It’s time to start fishing for blackfish again on April 1. The spring season opens that day in every state from Massachusetts to Delaware, though there is some variation in closing dates, minimum lengths and bag limits. In Ct., N.Y. and N.J., the first season only runs through April 30, with two tog at a minimum of 16 inches allowed in Ct. and N.Y., while N.J. anglers can take four at a 15-inch minimum.
The Ocean Explorer from Belmar has been returning a few tautog that hit while cod were being sought on recent trips. About 15 cod were hooked on Thursday, but all were short. There were four legal cod Friday plus a dozen shorts despite a big ground swell and tough anchoring conditions. They were planning on fishing Easter Sunday during normal hours, but check with them about that trip as small craft warnings have been posted for gusty SW winds Saturday night into Sunday. The Big Mohawk from that port has scheduled a trip for blackfish on Monday, but weather could be a problem there also with a mix of snow and rain in the forecast for Sunday night.
The weather is a lot nicer at Pesca Panama. Capt. Mike Augat reports “This week we had a 270lb tuna, one cubera over 50 lbs, good roosters, numerous other tuna 70-150 -lbs, a 24-lb snook, and two anglers had a species count contest- one took 25, the other won on the last day totaling 28 species. Really fun week.”
Yellowfin tuna are great sport on relatively light spinning tackle I used at Pesca Panama recently along with nephews Bobby and Todd Correll.