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Found 321 results

  1. As usual, I read through the many fishing reports and see the amazing pictures of anglers proudly posing with their catch. By the time I have finished looking at the photos for the fourth time, the “fishy” part of my brain is creating a new list of excuses that may convince my wife to let me go fishing. Once I have finished explaining how the tide will be perfect for the next few hours, the weather forecast could not get any better and the tackle shop just received fresh bait, she usually gives her approval. In a rush to get out the door before she changes her mind, I find myself quickly going through my mental list of surf fishing necessities. Before I know it, I am on the sand wishing I had spent a little more time on that mental list. Depending on where you fish, having to run back to your house or the nearest tackle shop may not be a big deal, however if you fish areas like the southern end of Assateague Island, having to admit to your fishing buddy how you managed to forget the bait knife is not a good feeling. Some anglers like to step out for an hour or two and they don’t need to take much with them. On the other hand, if you are like me and can’t help but fish until it hurts, there are many items you can bring that will ease the pain. First of all, make sure you know the license requirements, regulations and creel limits for the beach you will be fishing. It is also a good idea to keep a fish species reference guide with you to help identify your catch. If you are not sure what you have caught, safely remove the hook and get it back into the water as fast as possible. A good photo will last much longer than any fish you will catch, so don’t hesitate to snap a quick picture. You will need something to help carry your gear through the soft sand. A surf fishing cart can be a great investment for fishing spots such as the North end of Assateague Island. On some beaches, such as the federal side of Assateague Island, you are allowed to drive your vehicle on the beach. This is very convenient for longer fishing trips that require more fishing gear. Of course you will need your surf fishing rod and reel, sinkers, hooks, and other basic fishing tackle. Choosing the type of tackle needed always depends on the species of fish you will be targeting. There are numerous options when it comes to choosing your tackle, however don’t let it overwhelm you. Your best bet will be checking out the fishing reports on the Internet and spending some time talking to the folks at our local tackle shops. They will be able to help you get an idea which rigs are best for your tackle box. You are going to need a cooler with ice to keep your bait fresh. It does not take long for the sun and warm air to dry out even the freshest bait. In the spring, the most commonly used baits, such as bunker or peeler crabs are going to need to be cut into pieces, so having a strong, serrated knife and cutting board are essential. The springtime sun can feel very warm at home; however the ocean breeze can feel surprisingly cold! Make sure you dress appropriately and have a good idea of the weather forecast. Even on those cloudy days, you will get sunburned so don’t forget sunscreen. Having a hat and a pair of polarized sunglasses will not only help with the sun’s glare on the water, it will also keep you from getting the painful “squint eye” headache. Wearing a comfortable pair of waterproof waders will certainly help keep your legs warm and dry when that unexpected wave sneaks up on you right in the middle of your cast. After you have heaved your bait into the surf, you are going to need a sturdy sand spike to hold your rod. When choosing your sand spike, make sure the bottom of your rod easily fits into the sand spike. In my opinion, the longer the sand spike, the better. You will need to shove it down into the sand far enough to be able to put pressure against it without it falling over. As the tide comes in and the sand becomes soft, make sure you frequently check your sand spike to ensure it does not move easily. One of the most common critters you are likely to catch is the Clearnose skate. Trust me, having a quality pair of needle nose pliers and fishing gloves will come in very handy when removing the hook from these spine covered bottom dwellers, as well as many other fish. Being able to sit down and rest while you wait for that record fish to swim by will make your trip much more enjoyable. Although your cooler can also serve as a seat, I recommend a lightweight beach chair with a cup holder. It’s always a good idea to bring something to eat and plenty of fresh water for drinking and washing your hands. Most importantly, you must remember you will be in constant contact with things that can hurt you if you fail to respect them. Think about it, you are dealing with sharp hooks and lead weights that are being hurled at incredible speeds. Be aware of the power of the ocean and the heat of the sun. There is always the possibility that you will have to unhook many different types of critters and just about all of them have some sort of natural defense. Excitement and adrenaline can take over very quickly when surf fishing and you have to remember to stay focused. Always have a first-aid kit and cell phone, especially if you are fishing alone. Although it may not be on your list of surf fishing gear, being safe is without a doubt the last thing you want to forget. Whenever possible, bring a friend with you. Not only can they help you untangle that spiny dogfish from your line, but in my opinion, sharing a good day on the beach with a buddy is a reward in itself.
  2. Ok with all the talk this year of getting a big shark and with all the new to shark fishing anglers I felt that a thread of general shark fishing tactics and responsibilities should be posted. In my opinion if you want to catch a shark but have never done it ask us here on atlantic anglers for someone to join you to "show the ropes". Better to have experience with you the first time you hook up to that big one with your adrenaline pumping and nerves shot. The other thing is to know where to set up and keep your targeted game on the hush side of things. Im not saying to hide the fact that your sharkin just dont tell everyone you run into on what your going after. We don't need any more attention to what we are fishin for than what is already being made. Case in point, a fellow shark angler has had great success sharkin up north this year and has posted pictures all over the place. Because of this, this northern state will now be putting in regulations on yaking out baits for quote unquote "big game". Shark fishing is not illegal,but it is walking a fine line. A lot of the sharks being caught are on the near threatened or threatened species list. If the wrong person catches a shark being mishandled things can get ugly real quick. Now back to location, I emphasized this because I don't think it would be a wise idea to go down to lets say ocean city and set up shop next to dozens of swimmers looking to catch a toothy critter. I know they are their anyway but to city officials you attracted them to that spot, also using bait attracts them their not because the shark just happens to be their. I am not trying to complain just want for everyone to be able to enjoy catching these beautiful species for many more years, and want to ensure everyone fishing for them uses good common sense so no one gets hurt including the shark. give some feedback and lets see what everyone else has to say.
