Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'striped bass'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Announcements
  • Fishing Reports
    • New England Region
    • Mid-Atlantic Region
    • Southern Atlantic Region
  • Topics of Discussion
    • The Sand Bar
    • General Fishing Talk
    • Fishing Articles
    • Fishing Tackle and Gear
    • Do it Yourself Talk
    • Cookin' them up! Fishing recipes here!
    • Fish Species Information
    • Kayak Fishing
    • Fly Fishing

Found 114 results

  1. Connecticut Fishing Report Andrew, at Fishing Factory 3 in Middletown, reported that the ice fishing enthusiasts had a nice shot at some early ice before the weekend precipitation. No matter where you were located in the state, there was a good chance that you had some decent ice before Sunday, and despite that rain there is still some fish-able ice in the northern half of the state. The extended forecast doesn’t look terribly promising for the ice crew, but the next day or two should still provide a few opportunities on the hard water at some smaller ponds. Once the warm weather settles in look for the Housatonic or lower Connecticut River to provide some good schoolie action, for those trying to wet a line. Joe, at Rivers End in Old Saybrook, reports that everyone was fired up for some early ice, but most hopes were quickly dashed by Sunday’s rain. Again, some ice can be found in the upper elevations, but most are probably better off waiting a week or two. The rain may have killed the ice but it helped the schoolie striped bass action. The rain and subsequent snow melt brought some fish back to life in the lower Connecticut and Housatonic Rivers. Ian, at Fisherman’s World in Norwalk, reports that the local herring bite has struggled to really materialize. Fish are being jigged up behind the Maritime Center and the marina docks, but if you are expecting lights out action it hasn’t been there yet. School striped bass have been the most reliable target for those trying to bend a rod. All three of the major tidal rivers in CT are producing in the usual spots, with the Housatonic having the best action, but also the most pressure. Ice came and went pretty quickly in southwest CT, but the smaller places have held a base that will likely grow well whenever the nighttime temps start to drop again. Torrey, at Upcountry Sport-fishing in Pine Meadow in Pine Meadow, reports that results on the Farmington have been highly varied. Some have reported extremely slow days, while others have had 25-30 fish days. Flow is up to 205 cfs in the permanent catch and release area; which is higher than it has been, but still relatively low. The lower-than-usual flow has resulted in more ice, so anglers should look to warmer weather windows when the shelf ice will break up, or fish closer to the dam. Winter caddis (18-24) has been the main hatch in the mornings and early afternoons. Matching that hatch has had good results, but nymphs and slowly fished streamers have also been producing. Connecticut Fishing Forecast Ice anglers may have been able to scratch the itch over the weekend, but we now must be patient or head north. In the meantime, cod and sea bass continue to bite off Block Island, and school bass can be found throughout both states. Hopefully you can find some tight lines over the weekend, but either way have a safe and happy holiday weekend.
  2. 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
  3. I'm not sure if this fish was very slow moving south or very fast moving north, but Mr. Megee found it nonetheless! Great job and thanks!
  4. Hat's off to the ECO's: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan today announced the charging of a Shirley man with multiple violations of the Environmental Conservation Law after Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) observed the individual allegedly possessing 268 blackfish over the state’s fishing limit. "This arrest once again demonstrates the work that our ECOs do each day to protect the public, and our natural resources," Commissioner Sheehan said. "ECOs are tireless in their pursuit of violators of the State’s Environmental Conservation laws." ECOs observed Arthur C. Reilly, 46, of 39 Cypress Lane, Shirley as he returned to Senix Marina, Center Moriches aboard his commercial fishing vessel "Flora-Jo." Upon docking his vessel officers observed him offloading live blackfish into three holding pens that were in the water at the boat slip. In total, Mr. Reilly had 293 live blackfish, 268 over the state limit, and also had five striped bass and fillets of three other striped bass in a cooler on the vessel. The state’s striped bass season ended on December 15. After counting the blackfish, 268 live blackfish were released. Mr. Reilly was charged with possession of striped bass out of season and possession of blackfish in excess of the limit, all violations, with additional charges pending. In addition to the work done by Long Island area ECOs to investigate marine fishing violations, the DEC also formed a Marine Enforcement Unit in June 2005 under Commissioner Sheehan’s leadership. The MEU is specifically responsible for protecting the State's marine resources by enforcing State and Federal laws and regulations concerning habitat preservation and the recreational and commercial harvesting of fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. ECOs in the unit are assigned to the lower Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island. The MEU includes 10 officers and an investigator.
  5. So, heading to acadia in mid-June for honeymoon. I have fished the new hampshire and maine coast a handful of times, including acadia once when i was a kid. We caught some pollock, don't even remember the bait we were using. Any tips? Anyone ever have any luck? We'll try it from the rocks, probably from kayaks as well. May try out one of the party boats too, although not really my style. What gear should I bring? I've got just about everything from ultralight freshwater rigs to surf sharking rods.
  6. The weather is still warm to hot and the fishing is the same, some days warm; some day we have hot fishing. The water temps in the area are getting to late July temps already in June; I believe this is going to give us a summer trend of fishing for most of the season. To the fishing report>>>. We are still seeing so good numbers of Cobia around the area waters. The Cobia are around the inlets, shoals, and bars just off the beach. We are also still seeing them offshore a bit; around hard bottoms and reefs. Live bait has been the key to the bigger fish lately. Smaller Cobia have hit jigs around the inlets and ocean sand bars. Sight casting live bait to bigger Cobia just off the beach has produced some nice Cobia form Carolina Beach to Topsail. When we drift fish for Cobia, we are using carolina rigs with three to four once egg sinkers and 7/0 circle hooks with an eighty pound Berkley big game mono leader. The baits we are using are small Bluefish, Mullet, and Menhaden. The Flounder fishing is really starting to pick up. We are seeing Flounder inshore as well as just off the beaches. The places we look for Flounder are in the ICW, Cape Fear River and Creeks off the ICW. Look for drop offs on the edge of the main channel with current or any where baitfish are passing by. Most of the Flounder are eating little menhaden and Mud minnows on light Carolina rigs. The Flounder are mixed in size to just under keeper size to a few over five pounds. We have caught some Flounder on Artificial baits as well. We have had the best luck with Berkley Gulp 3” pogy in pearl white and smelt colors. Rig the grubs on a red or black jig head for best results. We have had some great Sharks fishing trips in the last two weeks; the bigger fish are just starting to show up. We are already even starting to see a few Hammerheads just off the beach. Shark fishing will be good until early October. Best baits for the near shore sharks are, fresh and live Menhaden. When we use bait to catch the sharks we use spinning reels, with 300+ yards of thirty and fifty pound Spider wire Ultracast braid. Rigging the baits; eight feet of 80 pound mono leader; some will wind on to the reel. Connected the 80 pound mono to a fifty pound swivel, then to Two to three foot of #9 SS wire and an 8/0 or 9/0 off set J hook. If you prefer Fly fishing, I like Striped bass flies in Menhaden patterns with 4/0 and 5/0 hook sizes. We use ten to twelve weight set ups; have lots of extra flies with you! When Shark fishing gets good, it’s not long before we start to see some Tarpon in the area. We have seen some nice schools of Tarpon pushing up the beaches in the last two weeks. Tarpon fishing in North Carolina can be very fun but it can be a challenge to get one to bite! We fish for Tarpon on the bottom or free lining, using live and fresh dead baits like; spots, bluefish and Menhaden. We are rigging these baits on fish finder rigs, with three to five feet of 80 to 100 pound mono leaders. Circle hooks are the best bet for good hook ups and landings for Tarpon in hook sizes 7/0 to 9/0 depending what hook series you like. I have also had a fair share of Tarpon on my kite rig with live baits like greenies, bluefish and menhaden. Nothing like seeing a Tarpon hit kite baits! Redfish are still biting well, but with all the hot weather its best to go early in the morning or later afternoons when the water is a bit cooler. Topwater lures and rattling corks in the shallow waters earlier mornings and afternoons will produce some Redfish. Working grubs like Berkley Gulp later in the day in deeper waters will also produce Reds for ya. Sometimes it can be just like colder mouths, slow down your presentation a little when the water gets hot. Give the Redfish a little more time to catch up with your bait. A few other fish that are biting lately; Spanish mackerel bite has been hit or miss lately. The best catching have been earlier in the morning and casting jigs and spoons to jumping fish, has put most of the fish in the boat lately. The Sheephead bite has really picked up in the last few weeks, fishing around bridges, pilings and bulkheads will produce some nice Sheephead. Off the beach from five to fifth teen miles the King Mackerel and Mahi are showing some. Fast trolling Ballyhoo or slow trolling lives baits a working for the Mackerel and Mahi. There has also been a few Sailfish caught as well lately in the same areas. Fishing Gear we use: Reels Penn Conquer and Sargus spinning in sizes 2000 and 4000. Spiderwire Ultra-cast braid in 10 and 15#. Rods: Ugly stick lite 6’6” and 7’ Med & Med-Heavy and the All Star ASR spinning rod ASR844S and ASR845S. Cobia, Shark and Tarpon: Spinning setup Penn Conquer 7000 with an Ugly Stick Tiger lite Jigging rod 6’ 6” and Penn 320LD Reel and a Tiger lite jigging rod. Line for Cobia, Shark and Tarpon: Berkley Big Game 30# mono and 50# Spiderwire Stealth High-Vis Yellow. Thanks for reading this report, if you would like to go fishing drop me a line. Book now for this coming summer fishing season and don’t forget to take a kid fishing! Good Luck, Captain Jot Owens Ranger Boats Pro Staff PENN Reels Elite Staff Wilmington North Carolina Guided Fishing Charters Wrightsville Beach <acronym title="North Carolina">NC</acronym> Inshore Fishing Boats 910-233-4139
  7. 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
  8. By Dr. Julie Ball IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach Mother’s Day Report 7 May 2010 With the arrival of even more species this week, the spring saltwater fishery is now in full swing. The largest of the new arrivals is the much anticipated black drum, in all its glory. These fish are docile creatures moving in large schools as they forage the bottom for clams, mussels, and other crustaceans. Black drum are making a slow start, with most fish coming from the seaside inlets along the Eastern Shore on clams. Larger fish are now hitting around the Bayside shoals, especially near buoy 13. Expect this trend to improve over the next few weeks. Anglers are still finding red drum action along the shoals and breakers lining Smith Island and Fisherman’s Island, as well as the 9-foot shoal area. Tuan Vu of Chesapeake found his big 48-inch red while fishing near the CBBT this week. Michael Williams of Richmond also had a good day when he released a 48-inch bull on a grub while fishing near Fisherman’s Island. The best bait is peeler crabs, blue crabs, and bunker. One new species created a stir this week when David Cafini of Suffolk pulled a huge 9.5-pouind grey trout from the water near the HRBT. Grey trout have been scarce in this area for several years. Maybe this is a sign of better days for this greatly missed species. The folks at Ocean’s East 2 report the arrival of two other newly arriving species for the season, spot and sea mullet. Surf anglers are pulling small spot, along with sea mullet and medium-sized croaker out of the surf line off Ocean View and Little Creek. The bite is best after dark, with Fish Bite’s blood worm variety the top bait. Croaker are available all over the lower Bay, but the best hauls are still coming from the James and York Rivers where squid and crab are doing the trick. Decent fish in the 17-inch range are filling coolers from near the Coleman Bridge, York River State Park, and the oyster beds near the James River Bridge. It seems that the striped bass got the memo that the Bay’s Spring Trophy Striped Bass season opened last weekend. Anglers are suddenly experiencing excellent striper action all over the lower Bay. Top water action is the most popular method to entice fish exceeding the 32-inch minimum size requirement, especially along the pilings and islands of the CBBT and the HRBT. Several boats are also reporting catches while bottom fishing for drum near Fisherman’s Island. Several rockfish are exceeding 45-inches. Flounder action around the CBBT is still off, but anglers working the various lower Bay and Eastern Shore inlets and shallower backwaters, are finding some keepers. Both Rudee Inlet and Lynnhaven River are providing some good fish, with a few flatfish ranging up to 5-pounds. Limits of decent flatties ranging from 3 to 5-pounds are also coming from the seaside inlets out of Wachapreague. Bluefish are still the word inside Rudee Inlet where anglers are experiencing good catches of decent blues to five pounds. The Virginia Beach Fishing Center reports that anglers are also catching speckled trout up to 6-pounds within Rudee Inlet lately, with any color grub doing the trick. Speckled trout are also hitting within the Eastern Shore seaside inlets and the back waters of Oyster, where peeler crabs and Mirrolures are the best bait. Although most anglers are becoming interested in other species, the deep drop scene is still luring a few boats to the deep when they can get out. As the dog fish begin to move out, more boats will target tilefish, black bellied rosefish and grouper along the 50-rathom curve and beyond. Offshore fishing will begin to improve this month as the action off Carolina begins to move northward. The fleets out of Oregon Inlet are finding yellowfin tuna, along with a few billfish in the mix. For more information, go to www.drjball.com.
