Doc Mann, a WWII combat medic vet, used to stitch-up our bait cutting & fish cleaning slices without a local; all while chain smoking Marlboros in the treatment room. Soviet and other European factory trawlers used to routinely ply our waters in competition with a growing American fleet. An era past; This was overfishing! That and the single greatest loss of seafloor habitat in the world, the unregulated hydraulic-super-dredge surf clam boom: It's all part of our fishing history. So is MRFSS. Many fishing businesses are finely balanced in this already adverse economic environment. I know there is nothing but zeros where I once had a retirement nest egg; I know last fall my boat ran fantastically light, sometimes without prayer of a day's profit; I know this spring the same thing will happen again. This restored boat, her skilled crew, her skipper of 30 years professional experience; This boat where so many veterans of both war and fishing have had a smile cross their face, where fathers and sons have enjoyed an experience unlike that which can be found ashore, and along her rails where small children have come to be fascinated with our marine world: This boat and many others stand to be lost because we could not win the fool's argument, because we let blatantly bad data into an already shaky system.. A system whose data must be extracted from beneath the sea and, apparently, from thin-air. Its not good governance and needs to change. It will be letters struck on a keyboard; pen to paper that wins this fight. There will be no real bullets, no real bombs.. The bankruptcies however.. Shake it off! Back to the front! Set aside the MRFSS data - or at least truth these sets with data submitted by professionals -- the Vessel Trip Reports, VTRs.. Find some truth. The Fish are doing fine. Save the Fishers. I'll see you in DC. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/ Opening tog trips for this weekend coming - Feb 20-21-22 - West winds forecasted - Boat sells out at 12 - Green crabs provided - Cabin heated - Leave at 7:00 for these trips (or a tad earlier) - Return no later than 3 - 3:30 (usually) - $100.00 buys a spot - Reservation a must, that phone number in signature - Email does not work for reservations - call - leave a good phone number, cell, in case of cancellation. Also opening the book for sea bass trips from May 22cnd to the end of June. Even though these dates are not 100%, I'm pretty sure we'll have open season then. The folks at the reservation service are ready to book.
  18. Fish Report 2/25/10 After The Rally Uncertainty Write! Toggin' Try to sneak a few more days of fishing in; Opening tog trips for - Feb 28 - March 1st & 2cnd - 2010 - Sun, Mon, Tues - West winds forecasted - Boat sells out at 12 - Green crabs provided - Cabin heated - Leave at 7:00 for these trips (or a tad earlier) - Return no later than 3 - 3:30 (usually) - $100.00 buys a spot - Reservation a must, that phone number in signature - Email does not work for reservations - call - leave a good phone number, cell, in case of cancellation. Hi All, That was a sight to behold. Lot of fishers in DC yesterday. Thousands! Googles easy.. Message: Management is messing up real bad, destroying livelihoods & coastal economies when fish are in abundance. Senators/Congressmen-Women there from NY, MA, NC, Florida. They spoke well to our plight: As though they understood.. Honestly understood. We have politicians in Maryland too.. But they weren't there. My parents hosted a fund raiser for a young politician seeking his first term in Delaware - long time ago though. I was a kid. Guy's name was Joe Biden. There are fishers in his state deeply affected by Magnuson's present interpretation too. Crowd was yelling fairly loud at times, maybe they heard up inside the Capitol. I hope so. We've been telling Senator Mikulski, Senator Cardin & Congressman Kratovil.. Maybe their offices faced the Rally.. Maybe they heard. If they did, I'm not at all sure they understand. Our fisheries are being stolen. We need help. I think Fisheries Regulators and many of our Political Representatives are now trapped within a culture that accepts basic fallacies as truth; That since we are fishers nothing we say or write is to be trusted; That since we fishers have, historically, created this need of governance through our overfishing actions then we are as Prisoners and deserve, at best, only bread and water; That any Science laid freely upon the table is unworthy if it came from the Prisoners, yet is welcomed with open arms if it came from outside--unrequested. And, if paid for by the prison system--by NOAA or NMFS--then that science lays beyond any refute. That is how the data's claim that Maryland shore anglers targeting flounder caught in two months what the state's party/charter fleet will catch in 15 years came to be accepted; That's how that data remains unquestioned by fisheries regulators/managers. Here, where any acceptance of any proof from the prisoners--from the fishers--would be enough to overturn this terrible catch estimate; Here we see bias writ plain -- Since Fishers in the past tried to exterminate