Book a Trip on Line
At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 57°F, the sky was overcast, it was misting, there was no wind to write about and the visibility over the ocean was fair in haze, mist and light fog.
We had overcast skies and a hazy mist as we headed down the channel to make the gate. It was almost foggy but there was no fog; the search light cut right through the mist. But it isn't a difficult channel to navigate unless there is a big northeast sea at low tide. Once out the gate, it was very calm. We ran into the fog after a mile. We carried the fog all the way to the first fishing spot. The air temperature stayed pegged at 57°F all the way out.
On the fishing grounds,it was foggy and stayed foggy all day. The most visibility we ever has was, maybe, ten boat lengths. The ocean stayed flat calm all day as well. The sky appeared overcast but you could not have known if the sky was clear or cloudy with the depth of the fog. The air temperature reached a high of 61°F, that I saw. It could have been a degree or two higher. The tide (current) started out light but became more moderate the shallower we fished. We never did get any wind. The surface water reached a high of 56.5°F.
Ashore, these were the air temperatures in selected New England cities: In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 62°F (with a low of 57°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 65°F (with a low of 56°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 61°F (with a low of 57°F).
The fishing was damn close to excellent without really getting there. Dogfish were no problem, we had a few small pollock but only in a couple places, there were no blue sharks and we had only a couple porbeagle sharks that bothered. The weather, of course, was excellent for fishing. And the tide was not a negative factor today. The catching was very good. Landings were good to very good. Most legal fish landed were cusk and pollock, an equal number of each. Legal landings also included five haddock, twenty good sized redfish, sixteen white hake and five mackerel. We caught hake everywhere we went. Released fish included thirty dogfish, three cod of 5 pounds or more, five small cod, thirty small pollock, five sub-legal haddock, two redfish and a mackerel. We drift fished for every stop. All terminal gear worked well.
Shawn Rosenberger (PA) and Fred Kunz (NH) shared high hook status today with the most legal fish. Fred won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 33 pound Maine state trophy white hake. This is his largest hake of the season so far and is tied for the Bunny Clark's seventh largest hake of the season to date. He also caught two Maine state trophy cusk as well. One weighed 13 pounds. The other weighed 14.25 pounds, his largest cusk of the season. This cusk, too, is our seventh largest of the season so far. Some of Shawn's fish included an 18 pound cod (a tie for the sixth largest cod of the Bunny Clark season to date), a 15.5 pound white hake, a 22 pound white hake, a 12 pound pollock, a 17 pound pollock and a triple of redfish, three reds on the same line at the same time. His redfish weighed 1.25 pounds, 1.5 pounds and 1.75 pounds. All three would have met trophy status had it been the time of year when redfish bear young. I took a picture of Shawn with his triple. This digital image appears on the left.
Mark Girard (NH) won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish, a 28.5 pound Maine state trophy white hake. Some of Mark's other fish included an 11.5 pound pollock, a 12 pound pollock and a pollock that weighed 18.5 pounds. Jeff Larson (NH) won the boat pool for the third largest fish with the third largest fish, a 26.5 pound Maine state trophy white hake. This is the largest hake that Jeff has ever caught. Jeff also caught a 15.5 pound white hake late in the day. His largest pollock weighed 11 pounds.
Other Angler Highlights: Dana Decormier (NH) was just behind high hook in fish count. He caught the most white hake of the day. I believe his count was five? His largest was a 26 pound Maine state trophy. And he also caught a 17 pound white hake. Dana's largest pollock weighed 16.25 pounds. And he had a double that included a 10 pound pollock and an 11 pound pollock. Mark LaRocca (NY) caught two Maine state trophy white hake of exactly the same size, both 25.5 pounds! Mark also caught our largest pollock of the trip at 21.5 pounds. This is the Bunny Clark's fourth largest pollock of the fishing season so far. I took a picture of Mark holding his big fish. This digital image appears on the right.
Chris Bergier (MA) caught a 12.5 pound pollock, his best fish. Jack Decormier (NH) caught the best double of the day. His catch included a 14 pound pollock and a 13 pound pollock both caught on the same line at the same line. This double ties for the Bunny Clark's sixth largest double of the season so far. His first pollock of the trip weighed 10 pounds. Fred Tardie (MA) did well once he caught his first legal fish. Some of the fish of his that I weighed included a 12.5 pound pollock, a 12 pound pollock, another 12.5 pound pollock and his biggest, a 14.5 pound pollock. Dana Decormier landed the hard luck award for losing two jigs.
I received several donations sponsoring me in my cancer fund raising cycling event called the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Fred Kunz donated $10 before we left the dock, Mark Girard donated a generous $100.00 and Shawn Rosenberger donated $50.00. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. I appreciate it very much!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 59°F, the sky was overcast, it was raining lightly, the wind was light out of the east and the visibility over the ocean was poor in fog. It rained all morning. Just a steady rain, mostly light. By noon, the rain was more steady but off and on after that. There were periods of light rain into the night. The fog was black thick along the coast at daylight. It must have been like that earlier in the morning on the coast. The fog persisted all day. We never had a clear view of the bell buoy. So the visibility over the ocean was poor. The air temperature was mild all day although I never did see an air temperature above 62°F. There was very little wind if any. When there was wind it was light from the east. It would have been a perfect day to go fishing. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 65°F (with a low of 59°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 64°F (with a low of 61°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 62°F (with a low of 57°F).
I spent most of the morning working on this website, first writing yesterday's report and then cleaning everything up and adding new pictures to replace some old ones. Afterward, I was down at the office at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. The last hour was spent back at the home office finishing up things I needed to do to get ready to take the Bunny Clark fishing tomorrow.
At noon, I was back at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. I spent the afternoon going between customers and working in the office. I have a huge backlog of stuff I have neglected over the year when I could have been doing this on a regular basis. I started working on that today. I was out by 5:00 PM so I could move some product into storage and get ready to go fishing tomorrow.
At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 62°F, the sky was partly clear, the wind was about eight knots out of the northwest and the visibility over the ocean seemed good.
It was amazingly mild as we cast off the wooden anchors to head out of the Cove. Still in the low 60s, we carried these temperatures down the channel and through the gate. The ride out was pleasant enough. Winds were out of the southwest with a one to two foot chop. As we got closer to the fishing grounds, we also had a six to eight foot long rolling sea swell coming from the southeast. These wave heights could be easily seen on the sounding machine. The sky was clear, the visibility was excellent, the air temperature remained in the high 50s and the ocean made it a comfortable ride.
On the fishing grounds, the weather was beautiful. We watched the sun rise over light southwest winds, a cloudless sky, an air temperature of 58°F and a light tide. The sky stayed nearly cloudless all day with a few high clouds in the afternoon starting around 1:00 PM. But these clouds were few. The wind hauled westerly later in the morning but wind speeds were under ten knots. We had the same seas as on the ride out but they were mostly six feet and diminishing as the day progressed. The wind died in the late morning so that it was calm but it never got glassy. In fact, it looked for all the world like we were going to have a perfect day. That wasn't the case. At 1:00 PM, the wind struck out of the north. Wind speeds over thirty knots came at us in a rush. Seas built quickly to chops of about four feet. It was choppy enough that only one angler stayed on the bow, Charley Harris (MA), and he stayed wedged in the hoop. It blew from twenty-five to thirty knots for about an hour. Then it started to back off. Sustained winds stayed at twenty knots which was much more manageable. The ride home wasn't terribly bad either. Other than that, the air temperature reached an unprecedented 63°F for a high, the tide (current) was light until the wind struck in the afternoon and the sky, as I said, stayed almost cloudless all day. The visibility ranged to over forty miles and we could see Mount Washington for the first time in a long time.
