A most unusual annual July 4 contest is going on across the world as this is being written. The Blue Marlin World Cup is a one-day, one-species tournament with a $5,000 entry fee per boat and a winner-take-all pay-off. Since blue marlin are found in most offshore tropical and temperate waters around the globe, it will take some time before the results are in from all time zones. It will probably take a blue of over 500 pounds to win — and likely areas include Bermuda, the Virgin Islands and Hawaii.
While cleaning up my office this morning, I came across one of my Star-Ledger columns from 2002 that had some interesting July 4 news about doormat fluke which have been missing from party boat reports so far this year.
Back then, Rob Larsen of Sayreville boated a giant 14.72-pound doormat fluke on the July 4 trip of the Sea Tiger from Atlantic Highlands — the largest by far from northern N.J. that year and a record for the Sea Tiger, breaking one that he had set himself two years earlier with a 13.8-pounder. Yet, just eight days later, Larsen not only lost his coastal honor but also his boat record when Mike Whiter of Middletown clearly beat Larsen’s giant with a 15.64-pound doormat weighed at Julian’s Tackle. Capt. Hal Hagaman reported both super doormats were caught near the tip of Sandy Hook on live snappers.
There were no doormat reports from Atlantic Highlands so far today, but Capt. Ron Santee said Tuesday’s fluking on the Fishermen was better as Capt. Ron Sr. boated a 6-pound fluke before Steve “Chaos” caught a 5 11/16-pounder to take his second pool in two weeks. Power drifting was required to make up for the lack of drift. That was still a problem on the holiday. Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter said it wasn’t a stellar day, though they picked away.
Vinny D’Anton of Wall celebrated July 4 with a school striper as soon as he started casting a Sluggo into the Belmar surf this morning, and later got another on a Chug Bug, but the hot topwater bite he had the previous morning didn’t develop as Frank Manzi and I couldn’t raise a thing. D’Anton later moved south and added one more schoolie.
Dolphin haven’t even been mentioned in any reports I’ve received off the NJ coast, and there wasn’t a single entry in the dolphin Calcutta of the Bluefin Open. However, there are dolphin way to the south like this bull plus many more caught trolling baleo today in 1100 feet off Miami by my daughter Cyndi. She was carrying on the tradition aboard Sheri Berri III, Luis Gonzalez’s trailered boat out of Palmetto Bay.