all the fish in the sea & Fisheries Regulators are now tasked with preventing that from ever happening again, Then Fishers can never be trusted by Regulators--not even for the simplest of catch data. Even law suffers: "The Best Scientific Information Available" shall guide management. I don't think the drafters of this legislation had any grasp of what rubbish might come to be called science. They could never have imagined that regulators would call science, would believe, that MA's private boats caught more black sea bass in two months last year than all the data--all together--for that state's party boat history combined. No, management is messing-up real bad believing some of this data; It's destroying livelihoods & coastal economies while fish are in abundance. "Precautionary" fish quotas.. "Uncertainty" in the fisheries.. The Uncertainty Principle came from physics. The numbers a physicist might work with -- such as 'ten to the minus twenty sixth power'-- are as to hitting a target on the moon with a .22 caliber bullet with one miss in a trillion tries: That's uncertainty to them, a shot might miss eventually.. Fisheries uncertainty falls a little shorter, perhaps precisely opposite. It's very-much tainted by the bias against fishers.. If fishers profess that no .22 bullet will ever hit the moon, let alone a specific target -- but there's a 'scientific' data set that demonstrates it might.. Managers are going to shoot the moon. We're toast. Speaking of physics, which I really shouldn't be.. Von Jolly did great work in his time; However, he is best remembered for telling a student to shift the focus of his studies away from physics because the science was virtually all discovered, there could be nothing new to contribute: The year was 1878, the student Max Planck. He went on to become known as the father of quantum physics. Albert Einstein spoke at his funeral. (The Discoveries - Alan Lightman) Certain of his assessment, von Jolly spoke with firm belief. The student, Planck, must have thought the advice shallow and turned away from it.. Now we have nuclear bombs and cell phones. I saw a press release statement by the new National Marine Fisheries Service--NMFS--Administrator, Eric Schwaab, concerning the DC Rally. It developed into the familiar refrain about rebuilt fisheries being a great economic driver if we could just clear these hurdles; But it began with..."Today, however, more than 20 percent of the nation's fish stocks are overfished and need to be rebuilt to larger, healthier populations so that they can produce their full economic potential for fishermen, coastal communities and the nation." Our Point Exactly - We were there about the other 80%.. The ones that are rebuilt. Brand new to the job--been there a week--our new head of NMFS is hardly new to fisheries.. We are at a real crossroads, Mr. Schwaab, a turning point. I offer the Rally offered as evidence. NMFS & NOAA must recognize that we have been on the same team; That together we have rebuilt many species; That we are not the enemy: That management must not follow bad data to where no legislator could have ever foreseen; That regulating economic collapse of fisheries where species are known to be in great abundance was never anyone's intent. As von Jolly 'knew' it had all been discovered; We are now ready to divide our resources permanently through catch shares, We are now ready to close almost a thousand miles of coast so that red snapper might 'rebuild'-- And We are now ready to choke the recreational sea bass industry to death with data worse than von Jolly's advice.. We have yet to use habitat fidelity in the management of species where it has been well demonstrated: We still manage sea bass on a Coastwide basis. We have yet to begin restoration--even recognition--of important seafloor habitat, coral reef, in the mid-Atlantic. We have yet to look for ways to maximize the spawning potential of these regional sub-stocks.. Taken together I assert these preceding sentences place our fishery management of sea bass where physics was in 1878. We must now decide whether we know it all.. Or will new leaders toss these several decades of mistrust aside, allow the 'precautionary' & 'uncertainty' to fall the other way.. Where since it is known that fish species DID rebuild from an incredibly overfished state with X & Y restrictions, then stricter restrictions are only to be used with the greatest of bioeconomic care. That would be different. Might even come to trust that government. Pressure eased; There's a bunch of new fisheries theories that could be tried small-scale and ramped up. Meanwhile, we've come a long way already. We can demonstrate that what worked previously will prevent fishers from ever catching their way into catastrophic overfishing again. I wonder what von Jolly would give to be the Professor that brought us Max Planck instead. History is occurring in the fisheries, of that I'm sure. I just don't know how it will get written. I am fairly sure that Fisheries Restoration is among the youngest of sciences; that the good Professor von Jolly has much company in those who believe this is as far as the science will come. And I am positive that fisher's influence in all this will be found in many of us writing, emailing, faxing, calling and meeting our Representatives. We need the Flexibility Act. We need--desperately need--a simple test for fisheries data. Fishers need the regulatory community to apply their uncertainty tests to our businesses, to our communities, to our families & homes.. Things are getting pretty rough out here in this great recession; We don't want government handouts, We don't want the species still in trouble--if they are in trouble; We just want our rebuilt fisheries back: Let us go back to work. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/