  9. Still very quiet on the beachfront. Seems to be nothing going except for skates. Black drum should show up anyday with hopefully some stripers towards the end of the month. Feel free to post your reports here, fish or no fish.
  10. IS IT JUST A MARYLAND THING OR ARE STRIPED BASS CALLED ROCKFISH IN OTHER AREAS???[video=youtube;_qnqmRaZHzE]
  11. THE BAY HAS A LOT OF BIG STRIPERS THIS TIME OF YEAR THEY TELL ME,SO FAR IT HAS BEEN HIT OR MISS FOR ME.SOMETIMES YOU FIND THEM AND SOMETIMES YOU DONT.CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE OF THE SUCESSFUL TRIPS.I WONT BORE YOU WITH DETAILS OF THE OTHERS.[video=youtube;_qnqmRaZHzE]
  12. Fished with a couple friends today at AI. Had about 10 -12 rods in a line down the beach and it was absolutely dead. not a single bait was touched by anything. We had out clam, bunker and crab. We left some baits soaking for over 2 hours and they came back untouched. I never had clam last more than 20 minutes before. Not a good way to start off my 2010 surf fishing season.
  13. We always wonder how the people fishing at various points in the city do, and now we know that there are some huge fish biting off the shores. Reader Ryan Eugene Kelley sent us this anecdote and photographs from his friend, Rodney Calhoun: Bed Stuy resident Percy, seen here riding a Queens bound G train to Bedford Nostrand, battled his giant 43 lb striped bass all morning. Wilson caught the giant fish behind a school in Far Rockaway using clams for bait. "They're smart you see, all morning they were just sucking the bait, not really striking it you know". But eventually Wilson got the strike he'd been looking for, and now he and his family will be eating striped bass for weeks to come. "I'm gonna fillet it up soon as I get home, then I'm gonna take a nap, that fish wore me out."
  14. I was thrilled to get these shots tonight. It still amazes me the size fish an Osprey can catch and carry. This the first time I have ever got a picture of one with a Striped Bass of this size. At least someone is getting out in this wind and catching.
  15. Mosquito Creek Outdoor's Indian River Lagoon Coast Fishing Forecast, April 2010 by Captain Tom Van Horn I can't help but get excited about the many different angling prospects spring delivers to the Indian River Coast of Florida. I'm always thankful for the chance to live, breath, and fish on these waters, and with the windy rainy March behind us, I'm ready to set the hook. Some of highlights of fishing on Florida's east central coast during the spring are the weather is still cool and enjoyable, and as the waters warm up, the fish begin to shift into their prespawning feeding mood. Some examples of this behavior are the cobia moving north ups the coast, and the spotted sea trout moving into their traditional spawning areas on the inshore flats. Like many saltwater species, the cobia and sea trout spawn in aggregations or groups, not on beds. In the case of the cobia, traditional spawning areas are off of the central east coast of the US, and in the northern Gulf of Mexico. As the fish migrate north, they burn energy and feed heavily along the way, hence the cobia run we are currently experiencing. On the flats, the smaller male sea trout move up into the shallow flats first, and then call the females in to spawn by drumming loudly just after dusk when the conditions are right, usually around the beginning on the first new moon or full moon in April, and then again on the new and full moons throughout the summer. On the lagoon flats, fish the early morning and late evening with your favorite top water plugs for extreme trout and redfish action, and soft plastics and jigs in deeper water, 2 to 3 feet after the midday sun settles in. April is the month when trout become egg laden for the spawn, so it's very important to handle and release the larger females with great care. Also, with the hard freeze killing so many fish, it is wise to simply release them all. If you are looking for snook and tarpon action inside, the Sebastian River will be the place to go, and remember both these species are catch and release only. Offshore, April marks the beginning of the fishing season for most blue water anglers. It represents the start of the April/May northern migration of dolphin in deeper water, 120 feet and beyond and usually brings in some of the largest bulls taken all year. April also marks the beginning of the Easter kingfish run on the near-shore reef outside Port Canaveral. It's the time of year when most of the larger kings, 30 to 50 pounds, are taken off 8A Reef, and Pelican Flats. As we move in near-shore, tripletail should become more dependable, and look for late season cobia as well. The cobia run thus far has been so; with bait pods (Atlantic menhaden or pogies) arriving late this year. As the bait pod move in, look for Spanish mackerel, bluefish, redfish, giant jack crevalle, sharks, and smoker kings. Concentrate your efforts in areas of bait pods. When you see areas of bait balled up and pushed to the surface, there is a high probability that feeding gamefish are pressuring the bait from underneath. In the inlets, look for good numbers of flounder, sheepshead and black drum around structure such as jetties and docks, and Spanish mackerel, blues, and large jacks in open water. Also look for the nighttime snook and tarpon action to heat up in the Sebastian Inlet. In the freshwater lakes and rivers, largemouth and striped bass action has will heat up on the St Johns River. Look for schooling bass at first light feeding on pilchards from the Osteen Bridge to Lake Harney. My favorite locations are in the river bends near the power lines at Lemon Bluff and at the south end of Lake Harney were the River dumps in. A good way to locate these schooling fish is to look for white pelicans and other wading birds congregating along the shore. When in the feeding mode, these fish will take most swim plugs, and small live shiners. Also, several years back we caught southern flounder in Lake Harney fishing pilchards on the bottom under the schooling bass. The bass bite was weak last year after the high water delivered by tropical storm Fay and we have high water again this year, so we can only hope the schooling bass are more cooperative this year. Also, spring is the time of year the larger catfish move up the river and into the creeks following the rising water. I know to most, their not a glamour species, by try telling my good friend Mike Murray that. Lastly, the bluegill and brim will be spawning soon on the lakes, so look for some popping bug fly fishing to heat up in our local Central Florida lakes. As always, if you have any questions or need help, please contact me. Good luck and good fishing, Captain Tom Van Horn Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters Mosquito Lagoon Fishing Guide-Redfish Guides-Indian River Fishing Charter-Flats Fishing Central Florida-Captain Tom Van Horn (407) 416-1187 on the water (407) 366-8085 landline For all of your outdoor supplies and fishing tackle needs, visit Mosquito Creek Outdoors at Mosquito Creek Outdoors.