  3. Things are slow here in the Myrtle Beach/Murrells Inlet SC area this time of year... Fishing Reports Myrtle Beach/Murrells Inlet area Fishing Report Fishing the Murrells Inlet/Myrtle Beach area is seasonal with the fishing a little slow for March til the middle of April. Mid April, the fishing starts to pick-up for some Flounder and Red Drum. Everything[Fishing] is always weather related in Murrells Inlet and Myrtle Beach the sooner the water temp. gets in the 60's the fishing will get better. Late April thru December is always a good time for fishing for Red Drum, the bait moves in and the fishing turns on. June, July and August, the water temp is getting rite for ALL fishing in the Murrells Inlet/Myrtle Beach areas! Everything is good at the beach! People are out in the sun,shopping,fishing and the Murrells Inlet/Myrtle Beach area is hopping! August and September the Spanish and King Mackerel are on the beach and can be caught live baiting along the coast. We often catch them at the jetties or 3-mile reef or trolling with planners and spoons. Fishing at Murrells Inlet/Myrtle Beach during the summer months you never know what you are going to hook-up with so expect to catch a anything while fishing,maybe even a SHARK. For all you that like catching Trout, Weakfish Trout are plentiful sometimes around Sept/ Oct. While the true Winter Trout only starts when the water temps start dropping in to the 60's and lower. I'm Capt Shannon Currie and hope you have a great fishing experience while fishing in Murrells Inlet/Myrtle Beach please call or visit the site below if you need more info.There you will find all fishing info and pictures.
  4. A bunch of friends and I are heading down to Assateague March 13th through the end of the weekend. I an experienced fisherman but I've never been to the island. I've been doing research and was wondering is someone could tell me what I could expect to catch that time of year down there. I've seen a lot of the shark pictures and have the kayaks to bring bait far out but wanted to know if they'll even be active in-shore that early. Also I know most guys are tight lipped when it comes to spots but if someone could point me in the right direction as far as location it would be much appreciated although I'm not sure that that is really possible when it comes to surf fishing. Thanks for any help.
  5. I have had a very busy summer of inshore saltwater fishing trips here on the Mosquito Lagoon flats and in the Backcountry at Edgewater and New Smyrna Beach, Florida. On the grass flats the Redfishing has been very steady with the summer pattern of fishing the mullet schools early and sight casting the sand holes later in the morning. Also some nice size Seatrout coming aboard. Backcountry trips have had steady action with some keeper Seatrout, Black Drum, and Mangrove Snapper. The Jack Crevalle and Ladyfish are always there to provide exciting strikes and fish fights from these fun catch and release game fish. We even had a few exciting moments from Tarpon strikes and jumps which were a little to much for our light Trout tackle to handle for long. Here are a couple of pictures from recent trips. My nephew Christopher Frost with his first ever Redfish and client Mike with a nice Black Drum caught on one of my Backcountry mixed bag trips. Come fish with me on beautiful Mosquito Lagoon for flats fishing, we will target Redfish and Seatrout.This type of sight fishing can be challenging and very rewarding when you hook up with a drag pulling Redfish or Trout. Good for experienced anglers or the less experienced anglers looking for a new fishing challenge. Or you could try one of my Indian River Backcountry Fishing trips, that is mixed bag fishing for Seatrout, Redfish, Black Drum, Jack Crevalle, Ladyfish, Bluefish, Snapper, & many more saltwater fish. On the average Backcountry trip we catch between 10 and 15 (or more) different species of saltwater fish.You never know what will bite with this type of fishing, mainly drift fishing while free lining live shrimp on light tackle make for lots of rod bending and drag pulling. Fun for experienced anglers and an easy way for less experienced anglers to be successful at catching lots of fish. MY BOAT COMFORTABLY ACCOMMODATES 1 TO 4 ANGLERS Located close to DAYTONA BEACH, NEW SMYRNA BEACH and ORLANDO, FLORIDA. Feel free to contact me at any time with questions you may have about my fishing charters. CHILDREN ALWAYS WELCOME – FAIR PRICES Capt. Michael Savedow Edgewater River Guide, Inc. 386-689-3781 email> EdgewaterRiverGuide@cfl.rr.com website> Daytona Beach,Orlando,New Smyrna,Mosquito Lagoon,Redfish,Fishing Guide, Charter Fishing
  6. I departed Messick Boat Ramp in Poquoson Virginia at 0600 hrs and headed 15 miles across the Bay to the Fourth Island of the CBBT. It was almost flat so I was able to easily average 45 mph. I bottom fished around the piles with big live minnow and caught and threw back two flounder that were around 17". I then tried for a little while at the spine of the rocks around the island with no luck. Around 1000 the tide died out and I could see lots of spadefish around the piles, so even though I did not plan on diving today the decent visibilty tempted me. I got geared up and dove around several piles and speared my 4 spades. After that I went back to flounder fishing, this time I was off of the Third Island. I saw several decent flounder caught but I only managed one more throw back and a couple of Oyster Toads. I had some plans this afternoon so headed back around 1330 hrs. I covered 40 miles and burned 10.5 gallons. I am glad I have a big jet ski with plenty of storage. I took a couple of pictures of just some of the gear I bring with me on a typical day. Some fishing, diving, safety and paperwork.
