There are two very different memorable catches Ill be writing about today — but for different reasons.
Some e-mails from Nick Honachefsky of Saltwater Underworld never showed up on my AOL mail, which happens at times when multiple photos are included. That’s how I missed a very impressive bluefin tuna catch that Nick made last month when he was fishing with Capt. Brien Keating on Defiance and a 180-pound bluefin hit a Savage lure cast on a Shimano Sragrossa 10000.
The battle lasted well over an hour, but I assured him that it could have been a lot worse. About a decade ago I hoked what turned out to be a 170-pound yellowfin tuna off Panama on a Yo-Zuri Bull popper — and that tuna soon sounded in the “bottomless” depths of the Pacific. That resulted in a backbreaking 5 1/2-hour battle that I thought was never going to end because there’s no resting with spinning tackle as is the case with conventional and a harness. There was plenty of braid on the big Shimano Stella, but I could hardly gain any for hours while the tuna was in its comfort zone. When I finally bot it up, she didn’t move a fin when gaffed.
Fighting a tuna that size in our area is a better deal for the angler, as it will surely stay down, but the deepest water during the Nick’s epic battle was “only” 250 feet. Nick is a lot younger, but I can assure you that I never want to battle another tuna that large on spinning!
Kenneth Abeles was fishing for sea bass on the Farms yesterday when he was surprised by a 10-12-pound monkfish. He said that was the first he’s seen in fishing off the N.J. coast for 50 years. The proper name of that ugly fish is angler, but they’re also referred to as goosefish, headfish, and all mouth. They’re actually not rare. Commercial fishermen catch large numbers on bottom longlines and nets. However, angling catches are all random — but therefore memorable. I can remember every one of the few I’ve caught from the first on a N.Y. party boat while fishing for whiting at Ambrose to my personal record 42-pounder that hit an umbrella rig being trolled for pollock off Block Island. Though different sizes, they’ve also been on different lures or bait. Ken released his monkfish, which is a name made up by the market to tempt people to try one of the best eating fish of all. You’ll never see one in a fish store as they’re cleaned at sea into a large hunk of boneless meat.
So much for the northeast 5-10 knot forecast this morning. I was faced with nothing but white waters when I cast into breaking waves at Sea Girt. It turned out to be a typical dry northeaster that dies out later in the morning, but it felt like Oct. 4 on the beach,
Tomorrow’s forecast is for northwest at 5-10 knots before going to south at 10-15 in the afternoon.