  16. 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>
  17. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife - Fishing Licenses Buy your Hunting and Fishing License Online Complimentary Fishing and Hunting Licenses Saltwater Fishing License Information Who needs a fishing license? A person is required to obtain a valid fishing license prior to fishing in inland waters or transporting fish taken from inland waters. A person is required to keep his/her fishing license with him/her at all times while fishing or transporting fish and must exhibit their license for inspection by any warden, department employee, guide or landowner upon request. Possession of fishing tackle in the fields or forest or on the waters or ice of this State without a fishing license is prima facie evidence of fishing in violation of the law. When obtaining a resident license, it is the responsibility of the applicant to submit proof of residency. Maine residents under 16 years or age and nonresidents under 12 years of age may fish without a license. Maine residents (and immediate family members who live with that person ) may fish without a license from their own land if that person owns more than 10 acres of land, lives on that particular piece of land, and the land is used exclusively for agricultural purposes. In-patients at the Veterans Administration Hospital at Togus may fish without a license within 25 miles of Togus (Note: Patients not under immediate supervision of a hospital representative must have a valid hospital pass while fishing.) Fishing License Fees Resident Fishing Licenses (Prices listed below do not include the agent fee.) Superpack (16 & older) - $200.00 Combination Fishing/Archery (16 & older) - $42.00 Combination Hunting & Fishing (16 & older) - $42.00 Resident Fishing (16 and older) - $25.00 1-Day (24 hour) Fishing (16 & older) - $11.00 Serviceman (resident) Fishing and Hunting (16 & older) - $3.00 Serviceman Dependent Hunting (16 & older) - $10.00 Serviceman Dependent Fishing and Hunting (16 & older) - $20.00 Serviceman - Complimentary Military Supersport - $20.00 Duplicate License - $2.00 Nonresident and Alien Fishing Licenses (Prices listed below do not include the agent fee.) Combination Hunting & Fishing (16 & older) - $149.00 Nonresident Season Fishing (16 and older) - $64.00 15-Day Fishing (16 & older) - $47.00 7-Day Fishing (16 & older) - $43.00 3-Day (72-hour) Fishing (16 & older) - $23.00 1-Day (24 hour) Fishing (16 & older) - $11.00 Junior Fishing (12-15 years) - $16.00 Alien Combination Fishing and Hunting (16 & older) - $190.00 Alien Season Fishing (16 & older) - $84.00 Supersport - $20.00 Duplicate License - $2.00 Other Licenses and Permits Bait Dealer's Licenses Children's Camp License. This license allows any of the boys or girls who are under 16 years of age to fish in the lake or pond adjacent to the camp. For more information, contact the Licensing Division at (207) 287-2571. Fishing Derbies and Tournaments Expiration: Unless otherwise specifically provided, all licenses expire on December 31st of the calendar year for which they were issued. Combination Hunting and Fishing License: A combination hunting and fishing license permits persons 16 years of age or older to fish in inland waters and permits hunting of all legal big game and small game with a firearm, muzzleloader, or bow and arrow. An archery license is required to hunt during the archery and expanded archery seasons on deer, and during the fall turkey hunting season. Combination Fishing and Archery License: A combination fishing and archery license permits persons 16 years of age or older to fish in inland waters and permits hunting of all legal big game and small game with bow and arrow only. Season Fishing License: A season fishing license is required for residents, nonresidents, and aliens 16 years of age or older to fish in the inland waters of Maine. Note: A Maine resident under 16 years of age may fish without a fishing license. A nonresident or alien 12 years of age and under 16 years of age must purchase a junior fishing license. Nonresident Junior Fishing License: A nonresident junior fishing license is required for nonresidents and aliens 12-15 years to fish in the inland waters of Maine. 15-Day Fishing License: A nonresident or alien 16 years of age and older may purchase a 15-day fishing license which permits them to fish in inland waters for the dates specified on the license. A nonresident 15-day fishing license may be exchanged for a non-resident season fishing license upon payment of $12.00 plus the agents fee. 7-Day Fishing License: A nonresident or alien 16 years of age and older may purchase a 7-day fishing license which permits them to fish in inland waters for the dates specified on the license. 3-Day Fishing License: A nonresident or alien 16 years of age and older may purchase a 3-day fishing license which permits them to fish in inland waters for the dates specified on the license. 1-Day Fishing License: A resident, nonresident, or alien 16 years of age and older may purchase a 1-day fishing license which permits them to fish in inland waters for the date specified on the license. Note: A 1-day or 3-day fishing license may be exchanged by a Maine resident for a season fishing or combination hunting and fishing license upon payment of the agent fee, plus the difference between that fee and the fee for the annual license. Duplicate License: A duplicate license may be obtained from the license agent who issued original license for $2.00. Supersport: A supersport certificate may be obtained for any of Maine’s hunting and fishing licenses for an additional fee of $20.00. See Supersport Program for more information. Maine Fishing License Revocation Information Anglers should be aware that a conviction for any fishing violation may result in the revocation of their fishing privileges. Fishing Violations with a Minimum Mandatory One Year License Revocation The Commissioner is required by law to suspend a person’s fishing license for at least one year and may suspend all other Department Licenses held by a person if that person is convicted of any one of the following violations: * Introducing fish into inland waters without a permit. * Taking or possessing sport fish in violation of number, amount, or size limits, as it relates to trout, salmon, togue and black bass, whenever the violation involves twice the general bag and possession limit adopted by rule by the Commissioner for that species of fish in that body of water (Title 12, 12602). * Taking fish by snagging (defined by Title 12, 12651). * Importing live bait fish or smelts without a permit (Title 12, 12556). * Buying or selling freshwater sport fish (Title 12, 12609-A). * Taking fish by explosive, poisonous or stupefying substances (Title 12, 12653). Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Law (Title 12) also contains mandatory two, three and five year revocations for convictions of other violations. The revocations listed above apply to violations of fishing laws only. Saltwater Fishing Information The following information is applicable to all the waters of the State within the rise and fall of the tide and within the marine limits of the State, but not including areas above any fishway or dam when the fishway or dam is the dividing line between tidewater and freshwater. The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) is the State agency that is established to conserve and develop marine and estuarine resources. The Bureau of Resource Management promotes and develops recreational and commercial saltwater fisheries through research, technical assistance, and the collection of statistics. The Bureau of Marine Patrol enforces laws and regulations pertaining to saltwater recreational and commercial fishing activities as well as Maine’s boat laws, including operation, registration and safety requirements. For information, contact the DMR at: 21 SHS, Augusta, Maine 04333-0021; telephone: (207) 624-6550. Saltwater angling licenses are not required for recreational saltwater angling. A commercial license is required when any marine species is sold and when more than the recreational bag limits are in possession of the angler. Selling fish without a commercial permit is prohibited. There are regulations covering size, bag limits, possession limits and methods of fishing for, but not limited to the following species: Atlantic Salmon, Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, Sturgeon, Striped Bass, Bluefish, Cod, Haddock, Halibut, Pollack, Redfish, Smelt, Winter/ Summer Flounder, Sharks. Current saltwater fishing information can be obtained by contacting the Recreational Marine Fisheries Program, Maine DMR, PO Box 8, West Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575. Telephone: (207) 633-9500. Freshwater fish (brown trout, black bass-largemouth and smallmouth, black crappie, rainbow trout, chain pickerel, and landlocked salmon) regulations in coastal waters. All rules governing methods of taking, size, bag, and possession limits conform with the general law open water fishing regulations found in this book, except that the minimum length limit on brown trout and rainbow trout in coastal waters is 14 inches. It is unlawful to fish for or take freshwater fish by any means other than hook and line. It is unlawful to snag freshwater fish. Atlantic Salmon The angling season for Atlantic salmon in Maine is CLOSED YEAR ROUND until further notice. It is unlawful, by State of Maine mandate, to angle, take or possess any Atlantic salmon from all Maine waters (including coastal waters). Atlantic Salmon are regulated by the Atlantic Salmon Commission, 650 State Street, Bangor Mental Health Facility, Bangor, ME 04401; (207) 941-4449. Information regarding Atlantic salmon can be obtained directly from the Commission. Atlantic Bluefin Tuna are regulated by the Federal Government. Permit information can be obtained from the National Marine Fisheries Service, Atlantic Tuna Program, Northeast Regional Office,1 Blackburn Drive, Gloucester, MA 01930-2298; Phone: 888-872-8862. Sturgeon: It is unlawful to take, catch, possess, or destroy any shortnose or Atlantic sturgeon from the coastal waters of Maine. Striped Bass: Maine’s striped bass regulations cover all Maine coastal waters up to the head of tide in all rivers. In addition, there are special regulations in effect on some rivers. Contact the Department of Marine Resources for current size restrictions, season dates, and bag limits. Gear restrictions: Gear is restricted to hook and line only. Use of a gaff to land a striped bass is illegal.
  18. The weather is getting warm and hopefully will see a fish or two caught here towards the end of the month. Feel free to post your reports here, fish or no fish.
