After a couple of years when there didn’t seem to be many bluefish much more than a pound in size in NY/NJ Bight, there have been some promising signs this summer. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported yet another day of great bluefishing for choppers from 2 to 6 pounds with “all you want” catches on jigs. Even before they got offshore, the Shark River regulars were raising blues to poppers regularly after there had been only scattered fish the previous morning.
Tommy Cox said he released at least 20 before leaving, with the largest estimated at 8 pounds. I stayed a little longer, and kept picking blues from 3 to 5 or 6 pounds and ended up releasing 17 — leaving them biting as the current got too strong for comfortable wading and handling fish in rising waters. Vinnie D’Anton caught his share of blues, but also managed to catch three stripers up to a 27-incher on his Chug Bug.
Though bait was coming through, this was all blind casting. I never saw a swirl except on lures.
There was also good news from Bay Head as Jim Gates caught some larger blues where it’s been almost strictly 12-inch cocktails since June.
The Golden Eagle also had some fluke and porgies up to about 5 pounds. If there really was a 5-pounder, I hope it was brought to an official scale since the last time I checked the IGFA world record was just 4 9/16 pounds. If the angler was a Fisherman subscriber, a 5-pound porgy would take over first place in that division of the coastal Dream Boat contest since the leader as of 8/20 was only 4 pounds.
More good news was reported by fluke boats. Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter at Atlantic Highlands said the weather and drifting conditions were good as his fares had a solid pick of keepers in the ocean with a 5.5-pound pool winner. The skipper hasn’t been getting many people down on Wednesdays, and urges customers to call him this evening so he can decide by 8 if he’ll have enough to sail.
The forecast is fine for the morning at 10-15 knots south before increasing to 15-20 in the afternoon,
The Big Mohawk from Belmar had a very good day fluking with many limits and a 9.1-pound pool winner. They will sail tomorrow at 6.
Tank Matraxia had an unusual day fluking Friday at Sea Girt Reef on Lock & Load from Neptune. He snagged nine short fluke in a row before finally catching a 17 1/2-incher in the mouth. He did catch a large sea robin, and his buddies from Lyndhurst had a few legal fluke.
Joe Blaze fished Manasquan River this morning and didn’t see any bait or fish while his fly was also ignored.