Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Tropical storm Jose has set up shop just east of the Continental shelf off our coast and continues to churn out 7 to 10 foot seas on the fishing grounds. It does not appear to be moving much and Hurricane Maria may take a similar track next week. We can't catch a break, and it looks like the ocean will be closed for a few days. Monday, we snuck out to fish from the beach, and had a good day despite the building NE wind. Double headers of small sea bass and snapper blues and a few nice fluke from the sand. A try in the rocks produced a small blackfish every cast until I ran out of bait, two of them were keeper sized. If the winds settle a little, we will go back to see if they are still biting.
Saturday, September 16, 2017
We had a big charter the other day and caught some nice porgies, threw back big sea bass and had eight big triggerfish. The whales put on quite a show, jumping out of the water, feeding on bunker. Yesterday, we took a ride in the bay with our old deckhand Bob D. and found lots of life. We set up on some structure and found porgies, sea bass and blackfish. Evelyn's porgies kept getting attacked by a big bluefish. Next time out, I would like to bring some green crabs, there are some big blackfish and other creatures on the hard bottom.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Yesterday, I got the call to be ready to scout out some wrecks, so off we went and the deep was loaded with life. We all caught a bunch of ling, but Evelyn also had four whiting and a flounder. I had a nice whiting, a flounder and a lobster. First mate Tim had the deep water slam with a whiting, spotted hake, four spot flounder, winter flounder, cod, cunner, lobster and a Jonah crab. Cool stuff. Today, we took a ride in the truck and fished from a different beach to the south and caught a bunch of snapper blues. Evelyn also had a bunch of sea bass, porgies and a keeper sized weakfish. This is the nicest time of year and everyone quits fishing because fluke is closed.
Friday, September 8, 2017
I don't know if it was a coincidence but the lines at the gas pumps this morning were two and three cars deep. What I do know is that when tropical storms are in the Atlantic, they suck up all the energy in the atmosphere, and usually make for very nice weather everywhere else. I will try to go fishing the next few days, it should be nice.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Now what do we do? Fluke is closed, sea bass is closed,...the NMFS (No More Fishing Service) wants you out of their ocean. Well, there is some pretty cool fishing going on right now and it should only get better. The bonito and albacore are biting. There is more bonito around then in the last ten years. And they seem to be getting bigger. I worked a trip last week and we had good fishing with them plus lots of big chub mackerel. Right before we left to go home, we had our National Geographic moment, with the fish swimming under the boat and watched them take the baits. And it wasn't only the ones mentioned above, some of our bigger friends were there too. Lets get a trip together.
Sunday, September 3, 2017
We headed out in the dark Saturday morning with an all-star cast of Pioneer regulars. Many of the anglers aboard have caught fluke over ten pounds with me in the past. We were greeted by a beautiful sunrise and the persistent east wind of the last ten days. The breeze was ten to twelve knots and the sea ran in chops of two to three feet with an occasional swell. No one knew what to expect as the fluke did not bite since the storm passed earlier this week. Things started off slowly, as everyone adjusted to the motion of the ocean and need for heavy sinkers but things came together and we started catching fluke. John C. got the ball rolling with a couple keepers and then it was game on. Roger and Eileen started landing keepers and Mike and Cathy did well as usual. Back in the stern it was like old times with Anthony "The Barker" and Damien going toe to toe, rods bent all day. Joey (the excellent first mate from the Fisherman) and his old buddy "Mittens Mike" teamed up like they did twenty years ago, catching "lemons". "Candy Bar" Mike did very good landing lots of nice fluke. And then there was the food, Anthony brought half the Polish deli and shrimp cocktail, Randy made a cheese cake, "Candy Bar" Mike had all kinds of stuff and Eugene made sure it was safe to eat. In the afternoon, "Tugboat" Fred and Ken "The Legend" were sitting on the bench, like two grumpy old men in the park, and wished me all kinds of luck on the sale of the "Pioneer". They both caught their limits of nice fluke. Liam fished in the bow, and had a 6 1/2lber to edge out the others for the big pool. The ocean seemed to settle as the day went on and Capt Steve said we can't leave now and gave everyone one more drift to end the 2017 fluke season. I filleted all the way home, over fifty keepers in the box, and finished with a barrel of racks, and a bag of meat for everyone aboard. We got back to the dock just before the big rain started. Thanks to all for making this a special day with old friends.
Monday, August 28, 2017
It seems that we had more east wind this summer then usual. Now, a tropical system is forming offshore and it caused us to tie up for a few days. Too bad, as fishing remains good and I was looking forward to seeing the crew from the West Milford Elks. Happy birthday Charlie. Yesterday on the fishing grounds, the current ran up against the wind. While this made for fair fishing conditions (you could tend bottom with 8ozs.) it caused an uncomfortable short and steep chop. We rolled all morning until the current eased. A boat limit of sea bass and some nice fluke for the guys that worked gulp. Roger had four nice keepers, the biggest just short of six pounds. Let's hope the bite holds up for this Saturdays big trip.