  19. 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/
  20. Fish Report 11/12/09 Tog Limit Blues Succession Failings of Ivory Tower Fisheries Economics If you took what I know about large-scale economic theory and stuffed it in a gnats ear it would rattle around like a BB in a box-car.. Hmm, I wonder what the good Professor knows about fish and fishing.. Hi All, Saturday we had as fine a start as could be had, folks spread around the whole rail: a military dress-right-dress, not only with left arms extended--rods too--and all nicking away at tog. Well, almost all, one fellow was solid into cbass no matter what-for crab he baited. He generated some good tags at least; then, later, turned his day around and crushed 'em.. Slick calm in the morning, coming saucy headed home - fair wind, not a worry. Rode over the newly sited NRG Reef that Capt. Greg/OCRF sank that same day, 11/7. Engineered by good fortune and clever endeavor this one. The pieces just came together at the right time - habitat complexity writ very large - wonderful. When we 'discover' what reefing can do we'll be engineering on purpose, maximizing the production from each unit's footprint. Whether its oysters, corals, or a specific species of fish; we'll learn to build what's best and do so with a mind to succession--growth succession; the time sequence of organisms actually growing on reef substrate. A year old reef set may have crazy-mad mussels growing on it, but that won't be what's there 40 years from now... Ah yes, more fishing. Sunday we had a stunningly beautiful day. Really, you had to just look at the ocean and be thankful. But we limited out by 9:30. Ain't no way I'm going in: not yet. Lit up the big radar and--pow--scarcely 2 1/2 miles further offshore worked a flock of gannets, the WWII Avenger-like torpedo dive bombers of the marine bird world that add a visual and audible component to the fishing, their cacophony of calls either to alert others to food or warn them to get out of the way as they--whoosh--plunge into their feast; the sudden swirls of fish--unexpected--only adding to the experience.. Nice. Caught all the blues we wanted, yet far-far less than a limit; headed for home and still got in early. Monday we were a tad further out and nearly limited when the tog bite quit. ..radar ain't fair. Those birds pulled me 7 miles down the beach before it was over.. Blues. Wonderful fun. One young fellow struggling.. what's up with that fish..foul-hooked? Dylan's too tired? Ah, no. Ritch: "Capt! Capt! Gimme the big net!" Forty four inch striper. Amidst these many blues we caught two very large striped bass. Tagged & released both because they were caught in the MPA, arguably the largest recreational no-fish MPA in the world, this the striped bass closed area from 3 to 200 miles offshore - all of the EEZ. If I wrote the rules we wouldn't have kept them anyway--too big--but we'd be able to take one-a-man if ever that fortunate. Its been a no-take, closed to recreational fishing area for 24 years because commercial fishers exploited a loop-hole--then state regs didn't count in federal waters--so the fed slammed the door on 'em.. And us. Dang thing's stuck. Some say stripers are a rebuilt fishery.. Perhaps this is where Pew's "economic benefits accruing to recreational fishers through rebuilding" starts to occur.. but just not yet, not after 24 years. Lot more on that below... Buoy Report: 44009 - 15 NM East Fenwick Island, DE. - Tuesday - 11/10/09 - 5:50 PM - East wind 1.9 knots - 1.3 foot seas - 13 second period. Coming in from a dive trip--an artificial reef monitoring trip--greasy-calm, ocean smooth as I've ever seen, the calmest calm-before-the-storm you could hope to witness. Had spent the day anchored over a reef similar to what the Radford--a 560 foot Destroyer set to sink next summer--might look like in the future; somewhat alike but, at 165 feet, smaller. Nick Caloyianis and Clarita Berger were aboard, their underwater video work seen around the world. Just unloading their van worthy of marvel; carefully packed, Rubik's Cube perfect: no fisher ever had such equipment. But then, we do try to stay in the boat. Anyway, Nick--joshing--says he'd "like to drop right on the smoke stack." I reply, "How about the wheelhouse?" Set enough anchors for toggin.. Get a little practice. They came back up from their first dive thrilled. Water warm, visibility wonderful, fish and growth in abundance.. And had down-lined directly to the wheelhouse. An extremely late school of spadefish--their numbers huge by the standards of these past two decades though of very modest size some three decades ago--swam all around the upper structure of the once & now again proud Coast Guard ship Red Beech. Breathtaking video--at least for a lover of marine life--still photos; a jelly in full bioluminescence, its lit up colors neoning along in a stream of natural wonder; those spades caught broadside to the lens, a yellow tagged sea bass trying to evade these filming intruders.. Should have pieces up on Maryland's reef website soon. Truly splendid. All a sign of what this reef-site centerpiece, the Radford, might look like in a decade; just a glimpse of her in several decades. Then, sun having set and dockside, Clarita, with her thousands of hours diving, experiences revelation: "Those spadefish could have been among the 5 inch juveniles we saw on artificial reef in the Chesapeake.." ..this the same bay that is missing 99% of its natural hard-bottom oyster reef. That calm buoy report now replaced by Storm Warnings, gusts to 52 knots, and 23 foot waves with an 11 second period; its fantastically rough. Going fishing for tog when the weather breaks. If we limit - or get all we want - we can hope for blues to finish the day. Below is a direct refutation of the report by Professor Gates published--and presumably funded--by the Pew Environment Group, titled: One Last Chance: The Economic Case for Rebuilding Mid-Atlantic Fish Populations. Fishing is more fun, but derned if there doesn't need to be some truthing too. 'Sancho, my lance.' 'This will be worse than the adventure of the windmills,' quoth Sancho. Is what it is.. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/ 11/12/09 Capt. Monty Hawkins' refutation of: "One Last Chance: The Economic Case for Rebuilding Mid-Atlantic Fish Populations" Professor Gates, University of Rhode Island. Alright Professor, You have presented "One Last Chance" while I am at that exact point. You presume to tell me/us how fisheries restoration is going to play out in the Mid-Atlantic, how "an additional 570 million per year in perpetuity in direct economic benefits" is being missed out on by our reluctance to just STOP overfishing & rebuild. Now granted, if you took what I know about large-scale economic theory and stuffed it in a gnats ear it would rattle around like a BB in a box-car.. Hmm, I wonder what the good Professor knows about fish and fishing.. About marine ecology.. About where little fishes come from.. And about the whittling away, sometimes bulldozing, hydraulically liquefying, Joint Foreign Fishing Venture selling of our original production engine - the habitat, that Essential Fish Habitat of Magnuson that we just can't seem to grasp unless we can wade into it.. I think the good Professor is standing slam in the middle of my proverbial Nebraska wheatfield, stretching horizon to horizon, telling me how hunting controls are going to rebuild the squirrels: how a rebounding economy of returning hunters filling motels, buying dinners, breakfasts, thermoses full of coffee, guns of every sort, ammo, dropping serious coin on ATV four-wheelers so they can get deep in the woods quicker, buying homes closer to the....woods? No. Its a wheatfield. This giant wheatfield ain't gonna restore no squirrels. From the Professor's Report: In the recreational sector, rebuilding these four fish populations {black sea bass, bluefish, butterfish and summer flounder} would increase landings by 24 percent more per year than status quo management, with an economic value of approximately $536 million per year (in 2007 dollars) in perpetuity. These direct economic benefits would have potential secondary impacts in the region through increased income, sales and jobs for related businesses such as bait and tackle shops, lodging and restaurants. Thus, the estimates reported here are conservative and the actual benefits are likely to be more expansive. These results provide analytical evidence that there is both significant value in rebuilding fish populations and foregone economic benefits from delaying rebuilding. Bragging about a 24% increase? That's the plan? We're toast. Estuaries great & small, and our present marine seafloor the wheatfield, our fish the squirrels: the professor and all the great might of his fantastically deep pocketed sponsor, Pew, a sponsor who can get the NMFS's Chief Scientist to repeat word-for-word from this report; he, they, and all others who believe these words are simply missing a supremely significant point: Repairing the impact of up to several centuries of extensive habitat loss, though mostly from the last 60 years, is an incredibly important part of fisheries restoration. Read the whole report - it Googles - habitat ain't there. This economic theory is either misleading--dishonest with a purpose--or ill-informed of fisheries ecology. You can't spend five seconds reading about salmon without crossing into deforestation and dam construction: yet sea bass? Their habitat is apparently unworthy of inspection. We can not simply take the heat off fish populations and expect a glorious revival. We must do the heavy lifting, the habitat restoration; its not going to happen by reviewing 15 year old studies of recreational fishing's economic impacts. Fiddle. I bet a regionally based management plan would, based on the factual previous 4 years catch, increase sea bass catch by 378.26%. Still, I have to agree, if you cut off all fishing for these species they would rebuild to the holding capacity of the remaining habitat - even higher. By today's standards that would be a lot of fish. I saw a preschooler hold his shoelace as his mother tied the knot, "I did it!" Big hugs.. Like so, reducing fishing mortality to nearly zero increases populations. I would call that neither fishery restoration nor management. These theoretical stocks now rebuilt to new heights, an economic state of grace, they find their reproductive success too fruitful: and, outpacing the available prey base, they crash. Where too is the diverted effort, the fishers patiently fishing other species while this nest-egg of income 'in perpetuity' gathers interest: these fishers are targeting something.. Tautog? Are we rebuilding in a vacuum? Where will this latent pressure go? As Yogi Berra said, "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is." Where are fishers to shelter while regulatory nirvana, this magical stasis, is being created.. There is no shelter. We fish - or else.. Using recreational catch data well-known to be rather barnyardy to effectively reduce fishing pressure as much as possible, while spouting fisheries restoration theory that can't pass simple scrutiny, represents railroading in the grandest tradition; its not modern management - its all the brute force money can buy, not the best use of available science.... The four fish in the study: Butterfish? Can't speak to it. Bluefish are not scarce, but they do not use our region as they once did: now only migrating through, not staying far into summer. A case for global warming? Eh, the summer spadefish and amberjacks of southern seas have diminished more too - used to frequently have the three species together. Lessened prey availability/findability a cause I think. Importantly, the blues we do have are remaining much further offshore - in clearer water - seas less sullied by the regurgitation of the region's un-biofiltered major estuaries. Sea Bass management has created an abundance/scarcity stock oscillation that will repeat every 4 to 7 years by region depending on industrial winter effort. This "coastwide" plan fails to accept that no sea bass swim coastwide; they'll only migrate a small distance then return, often exactly--with the precision of GPS--to their home reef. The economic restoration of this fishery is not going to be found in broad-scale management or economic theory. It will never be well-restored, or bettered, without shouldering habitat management. Summer flounder are at a population never seen in my life, nor that of any other party boat skipper that ever sailed from Ocean City, Maryland. Never targeted in my industry here prior to 2005, we now spend upwards of 100 days a year targeting these fish on the still-unfound reef system. Far beyond fully restored, we fishers await stock assessments that account this apparently new use of habitat--but it isn't new, its an adaptation: biological stock assessment having caught up, fishers could then enjoy the fruits of this success. The worst enemy of fish and fisheries is ignorance. There's coral out there in the mid-Atlantic. Bryozoans, hydrozoans, tube worms, sea whip, star coral; lots of varieties: