A Few Jumbo Tog

By Scott Lenox

A Few Jumbo Tog

Day 7 of 9 at the Great American Outdoor Show is in the books which leaves just two days to stop by and see me in booth 2518 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.  The weather was really nice both here and at home with warm temps and light winds so I wasn’t surprised to get some great reports from our tautog guys.

Captain Chase Eberle of Chasin’ Tides Charters had another great trip today with some really nice fish coming over the rail.  Anglers on Chasin’ Tides had four fish at 8 pounds, 4 fish at 9 pounds and 12 fish that were over 10 pounds.

Anglers fishing on board the Fish Bound with Captain Kane Bounds have had much success when they are able to get out.  Over the past several trips Captain Kane has seen 27 double digit tautog up to 15.6 pounds.

Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star enjoyed the flat conditions today and anglers on board enjoyed a few jumbo tautog.

Sunrise a dull, if crisp affair. Sea conditions glassy with a southerly ground heave; waren’t much to it save the tempered joy of being in the ocean again – it is February. Picked up our first Valentine’s Balloon, “Happy Valentine’s Day, Hope We Choke A Sea Turtle”..? Maybe not what he/she has in mind but certainly a potential outcome when a mylar balloon doesn’t see the knife and trash can. Common dolphin (saddleback/two tones) put on a show several times. Will post mate Vic’s video separately. James pushed our reef blocks and pyramid over. Have to take a look at that spot w/the underwater camera soon. Nearing 1,500 blocks and 25 pyramids, it’s plenty fishable. Usually mark sea bass on the sounders around the growing reef. Cbass are wintering offshore further now, but those reef dwellers who have found it suitable will be back to spawn come May. Spawning site habitat fidelity is strong in many fish – sea bass too. The bigger this block/pyramid pile grows, the more room for fish to spawn—& more substrate to collect spawn of our temperate corals too.Somewhere out there is a line beyond which sea whip and star coral won’t grow. Today: won’t grow today. There’s another line from 60/70 years ago—further off, deeper—beyond which star coral and sea whip didn’t grow. I believe scientists will one day see those lines, several of them, diminishing—moving inshore, shallower in our time—decade by decade as the Mid-Atlantic grew greener & greener. Why would corals’ habitat contract? Zooxanthella. (it googles)Just like their tropical cousins, I believe our temperate corals need sun light. With NOAA’s fancy ships and equipment they could sort it out plenty quick. If they were to find old dead star-coral at, say, 170 feet; but live star-coral starting at only 120, then 50 feet is how much light penetration we’ve lost owing over-nutrified estuarine waters being stuck in the lower Mid-Atlantic’s gyre—where the Gulf Stream dams the Labrador Current’s last bit of current, it bottles up DE & Ches Bay outflows instead of flushing into the greater Atlantic.Ours is a unique piece of coast. Where a fisher of George’s Bank or Florida’s SE coast can expect quite nearly the water quality his forefathers witnessed on the grounds some 4 generations ago; off DelMarVa and southern NJ our marine waters have grown more green with each generation – even within a generation because of the dancing effect. The ocean’s certainly grown greener in my time. So help me, it may be beginning to turn back. Lot of work going into oysters.. And, a hundred and more miles away as the gannett flies, today we nicked a precious few tog. Certainly some nice ones – true jumbos – but diminishing numbers. Inshore reefs and especially in juvenile seine surveys in our back bays show a coming population boom as the 16 inch size limit and habitat efforts pay off. Joe M from Upper Darby  took everyone’s pool money with a 29.5 inch dandy female he let go. There were two 28 inch fish also. We killed none today. All went back. Some low impact fishing there.. Cheers

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