  7. I took a couple of pictures around my backyard this evening. I like dragonflies because they eat flies. Here they are.
  8. It was a great day yesterday, the weather was perfect and the fish were plentiful. I took Chad Baniowski of Williamsburg Virginia out to the Chesapeake Light Tower. Chad is a Chef at Berrets Seafood Resturant in Historic Williamsburg so I am looking forward to getting some new recipes for ways to cook Spades from him. I had been telling him all about Spadefish and spear fishing and he was eager to give it a try. We departed Rudee Inlet around 0930 and went straight to the tower, it was nice, there was not another boat in sight so we had the tower to ourselves. The current was ripping but the visibility was decent at about 15-20 feet. There were tons of spade fish and we saw quite a few Amberjack as well. Chad speared his first spadefish and we were able to get our limit of 8 after a good workout of fighting the strong current and swells. Chad also tried some jigging but could not get one of the Jacks to bite, I am sure a live bait would have done the trick. About the time we were leaving two other jet skis showed up to try and catch some fish (I may be starting a jet ski trend). We were back at the ramp and on the road around 1530, just in time for rush hour traffic. Ha. The Chesapeake Light Tower is about 16 miiles off shore from Virginia Beach. I carry a Spot GPS Tracker with me here is the link to one of my "Spots" showing the Lat/Long of the tower. http://fms.ws/3BiSy/36.90466/\-75.71265 It was another great day, here are some of the pictures I took while out.
  9. Fish Report 8/8/10 Sea Bass/Flounder - Ling? Icky A Shark Tale Hi All, This week past was mixed; Everyday very different. One of them, though enjoyed by most aboard, was perhaps my slowest since the water got too cold for tog back in late February.. but then we did have a fellow limit on flounder that day. And some sea bass. And some tautog. Yeah, that February day was tougher. Still: Fish, no matter my intention, sometimes won't bite the way we'd like. Flounder & sea bass: Sending almost everyone home with plenty enough for dinner - some a lot more. And some not enough! Another day we trolled home -as we generally do given any water quality- to discover we'd created the world's largest Bimini knot.. offshore fishing knot twisted in such fashion as to be stronger than the line itself; Ours was really the world's longest tangle. A sharp rope-wrench rendered the mess fit for a trash can. Mike reloaded the reels with new hundred pound the next morning. Good thing too. Thursday we had several youngsters aboard, some of which were kin. Dad, who most call Pastor Joe, and Uncle Monty.. You reckon the boys had any luck? They did. Dramamine was key on this somewhat saucy day. I have often advised 1 the night before and 1/2 in the AM followed by another 1/2 at 10 or so. Almost always works. Unless carsickness is an issue.. Best part was that to these boys, and the others aboard, fishing wasn't "Icky." Going into 1st grade, my youngest nephew was 100% 'Stay the heck out of my way, I'm fishing!' Baited his own hooks, took most of his own fish off.. World's changing: I suspect freedom to explore the backyard creek is diminished when it's encased in a 5 foot concrete pipe. Hard to find a crawdad in there. Lot of super-cool video games where icky isn't a factor too.. Ah well, I like icky - except when the fish-carcass barrels get forgotten in a 5 day nor'easter. Man, that's too icky.. Very light rail Saturday; mostly regulars. Slipped offshore a bit, trolling at hull speed. Was thinking about my old friend who got bit in the White Marlin Open on an 80 wide. He watched as close to a half mile of line just melted away - zipped off the reel even with the lever pushed to full drag. Perhaps that is why I didn't use the rods I normally do on the kites.. Chum out. Kite up --- Just one bait on a 50 wide filled 3/4s with braid and top-shotted with close to 200 yards of 100 pound test hi-vis mono. The thirty pound class tackle lay alongside the wheelhouse, unused. Good thing. "That's a BIG hammerhead" I hollered across the stern. The fish turned on the bait like he was being filmed; A classic rise, capture and dive. Barb crushed on a 9/0 circle hook, it was game-on when he turned away. Mental picture filed of tall dorsal surging, arching down; tail thrash and gone: Beautiful. I handed the bent-butt to 19 year-old Walt. As I recall he's been fishing with me since he was 8 or 9. Folks catching sea bass, an odd ling (red hake). Adjust anchors, catch a few more.. Rod belt - no harness - about 1 hour and ten minutes in we get a look at it: Close. Then the shark left again. All that new line Mike had loaded was striped down into the micro-braid backing. Again. Young Walt was hurting. Been fishing professionally 30 years now, I'd never seen such power: Just amazing. Took pictures boatside at about an hour forty - slipped the pigtail dehooker down and sent the beast on his way.. Young man had a very clean catch and release. 'Spect I'll have to get him a citation. 11, 12 Feet? Derned if I know.. I can guess the little ones---which used to be regular ones---to within 10 pounds; Was this fish 250? More I think. Was a time when we'd see 30 or 40 hammerheads cruising along the surface on the full moon in June. Harpoon always ready too.. See one like that every couple years now - Let 'em all go when we catch 'em. This was the biggest I'd seen. Ever. Still hope for that ocean. Need to make sure those predators have plenty to eat. Ain't. Plenty to do. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 Morning Star Fishing
  10. Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking my sister Allison, Rachael, my 13 year old niece and Christopher, my 27 year old nephew spear fishing. This was Allison and Rachael’s first time spearing. We all met at my house in Poquoson and towed the skis to Virginia Beach. We departed Rudee Inlet around 0930 hours and went 16 miles offshore to the Chesapeake Light Tower. The sea conditions were great all day and we averaged about 25 mph going and 35-40 mph coming back. The water visibility was fair at about 20 feet and the spadefish were plentiful. Rachael is a quick learner and after I showed her how to get it done by spearing a couple, she had no problem shooting a couple her self. There was plenty of life out at the tower and we saw some amberjack, barracuda, triggerfish and a lot of bait fish. My sister did not want her daughter to show her up so she also got in on the action and shot her first ever as well. Christopher and I finished up getting our limits and we had our coolers full of 4 fish per person, 16 fish in all, before heading back at 1530. I had a great time with my family and was proud at how well my niece handled herself on the ski and in the water. We covered about thirty four miles and each ski burned about nine gallons. Another great day! Here are some of the pictures from our trip.
