As noted last night, there was going to be a lot of northeast wind today, but I wasn’t counting on all the rain that came with it. I was able to hide from the worst of it in Shark River, and watched boats go out and soon come back.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar was an exception, and they reported good action with sea bass despite the nasty ocean. Some ling were added along with “tommy cod”. I very much doubt that tomcod were found offshore as they are a small inshore species. It’s likely those fish were spotted hake, a similarly-shaped small member of the cod family which can be identified by the line of white spots along its lateral line. Though fairly common, they rarely are as large as a pound. The Golden Eagle also marked chub mackerel on their fish finder, and plan to chum for them tomorrow.
Small craft warnings for gusty NE winds continue into Monday afternoon. The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands sent customers home this morning due to the wind and rain. Check with them about tomorrow. The Angler has already decided not to sail until Tuesday as they won’t be able to get to the areas that have been producing larger fluke.
The MidAtlantic begins fishing days tomorrow from Cape May and Ocean City, Maryland. Many skippers like to get a jump on the field during the first day, but I suspect few will fight rough seas when the rest of the week looks better. I’ll have late blogs with results after the weigh-ins close through Friday.
Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that fluking was excellent on Saturday. The Ozark Club Tournament produced fluke weigh-ins at the northern store up to 11 pounds, and up to 7 pounds at Belmar. The river was also good as Jesse Thomas of Wall had a fluke limit in just two hours.
I only managed three small stripers in the rain this morning from shore in Shark River, and paid dearly for them as my surf rod (Tsunami 8-foot, 10-inch Elite with Canyon 3500 spinning reel) disappeared from behind my back. There was just one “stranger” on the shore, and he left during the rain while I was a casting a jig with the lighter tackle.