Monday, January 30, 2017

A Sad Day

The Pioneer family lost a dear friend. Captain John Connell Jr. of the Capt John from Keyport passed away at the young age of 48 years old. He was a true gentleman and we are all better people for knowing him. We are going to miss you Cousin. Fair winds and Calm Seas.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

That Time of Year

There is nothing to report but bad news since the storm. I always jokingly say when fishing is slow, "I've seen it go on like this for days and days and then get worse. " Well it happened as there has not been a keeper blackfish caught anywhere since last Sunday. We were going to try today, but with a biting NW wind, we decided it would not be worth our efforts. Now it is all about waiting for spring.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Calm Seas and No Bite

It seemed like everyone on Saturdays charter was named Mike, except for Cathy and Evelyn. I knew it was going to be slow, but it was painfully slow with only a few shorts landed along with the usual pout and dogfish. The crew fished hard and it was refreshing to see the young anglers stay at the rail and keep trying despite the sluggish bite. We ended up with only one keeper for the day and we fished six different spots. It was not only us as the entire fleet had similar reports. Right now we are in the middle of a fierce winter storm, and that will surely change everything. We heard some boats had fish way to the south and we will try one more time before shutting down for the winter.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Personal Best

The blackfish bite has become tough over the past few days. This is typical of late January as the fish become less active due to falling water temperatures. Thursday started with a big swell on the ocean, not good for blackfishing. We tried to get a bite going on the rocks, but it never happened. A move to a wreck produced a sluggish cold water bite and pair of fish in the ten pound class were boated. I shot a white crab to the bottom and had a bite like I remembered like a kid, a slow, rolling, thumping bite, like a cod. When I set the hook, the drag peeled like freespool, and everyone was asking what I had. "Some thing big, some thing very big, get the captain" was the reply and the biggest blackfish I have ever landed weighed 14lbs. 2ozs. at the dock.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Nice Weather

We fished offshore Monday in hope of catching a cod or ling but it turned out to be a waste of time. It was like fishing in a garbage can, with dogfish, ocean pout, silver eels, skates and sea ravens taking the baits at a steady clip. Some blackfish out there, but the better bite is in 100 feet or less and some catches were put together in calm seas this week. Looks like an extended calm right through the weekend and we will be back on the blackfish grounds.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Nice Winter Day

It was nice to be out fishing again after a spell of windy weather. We headed out early under a bright full moon and were greeted by a calm ocean and light winds. When the sun came up, the bite developed into a steady pick and then backed off when the current eased. Some nice blackfish found their way into the cooler, and as typical, some did better then others. Just about everyone had a limit or close to it, along with a few ocean pout, and an odd dogfish or silver eel. The biggest blackfish weighed 12lbs 14oz at the tackle shop. Lots of fun with old friends and a nice bag of fillets on a day most boats reported poor fishing.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Yesterday, it snowed enough to cover the grass and turn the woods into a winter post card. It turned out to be a pretty nice day and some boats sailed and caught fish. I spent the day watching the weather, and cancelled our trip for today, due to the deteriorating forecast. This morning at 5am,  it is snowing and 23 degrees with a NE wind. Certainly do-able, but not nice. Next week they show temperatures up into the forties and fifties. Trying again for next Saturday (and maybe during the week). Let's get some fishing in before the water gets too cold and it all shuts down for the winter.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year

The Skylarker left the dock before 6am to take advantage of the weather window and the forecast was right on. The ocean was calm and it was cold. A good turn out of anglers aboard, thanks to our old friends Tom K and "Staten Island" Tony. Fishing was good on the first drop when the current was running hard. Randy did well as usual and everyone had a few nice blackfish. The wind turned to the south as forecast in the afternoon and the bite fell apart. On the way home, the wind cut loose and gusted to over 35 knots. It was amazing to see how fast the ocean can change and all aboard were glad we came in early. There is still some life on the inshore spots, but we may try the 80 to 100 foot depths to look for bigger fish on the next trips. Capt Steve plans to sail on nice weather days in January.