Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Nice Winter Day

We left the dock a little after six with a small group of Skylarker regulars. All the party boats were railed, and they too sailed early. The ocean was nice and calm, and it was not to cold ( you could fish all day without gloves). The bite started off good then went to the usual pick and scratch so common in winter. Everyone had a few keepers. I had a limit on a florida rig and another angler did well with a jig. In the afternoon while I was complaining about the only thing living in the ocean is blackfish, there are no more good fish that you can eat, we saw some working birds and headed their way. A few drifts and we were into the last striped bass of the season. Fresh grilled bass on the menu for today.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas

Wishing my fishing friends all the best on this special day. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cool Stuff

Monday we fished a few hours on the local reef and had a few nice blackfish. Tuesday we headed offshore on the J II and picked at some jumbo porgies and a few keeper sea bass. A ten pound cod took the pool and an eight pound fluke was also landed. The cool part of the day were the schools of feeding bluefin tuna all around the boat, all day. They were of all sizes and were staying on schools of mackeral and herring, rolling on the surface under working birds. We came upon one school that stayed under the bow in an attempt to hook one, but they looked like submarines in the water, about 200lbs. and thought we better not. Pretty cool to see. When we got home I thought the Christmas decorations were moving, but it was our resident deer family roaming the neighborhood. This morning I looked out the window, and a Great Horned Owl was sitting on the front lawn. It's pretty cool living in the woods.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

It Ain't Over Yet

Fridays charter was cancelled due to cold and wind. It was first mate Tim B.'s birthday trip and around 9am the phone rang. It was Capt. Steve and he said the other boats are out, and we are leaving at 10am. The Boss was on the couch, sitting by the fire and told me to go have a good time with myself and I wondered if I was making a mistake as it was 18 degrees on my way to the boat. When I arrived the engines were warming up and an all star crew of captains and mates were onboard. A short ride up to the old "red church" grounds, only a couple miles off, and we set up to fish on a flat calm ocean. The cabin of the Skylarker has good heat, and it was not bad fishing in the sunshine. Everyone had bites as we picked away, keeping some of the bigger ones to take home. Pretty good fishing in only fifty feet and we are expecting them to bite into next month and are planning to sail on nice weather days. Be ready when I call!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Nice Day for a Change

Well we finally got out and the wind was not blowing a hundred. Capt. Steve had a light charter from PA yesterday and invited us along. The guys must have been better hunters then fisherman (lots of camo) and he asked if we could lend a hand. It was a beautiful day, flat calm and no wind, and that combined with a full moon, usually means poor blackfishing. We fished inshore, which let me use relatively light tackle and a light sinker on our notorious florida rig. The fish would not come under the boat in the morning and a short cast away from the boat was all it took to get a bite. Typical of todays blackfishing, fresh bait and proper presentation were the key and the lazy fisherman did not do as well. It was a pretty good bite despite the poor anchoring conditions and I culled ten nice keepers up to eight pounds and a few shorts using the shallow water tactics developed fishing in the harbor. Gannets were diving all day, and in the afternoon, I was reeling in a short and a striped bass over thirty inches followed it to the surface. The biggest blackfish of the day was over ten pounds. We fished on the beach and even though the water is getting cold, the fishing should hold up into next month as there are still porgies and bluefish out in the deeper waters. January is wide open and I will try to put together a post holiday trip as well as keeping everyone posted for short notice trips on nice weather days. Don't go into hibernation yet!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Settling into Winter

We wanted to try fishing this week but with rain and wind we could not make it come together. Porgies are still offshore along with some sea bass and bluefish, but it is not like the fishing of the past few seasons. Blackfish is still the same, only a shadow of what this fishery used to be years ago. I used to look foward to December fishing, big blackfish out at 17 Fathoms, cod offshore (and sometimes inshore) , ling and whiting and mackeral, those were the days. Thursday was cold and calm and with shotgun deer season going on in the woods, we changed plans and headed to the beach instead. Out at the State Park, there were about twenty trucks on the beach and a handfull of boats searching for striped bass. I talked to some of the fisherman, and not much was going on, and I only saw one bass caught. It looked and felt like winter as we explored the dunes and thickets and trails through the woods, checking out the plants and birds. I may try that surf fishing in the future. It looked like fun because no boat was involved.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