my success at fishing depends on finding these emergent growths--reefs if you will, and you must.. for they are. Those now barren bottoms that once yielded catches unimaginable to modern fishers, whose fish were caught without benefit of modern navigational equipment; they must be accounted for in restoration economics. But aren't. Can't. At least not yet. Habitat's not been found. Science sure hasn't - the councils don't seem to want to - fishers have to. I await an unveiling of a large project by The Nature Conservancy in the coming weeks. Newcomers to the marine eco-wars; we may well see that their monumental effort at GIS mapping reveals information on habitat never before quantified; a peeling back of the veil through computerized mapping.. Management's success can not, must not, focus on catch restriction alone. Being blind to prey availability, water quality, seafloor habitat, estuarine habitat & more is never going to offer the least hope of driving fishers toward bioeconomic stability. In fact, accelerating along our present course is, right now, driving the whole industry off an economic cliff. Wonderfully large-scale spontaneous generation--sky-fall--as our primary fisheries restoration plan isn't where I thought we'd be in 2009. It is my strongest desire that some of the world's leading fisheries ecologists hear this plea for sanity in fisheries management and, using new tools, attack this economic thesis in a more scholarly fashion: that a truer path to restoration based on sound biological ecosystem restoration will emerge.. It will surely include catch restriction, but in no way rely exclusively upon it. A boundless din of opinion across the fisheries, from Eskimo whaling captain to Virgin Island reef fisher to bloodworm digger in New England; the great truth of habitat production is all but absent in the ever-present fight for more quota. From the many environmental groups now concerned with the fate of these fisheries are a few that have habitat in mind, at the fore even; but they lack the strength, the voice, the ability to be heard above that din that the behemoths posses. Rebuild now these giants cry, economic splendor awaits - catch shares for all! Billions of dollars vs. some several millions vs. some hundreds of thousands vs. a fisher that can still afford an internet connection. Real world, real seas, real habitat loss: absent is a real foundation of habitat to support their restoration goals. I believe that fisheries management in broad spectrum can fully restore fisheries. Using habitat technologies & protections, I believe that some species can be made more abundant than ever before. I also believe that we are not going to succeed in the least with the present strategy. And, if we remain unconcerned with these other aspects of restoration our last chance has already occurred; that "One More Chance" will become someone else's first chance. And their chance too is doomed without deepening efforts of management to directly grapple these many habitat issues. Regards, Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/
  21. Fish Report 1/30/10 A Dandy A Wander Among The Explorers Stop Thief! Fishing Schedule: Toggin Again - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday - Light Winds Forecasted - Tog Trips - February 2cnd, 3rd & 4th, 2010 - 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. The Protest United We Fish: A Rally for the "Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act." Local Readers: The Ocean City Fishing Center and Sunset Marina have donated a bus to go to the Fisherman's Rally Wednesday, February 24th - some seats left - $20.00 deposit - part of which may get used if more buses are required - Contact OCFC at 410 213 1121. Hi All, Entered two more days in the logbook. Wednesday was a great day on the water--for January. Nicked away at 'em but never saw anything pushing even 8 pounds.. an OK day though. Weather forecast for Thursday had a front passing through late. Marine forecasts are significantly, tremendously, better than what we had decades ago. That's a great thing when scheduling short notice trips: perhaps though another hidden guvmint subsidy for the fisheries. All along they were calling for westerly gusts to 40 in the late afternoon just north of our region.. Weather Service then changed 'late' to '1 PM' causing a twisting, lifting of an eyebrow.. 1 PM, 11:00 AM - what's the difference. Eh, snuck in a good bit of the day. Ran for home with no limits that I know of but a couple good fish; Greg's dandy nudging, but not quite 16 pounds; dinners, plenty of tags, and 1/2 off another trip for the clients. We'll try again soon......... Meanwhile, snow's piling up. Take a few minutes to read through this unique perspective of our marine fisheries management. Allow me to wander through a bit of history and use that to illuminate our errors of today.. I hold fisheries restoration as a young science. It wasn't long ago that 'working in marine fisheries' meant looking for ways to extract more wealth, more catch, from the sea. As such, that this is its beginning and nowhere near the middle, that the science involved is not well-seasoned; we can then compare marine restoration of today to the early discoverers. Alvero Mendana (Men don Ya) discovered the Solomon Islands in 1568. He certainly took as careful note of its location as was possible. However, due to the great difficulties of finding longitude then, Philip Carteret was the next explorer to see those Islands in 1767. ..199 years later. Neither explorer nor discoverer, Anson's circumnavigation was solely for killing & capturing--disrupting the Spanish fleet in anyway. Departing England in 1740 with 1,854 men he made good on his task, returning victoriously with treasure--and 188 men; scurvy having caused a great many deaths. You might have thought political spin was a modern invention.. Anson killed 1,200 some people, left a bunch more behind, and was treated as a hero. Incredibly too, we know that scurvy was recognized, even prevented, as early as 1614 by the British through ascorbic acid; the dissemination of information just wasn't there. It would be a few years after Anson's voyage that Lind conducted one of the very first clinical trials isolating vitamin C as a cure for scurvy. It would be many years more before that work was widely adopted. A chain of islands, treatment of a horrid malady: both 2 centuries in cementing upon the world's knowledge. Copernicus anyone? Information in our era travels faster and faster, is more easily tested for accuracy.. Then tales of new-found lands, the northwest passage, sea-airs causing a man's gums to rot, even sea-monsters had to be considered no matter how factual or fabricated they were: nearly anything was thought possible. ..speaking of the fabled NW passage, Amundsen first transited it from 1903 to 1906 through arduous exploration: As of 2009 it is now open to navigation for a portion of the year. Much of that cold melt-water flows to the Labrador current.. ..eh, I'll leave that segue alone. Just remember, Mendana's island discovery was shelved for 2 centuries while new scientific tools were developed to find more precise location: That scurvy's cure was nailed down centuries before treatment was widely accepted... In the late 1990s I was trying to figure out how our black sea bass population had grown so huge in such a short period; why areas that I had fished for long years were getting larger, that the actual fishable reef footprint was increasing--Why I had gone from anchoring with exacting precision over a couple rocks to, in that specific locale, drifting long distances while catching a fish I have yet to catch over sand. What was going on? We had our nine inch size limit, that was obviously working. Hook scars & tag returns were conclusive, but live releases didn't explain anywhere near these far-far greater numbers of fish. Nor the expansion of reef-like habitat.. Inconceivably, according to Kurlansky as early as the year 1376 complaints were made to Parliament about habitat loss from towed fishing gear.. Another author even claims two fishers were executed in 1583 for using chains on their beamtrawls -- too destructive of the seabed. ..The several century information lag stretches to six when the subject of the science is covered with water? Or, is that unfair since fisheries restoration is so new.. Is it new after all? I think that our region's expansion of sea bass--where in the 1980's we had months when we knew we may only catch 7 or 8 fish a day, to, in those same months, having trips with 7,000 & 8,000 fish caught, but mostly released, by the late 1990s. I think this population explosion was primarily fueled not by our self-imposed catch restrictions, but by seafloor habitat expansion due to meager summer flounder quota regulations that kept trawl effort inshore allowing cobble-sized rocky bottoms further out to recolonize with reef growth. I promise this, there was a lot of newly grown reef in less than 120 feet of water by 1999. That good fortune lost, much of it is was again impacted. Yet other areas are presently regrowing. It seems to take the better part of a decade of no stern-towed gear impacts for growths to have colonized where the ecological function of reef is fully restored. I couldn't begin to grasp that until I lowered an underwater camera.. Some videos on my website.. There's a large and growing body of marine science focused on just this issue. True Statement - Currently our science has no hard-bottom reef habitat in the nearshore waters of the Mid-Atlantic. Virtually every recreational & commercial fisher will vigilantly man their respective ramparts at the least whisper of 'protecting' areas of the ocean - those wicked Marine Protected Areas - MPAs. As Anson was held aloft as a hero yet allowed his surgeons to kill so many crew by their ignorance of vitamin C -- So too do we glorify succesful fishery rebuilding by the harshest of catch regulation stemming from poor understanding. Those who would most benefit from utilizing vitamin C's preventive effects and now habitat protections fight for their right to remain reef-free, No Lemons! No MPAs! We'll never prevent a gear impact via habitat protection through gear protected areas, we'll forever allow the Russian roulette of reef loss and re-growth dictated by the whim of fishing effort in a destructive class: Dogma carved in stone, we shall allow no MPA to pass--except striped bass in the EEZ of course.. Our data-poor science hidden by water, it would never withstand shoreside scrutiny: the parade and applause of rebuilding's victory hides the tragedy of conquest's cost, its celebrants remain ignorant of what heights could be achieved, its users fated to cycle with ill-found regulation. One of the greatest discoverers, a man who actually did what he was credited with; Cook's famous voyages were, I believe, the first circumnavigations to be completed without serious incidence of scurvy. This the late 1760s, he didn't quite have the reasons down-pat but his efforts of innovation returned rewards that many would try to duplicate. One can assume his charges were glad to have lived. Anson's voyages seeking conquest and submission, despite the celebration of his trophies on return, resulted in death. Fishing businesses are going to fold - are folding - despite some fish stocks being considered rebuilt, despite that 'dwindling' is the very poorest choice of adjective for these fish populations. It is now, in 2010, that history will have to decide if fishery managers were, like Cook, innovators utilizing flexibility when tasked with discovering solutions; or as Anson who adhered rigidly to the letter of ill-cast orders, causing subordinates' deaths in pursuit of the King's wants.. Both were well regarded in their time: History has not been as kind. The great untruth of our present day restoration effort remains as Mendana's islands, discovered but still below our collective knowledge threshold. Lindholm, Auster & Kaufman's "Habitat-mediated survivorship of juvenile cod" should have been enough to pound it into management's thought process. Fish production--the success of their spawn, that young fish are growing-in to replace what has been taken--can not be separated from habitat. In the United States, in the 21st century, fishery management has yet to put that simple notion into use in the Mid-Atlantic. No, we only use catch restriction. I hold that Alabama's red snapper fishery--their huge percentage of quota--is solely the product of fishery-manufacture through artificial reef: That, given habitat fidelity, there can not be 'restoration' where previously no fishery existed: That their economic power-house, red snapper, must be thought of as created and not re-created. