Dave Lilly of Hazlet didn’t want to fish in Saturday’s northeast blow, but Tony Olswsski had already entered the Lacy Marine Fluke Tournament — so they decided to tough it in Tony’s Grady White 25 powered by twin 200-HP outboards from Keyport. It was already so rough that it took an hour just to get to Ambrose Channel, and Dave couldn’t even fish his rod as he was backing into the sea all the time so Tony could get to bottom in as deep as 80 feet with 20 ounces of lead. A bulky bait wouldn’t have worked under those conditions. Therefore, Dave used long Fisherman’s Choice squid strips soaked in shedder crab oil on a two-hook rig that produced an 8.16-pound fluke to enter in the big fluke contest. He also caught a few smaller keepers plus a 2.49-pound sea robin for the “trash fish” Calcutta. Dave was exhausted from fighting the sea constantly with the engines, and they quit by noon before wind against tide started to make matters worse. As it turned out, the one big fish won by almost two pounds, and the sea robin was also a winner.
That was Lilly’s 16th lifetime fluke tournament victory!
Surprisingly, Capt. Stan Zagleski of Elaine B. II from Highlands said Saturday was actually a good day of fluking for anglers on his party boat out of Bahrs. Catches ranged from one or two keepers up to limits plus shorts. Bryan Turten from Wyckoff took the pool with a 5 3/8-pound fluke over a 5 1/8-pounder by young Johnathon Steiner.
At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Ron Santee also did well Saturday on his Fishermen, but today drifting conditions were too fast even between tides. Robin Harabin managed a pool-winning 4 1/2-pounder. Santee advises those willing to give it a try tomorrow to bring heavy rods and big sinkers.
Bob Matthews, at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina, reports the boats there didn’t sail today. That was a shame because ocean fluking had been the best of the year with lots of 6-pounders until the blow.
Monday’s forecast is for more northeast at 15-20 knots — but switching in the afternoon to east at 10-15.
The Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Club is hoping for better offshore conditions for their Aug. 24-31 39th annual Offshore Open. Boats may fish two days or one overnighter during that period. Bluefin tuna are not eligible.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc was sorry to see the northeaster spoil what had been better fluking on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, but cancelled this morning and is doing the same tomorrow.