  19. The Obama administration will accept no more public input for a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing some of the nation's oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters. AP/Luis M. Alvarez One sign at the United We Fish rally at the Capital summed up the feelings of recreational and commercial fishermen. This announcement comes at the time when the situation supposedly still is "fluid" and the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force still hasn't issued its final report on zoning uses of these waters. That's a disappointment, but not really a surprise for fishing industry insiders who have negotiated for months with officials at the Council on Environmental Quality and bureaucrats on the task force. These angling advocates have come to suspect that public input into the process was a charade from the beginning. "When the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) completed their successful campaign to convince the Ontario government to end one of the best scientifically managed big game hunts in North America (spring bear), the results of their agenda had severe economic impacts on small family businesses and the tourism economy of communities across northern and central Ontario," said Phil Morlock, director of environmental affairs for Shimano. "Now we see NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the administration planning the future of recreational fishing access in America based on a similar agenda of these same groups and other Big Green anti-use organizations, through an Executive Order by the President. The current U.S. direction with fishing is a direct parallel to what happened in Canada with hunting: The negative economic impacts on hard working American families and small businesses are being ignored. "In spite of what we hear daily in the press about the President's concern for jobs and the economy and contrary to what he stated in the June order creating this process, we have seen no evidence from NOAA or the task force that recreational fishing and related jobs are receiving any priority." Consequently, unless anglers speak up and convince their Congressional representatives to stop this bureaucratic freight train, it appears that the task force will issue a final report for "marine spatial planning" by late March, with President Barack Obama then issuing an Executive Order to implement its recommendations — whatever they may be. Led by NOAA's Jane Lubchenco, the task force has shown no overt dislike of recreational angling, but its indifference to the economic, social and biological value of the sport has been deafening. Additionally, Lubchenco and others in the administration have close ties to environmental groups who would like nothing better than to ban recreational angling. And evidence suggests that these organizations have been the engine behind the task force since before Obama issued a memo creating it last June. As ESPN previously reported, WWF, Greenpeace, Defenders of Wildlife, Pew Environment Group and others produced a document entitled "Transition Green" shortly after Obama was elected in 2008. What has happened since suggests that the task force has been in lockstep with that position paper. Then in late summer, just after he created the task force, these groups produced "Recommendations for the Adoption and Implementation of an Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes National Policy." This document makes repeated references to "overfishing," but doesn't once reference recreational angling, its importance, and its benefits, both to participants and the resource. Additionally, some of these same organizations have revealed their anti-fishing bias by playing fast and loose with "facts," in attempts to ban tackle containing lead in the United States and Canada. That same tunnel vision, in which recreational angling and commercial fishing are indiscriminately lumped together as harmful to the resource, has persisted with the task force, despite protests by the angling industry. As more evidence of collusion, the green groups began clamoring for an Executive Order to implement the task force's recommendations even before the public comment period ended in February. Fishing advocates had no idea that this was coming. Perhaps not so coincidentally, the New York Times reported on Feb. 12 that "President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environmental, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities." Click