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council claims black sea bass are 103% restored, that the fish have exceeded rebuilding measures: Yet the Council has never recognized the existence of natural reef, let alone taken action to protect, enhance and conserve these habitats as is called for in federal statute. I hold that artificial reef is, in very great part, responsible for the Council's claim of this fishery's restoration here; that without key habitat for spawning success, restoration would remain greatly delayed: That based on my knowledge of this region's sea bass fishery: Were all artificial reef removed, taken away, the fishery would instantly collapse solely from our current catch effort; that the shipwrecks and remnants of natural reef alone could never support even a fraction of our current landings. I also hold that if all the players in fishery restoration ever seize upon this idea we'll exceed our present concept of what the cbass population could be; that habitat theory transfers directly to many fisheries: Indeed, must benefit nearly all. On public property, the fruits of our artificial reef building must be shared with those that never help lift, that only lean; that never donate nor work, that only extract. Now these fruits are being taken, denied to us, by those who need claim them for their paperwork too, who need meet a restoration target but fail to understand the underlying mechanics of habitat for their success. I have cried "Stop Thief!" for some 6 months now trying to recover the fishery which I have worked so hard to restore. In coming weeks we may see the quota doubled; this, thankfully, some extension of our meager two month sea bass season. But we will not get all of our sea bass season back.. The fishery is now restored from scratch to beyond expectations and was never closed but a week or two -- all while never-ever considering that reef-fish might need reef as squirrels need trees. Its a disgrace that fishing businesses must now face, even with a doubled quota, a great loss of season. Despite any plea of ignorance, there is no worse theft than that granted through authority of the Federal Government. Stop Thief! There will be many reasons why fishers and their friends will go to the Capitol steps on February 24th. I am going because we must restore flexibility to the Magnuson Act: We must allow science to discover a better method of restoration before all the teeth have fallen from the rotting, scurvied gums of America's fisheries. Its not about habitat. Its not about recreational/commercial conflict. Its not about MPAs. Its about restoring stability to regulation. Its about calming the waters so that innovation can find its way back into the process: We must have the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act. Having read this far, you likely have some interest in the outcome of this fight. Write a letter, another letter, to your favorite DC representative. CC your State fisheries staff. I promise this: The all-time king of astroturf -not real grass roots- environmental organizations, Pew, will be steadfast in their opposition. That will cause other--even fully habitat oriented--organizations to meekly toe the line no matter the truth, no matter our ignorance, no matter that the solution to fisheries' scurvy lies well in hand but unused. I say "Screw you Pew." So long as I have rocks on which to write the truth I shall load my sling ..and press send. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/
  22. Fish Report 2/3/10 Delaware Frank's Jumbo Regional Management Letters Lost Toggin Again Friday - 5 to 10 knot winds forecasted - February 5th, 2010 - Boat sells out at 12 - Green crabs provided - Cabin heated - Leave at 7:00 for this trip (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. The Protest United We Fish: A Rally for the "Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act." The Ocean City Fishing Center and Sunset Marina have donated a bus to go to the Fisherman's Rally Wednesday, February 24th - a few seats left on the first one - $20.00 deposit - part of which may get used if more buses are required - Contact OCFC at 410 213 1121. Hi All, Moved this Thursday's trip to Friday; now calling for a classic calm-before-the-storm. That's exactly what we had on Tuesday.. Saturday's forecast has gusts to 40 in it. Expect we'll let that pipe-down a while. We count, encourage even, released tog in the fish-pool: Longest length, in or out of the boat, wins the money. Dennis's monster 26 inch tagged release wasn't going to cut it Tuesday.. Alex's 15 1/2 pounder didn't even come out of the box.. Delaware Frank's 19 pound 10 ounce tog--just a pound away from Sam's state record--took top honors. New fellow, Ben, asks "Is this a really good day?" "Yeah Ben, this is in the top 5." "Wow! For the past year?" "No, Ben, top 5 ever.." That was some serious fishing. Tagged more than we kept.. very few were sub-legal. No one thinks you can sustain that kind of fishing without dedicated conservation efforts. No modern fisher wants a return to what was; the declining stocks, the whole watershed collapses of businesses as they fished themselves into economic purgatory: We've had-done with that. May soon embrace the simple arithmatic theory of habitat too: More Reef = More Fish. It don't take no letters behind your name to figure. Take reef away = less fish. Reef regrown + artificial created = more fish. No fishery management = no fish. Good fishery management = best fishing. I am deeply troubled that this regulatory environment--too much fishery management--will prove to have the precise effect of an old-time fishery collapse.. A regulatory collapse, Plenty of Fish = No Fishing? Worse, its a theft of my life's work; a seizure only different from an African coup in that I may keep my appendages--that the banks only figuratively take an arm and a leg; Only different from Poland in 1939 in that, though my property is lost, my family will not be shot; Only different from an armed hold-up in that lawman and bandit are one and same. Hard-won quota doubled; there are still 3 1/2 solid months of no cbass fishing when it would have traditionally been our mainstay; 5 more months too for boats that fish weekends in the canyons all winter -- all because of Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey--MRFSS--data. Battle only partially won, as this little bit of quota gets divided into seasons there will be a squaring off of the states as each positions for their users' best interests.. Regional management is needed biologically to make the system work, now it might be best in regulatory terms too. Real, solid progress in restoration; a removal of the stock oscillations; a completing of what has been done these last 35 years - regional sub-quotas can get us there. Tag studies prove the great danger in not having regional sub-stock management is in losing independent spawning populations: that goes for many species under management. Salmon, sturgeon.. I offer too the otolith studies of sea trout; what of seals and whales--the humpback, gray, sperm; bottlenose dolphin and, far off-scale, the hummingbird that feeds in a coastal Maryland feeder, winters in Argentina, and returns to that same feeder; our sea bass, scup, flounder, tautog: Habitat fidelity and its relevance to spawning success, feeding success--survival in every form--runs throughout the animal world. Its application is inseparable from quality fisheries management. This six month battle stems from the final data sets of a now-dead, but still haunting, catch estimation program. Unprevented; the collapse of the recreational sea bass industry will source directly from data generated by MRFSS's last flights of schizophrenic hallucination, its final delusions; a nearly lifeless program's paranoid accusations of over-fishing by wicked recreational fishers taking out an industry as old as fish hooks. Really. These recreational overages--big numbers--do not come from partyboats fishing sea bass: Its the private boaters that the program claims waylaid the fishery. Wicked slayers of untold tractor-trailer loads of fish; far more than they could eat, no doubt these evil overfishers donated their excess to Al Qaeda training camps to help bring down all imperialist states. Scoundrels! No wonder we're closed! Looked at closely this is what MRFSS asserts.. Grady Whites and custom yachts beat-up the sea bass. And that's our Best Science.. We "Have to use it." By law.. At least Jessie James used a gun. Senseless economic losses for a fishery that is 103% rebuilt: And that accomplished--from zero to 103%--with just a small week or two closure, some years a month. I promise the taxes sea bass fishers won't pay on trips they didn't take would have funded a lot of better data. ..perhaps even discovered if there's some kind of special habitat the fish favor over mud & sand. Mercy. I'm going to DC on February 24th, my sign to read: United We Fish - Sea Bass - OC MD. ---other side-- United We Fish - Fix Magnuson - OC MD.. No coral, no habitat, no commercial fisher bad guys, no Republican this and Democrat that -- We need this fixed - Evenly supported now by both parties; we need more help! One goal - One message. Fix Magnuson - Restore Flexibility. Will that fit on a sign? Hmm.... I hear that Senator Mikulski has only received 5 letters supporting the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act... Can that possibly be? I don't think it can.. Perhaps there is a problem with her mail delivery.. Fishing typically flies well below radar - it should. Not now though. Send a short note--another--a post it note, anything, supporting SB 1255 to Teri Curtis, Environment Staff, who has been doing a wonderful job representing our pleadings to Senator Mikulski: Senator Barbara Mikulski C/O Teri Curtis RSG 503 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 An email/comment on the Senator's website might be as effective.. I doubt it, but put Teri Curtis RSG in the title if you do. Fishing can be made far better than it ever was. First we have to survive.. I appreciate your efforts. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/ Fish Report 1/30/10 A Dandy A Wander Among The Explorers Stop Thief! Fishing Schedule: Toggin Again - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday - Light Winds Forecasted - Tog Trips - February 2cnd, 3rd & 4th, 2010 - 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. The Protest United We Fish: A Rally for the "Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act." Local Readers: The Ocean City Fishing Center and Sunset Marina have donated a bus to go to the Fisherman's Rally Wednesday, February 24th - some seats left - $20.00 deposit - part of which may get used if more buses are required - Contact OCFC at 410 213 1121. Hi All, Entered two more days in the logbook. Wednesday was a great day on the water--for January. Nicked away at 'em but never saw anything pushing even 8 pounds.. an OK day though. Weather forecast for Thursday had a front passing through late. Marine forecasts are significantly, tremendously, better than what we had decades ago. That's a great thing when scheduling short notice trips: perhaps though another hidden guvmint subsidy for the fisheries. All along they were calling for westerly gusts to 40 in the late afternoon just north of our region.. Weather Service then changed 'late' to '1 PM' causing a twisting, lifting of an eyebrow.. 1 PM, 11:00 AM - what's the difference. Eh, snuck in a good bit of the day. Ran for home with no limits that I know of but a couple good fish; Greg's dandy nudging, but not quite 16 pounds; dinners, plenty of tags, and 1/2 off another trip for the clients. We'll try again soon......... Meanwhile, snow's piling up. Take a few minutes to read through this unique perspective of our marine fisheries management. Allow me to wander through a bit of history and use that to illuminate our errors of today.. I hold fisheries restoration as a young science. It wasn't long ago that 'working in marine fisheries' meant looking for ways to extract more wealth, more catch, from the sea. As such, that this is its beginning and nowhere near the middle, that the science involved is not well-seasoned; we can then compare marine restoration of today to the early discoverers. Alvero Mendana (Men don Ya) discovered the Solomon Islands in 1568. He certainly took as careful note of its location as was possible. However, due to the great difficulties of finding longitude then, Philip Carteret was the next explorer to see those Islands in 1767. ..199 years later. Neither explorer nor discoverer, Anson's circumnavigation was solely for killing & capturing--disrupting the Spanish fleet in anyway. Departing England in 1740 with 1,854 men he made good on his task, returning victoriously with treasure--and 188 men; scurvy having caused a great many deaths. You might have thought political spin was a modern invention.. Anson killed 1,200 some people, left a bunch more behind, and was treated as a hero. Incredibly too, we know that scurvy was recognized, even prevented, as early as 1614 by the British through ascorbic acid; the dissemination of information just wasn't there. It would be a few years after Anson's voyage that Lind conducted one of the very first clinical trials isolating vitamin C as a cure for scurvy. It would be many years more before that work was widely adopted. A chain of islands, treatment of a horrid malady: both 2 centuries in cementing upon the world's knowledge. Copernicus