Fish & Reef Report 3/26/21 ..
Greetings OCRF Sponsors and Morning Star Patrons! Think Spring!!
Our first batch of 2021 reef charts goes out today. We have 600some new t-shirts & sweatshirts, 500 grocery sacks; 2,000 pens, more hats are on order.. All are necessary for spring fundraising at the OC Reef Foundation.
Are charts what drives the bus? Naw, they’re what sinks the barge. Sponsors pony up for annual charts. OC Reef Foundation then plows most of that coin -nearly all of it really - back into building new structure.
Chart donations are where most sponsors start at least. New donors watch where the money goes a couple years & then often become more generous.
The OC Reef Foundation is growing. That allows us to build more reef with bigger, more expensive, pieces. I’m often “busy as a one legged man in a butt kicking contest” with OCRF business.
Growing? Heck Yes! ..but we’re still small. No one’s on salary, we rent no office space, and no one’s having fancy diners with reef donors’ contributions. Aside reef swag, accounting, mailing, permit compliance & monitoring expenses — donations are plowed back into rebuilding our region’s reef habitat as soon as opportunity arises.
We’ve made tremendous improvements to the Bass Grounds over the last couple years. Just the “Reynolds Florance Memorial Reef,” an 85ft tug; & Crocker’s Reef, a 200ft barge, (reefs we’ve deployed in the last 6 months,) just those two cost us about $120,000.00..
Sure would be mighty hard to get there at $50.00 a chart, but all donations help!
While some reef projects are begun and done large scale; my crew has been eyeballs deep in nasty chemicals and fiberglass dust throughout the worst of this winter. They’ve been building molds for concrete reef pyramids, have more than doubled our inventory of molds. It’s a project begun small that I hope grows beyond anything seen before.
I’ve long thought just the washed out concrete of cement trucks returning to a plant could become a tremendous asset in the battle for reef restoration in the Mid-Atlantic. Pyramid molds not only capture this free waste product to become reef units, but at about 170 pounds finished, two men can run a 2x4 through and load a pyramid aboard most any boat larger than a canoe — now it’s free reef that’s sometimes free to deploy..
Not quite free. Someone’s working in the sun to assemble molds; someone’s trucking em.. Have to take care of our builders! A fishing trip here, an Outback Steakhouse gift card there; we're building great reef on a loooow budget.
Hmmm... Twice as many molds.. If you know a cement company that would like to fill pyramid molds please email me at Capt.Monty@ocreefs.org ..
Big, budget-busting deployments; & cheap reef dropped off the stern of any boat—all progress is good. In recent months OCRF also deployed several somewhat smaller pieces such as Nana & Barry Daub’s steel sailboat, the DP Bishop barge, and PJ Aldridge’s cement sailboat.
Then too we hit 33,000 in the ‘reef block project.’ Here we get tractor trailer loads of cement block - take two dozen or so everyday; occasionally over two hundred on dedicated block trips. It’s just cheap, small scale reef building that adds up over time.
I don’t know who else is calling 2020 “a great year!” (early ‘21 too!) but it sure has been for our reef building.
Now in the pipeline we’ve a 60’ tug, a 40’ barge, and maybe a 120 ft barge. There are a slew of big tugs the CG is phasing out. I absolutely anticipate some of those becoming available to us even though scrap steel prices are back up.
I’ll need to ask donors to help refill our coffers if we’re to press ahead with more high dollar reef pieces in the coming year.
If you’re getting charts, go up a level. There’s never been as many tugs available! Name a large or small reef - small ones are getting scarce.. We’ll soon have a great reef raffle up & running. Grand prize is an incredible Benelli 828U 12ga over/under. Last year’s grand prize was donated back by Nicolas N of Alexandria. His Benelli M-2 Performance Shop semi-auto 12ga is now second place! First or second place could also choose a $1,500.00 cash payout. We’ll run this year’s raffle as we did last year with lots of t-shirt drawings on FaceBook too. We’ll start the 2021 raffle as soon as tickets come in.
Visit OCReefs.org to help, or send a check to OCRF, PO Box 1072, Ocean City, MD. 21811...
Our smallest reef project..
As of 1/23/21 we have 33,111 Reef Blocks + 279 Concrete Pyramids (170lb ea) deployed at numerous ACE permitted reef sites.