here for archiveMorlock fears that "what we're seeing coming at us is an attempted dismantling of the science-based fish and wildlife model that has served us so well. There's no basis in science for the agendas of these groups who are trying to push the public out of being able to fish and recreate. "Conflicts (user) are overstated and problems are manufactured. It's all just an excuse to put us off the water." In the wake of the task force's framework document, the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) and its partners in the U.S. Recreational Fishing & Boating Coalition against voiced their concerns to the administration. "Some of the potential policy implications of this interim framework have the potential to be a real threat to recreational anglers who not only contribute billions of dollars to the economy and millions of dollars in tax revenues to support fisheries conservation, but who are also the backbone of the American fish and wildlife conservation ethic," said CSF President Jeff Crane. Morlock, a member of the CSF board, added, "There are over one million jobs in America supported coast to coast by recreational fishing. The task force has not included any accountability requirements in their reports for evaluating or mitigating how the new policies they are drafting will impact the fishing industry or related economies. "Given that the scope of this process appears to include a new set of policies for all coastal and inland waters of the United States, the omission of economic considerations is inexcusable." This is not the only access issue threatening the public's right to fish, but it definitely is the most serious, according to Chris Horton, national conservation director for BASS. "With what's being created, the same principles could apply inland as apply to the oceans," he said. "Under the guise of 'marine spatial planning' entire watersheds could be shut down, even 2,000 miles up a river drainage from the ocean. "Every angler needs to be aware because if it's not happening in your backyard today or tomorrow, it will be eventually. "We have one of the largest voting blocks in the country and we need to use it. We must not sit idly by." This is an opinion column from Robert Montgomery. As a Senior Writer for BASS Publications, Montgomery has written about conservation, environment, and access issues for more than two decades.
  20. Took the Ski over to Chesapeake Virginia and fished The Ditch in the Elizabeth River from 0730-1230. I was in the Cove for two hours with no luck so I moved over closer to the Ditch and had better action. I caught several Speckled Trout and Puppy Drum, all were small with the largest being about 18 inches. I caught one Spec on a jig and the rest live baiting with shiners. Temp was about 31 when I arrived and 45 by the time I left. The sun was out most of the day and so were several other boats and kayaks, I saw a couple other catching but nothing real big. Another great way to spend half a Sunday, can’t wait to get out again. Here are a couple of pictures from today.
  21. Hey All, I was recently contacted by Capt. Chris Gatley, a columnist from ESPN Saltwater Outdoors. He wanted to do a story on Jet Ski Fishing and asked if I would be part of it. Of course I said yes! Please feel free to send him emails or comments here is the link. http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/saltwater/index Here is the article; Updated: February 10, 2010, 12:25 AM ET Jet Ski Brian Virginia angler way ahead of the curve on personal watercraft fishing Comment Email Print Share By Chris Gatley ESPNOutdoors.com Archive Jet ski fishing (or personal watercraft fishing) in America may just be the new growth market. Facing tough economic times, the boating industry could use this shot in the arm. </p> Courtesy Jet Ski BrianBrian Lockwood is known as Jet Ski Brian for his proclivity to fish from his personal watercraft. It was a foggy, rainy day back in 2006 and I remember being particularly anxious because my customers and I could hear a weird motor sound unlike a traditional boat in my immediate area. We could not see a vessel but my radar was picking up a fast moving object, buzzing around us. If you have ever fished the New York Bight area, you will know that shipping channels and boat traffic is like the L.A. freeways at rush hour, except countless NYC Ferries cruise at 40 knots and little fishing boats without radar units are everywhere. After several hours of near panic attacks, I heard the noise getting louder and louder and through the mist and fog, I saw a guy on a jet ski holding a fishing rod in his mouth. I couldn’t believe it. At first, I thought the guy was nuts. In fact, I still do. Jet ski fishing in Australia and New Zealand is very popular, we could all agree on that. In Japan, Suzuki Motor Corporation has begun selling personal watercraft outfitted specifically for fisherman. The personal watercrafts overseas are outfitted with rod holders, GPS units, coolers, fish finders and more. Here in the states however, this trend