Posted on February 25th, 2020
Dreary, dreary day here in Ocean City with cooler temps and intermittent rain for most of the day. It’s February so it could have been worse, but it was pretty nasty considering the weather we’ve had recently. Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star had to deal with the rain today as well, but the tautog bite was well worth it!
Easily 20 over ten lbs today..
Plenty dark for this AM’s departure. No constellation watching. No awesome sunrise.
Dropped 30 blocks and a reef pyramid at an artificial reef site and pressed on.
With wind & current near perfect opposite, I threw a straddle anchor set – what some call ‘qclotheslining‘ – where anchors are nearly 180 degrees apart. Got lucky I suppose. Sat on the piece all through our fishing time.
Sea bass are further inshore this year than I’ve ever seen in February. Wouldn’t hurt a thing to let clients have a few to take home, they’re not legal to land right now—closed. That’s because NOAA’s recreational catch data shows small private boats catching far more sea bass than all bass trappers, trawlers, plus party & charter boats combined. Why shoot, just NY’s private boats are shown to have accomplished that amazing feat all by themselves in 2017 & 18.
But, the data show we’re exceeding our recreational quota so we’re closed in winter. That data’s liable to get worse before it gets better.
Sea bass first fish up, we’d see a few more during the day. Wasn’t long before we saw some great tog too. Dang that was pretty fishing. Easily twenty double-digit tog; most were released too.
Dae Kim boated the first tog. After that? A free for all – the kind of day clients dream of.
CK took everyone’s pool money with his 16.5 pound, 27.5 inch jumbo.
Joe Molé and Mike Sadowski from NY show off some good tog. Though they both released a bunch, it was Mike who was instructing class today – he released 4 tog over 10 lbs.
Ramon Montoya shows off a great keeper. Ramon also released 3 big females.
Dennis Muhlenforth of Hockessin DE caught the day’s only double. Both legal, both released.
Chan Park caught some serious dandies today. His best catch didn’t have scales though.. Lost a nice stick overboard and caught it back!
Bob Schmitt of Freeport LI broke his personal best twice today with 15.1lbs now his fish to beat.
Bill DeCosta of Long Island released several dandies—here showing one off.
Even the skipper caught a couple.
True to form – this is tog fishing after all – some fellows didn’t do well at all, guys who are among the best tog fishermen I know! Sometimes you just can’t fix it..
Also in the group snap are Eddie Kay & Garrett Weir.