  11. I was catching non-stop doggies last week, so after gut hooking two of them, I decided I was fish hungry. I cleaned them right on the beach, and iced them down. The next day, I cut them into chunks, marinated them in olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and fresh lemon for a few hours. I also threw on a few steaks just in case my experiment didn't turn out as planned. (plus, Carrie won't even touch a doggie) I must say, it was exceptionally good! I put a little butter on while cooking and it was very tender, great flavor (simple ingredients) and I will definitely do it again. Here are also a few pictures of some of the striper from this past weekend, tuna, steaks and corn. I love to grill!
  12. Fish Report 8/1/10 Sea Bass Continue A Taste of Fluke How Goes the Watching? Hi All, Some outstanding fishing this week. Odd for heart of summer really. Take your luck where you find it I suppose. It certainly wasn't all gravy. As most clients were reeling in sea bass Wednesday, Flounder George & I twitched strips for fluke. Caught the heck out of 'em too. Tagged or just thrown back; He & I had no keepers in close to 40 fish. Not a back-bay trip, this was ocean fishing not quite 30 miles from the inlet. My mates both fished -on my direct order- for a short while. They of course both quickly caught a keeper and --being clear-thinking young men-- wisely and generously decided to allow George & Captain their fish-fry. Young Matt too: He hung a strip of cut-bait on his bottom hook and pushed aside all comers at the fish pool weigh-in, his six pound flattie easily trumping some very nice bass. Saturday we had a pleasant, sustained bite on sea bass with no flounder at all. Several mahi however were invited to dinner, one of which ran a solid 50 yards off Ralph's spinner before being worked back to the gaff. ..some clients had to go out to dinner this week too: bitter with the sweet. I really think fluke will bust loose soon, but I've been maintaining that position for some while.. I'm certain that we'll go fishing, not sure what we'll bring home. A new picture committed to personal memory: Chum overboard, two kites up, 4 baits out. With sea bass coming over the rail a Bruiser comes sliding in, investigating. Couldn't tell species. Big. Calorically unimpressive, our baits were investigated and left alone. This shark wanted at least a whole bluefish and perhaps would have preferred partaking of whale carcass.. Neat stuff.... Not so neat but of our time: It defies reason that we catch very respectable fish such as 18 inch flounder and 12 inch sea bass --fish that practically have Purdue Pop-Up baking timers built-in, yet have to throw them all back. MRFSS recreational catch estimate data is destroying constituents' good will toward management. It really is very poor recreational catch estimate data, the MRFSS data, that is, in many ways, strangling the rec-fish industry. Years ahead of management; in 1992 I was the first to put a 9 inch size limit on sea bass. At times a very ugly, heated effort; Resistance was intense. But the benefits were soon plain to see. We are no longer restoring with our releases; We are, instead, squandering our restoration. Strict adherence to data sets easily satired is where we lost sight of our target, of Fisheries Restoration. Conflict created by absurd statistic.. What now of the new Registry? The new MRIP program that should give a much better gauge of participation, Tell us how many fishers there are, The program designed to replace MRFSS.. Maryland's flounder anglers were granted a 3 month extension on season this spring with a very-stern warning: We'll Be Watching. That meant management would close the season early --Again-- if MRFSS said some segment of our recreational fishery had somehow managed to do better than the trawl industry -- Again. I know full-well that managers must do what the voices in MRFSS' hard-drive tell them. As a result I have come to know the deep anguish of early closure, of fiscal catastrophe from worthless statistic, of a season lost not to real oil gushing from a real pipe but meaningless numbers transmitted without wire. . . MRIP's registry.. How many people are really, actually going fishing.. I think that MRIP will show for MRFSS estimates to be correct it would often require that every registered angler had exceeded the legal limit many times over to achieve the statistically estimated catch. MRIP will force many catch estimates down, sometimes way down. Crazy-high estimates will be unsupportable if actually catching that many fish would require a "Catch Per Unit of Effort" far greater than the party/charter fishers experienced... Here's a measure we desperately need: Truth. OK Management: How goes the watching? What if the first result of "The Registry" was to loosen-up, to lower size limits.. That'd be a switch. Wonder if that could happen with the sudden ferocity of a closure.......... I hold that were it not for a very few boulders, storm caused shipwrecks & Nazi Wolf Pack torpedoes, our region's reef ecology --including the fish living on them-- would not have survived into the 1980s. On a budget, our fishery restoration efforts require forward thinking. Yet managers are still attempting to rebuild the huge fish populations of yesteryear with our present day seafloor habitat remnants, the