A Fine Bite

By Scott Lenox

A Fine Bite

I just finished setting up the Fish in OC – Ocean City, MD booth at the Great American Outdoor Show up here in Harrisburg, PA and was happy to get some fishing reports.  The show starts Saturday morning and we’re in booth 2518 right next to the bass tub….hope to see you here!

Captain Chase Eberle of Chasin Tides Charters had Dante Soriente of Magic Tails Outfitters and his crew on board today and he showed them some good tog fishing.  Dante and his crew had a bunch of nice tautog including 4 fish over 10 pounds with the largest at 13.5.

Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star was able to get out in today’s weather window and he was greeted with a fine bite.

Another dark-30 departure. Eased off to Al Berger’s Reef before sunup where Randy & Mike from Old Bridge NJ dropped two large pieces of terracotta pipe – the last of what had been a monster truckload. Built some great reef with it. Or, more accurately, added to some great reef with it. 

Hope to have a fresh load of reef block this Sunday coming. 

Randy would use his reef building karma to land todays pool winner, a fine 27.5 inch bull. 

From the block drop? Points east… 

My first stop was a major disappointment. What I suspect was an old wooden barge; a piece I’d fished several decades with success, was gone. 

Thought my side scan was toast at first. But no. Just gone. 

We had a storm in spring of 22 that moved a 125ft steel artificial reef barge 60some feet – into even better position, thankfully. I suspect that same storm gave the old, rotten, worm eaten barge her final lashing. 

Not the first time I’ve lost a wreck to storm. Mate Brian McK found a fantastic old wooden barge outside the DE shipping lanes in the mid-1990s. It was here we were trying to film with a borrowed underwater drop camera & my $99 WalMart TV with built-in VHS tape player/recorder in 2004 when, alas, it wouldn’t record. Clients and I, included my old friend Gerry Meadows, watched a federally tagged sea bass chill in front of the camera a few minutes. These days we might at least have taken a picture of the screen. But no, that big belly tag is simply a memory. Important too was all the structural timber forming what was, essentially, a giant bookcase where  each cubicle had a monster tog with its own private suite 

..and there were many. 

I have tried and tried to mimic that habitat. Best yet are 16×20 chimney block from York Building Products. Bigger would be better, but that’s the biggest I’ve found commercially made. Only time will tell. I’m confident a great many tog are enjoying luxury condos we’ve built for them these last 30 years or so. 

We not only had fun & ate well from that barge’s production, but learned from it too..  Hurricane Sandy flattened it; sent it to the great unknown. Not so much as a swirl in the seafloor remains.. 

We did have a memorable morning bite. Twice we had around the rail action before the current eased. 

Tougher then, but still doable; a very good day. 

Will be announcing more trips soon. 

Cheers 

Monty

Check out our YouTube for a 24 pound tautog!!

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