Ashore, these were the air temperatures in selected New England cities: In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 68°F (with a low of 46°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 64°F (with a low of 39°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 67°F (with a low of 42°F).
The fishing was excellent. There were few dogfish, the tide was perfect and the weather was mostly excellent. There were huge schools of small pollock in places I haven't seen them this year yet. We had to move from those areas to get away from them. That was the only thing that might have put a blemish on a perfect fishing day. The catching was excellent. Landings were very good. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. Even with the sub-legal pollock we would catch a 10 pound pollock above the small ones. Legal landings also included five haddock, twenty-five redfish, five cusk and six white hake. Released fish included less than twenty dogfish, nine cod of 6 pounds or more, three small cod, forty sub-legal pollock before we moved, eight sub-legal redfish, a thresher shark and a red hake. We drift fished and anchored. All terminal gear worked well but ninety percent, or more, of the time anglers were fishing with a jig and fly.
I would have to say that today was the Jonathan "Griff" Griffin (MA) show. He was the fisherman of the day against some stiff competition. He was high hook with the most legal fish. And he won the boat pool with any one of the top three fish he caught. He actually won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 39 pound Maine state trophy white hake. This is the second largest hake of the Bunny Clark fishing season so far. I took a picture of Griff holding his prize hake. This digital image appears on the upper left. Griff also won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish, a 30.25 pound Maine state trophy white hake. I also took a picture of Griff holding this hake as well. The digital image appears on the right. His third largest fish, a 26 pound Maine state trophy fish was also the third largest fish of the trip. All three of these hake are the largest hake he has caught this season to date. So he attained, what we call, an "Ace", the three largest fish of the trip. This makes the fourth Ace of the year, three in the last two weeks and the second biggest Ace behind Shawn Rosenberger (PA). Some of Griff's other fish worth mentioning included three pollock of 10 pounds each, an 11 pound pollock, a 13 pound pollock and a 14 pound pollock, a tie for the largest pollock of the trip.
Captain Ian Keniston, on a bus man's holiday, either tied Griff for high hook or was second hook. Either way they were the two most successful anglers on the boat. Ian's best fish included a, 11 pound pollock, a 10 pound white hake and a double that included an 11 pound pollock and a 13 pound pollock. His largest fish was a 14 pound pollock, a tie with Griff for the largest pollock of the trip. However, had things turned out better, Ian would have had the biggest fish of trip and, maybe, the year. He hooked a fish near bottom and was bringing it up when the line went slack; whatever fish he had on the line was racing to the surface. Finally catching up to the fish, it angled off the stern and to the surface. I thought that it must be a tuna as a tuna will come to the surface quickly as well. But when it took off across the surface it went off like a shark. Basically, it was a much more sluggish run than a tuna would make. Both Ian and I questioned that it was a tuna at that point and thought it might be a porbeagle shark acting a bit weird. It might have been five minutes into the fight when, off the stern, the fish jumped out of water. No one saw the fish but we all saw the splash and the left over white water from the splash. When the fish jumped again, everyone was looking in that direction, including me. It was a thresher shark! It jumped straight up but not high enough to show the tail. However, the fact that it jumped and it's physical characteristics proved it was a thresher. It had that different blunt head and the longer pectoral fins associated with a thresher. Threshers are not usually that sluggish. Maybe it was the colder water; I have no idea what threshers do or where they go in the winter. Maybe it was an individual behavioral pattern. But it certainly wasn't as active as others that we have hooked. At any rate, when it jumped it threw the hook. When Ian got the jig and fly combination back to the boat, the fly hook was gapped. So the fish must have gone for the fly? Whatever. It's the only thresher that we have seen this year either in the water by itself or on a line.
Other Angler Highlights: David Abood (NH) caught four cod all about 10 pounds each. I didn't weigh any one of them but they were that big. His largest fish was a 17.25 pound white hake. His largest pollock weighed 11 pounds. Dave Harris (MA) caught a number of good fish, his largest a 12 pound white hake. I didn't weigh any of his pollock but I'm sure that a couple were over 10 pounds. Charlie Harris, Dave's son, caught some nice pollock as well. Of the two of his that I weighed, one was 10 pounds and the other was 12.5 pounds. Dick Taylor (MA) landed the biggest cusk at 11.25 pounds, almost a Maine state trophy. He landed the hard luck award for losing a jig, the only angler to do so!
I received two donations sponsoring me in my cancer research project with the Pan-Mass Challenge. One was a $50.00 donation from David Abood. The other was a very generous $300.00 donation from Harold Peck (NY). Harold and another angler used to fish with me in the old days. The last couple of years I have seen him at one of the Barnacle Billy's restaurants, where I saw him tonight. He is always very generous in his donations. Thank you both so very much for your support. I appreciate it so much!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 37°F, the sky was clear, there was very little wind out of the north ashore but showed eighteen knots average from the offshore weather buoys and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The wind blew out of the north northeast at fifteen knots with the occasional gust to eighteen or nineteen knots. The wind dropped as the day progressed. There was no wind at all in Ogunquit at 3:30 PM. By 4:30 PM, the wind was starting to blow out of the south. The wind was blowing lightly out of the southwest when I went to bed. The visibility was excellent all day. The sky was clear. The highest air temperature that I saw was 52°F. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 68°F (with a low of 46°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 52°F (with a low of 42°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 52°F (with a low of 33°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the northeast at fifteen knots or more to start and then backed off to about ten knots. Later, the northeast wind dropped from ten to five knots. Seas were four to six feet in the morning, a chop combined with a left over chop/swell, to about two feet in the afternoon. The air temperature reached a high of 54°F. The visibility ranged to over twenty miles. The tide (current) was moderate. The sky was clear and sunny. The surface water temperature reached a high of 55°F.
The fishing was just shy of excellent. It could have been excellent if there had been better weather conditions and there weren't so many small pollock. There wasn't a single dogfish caught today! The catching was excellent. Landings were good. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. Legal landings also included eight haddock, two redfish, nineteen cusk, a whiting and a monkfish. Released fish included over a hundred cod from 5 to 15.25 pounds, thirty small cod, three sub-legal haddock and over a hundred small pollock. Drifting was the method. Jigs and flies caught the lion's share of the fish.
Tim Rozan (ME) was the fisherman of the day. In fact, it was the Tim Rozan show today. He was high hook with the most legal fish, by far. And he won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 16.5 pound pollock. I think his good luck is a matter of skill and the fact that he has become a Leicester City fan. Go Foxes! Mike Morin (NH) caught the second and third largest fish of the trip, the 15.25 pound cod, mentioned in the previous paragraph, and a 13 pound cod. He also tied for the fourth largest fish with a 12 pound pollock. He was the only angler to catch a monkfish. It weighed 4 pounds.
Other Angler highlights: Buzz Leonard (ME) caught an 11 pound cod and a 10 pound cod. His largest pollock weighed 10 pounds. Rory MacEachern (ME) caught a 10 pound cod and a 10.5 pound cod. Jonathan "Griff" Griffin (MA) tied with Mike for the fourth largest fish. Griff had two. One was a 12 pound cod. The other was a 12 pound pollock. Marty Buskey (NY) landed the hardest luck of the trip award for getting sick. I'm not so sure he was sea sick, though. Yes, he was hurling. And the pictures taken of him were gruesome - too gruesome to show here. But I've never known Marty to ever get sick! He's been fishing with us for years and in much rougher weather. Even at the dock, he had chills. Hopefully, he will be okay tomorrow. Luckily he is staying overnight before driving home. He was the only angler to get sick today.