footprint leftover from fishing's industrial revolution..... Consequently; if MRFSS paperwork sez private boats in Maryland caught zero tautog in all of 2006 yet caught 43,505 of these non-migratory man-made reef residents in 2007 - And it does: Then that's bloody-well what happened and quit'cher complaining already. If the scientific paperwork sez there ain't no reef where all those reef-fish and reef-loving lobster get caught, where once far more were caught - And it does: Then there ain't no reef so don't worry about it.. A blood-letting on the full moon with weekly leech treatments and two months of mountain airs should cure the insanity. That'd be some good 'ol fashioned doctoring: Nevermind lead's fumes when returning to work. We squander the economic benefits of 'catch-restriction only' restoration in the disappointment of anglers tossing fish overboard that they might otherwise have taken pictures of, fed their family and friends with.. This isn't billfishing: What goes in the cooler really does matter. In our hot-blooded quota battles caused by catch-data that infuriates, we --year after year-- miss opportunity to begin habitat restoration. Feet under a desk: Papers are real. Two anchors tight, lines down: Fish & fish habitat are real. Rock-Paper-Scissors: Coral grows on rock. Paper wins. Fishers lose. Needs Fixin. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 Morning Star Fishing
  13. I friend of mine sent me these pictures today. They were supposedly taken off shore of Rodanthe North Carolina by a helicopter tour operator. That is all I know. The other picture was sent to me by Bud Corbett of Poquoson. It was taken a couple months ago by a spotter plane over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
  14. It has been a real oven here the last couple of days with temps at 100-105. It is either sit inside or be out on and in the water. I chose the water. Saturday I towed my jet ski to Rudee Inlet in Virginia Beach and ran 16 miles offshore to the Chesapeake Light Tower for some Spadefish. There were only a couple of boats there and the water visibility was decent at about 20 feet. The fish were very skitish and I only saw one caught on rod and reel. In the water they were also constantly on the run but I still managed to spear my four fish. I did not see anything other than spades. I was out from 1030-1530 hrs. Today My wife and I dropped at Messick Boat Ramp in Poquoson Virginia and ran all along Grandview, Buckroe, Fort Monroe and around The Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. We fished off of Hampton Bar and caught some spot, croaker and a small speckled trout using bottom rigs and fishbites--blood worms for bait. Covered almost 60 miles this weekend and burned 15 gallons. Here are some pictures I took, the one of the water is a bunch of spadefish on the surface at the CLT.
  15. Yesterday my wife Cindy and I along with my brother John and his wife Renee’ met with my Congressional Representative, Congressman Rob Wittman of Americas first Congressional District for lunch and a tour of the Capital. This came about by way of a Duck’s Unlimited fundraiser a few months ago. Congressman Wittman was kind enough to donate this personalized tour and I was lucky enough to win the bid! We met at his office in the Longworth building around noon and I gave him a framed photo I had taken of New Point Comfort Light recently. From there we went to the Capital Hill Club for a great lunch. We had a good discussion about the Chesapeake Bay regarding the menhaden fishery and oyster aquaculture. Rob Wittman is also an avid angler and an advocate for the Bay so of course I had a good time talking with him. Next he took us to the Capital where we were fortunate to see a vote in progress. There were many other Congressmen present and it was impressive to see it all in action. Afterward we walked to the Rotunda where Congressman Wittman gave us a great lesson in history, art and architecture. All told we spent over two hours together. It was an experience we will not soon forget. Gordon Neal, the Congressman’s Staff Assistant, gave us an extended tour of the rest of the Capital building. Later in the day the four of us walked the Mall area. My wife’s father is a World War Two Veteran and my father was in Korea and Vietnam so we all wanted to see those memorial sites. Here are some of the pictures I took.
  16. My wife said she wanted to find Flipper, so on a Dolpin Quest we went. We left our house in Poquoson on the jet ski and ran around the mouth of the Poquoson River and York River. Did not see any so we went over to New Point Comfort Light for a bit. Saw a lot of Pelicans and an Oyster Catcher. On the way back, around the Mouth of Mobjack Bay we found a big group of dolphin, they were very playful and hanging around the ski. Our Quest was complete! Here are a couple of pictures from today
  17. I had the pleasure of participating in the 15th Annual Children's Fishing Clinic that was held today at the James River Fishing Pier in Newport News Virginia. This was a great event with over 200 kids and countless volunteers. Each child was given a Zebco combo, hat, shirt and lunch. This was a fun event for all involved and I am sure that there were a couple of future Master Anglers in the crowd. Here are some of the pictures I took today.
