Capt. Chris Di Stefano was among the crew aboard Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club that last week attempted to catch a daytime swordfish on a daytime deep drop off N.J. — and came close to doing so.
They made a very deep drop well beyond Hudson Canyon and hooked a large swordfish fought for some time before the hook pulled. Without a fleet of boats experimenting in order to pinpoint particular areas where swordfish dwell in the great depths during the day, this fishery is a real shot in the dark up here at present. However, Richard Stanczyk of Bud ‘N Mary’s Marina in Islamorada has developed a very consistent daytime swordfishery in that area — and his son, Capt. Nick Stanczyk (pictured above with a 601-pounder) now catches them regularly and often several in a day. Crisdel winters in Islamorada, and they cut their teeth on daytime swordfishing last winter.
Though Crisdel was using electric reels, it’s not a big problem to fight large swords on sportfishing tackle. I’ve caught daytime swords in both Venezuela and Islamorada, and had no problem doing so because swordfish rise to the surface when hooked, It’s tedious to sit in a fighting chair and continue to reel in line before the real fight begins a long time later. At that point they often jump and act like a fish just joked as they haven’t been expending much energy beforehand.
Di Stefano noted that they also had a couple of other hits in the depths, and ended up moving inshore to put some tilefish in the fish box. Criscola is planning to make another daytime swordfish trip when weather conditions permit.
Tuna have been scarce lately, but Capt. Bobby Bogan found plenty of variety to fill out his 36-hour canyon trip with the Gambler from Point Pleasant. He found a massive weed line that was full of dolphin plus some almaco jacks. Then it was off to a wreck in 250 feet that produced some large pollock and white hake. More dolphin were caught around lobster pots before he anchored on the east side of Hudson Canyon. The anglers were kept busy catching huge squid and a few more dolphin under the lights plus blue sharks. Very small bluefins also invaded the slick, but were released. It wasn’t until after daylight that there was a shot of what they were looking for as a few 50-pound yellowfins and a couple of 30-to-40-pound albacore were hooked. A report of some yellowfins inshore didn’t work out, though some little tunny were caught plus a big bull shark. Edwin Ortiz ended up with a 40-pound albacore, two 20-pound pollock, six 8-to-10-pound dolphin, four white hake of the same size, and two dozen big squid.
The Big Mohawk from Belmar reported many limits of sea bass during the extended season-opening trips Monday and Tuesday plus variety that included big porgies, winter flounder and of all things — a 40-pound tuna.
Miss Belmar Princess had a slow pick of 2-to-4-pound blues today along with some bonito, Spanish mackerel. sea bass and porgies.
The Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands had very good porgy fishing Tuesday along with variety including sea bass, bluefish and triggerfish.
Bob Correll of Bay Head spent last weekend on Martha’s Vineyard trying to catch little tunny in the surf. He said there was so much bait that the tunny were very fussy. The few being caught were on blind casts. Bob ended up catching some small blues just as he had left at home — and caught more of those 2-pounders yesterday evening and this morning than he did at the Vineyard.
The Spring Lake surf looked fine to me this morning with no wind and only a moderate swell, but I couldn’t raise a thing to a popper. Vinny D’Anton fished Shark River for a 22-inch striper on a Chug Bug, but with no action after that he tried the surf at Belmar to no avail. Though Frank Manzi hadn’t done anything at Manasquan earlier, Vinny tried it at mid-morning and was surprised to catch two bass up to 25 inches on the Chug Bug. He also saw very small bass that must have been feeding on tiny bait because he threw everything small at them without a hit.
Capt. Vinnie Vetere of Katfish Charters in Great Kills said he only had a pick of stripers today on live eels during a crew trip. He’s open until the weekend.