anyone? Information in our era travels faster and faster, is more easily tested for accuracy.. Then tales of new-found lands, the northwest passage, sea-airs causing a man's gums to rot, even sea-monsters had to be considered no matter how factual or fabricated they were: nearly anything was thought possible. ..speaking of the fabled NW passage, Amundsen first transited it from 1903 to 1906 through arduous exploration: As of 2009 it is now open to navigation for a portion of the year. Much of that cold melt-water flows to the Labrador current.. ..eh, I'll leave that segue alone. Just remember, Mendana's island discovery was shelved for 2 centuries while new scientific tools were developed to find more precise location: That scurvy's cure was nailed down centuries before treatment was widely accepted... In the late 1990s I was trying to figure out how our black sea bass population had grown so huge in such a short period; why areas that I had fished for long years were getting larger, that the actual fishable reef footprint was increasing--Why I had gone from anchoring with exacting precision over a couple rocks to, in that specific locale, drifting long distances while catching a fish I have yet to catch over sand. What was going on? We had our nine inch size limit, that was obviously working. Hook scars & tag returns were conclusive, but live releases didn't explain anywhere near these far-far greater numbers of fish. Nor the expansion of reef-like habitat.. Inconceivably, according to Kurlansky as early as the year 1376 complaints were made to Parliament about habitat loss from towed fishing gear.. Another author even claims two fishers were executed in 1583 for using chains on their beamtrawls -- too destructive of the seabed. ..The several century information lag stretches to six when the subject of the science is covered with water? Or, is that unfair since fisheries restoration is so new.. Is it new after all? I think that our region's expansion of sea bass--where in the 1980's we had months when we knew we may only catch 7 or 8 fish a day, to, in those same months, having trips with 7,000 & 8,000 fish caught, but mostly released, by the late 1990s. I think this population explosion was primarily fueled not by our self-imposed catch restrictions, but by seafloor habitat expansion due to meager summer flounder quota regulations that kept trawl effort inshore allowing cobble-sized rocky bottoms further out to recolonize with reef growth. I promise this, there was a lot of newly grown reef in less than 120 feet of water by 1999. That good fortune lost, much of it is was again impacted. Yet other areas are presently regrowing. It seems to take the better part of a decade of no stern-towed gear impacts for growths to have colonized where the ecological function of reef is fully restored. I couldn't begin to grasp that until I lowered an underwater camera.. Some videos on my website.. There's a large and growing body of marine science focused on just this issue. True Statement - Currently our science has no hard-bottom reef habitat in the nearshore waters of the Mid-Atlantic. Virtually every recreational & commercial fisher will vigilantly man their respective ramparts at the least whisper of 'protecting' areas of the ocean - those wicked Marine Protected Areas - MPAs. As Anson was held aloft as a hero yet allowed his surgeons to kill so many crew by their ignorance of vitamin C -- So too do we glorify succesful fishery rebuilding by the harshest of catch regulation stemming from poor understanding. Those who would most benefit from utilizing vitamin C's preventive effects and now habitat protections fight for their right to remain reef-free, No Lemons! No MPAs! We'll never prevent a gear impact via habitat protection through gear protected areas, we'll forever allow the Russian roulette of reef loss and re-growth dictated by the whim of fishing effort in a destructive class: Dogma carved in stone, we shall allow no MPA to pass--except striped bass in the EEZ of course.. Our data-poor science hidden by water, it would never withstand shoreside scrutiny: the parade and applause of rebuilding's victory hides the tragedy of conquest's cost, its celebrants remain ignorant of what heights could be achieved, its users fated to cycle with ill-found regulation. One of the greatest discoverers, a man who actually did what he was credited with; Cook's famous voyages were, I believe, the first circumnavigations to be completed without serious incidence of scurvy. This the late 1760s, he didn't quite have the reasons down-pat but his efforts of innovation returned rewards that many would try to duplicate. One can assume his charges were glad to have lived. Anson's voyages seeking conquest and submission, despite the celebration of his trophies on return, resulted in death. Fishing businesses are going to fold - are folding - despite some fish stocks being considered rebuilt, despite that 'dwindling' is the very poorest choice of adjective for these fish populations. It is now, in 2010, that history will have to decide if fishery managers were, like Cook, innovators utilizing flexibility when tasked with discovering solutions; or as Anson who adhered rigidly to the letter of ill-cast orders, causing subordinates' deaths in pursuit of the King's wants.. Both were well regarded in their time: History has not been as kind. The great untruth of our present day restoration effort remains as Mendana's islands, discovered but still below our collective knowledge threshold. Lindholm, Auster & Kaufman's "Habitat-mediated survivorship of juvenile cod" should have been enough to pound it into management's thought process. Fish production--the success of their spawn, that young fish are growing-in to replace what has been taken--can not be separated from habitat. In the United States, in the 21st century, fishery management has yet to put that simple notion into use in the Mid-Atlantic. No, we only use catch restriction. I hold that Alabama's red snapper fishery--their huge percentage of quota--is solely the product of fishery-manufacture through artificial reef: That, given habitat fidelity, there can not be 'restoration' where previously no fishery existed: That their economic power-house, red snapper, must be thought of as created and not re-created. The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council claims black sea bass are 103% restored, that the fish have exceeded rebuilding measures: Yet the Council has never recognized the existence of natural reef, let alone taken action to protect, enhance and conserve these habitats as is called for in federal statute. I hold that artificial reef is, in very great part, responsible for the Council's claim of this fishery's restoration here; that without key habitat for spawning success, restoration would remain greatly delayed: That based on my knowledge of this region's sea bass fishery: Were all artificial reef removed, taken away, the fishery would instantly collapse solely from our current catch effort; that the shipwrecks and remnants of natural reef alone could never support even a fraction of our current landings. I also hold that if all the players in fishery restoration ever seize upon this idea we'll exceed our present concept of what the cbass population could be; that habitat theory transfers directly to many fisheries: Indeed, must benefit nearly all. On public property, the fruits of our artificial reef building must be shared with those that never help lift, that only lean; that never donate nor work, that only extract. Now these fruits are being taken, denied to us, by those who need claim them for their paperwork too, who need meet a restoration target but fail to understand the underlying mechanics of habitat for their success. I have cried "Stop Thief!" for some 6 months now trying to recover the fishery which I have worked so hard to restore. In coming weeks we may see the quota doubled; this, thankfully, some extension of our meager two month sea bass season. But we will not get all of our sea bass season back.. The fishery is now restored from scratch to beyond expectations and was never closed but a week or two -- all while never-ever considering that reef-fish might need reef as squirrels need trees. Its a disgrace that fishing businesses must now face, even with a doubled quota, a great loss of season. Despite any plea of ignorance, there is no worse theft than that granted through authority of the Federal Government. Stop Thief! There will be many reasons why fishers and their friends will go to the Capitol steps on February 24th. I am going because we must restore flexibility to the Magnuson Act: We must allow science to discover a better method of restoration before all the teeth have fallen from the rotting, scurvied gums of America's fisheries. Its not about habitat. Its not about recreational/commercial conflict. Its not about MPAs. Its about restoring stability to regulation. Its about calming the waters so that innovation can find its way back into the process: We must have the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act. Having read this far, you likely have some interest in the outcome of this fight. Write a letter, another letter, to your favorite DC representative. CC your State fisheries staff. I promise this: The all-time king of astroturf -not real grass roots- environmental organizations, Pew, will be steadfast in their opposition. That will cause other--even fully habitat oriented--organizations to meekly toe the line no matter the truth, no matter our ignorance, no matter that the solution to fisheries' scurvy lies well in hand but unused. I say "Screw you Pew." So long as I have rocks on which to write the truth I shall load my sling ..and press send. Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/
  23. Fish Report 2/7/10 Nice Toggin' Calm Before The Blizzard Murfs & Chlorine Gas Hi All, Friday, 2/5/10, was an amazingly calm day despite the reddest of "Red in the morning, sailor take warning" sunrises.. a day with virtually no sea, certainly no wind and just enough current to hold straddle-set danforths tight. Wonderful. A slow bite all around the rail at the first stop. Decent toggin' for the patient angler; not-so-patient anglers need not apply.. Dipped one a tad better than 15 pounds, tagged some shorts, some legal females too.. worked it out, waiting for the tide and bite to pick-up their respective paces. Wasn't to be. Weather forecast full of doom and dire warning, we picked up anchors and moved. How nice. A very light WNW breeze where there should have been an increasing NE; most of our 30 tags for the day came from this second spot: none were sub-legal. The biggest was a 28 inch female that Dennis put back, his personal best... The week had begun with mate Mike getting to the boat Monday to make her ready for Tuesday's trip. Not a lot of work, just a general going-over and warm the engines; get last weekend's snow off the decks.. Yeah. He sent me a picture. Snow off the boat one thing; all that snow had frozen up the marina cut. Daughter & friend with school snow-day pressed into duty; ended up doing a day's work just to get the ice broken, clearing a way out so we could fish the next morning. Next day--Tuesday & slick-calm too--Frank caught his 19 lb 10 oz tog; Friday we caught Dennis's personal best, 16 lb 2 oz, and released it. Truly wonderful days at sea in-between some of the worst winter weather I can recall in the mid-Atlantic, even pulling icebreaker duty. Sadly, I think it will be a while before we can go again. This crazy blizzard followed by yet another snow expected mid-week.. Need to send the EPIRB off for fresh batteries and a hydrostatic release anyway.. Change the batteries in the life jackets, the float lights; a thousand things that go into another set of government regulations that underlie the fisheries: The Coast Guard Regs. Any who complain of those has likely never seen heavy weather, nor failed hose, nor had a drunk jump off a perfectly good boat.. This week the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, MAFMC, meets in Cambridge, MD. Its very likely here that the sea bass season will be decided--but not cast in stone until NOAA's regional administrator removes the 180 day emergency closure, if she indeed does. The Coast Guard asks 'what went wrong' in their investigations; why did these men die, why did these boats sink, why did this boat survive when others did not. With pinpoint accuracy they learn, then go from there to make the public safer. Neither NOAA, Council, nor Commission has, thus far, delved that deep; they've never sought to isolate successes for cause, nor failures for pressure point: Its only about catch, catches on paper at that, and catch-restriction. It is these broad "Coastwide" fisheries analyses that camouflage the key to understanding a better way forward; where regional populations -not coastwide- have skyrocketed and collapsed without catching management's eye. Two men deep within the fisheries have written me recently that the striped bass rebuilding is the only model where they see success. They are perhaps surprised when I tell