The most surprising report I saw on Facebook today was from Ian Scott Devlin who had news of some Atlantic mackerel in Long Island Sound. He had caught some from 12-18 inches last month by jigging a mackerel rig in 60-foot depths and is now catching a few tinkers while fishing for snapper blues.
That species used to be the most abundant during the annual spawning run up the coast from Virginia every spring before the Soviet and other foreign fleets devastated the stocks prior to the 200-mile limit. They did come back until NOAA Fisheries disregarded advice from the Mid-Atlantic Council and scientists by allowing high foreign allocations. However, it’s been decades since we’ve seen any of the huge migrations that sometimes spread into the Sound.
It must be noted that these are not the mackerel being reported by bluefishing boats. Those a smaller warm water chub mackerel.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar picked at small to medium blues today with most on bait rather than jigs and poppers. Chub mackerel fishing was also slow, possibly because two “giggantic” sharks stayed around the boat at anchor. Some sea bass and fluke were added.
Capt. Ron Santee reported Frank Miller Sr. held onto his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands monthly pool winning fluke of 7.4 pounds though his son outfished him with five “nice” fluke. It didn’t look good for Miller when Grant Dietz hooked up to a big fish — but it turned out to be a 39-inch cobia!
The weather looks good again as it will be east at just 5-10 knots with a chance of showers.