02.04.2013 Small Sample/Big Errors

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Fish Report 2/4/13 <o:p></o:p>

New Trips <o:p></o:p>

Small Sample/Big Errors <o:p></o:p>

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Couple New Trips <o:p></o:p>

Long Tog - Thursday - 2/7- 5:30 to 4:30 - $150.00 - 16 Sells Out - Cbass Unlikely. <o:p></o:p>

Extra Long Tog Sunday - 2/10 - 5AM to 5PM - $175.00 - 16 Sells Out - Might/Maybe Be A Cbass Too.. <o:p></o:p>

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Still Have Tuesday & Wednesday 2/5 & 2/6 on the book but they're sold out. <o:p></o:p>

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Reservations Required @ 410 - 520 - 2076. <o:p></o:p>

LEAVE YOUR BEST POSSIBLE CONTACT NUMBER - Weather Cancelations Are Common In Winter - I Make Every Attempt To Let Clients Sleep In If The Weather's Not Going Our Way.. <o:p></o:p>


No Live Fish Leave The Boat - Dead & Bled - Period. (I Believe The Live-Fish Black Market Is Hurting This Fishery) <o:p></o:p>

All Regulations Observed - 4 Fish @ 16 Inches. <o:p></o:p>

Green Crabs Provided. You're welcome to bring any hard bait: Lobster, White Crab, Blue Crab, Hermit Crab: Even Gulp Crab .. No Squid, No Clam = No Dogfish. Cbass jigs OK away from the tog bite IF they're working. Temps are dropping, cbass are few & far between inshore. <o:p></o:p>

Be A Half Hour Early - We Like To Leave Early. <o:p></o:p>

Clients Arriving Late Will See The West End Of An East Bound Boat.. <o:p></o:p>

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3,552 "Oyster Castle" Reef Blocks By The Rail. <o:p></o:p>


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Greetings All, <o:p></o:p>

Saturday was different. Haven't been seeing sea bass at all. Suddenly we did. Water temps were dropping so fast I thought General Winter might close tog season early. (They stop biting when the water gets too cold) Saturday temps were 6 degrees warmer.. <o:p></o:p>

OK, I'll take it. <o:p></o:p>

A fluke, I doubt seriously we'll see many more sea bass this winter. <o:p></o:p>

My favorite golden tile fisherman, Dennis, likes to practice with tog. He took the pool with a fish over 13 pounds on Saturday. <o:p></o:p>

Truthfully, I could not believe the dedication around the rail. Nice sea bass were biting on cut crab. One young man even had a 5lb 9oz sea bass. I was catching cbass almost every drop on a gold spoon. <o:p></o:p>

But most aboard were fishing whole crab & looking for a personal-best. <o:p></o:p>

Good for them. <o:p></o:p>

Mike & I sent some to the smokehouse.. <o:p></o:p>

I wonder what this trip would have been like if sea bass hadn't been open..... <o:p></o:p>

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I'm beginning to think a Judge is the only thing that can make NOAA/NMFS rethink their staunch adherence to these ridiculously inadequate catch estimates. <o:p></o:p>

As I wrote in my last report; Here's a quick rundown of the bloopers I've found just in a quick look at Maryland's 2012 MRIP recreational catch data for two species. Only One State - Only Two Species: <o:p></o:p>

A) MuRFSS has MD private boats catching 1,000 more cbass than party/charter in May/June while MRIP has it as 4,000 more cbass caught by private boats. I seriously doubt private boats caught one in ten of Maryland's party/charter sea bass..

B) For July & August MRIP has private boats catching 1,700 cbass and party/charter catching none/zero. We party/charter skippers told the government exactly how many sea bass we caught every day in MANDATORY vessel trip reports -- VTRs. I reported to NMFS that I caught sea bass EVERY DAY in July & August. <o:p></o:p>

C) The "new & improved" MRIP data for Maryland summer flounder illustrates how baseless these estimates are, Shows they're much more of a slot machine's spin than an estimate of real catch. <o:p></o:p>

Is it because MD's private boats suddenly developed a taste for cbass that they've abandoned their May/June flounder? MRIP has Maryland private boats catching zero flounder this spring while trouncing party/charter sea bass effort, that's what the data insists. <o:p></o:p>

D) Then, when no one was looking in Sept/Oct, shore fishers stepped up and extracted almost 80% of our state's flounder landings for the period..

Pepto & Zantac sales soar when data spikes. Everyone stands at ready, fixed bayonets, to defend their quota. Conversely, there's a collective sigh of relief when anglers & management see the slot-machine's wheels spin to a low number or zero: Ah, we can relax regulation and show everyone how good it's working. <o:p></o:p>

Flounder are that this year. Little light spinning: Winner! Those fishers get a break from tighter management. <o:p></o:p>

Sea Bass didn't. <o:p></o:p>


I guarantee the MA & NJ private boat sea bass estimates are the cause of our troubles in sea bass; that and a system focused on catch data - not biology, philopatry & ecology - squanders multiple opportunities to make huge progress in restoration. <o:p></o:p>


With warming waters below Cape Cod coming into sea bas production we should have expanded production & expanded quotas. <o:p></o:p>

Instead, we have more trouble from a system insistent on using terrible data as though it were accurate. <o:p></o:p>



Monty <o:p></o:p>

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Capt. Monty Hawkins

Party Boat "Morning Star"

Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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