Jumbo Tog on the Rip and Rockfish In the Back Bay

By Scott Lenox

Jumbo Tog on the Rip and Rockfish In the Back Bay

It has been far too long between fishing reports so I was super glad to have some pics come in this afternoon….I’ll get to the deets in just a second.  First I want to give a big congratulations to my man Dave Messick, my partner in crime for Hooked on OC, on his accomplishments in this weekend’s OC Film Festival  Dave, Matt McQueeney and the crew won the “From Here” award and the coveted “People’s Choice” award for “Reggie’s Forest”, a documentary of Mariner’s Country Down and the one and only Reggie Mariner.  You should see this film if you get a chance and you’ll see why these awards are well deserved.  Congratulations to Dave and the crew!!  Click below to view the official trailer.  And now on to the report…..

It’s been a hot second since I’ve had any content for a fishing report so I was glad that my phone buzzed a couple of times this afternoon with some pics.  Things are starting to warm up and this week looks especially good so I hope to be writing and posting on a more regular basis.  Today Captain Monty Hawkins had the Morning Star out on a big swell and was able to catch some big tautog.

Swell heaped-up on the small shoals north of sea buoy this am; had to pull her throttles back several times as walls of water, front lit by a setting full moon, came into sight. Have learned to go easy over those big boys. Don’t know if they have a back.
Swell’s sharpness dissipating as we got into deeper water; made way to an artificial reef half-day boats frequent in summer. There we let 20 blocks go plus 2 pyramids.
Came upon several hundred gannets doing their thing. It’s what coastal striped bass fishers dream of but here with saddleback dolphin pushing bait up instead. Long-period ground swell height increased to regular 12 footers and an occasional jumbo including a 19 foot swell I measured as we slipped offshore. Dolphin pouring in at full speed all broke away just as quickly – guess it wasn’t much fun riding head into such a sea.
Two anchors down and not easily; a young deckhand on busman’s holiday, Tyler Dabono of Long Island hooks up first drop -to a 13.5lb ocean weight & 25.5 inches – a new personal best for him and very early lead for the pool.
It wouldn’t hold. Had our pool been measured by ‘biggest Jay Leno chin’ however, it would have. That fish was 100% mad Chinner.
Catch a couple more double digit fish. Chan Park of Sterling VA calls for a net. He usually swings em. His fish is 27.25 inches 15.5 lbs & does hold all day for the pool.
After a while we were fishing 24 ounces of lead. The bite became more challenging & then died.
Made a long move. Anchoring is again challenging. Catch a couple nice keepers including several double digit fish. There are also a handful of ALS tagged fish such as Dennis Muhlenforth of Hockessin DE is showing off. Pretty sure they’re mine. They were each re-released, hopefully to add again to the data base.
Bill DeCosta, Steve Mattino, Tommy Lee, & JoJo of Long Island(ish, mostly the Hamptons) are all pictured.

Just as I was responding to a message asking, “What kind of fish can I catch in Ocean City this time of year?” I had a text from Ayrton “The Kayak Kid” Pryor of Spring Mix II that confirmed what I was assuming.  There are some small rockfish in the back bay.  Ayrton had his kayak out north of the route 90 bride this afternoon and was able to catch and release three short stripers while casting shads toward the shallow marsh edges.  It’s a great sign that things are waking up and the fishing should get better with the warm weather we’re looking forward to this week and beyond.

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