Though there have been discussions about opening up the economy as the pandemic curve flattens, the owners of party and charter boats in N. Y. and N. J. remain confused about when or if they will be allowed to take customers this year.
The bills keep coming for dockage, but income remains at zero. It isn’t like that everywhere. Charter boats have been operating in Florida, and Capt. Monty Hawkins is planning to start running limited trips in May with his Morning Star from Ocean City, Maryland. Hawkins will carry only nine customers, which is just 22,5% of his capacity in order to ensure the proper distancing. The cost for those sea bass trips will be $155 on Saturdays and $135 from Sunday to Friday. Reservations are required by calling 410 520-2076. The sea bass season there opens with a 12-inch minimum and 15 fish bag limit.
Charter boats are operating in R.I., but don’t rush up there. Mike Laptew, the famed underwater photographer, checked with the governor’s office and found that they may only carry R.I., customers.
Even non-residents who own boats in R.I. have to check with their marina and quarantine before working on their craft. The state’s waters are open, but out-of-state boaters can’t overnight at the marinas.
Jack Kauffman confirmed last night’s blog about Saturday’s crowd of boats in Raritan Bay turning off the bite. He noted that there were no markers in the bay, and though he marked lots of fish for three hours they all had lockjaw.
Mark Roy got out into the bay today with his Release Me from Raritan Marina in Hazlet. His crew trolled stripers of 28 1/2 and 35 inches on mo-jos and released two smaller ones. They couldn’t find any bunkers for bait in Great Kills Harbor before going to the back of the bay where there were bunkers flipping but no hits up to the time this blog was written.
The weather is turning on us again. The wind turns southeast in the morning at 10-15 knots plus gusts to 20 before increasing to 20-25 knots in the afternoon with gusts to 30 knots.