has yet to really catch on but I have found a few guys utilizing this new fishing platform. In my assessment, fishing from a personal watercraft is going to grow much like kayak fishing has. I remember when the very first sets of fishing kayaks were released into the marketplace. At first, people said it would not grow and take off but it has beyond everyone’s wildest dreams. If you are like me, you are probably reading this and saying to yourself “Oh Great, now all we need is 20 jet ski fishermen buzzing around, running and gunning schools of fish.” PHOTO GALLERY Click Here I think that way at times but stepping back, I see some great attributes to fishing from a jet ski. We all know money is tight and time is limited. In the charter business, one of my growing obstacles is that my group of anglers can’t seem to get that third or fourth guy due to work and family commitments. Charter anglers are experiencing tough times and nothing is more evident than the growing popularity of open boat charters. Finding groups of 4 or 6 has become really tough in the northeast. The result and truth is that individuals are linking together at the last minute to jump on an open boat. Those who own boats experience additional issues including the cost of seasonal boat slips, the boat itself, insurance and fuel combined with less buddies chipping in and paying the overall bill. Jet ski fishing allows an angler to fish in so many ways while paying less for the overall vessel, maintenance, gear, insurance and tow vehicle. Plus it is a one angler game; if your friends can’t go, the personal watercraft still sails. Here in the states, I have found no one more in tune with jet ski fishing than a man from Virginia named Brian Lockwood (aka Jet Ski Brian). Jet Ski Brian also owns a Grady White, but fishing from a jet ski has become more economical, easier and has become his chosen fishing platform. When gas prices and other costs in 2002 began creeping up, his Grady White became too expensive to maintain and operate. Lockwood began researching personal watercraft manufacturers while fishing and spear fishing off of less than satisfactory vessels. Lockwood settled on the largest personal watercraft offered by Yamaha, their SUV 1200 because “it promised the best in size, stability and capacity.” Now, Jet Ski Brian has over 700 motor hours on his Yamaha. “I can quickly trailer this vessel to a ramp or take it on long hauls and fish out of town destinations easily,” he said. “The best part is that I can launch it from my dock, too.” The advantages are tremendous. “I get pretty good fuel mileage, can operate in shallow back bay areas and I can even run offshore and target tuna and mahi mahi,” he said. “In addition, it is easy to anchor or beach, no exposed propeller to damage, it handles rough seas very well, instant throttle response is magnificent and overall maneuverability is great, especially when spearfishing.” Jet Ski Brian’s Grady White gets 1.1 miles per gallon cruising at 35 mph. His Jet Ski enjoys 4 to 5 mpg at the same speed. It is also capable of speeds up to 53 mph when sea conditions are ideal. “There is no way I would have been able to fish as much without my jet ski,” he said, noting gas prices hitting $4 a gallon last year. His Yamaha holds 18 gallons and can easily carry an extra 12 gallons on long range trips of 80-120 miles from port. Like any other consumer product on the market, there are disadvantages as well. Disadvantages such as exposure to the elements, the physical demand on long trips in rough seas, limited storage and overall range limitations are just a few. However, with proper planning and consolidation of gear, Lockwood can fish pretty much where ever he wants. In outfitting his Yamaha, Jet Ski Brian employed the services of Albert Martin of Martin’s Custom Structures. Together, they developed a fishing platform that carries up to ten rods or a combination of rods, gaff and net. This allows any jet-ski angler to troll, drift or dive. Jet Ski Brian has since added a GPS/fish finder, VHF, navigation lights and an additional deep cycle gel battery to support the electronics. At age 45 and married, this guy is very safety conscious. Safety gear is a pre-requisite. “I carry an additional hand-held GPS, hand-held VHF, Spot GPS tracker, flares, signal mirror, whistle, compass, personal strobe, first aid kit and dye pack,” Lockwood said. “In the winter I also wear a Mustang Survival suit.” As the cost of boat ownership continues to rise, expect to see more jet ski’s on the water. Once manufacturers here in the states jump on board with this style of fishing, innovative solutions and specialized platforms may just fit your fishing needs. Editor’s note: Capt. Chris Gatley can be found with his fishing clients chasing striped bass in front of the Statue of Liberty, or heading offshore to the Atlantic Ocean canyons off the NJ/NY coast for tuna. His articles on cutting-edge fishing techniques can be found in The Fisherman Magazine, and he’s a regular presenter at key sports shows during the winter months (when he’s not pursuing whatever he can find in East Coast rivers).
