Tog in the Fog

By Scott Lenox

Tog in the Fog

Check out our recent trip to Sunset Provisions in West Ocean City!

We had another very nice day temperature wise, but that also came with some very dense fog this morning.  There was a major accident on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge this morning where 20-30 vehicles were involved and some folks were taken to local hospitals.  Hopefully everyone ends up alright.

Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star slowed his steam to the east this morning thanks to the fog and he also put his folks on some good tautog fishing.

Found a light breeze & a bit of fog as we threw her lines off this morning. Visibility came and went all the way off; made for a dull sunrise.
Hunter from up Wilmington dropped our blocks on a new spot. We pressed on. About a mile before we arrived at my first piece the boat picked up a mammalian escort; a humpback whale headed the same direction. Seeing spout after spout – two whales? We closed on him just as I arrived. Vic got a pic; lousy, but got it, just as the fog set in again. I considered it a good omen.
Wasn’t long after lines in that we had some nice releases – legal releases even, some of the day’s best – and a few tog heading for ice. Had a pick, occasionally better, a lot better, most all day. After behaving all day the current turned up to ‘scream’ at my last spot – goose egged! Wasn’t looking forward to inlet fog after sundown anyway – pulled the plug on it after 20 minutes.
Paul from Newark DE took the pool with a plump male that he released to spawn again.
Wonderful to have good fishing on pieces I’ve hit for many years. Lot of fish that could have been legally kept today were not.
That makes a difference.
Building more habitat, throwing back females when possible, keeping fewer than we can – I’d sure like the next generation of tog anglers to wonder why anyone ever thought they were hard to find & catch..
Different.. Had a pigeon join us offshore today. Have had many species of bird blown offshore across the decades, especially in fall. Some we catch and put in a safe spot, others press on in a fatal mistake. Sea gulls don’t miss it. When a song bird ill equipped for water falls out from exhaustion?
Gulp.
Our new rock dove friend found an out of the way spot next to the wheelhouse and chilled. When we got made fast in the slip in he wanted the passenger salon to himself -Vic chased him out a few times- boat lift next to my rig is as far as he made it. I doubt we have a friend for life, but he sure seems attached now.
Brand new to my understanding of the region’s marine food web – on the way home the boys saw a huge seal on the surface chowing down on a 30+ inch striped bass. No pics but they both reported it the same.
With all the mystery behind the decline in stripers? Ah Ha!!
(Yes, it happened. A seal was eating a rockfish. But that’s not really cause of their decline!)
I’ll be looking to get out as often as possible. Dern sure this winter is mighty begrudging of fishing weather though!
Cheers All,
Monty

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