As you may know, my primary fishing vessel is my kayak. But every once in a while, my boys and I go fishing on charter boats. We did exactly that this past Friday. We took an epic journey about the Morning Star, out of Ocean City, MD.
We’d bee planning on this trip for quite a while. During the winter months, there are plenty of good fish to be caught…you just have to be brave enough to face the cold weather conditions. This 12 hour fishing trip was geared mainly around one target species, tautog. This fish can be quite elusive to catch. Known for its subtle bite (despite having the ugliest, most menacing-looking teeth), and powerful fighting characteristics, it is highly sought after by experienced anglers.
Taking this boat trip with the experienced Captain Monty Hawkins gave us our best shot. I’ve been out with Captain Monty two times in the past. I’ve NEVER came home disappointed. I’ve ALWAYS had memorable experiences while fishing on his charter. My first trip with him, my memorable moment was catching a cod! My second trip with him, I won the “big fish” pool with a 22” black sea bass. The winnings paid for my trip. This third time did not disappoint either.
Aside from hunting tautog, we also knew that this would be our last real shot to catch black sea bass, since the season closes on February 28th.
We arrived at the dock early, and off we went into the darkness of the Atlantic. The ride out was GRUELING! We motored out for FOUR HOURS! I went to sleep…woke up, and we STILL hadn’t arrived to the first spot. Luckily I had enough food & snacks to kinda keep me occupied. Hoagies from Wawa, beef jerky, potato chips, gatorade, peanuts. Yeah, I was set.
Being a food lover, I took note of the fare that other fellow anglers decided on bringing. These guys had some INTERESTING food!! A group of Asian anglers had some sushi rolls they prepared, along with kimchi. They were nice enough to share with us. Their food was delicious!! Another guy shared VENISON BOLOGNA! This was interestingly good lunch meat. It tasted like a cross of summer sausage, bologna, & beef salami. I have always been kinda leery of eating deer (no real reason…we just never had that growing up in Brooklyn), but I am glad I took the guy up on his generous offer.
Once we began fishing, the action was non-stop. I caught quite a few nice black sea bass, including my new personal best. The HOG measured in at 25.75”!!! There were a lot of “WOWs” when I pulled the fish into the boat. My forearms were burning from reeling that monster up from the deep.
My buddy Jay was the only one of our trio the catch a tautog. It was his first ever, and it measured in at 24.5”! It was a REALLY nice fish.
We ended the day with our cooler full of black sea bass. While the boat ride to & from was long and somewhat painful, the joy of the hot fishing action was well worth it all. I threw together some video clips from the day. Because the fishing action was non-stop, I didn’t take any footage while fishing. So you get to see my banter before the trip…and thats about it. I did, however, include my pics of the fish toward the end of the video.
MorningStar (by Langston Majette)