  22. The cold weather has finally left us, but not without leaving a bad taste with many fisherman. Massive fish kills because the water temperature dipped into the 50's have caused emergency regulations to be put into effect. Despite the bitter cold the offshore scene survived with some slow downs. The good news is that the tarpon fishing along the beach has bounced back. We've found tarpon action on every trip I've done thus far this season. More good news is that the current has finally found its way into the depths we like to fish for sailfish. The action for sailfish has picked up dramatically. Some dolphin continue to move south and feed very good on some days and ignore our offerings on others. Prior to the cold wave, the kingfishing action was outstanding. It has had a few flurries since, however, not as consistent. The shallow water artificial reefs still hold a variety of species that are willing to please. Nick Luders and Darrell Neuberger got a trip in on the beginning of the first cold wave. NW winds at 13 - 19 knots had us bundled up to keep warm. The kingfish didn't seem to mind as we had fast and furious action on both the mid-depth and flatline rods. We limited out and moved south to try and find current. We saw lots of bird action offshore and ran out to investigate. We added dolphin and also released two sharks that cut in on the action. Dane and Lori Martens had a day in between cruises. They wanted to try some tarpon fishing. The wind was howling from the SE/SSE @ 22 - 27 knots. We took advantage of the protection offered by the north jetty at Government Cut. It took several drifts to locate a tarpon, but we finally did. Lori caught her first tarpon and has the pictures to prove it. The fish put on a great show at boat side by jumping and doing a bit of tail walking. Steve Phillips and his son Steve, Jr fished a half day in the afternoon. We started offshore in search of sailfish. We had a visit from 2 sails in 168' off the County Wrecks. Both fish managed to bend the rods, take the baits off the hooks, and neither hooked up. Toward the end of the trip, we moved in shallower and caught and released numerous yellowtail snapper, lane snapper, mutton snapper, bluerunners, margate, and several other species of fish. John DeJong and his sons, Jack (11 years old) and Sam (9 years old) fished a combo trip. We had great calm sea conditions, however, there was still a lack of north current up off the Haulover area. We ran out to 450 feet and found an edge with heavy scattered grass and lots of birds working it. We found lots of dolphin that refused our baits. When we finally got a hit, Sam took the rod and with some help pulled in a 40# shark. Moving inshore to finish the trip for tarpon, Jack's turn came and he did battle with a 60# tarpon along Haulover Beach. Fred Glauser and Rachel Cain saw two different kinds of weather during their trip. The morning started out with very calm wind and quite slow fishing. We caught a spanish mackerel on the downrigger and a skipjack tuna slow trolling baits. Then the change came and the wind came and whipped up the seas. The combination of wind, strong north current and seas produced by E/ESE winds of 15 - 18 knots got the sailfish feeding steadily. It started with a flat line, progressed to the kite and finished with a flat line. Both Fred and Rachel caught and released their first sailfish. Rachel's fish put on a spectacular 8 jump series that started just 30 feet off the stern of the boat. Fred's fish was a jumper and a bull dog. We went completely around the boat 4 times before the fish finally gave in. Both their fish were caught using 12# tackle. Scott Miller and Mundy Stafford braved SE/SSE wind @ 26 - 29 knots to catch a tarpon along Haulover. Even with a sea anchor out, we were drifting quite quickly. On the third drift, we got the hit we were looking for and Mundy did an outstanding job of chasing the fish around the boat while Scott videoed the fight. We tried to fish in the Bay and with the wind we couldn't hold the position we needed too. The north side at Government Cut produced nothing but us getting soaked when a large wave broke at boat side. As both Scott and Mundy said "we hate wind but it's always windy when we get to go fishing." On Friday, January 29th, you can check out the most recent show I did with Mark Sosin on his TV show Mark Sosin's Saltwater Journal. It will also air on Sunday, January 31st, as well as Wednesday, February 3rd. Mark's show airs on the Sun Sports Channel. Check your local listings for the times. That brings us up to date. It's time to go fishing again. Check back for another report soon. Booking a trip is as easy as calling me on 305 965-9454 or email me at nkostyo@bellsouth.net Captain Dave Kostyo Knot Nancy Fishing Charters, Inc. 305 965-9454 Cell nkostyo@bellsouth.net