NW Winds and Winter

We have been having our share of NW gales this fall. They started back in October and have been relentless. The commercial fisherman say the winds blow until the water gets cold and the water has been warm. The fishing in the bay held up until the storm last week and the thought of going out on the big boats and standing at the rail in 30 knot winds to catch three 15 inch blackfish that we were throwing back last month does not appeal to me. With that being said, we spent the last few days getting the boat hauled out for a long winters nap. This time of year we used to look forward to some ling showing up inshore but it seems like that is a thing of the past. Maybe some cod will show before the snow flies and the water gets too cold for fishing.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Happy Holiday Weekend

After a fine Thanksgiving feast, we had a visit from Mike L. and headed into the woods armed with light tackle. There are some trout waters close by but I have not had time to scout them out yet, so we targeted pickerel in the nearby creeks and bogs. We raised about a dozen fish, landing a few nice ones including a few on the fly rod. After fishing, Evelyn treated us to a nice lunch at the Captain's Inn where we watched the boats come in from striped bass fishing with some nice catches. Later, we headed down to Barnegat Light to visit half of the Sunday crew returning from blackfishing with Big John's annual charter on the Mary M. It was good to see our friends and I was told Mike M. won the pool with a nine pounder. If the weather holds out, we will have some holiday trips on the Skylarker.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Whale of a Time

I was feeling a little under the weather, battling a chest cold, but the forecast was for 65 degrees and we headed out to the tog grounds. The news was reporting a whale in the area, which is no surprise as the bay is full of bunkers. "Tugboat" Fred came in to the wheelhouse to tell me about the whale he saw on TV and I said to him" there he is." Pretty cool to see. We set up shop and picked at some blackfish and threw back the shorts and boxed the big ones. The weekend forecast called for a change to winter weather, and when I asked the "Legend" if he would prefer to go on Saturday instead of Sunday, he replied "Not really", so we kept the boat in due to the gale warnings. Good thing too, as the front blew in during the night and it rained ice cubes. Time to put the boat away for a long winters nap and fish on the big boats with the heated cabins. Thanks to everyone.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Super Moon

The only thing super about it was the current. We had a good bite going the past few days, with some fish going six to eight pounds until the hard current killed the bite. Maybe that would explain why Tommy O. busted his rod on a big blackfish or why the "Legend" channeled his inner "Randy" and took his reel off the pole and threw it overboard? Lets hope the fishing holds up for one more week while we still have some tackle left.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall Fishing

The blackfish banks were pounded this week by private boats and we did a little ourselves. The "Legend" proclaimed that Friday was the best ever. While I think that is a bit of an exaggeration, it was our best fishing of the season. Sunday, the grounds were crowded and the fish seemed to be feeling the pressure. We had constant bites, but the fish were hard to hook, with the current running up against the gusty NW wind. We still had a good day and once again Big Tom did better then everyone aboard at the fillet table.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Few Days in the Woods

In between chores, we got to walk in the woods the past few mild afternoons. A pretty time of year to view the changing foliage. I took an ultra light four pound spinning outfit along to make a few throws into any streams and bogs we came across and it seems they all hold pickerel. Mostly ten to twelve inch spikes, but I did have an eighteen incher and some of the strikes on the surface are fun to watch. We still have lots of exploring to do and it is always fun to find new spots to fish.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Like Night and Day

Friday started off windy and we slowly made our way to the grounds. The tog bit for a while and then the wind and tide increased making fishing uncomfortable with eight ounce sinkers and forty five degree temperatures. We retreated home for some hot soup. Sunday, we took a slow ride to the grounds in the dark and were the only boat there. While I was setting the anchor, Evelyn came running for the net as "The Legend" and Mike M. were already battling big tog. Plenty of big blackfish all morning with everyone shedding sweatshirts as the temperature rose into the seventies. Roger took the pool with a fat eight pounder. Special thanks to Mike for catching a striped bass at the end of the day and donating it to our grill. We wish you and Cathy a special time on your vacation.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Winter Offshore Sea Bass

