Friday, August 31, 2018
Thursday, August 30, 2018
The ocean has been calm all week, and the water clear like the canyon or as Capt Walt used to say "crystal clean". As far as the fishing, we had a boat limit of sea bass everyday and the fluke are biting. It is hard to tell how good the bite is most days, as everyone aboard has a boat pole and handles it like you gave them the controls to an alien space ship. Yesterday, we had a few real fisherman aboard and they had their fluke limits or close to it. We are also seeing mackerel and mahi living in the clear water along with hammerhead sharks. And here I was thinking hammerheads were only from Pennsylvania.
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Well, the weather finally straightened out and all the boats were reporting the best fishing of the season. The good news is the long range forecasts show the nice weather to continue. The crabbing slowed down, so we changed to a different spot the other day and picked ten jumbos. Yesterday we took a ride with our old friend Bob and cashed in on the Barnegat Bay blowfish invasion. We fished for a few hours and kept a few of the biggest kind for a fish fry. I was surprised to find twenty seven in the cooler along with a nice kingfish that Evelyn caught. I fried up a batch of fillets when we got home and I have some tails in a garlic-lime marinade for the grill today. Don't forget our big fluke hunt next Saturday, now's the time.
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Sunday, August 19, 2018
This has been one of the craziest summers ever. We have had all kinds of rain, floods, wind and rough seas. And that's only the weather. The fishing has been all over the place. The ocean bottom is covered with sea bass, you can stop the boat on open bottom and catch jumbos. Fluke bite some days and hide on others. Plenty of porgies and triggerfish inshore. Lot's of tuna offshore when you can get there. Huge schools of bunker and big chub mackerel with whales and other things feeding on them. We have had anglers fishing off the bottom and filling coolers with mackerel. We have had crystal clear canyon water right to the beach. The other afternoon a big whale was coming out of the water near the boat with mouthfuls of bunker. The boat next to us was returning from the fluke grounds and came across a white water school of feeding fish and threw jigs to them and hooked up... with tuna! Only two miles from the beach! And I heard those fifty pounders were still there yesterday. While we were drifting amongst the bunker schools yesterday, I saw a large fish swim towards the stern and as I walked back to see it, the anglers started yelling "shark" and I looked over the stern to see a full grown, jumbo sized cobia of about sixty to seventy pounds that gave me the finger and cruised away. Wow, there are bonito and Spanish mackerel in the surf! And a Long Island fluke boat had two dozen Mahi the other day. Yep, just crazy.
Friday, August 17, 2018
Sunday's forecast is for crap, but they have been wrong all week. Last Monday they called for a fishable day and we were greeted with twenty plus from the NE with two months of rain in a few hours. We were trying to fish in four to six foot seas and had to return early. A young humpback whale was going crazy and jumping all around the boat, putting on quite a show. Scientists say they may do this as it is easier for them to breath in rough conditions. That whale has been around all week, as we have seen him on a few trips and we watched him feed on bunkers yesterday. When things come together, the fluke bite and most are around twenty inches. I hope we can get out Sunday, the fish are biting.
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.