Shark fishermen gearing up for mako tournaments will be happy to hear that plenty of makos are being released in this week’s South Jersey Shark Tournament out of South Jersey Marina in Cape May. That contest has long had a high minimum for makos, but there are still enough being weighed-in to settle the big pay-outs.
Through Friday, the mako leader is a 269-pounder on Gina L, followed by a 249-pounder on My Time. El Cid III weighed a 278-pound thresher.
Smooth dogfish made chunking for stripers in Rartan Bay a losing proposition during Friday’s Manhattan Cup as I fished in the sportfishing category with ex-N,J. Assenblyman Guy Talerico plus his son Alec on their JerSea Patriot along with Joe Massa of My Three Sons in Morgan as we kept at it to finally come up with a single entry — a small bluefish that managed to get hooked by my large circle hook with a bunker chunk. On a day when blues were hard to come by, that won me the anglers award in the Sportfishing category of the release contest while an equally-shocked Talerico took the captain’s award. I’ll have the complete results in a blog tomorrow.
I told Scott Leadbeater of Haddon Heights about that dogfish invasion, and he found exactly the same thing this morning on his Aquasport out of Atlantic Highlands — without even a blue getting through.
Also at that port, Capt. Rob Sembewyc of the Sea Hunter said fluking was slow today in an almost complete lack of drift. His June 12 trophy striper afternoon trip is sold out, but there is room on the June 19 and 21 trips from 2:30 p.m. until dark.
The Fishermen had did well with fluke on Friday in a new area with bait being recorded as there were a few limits and a 7.2-pound fluke by Mr. Hughes. Capt. Ron Santee said small Gulp and bait has been the best bet — “Big bucktails not so much”.
Capt. Stan Zagleski was impressed with the effort today by young Gavin Myers of New Egypt who made his first fluke trip with his dad and not only limited — but also took the pool on Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands, Zagleski said most fares bagged a fluke or two during an all day pick. That boat sails at 6 a.m. Sunday.
At Belmar, the Golden Eagle found the small blues to the north not cooperating — so they switched to sea bass before getting a report about bigger blues about an hour away. They took the chance, and stayed late to get a good pick of 5-to-10-pound blues on jigs.
Bluefish in Shark River this morning didn’t respond to Vinny D’Anton’s normally deadly Chug Bug, but I released three by casting a 6-inch Z Man Swimmerz paddletail on a jig head — and added a 20-inch striper. The first blue was a 25-incher, but skinny The others were 18 to 19 inches. and two more got off. Vinny released a small bass on a jig before heading for the beach where both he and Jim Lauro released a short on bait.
At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reported bait is still the best bet for surf stripers.