I received another two donations sponsoring me in the Pan-Mass Challenge, a cycling event to raise funds to fight cancer. Marty Buskey, today's high hurler, and his wife, Elise, donated $50.00 while Dave Haberl (VT) donated $60.00. Thank you all for your help. Marty & Elise have given me a number of $50.00 checks this year already. Dave donates every time he fishes with us. This is very much appreciated!
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 35°F, the sky was clear, there was no wind to write about and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. It was another beautiful fall day today ashore. The sky was clear all day. The visibility was excellent. The wind was light all day. It blew out of the west all morning at speeds less than five knots. After noon, the wind became established out of the south. Wind speeds never got over eight knots, if it ever blew that strong anyway. The air temperature never got to 60°F but for a degree. There was frost on the ramp and on the bench seats of the Bunny Clark at 6:00 AM. At 7:00 AM, we saw sea smoke for the first time after last winter. It's coming! In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 55°F (with a low of 40°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 61°F (with a low of 26°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 58°F (with a low of 30°F).
On the fishing grounds, there was zero wind all day. The ocean was flat calm. Accordingly, there was no tide (current). The air temperature reached a high of 63°F under the canopy top. It was warmer in the sun on deck. And the sun was plentiful and bright, the sky nearly cloudless all day. The visibility ranged to over twenty miles. The surface water temperature reached a high of 55°F.
The fishing was very good, only pushed to the lower category because of the dogfish and small pollock that were discarded in place of the desired species. The catching was very good. Landings were fair. Legal landings included eight haddock, one redfish, eight cusk, nine whiting, a white hake, ten red hake and fifteen mackerel. Released fish included forty or more dogfish, fifteen cod over 5 pounds, ten small cod, five sub-legal haddock, over sixty small pollock, two redfish and a couple mackerel. Drifting was the method. All terminal gear worked worked equally well.
Shakeal President (MA) was the fisherman of the day. He was high hook with the most legal fish, by far. And he won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 9 pound cod. There was a tie for second place. Naty Baez (MA) and Tristan Winslow (MA) both caught fish that weighed 7 pounds. Naty's was a 7 pound cusk. Tristan's was a 7 pound cod.
Other Angler Highlights: Leann Perry (MA) landed the hardest luck of the trip award for catching the most dogfish!
At 4:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 39°F, the sky was clear, the wind was light from the west and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. Ashore, it was a beautiful sunny day again with light wind and fairly warm/mild air temperatures. The wind blew lightly out of the west to northwest in the morning, dropped to zero around noon and then hauled out of the south for the rest of the day. Wind speeds might have reached ten knots after sunset but never reached even eight knots during the afternoon. The ocean along the shore was calm. The highest air temperature that I saw was 62°F. The visibility was excellent. The sky was clear and sunny all day. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 63°F (with a low of 39°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 69°F (with a low of 26°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 61°F (with a low of 30°F).
On the fishing grounds, the wind blew out of the southwest or west at five to ten knots. The ocean was calm with no discernable swell. The air temperature was mild; Ian didn't take a temperature reading. The visibility ranged to over twenty miles. The sky was clear and sunny. The tide (current) was light. The surface water temperature reached a high of 54°F.
The fishing was excellent today. Yes, they did catch some dogfish in some areas that Ian wanted to try. But the best fishing was away from the dogs and not so good where the dogs were the thickest. The catching was very good. Landings were good to very good. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far. Legal landings also included five haddock, ten white hake, six redfish, one cusk, six whiting and twenty-five mackerel. Released fish included fifty dogfish, thirty cod of 5 pounds or more, eight small cod, one sub-legal haddock, forty-five sub-legal pollock and a couple mackerel. They drift fished the whole trip. No one used bait. Only jigs and cod flies were used.
Ian couldn't tell me who was high hook. Jasamar Domingos (NJ) won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 44 pound Maine state trophy white hake. It wasn't a particularly long fish but the girth was very impressive. Captain Ian took a picture of Jasamar holding his big fish. This digital image appears on the left. This hake is the largest hake of the Bunny Clark fishing season so far. Marko Nunes (MA) won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish, a 28 pound Maine state trophy white hake. Marko also caught an 18 pound white hake and a 17 pound white hake. Gui (last name withheld - NY) caught the third largest fish, a 24.5 pound white hake. Gui's biggest pollock weighed 13.25 pounds. He also caught a 22.5 pound white hake, a 16 pound white hake and a 22.5 pound white hake.
Other Angler Highlights: Ley (MA) caught a 12 pound pollock and a 16 pound pollock, his two biggest fish. Gilmar Lira (NJ) landed a 12.5 pound pollock. Rony Holtz (MA) boated a double that included a 15 pound pollock and an 8 pound pollock, both fish caught on the same line at the same time. He also caught a 14 pound pollock. Nilton landed a 13 pound pollock and a 17.5 pound pollock, his two biggest fish. Santiago Gonzalez (NY) caught the largest double of the day. His double included a 12 pound pollock and a 19 pound pollock. This is the fourth largest double of the Bunny Clark fishing season so far. He also caught a hake that weighed 15 pounds. Roger Carvalho (MD) caught the second largest double of the day. Roger's double included a 16 pound pollock and a 14 pound double. This is the Bunny Clark's sixth largest double of the season so far. Sergio Augiar (MA) caught a 17 pound white hake, his best fish. Nilton Silva (MA) boated a 24 pound white hake.
Ed Ameida (MA) landed the hard luck award for losing two jigs.
At 5:00 AM EDT the air temperature was 45°F, the sky was partly cloudy, the wind was blowing out of the southwest at fifteen knots and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. It was another beautiful fall day today. The wind continued to blow out of the southwest at ten to fifteen knots along the shore. After noon, the wind backed out of the south and blew a bit harder or about fifteen to twenty knots. However, the wind was much more steady than the earlier wind direction. The wind had dropped to ten knots by 7:00 PM. The air temperature reached a high of 65°F in Ogunquit. The visibility was excellent. The sky was clear and sunny all day. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 68°F (with a low of 45°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 68°F (with a low of 28°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 62°F (with a low of 37°F).
Yesterday was our last day at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. We are now closed for the season at both restaurants. So today was a reorganizing day. That meant calling all the vendors so that we could have most of our product taken back. There was very much to do. In fact, I got up at 2:00 AM to make sure I could get the important stuff completed before 3:00 PM.
I also spent an hour and a half cleaning up the engine room and working on the engine. The Bunny Clark is now ready for fishing!
At 3:00 AM EDT the air temperature was a balmy 54°F, the sky was partly cloudy, there was no wind in Perkins Cove, the Lightship buoy off Portland was showing about nine knots of southwest wind and the visibility over the ocean was very good in some haze.
The ride to the fishing grounds was fairly easy with winds out of the southwest at ten knots, more or less with a two foot chop. Seas were on the beam. The wind decreased as we got further out. The sky was mostly clear during this period. The visibility was very good at least. The air temperature was 57°F all the way to the grounds..
On the fishing grounds, we saw the last of the southwest wind. It came southerly after the first stop. Ten knots again. Seas were chops of a foot or two. But this gradually died out. The last two hours of the day were as calm as it gets over an underlying long sea swell of about a couple feet. The sky became mostly cloudy and then overcast. It rained occasionally but so very little that if was never necessary to don full oil gear. I wore bibs all day without an oil top and, really, never noticed the difference. The visibility hung around twenty or more miles. The air temperature reached a high of 61°F. The tide (current) was light. The surface water temperature reached a high of 54.5°F.