them there's no success evident on the coast for stripers, that we are still closed; that the over-pressure on the prey supply from super-rebuilt stripers comes at the cost of no progress, no success whatsoever in sea trout restoration; that a more holistic approach in our fisheries is needed. My kingdom that they would investigate why the sea bass juvenile index is through the roof in this region just now, that they could understand the value of a sub-legal spawning stock; that they would cease the shoulder-shrug, "Some luck, eh?" That they would see reef every bit as important to preserving/restoring fisheries as life jackets, rafts & emergency radios are to the mariner in dire circumstance... It's also very important, as Capt. Adam Nowalsky points out, that we double check their math.. He's not kidding. I don't know what Adam gets paid for his efforts. I fear its the same as my advocacy salary. He's certainly one of the good guys. Some help, not everyone. The Petersons and Powers of the region put their mega-donations into our restoration efforts. Without these heavy-hitters we would not have come so far with Maryland's reefing. Mike & Brian, who have resurrected the Maryland Fisherman's Annual, made a fat donation to the MD artificial reef initiative, MARI, based on sales of their new magazine. Capt. Danny on the Fin Chaser has piled-on the reef donations and written many letters to his representatives. Fellows working for Maryland, Marty Gary & Erik Zlokovitz, go way beyond their salaried efforts; often work well into night to put new reef on state permits. Fellows from the Atlantic Coast Chapter of the MSSA and OPAC have been burning through some ink writing letters to representatives. So too have many of you: Determination... Spoke with another captain that fishes a fair-many bottom trips the other day. He said he 'hopes' the sea bass season is extended. I asked if he'd written comment.. Hope without action leaves little likelihood of success. A woman hollers from inside a brand new Mercedes convertible, "I bought it with my sea bass money!" She's kidding of course. No one made 'money' fishing sea bass recently; never-ever that kind of money.. Still, tip of humor's edge caught & thrust completely through; sword's hilt struck hard upon breast-plate.. Ought to consider an artificial reef stamp, even as an option, when the state license comes in 2011. "User pays" works, look at our highways.. some manner of dedicating license revenue toward this important part of fisheries restoration is needed. Fishing is not on our nation's radar; falling off, it's an antiquated sport being pushed aside by frozen groceries and electronic gaming. For most residents--even along the coast--quaint, old-fashioned 'extractive' fishing is of no concern, of no consequence: Until, that is, room taxes and home values fall like a rock, the result of some pathogen and associated fish kill: The only binding-tie is water quality. The truly profitable fisheries, surf-clam & menhaden reduction---now fully consolidated and an extreme representation of what to watch out for as 'catch shares' advance---are protected in ways most can not fathom; the deepest of well-positioned and paid lobbying efforts shield these businesses. We are not there. But there can be success in grass-roots efforts. Carry a sign February 24th on the Capitol steps, just be there at the Rally. Putting the "Flexibility in American Fisheries Restoration Act" into law is key to preserving what is left of our marine fishing businesses while science & regulation catch pace. We do not yet grasp what can be done to restore fisheries. We can not possibly value catch-shares until we have a fuller and more complete understanding of what is missing from the production model; the 'where do little fish come from' angle of fisheries. The success of that "Take a Kid Fishing" trip is crucial.. bending rods and smiling faces are the only preservative fishing needs. We do not know how many will want to 'go extracting' when the research has been well-bound with regulation, when fisheries have been pushed far beyond restored.. A day when clients can chose to throw back jumbo tog on every trip, when clients can select cbass based on the size they want to cook.. That day is coming, I've seen shadows of it. White marlin every summer on the twenty fathom line and we'll have arrived. Instead, this week coming there will be a clash as recreational for-hire sea bass fishers vie for the somewhat less-skimpy leavings regulators offer; the quota of a fishery they clearly do not understand, divided based on catch estimates created by MRFSS--apparently after many months Uncle Murfs spent scrubbing heads with bleach and ammonia. The reason this year's sea bass season is being cut 3 1/2 months is because MRFSS has small private boats out-fishing, out-catching, partyboats by huge margins; even the numerous Jersey partyboats in March. I won't even take my boat to the sea bass in March, to the canyons. I do dislike having my life run-through by deceitful, misleading data. The lack of "Flexibility" means regulators have to use this MRFSS data because it is "The Best Scientific Information Available." That offers a clear depiction of why fishers need to write representatives & go to DC to advocate for the Flexibility Act. Better direct full and complete attention to it for a while. Wife sez there's some game on TV, its commercials worth more than US reef restoration. Will return to toggin as soon as the EPIRB is back! Regards, Monty Capt. Monty Hawkins mhawkins@siteone.net Party Boat "Morning Star" Reservation Line 410 520 2076 http://www.morningstarfishing.com/
  24. I had to write a paper on a pelagic species for my Marine Biology class a semester ago. I usually enjoy writing papers, this one was special though because of the knowledge I stood to gain about a fish so many of us fisherman use. Thought I'd share for anyone interested. The Biggest Little Fish Joel Busbee University of Maryland University College A young man walks into the Oyster Bay Tackle Shop along Coastal Highway in Ocean City, Maryland. Just as he has done on similar summer days in the years past he asks the cashier if they have any fresh Menhaden. She affirms that they do and he makes his purchase of three whole menhaden; which he will soon be cutting into chunks, attaching to a hook on the end of his surf rod and throwing it as far as possible into the pelagic zone of the Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to catch something big, that fights well, and hopefully tastes good too. The previous is my story, I am that young man; and as countless the number of times are that I have cut up a Menhaden I never knew what its habitat is, what its reproductive and feeding behavior is, the fish’s role in the food chain, other uses we humans have for the menhaden, and finally how its species is susceptible to man’s uses for it. For me and the many other men and women who have a similar story of a trip to the bait shop, the following information on the Menhaden is a little over due. The Menhaden, pogy, or bunker as I call it, is considered a pelagic species. The word pelagic, from the Greek pelagikos is defined by Merriam-Webster (2009) as “of, relating to, or living or occurring in the open sea”. The ocean plays host to the Menhaden’s beginnings as it is the spawning ground of the species. The major spawning areas exist between New Jersey and the Carolinas. Spawning occurs primarily twenty to thirty miles offshore in the winter (Chesapeake Bay Ecological Foundation Inc. (CBEF), 2009). The eggs hatch at sea, and the larvae are carried into estuaries by the current where they reside for about a year. After reaching the average size of six inches long for a one year old Menhaden, the fish returns to the ocean where it forms large, near surface schools along the shore numbering in the thousands, from early spring through early winter (CBEF, 2009). During the winter months adults and juveniles alike migrate south, as far as Florida, where they continue to feed by way of a refined system that attributes to the species’ success. Menhaden feed primarily on microscopic plants and on the smallest crustacea (Bigelow, H. B. & Schroeder, W. C. 2002). To do this the fish uses its mouth and pharyngeal sieve as a tow net capturing, says Bigelow et al (2002) “small annelid worms, various minute crustacea, schizopod and decapods larvae, rotifers … diatoms and peridinians”. By swimming with their mouth open, Menhaden are not only able to capture their food supply but also sift an estimated six to seven gallons of water a minute (Bigelow et al 2002). As I mentioned prior, quite an effective operation of feeding has produced a species that is unmatched in its utilization of the food supply around it. This isn’t to say that the species is untouchable. If the onslaught from predators like the bluefish, striped bass, loons and herons – just to name a few – are not enough, us humans harvest the fish for many different uses of our own, and as with everything, we have the capability to take too much. Since 1860 the Menhaden has been the United State’s largest fishery. The amount of Menhaden we harvest annually was put best by H. Bruce Franklin (2008), he wrote: “the annual haul of menhaden weighed more than the combined commercial catch of all other finned fish put together, including Atlantic and Pacific cod, tuna, salmon, halibut, pollock, herring, swordfish, had-dock, ocean perch, flounder, scup, striped bass, whiting, croaker, snapper, sardines, anchovies, dogfish, and mackerel.” Uses for the fish go beyond bait for surf fishermen like me. They are harvested for their oil which is used in cosmetics, linoleum, health food supplements, lubricants, margarine, soap, insecticide, and paints. The dried out carcasses are then mashed, and containerized for use as feed for domestic cats and dogs, farmed fish, and, most of all, pigs and poultry (Franklin 2008). The Menhaden’s role in our world is much bigger than makeup and chicken feed. As important as Menhaden are economically, they play an even bigger role in the natural world. You’ll notice that of all the uses for Menhaden, table fare was not on the list. Though we may never see them on our plates, they are the prey of the fish that we do commonly eat from the Atlantic. Without Menhaden, fisheries that we depend on for food would take a huge hit. The collapse would come from two separate factors. The most obvious would be that without Menhaden, the fish that we depend on for food would have less food themselves. The second would be deadly algal blooms. The Menhaden keep the growth of algae from the phytoplankton they eat in check. At the same time, they filter the water so more sunlight penetrates, which in turn promotes the growth of aquatic plants, which creates dissolved oxygen (Franklin 2008). Knowing what an important role Menhaden play in the operation of their ecosystem, it is easy to see why we must be stingy about how much of the species we harvest annually. I use to praise the Menhaden for merely providing countless fishing memories in the surf, including an appearance for my girlfriend in the Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources fishing report. Now I know it to be so much more than simply cut-bait. Menhaden is a source of food, economic gain, and plays such an enormous role in the balance of its ecosystem that little would survive in its absence. The Menhaden is truly the biggest little fish, bigger than you and me. It has been an absolute pleasure to learn and help spread the knowledge of what an amazing species it is. __________________________________________________________________ Works Cited pelagic. (2009). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved October 4, 2009, from Pelagic - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary Atlantic Menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus). (2009). Chesapeake Bay Ecological Foundation, Inc. Retrieved October 4, 2009, from Chesapeake Bay Ecological Foundation, Inc. Bigelow, H. B. & Scroeder, W. C. (2002). Menhaden. Fishes of the Gulf of Maine. Retrieved on October 7, 2009, from Menhaden H. Bruce Franklin. (2008). The Most Important Fish You’ve Never Heard of. Alternet. Retrieved October 8, 2009, from The Most Important Fish You've Never Heard of | Water | AlterNet
  25. IGFA Representative Announcement Dr. Julie Ball, IGFA Representative, Virginia Beach IGFA World Record APPROVED!! Male 20 pound Tippet Fly Rod Class Striped Bass 51lbs, 5oz I am pleased to announce another approved IGFA World Record from Virginia waters! Richie Keatley of Norfolk was approved today as the newest World Record holder from Virginia. The 51lb, 5oz striped bass he boated on the fly at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on December 17th, 2010 topped the existing 43lbs, 12oz record previously held by another Virginia resident, Harry Huelsbeck. Richie was fly fishing in his 22-foot boat at the Bay Bridge Tunnel using a hand-tied 3/0 Clouser blue-tinted fly. After a nerve racking battle and three netting attempts, once again Virginia fishing history was made! Congratulations Richie!!