Spanish mackerel are a tropical species which often put in a brief appearance in NY/NJ Bight late in the summer when our waters are at their warmest. While boaters troll quite a few some summers, they are a real challenge to catch from the surf when they make a rare visit. Getting a small netal and sparse teaser to them at just the right time and at high speed isn’t easy to do.
I missed out on a decent showing during the summer of 2018, but never expected to get another shot at them last June — two months earlier than expected. I could hardly believe that the typical arching leaps of Spanish mackerel were being spotted. Yet on June 29 last year I caught two in the Bay Head surf, along with eight small blues, to finally broke the ice with them in the N.J. surf at an unprecedented time of year. Quite a few Spanish were caught around that time before it became a pick into early fall.
I wouldn’t bet that it will happen again, but look for those distinctive leaps and take advantage of a rare opportunity if it occurs.
Both the Fishermen and the Sea Hunter reported picky fluke fishing out of Atlantic Highlands today, but with more keepers in the mix. The Sea Hunter won’t be sailing tomorrow due to a lack of customers expected.
The Jamaica from Brielle is sticking with ling fishing before switching to the normal bluefishing. In addition to the daily 7:30 a.m. trip, they have 7:30 p,m. Friday and Saturday ling trips — and a Sunday afternoon sailing from 4:30 to 8:30. Lyle Murdock from Atlanta won yesterday’s pool with a 15-inch winter flounder and added a cooler of ling.
Allen Riley made his first surf trip in some time, and tried a bit south of Sandy Hook yesterday morning. Using only lures, he managed to release five short fluke though there was no sign of bait. Mike the Tin Man tried the Sea Bright surf that morning and released four small fluke on his lures plus Gulp — before being surprised by a 20-inch striper which he was unhooking in the wash when a swell inundated him.
The Wednesday forecast is for south winds at 5 knots, with a chance of showers and thunder storms in the afternoon.