  18. Fish Report 7/4/10 Sea Bass, Fluke & Mahi An Angry Wife Hotspots Hi All, Been many years where we didn't lose a day to windy weather in June. Lost three this week. Did get out Tuesday with an extra-light crowd. Pretty day, cbass biting well, a few tog on Gulp sand eels, mahi trying to steal the show.. Was our first mahi of the year. Used to call them dolphin, then dorado. Restaurants were under intense pressure not to sell dolphin from a letter writing campaign in the early/mid-80s. Sakes, the writers thought the longline & 'recreationally' caught & sold fish were bottlenose dolphin: Flipper. The Hawaiian moniker, mahi-mahi, apparently sold dinners better - now shortened. So a pair of mahi came in under the boat hungry for that world-famous bluewater bait, clam. Fed one on a fairly light spinner; Gave the rod --with a now-very-active & jumping fish-- to a lady who's been out with us many times. "I don't know what to do!" OK, so it's her sister that's been out with us many times.. She did fine. Ritch's gaff shot stilled the fish; Pictures taken before colors fade: Fishing is good. Another angler that day was a real surprise to have aboard. Just out of the hospital & still recovering from a stroke, an old sea-dog that's done near every kind of fishing in the ocean; he had hopped aboard at the last minute. "Yeah, Monty, my wife gave me the credit card. Told me to get the heck out of the house. You got any room?" I'm sure he was high-hook; That he caught more fish than anyone else.. His wife, who knows an awful lot about getting people well after illness or injury, was positively livid when we got back in. Near a month in hospitals; Doctors' orders were bed-rest & therapy. The old skipper had a different therapy in mind.... Some had a good day Friday--excellent perhaps. Fellow won the pool second time running. Others aboard scarcely scratched up dinner. Saturday's weather was as close to "Perfect" as this ocean offers. Cool, calm, a light westerly breeze. Sea bass biting pretty good.. tapering. Keeper flounder in the net. Another. One guy limited, flat-fish to 5 pounds aboard. On the last wreck, the last stop, we did not catch a sea bass - only flounder, summer flounder; They call 'em fluke north of us. So it goes. You're not going to rush out and buy a new freezer on our account for a day's fishing, but we are catching dinner. Occasionally better. Targeting sea bass & fluke. Sometimes we'll catch both. Sometimes just one or the other.. Hope never neither! If you want to know exactly what we're going to catch and how big they'll be you'll have to wait till we get back in. It's fishing............ Got a heads-up about a "Pre-Decision Webinar." (seminar on the web, yes?) The Councils' Science and Statistical Committee will soon be dealing with several species of fish dear to us along the coast. No striped bass so off the radar for most Marylanders.. Flounder though.. I've read through some of the material. Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Meeting Materials Will try to get to all of it. Consider this a comment to the SSC's pre-decision meeting. May want to send it along to your state's fishery representatives. The data --in coastwide collection-- is given to the best and brightest in our region's fisheries to review before setting future quotas. It's therefore brutally important that it be right. Just my thoughts. Here goes. There's a recent graph showing age at maturity for cbass, the age at joining the spawning population. It shows that at 13.38 inches 100% of sea bass have joined the spawning stock. I believe similar work from 1991 showed how ALL sea bass had already spawned, some twice, by 9 inches. Both assertions are true depending on the variables of size-limit regulation & fishing pressure. We can see, have seen, all of our region's cbass in the spawning stock at age one. (From memory that's roughly between 6 3/4 & 9 1/2 inches. 'Age one' is the second year of life -- 0 to 12 months being age zero.) A super-abundant spawning stock is what we saw prior to the first creel limit in 2002; That, as any species might, our region's cbass joined the spawning population as soon as possible under heavy fishing pressure. It's part of -instrumental to- why our region's stock expanded so nicely under our self imposed and then, later, Federal/State 9 inch size limit regulation. An immediate effect of creating a larger average size fish by upping size limits and then adding creel limits was that age one fish did not join the spawning class.. Then age two also failed to recruit among the spawners.. Wasn't it fun to limit-out the whole boat on jumbo cbass more days than not in '03 -- To have clients select only 15 inch or better fish.. The stock mushroomed. And crashed. This story is very complex. These fish all start life female; only some transition to male.. And they are all genetically programmed to return to a specific place to spawn. What a philopatrist might call habitat fidelity; Perhaps in sea bass we'll one day discover the behavior is natal fidelity--think salmon and their well-known return 'home' to spawn.. What I see in the fishery here, and I do not/can not see the whole coast--Just here--is that where the population bubble of all legal-sized spawners --and no sub-legal spawners-- was under intense fishing pressure, it collapsed. That is why a 1/2 day boat could go 6 miles out in 2003 and have some clients catch 25 fish limits, yet go to that same spot now -today- and catch very few with no keepers. Areas under less intense fishing pressure faired better but were not unscathed. There's a whole lot of sub-legal spawners out there now. A happy accident..... Another chart, a pie chart, in the meeting materials shows 14% of the total sea bass catch --including commercial-- as recreational discard. When we sports think of the fish shoveled by the rail as dead discards in a commercial fishery we should know that we too have our regulatory dead discards: Our own bycatch. Don't want it. Certainly wouldn't feed sea bass to the sharks or gulls if we weren't forced to. Commercials either. In total, 18% of the whole sea bass catch from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod is thought to drift away dead but unused; That >25% of the recreational catch is lost to regulatory discard mortality. That's a lot of cbass.. And it's a bunch of stuff. Barnyard stuff from over in the bull pen. No, this too is a complex story involving depth, weather conditions, feeding behaviors, hook selection & size regulation: The WAG that we have 25% release mortality gives terrible disservice to all fishers. I tried last year to show scientists that there was a correlation between size and release mortality, That bigger fish are more susceptible to barotrauma than smaller fish, That releasing 9 and 10 inch fish --even 10 1/2-- is fine even in quite deep water, But in over 110 feet of water some 11 & 12 inch fish are lost--can not recover suitable air bladder pressure before over-heating kills them. In two trips with fishery staff aboard we couldn't kill a fish on release - even in 125 feet of water - even with up to 8 minute float times. They all lived. I'm now confident this is because the fish were feeding well up in the water column, that their air bladders were adjusted for 90 feet or so--this 30 feet off the bottom and therefore the air bladder's expansion wasn't as traumatic. So far this year cbass are often holding tight to the bottom, a different feeding behavior. Just in the last two weeks my clients have had to indulge me in the time it took to collect dead fish drifting far behind the