Beautiful Day With Good Fishing

By Scott Lenox

Beautiful Day With Good Fishing

Man, what a beautiful day!!  It was the kind of day you love to be on the water…..so I was!  Headed out to the south jetty and caught and released about 12 short flounder on jig rigs and Deadly Doubles and then headed to the tip of the jetty where I used a Big Thing a Ma Jig to catch and release a 27″ rockfish and two bluefish of 25″ and 33″.  It was a blast!!  Also got to see the legends Big Bird Cropper and Shawn Flaherty doing what they do.

As I mentioned, I got to see Big Bird and Shawn work the south jetty where they caught and released several rockfish and caught some blues.  I watched the guys throw Roy Rigs and double up on 34″ and 32″ rockfish.  They had a crazy good day with some big bluefish, three keeper flounder and some very nice rockfish.

I also saw Will Sonneman fishing from his kayak where he showed me the very nice 20″ sheepshead that he caught on a sand flea.

Cory Magoo Morgan caught this keeper flounder near Martha’s Landing and then promptly gave it to a gentleman fishing next to him because he was going out for crabs for his birthday.  Happy Birthday Cory Magoo!

Sea bass fishing is still hit or miss, but there are some nice fish around and there are more and more flounder showing up.  Captain Chris Mizurak of the Angler had a picky bite, but some nice fish with the biggest sea bass at 4.5 pounds and the biggest flounder at 5 pounds.

Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star had a rail full of regulars on board today and they saw a steady bite with lots of keepers.

Fantastic crowd of regulars, pretty day; David from Elkton sent 24 reef blocks by the stern rail to land atop Capt Bob’s Memorial Reef (now 4,510 bks.) We paddled off still further.
Only saw one distant pod of saddleback dolphin & no whales. The quality of the water has declined. We could see 3+ fathoms down, and today barely two. New water, new species – today was the start of turtles. We saw 3 loggerheads..
A nice easy day with so many regulars aboard – steady bite with plenty of keepers – lots of fish fries around the rail; a few limits.. that’s all I wanted.
Yeah No.
Not allowed in 2024. Not to start at least. I have seen a (very) few years where June is better than May. Happens when there’s no real need for fish to hurry in and claim a spawning site.
Working with the fish we have; was a really tough morning bite. Kept after it though. By and by they chewed a bit better – then better again.
Come out of it OK.
Have only had two limits so far this season, didn’t really expect any this day. I’m glad to have had two clients in double digits today.
I’ve been writing about a coming decline in sea bass & flounder since 2018. I saw it plain in sea bass last year. I’d imagine about everyone is now.
Don’t know if I’ll ever get NOAA Fisheries to pay my work any mind.
Shame. We could easily create a super abundance of cbass again.
I think they’re the one species that, given habitat reconstruction/improvement and ‘age at maturity’ based size limit regulation, we could make them as prolific as they were post WWII..
It remains true that there were more sea bass sold commercially from 1950 to 1961 than in all the years since combined.
That’s a Big Difference.
Talk about ‘generational shift’ – if a decline such as that occurred from 2015 to 2025 the hollering would never end.
Instead, NOAA tells Congress they deserve a pat on the back because sea bass are ‘fully restored’..
And, across 75 years, few know the truth enough to see a task that needs doing.
Lots of work to do if we’re to achieve true restoration of anything in our marine ecosystem.
Lots.
Cheers, �Monty

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