The second edition of Jimmy Johnson’s Quest for the Ring Tournament is coming to an end in what appear to be good conditions as boaters use up their three fishing days out of five. Only 16 sailed today, but there will be many more of the 80-boat fleet in action during the last two days.
So far there have been only two weigh-ins that might stand up to the end. TLC opened up the first day with a 437-pound blue marlin, and Taylor Jean/MJ’s weighed a 231-pound tuna. None of the other tuna entries have been over 70 pounds, while the wahoo and dolphin leaders are relatively small – and no white marlin have been weighed. I’ll bring everything up to date with a blog after the scales close.
Capt. John McMurray said Jay Odell’s first tuna practically wore him out. He noted that the edge of the shelf was alive today with sand eels, dolphins and whales plus a shark feeding frenzy.
That was what the Golden Eagle from Belmar was looking for yesterday during their first Inshore Exotics trip. However, the area that had been producing tuna only had bait. A few tuna were lost as they fought the seas plus full moon currents that created a 3-knot drift. Some mahi, sea bass, ling and blues were caught. The Golden Eagle was back to bluefishing today as they had a pick of 2-5-pound blues before heading south to add some sea bass, ling, fluke and even a cod. The next exotics trip is on July 18 by reservation.
The forecast is for southwest winds at 5-10 knots.
Mike Monte gave up on the Monmouth County surf after five straight mornings of no bass — three while using sand fleas and the last two casting lures at dawn. He’s returning to Nantucket where there should be no such drought.
There was sad news at the end of the day with a report that a Jersey Shore legend has crossed the bar. Phili Sciortino Sr. of the Tackle Box at Hazlet lost a long battle with cancer. I’ll have details when available.
Red drum always have a spot or two at their tail, but this small one that Chuck Many caught in a salt pond at Hilton Head, South Carolina was really showing off.