Flounder, Sea Bass, Some Yellowfin and A 243 Pound Bluefin Tuna

By Scott Lenox

Flounder, Sea Bass, Some Yellowfin and A 243 Pound Bluefin Tuna

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We had a little breeze kick up this afternoon, but other than that it was a beautiful late spring day.  Winds were light, skies were sunny and the planes were flying overhead practicing for the Ocean City Air Show which starts tomorrow.

Tuna fishing was good for some of the offshore fleet today with some yellowfin action.  Captain Chris Watkowksi and the crew of the Spring Mix II had some yellowfin today and they also had a big 243 pound bluefin tuna for the fish box.  This is the largest tuna that we’ve seen so far this year.

Captain Ron Callis of Turnin’ Fins had a nice day offshore today as well with some yellowfin tuna and some tilefish for the fish cleaners.

Captain Andrew Dotterweich is back in town with the Fish On and today he started his season off right with a line up of yellowfin tuna for his crew.

Captain Chase Eberle of Chasin’ Tides Charters had some good fishing for his crews today with plenty of limits of flounder, a bonus trout and some bluefish.

Captain Wayne Blanks of Bayside Guide Service showed this family a great time at the route 50 bridge putting them on several catch and release rockfish and some bluefish for the cooler.

Shaun Flaherty used a Roy Rig to land this 34″ keeper rockfish around the south jetty.

Anglers on board the Angler with Captain Chris Mizurak had some good fishing today with plenty of sea bass and some nice keeper flounder.

Anglers on the Morning Star with Captain Monty Hawkins at the helm enjoyed some beautiful weather and some good fishing.

Light northerlies gave a cool touch to this morning’s sea. On as fine a day as you might ask, Ricky from Brownsville MD dropped 20 reef blocks and 4 tog tubes in ‘The Gap’ – the space between Tyler Long’s Memorial Reef and another about 20 feet away. 

The plan is to stitch the two large reefs together, then build along the well-protected west side of Tyler’s. Not sure how much I’ll get done in my time, but every sq-inch we build shall be much more productive than habitat NOAA hasn’t even recognized as needing restoration yet and therefore has done nothing with.

Well, one scientist did. I gave him bearings to corals. Did BOEM not like them? He videoed them–confirmed. Nothing came of it that I know. 

We have this new jetty project coming to protect the N end of Assateuge Island. Where today there are three jetties; two of which were built in the early 1990s I think (maybe late 80s?).. Those smaller jetties force current inside & behind them. Over the years that current has removed so much sand from the north end of Assateauge that many commercial boats can no longer navigate to the commercial harbor save on the highest of tides. 

Here’s the thing; and, sadly, it defines so much of my interaction with federal government; soon after they were built the cutting away of the island began. We had meetings with Congressman Gilchrest aboard the boat I was running then, the OC Princess. He knew we were right that the small jetties were clogging navigable waters with sand the Assateauge park service very much wanted to keep. Engineers said: ‘Naw! That’s beach sand from beach replenishment. You want us to stop that?’ 

A threat. Made it stick too. 

Perfectly obvious – huge sand dunes melting away before our eyes – small boats cutting behind the jetties where there’d once been sunbathers on beach towels – larger boats fetched up hard aground in the channel; if, that is, they dared try the ‘channel’ at all. It seemed as though many commercial boats simply left OC to more navigable ports. 

That’s not a good thing. Way federal law works, you see, dredging is only done where commercial traffic is impeded. Boats like mine? That make my crew and I a living? We’re recreational.. 

Now they’re going to do what we’d said to do all along — join the jetties into one. I hope they’ll pump the sand back on the island too. Sand we don’t care for is much loved by park service..

And you know, if they’re bringing bargeloads of jetty boulder, we’ve got some places offshore we’d love to rebuild natural reef on. Lot cheaper to just add another barge. 

Shoot, if the Government is truly in a capitulating mood, I sure wish they’d examine recreational catch estimates.  

Oh, and consider whether 40 years (1945 to 1985) of industrial stern-towed fishing gear scaring lessened our region’s seafloor habitat production..

Takes a long, long time to steer our federal behemoth in a new direction. 

Possible though. 

I’d about swear MRIP will be next to fall. Been working on that since 1998. A little less time than folks have worked on the island’s shifting sands.. 

Having hope is one thing, but what is having hope for a long, long time? 

Persistent Perseverance? 

Yup. That’s what you need. 

Cheers,

Monty 

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