There was a period after the unprecedented June run of Spanish mackerel when those tropical fish seemed to almost disappear from the Jersey surf, but they seem to be back again in several areas.
That was certainly the case this morning for famed outdoor writer Nick Honachefsky who kept getting into them at Normandy Beach from 7 to 11:30 a.m. — when he left them biting. There was tropical blue-green water on the beach with a southeast wind.
I had noted that even when I was catching them from the Bay Head surf a few weeks ago it was all blind castings unless some birds were picking as I never saw them do their typical arc out of the water. Nick said there was plenty of that today, and they responded to a Williamson Gomoku jig. Though the Spanish mackerel we see up here are generally only about 14 to 16 inches, they are very good eating when prepared whole as there’s not much to fillet until they get to about 18 inches.
At Seaside Park, both Grumpy’s and Betty & Nick’s report loads of kingfish in the surf along with cocktail blues and improved fluking. Crabbing has finally turned on in the bay, and there are also blowfish at the docks. Tony Arcabascio also reported a big catch of his favorite eating fish after chumming for blowfish in Barnegat Bay.
The bluefish shot on a popper was sent by Nick from the spring run and just popped up as if in response to his name.