Two of the most memorable days in my lifetime were spent with the late, great giant tuna pro Capt. Bob Pisano on 9/11.
The first was on 9/11 1980, when I fished in the Mud Hole with Pisano, his mate, Chis Di Stefano — and Roy Parsons. Roy caught a potential state record giant that morning, but I later fought one even larger. Both fish were too big to get through the fish door of the Runaway boat that Pisano and Parsons had built — and had to be towed back in an increasing southwest wind after being tied up with the anchor line. My giant weighed 1022 pounds at Hoffman’s Anchorage in Brielle — the first “grander” tuna in N.J., and a state record displacing a giant that Pisano had also been the captain for. Ironically, exactly a year later Parsons was with Pisano to break my record by a mere 7 pounds.
Who doesn’t remember where they were on 9/11 2001? Once again I was fishing with Pisano, this time where there had been a giant bite that week at the Lillian. We weren’t fishing very long before hearing talk on the marine radio about a plane flying into the World Trade Center. We could barely hear anything on the TV at that distance offshore, but Pisano had a bad feeling about the situation and decided to head in. We would have seen all the smoke coming up over NYC if not for the hard northwest wind which prevented it from rising.
Another outstanding skipper was taken from us much too early on August 29 when Capt. Jodi Di Stasio of Avon by the Sea and XTC Sportfishing in Belmar passed away at just 61 after a heart attack and following strokes. Jodi was one of the canyon pioneers and also a shark expert. His fish store featured a mako mount hanging in front of it. He was very popular among the charter and private skippers along the Shore, and will be remembered Thursday with a memorial gathering from noon to 5 p.m. at O’Brien Funeral Home on Rt. 35 and 2028 New Bedford Rd. in Wall.
John Letizia had a good catch of legal fluke from his boat in Manasquan River on Monday, and was expecting to do even better Tuesday after castnetting peanut bunkers for live bait. Yet, the river fluke bite was off, and he decided to try outside though boaters had found the bottom to be dead on Suday after the storm. His first drift at the Axel Carlsen Reef produced a 7 3/8-pound fluke — though there wasn’t much life after that.
The Monmouth County surf was rough this morning from a swell coming from far offshore, and both Vinny D’Anton and I had no luck though Vinny checked several beaches.
Allen Riley went to Monmouth Beach and found very good conditions there. There were mullet in the wash, but the only action were from two cocktail blues that he released. There were lots of dolphins close to the beach, and he saw some fish splashes well offshore plus a whale — but there was no sign of the little tunny, bonito or Spanish mackerel he was hoping for.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar got into big blues to over 10 pounds today among the smaller choppers, porgies, a bonito and some fluke.