Posted on June 2nd, 2021
The wind looks to blow some tomorrow as a front pushes through the area, but today it was absolutely beautiful slick calm in the ocean and the bay was super nice too. There were lots of folks on the water enjoying the awesome conditions as well and there were lots of fish put in coolers.
The bluefin tuna fishing out in the canyons was very, very good again today with most boats that tried catching their limit of both “under” and “over” fish. “Under” bluefins are fish that measure between the minimum legal length of 27″ and 47″ while “over” bluefins are fish that measure between 47″ and less than 73″. Currently private boats are permitted to harvest two “under” bluefins while charter boats are allowed three, and both private and charter boats are permitted to harvest one “over” bluefin. Hope that answers some questions about what the difference is.
Captain Willie Zimmerman of the RoShamBo had another crazy good day in the canyons today putting his crew on their three “under” bluefins in the boat early and then doing some deep dropping for tilefish where they had eight beautiful fish. They also released an estimated 300 pound tiger shark.
The crew of the Marli with Captain Mark Hoos at the helm had a great day on the bluefins today putting all three “under” fish in the fish box along with a pile of tilefish. Photo by Sunset Marina.
Chris Miller and his crew of Bob Miller, Ron Tyszko, Dave Steves and Shaun Patrick trolled up their private boat limit of two “under” bluefins today and released another three.
Rob Steiner, Ken Thompson, Nick Mislak and first time offshore angler and A-10 pilot Andrew had a great day in the canyons trolling up some bluefin tuna. The crew caught a total of 12 fish and kept their two “under” fish for sushi.
Captain John Prather of the Ocean City Guide Service had a trolling trip to the canyons in today’s beautiful weather and capitalized by putting three keepers in the boat.
Brendan Hanley of Pure Lure Gear was out with the crew today on board the Double Trouble where they put the first tuna of the season on board.
Brian Brannan, Darren Crossley and Mike Ahlfeldt had a great trip on board the Wired when they caught their private boat limit of two “under” bluefins of 38″ and 40″.
Sea bass fishing was very, very good again today for the bottom fishing fleet. Captain Chris Mizurak of the Angler reported a “good chew” today with several big knot heads over the rail.
Captain Chase Eberle of Chasin’ Tides Charters had a five man limit of double header sea bass on today’s morning outing.
Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star had a rare trip today….a boat limit of sea bass and back to the dock on time.
A rare bite this day. Sea bass were chewing hard. We limited and were in on time. Sea bass bit well even when survey boat “Ella Marie“ closed to 4.25 miles – a first. By 3 miles, however, screens full of sea bass – exactly as I’d had earlier with doubleheaders around the rail – wouldn’t bite.
I moved north to put 5.5 miles or so between us and survey gear. Soon after that the survey boat made a U-turn and stayed well away.
Darn the luck! Another survey boat – the Brooks McCall was going to pass us at 1.5 miles. I made a plan, figured where I’d go when our bite died off—but it didn’t happen. Sea bass kept biting!
With a survey boat only 1.5 miles away, I hailed them on channel 16 at about 11:10 on 6/2/21 and asked the skipper (radio operator?) if they were towing a camera sled. He replied they were towing gear approx 10 meters behind em. I got the impression it wasn’t photography gear. (Stern towed side scan most likely.)
I then asked him if they had a sub-bottom profiler running. The reply was yes.
In dozens of incidents with survey boats from 2007, 2013, 14, & 15 and again in 2021 I’ve never had a survey boat come so close without completely shutting down the bite.
Until it happened this day. (unless I was being fed baloney. But why?)
If ever the feds undertake a study on sub-bottom profiler sounding gear, they’d do well to figure out why the Brooks McCall’s sub-bottom profiler is so very different from others I’ve encountered.
The Brooks McCall again closed to about 1.5 miles at 12:30. Again the bite continued. Although not as robustly, there were far more coming than would normally be the case with a nearby sub-bottom profiler.
One of the rules of fishing is “don’t leave fish to find fish.” I will leave fish that aren’t biting though.. For the first time ever, with a survey boat at point-blank I didn’t have to leave a reef because we could no longer get a bite.
Again & again – my concern is not what inconvenience we might deal with, but what surveying does to fish and mammals more broadly. In 2013 it was as it is now – playing cat and mouse with survey boats. In 2014 however, the second year of surveying the exact same area, we saw the entire MD Wind area and out to 3+ miles beyond evacuated of sea bass. In 2015 we saw it empty again but with a far broader affect on spawning – sea bass did not come in as they always had in May of 2015. That affect was everywhere in our fishing range too, not just the surveyed area.
Who can say THAT isn’t an impact to a fishery? Please see video we shot at the end of surveying in 2015. Though I couldn’t get it edited until Jan 2016; when the video was shot in early September those reefs should have nearly looked like the comparative 2004 footage – and I compared the very same reefs. Instead? Post surveying impact those reefs were devoid of ALL sea bass. We need to know why and calculate it’s effects into permits.
A short video produced by Captain Monty Hawkins in an effort to show the effects of the Wind-Power Survey is impacting the fish on the reefs off the coast of…