Ashore, these were the air temperatures in selected New England cities: In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 65°F (with a low of 57°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 65°F (with a low of 46°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 61°F (with a low of 47°F).
The fishing was excellent. The drift was perfect, there were few dogfish, the weather was perfect and there were very few small pollock and mackerel. The catching and landings were very good, excellent for size. Most legal fish landed were pollock, by far, followed by white hake. This was the best trip for white hake landings and for trophy hake this season. Legal landings also included two redfish, eleven cusk, a monkfish, two red hake and sixteen mackerel. Released fish included twenty-two dogfish, a 17 pound cod, seventeen sub-legal pollock, a mackerel and two white hake. We drift fished and anchored. Both methods worked very well. All terminal gear worked well.
Jim Feeney (MA) was the fisherman of the day. He was high hook with the most legal fish, he caught the most "counters" of any angler during any single Bunny Clark trip this season and he won the boat pool for the largest fish with the largest fish, a 41.5 pound Maine state trophy hake. This hake is our second largest of the 2022 Bunny Clark fishing season. I took a picture of Jim, with this hake, almost the last fish of the trip. This digital image showing Jim holding his fish beside the fillet table, appears on the left. If he wasn't such a big strong guy this fish would have looked much bigger! He also won the boat pool for the second largest fish with the second largest fish, a 38.5 pound Maine state trophy hake. This is the fifth largest hake of the Bunny Clark season. I also took a picture of Jim holding this huge hake with Fred Kunz (NH) in the background holding a smaller hake that he caught while I was taking the picture of Jim. Deckhand, Danny DellaMonica, can be seen in the foreground bagging fillets. This digital image appears on the right. Jim caught at least five pollock over 10 pounds (along with his other pollock). Some of the other fish of his that I weighed included a 27 pound Maine state trophy hake, a 36.5 pound Maine state trophy hake, a 27 pound Maine state trophy hake, another 27 pound Maine state trophy hake, a 20 pound white hake and a 15 pound white hake. It was the Jim Feeney show. And what a show it was! I felt so lucky to be here to witness it.
Jim was Fred Kunz, who was second hook today. His tally included five counters, the third most counters for an angler attending a singe fishing trip on the Bunny Clark this season. As was with Jim, Fred's total fish count was off the charts. He tied for the boat pool for the third largest fish with a 37 pound Maine state trophy hake. There was another 37 pound Maine state trophy hake caught by Ian Gaudreau (RI) who was also in the boat pool for the third largest fish; it was the only boat pool that Ian entered! Both anglers tied for the Bunny Clark's ninth largest hake of the season. Some of Fred's fish included a 34.5 pound Maine state trophy hake, a 12 pound pollock, a 22 pound white hake, a 34 pound Maine state trophy hake, a 10.5 pound pollock and a 16 pound white hake. Some of Ian's other good fish included a 33.5 pound Maine state trophy hake, an 11 pound pollock and a 35.5 pound Maine state trophy hake. Ian had never caught a hake before this day, in his life!
Jason O'Connor (ME) became the angler to land the second most counters on a single Bunny Clark fishing trip with six fish. His biggest fish was a 35 pound Maine state trophy white hake. Some of his other fish included a 15 pound white hake, a 21 pound white hake, a 12 pound pollock, a 26 pound Maine state trophy white hake, a 20 pound white hake and an 18 pound white hake.
Other Angler Highlights: Matt Tingos (NH) landed a 30 pound Maine state trophy hake, a 24 pound white hake, a few good sized pollock that I didn't weigh and a 24.5 pound white hake. Danny Rosario (MA) caught the only cod of the trip. It weighed 17 pounds, the largest fish that he has ever caught. His largest pollock weighed 12 pounds. John Tanguay (ME) boated an 11.5 pound pollock and a 13.5 pound pollock. Ken Raabe (NJ) caught the second largest pollock at 15 pounds. He also caught an 18 pound white hake and a white hake that weighed 18.5 pounds. Jeff Larson (NH) landed a 9 pound monkfish, a tie for the third largest monkfish of the season. His two best fish included a 25.5 pound Maine state trophy hake and a 26 pound Maine state trophy hake. Greg White (MA) caught the best double of the trip. His catch included a 10 pound pollock and a 12.5 pound pollock, both caught on the same line at the same time!
And then there was John Mundie, our only representative from the state of Vermont. John has a heart of gold. But he exemplifies the sign I used to have over the helm; "Resist the Urge to Help". During one instance, he was trying to help a fellow angler gaff a fish when he dropped my jig stick overboard. Luckily, there was enough current that another angler hooked his line. I was watching carefully, hoping that this would happen. And I did recognize it right away. I ended up pulling his rod in by hand. Then we talked. And, by God, he listened! His largest fish was a 14.5 pound pollock.
Kevin White (ME) landed a 28 pound Maine state trophy white hake. He also caught a 22.5 pound white hake. Dave Sher (NH) caught the largest pollock at 15.5 pounds. Tom Miller (NH) caught a 22 pound white hake and a 19 pound white hake. David Abood (NH) boated a 23 pound white hake, the last fish caught on the Bunny Clark for the 2022 fishing season. We will not see David next year as he is traveling abroad. Thank you, David, for your time with us this fall. It was fun!
I received several donations sponsoring me in my cancer fund raising cycling event called the Pan-Mass Challenge today. Jim Feeney (MA) gave a very generous $420.00 (He and his wife, Angela, have seriously helped since I started this endeavor.), Don & Shirley Spencer (VT) donated $50.00 (They have been involved in donating to my cancer project from 2007.), Matt Tingos for $20.00 and Jeff Larson for a generous $100.00. Thank you all so very much for your support and generosity. Many of you have helped me out over the years which I greatly appreciate. Thanks again!
At 5:30 AM EDT the air temperature was 51°F, the sky was clear, the wind was blowing out of the northwest at ten knots and the visibility over the ocean was very good in haze. Today was an unbelievable day for November. The air temperature got up to 68°F by 1:00 PM. There was very little wind. In fact, I never did see anything close to five knots for most of the day. The ocean along the shore was calm. The visibility remained very good in a bit of haze. The sky was sunny all day. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 69°F (with a low of 49°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 68°F (with a low of 34°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 65°F (with a low of 36°F).
Today was spent mostly with editing the website, working with Deb on getting all the trophy information sent to the Maine Department of Marine Resources, organizing winter projects for Barnacle Billy's, planning out the winter Bunny Clark projects, working with our carpenter on a bulkhead renewal project at home, working with Navtronics out of York, Maine on a track plotter issue on the Bunny Clark and just trying to wrap up end of the year stuff. It seemed like a long day.
I had started work at 3:00 AM this morning. By 4:00 PM, I was done. So I jumped on the bike for a thirty mile ride, ending up back at the house at 6:00 PM.
At 5:30 AM EDT the air temperature was 47°F, the sky was clear, there was not enough wind to write about and the visibility over the ocean was excellent. The visibility remained excellent for the day. The sky was clear and sunny all day as well. There was no wind all morning. The ocean along the shore was calm. After noon, the wind became established out of the south. Wind speeds increased to ten knots by mid afternoon. By sunset, the southerly wind was blowing at fifteen knots. I lost track of the wind after 6:00 PM. The highest air temperature that I saw in Perkins Cove was 60°F. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 61°F (with a low of 46°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 66°F (with a low of 27°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 58°F (with a low of 31°F).
