After a fine winter and spring in N.C. , the Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant opened up the northern canyon season this week with a flurry.
Captains Phil Dulanie and Charlie Vander Beck got the John De Rosa and sons party out to the edge by 2 p.m., and they soon had three rods hooked up. It was over an hour before they were finished fighting what turned out to be a 50-pound bluefin and two 150-pounders. They added a 35-pounder trolling before setting up for the night chumming. The constant blue shark bite they expected didn’t develop. Instead, they hooked a 40-pound bluefin before finishing up the night with a real battle as a 68-inch bluefin of close to 250 pounds fought for over an hour. The morning troll produced a bluefin in the 100-pound class before the southwest wind came up hard and they ran back to Point Pleasant.
The spring that started out cold, but fishable, has become warmer but a lot wetter. Capt. Rob Semkewyc didn’t have enough fares to sail with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands. That was too bad, because Capt. Vinnie Vetere of Katfish Charters from Great Kills said he had his best day of the year in Raritan Bay. Big bass were on the surface, and live bunkers produced steady action with bass mostly in the upper 20s — but up to a 42-pounder. When the bait was gone, Vetere switched to trolling his Ho-Jo’s and kept catching as they ended up with about 30 releases.
Capt. Joe Massa took a neighbor out for just a few hours Wednesday morning on his My Three Sons from Morgan Marina and has able to net bunkers in the back of the bay that were turned into six stripers in the same area.
Unfortunately, there’s a forecast of northeast winds gusting to 30 mph for tomorrow.The Sea Hunter has cancelled, as has the Golden Eagle from Belmar. It’s not official yet, but the Staten Island Tuna Club Striper Tournament will probably be postponed a week.
At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reported a good showing of blues in the surf yesterday along with bass — especially on bait in the evening. There was a 35-inch blue on a SP Minnow that registered 11.3 pounds on the scale. Vin Nolan Sr. used the same lure to fool a 34-inch striper that weighed 12.5 pounds.
There was no repeat of the surf bluefish blitz around high tide for Jim Gates of Bay Head at his local beach, but he did get one before I arrived to turn off the bite.
Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, said cocktail blues are hitting at times in Pt. Pleasant Canal. Kettle Creek paddletails are best, but Melillo says they’re also turning on to metal.