June 1st – as nice a day at sea as you could ask, and what a fabulous bite too ….

2021-06-01 19:05:43
Monty Hawkins


June 1st – as nice a day at sea as you could ask, and what a fabulous bite too ..except when a sub-bottom profiler survey boat was nearing our position. Played cat & mouse all day. Made it work.
So long as I kept my distance the bite was great.
Jack Power shoved our reef blocks over at a nearby reef. Coming up on 34,000 reef blocks.. I’d better check.
Cathy, who’d been in a slump of late, came on strong with today’s first limit. Flounder George, fishing next to her, caught a dandy first drop. It held the pool position all day for the win.
Toward the end of the day I was at last boxed in with nowhere handy to move to & nowhere to hide. Pic of my sounder absolutely mobbed w/cbass in this post produced 4 fish – slowly. Would normally be doubles around the rail. Didn’t matter. We were only four fish from a boat limit by then. Despite screens showing sea bass in profusion – no joy – just a light tepid bite that was barely good enough to see us done.
A boat limit. Don’t do that everyday.
Nice.

These survey boats have to disengage their prop/come to neutral if a sea turtle is spotted. Their electronic survey gear is shut off and tow wire for side scan kept clear of the animal. It’s all logged moment by moment.
Like so very much of our region’s science, if you can lay eyes on it – if you can see it – that matters.
If you can’t see it?
Ehh.. it’s “not in the science” and therefore of no concern.
I guarantee one type of electronic gear commonly used by survey boats, the ‘sub-bottom profiler’, causes sea bass to cease feeding when it gets within a couple miles of a reef.
Even at 6 or 7 miles I can watch the pace of action fall off. By 3 miles? Clients will rarely get the least bit of a bite. At two miles it’s impossible to get bit.
One day I’d like to try to experiment with it and get it into the science.
Pretty unlikely though. Estuarine habitat is exquisitely well understood – even our deep sea corals out beyond 100 fathoms (600 feet) are getting more than cursory examination. From the beach to the 100 fathom line? Nawwww.. No need to study that. It’s all “just sand & mud”…
Great Mercy.
In the 1969 the Cuyahoga River caught fire.
Literally.
The river was on fire.
Smithsonian Magazine says it had caught fire at least 12 time before – but no one cared.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/cuyahoga-river-caught-fire-least-dozen-times-no-one-cared-until-1969-180972444/

Had they been required, a permit to dump chemicals and oil into the river would have been a straightforward affair – after all, It Just Washes Away.
What great ignorance.
Today we’re ignorant of affects to fish & marine mammals from another type of pollution, sound pollution. Fish & fishers endured 3 years of survey effects from 2013 to 2015. So far as I’m concerned, our reefs too were “ablaze” by spring of 2015.
That year we had the worst spring run of sea bass I’ve seen in my 40+ years of reef fishing off Ocean City, MD. High man would catch 2 or 3 keepers and a handful of throwbacks – in May. That’s when we’re usually booked solid because the fishing’s so good. After surveying through the sea bass spawning period in 2013 & 14, by 2015 sea bass & even fluke had flat given up. They weren’t using those reefs – or even this part of the coast – because of the noise.
I wrote about it extensively back then and again in Fish Report 5/22/21 http://morningstarfishing.com/report.htm
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) swears I’m full of ‘it,’ that the survey equipment is “as quiet as a ships propeller.”
And maybe so, but it sure puts em off the feed.
Promise.
Does it mimic some gigantic echolochating mammal?
I don’t know.
It’s not ‘in the science.’
Regards
Monty

Capt Monty Hawkins
Mhawkins@morningstarfishing.com
Info@ocreefs.org








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