Well, that's what it seemed like. It was 27 degrees when we left the house and all the puddles were frozen solid. At the boat it was warmer but the stiff NW wind continued and gave it a winter feel. We headed offshore and fished in 100 to 140 foot depths looking for the big stuff. Lots of porgies and sea bass on the wrecks from tiny pins to true offshore jumbos of the biggest kind. There are so many sea bass around that you have to fish thru the shorts that would not normally be offshore to get to the keepers. Tim and I filleted all the way to the dock. The only down side was the arrival of the dogfish. Summer's over.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Lots of Weather

Friday started off warm and muggy. We got to the fishing grounds and the fog came down thick. The forecast called for a chance of showers but some of the more experienced anglers on board did not believe it as they left their rain gear home. The weatherman forgot to mention that it was a pretty damn good chance as it rained all day. A steady pick on the shorts, a few nice boxers and a couple of jumbos busted off. The high-light of the day was Evelyn catching a seven pound little tunny on a ten pound spinning outfit after two trips around the boat. When we returned to the dock it was sunny and hot and all the drowned turkeys dried out. Sunday started off differently as the temperature was in the forties when we headed out in the dark. On the fishing grounds it was not bad but chilly. We had plenty of bites but few keepers. Around ten in the morning the wind piped up and by noon it was blowing a gale. I decided to call the trip and we took a slow ride home, throwing spray over the wheelhouse as the wind gusted to over forty knots.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Full Moon

The bite was off as it usually is during the full moon. The water is still warm, but we managed a few nice ones over the weekend. Ken "The Legend" was the star of the show, landing several nice sized blackfish including an 8 1/2 lber., our largest of the season.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Fall Fishing

 The crew was down early Friday morning to scout out the blackfish grounds.We left in the dark in summer-like weather and arrived before day light to find a half dozen boats already there. We set up on a spot and the crew of Randy, "The Barker" and "The Legend" went to work right away landing a bunch of tog and some porgies too. Good fishing and good weather. Sunday our intentions were to repeat our good fortune, but when I arrived at the marina the wind was gusting and it was raining. It was hard to get a forecast with the media concentrating on the hurricane and they were calling for the rain to stop and the wind to come on in the afternoon. I checked with the crew and they decided not to go, which turned out to be a good decision as it is still raining. The "Legend" bolted to his car and all we saw were tail lights as he raced from the parking lot. I guess he had somewhere to go. We went home and put on the fireplace to take the chill off and get ready for football.

Monday, October 3, 2016

More Weather

We could have fished Sunday but I did not know what we would find after the Nor'easter. Sounds like a few boats went and had mixed results. We took advantage of the gloomy weather to move some stuff and to get the boat ready for the tautog. There is a storm a few thousand miles away and the media is in a panic. A few days ago we had seas as high as fifteen feet right off our coast and no one gave a s#it. I guess hurricanes are more sexy then nor'easters.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


It's that's time of year again. East winds and cancelled trips. Looks like a rough week coming up but it should calm down by the weekend. Lots of porgies around but not many porgy fisherman. NY blackfish opens October 5.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Porgy Time

We headed out Sunday morning not knowing how the weather was going to be after the reports of a rough ocean on Saturday. Another skipper reported some keeper porgies close to home so we set up on an inshore spot but only caught small fish. A move to another wreck produced insane fishing, with porgies and seabass following hooked fish right to the surface. You only needed to let your bait down out of sight to get a bite. Plenty of keeper porgies along with sea bass, blackfish, fluke, blowfish, bluefish, jack crevale and an amberjack. We were throwing back keepers by 10:30 AM and I filleted for an hour at the dock and had a bucket of meat. Lots of fun on a nice fall day.

