Erik_Zlokovitz, Fisheries Biologist
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Posted on October 12, 2010 | Permalink
Dominion-gooses Reef site trip
Location: Dominion-gooses Reef site
The first Artificial Reef angling survey trip to the Dominion-Gooses Reef site on October 7 was hampered by strong west winds, but we still managed to catch a few fish.
This year, MARI and the DNR Artificial Reef program are coordinating the volunteer Reef Angling survey trips with the Governor’s Veteran’s Service Program, and the Maryland Charter Boat Association (MCBA). The survey trip was conducted on board the charterboat Canvasback, out of Happy Harbor, Deale, with Capt. Brian Keehn, president of the MCBA. On the trip was one veteran of the Afghanistan War - SFC Moxley, and he had a good time on the Bay. Also on the trip was Clint Waters and a group from the Dorchester MSSA, Mike Mangold of FWS, Tim Ryan and his daughter, from DNR Fisheries – Inland Division, and Erik Zlokovitz, DNR Artificial Reef Coordinator.
Most boats on the water reported slow fishing due to the storms and heavy rains that hit the area through Tuesday, 10/5. The wind conditions really hurt us at the Gooses site because it is very exposed, in mid-Bay, approximately half-way between Parker’s Creek and the Little Choptank River mouth. The wind speed started out at WSW 15-20 kts and was blowing WNW 25+ by noon.
We did 2 drifts over the older WW bridge material at the south end of the Gooses Reef site with top bottom rigs and jigs. This is the same location where we caught large numbers of small sea bass last fall. On Thursday, we had no bites, the drift was probably too fast, and sea conditions were tough. We considered anchoring, but this was too risky. Dropping an anchor in those sea conditions may result in a broken pulpit.
The Gooses Reef (GR) data buoy deployed with the DNR “Eyes on the Bay” Program, MARI, is in good shape, with some marine growth on the lower hull. Concrete that we deployed during the summer with Weeks Marine showed up well on the fishfinder and has not sunk into the bottom.
To get out of the wind we did a few drifts in the Plum Point/Breezy Point area. We fished shell piles and some of the concrete cubes deployed by John Foster back in the 80’s and 90’s. No bites. Last stop was the deep edge of the Stone Rock in 40-60 feet of water and the CR Buoy area (some folks have indicated that the Stone Rock was actually a drop site for ballast stone during the wooden sailing ship era). We tried jigging and trolling, and caught 3 small blues and one keeper rock on the troll with surge hose rigs and bucktails/shads on umbrellas. The westerly winds steadily increased to 25+ knots and we ended the trip around 1pm.