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Some Awesome Inshore Fishing | Ocean City MD Fishing

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By Scott Lenox

Some Awesome Inshore Fishing

The wind was a little cranky first thing this morning, but by early this afternoon it had died out nicely and left us with a pleasant rest of the day.  I had a chance to get out on the water with my buddy Blake Gunther for a new episode of Hooked on OC and we had an epic day of inshore fishing.  We started at the route 50 bridge throwing our new Thing A Ma JIG and that went very, very well.  We released over 40 rockfish between 14″ and 25″ and even missed a couple of other bites.  When the tide started to fall we shot over to Martha’s Landing and caught 11 tautog with 1 keeper on Blake’s custom tog jigs and then we finished the day in the Thorofare where we caught and released two short flounder.  It was a great day of fishing and should make for a reely good episode of the show.

Captain Jason Mumford of Lucky Break Charters had a nice day in the bay today as well putting his anglers on some keeper flounder and one keeper sized tautog.

Captain Chase Eberle of Chasin’ Tides Charters had a great day of tautog fishing over ocean structure today with a limit of fish and some pretty nice ones mixed in.  The largest fish of the day was 12 pounds and they even recaptured a previously tagged fish that had only moved .4 miles from its original tagging spot.

Captain Marc Spagnola of Dusk to Dawn Bowfishing had another great night of shooting last night with plenty of action on snakeheads and long nose gar.

@rusticunderground caught this keeper rockfish while fishing the route 50 bridge this morning while the sun was coming up.

Big Bird Cropper and his buddy Noah had a great day of rockfishing at the route 50 bridge today as well catching over 40 fish on Bird’s World Famous Roy Rig.

Captain Matt down at Sea Hawk Sports Center is reporting some good fishing from down south of us on the eastern shore of Virginia and on the Chesapeake Bay.

The Judith M is looking for a full time mate for this season.  Contact fish@judithmfishingoc.com if interested.

From the desk of Monty Hawkins…..

Too Dang Nosey!

Greetings All, 

I’m now engaged in regulatory battle with NOAA’s SERO (SE Regional Office) & need help. Any recreational skipper who has a party/charter permit for dolphin(mahi)/wahoo will likely want to engage in this fight also. Share this post/email with your Party/Charter captain friends.. They’re NOT going to like this. I doubt many skippers have seen these new eVTR questions yet. (evtr=electronic catch forms will fill out for each trip) I’m sure most haven’t.  Any clients who’d like to see their skippers maintain what bit of sanity remains would want to participate as well. 

I’ve been asking managers for several weeks “who can we complain to?” and have learned nothing except there’s already a lot of complaining. I’ve written as high as I could in NOAA and gotten no response.   Recommend you contact your congressman/senators and upper reaches of state fisheries. Also contact SERO and SAFMC directly. (Email addresses near bottom. Now Remember, Everyone’s Your Friend When Trying To Accomplish Something In Politics! Catch More Flies With Honey Than Vinegar!) 

Problem: NOAA from St. Petersburg FL has added bunch of new questions on the electronic forms we recreational operators have to fill out for every trip. They want to know our business at levels we may not even know. I certainly don’t. Our daily eVTRs (electronic Vessel Trip Reports,) as created by our region’s NOAA/state partners were, until a month or so ago, quite sensible and useful in fisheries management. (Well, they would be much more useful were it not for MRIP. One thing at a time..) 

NOAA’s Greater Atlantic Office (above Hatteras to Maine & over to Great Lakes) asks simply: How many and what species did you keep/throwback and for how many anglers? 

Now SERO (South East Regional Office) wants to know: How many gallons of fuel did you burn for this trip? How much did that cost? How many clients rode free? What was your total income in fares? What’s the deepest you fished? The shallowest?

We already tell NOAA approximately where we fished, roughly how deep and how many anglers we had. That makes sense in a ‘fisheries management’ sort of way. 

These new questions? They’ll lead to trouble. They’re too dang nosy. Why does NOAA want to know who rode free among my clients or how much I took in sales? How about bartered fares – trading services.. “Free” is a rare thing to begin with. What in tarnation do daily fare tallies have to do with fisheries extractions anyway? 

Partyboats get fuel when they need fuel. We don’t micro-manage daily use. If a business owner doesn’t need to know daily consumption, why in heck would NOAA? 

NOAA is the premier nautical charting agency in the world. One would think once they know where you fished they would know min/max depths. 

Will be a slug of charter operators seeing these questions for the first time next Saturday when cbass opens.. (We have to fill out a VTR every trip)

I’ve been threatened with the closing of my business in mahi season (no permit!) and fines if not compliant with regulation I had no say in. 

Those of us who fish above Hatteras have no representation at the South Atlantic Council – no voice to SERO and no real reason to monitor their antics anyway. 

Now, suddenly, we do.

I was a strong proponent of VTR data collection as a means of improving management years ago. But this? This is way over the top. 

SERO is at our backsides with their permitting toehold because mahi & wahoo were left off the HMS fisheries permit when it was created. (HMS or Highly Migratory Species permit covers marlins/tunas – bluefin were recently combined with it.) Rather than simply adding mahi & wahoo to the existing HMS permit (HMS has its very own office and section of NOAA!) they made an entirely new permit that covers the whole east coast and Gulf of Mexico – and got a whole new section of workers in the SERO building. 

Who can run lines astern for marlin/tuna and NOT expect an occasional mahi or even wahoo? All those species should be under one permit. 

These new questions have to go. Please write or call your state’s people and voice your concern. 

Here’s what SERO told me.. 

We encourage compliance, however, compliance to the program requirements is your decision. But it is NOAA Fisheries decision to renew permits based upon compliance, and/or if there will be fines for non-compliance. 

There are a few sections of the South Atlantic Amendment that I would like to point you to: {here a 200-some page document!}

– Chapter 2, Action 2.1 page 12 – This describes the data elements and the Council’s reasoning and the fact that currently similar data elements are required to be reported by Commercial vessels.

– Chapter 3.3.2 Economic Environment-Rec Sector, Business Activity page 33. This describes what data is generated from this data. 

Clearly I really dropped the ball by not following along as amendments are created down south—far outside our normal regulatory reach. If I’d read this 200-some page piece I could have seen it coming. 

Write! 

SERO needs to get an earful From YOUR Congressman! 

Write! Tell Your State’s Fisheries Director & Staff All About It Too!—  Tell Skippers You Know.. 

NOAA has No Business getting this far in Our Business! 

Thank You! 

Capt Monty Hawkins 

Mhawkins@morningstarfishing.com

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