Friday, September 16, 2016

End of Summer

We did not sail today due to lack of interest. Seems to be all my friends think the fluke are gone. While fishing is slow and we have not been landing many keepers, the only fluke that I am sure that are gone are the two 11lbers. landed on the Skylarker this week. Back at it Sunday.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Here and There and All About

Last Saturday was our worst day of fluke fishing this season...until today.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fluke and Hermine

We fished in the wind on Friday and Saturday and did not catch enough fish to feed a sick cat. The boat was tied up the rest of the weekend and the weather on land was beautiful. It is forecast to be hot the next few days and early reports say the fish are still around. Ready to get back at it, more to follow. I am not giving up on fluke season.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

This is It

The forecast shows some easterly weather and the fluke usually respond by not biting and beginning their off shore migration. They should bite heavily as the low approaches but the last three weeks of the season will be interesting.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Still Getting it Done

The fishing has been a struggle as you have to fish through endless sea robins and little fluke. Patience has been paying off and those that work at it go home with some nice fillets. "Tugboat" Fred had a6 1/2lb. and 5lb. in his catch yesterday and everyone managed a keeper or two. It is the time of year when the fluke begin to move offshore but they will hang around into the fall if we don't get any big storms.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Working Hard to Make a Catch

Last Sunday, I saw some nice fluke landed in the fleet, but my crew could only catch ping-pong paddles. They did manage a dozen keepers, but none over five pounds. Monday the crew from the mountains were on the Skylarker and "Tugboat" Fred landed seven nice keeper fluke and some sea bass. On Friday, he only caught one keeper on the last drift. The "Legend", Mark S., and The "Barker" all had a fluke over six pounds in their bag. Joe N. landed three, including  a 6lb. and an 8 1/2lb. to take the pool. Saturday was family day, as we had Skip, Pav, "Mittens" Mike, and The brother and sister team of Mike and Ava. The young anglers showed the old goats how to do it as, Ava, on her first trip aboard The Pioneer, landed our second doormat of the season at 29 inches and 10lbs. It was the biggest of her four keepers. Good luck in high school. Little Michael had two nice keepers and helped me steer the boat and net the two keepers I landed. Pav had a 6lb., his largest of the season and no one cared! Four trips in a row with everyone landing at least one keeper and some heavy fillet bags going up the ramp.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

Man, it's been hot and the fishing is a grind. Everyone has been going home with dinner, but it ain't easy. Roger recently worked a limit and the "Legend" had a 6lber. yesterday that made for a nice dinner. Tom Kaye was the angler of the day Friday. He had a 5lb. and 8lb. in his catch of four keepers, and tied for the pool with his buddy Chet, who started the day with an 8lber. Jigs and Gulp are producing the best results.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Hunting Big Fluke

We caught some beauties on the Pioneer Banks the past few trips, but the new moon current turned off the bite and fishing was slow. I tried to go to some of the other spots that had been good to us this summer, only to find them covered with every party boat in the area! The boats were all railed and they all had their own entourage of paparazzi mopping up every short in the bay. The "Legend" declared no more shorts, so we went back to hunting doormats. Our good friend, Tommy O landed our first true doormat of the season, a 10lber, that almost jumped in the boat. Joe N. followed with a 8 1/2lb and lost a bigger one at the whistle. We will be on the Hunt for Big Moe, we know he's out there.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Fluke and Rain

Friday we cancelled our trip due to heavy downpours. I am glad we did as it lead to some street closures and would have made for some tough traveling. Sunday, the rain was still in the forecast but the fluke did not mind. Grumpy started off the show by landing an 8lber. Mike M, added another 8lb. on the next drift. "Jiggin' Jack" took the pool with a 8 1/4lber., Roger had a 7 1/4 lber. and Big Tom landed a limit. Lots of nice fluke and some blues in the mix on rainy morning.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hot Fluking

It is rare for it to be hot on the water, but Sunday we were baking in the bay. Monday was a pleasure with overcast skies and a southerly breeze. We had Anthony "The Barker" on board with his friends from work. The "Legend" continues to swing a hot rod as he landed a limit of nice fish in short order. The "Barker" threw a six pounder on deck and needed some refreshment, so he downed a container of BANANA juice and never had a bite the rest of the day. At least he won the pool.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Recent Highlites

The "Legend" had a 6lb. and 8lb. to top off his catch. The "Barker" landed a 6lb. Cathy M. had a limit up to 5lbs. Roger had a 6lb."Jiggin' Jack" had a bunch up to 5lbs. It's big fluke time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hot Summer Daze