Currently being targeted: Virginia Lee Hawkins Memorial Reef 99 Reef Blocks (+ 47 Reef Pyramids begun 8/18/20) - Capt. Jack Kaeufer’s Reef 1,696 Blocks (+44 Reef Pyramids) - Doug Ake's Reef 4,114 blocks (+16 Pyramid Reef Pyramids) - St. Ann's 2,545 (+6 Reef Pyramids) - Sue's Block Drop 1,562 (+20 Reef Pyramids) - TwoTanks Reef 1,243 (+ 11 Reef Pyramids) - Capt. Bob's Inshore Block Drop 912 - Benelli Reef 1,471 (+ 15 Pyramids) - Rudy's Reef 425 - Capt. Bob's Bass Grounds Reef 3,254 (+52 reef pyramids) - Wolf & Daughters Reef 734 - Al Berger’s Reef 629 (+4 Reef Pyramids) - Great Eastern Block Drop 890 (+9 Reef Pyramids).. And a soon-to-be-named reef at Russell's Reef 30 Blocks & 49 Pyramids - plus we’ve also begun work at Capt Greg Hall’s Memorial Reef with 72 Tog Penthouse Blocks.
Capt Monty Hawkins
Luvs you some misery? Have to get out even though the fishing is but a shade of it’s former glory?
Yes, I’m Going toggin - but with a boat limit far more restrictive than State regs and NO expectation of great fishing.
Further Tog Trips in March/April 2021 will have a 2 Tog at 16 inches boat limit. Of those two, only one may be a female.
That’s less than half the state’s limit.
I’ve needed to do this for some while.
It’s a Boat Limit - My Boat.
NOT A State or Fed Regulation Change!
This fishery is tough getting tougher. Skunks happen on a daily basis. Even with incredibly skilled anglers aboard - goose eggs!
But here we go.. The tug is the drug.
Capt Monty Hawkins Mhawkins@morningstarfishing.com Info@ocreefs.org
Released Tog Count In Our Pool. We go by LENGTH.
No Live Tog Leave The Boat. All Kept Tog Will Be Bled.
Reservations Required at 443-235-5577
Tog (Blackfish) Trips Only - Allowed zero sea bass. They're closed now.
IF YOU BOOK LEAVE YOUR BEST POSSIBLE CONTACT NUMBER & LISTEN TO YOUR MESSAGES -
Weather Cancellations Happen - I Make Every Attempt To Let Clients Sleep In If The Weather's Not Going Our Way..
Be a half hour early! We always leave early!
..except when someone shows up right on time.
Clients arriving late will see the west end of an east-bound boat.
With a limited number of reserved spots, I do not refund because you
overslept or had a flat.
Bait is provided on all trips: Shrimp & green crabs for tog. (Whites Are USUALLY available from crew for a reasonable cost...)
I have always encouraged releasing female tog; any keeper, really, that’s in good shape. Those who respect the fishery know what they need to do.
If You Won't Measure & Count Your Fish, The State Will Provide A Man With A Gun To Do It For You. We Measure & Count — ALWAYS — No Exceptions!
It's Simple To Prevent Motion Sickness, Difficult To Cure. Bonine seems best because it's non-drowsy. It’s truly cheap & effective insurance.
Honestly - If you get to go on the ocean once month, once a year, or
even less; why risk chumming all day? Similarly, if you howl at the
moon all night, chances are good you'll howl into a bucket all day.
Bring A Cooler With Ice For Your Fish – A 48 Quart Cooler Is Fine For
A Few People. Do Not Bring A Very Large Cooler. We DO have a few
loaners - you'll still need ice.
No Galley! Bring Food & Beverages To Suit. A few beers in cans is fine for the ride home.
Except in high-summer, waterproof boots are almost a necessity unless fishing the bow - sneakers will ruin your day when the water is cold! While some rarely, or never, wear gloves for fishing, you'd not likely see me fishing this time of year w/o at least the half-finger wool gloves. Tuck a "hot hands" warmer in the palm and life is good..
Layers are best because, believe it or not, sometimes it can be very
pleasant offshore--especially when the wind lays down. In winter it's
warmer offshore owing to warmer waters. In summer it's cooler..
Covid is spiking again. We cannot fish with perfect safety.
Weather’s supposed to be gorgeous. Wearing a mask mandatory in the salon - not at the rail.
Fishing Saturday, March 27 & Tuesday, March 30 - Tog Only - My Boat Only! 2 Fish Limit and One Female! - Have shrimp and some crabs for boat bait - my crew has some whites for sale - both trips 6:30 to 4:30 - 14 anglers sells out @ $175.00 each.
I anticipate very tough fishing!
Still, may your light nudge turn into a sinker lifter..