Seaquester will be hard to beat in both Mako Fever and Mako Mania after weighing in Saturday. John Schachel of the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers reported a 402-pounder weighed in by John Marotta — and that mako was then weighed at 397 pounds at Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant for the Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association’s Mako Mania. There’s almost always a slight variation in weight when sharks are weighed on two scales as they must be weighed upside down and some stomach contents and liquid may be lost in the process. That will be a hard mako to beat, but they do grow much larger — and there’s still a week to go.
The awards ceremony for the JCAA Fluke Tournament will be held the evening of June 20 in the Clarion Hotel on Rt. 37 east in Toms River. Every boat entered in the contest should be represented as many valuable prizes will be drawn — right up to the grand prize of a 14-foot StarCraft with 20 hp Yamaha and Yacht Club trailer.
It’s not necessary to have entered a fish in order to win at the drawing. Indeed, fishing success seems to be a negative since 19 of the previous 21 grand prize winners had all been shut out in the fishing
Hard south winds during the last few afternoon’s have driven the surf water temperature down, but that didn’t bother the small stripers I encountered this morning. A 22-incher hit my Tactical Anglers Bomb Jr. popper at Manasquan, and another was lost before I made a few casts at Spring Lake and released a 20-incher on the popper. I was more surprised to find the cold water didn’t turn off the fluke. It just took a few casts with the Band of Anglers Dart Spin before I hooked a fluke that looked to be well over 18 inches before it spit the lure after I landed it but flipped back in before I could measure it. I also hooked a 14 1/2-inch fluke and lost a couple on that lure with a metal blade tail that doesn’t look like a fluke attractor especially when reeled at striper speed.
Shark River had been dead when I cast there Sunday morning, but Vinny D’Anton woke the school stripers up this morning with his Chug Bug and released seven. He topped it off by hooking a big blue that seemed to be much bigger after becoming covered in seaweed by the strong current. it weighed 9 1/2 pounds without the salad.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park is still seeing many black drum being caught in the surf during an exceptional run of that species so far north of Delaware Bay.
There were some small blues north of Shark River Inlet this morning, but not many were jigged before the Belmar party boats switched to the dependable sea bass and ling.
Capt. Ron Santee has been concentrating on sea bass and ling with his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands since fluking has been so poor. However, on Father’s Day he took advantage of a slower current to make a drift which produced two keeper fluke and six shorts before the drift got too fast. The sea bass bite was good despite choppy seas at anchor.
Though there’s a possibility of patchy fog and showers in the morning, the wind is switching to east at 5-10 knots — which should bring surf temperatures back up.
In response to my blog about catching three stripers Saturday while fishing live bunkers with Joe Massa on My Three Sons from Morgan Marina, reader Marc Chiapperino noted that there were lots of bunkers at Old Orchard while we were struggling to net bunkers in Great Kills. However, there weren’t any bass apparent in those bunkers, and it worked out not seeing them but rather bringing our bait to N.Y. Harbor where hungry stripers were waiting for them. Though my three releases were only from 34 to 36 inches, they were in perfect post-spawning condition and fought very well on my light conventional rig of an Avet SX reel with 30-pound braid, a 40-pound mono leader to a large circle hook, and a 7ft., 5-inch Jigging World Black Demon rod.