Navtronics was down on the Bunny Clark again today, finishing up all the electronics items that I had requested to be resolved. It was nice that they could come right down and get that out of the way for me so I could move on to something else.
Ian Keniston and Danny DellaMonica continued the work they started yesterday, stripping the Bunny Clark to get her ready for haul out. They worked all day at this.
I continued doing what I do every fall. This includes finalizing items with the restaurants & Bunny Clark and running around getting things done. I had started work at 3:30 AM. So I stopped work to jump on the bike at 3:30 PM. I've got to maintain my cycling fitness for next year's Pan-Mass Challenge!
And we have an issue with Gill, our border collie. Lately, he has been jumping on the bed, pulling the covers back and nestling himself down on the sheets that we sleep on at night. This does not make Deb happy as she complains about sleeping in hair at bedtime. I took a picture of Gill in the act. This shot appears on the left, as if you didn't know. Notice the smug look on his face. It certainly looks to me that he is proud of himself. It really makes me laugh. But maybe I wouldn't be so happy if he were on my side of the bed!
I spent this day getting ready for a trip with my friend, Andy Armitage, to England to watch two English Premier League football games with Leicester City, an England League Cup game with Leicester City/Newport County and another League Cup game featuring Nottingham Forest/Tottenham. Andy got me hooked on English football five years ago before the last World Cup. I've been super interested ever since, so much so that I don't pay very much attention to American sports. I do love the Bruins but the NHL has become so diluted and commercialized as to not be nearly as much fun as it used to be. We shall see if this is a passing fancy or something I will stay interested in going forward.
Andy and I flew out of Boston to London today.
At 5:00 AM EST, the air temperature was 33°F, the visibility was excellent, the sky was clear and the wind was blowing out of the northwest at twenty knots, more or less. The wind blew out of the northwest or west northwest all day. Wind speeds of twenty knots with higher gusts were prevalent all day. The sky was clear with inter spaced clouds. The highest air temperature that I saw was 41°F. In Boston, Massachusetts (Logan International Airport) the high air temperature was 44°F (with a low of 35°F). The Concord, New Hampshire's high temperature was 41°F (with a low of 24°F). The high air temperature at the Portland International Jetport, Portland, Maine was 40°F (with a low of 26°F).
Today was spent getting blood work done before a physical on Wednesday, working with my mother's doctor at 8:15 AM on a teleconference, attending the New England Fishery Management Council's Recreational Advisory Panel meeting via Webinar at 9:30 AM and, then, organizing the rest of the week with the Bunny Clark haul out and wrapping up the end of season cleaning at Barnacle Billy's restaurants.
My time in England was spent riding road bikes with Andy around the East Midlands, English countryside along with driving to the various football games that we attended. We ended up covering 335 miles on bikes. The weather was mild with two drizzly days. Most of the air temperatures we rode or watched games in were in the low 50s. But we did have one riding day where it was sunny with the air temperature reaching 60°F.
Meanwhile, here in southern Maine, the whole time that we were gone was mild. These were the high and low air temperatures in Portland, Maine while we were in England:
November 3, 2022: High: 58°F Low: 31°F
November 4, 2022: High: 69°F Low: 46°F
November 5, 2022: High: 75°F Low: 55°F
November 6, 2022: High: 69°F Low: 59°F
November 7, 2022: High: 72°F Low: 47°F
November 8, 2022: High: 49°F Low: 35°F
November 9, 2022: High: 48°F Low: 26°F
November 10, 2022: High: 68°F Low: 37°F
November 11, 2022: High: 69°F Low: 52°F
November 12, 2022: High: 73°F Low: 52°F
November 13, 2022: High: 55°F Low: 35°F
I received a wonderfully generous donation of $1,100.00 sponsoring me in this season's Pan-Mass Challenge while I was gone on vacation. This from Connie Griffin (and Mike Harris), both from Maine. As you should know by now, cancer never sleeps and my fund raising continues until the December 31, 2022. The research for a cancer cure should never stop so neither should the fund raising. Some people think of the Pan-Mass Challenge as a cycling event first. I think of the fund raising as my number one priority and as a means to keep working on new ideas to help individuals fight the disease. Thank you so much, Connie, for your supreme help in this effort. It means a great deal to me and I truly appreciate it!
Today's work centered around the engine of the Bunny Clark. Cody from Power Products in Portland came down to adjust the valves, change the coolant and check the engine for water leaks and oil leaks. The seal on the back of the raw water pump is going so I will have to replace it. Right now, however, you can't find one! I will know more on this tomorrow. I had Ian Keniston on the boat helping Cody while I moved three tons of pellets (for the pellet stove) from a place outside to the garage. Cody had also brought oil, alternators and coolant from Portland that had to be stowed. So I did that as well. Plus, the generator at the house needed to be worked on too. So I had a man down working on that at the same time.
The rest of the day was spent getting things in order.
I have to make a few comments about the Recreational Advisory Panel meeting that took place on Monday. Before the meeting we had reports from the statistical committees (for lack of a better word to describe these groups) associated with the New England Fishery Management Council. I was very disappointed. The reason being, some of the conclusions that were drawn about the status of the various species of groundfish spawning stock biomass and the status of the stocks in general was way off the mark. The pollock stock was deemed to be not over fished with no over fishing occurring, for example. Bullshit! I have never seen the stocks so low in my life. And it's not just in the areas that I fish. It's everywhere. There is a huge deficit in the number of the larger spawning pollock. The haddock stocks are not over fished, according to the NEFMC, but over fishing is occurring. Haddock stocks are definitely down. Once the summer came last season, the availability of haddock went way down. But, then, the availability of dogfish went way up. So this was one factor with respect to haddock landings. It's certainly the reason that we saw less halibut, as it was the season before as well. The meeting danced around the cod situation at all angles. We all know that the cod stocks are down. But no one really wanted to get into the specifics. Wolffish are considered over fished but deemed that no over fishing is occurring. This was the worst year for catching wolffish that I have ever seen. We do not target wolffish. And we can't keep wolffish. But even incidentally we have caught many less wolffish than we caught last season or any previous season.
The problem is, the NEFMC can't know the specifics. In my mind, it's a best guess situation at best. I'm not saying that those who make up the work force in and around the NEFMC are not doing their job. They are working hard at it. As are the employees of the National Marine Fishery Service. First, they don't have the tools to work with. Second, data is way too late in the sourcing. But, third, I don't believe they have a handle on what a healthy fishery should look like. To me, we are so far off from what a healthy fishery should look like that it's laughable. Is it because I'm of the age where I experienced the great fishery that we had before the advent of these superior electronics? We still are experiencing growing pains as to how to deal with these electronics that make fishermen experts before they even step on a boat in this day and age. But I'm really not happy with the way our managers are handling the fishery or the opinions expressed by fishery managers. All you have to do is look at Norway and how well they have handled their fishery. Anyway, the RAP meeting was depressing to me.
The long and the short of all this is that we will have to take cuts in haddock landings. I'm okay with that. Probably cod as well. The interaction with both species will be thought about and challenged with more cuts. I'm okay with that as well. But will this help? Probably not. The problem is not the recreational angler. Although, the recreational angler may help solve the problem, it's the way the commercial fishery is handled, where the real problem can be found. Until that is solved, it will be more of the same, I am afraid. I truly hope I am wrong. But I have seen too much in at least sixty years of being involved in this fishery to be very confident of a great outcome.
The next RAP meeting will take place on December 1, 2022. Stay tuned.