  23. Wind, clouds and choppy waters greeted us Friday morning. Not Captains Steven’s favorite conditions. Hundreds and hundreds of hours of experience fishing Tampa Bay in tuff conditions allows this Capt. to tuck up into quality spots out of the winds (in most cases). Readers that follow my reports and feature articles now I spend a lot of time scouting just these types of areas for windy winter days. Catching bait has changed; for starters I put on waterproof bib overalls along with a waterproof jacket. Getting wet is no longer an option as it is most of the year. Dressing in layers is a must along with breathable water proof pants and jackets. The water temperature was a nippy 64 degrees. Gortex is a great material for anglers, golfers, hunters etc. Trust me getting wet can ruin your day. The winds forecasted at 15 quickly became 20+ and put a damper on most options. We took cover in Tierra Verde on one of my favorite redfish locations. With good friend Dave onboard I really wanted to get him on the 30” + redfish this area typically holds. It was not to be, a couple of hits and nothing to show for our efforts was not a good sign. We moved a few hundred yards and found flounder, lizard fish and that was it. Next move we were able to get on some small grouper which were very aggressive. The winds were really howling and we decided to call it a day. It was really ruff even in semi protected areas. Had I known we were going to have 20-25 mph winds we would have cancelled the day. Saturday, Sunday and Monday look great for getting on the water. Look for the water temperatures to quickly climb back into the upper 60 to near 70 and turn on the snook bite. Stay tuned for updates. Capt. Steven
  24. They say that variety is the spice of life. This holds true for fishing also as the action has been steady for a variety of species. When the current picks up or when the wind puts a chop on the water, the action picks up. Without either of those conditions, it requires lots of searching and persistence to put together a nice catch. The surface water temperature is still slightly above 80 degrees, so it's still worth while putting a bait down on the bottom. As a matter of fact, with the exception of sailfish, all of the fish I've been catching have come on the bottom rig and a few on the downrigger. Here's a recap of my two most recent trips. They were both fished in the area between the Twins and 71st Street in 100 to 225 feet of water. The majority of the action came in the 180 - 200 foot range. Fernando Godinez, his father-in-law Larry Hofmann, Larry's 10 year old grandson, Lyndon Hofmann, and friend Robert Abramitis fished a 1/2 day in the afternoon. We loaded the livewell with pilchards and ran offshore starting in 160 feet. Our first action came on the bottom rod in the form of a kingfish. Lyndon had first honors and whipped the king in nothing flat. Moving out to 200 feet, the downrigger scored next with another kingfish. On the next drift, the bottom rod took off like crazy. Lyndon used all the strength he could muster to turn the handle. The fish kept taking line and soon he needed some help. While Robert was putting on a rod belt, I managed to turn the fish's head and get it coming up, at least temporarily. Robert took over and felt the power of the fish immediately. He kept up steady pressure as the fish slowly began to give in. Once we got the sinker to the surface, I grabbed the leader and finished pulling the 40# amberjack to the surface and put it in the fish box. We finished the trip with making a couple of drops on several wrecks. We had a goggle eye get crushed and spit out, however, we