Thursday, December 29, 2016
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
Thursday, December 22, 2016
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
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
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
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
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.