Friday saw some slow fluke fishing in the heat as some good anglers struggled to get a few. Saturday, we had "Staten Island" Tony from Brooklyn (who lives in NJ) and the crew aboard and caught a bunch up to 4 1/2lbs. Some Polish guy from Bayonne ( Tom K.) had four and Scott had a limit. Joe Fish was NOT aboard. Sunday brought changes on the fishing grounds, as a new body of shorts moved into the area. We saw cow-nosed rays swimming around the boat, and squid were chasing the baits. We caught fluke all day long, everywhere we went. Some spots that were barren all season had fish on them but many were short. We also saw the first few weakfish of the summer. "Jiggin' Jack had a 6 plus pound fluke in his catch and Roger had three up to five pounds. It looks like the summer fluke are finally moving into the traditional fishing spots.

Monday, July 11, 2016


Super weather to start the day and we went back to where we caught the big one on Friday and were greeted by a fleet of kayaks. You can't make this stuff up. Grabbed a few keepers and then had no drift conditions. Time to break out the jigs and Jiggin' Jack threw four quick keepers in the boat. When the tide started to run a little, the "Legend" hooked into a fish that broke his line. Good thing as we are running low on nets. Speaking of nets we spent the afternoon looking for the "net breaker" but did not find him. When I sounded three whistles, Roger hooked into a fish and the sinker got caught in the net. No problem, I grabbed the gaff and threw the fluke on deck. Turned out to be the pool winner. We don't need no stinkin' nets!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Friday Fun

It took a while for us to get started as we had poor drifting conditions early in the day. I tried some traditional big fluke spots and they still remain barren. I had the good fluke anglers aboard so I know if they were there we would have caught them. Late in the morning we back tracked up the bay and started to box some nice fish when Anthony "The Barker" declared he had a big one on his light spinning rod and small jig. BOOM BOOP BOP , our largest of the season so far came aboard at 28 inches and 8.5LBS. We went looking in another big fish spot and the "Legend" proceeded to land his limit. Around this time "Tugboat" Fred hooked into a "huge" fluke. The fish came to the surface and it was hard to see in the afternoon glare and as I attempted to scoop him from the depths, the net let go with a resounding crack and all we were left with was a broken net. "Tugboat" estimated that the fish was "somewhere in the six to fourteen pound range." The "Legend" ran up to the tackle shop to see if he could replace the broken net (to which he will be sending Fred the bill) but they did not have one. Back at it this weekend one net down.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy Fourth of July Weekend Report

What a weekend, lots of fun and lots of fluke!  The Sunday crew beat them up as usual. The "Legend" came out on top with a 6lber. narrowly beating several other big fish. Everyone had a bunch of keepers except Mike M. who only landed one of legal size late in the day and suffered some good natured ribbing from the gang. I guess Mike did not like the abuse heaped upon him as he boxed his limit by 9 AM Monday morning and continued catching all day. It was a good day to be a Mike, as "Mittens " Mike P. took the pool. Thanks to little Mike for also landing a keeper while helping me steer the boat, pick out fishing spots, and netting fluke. He is turning into a fine fisherman. Great weather, good people, and heavy fillet bags made a Happy Fourth of July.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Grinding Away

It has been taking a lot of work to make a catch, but we seem to get everyone at least a dinner to go home with. Randy rounded up three keepers and the "Legend" had two and an eighteen inch sea bass which was quickly named the guest of honor at today's dinner table. It looks like nice conditions the next few days and we will be back at it with a fresh approach.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Some Slow Days

We have been struggling to make a catch the past few days as the fish have been very finicky.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Some Limits and Lemons

Roger had a limit up to five pounds, Cathy had four up to 6 1/2lbs, and we did it with no one around.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Chasin' Bites

I never fish in a fleet unless we are overwhelmed by interlopers. I also learned over the past 42 years of taking people fishing to never chase after some other boats bite. My old friend Capt. Fred Coles used to say "You can't catch yesterdays fish." We don't follow reports, we make them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Limited Availability

