Monday, August 13, 2018
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
We headed out on a two day canyon trip early Monday morning. When fishing that far offshore usually the target species is tuna, but I watched the anglers load all type of gear, none of it suited to tuna fishing. That is when I learned it was to be a bottom trip and so it was. On the way out, we passed through the chicken canyon and encountered a fleet of boats, huge finback whales, dolphins and jumping tuna. Here we were in the midst of a tuna bite and had to keep on going! The conditions for tile fishing were close to perfect, we were drifting in 550 feet and you could hold with a twenty ounce sinker and we picked away at small tile fish all day. Just before dark, we looked over some lobster pots and they were all barren except for one, where I coxed a lone hen dolphin from the deep. Usually big dolphin are skitterish and don't bite when they are all alone and I was surprised when she turned and bit the chunk I pitched out and hooked up right at the end of my rod. The fish took off peeling line and flew out of the water three times doing all kind of tricks. Cool stuff, and the twenty pounder went on ice. After that we anchored on a wreck in 360 feet, and caught some weird stuff like chain dogfish and black bellied rose fish along with a few twenty pound pollock. We spent the night anchored on another wreck picking at ling and tried two more spots on the way home, adding some more pollock, a white hake and a few more ling. Capt Willie from the Dauntless was high hook, landing seven tiles and nine pollock. Back at the dock Tuesday afternoon with a bunch of happy and tired fishermen.
Thursday, August 2, 2018
We arrived on the fishing grounds in a freshening breeze Wednesday morning. As we set the anchors out we received word that our buddy, "Hippy" Paul Bender had passed away in the night. Paul was a mate with us on the Skylarker and also the Mary M and other boats from Barnegat Light. He was a highline fisherman and baymen and was always willing to share his knowledge. Around noon the wind piped up to twenty five knots, the seas built to four to six feet, and we returned home with a bunch of sea sick anglers, a limit of sea bass and heavy hearts.