It may have been a scorcher on land this afternoon, but it couldn’t have been nicer when I joined Chuck Many on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands at noon. A light south wind kept it just cool enough despite the 82 degree water temperatures — even up in New York Harbor. On the way up we came across surface action for the first time this summer, but it was all 1-to-2-pound bluefish. There were no other boats around, and we could have caught them in unlimited numbers but didn’t see any signs of bonito. Spanish mackerel or kittle tunny.
Shore party boats caught small blues in good quantity today. The Big Jamaica from Brielle reported adding dolphin, bonito, fluke, sea bass, and chub mackerel. Pool winners this week included Sam Florea of Reading, Pa, with a 6-pound bonito, and Ryan Romanowski from Gilbertsville, Pa. with an 8.2-pound fluke.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar had blues up to 5 or 6 pounds in the morning — though most were 2 to 3 pounds. They then added some sea bass, bonito, small dolphin and keeper fluke.
Small blues also invaded Shark River. Vinny D’Anton said it was slow there early, but both small bass and 3-pound blues started rolling on bait even as party boats were going through. He released nine bass plus blues on the Chug Bug.
There was plenty of fluke action for the Atlantic Highlands fleet. The Sea Hunter reported steady short action with keepers mixed in. One fare caught 30 fluke with three being keepers. The pool winner was 6.1 pounds. The Fishermen had several fluke from 4 to 7.12 pounds. Joe Sullivan was back to catch over 25 fluke up to one just over 6 pounds.
Many’s big bass plans were turned aside when we couldn’t net bunkers in mid-day, though we did snag a couple on the way north and I lost one bigger bass on live bunker in the Hudson before we moved to the East River. Sandworms produced steady action with school stripers and we ended releasing 31. We had to fish through lots of porgies and tiny sea bass later while trying for a Hudson weakfish though I did release my first of the season — a 25-incher.