Posted on February 19th, 2021
Man this weather has sucked!! It’s been almost two weeks since I was able to do a fishing report and it may be several more before I’m able to do another. We have had a weather pattern over the past several weeks that has allowed for zero fishing in the Ocean City area and I for one am over it. All of my reels are clean and filled, my rigs are in stock and ready to go and the Fish in OC Carolina Skiff is mended and ready for the water….we just need some weather.
There are still some tautog to be caught out in the ocean and rockfish will be caught in the back bay soon enough, but right now there is not a lot of fishing going on. I’ve had a chance to do some pond fishing to scratch the itch, but I’m ready to get out on the salt and bend a rod as soon as I can.
Some of the Fish in OC fleet is fishing to the south with boats like Spring Mix II with Captain Chris Watkowski fishing out of Islamorada, FL. Chris and the crew have been having luck with all kinds of bottom fish like snapper and yellowtail and they’ve also caught some blackfin tuna and sailfish over the past few weeks.
Captain Joe Drosey of Rhonda’s Osprey is fishing out of Sailfish Marina in Singer Island, FL and has been having some success over the past few weeks as well. Captain Joe has put his crews on sailfish, sharks, mahi and some nice king mackerel.
Like most local fishermen, Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star is just looking for a shot of weather to get some more great work done for the Ocean City Reef Foundation
Greetings Reef Sponsors!
Have had this 200’ barge from McLean in the works since last October I think. Now it’s ready to go, we just need a shot of weather to bring it up & around from Baltimore, through the C&D Canal, to 9 miles out front Ocean City, MD.
We had a 2 day window to run ten 22ton truckloads of precast concrete to McLean’s yard and load it by crane. It was certainly over $10K in additional work with trucking and loading all that concrete pipe, but what a difference it will make on the bottom..
When at last the weather breaks coinciding with our tow boat being unscheduled – we’ll have created a new reef that should be fishable for hundreds of years.
Aside the big barge project, OCRF has three guys working on making more pyramid forms/molds. Prototyped in my backyard in August 2019 with the intention of creating a super-simple to assemble, two-man boat deployable reef unit that wouldn’t scour in beneath the sand – my guys spent almost two weeks getting the plugs perfected (plug is a form for a mold.) They’re now producing finished molds for industry. Making easy to assemble molds that the concrete industry can use to capture some of their waste was always the most important aspect of this idea. Even just three molds at a plant turns into truckloads of free reef pyramids in a short while. As more plants have molds, and with more molds at each operation, we’ll find the Mid-Atlantic closer to restoring both marine and estuarine hardbottoms.
I remain convinced this pyramid project, given a number of molds/forms in the hundreds, will have been instrumental in turning the Mid-Atlantic’s nearshore marine waters blue again.
Most don’t realize “the Mid-Atlantic Ocean has turned green” – not even in the environmental & scientific communities. Anyone familiar with the history of white marlin fishing from Ocean City MD, however, can quickly see our ocean’s greening. I’ve written several detailed pieces on this magnificent benthic/pelagic coupling.
Here it is in a nutshell: from the inlet’s 1934 creation when “marlin fishing” meant a short 5 mile run to Great Gull Shoal before lines-in, then troll 13 miles north toward Fenwick Shoal some 4 miles from the MD/DE line — with anglers catching whites in sight of sandy beaches on whole squid rigged with nothing resembling fluorocarbon leaders and dredges — from that early bluewater fishery so close to shore ..to today’s hundred-plus fathom 60/70/80 mile runs in search of good water where marlin are still caught in record numbers — the Mid-Atlantic’s water quality decline coincides perfectly with the demise of oyster reefs in our large estuaries. Decade by decade; as oysters became fewer in number in Chesapeake & Delaware Bays, so too did bluewater anglers have to search further and further offshore for their target species.
Even in 1920 there was a scientist, Reginald Truitt, who founded the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, arguing for “large concrete oyster broodstock preserves” fully a century ago. His concern was watermen making a living – biofiltration wasn’t yet understood – but he certainly foretold the oyster’s demise.
Was a mountain of Can’t in the way. A century of it. By the late 1980s some harvesters and artificial reef builders had witnessed what could become successful oyster restoration. Despite The Nature Conservancy’s incredible success with oyster restoration along VA’s coastal back bays—and much of that oyster smothered substrate is concrete as Dr Truitt envisioned; in 2018 MD’s Harris Creek project was given credit as the “first Chesapeake tributary oyster restoration.” Others using big barge loads of rock will soon follow.
These pyramid reef units should contribute perfectly to that task.
We’re already using them for corals.
With hundreds of molds and time: thousands & thousands of reef units will become hundreds of thousands..
Lot of substrate ..that can be put out by two men in a small boat.
Free reef material with free reef deployment. Eventually guvmint will see some good in that.
Have other irons in the fire. A small barge, a big tug, a dream reef.. It’s all good!
Visit ocreefs.org if you’d like to donate.
And dig a little deeper – we got work to do!