I spent the morning going through my annual physical at the doctor's office. Everything was fine except for my blood pressure, which was a bit elevated. He didn't seem too worried about that but did say that he wanted me to check it periodically and mail him in a copy of the results. I wasn't going to get another Covid-19 booster but he talked me into it. So, at noon, I was in Kennebunk getting a flu shot and my third Covid booster. The rest of the afternoon was spent planning the rest of my week and going down the list of things that I have to get done.
The very last thing I did today was to send a group test to the Barnacle Billy's management crew for a meeting tomorrow afternoon so I can get an idea what kind of improvements and financial commitments I need to make in order to make it a more efficient working year next season. Things like gift cards on line and a consolidated POS system are on the top of my list. Also, changes in the kitchen are another area that I would like to explore.
I was embroiled in meetings all day or getting prepared for meetings. All were at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. The last meeting was with the management crew, talking about upcoming projects and future repairs. Both meetings went very well.
In the meantime, I got the nod to bring my boat to the Kittery Point Yacht Yard in Eliot. There was no place on the floats there until today. It's nice to have the boat over there as we can take all the electronics off once the Bunny Clark is there. I like to have some of the electronics off, but not all, before I make the trip from Ogunquit to Kittery. Once we get the BC there, we can take the radar mast off and prepare the boat for being hauled over the road. The Bunny Clark is due to be hauled on Monday, the trip over the road on Monday afternoon. Then, USCG hull inspection commences the next day after lunch. So we have our work cut out for us.
My day today centered around bringing the Bunny Clark to Kittery Point Yacht Yard in Eliot, Maine. This meant taking the boat along the coast and sailing up the Piscataqua River, under three bridges and finding the floats at the Yard. At this point of the year, the boat is stripped leaving just the essentials needed in case of a breakdown or, God forbid, some calamity. But I never take the boat across in heavy weather or in the fog. I have done this for forty years without a problem. And today was no exception.
I did have a small incursion by the USCG about two miles northeast of the 2KR buoy at the mouth of the river. I could see this small boat headed in my direction, moving right along. With what looked like a small center console; from a distance it looked like a small fishing boat. But as it got closer I knew exactly what it was. I also knew that I was the only boat within sight. This also meant that there was a good chance that I would be boarded. Sure enough, they passed me on my port side and banked a hard left turn and came up behind me. I just kept steering toward my destination until the blue lights came on. I guess they tried to call me but I had the radio turned down and didn't hear them.
After stopping with them alongside, they inquired as to when I was last boarded. I don't think the Bunny Clark was boarded this year except for the USCG topside inspection in April. We had a two foot chop going at the time. So the best method for them to jump aboard was if I was making way into the chop. That turned out to be easy enough. They were soon aboard as Ian Keniston and Danny DellaMonica waited for me at KPYY. A man and a woman jumped aboard. She did all the paperwork while the other inspected the boat for safety equipment. Of course, I didn't have the full compliment as we had stripped the boat almost as far as it could be stripped. I was missing a few things. So they had no choice but to write me up. In the end, I was cited for not being in compliance. And this, of course, is their job. I was nice as I could be to them. And I do respect what they do. And they have helped me out so many times in the sixty years that I have been running different vessels. But I never feel great about being stopped, whether it's in a car on the highway, out hunting or in a boat.
So I received a citation and was told that I would be contacted. I have been boarded many times by the USCG. I have never been cited until today. It was my own fault. I could have had the flares aboard. I could have had my documentation. These were things I could have easily taken home with me after I had reached my destination. But I did have all I needed in case I had a problem, being that close to shore. I even grabbed a survival suit, albeit with the F/V Petrel's insignia on it - which they called my attention to. I did explain my predicament. And they did listen. But their job is to maintain safety at sea. For their part, they were very respectful, courteous and efficient. What more can you ask? I've been boarded by men with AK47s in Haiti wearing jackboots. And I have had other encounters in other third world countries. So I am very happy that I live in the US and operate in US waters now.
I took a picture of the two inspectors leaving the Bunny Clark after the boarding. This digital image appears on the left.
I did finally make it up the river to my intended destination with Ian and Danny waiting for me. Once the boat was tied up, I went home to check on the restaurants and do some deck work. They stayed with the boat until the electronics were removed and the Bunny Clark was ship-shape.
I, pretty much, took the day off. Some of my friends, all of whom I met through the Maine Coast Cycling Club, organized a ride that left the Health Food Store in Kennebunk. So I attended that. I had planned to make this my long ride for the week. This I did, recording just shy of eighty-two miles. It was cool riding, temperature wise, but I was dressed for it.
Our daughter and her husband drove up from New Jersey this weekend with their new baby, Ben William (three months old now). They were off to a wedding at 2:00 PM so I had to be back before then to help Deb with the baby sitting. This I did. So the rest of the day was spent at home working on that. He is a bit colic, like my daughter, Halley, was. So it brought back memories. But it was also pretty fun. I know; I'm a sap.
Today is Maine Coast Cycling Club day or, at least, morning. It was the first time that I might have been able to relax at the Club once the ride was over. This did not happen. The rides now leave at 9:00 AM. That's a bit late for me. Normally, they leave at 8:00 AM which means that they are done by 10:30 AM. Leaving at 9:00 AM means a finishing time an hour later. The tide today was around 1:00 PM. And I knew the wind would come an hour or so before the tide. And I really didn't want to be riding on the roads with a gale of northwest wind blowing me around. So I left a little earlier so that I could get twenty-one miles in before the start of the ride in Kennebunk. Then I left the group early and made my way home alone, getting there by 11:45 AM. And sixty-two miles was what I wanted to achieve anyway. So it all worked out.
The rest of the day was spent at home with Deb, my daughter, Halley, her husband, Nick, and the new addition, Ben! Also, Gill (our border collie) and I visited my mother and went back and forth to the Cove where I had lobsters stored in a dummy off our boat, the Petrel. Gill enjoys being sculled in the skiff out to the boat and back, his front two paws on the bow thwart, nose pointed in the direction we are headed. We had lobsters for dinner tonight.
When I first got home I was able to see most of the Ecuador/Qatar World Cup opening game. That is, I saw all but the scoring. Despite having ten years to pull a team together, the Qatar team did not look very good. And I was told that it's the first time that the host team lost the opener.
And I did spend quite a bit of time planning for tomorrow and working out some employee details at the restaurant. Tomorrow will be the last day of cleanup at Barnacle Billy's, Etc. And tomorrow we haul the Bunny Clark out of the water. It's also the day that we haul the Bunny Clark over the road to it's winter storage and work facility. Another winter and forty seasons gone. So hard to believe!
Today was centered around getting the Bunny Clark hauled out of the water and moving the boat to it's over-wintering place in York. I met Ian Keniston at Kittery Point Yacht Yard in Eliot, Maine before 7:30 AM. The two of us worked on the Bunny Clark for most of the morning, starting with warming the engine up and going through the winterizing procedures.
KPYY was, and always is, very helpful to us, including today. By 8:00 AM, the Bunny Clark was hauled out of the water and up the ramp. I took a picture of the boat coming out. This digital image appears on the left. Dave Simonelli was extremely helpful in getting the boat hauled, leaving the boat until Ian and I had cleaned the hull, taking the boat up into the yard to power-wash the hull properly and bringing it back down near the launching ramp so Ian and Danny DellaMonica, who showed up at 10:30 AM, could take items off the boat and I could winterize the engine. After 1:00 PM, Independent Boat Haulers came down with a trailer to move the boat to "The Barn".
