Wednesday, July 30, 2014
We had to deal with a slow drift all day so the catch was not as good as yesterday. Scott had a limit to 5lbs. Jim had a 6 1/2lber. Pete had a 5 1/2 lber. and Jack once again limited out with a jig and also had the 7 lb. pool winner. Going Friday and I still have some spots. Catch them now, we have been waiting all season for this.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Thursday's fishing was good for Tom T. and family but keeping was poor. Close to a hundred fluke were landed but we only kept a few. Friday we took a long ride and fished in a fleet of a hundred boats. "Tugboat" Fred and the crew from West Milford had a nice day, with Steve taking the pool and hi- hook. Saturday we took the ride again, only to find more boats and a lot of shorts. I left the area and fished some rocks and wrecks to pick some keepers and stopped on the traditional fishing grounds on the way home to make a catch. Everyone had some nice fish, "The Barker" bagged four and our old friend Tommy O. had a 5lb. to take the pool. Sunday started with a poor forecast and the early boats reported a rough ocean. We stayed on the local grounds and had it all to ourselves. Action all day with shorts and enough nice keepers to fill the bags. Jack's 6lb. was the biggest of his four keepers and took the pool. The best news is we caught our first few keepers of the year on the "Pioneer Banks". It looks like the new herd has moved in, now is the time to get out there and catch some fluke!
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
A storm passed off the coast, and gave us a stiff east wind that increased as the day went on. We had four foot swells on the fishing grounds and a strong current. Despite the conditions, we found fluke every where we went. The problem was that almost all of them were undersized. We had action all day but came in with our poorest number of keepers in the box for this season. Back at it this week with better weather coming.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I will be glad to see it go, due to the strong currents preventing us from fishing in the deep spots. On the other hand it did seem to get the bait and fish moving. Sunday was forecast to be windy from the south (again) and I did not feel like things were in our favor. I tried to stay local but did not find any bites and headed outside. We worked some structure and picked some nice fish. When the tide got right and the fish started biting, on came the wind. By the end of the drift we were rocking and rolling and cries of "Watch the Gulp!" were heard over the breeze. Back to calm sheltered waters, and Rebecca landed an 8 1/2lber. to add to the three others in her catch. We ended with fifteen keepers despite the conditions. Monday was a much nicer day. There was no wind and calm seas. On board were Tom K., Bob, Tony, Joe N., Randy, and the "Legend". The story of the day was all the big fish that came unbuttoned on the way up. Everyone had their chances but Tom made his count landing the 7 1/4lb. pool winner. Randy lost a huge fish in the morning and was talking to himself all day. "Staten Island" Tony also had a monster come off half way up. We ended up with enough for everyone to take some home and a pod of dolphins came around the boat at the end of the day to wish us a nice ride home. On a side note, all pool winnings were paid at the end of the trip.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Friday was a beautiful day on the bay and onboard was "Tugboat" Fred and our friends from PA, Ken K., Cory K., and young Cory K. out for his first fishing trip. Ken the "Legend" came along to manage things and help fill the cooler as well as retired Bergen county detective Rich E. The fishing has become a struggle again after being pretty good earlier in the week. Capt Fred redeemed himself after recent poor showings and had two fish in the box by 9 AM, a 5lb and 7lb. Ken K. had a 6lb. as his largest and lost a much bigger fish in the afternoon that could have been Big Moe. Rich missed a few bites on the bucktail but did much better with a conventional rig and antique reel to go home with a solid 4lb. Cory and young Cory, fished hard and had fun but only managed shorts. They did a good job. Grumpy threw in and landed a 7lb. beauty on 12lb. test line in 11 feet of water. The fish took off down drift like a gamefish, what a fight. The "Legend" only had shorts and when we got back to the dock, took off like a shot. Maybe he had to get a parking spot or pick up the kids from school. What ever the reason when it came time to pay "Tug boat" the pool money for his big fish, we found that Ken ran away with all the loot. Rich E. immediately issued an APB and an arrest warrant, and hopefully the perp is now in custody. Stay tuned to this developing story.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
The fluke are settling into their summer patterns, and more shorts are arriving daily, to go with the bigger fish. Twenty years of fisheries management has produced less fluke in the population, but the average size is bigger then anything seen in our lifetime. Capt. Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star based in O.C.,MD has some interesting observations on his website about the effects of management on the sea bass stocks. I believe this holds true to the fluke also. There have been numerous fluke over ten pounds caught this week, including a 14 1/2lber. on the Elaine B II. The average keeper we see now doesn't even go on the ruler, as it is 20 inches or better. Five pounders are seen as common, and seven and eight pounders are daily pool winners around the fleet. Yesterday I caught two fluke over five pounds and took home a fillet bag that would have required at least twelve "keepers" to equal the amount of meat twenty years ago. If you have never caught a big fluke or enjoy the opportunity to feel that solid bite and big head shakes of a "Pioneer" fluke, this is now the time to go fishing. Plenty of weekdays are available.
Monday, July 7, 2014
Hurricane Arthur passed 150 miles off our coast, but did not effect us at all. The weather was about as nice as you could ask for, cool and calm. Saturday, I tried a variety of fishing areas and some were barren and some produced keepers. Anthony "The Barker" fished hard as he always does, and came up one shy of his limit but did have the 6lb. pool winner. Alan P. had two fluke over five pounds in his bag, and everyone had at least one nice keeper, except for the only angler to put BAIT on his hook all weekend. He shall remain nameless. (Hint- He used to drive a tugboat). Sunday started with a strong tide and as the norm for this season, we could not catch fish in the same spots we did the day before. A ride out to some spots that produced in the past paid off. We followed the tide up the bay and found plenty of hungry fluke. Jack put on a clinic fishing with a tiny jig-head on ten pound line, landing his limit as he was hooked up all afternoon. He also had a sea bass close to five pounds. Late in the day we had fast up and down fishing with no one around. About the time Ken the "aughh" Legend said to me that they were all shorts Roger landed his third keeper, the six pound pool winner. Once again, everyone went home with fish.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Today was one of the slowest days we have had in a long time. I covered a lot of ground and tried different spots but could not produce much. The fish just would not bite as we had the worst condition you could have fluke fishing, a warm front ahead of a cold front. When this happens there is usually a strong southerly to south-west wind pumping moisture to fuel the thunderstorms ahead of the high pressure moving in. This is an observation learned from over forty years of fluke fishing, but on a high note, they usually start to bite again as the high pressure builds. Back at it again this weekend with all the good anglers aboard.