boat 3 times: All were measured; Almost all were thrown back again as required by law. Despite catching numerous fish at these locations as small as 7 1/4 inches, only one of the dead discards was below 10 inches. The majority were over 11 inches, many were 12 and a bit - nearly legal. One was 12 3/4. We ate that one. If you are interested in and might understand a really detailed hypothesis that considers gill size, heart rates, blood volumes and why there might be a consideration in how age/size of the fish matters in barotrauma you'd want to contact Rudy Lukacovic with MD DNR. He's a real scientist - I just provide observations. Among the dead-discards I have observed this year - under no circumstance was the mortality rate 25%. Less than 10% more likely & that only on very few days in very specific conditions. But what of its aggregate.... I hold that by size limit and fishing pressure we control at what age cbass join the spawning stock. Also by size limit we control what percentage of sea bass become dead discard. If believed, one could see where regulatory indiscretion, management lacking depth of consideration, might push the stock backward. The biggest problem I see is that if this collection of data were perfectly correct, this mountain of facts, figures & numbers whole & complete; Within it restoration still could not be found without major adjustment to management's philosophy & action. On our present course the size limit will continue to go up until most of our quota is taken by discard mortality; That eventually we will kill far more on release than what sizzle in hot oil. That by Regulation, As required by Law, we will have become like the pelagic sealers of just over a century ago, the men who shot seals for fur & oil that lost at least two thirds of their kills as they sank away. They didn't care. There were more, far more, to shoot..* In this present-day growing-size-limit style of management the whole spawning stock is allowed into the fishery--'recruited' they might say. The fish drifting away dead are those tasked with replacing what we've caught, with spawning: They can't spawn dead..... In practice what is occurring is loss of interest by anglers; There are things more fun than winding up sea bass and throwing them back. To those concerned with only the paper population models as a target, any reduction is good that increases populations. A "Fishery" however, must encompass the human-use side of these populations.. where fishing businesses fail so has management. (*From "The Unnatural History of the Sea" by Callum Roberts -- 2007 -- Wow! Just picked it up, a quarter way in..) Hold up. Nevermind the spawning stock a minute: How in Great Blazes can we expect to rebuild a reef-dwelling species if no one goes to check on the reefs? I suspect we'll find that habitat fidelity --combined with certain stern-towed fishing gear's ability to destroy that habitat-- was pretty important in restoration. Reef fishing's hotspots are simply places with less pressure, their production less encumbered and perhaps even unhindered by hook, trap or tow. Habitat restoration simply multiplies the amount of productive bottom, the number of hotspots and, hopefully, will do so in advance of increasing fishing effort. Those that argue in favor of "Natural" habitat restoration need be very patient - Another ice-age or two should do. Rock, Concrete & Steel. Add salt water - Reef forms. Fish spawn there. Clients of restaurants, party boats & guvmint management can then enjoy fish dinners, sport and economic stability. It's among a few simple truths.. ..while the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey --MRFSS-- is not. The scientific community responsible for seeking truth in this data ought to screen it far more carefully than the present dogmatic --For the Truth Is Written Here-- crowd would have. Put some of those data sets on Jeff Foxworthy's "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader" and see what passes their sniff test.. An estimate of 36,017 flounder caught from shore in two months when the average is thought to be about 5,000 -- And even then half of the sets have a zero value.. Acceptance of such rubbish causes severe economic repercussions and loss of fisher's faith in management; Leads to 19 inch size limits, shortened seasons & Emergency Closures.. More. Plenty more. Fiddle. Starting with the megafaunal (large animal) mass extinctions at the end of the Paleolithic era due, I think, to advances in making stone points (think mammoths but there are many others) we have continued to wear away on earth's species list with our technological improvements in capture. If fishery managers are to succeed where whale and seal management all but failed, then they too must seek better use of their technologies. I do not want my clients to come fishing only on the hope of great gambling profits, of some lucky lottery tag or million dollar dead fish; I want the catching--while safeguarding for the future; The fun and camaraderie of good sport, The seeking of good fish, And the dishwashing at day's end.. Management now, inadvertently, carries us further from those goals. The "Emergency Sea Bass Closure" last fall was due to a statistical system failure and a management failure. Had these systems been correct it would have been a greater failure still: At no time should our regulations allow a whole coast's sea bass quota to be captured in one small region. Ever. Lower the size limit on sea bass a half inch a year to eleven inches so that "Released" always means "Returned to spawn another day" & also so that more age one fish join the spawning stock. Incorporate habitat into management both in restoration and susceptibility to over-pressure so that real restoration can begin: Divide the stock into management units to protect each region's population from the greatest overpressures in winter & similarly upon the most nearshore reefs. Swift and huge increases can be had in the amount of natural reef simply by protecting barren rock bottoms that are not lost; They regrow to productivity in under a decade. And, lost as Atlantis; Perhaps tubeworm colonies were once more important seafloor habitat than hardbottoms. I have witnessed these frail habitat makers run through succession identical to an artificial reef's or regrown/recolonized rocks: Juvenile fish settlement, maturing, spawning, increasing numbers and continued controlled harvest. Now I can't find any tube worms. At all. It's all anecdotal, I didn't think to film any. They're gone. Could come back. A great deal of this sea bass discussion also has applications to other reef species such as summer flounder and tautog. It likely has merit with more southern reef species such as red snapper too. Numbers on paper with values that shift like smoke are at no time as firm as anchors down, poles bent & banknote due: We --All Fishers-- need restoration to work. As the war for our nation's independence was fought one battle at a time, so too will fisheries restoration be won. Find the habitat. Make every release count. Increase the spawning stock. Restoration can be carried far beyond present expectation. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 Morning Star Fishing
  19. It was a great Independence Day! My wife and I took the Grady out for an afternoon cruise of the Poquoson, and York River here in Virginia. Everyone with a boat was out having a good time on or in the water. I always love to see the colors flying so I thought I would share some of the pictures I took while out yesterday. Treasure and hold dear your freedoms!
