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Capt. Monty Hawkins Column - 11/02/19
Monday, December 2, 2019

Greetings All,

Looking to amble on off the beach some Wednesday. Fishing's not been unkind. Lots of throwbacks some days, but keepers too. We're also seeing a surprising number of nice scup. Wouldn't say we're "Scup Fishing" but have had a few clients almost to double digits - they're a bonus fish - do not count against your 15 sea bass limit.

I think we'll do just fine in Wednesday's calm.

If any other day's forecasts break our favor I'll post them ASAP.

Still working on MRIP recreational catch data. When NOAA says we've 'overfished' our recreational quota on any given species - it's MRIP they're using to make that assertion. That's why regulation gets tougher...

In recent work I see in 2018 where Massachusetts Shore-Only scup fishers landed more porgy - 2,357,309 - than ALL Party/Charter in the species entire range - 1,377,444.. So here MRIP claims MA Shore-Only landed almost 2X what all Partyboats & Charter Boats landed?


And All Private Boats landed about 6X more scup than All Party/Charter in 2018?
And Private Boats landed 25X what Party/Charter caught in Summer Flounder in 2019?
And Private Boat landed 'only' 5X more sea bass than Party/Charter in 2019...


Everyone I've written to or spoken with in my trade (I'm a partyboat owner/operator) thinks, with the exception of summer flounder, that Party/Charter catch, by far, more sea bass & scup than Private Boats.

In summer flounder we are likely outfished - by a bit. Three or four to one on Private Boat's favor would be a lot.

But it's ALWAYS higher. In 2018 it was 14.4 to 1 -- in 2017 it was 21.5 to 1..

When NOAA says 'you boys skyed way past your quota and Have To Be Regulated More Tightly' - MRIP data is their only consideration.

It's about to be the worst it's ever been.
If you didn't read it - missed it, or maybe too long? - give Fish Report 11/17/19 Grand Theft Fisheries a read. http://blog.morningstarfishing.com
Bad MRIP data threatens to take Fishery Management straight off a cliff...
Yes, it's that bad.
Maybe you too will draft a few letters.

Capt. Monty Hawkins
[email protected]

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