Before that, I went to check on the barn and David Pease for advice with some boat issues. Ian & Danny went to get the items off the boat stowed. They also brought the propeller to the house for me later in the day. We have an electrolysis problem that developed earlier in the year. I now, pretty much, know why this happened. So I'll have to take steps to remedy this. In the meantime, I was invited to Hurricane's Restaurant in Kennebunkport to watch the USA/Wales World Cup "fulbol" match. At 5:00 PM, I met Ian & Danny back at the house where we cleaned up and stowed some electronics. We worked until 6:30 PM before calling it a day.
I received a generous $100.00 donation sponsoring me in this year's Pan-Mass Challenge today from Peter Allaire (MA). Peter has sponsored me many times before. This was completed as an "eGift" through the PMC site, also covering the 2.55% credit card processing fee! Thank you so much, Peter. I so appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity and, mostly, the support. All the best to you this winter!
After I finished this post, I took the Bunny Clark's propeller to H & H Propeller and Shaft in Salem, Massachusetts. Signs of electrolysis had me worried so I wanted to make sure that it could be reconditioned to put back on the Bunny Clark. They invited me into their machine shop where they ground away on the blades and walked me through the process and what they could do. It turns out that the wheel will be okay but it won't have the meat on it that a new wheel would have. So it would not be as strong if the wheel hit something. At any rate, I left the wheel there to have it reconditioned. It won't be ready for a month or so.
I drove to the Bunny Clark after that to confer with David Pease. Then I went home. I had calls to make that I could not make on the road. At 12:30 PM, I drove back to the Bunny Clark where I met U.S. Coast Guard inspector, Mark Amero for the first time. I had contacted him early about doing the two year hull inspection that is required. He had another boat to inspect earlier today and was not sure exactly what time he could do it. But he said the he would trip to be there at 1:00 PM. He called when I was home and ended up being exactly on time. The inspection took about an hour, more or less. The state of the hull, thru hull fittings, rudder, shaft wheel, topsides, freeing ports, all the compartments, bulkheads, deck, fire extinguishers, rail height, crash bulkhead, running lights, etc. were all discussed and observed. He was very thorough and found things that he will revisit during the in water topside inspection but there was nothing that really needed to be addressed at this time. I am very transparent during these inspections. But, particularly with a new inspector, I try to be as forthcoming as I can be and objective with respect to what we are both trying to achieve; which is a safe working platform for all. There is never any use in hiding stuff. And it's nice to not have things to hide. I sleep better, for sure!
The rest of the day was spent getting things in order and making more phone calls. Time to get things going to get ready for next season. It won't be long before April will be here again. I hope I'm here as well!
I spent the time from early in the morning until 1:00 PM getting things organized for the winter's Bunny Clark work. At one point, I brought the Bunny Clark's side curtains to Canvasworks to get them repaired before we launch in April.
Ian Keniston and Danny DellaMonica worked at closing up the barn around the Bunny Clark so their work can be heated. At the same time I had the fuel tank filled there. Now we are able to work on the Bunny Clark until she is ready to go again in the spring.
I stayed away from the World Cup games for today, as much as I wanted to see the Canada/Belgium game. And, from what I heard, Canada lost but had the most shots on goal and the most crosses. They did not have the most possession, though. Most pundits thought that Canada was robbed. Canada has never scored a goal in a World Cup competition. But Canada does deserve a goal and I suspect will do much better going forward. They are considered a better team than the USA. Canada hasn't been able to qualify for the World Cup since 1986, our best big pollock year on the Bunny Clark and three years after the Bunny Clark was launched!
I spent very little time working today. I did ride my bike with the MC3 group out of Kennebunkport, an annual event of sorts. And we did spent time with my niece's family, along with my sister, Meg, and my PMC dory mate, Hez Haseltine. It was a very good Thanksgiving. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.
I spent some time this morning adding individual ocean/land weather reporting stations, including offshore buoys, to my weather page on the Bunny Clark website. The National Weather Service is going to discontinue the weather maps with the buoys that you can click on, which has been so helpful to me. Or to be specific, you may get the chart with the buoys that you can click on but it will only show you the weather at the last recording. As it is now, you don't get the twenty-four hour weather history that I like to see. By posting the individual buoys, each one has the history included.
The rest of the morning was spent conferring with my web designer who is building the new Barnacle Billy's site. I've been living with the old site for way too long. I don't have the mobility that I have with my own site here. So it's very hard to change the menu or menu options, I can't put pictures in without it costing $100 every time I want to do so and I also can't offer gift cards, which I would like to do. In a word, it's obtuse. So most of today was spent finding digital images that we can use on the new site. We also went over the different sections of the site.
This left me just time enough to jump in the truck and drive a half hour to watch the World Cup match of the US vs England. There are many Brits in Kennebunkport, a couple of whom have become great friends of mine. Andy Armitage, one of the UK's best distance runners in the '80s is one. He is the one who turned me on to "futbol" five years ago. The Premier League has been my love ever since. So it was a good time. My daughter, Halley, in the meantime, was watching the game with the USA's goal keeper's (Matt Turner) sister who lives next door to Halley's house in New Jersey. They have become good friends. And I have had a part is shuttling Barnacle Billy's rum punches down to both of them, my small contribution to the U.S. Men's National Team!
I was just as happy that the game was resolved to a 0 - 0 draw. It felt like a win to me. I know all the English players like I used to know all the NHL team players. I only know half of the US team. So, to me, knowing the English players like I do and how dangerous they can be, I was just hoping it wouldn't be a wholesale slaughter of this very young American team. I was proud of the US team. They played the best that I have ever seen them play. They were very defensive, they pressed when they should have pressed, they had the most chances and they worked hard. The only problem they had was the inability to capitalize on those chances. Pulisic hit the cross bar on a shot that could have gone in. And Weston McKennie launched two over the cross bar so high that I thought the ball would end up out of the stadium. I am exaggerating a bit. For England's part, Harry Kane almost had a goal. But that was about it.
I spent time with my mother, Bunny Clark Tower, after the game. She isn't doing as well, which is really sad. But I would not like to be going out of this world like she is. And sometimes I do wonder if we are being selfish in the way we are keeping her here. I do love my mother and I am bothered very much so with the quality of her life. And I also wonder how much of this life that she is really enjoying now.
From the beginning of the morning, I was working on setting up the Guestletter for another round, my fortieth Guestletter. This was before I posted this missive. I spent the rest of the morning on the bike. The rest of the day, after the bike, I spent working on family things and ordering reel parts. Ian (and, now, Danny DellaMonica) will be rebuilding reels this winter. But we need parts. Ian made a list and I put the order numbers and parts into an email to sent to Penn. Hopefully, I will find out Monday if we can get all the parts. I worry about supply chain issues that are still plaguing us in the restaurant world.
I also had a talk with Phil Eastman the other day, the God of Ipswich Bay & Southern Jeffrey's Ledge. It's interesting to listen to his take on the fishery. Phil and his family have Eastman Docks, the most solvent fleet of party fishing boats in northern New England or, maybe, New England. He represents a wonderful family that has been taking anglers fishing since before I ever knew about party fishing. He was saying that there are cod everywhere down where they are fishing. This was the first year that I haven't taken the Bunny Clark down in that area since I launched the Bunny Clark in 1983. One reason was the larger number of haddock offshore. The other reason being that the weather was good enough to take the boat offshore more often than previous years. But the third reason was that Ian was taking the boat down in northern part of that area. So I felt the need to look at other areas to see if I could find anything better. We did find more and bigger haddock. We also found more and bigger pollock. We also found bigger hake but no more hake than we were catching inside or in the areas that we fish on extreme day trips. But Ian felt the same; they could not get away from the cod to catch the other species while fishing in that area.