  20. Here are some pictures from the last week of Sharkin! Enjoy! They are definitely here! Sandbar: First shark of the night guiding some of my high school buddies! 7ft 5inches tagged and released Shark Number two of the night reeled in by my buddy Kyle: 7ft 3 inches, tagged and released "That was one hell of a bi's and tri's workout" Tonight my friend Ryan wanted to take a trip out, and he got to reel in this 7ft 4 incher. It was also tagged and released despite the terror of the family watching! The dad thought it was awesome though.....not the wife.... Lovin this weather! Ben Dziwulski
  21. My wife and I took a little jet ski cruise along Plum Tree Island "The Flats" yesterday. It was a hot day, around 97 degrees, so being on the water was the place to be. I took a bunch of pictures and thought I would put a couple of them up. The first one is an Oyster Catcher that looked like he was dancing.
  22. I tuned up my older Polaris Jet Ski this evening and decided to take it out for a run. I cruised around the flats and stopped a couple times to take some pictures. Every thing ran great. Hopefully I will get out on Saturday for some fishing. Here are some of the pictures I took.
  23. Here are a couple of pictures I have taken in my yard the last couple of days. I can't wait for this wind to slow down. This was my first pic of an osprey with an eel.
  24. I opened the Daily Press, my local newspaper, to find a picture that I took last weekend on the inside front page. I have taken a lot of pictures of the harbor seals hanging around the islands of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel while I have been out there fishing the last couple of weeks. Last week my brother called me and said one of my pictures was in the Richmond Times Dispatch. That is a picture that I won honorable mention in the first and only photo competion I have had entered last year. Scenic Virginia, Inc. I took that picture in my backyard as the sun was rising. Here are the articles and pictures. Here a couple pictures I took in my yard this week.
  25. April 8th, 2010 You know you love to fish when you go on your days off! This afternoon, April and I were invited to go on Joe’s Midnight Express for some fun fishing offshore. We left Joe’s house around 1:45 and heard the Sailfish were feeding from the Lady Pamela II. Live goggle eyes were MIA so we headed out Port Everglades and to the buoy in 2-4 ft seas. The Bluerunners and Speedos weren’t cooperating and the current was rippin. After about 45 minutes, we went on our way with 5 bait fish and I told Joe, “This is why they charge so much for bait.” The seas began to calm down as we headed to a wreck just north of Port Everglades. Our first 2 drops in 265 ft of water got the bite, but shortly after, we got bit off. Joe released our 3rd bait down, cranked it 25 times and we got the bite from a nice size Amberjack. We didn’t waste any time to get bait #4 down there and we got an even bigger bite, the rod doubled over until the fish pulled the hook. Our last bait went down and within minutes, another Amberjack ate. Every drop produced a bite and we had a great time. Joe, thanks for having us! April 10th, 2010 Sailfish, King Mackerel, Blackfin Tuna & 15 ft Hammerhead Shark! Today I ran the Lady Pamela with Adam, Jay, JT and their 3 other buddies from Nashville. Captain Paul ran the Lady Pamela II for an eight-hour fishing trip with Kate and Scott who fish with us once a year. My day started off by loading up with live goggle eyes and heading out to 350 ft of water to suspend the kites with live bait dancing on the surface. The bite was on. We went 1 for 3 on jumping Sailfish and saw the biggest Great Gray Hammerhead I’ve ever seen swim through our spread, a 15 footer. We tried our hardest to get him to eat and but he just wasn’t interested. I wish he stuck around long enough for me to get a picture! Kate and Scott were non-stop on the Lady Pamela II catching 4 King Mackerel, 3 Blackfin Tuna and a 10 ft Hammerhead Shark. Kate kicked butt in the chair but let Scott finish the fight. April 11th, 2010 Tag & Release, Fresh Blackfin Tuna for dinner makes for a great day fishing in Fort Lauderdale! This morning, Sean joined Rusty, our new mate, Mike and I aboard the Lady Pamela II for a 4-hour fishing charter. We headed out the inlet and live bait was the first thing on our to do list. The buoy right out front provided us with Rainbow Runners, Blue Runners and Speedos for later use. After we loaded up our live well, I ran the Lady Pamela II to 300 ft of water where the out going current and the Gulfstream meet. Mike and Rusty suspended two SFE fishing kites rigged with four live goggle eyes and dropped down three big Kingfish heads on the 130 Internationals. We drifted for only 10 minutes before I yelled, “Shark on the long kite!” Sean fought the 5 ft Hammerhead Shark for 20 minutes before we got him in the boat for a few pictures. Shortly after, we expertly tagged and released him for a future fight and began to troll west. Two Blackfin Tuna ate and Sean reeled in two King Mackerel to top off the day. All three of us had a great time fishing with Sean today; he has a great story to go home with, a sore arm and pictures to prove it. Tight Lines! Captain David Ide Fort Lauderdale Fishing - Deep Sea Fishing Charters Ft Lauderdale - Lady Pamela 2 954-761-8045