Capt. Mark De Blasio was one of the big money winners with his specialty bigeye tuna during the MidAtlantic Tournament out of Cape May, and he continued his hot streak with Blue Runner during the 38th Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Club Offshore Open that concluded over the weekend.
The Joe Miele party boated tuna of 95.55 and 93.85 pounds that took most of the Calcutta funds, over a 75.75-pounder by Charles Heil on Miss Tres — though the latter was in the tuna stringer Calcutta and won at 138.05 pounds just ahead of the 134.95 pounds posted by Marshall Allegra on Internal Fixation. Miss Tres also won the Small Boat Calcutta.
De Blasio left no doubt in the mahi and wahoo Calcuttas with a huge 51.25-pound dolphin and a husky 44.85-pound wahoo.
The Costa Release Award for blue marlin releases was tied at one and decided on earliest release by Tom Britt on Lucky Strike over Adam La Rosa on Canyon Runner.
The Costa Release Award for white marlin was a tough one as so many whites were caught that it took 33 releases on Jason Parker’s Reel Steel to win. Larry Hesse recorded 28 white releases on Goin’ In Deep. There were no entries for the swordfish and longfin albacore awards.
There was no contest on Labor Day, but Blue Runner scored big with tuna at the mid-range grounds. Capt. Hans Kaspersetz of Sheri Berri at Twin Lights Marina in Highlands was aboard as the crew limited on yellowfins and used up all their mackerel for chunking before returning a day early. A big golden tilefish was added on an electric reel drop along with the smaller grey tilefish. (see below)
Ocean bluefish jigging was very good today. Miss Belmar Princess got into them north of Shark River Inlet on long drifts as A-27 jigs both plain and with tails produced best on the small choppers. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported very good bluefish jigging as anglers could limit with fish up to 4 pounds plus some bonito before they switched to catching some short and keeper fluke.
The Jamaica from Brielle got into blues that didn’t hit jigs well on Labor Day morning, and switched to chumming offshore where fish were in the slick but not hitting during several drops. They finally found eating fish and ended up with lots of chub mackerel plus some bonito, blues and fluke. The pool went to a 5-pound bonito caught by Sammuel Florea from Reading, Pa. Reservations are available for the first canyon trip on Thursday at 7 a.m. Call 732 528-5014.
Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that anglers continue to weigh in big fluke. Ryan Sherwood boated a 9 3/4-pounder on the Big Mohawk, and Noah Pokojni (9) from Easton, Pa. had a doormat of 10 pounds, 1 ounce in Shark River. The river also produced fluke of 5 1/2 pounds for Myra Reevey and 5 3/4 pounds for Harris Reevey. Bob also noted the great tuna bite at the mid-range areas, and hopes for better surf striper action when the mullet drop out of the river.
Vinny D’Anton caught a school striper in the river this morning, but the only other action was from pound-size blues. He moved to the beach and caught two mini-bass on a Chug Bug before switching to fluke to catch four small ones before snappers started tearing up his lures.
Bob Correll of Bay Head was on his local beach at about 10:30 yesterday morning when birds started working over cocktail blues. Bob did well with them on metal, but two friends each caught a legal striper in the midst of that bluefish blitz.
Capt. Ron Semkewyc said drifting conditions were horrible for him yesterday on Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, as the current was too strong. Today started out the same, but conditions turned around at noon and his fares started catching fluke up to the 4.6-pound pool winner.
Capt. Vinny Vetere reported another good day of striper fishing on his Katfish from Great Kills with over 10 bass up to 30 pounds.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park noted a mix of fluke plus small blues and stripers in the surf along with an occasional bonito or Spanish mackerel. Blowfish are building up in the bay at the BB and BI markers. Chumming is important.