But Phil's comments that seemed so interesting to me was that there were so many cod. I didn't find that anywhere else where I fish. All the offshore spots I fished this late summer and fall had resident cod. Some were bigger than what we find inside, on average. But they were still resident fish. And, like Phil says, the cod that are showing up south of us are spawning fish. They do spawn twice, regardless of the scientific community catching on to this fact so late in my life. Ian told me that these are the first new fish that he has seen in many years. And if they are new, it's been ten or fifteen years since I have seen them. Is this a good thing? I would think so. But, to me, nothing has really changed in fishing techniques to bring the cod back. And it is certainly overfishing that is killing the cod population. Granted, commercial fishing had been cut back a lot in the last twenty years. But we also don't have to have as many boats in the water to catch the same number of fish, the technology has become so good. To Phil's point, we haven't seen as many cod in an area for quite a few years. Are they new fish? I would say so. Where did they come from? In the old days, when I found cod like this, I would tag them and find returns coming from Georges Bank and the Great South Channel/back of the Cape and the deep water around Franklin Swell. So it's interesting but I'm not sure what kind of conclusions you can draw from this. Like Phil, I'm just happy to see them but frustrated that we can't keep some.
The other fact that is interesting but not great is that Phil isn't seeing the haddock. This has been a salient feature for all of us since the middle of the summer and throughout the fall and winter. They are catching many more haddock south of the Cape (Cod). Could they have moved there? A commercial fishing friend of mine had a favorite saying when I was involved in commercial fishing before the Bunny Clark; "Fish have tails and they can swim." So maybe that's all that it is. They have moved. But maybe there are less. Certainly, of the powers that be in fishery management, if they feel that there are less fish, we, the recreational angler, will have to pay for this in new regulations, limiting us. But it is a "feeling" as I don't think they, the managers, really have a handle on all this. I would suspect that Phil agrees.
For most of the working morning, I spent my time on the Guestletter, particularly working on the Fisherman of the Year award. This is always one of my favorite parts of writing the Guestletter (annual newsletter).
Sunday is my day to get out on the bike - usually with the Maine Coast Cycling Club. When I'm working, I reserve every Sunday morning for riding. After the season, I am sometimes able to add more time. This was the case today. I had it in the back of my mind that I was going to do a century (100 miles or more). With 50 miles under my belt by mid morning, I figured; "What the heck." This was the first time this year that I rode over a hundred miles.
Afterward, I worked on family issues.
Today was a day of tying up loose ends and working on the Guestletter, mostly the Guesletter. Before noon, I had figured out all the stats about the best anglers of the Bunny Clark this season. Those items of interest included who won the most boat pools, who had high hook the most times, who had fish in the top five by weight per species, aces, biggest double, FY-'22, etc. It's always a fun journey for me. My next move will be to take notes on all the musings that I posted through the season. In this I'm looking for special features of the year and strange occurrences. I really don't like to read my own writing. But I do like to relive the events.
I went back and forth with Ian Keniston as well. He and Danny DellaMonica are working on rebuilding all our reels and some of our angler's reels. For Danny, this is a learning experience. For Ian, it's old hat. And he is very good at it, like he is with everything he does.
Tomorrow we will see the fate of the U.S. Men's National Team in the World Cup. If they win, they go through to the knock-out round. But they need to win. The game is also against Iran. Iran is a good team. So there are many political aspects that have been brought up surrounding the event.
I spent the day doing everything but not concentrating on any one thing for very long. Most was business oriented.
I did spend a solid hour going back and forth with Purefishing (Penn reel parts) for at least an hour about parts for the Penn 113H reels that Ian rebuilds every year. The reels use different side plates and such that don't fit the old reels. So if we can't get the old parts we, of course, can't rebuild the reels. I had variable success.
I stopped for the day at 1:00 PM and met friends at Hurricane's, a popular restaurant/bar in Kennebunkport, Maine. There we watched the USA/Iran and England/Wales World Cup "futbol" games. It was hard to concentrate on both so I keyed on the US game. I got home at 5:00 PM.
Today was a null day in many ways. I did get quite a bit done but there was much running around in almost a dream state. I limited my activity to things around the house and getting things rearranged after a hectic summer.
The day centered around my mother, Bunny Clark Tower, who passed away at 2:31 PM. I know that it's part of life. But it doesn't make it easy. And it certainly wasn't. Almost forty years to the day I had decided to name my, then, new fishing boat the Bunny Clark, after her. We were just getting started in building her. The hull was finished in Corea, Maine and we had her brought down to York, Maine to have David Pease finish her off, one of the best decisions of my life. For Christmas in 1982 one of my Christmas gifts to my mother was a sealed envelope with a hand written note inside saying that I had named my new boat after her. Now, forty years later, she is gone. Of course, she and my father will never leave my memory. Nor will all the times that defined my life with them be forgotten while I can still remember. But it's another stage in my life. And I realize that I have been very fortunate in all this that I had such wonderful parents who believed in me and what I accomplished. I did what I wanted to do with their blessings.
Please don't send flowers. If you do want to do something, you can donate to the Jimmy Fund, which she truly believed in, as I do, to promote cancer research.
Tomorrow I attend the next Groundfish Recreational Advisory Panel meeting as an advisor. This is an outside committee for the New England Fishery Management Council. I say outside because we advise the Groundfish Committee that advises the Council. Up for discussion will be the state of the groundfish stocks and what we, as recreational anglers, can do to help manage these stocks. We won't have all the information we need to make regulatory suggestions. But we will have discussions on the direction which we will be going. The haddock stock is down, the cod stock is down (with some glimmers of hope) and the pollock stocks are down. I don't expect to witness any new revelations. But if there are any earth shattering developments, I will write about them here tomorrow.
The Groundfish Recreational Advisory Panel meeting went from 9:30 AM until after noon. The whole meeting was a review of how we are going to manage ourselves and the parameters with which we were going to do so in the next year and following years. We discussed the rebuilding plan going forward with cod and haddock. The total allowable catch or total quotas for the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank will drop, as I see it. How this will effect the regulations for this upcoming season, starting May 1, 2023, I do not know. More data will be available at our January meeting. Haddock landings will be down when they look at the last four months of the year. I'm not sure about cod landings. This wasn't discussed as much.
I brought up the topic of gear modifications in hopes of making the recreational fishery a cleaner fishery. This to reduce the number of fish coming over the rail or, in other words, to decrease bycatch. My thoughts are in hopes of using this as a management tool going forward. Some of my ideas include limiting anglers to two hooks a line and eliminating treble hooks on jigs. As one of the members mentioned, and I do agree, there is no sense in implementing restrictions that don't have any value in the regulation process. Bottom line though, these things would help but there might not be any detectable benefit that could be gauged in the eyes of the managers, if gear restrictions were implemented. We shall see.
The rest of the day was spent working on family issues related to the happenings of yesterday. As the executor of my mother's estate, I have much on my plate. There were many phone calls to make and emails to send. On top of this, I was starting to get sick. Sore throat, being tired and body aches were the symptoms. I ended up spending two hours in bed dead asleep in the mid afternoon.
I received two donations sponsoring me in this last season's Pan-Mass Challenge today. Both donations were made "in memory of your mother, Bunny Clark (Tower)". One was for $100.00 from Ann-Marie & Brian Schofer (MA). The other was for $50.00 from one of the best hunter/fisherman that I have had the pleasure to know, Eric Pysar (NY). Thank you all so very much for honoring my mother and for the support in funding cancer research. I do very much appreciate the donation. But I also appreciate your kind thoughts and comments.
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