did not hook up. Craig Liszt, Rich Rusak, and Pat Conway fished a 3/4 day trip. The main goal was to catch a sailfish and also catch a few fish to take home to eat. Bait was a bit more difficult on this trip, but we finally hit a good load of pilchards and off we went. The forecast of seas 2 feet or less turned out to be 2 - 4 feet. This actually worked out to our advantage and it put the fish in a much better feeding mood. After putting out the first two flatlines, we had a 25 foot whale shark swim up to the boat. What a beautiful enormous creature. Everyone had their cameras out and were snapping lots of pictures when I saw a cobia tagging along with the whale shark. It initially refused our bait. Meanwhile, the whale shark bumped the engines once and the side of the boat another time. It swam off and came back several times. On it's third return trip, the cobia ate a pilchard and we thought we were in for a battle. The fish just swam in circles next to the boat. I got a large gaff and stuck the fish pulling its tail out of the water. The fish went nuts and I held on. I yelled for another gaff and stuck the fish again and put the 35# cobia in the boat and into the fish box. What a great way to start the trip. All the lines were put back out and the bottom rod saw first action with a kingfish. Then it was another kingfish followed by a nice size mutton snapper and then a summer size bonito. The downrigger scored the third kingfish before we finally had a flatline get hit. It turned out to be a bluerunner. Along the way, we missed the hook up on two fish on the downrigger and one on the bottom rod. It was time to call it a day when a flatline got hit and it was the other fish we were looking for. The sailfish put on a spectacular aerial show and dumped lots of line off the reel while we pulled in all the other lines. We gave chase and slowly started winning the back and forth battle with the sail. It sounded twice during the fight before staying on the surface for the remainder of the fight. After several pictures, the fish was released to thrill another angler on another day. The action is steady and every time the rod bends over, you never know what species of fish it will be. That's what makes fishing off Miami so great. And you never know what other great sights of nature that might come along. Call 305 965-9454 or email nkostyo@bellsouth.net to schedule your trip to get in on the action. Also, don't forget to order your gift certificate for a charter trip. It'll be a gift that will be remembered for a very long time and you'll be thanked many times over. Captain Dave nkostyo@bellsouth.net -----------------------------------------------------------------------
  25. Greetings anglers. Can you believe next week is Thanksgiving? Today’s trip you would never know winter is just around the corner with temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s.With one exception Saturday mirrored Fridays trip. The day started with a bang a large school of truly bruiser size Jacks came right to the boat. These very large Jacks were 15-20 pounds of pure muscle. Next thing you know reels are screaming, the jack off the bow ran 100 yards off line in seconds! Super way to start the day but we were looking for snook and did not find them at this stop. A quick run up Tampa Bay’s eastern shore did the trick. Snook action was ok but the flounder bite was crazy catching 7 legal size flatties in 30 minutes. Jacks also were plentiful at this stop but nothing the size of what we encountered earlier. The jack bite was nonstop while we took 5 snook in an hour. Real promising was the beautiful juvenile snook and redfish, these beauties will are the future. I found large schools of mackerel Friday and they were still feeding on glass minnows in the same location today. Silver spoons once again proved deadly as we took mackerel one after another. With redfish and snook landed all we needed was trout to complete the grand slam. Sadly the last stop did not yield any trout although several were hooked none made it boat side. I gathered bait once again on the grass flats near the Skyway Bridge with 5 tosses of the cast net. Bait should remain plentiful with the outlook for mild days. Capt. Steven