AS you can see on the home page, if you have not been on the Pioneer before or are not all ready booked or are not on the "Legend's" speed dial, you can not come fishing this season as we are booked on the only days that I can take my friends fishing.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Fluke fishing is getting good. The "Legend" had four keepers and the pool winner despite windy conditions that kept us from some of our favorite spots.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Road Trip

Just like the Yankees, some times we take the show on the road. "Tugboat" Fred had the Skylarker chartered and a big load of anglers aboard, so we went along to lend a hand to Capt Steve and first mate Tim. We left the dock early, and just outside the inlet a Humpback whale was feeding on the numerous schools of bunkers. After Moby put on quite a show, it was off to the fishing grounds in calm seas. The sea bass were hungry and we picked away all morning, culling the big ones from the shorts. Around 1:30 in the afternoon, the weather front approached and everyone retreated into the big cabin for the ride home while Tim and I filleted over 175 sea bass, 18 ling, some fluke and blues and the pool winning 8lb. Pollock. Thanks to everyone for a great day.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Rumors of Big Fluke

There are reports of a ten pounder being taken near the "Pioneer Banks." There was also word of a thirteen pounder from local waters over the weekend. I can not confirm these stories but I can tell you about a seven pounder landed by Grumpy on a green gulp, in eighteen feet of water, very near to where the "Legend" claimed to have lost a big one.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day

We kept the boat in today due to the heavy rain.The striped bass have spawned and are starting to bite again. The only problem is how long it will last as water temperatures are rising rapidly. Fluke are showing in all the usual places but don't bite all the time, the usual with south and east winds. I expect to do well on the fluke when we have a few days of west wind.

Monday, May 23, 2016

"I'll Take IT"

The weather and fishing was not bad. We have been giving everyone an opportunity to catch a large striped bass and while everyone has had bites, some anglers do very well and others struggle. Yesterday we had a full boat limit of striped bass up to 25lbs., enough blues to ruin tackle and make things interesting, four nice fluke and two big blackfish (six and eight pounds) in full spawning condition that were quickly released. A pretty nice spring day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Opening Day Fluke

We had  an intrepid group of fluke seekers onboard, looking for the first flatties of the year. We tried many places and found only shorts until late in the morning when Russ landed a twenty incher, our first keeper of the season. In the afternoon we headed back to the bass grounds and gave everyone an opportunity to battle with big fish. Once again, some did better then others, with Mark S. leading the way with a twenty three pound striped bass. Tommy O. has proven himself to be one of the top striped bass anglers we have, landing three in a short time, despite multiple equipment failures (Shitmano reel). Fluke fishing will only get better and I was happy to see some in all the usual spots.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Fishing Report

We headed out on Friday in search of striped bass. There was a fleet of ten boats fishing outside of the inlet and we headed down the bay to get away from the crowd. Don started off the new year landing the first fish of the season, a big fat blackfish , full of eggs, that was quickly released to do her thing. Charlie landed the first striped bass and that twenty one pounder held on to win the pool, despite the vicious assault from Anthony "The Barker" and Ken "The Legend" as they landed multiple keepers in the 15 to 18lb. class. Everyone had their chances with the big bass and some did better then others. The rain held off until the ride home on what turned out to be a pretty nice day. While we had a lull in the action during the slack tide, the "Barker" flipped out a jig and landed the first fluke of 2016 and we will start to look for them soon.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Spring Weather

We could have started fishing this week, but the weather has been damp and gloomy. With the marina all messed up with the sail boat race, we will wait until after Mother's Day weekend to start. Fluke fishing will open soon and I am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Getting Closer

Sunday was a beautiful day and Skip and Ken "The Legend" stopped by the boat yard to lend me a hand on some finishing touches.  While driving over the bridge, we looked out over the bay and there must have been fifty boats out trying for stripers. Monday was forecast to be nice again, so Evelyn and I took a ride to see my old friend Capt, George on the Angler. I talked to some of the top striper captains on the dock in the morning and they told me the fishing stinks. All the bass on the internet reports seem to be caught trolling and the fish have not settled in yet. They should be ready when we start. As for the bottom fishing, Evelyn and I had two keeper blackfish and a dozen big ling in the cooler. I added a keeper cod to top off the fillet bag at the end of the day. Fish sandwiches this week.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Getting Close

I have a few small jobs left to do and expect to be finished next week. We will be sailing on a limited schedule this year. The marina is hosting the America's Cup on the weekend of 5/7-5/8 and I would strongly urge everyone to stay away from the area. We may try to start the season the week before this event, but it may be difficult parking and getting to and from the marina. They are already moving boats around and bringing in all types of equipment to stage the event. Things should return to normal after the weekend of the race.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

What A Day!

