Back On The Rip

By Scott Lenox

Back On The Rip

The wind blew a little harder than the weatherman predicted today, but it was still pretty nice with mostly warm temps and no precipitation.  I opted to play a little golf instead of freezing on the bay, but you can rest assured I’ll be out there in short time now that the boat is in the water.  Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star has had a little time off from fishing recently, and despite the wind he was glad to have the boat back on the water.

Nice to get out fishing again. Took Joe to celebrate surviving a month of covid’s worst; & took Courtney’s uncle JoJo on his birthday too.
Wish the forecast had been on point. Even ENE at 19.2 knots it didn’t get too bad. Was supposed to be under 10.. That would have been nice.
Paddled on off just before sunrise in our only calm of the day. Hailey Kim of Long Island dropped a mess of blocks and terra-cotta tog condos at Taylor Thornton’s Memorial Reef and we pressed on.
Tog bite wasn’t horrible considering the absence of current most of the day. Dagone east winds – current either rips ..or stays slack.
In some areas slack tide is best for tog. Not here. Our fish like moving water to feed in.
All told we released 35 & killed 1.
It was a tagging trip, after all. Clients were allowed one. Didn’t.
Lots of good fish went back. A fair many short females too. I find that encouraging.
We’re going to have to tighten up on this fishery. Many of my clients see it plain and are willing to take action.
Another course we take to better our reef fisheries is to build reef. Did some of that in grand fashion a short while back when we sank Crocker’s Reef – a 200’ barge loaded with 220 tons of large precast pipe. Deployed about 9 miles out at the Bass Grounds; Crocker’s will host all of our reef species – but especially tog. All that pipe inside a barge? Tog paradise…

The West’s were fishing in the creek behind their house today enjoying the fishable conditions.  They saw several striped bass busting the surface that wouldn’t eat, but they did have some luck bringing a couple of white perch to the dock.  Owen West displays a nice 13″er that he caught.

My buddy Ayrton “The Kayak Kid” Pryor of the Spring Mix II was back for spring break this week and I knew he was going to do some fishing.  Ayrton had some success fishing the marshes north of the Route 90 bridge with lead heads and shad bodies where he released some healthy school sized rockfish.

As Ayrton was heading back to school his crew on the Spring Mix II was fishing out of the Post Card Inn and Marina in Islamorada, FL and having some great luck.  Captain Chris Watkowski and mate Jacob Bialk have been putting clients on some mutton snapper, blackfin tuna and mahi in the beautiful Florida weather.

Captain Joe Drosey and the crew of Rhonda’s Osprey are fishing out of Singer Island, FL and the sailfish have shown up in good numbers over the past week or so.  It’s not rare to have several shots and catch a couple of sails on a 1/2 day trip this time of year.

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