Following up on yesterday’s blog about the scarcity of bluefish this fall, I should have noted that what we’re seeing now isn’t unusual.

When I was growing up in Merrick on Long Island’s south shore, the catch of even a single adult blue was newsworthy though we caught lots of snappers with our bamboo poles every late summer.

A neighbor kept a boat in Gardinars Ba,y far out on Long Island, where some small blues had appeared, and it was a thrill for me when I got to troll with him for a few 3-pounders.

There were tales of great bluefishing during the 1930s, but they just seemed to disappear after that. The leading authority on bluefishing at that time checked historical records and determined that bluefish had seven- year cycles. Small blues started appearing around the time I graduated from high school in 1954, and they got steadily larger and more abundant every year after that. Most anglers concentrated on blues rather than the wary striped bass, and expected to see the fishery crash again at the seven-year mark. While there have been many ups and down since, the cycle theory has been forgotten as blues are now managed without regard to any mysterious cycle beyond our control.

Blues made their great comeback in such quantities that anglers started taking them for granted, but I’ve never forgotten how great a gift they were when reappearing during my youth. With the conservation now in place, I ‘m confident that what we’re seeing this fall is just a glitch.

It eems that many boaters gave in to rough conditions today, but Capt. Ron Santee ran his charter for the IBEW 457 anglers on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. With wind against current it was hard to find stripers and got nasty. It took hours of searching to get on the fish when the current turned, but everyone was in on the hot bite which has been a daily blessing. The Fishermen will be back to daily open boat fishing in the morning.

Vinny D’Anton reported a very dirty surf and no action this morning, but he did see gannets flying for the first time this fall, possibly indication the arrival of herring.

The Jamaica from Brielle will be sailing for striped bass at 6:30 a.m. They will then be sailing a canyon tuna trip at 8:30 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 732 528-5014.

A small craft advisory is up until late tonight. The morning forecast is for cold northwest winds at 10-15 knots which increase to 15-20 in the afternoon and should clear the surf. There’s a chance of morning showers.

2 Comments

  1. I remember Captain Percy Giddes telling me the same thing. He told a story about driving to North Carolina in the late 1940s based on rumors of bluefish in the surf there.

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    1. Jim: Good to hear from you. I was doing the same thing at that time whenever there was a rumor about blues while hoping that was the start of a new cycle. Never thought then that I’d end up running away from them as a charter captain in order to catch stripers.

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