We got down to the Skylarker Saturday morning and the weather was perfect. There was not enough wind to blow a butterfly away. Our biggest concern was the lack of anglers.  It seems everyone had something more important to do than go fishing on a beautiful spring day. We were worried about covering the expenses of running the big 70 foot super cruiser with only a handful of fisherman, but Capt. Steve said "Let's Go." After all, what else were we going to do on one of the most beautiful days of the spring, walk around the park and look at tulips? We broke the inlet in a gentle swell and were treated to an awesome sunrise and a smooth cruise to the grounds. Some spots were lively and the fishing was good. Anthony "The Barker" started off the day with his personal best blackfish, a fat ten pounder and finished up with a nine pound cod. Ken "The Legend" landed some big blackfish. Mike M. helped fill the cooler with some nice fish. Bob D landed a mess of good fish with his new Penn reel. "Uncle Paulie" did good as he usually does and Evelyn and I had a bunch of cod and blackfish. Even mate Tim B. (who always does an excellent job) and Capt. Steve helped fill the fish box. We ended up just shy of a boat limit of blackfish and dozen keeper cod, releasing many shorts as well as the first few jumbo sea bass of the season and the usual dogfish (they weren't too bad), ocean pout, Pollock, bergals and other assorted bottom fish. Special thanks to Anthony for bringing a load of goodies from the Polish deli and feeding the whole crew and also to Capt. Steve for sending us home with a full bag of fillets and a little sun burn on an unbelievable spring day.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

News for Anglers

We have secured our slip for the upcoming season and expect to have the boat back in the water in a few weeks. Cold and rain slowed down the progress in the boat yard but we got a pretty good jump on things last month. We should start striper fishing in May. Yesterday, I spent four hours in the engine room and realized that I am not cut out for that kind of stuff anymore.

Friday, April 1, 2016


The old timer's used to say " When the Dogwoods bloom, the blackfish bite." Well, the trees are blooming everywhere.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Just Some Thoughts,

I did well in Lowes the other day. I needed some throw away brushes for fiberglass work and only spent forty three dollars. They didn't have the sanding discs I wanted and spent another twenty at Home Depot. Typical spring boat yard, some warm nice days and some rain and snow.  Baseball starts soon. Yesterday Tanaka gave up seven runs on nine hits in four innings and Girardi said he looks good for opening day. One thing I've learned watching MLB network this spring is that we are spoiled with the Yankees and Mets announcers. All the others stink and some are really bad, you don't even know what they are talking about. On the fishery front, fluke rules will be the same as last year, but the NY geniuses are looking for a fifteen inch sea bass. I can't wait to get out of here.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Lots of Life

The bay is loaded with bunker. All the big bunker that came in last fall never left the bay. Yesterday we watched the guys on the 69th street pier snag big bunkers on every cast. The bass and blues (and fluke) may show up early this year.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Spring is in the Air

The past two weeks have been very busy and exciting for us. The warm weather makes you think of the days ahead and we are getting things ready in the boat yard. We are looking forward to seeing all our fishing friends soon. In between all the chores, we snuck out to some of my favorite trout holes and caught a few nice rainbows that held over from last fall's stocking.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Giant Blackfish

Our friend Capt. Howard DiCicco of the Sea Horse landed a 22lb.13oz. blackfish aboard the Big Mohawk with Capt. Steve at the helm. Congratulations to both of them.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Fishing Flea Market

Pioneer deckhand Mark (aka Big Bubba) has secured a table at the Ocean Fire Company 20th Annual Fishing Flea Market in Point Pleasant. I will be stopping bye to lend him a hand next Sunday, February 28. The fire company divers sell sinkers very cheap at this event (usually less than .10 per ounce) and it is a way to spend a winter day waiting for fishing season. The location is Antrim School, 401 Niblick Street, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742. 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM.

