Posted on August 8th, 2023
Hit the vid for our walk-through of Atlantic Tackle in West Ocean City!
I just got home from a surprisingly busy night of scales action for day 2 of the White Marlin Open where only 22 boats headed out this morning. We had some fun killing time with trivia and a “finish the song lyrics” contest and thankfully we did see some boats come to the scale. Two of those boats made a little noise as one cashed a daily tuna and one took the lead in the wahoo category. Captain Jon Azato and his crew on the Fish in OC partner charter No Limit out of Indian River, DE braved today’s 10-12 foot seas and made it worth the while by posting a 56 pounder yellowfin tuna. The yellowfin didn’t scratch the top three, but it did win the tuna daily valued at $70,000. Pretty work crew!
Here’s who’s leading after two days of fishing.
1st Place – Instigator – 199 Lb Bigeye – $1 Million
2nd Place – Bow Down – 118 Lb Bigeye – $429,000
3rd Place – Skid Row – 64.5 Lb Yellowfin – $38,000
1st Place – Shooting Star – 57 Lbs – $2,000
2nd Place – Captain Deadly – 55 Lbs – $32,000
Hey Buddy – 21 Lbs – $32,000
Outside of the tournament, Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star stayed close to the beach to avoid the rough seas and it paid off with some keeper flounder.
Fifteen knots of west wind or thirty? What’s the difference?Well, bad recollections of a nasty ride home to start. Mannnnnn.. Was a classic trap. I remember when such forecasts killed mariners in the 1980s. Super winds these days are announced broadly by a variety of warning systems. Not then. Forecast today said west winds at perfectly tolerable speeds. Fleet gets out there – then Bam – thirty knots or better. I have been gun shy of forecasting lately. I cancelled my sea bass trip (painful that! Bills!) ..then opened a shorter/cheaper nearshore flounder trip. Worked. Fishing in easy sight of shore; today’s high winds didn’t have enough fetch (distance across water) to really build a set. Wave height remained quite manageable no matter how many whitecaps there were. Having heard numerous stories of marlin caught within 10 miles, (even 2 miles out!) ..were we to restore marine water quality to 1950’s blue instead of 1990s and worse green, the whole tournament fleet could have gone today. Ain’t nuthin but rocks really. Concrete works too. Small things that lay flat and catch silt? Yeah… Not so much. We absolutely know oysters grow just fine on rock – granite. I’ve asked a bunch of times to see a reef restored to biofilter levels with shell. It’s been tried since just after the Civil War. Fisheries productions, biofiltration for incredibly clearer marine & estuarine water; and, indeed, bioeconomic stability – true multi generational benefit from spat thrown in quantities not seen in over a century for those watermen long hampered by regulation: all are a certainty using substrates that provide rugosity oysters thrive in to rebuild reefs pummeled so long ago. Nutshell? We have oyster reefs again. Now to make them bigger and more numerous. Turning the Mid-Atlantic blue again is 100% doable. Bay waterman to bluewater tournament angler and thousands of species in between – everyone & everything benefits. (Aside the big boys and especially Army Corps, I like what CCA MD is doing with pyramids, pipe & reef balls.. They google.) Anyway, Nearly all my clients begged off on the nearshore flounder offer. And why not? I have been struggling of late, especially on fluke! Then today? Hurricane Murray was bagged out at 10:15. Had some nice fish around the rail. Wasn’t a hot bite, but Hurricane went on to plus two and helped pay the rent. Nice day for a small private charter. Cheers, Monty