Monday, February 15, 2016

President's Day

This is a tough time of year with nothing going on. One can only hope for a break in the weather to sneak in a trip to the Mud Hole or out to the trout streams to shake off the cabin fever. Yesterday the temperatures hovered around zero, but once again, thanks to El Nino, a storm is moving in with warm Pacific air. In a normal winter we would be bracing for snow and dealing with ice in the harbor, but rain is forecast and the long range is showing highs in the forties and fifties. Now is the time for tuning up all the gear, fixing rods and reels, and tying hooks and rigs, so you don't have to hear it from me while you are digging through a tangled tackle bag, looking for a swivel, or snelling a hook while we are on the hottest drift of the season.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Strange Winter Weather

The weather was nice enough to allow some boats to fish this week. Temperatures reached sixty degrees in some places but now it is snowing again! The big storm two weeks ago stirred up the bottom and scattered the fish that were around last month. Even though the water temperatures are relatively warm for this late into the winter there has been a persistent ground swell since the storm and the fishing is slow. Some wrecks and rock piles produce a few bites and others are completely barren, which is typical for February. There are no ling around and only a few blackfish being caught. The mackerel and herring, as well as the cod that were beginning to show before the blizzard are no where to be found but should return when things settle down. Capt. Steve has some pictures from our last trip on the Skylarker web site, as well as some good shots of the new boat. The Ground Hog says spring is coming so I guess we will have to wait for better weather to plan our next trip.

Friday, January 29, 2016


The weekend snow was a pain in the a** to say the least with over two feet in some places. But we are lucky it occurred in an El Nino winter. If a storm like this happened over the last two winters, we would be dealing with snow on the ground until April, like Boston did last year. Mild temperatures are making it melt fast and 50 degrees are forecast for next week. Hmm, maybe a cod trip in the future?

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Sign of the Times

The reporter on Eyewitness news is standing in front of the boats in Sheepshead Bay telling everyone how bad the weather is going to be tomorrow. The boats are dark and no one is around. A few short years ago, there would be a bustle of activity as most of the boats would be shaping up to sail on a fishable winter day. An approaching storm usually means a "calm before the storm" and the fish would feed heavily as the barometer drops, resulting in big catches. Years of poor fisheries management  and over bearing regulations have destroyed an industry that I have grown up in and devoted my life's work to. The never ending hype by the media has also helped to shape a generation that is afraid to go outside and would rather walk around with their head down, staring into a phone, acting like it has never snowed before.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Winter Fishing Trip

We sailed yesterday with Capt. Steve on the new Skylarker. I can't say enough about the boat. It has to be the nicest charter boat on the coast, big clean and fast. It only took us an hour to get out to the cod grounds. There was no wind and a light swell when we arrived and made it hard to anchor. Around mid-morning the wind piped up to about fifteen knots from the SE and the cod started biting. Capt. Bubba from the statue ferry was high hook with six nice cod. I had three keepers and a short. Mark D. had some cod,  a blackfish, a ling , some sea bass and lost a big cod of about 20lbs. at the gaff. Tom the sinker man from Atlantic Highlands had the biggest cod, a solid 25 lber. Some of the other anglers did not do as well but everyone went home with a bag of fillets. We may get to go one more time before Capt. Steve stops sailing for the winter.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Winter Weather and Fishing

A coastal storm is predicted to pass offshore on Saturday. The forecast has varied wildly from light west winds of 5 knots to howling calamity of NE gales and 20 foot seas. Being that the weather idiots have no clue, we have decided to cancel our trip and reschedule on a nicer day.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Big Ship

One of the new container ships just came into the harbor today on it's maiden voyage. The ACL "Atlantic Star" is 971 feet long and holds 3800 containers AND 1300 vehicles. This thing is so big it took five minutes just to go under the bridge. It's time to get out of here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Winter Fishing

So far, this winter there are still stripers and blues along the beach and I even heard of a couple of fluke that were caught on blackfish rigs. We can only hope the mild weather continues like it did in 2012 when we caught ling all winter. Happy New Year.