What would you do if you suddenly found yourself swimming away from your sinking boat on the way out to the canyons? That’s exactly what happened to five anglers heading out from Ocean City, N.J, in a promising forecast of diminishing northwest winds to fish for tuna on Sept. 14, 1986 when the 32-foot center console Hot Stuff “surfed” down a large wave and was then swamped by another that cracked the windshield and put the twin 200-hp outboards underwater. Ocean boaters soon learn that a big following sea can be a problem as too fast a decent can result in the boat out of control at the bottom of a wave. I experienced something similar many years ago in the giant swells off the Cape of Good Hope when the South African boat I was aboard did the same thing and the wall of water tore the hatch over the cuddy cabin open — leaving us vulnerable to the next wave. Fortunately, the skipper was able to turn into the next wave and prevent a disaster before we could make repairs.
The N.J. anglers barely had time to get life preservers before the boat went under. They did get a May Day call to the Coast Guard before the electronics were underwater, but it turned out that the message was garbled by another call. This was just before the use of EPIRBs became common, and as a result the survival of the entire crew turned out to be a miracle rescue which is detailed in Promising Forecast by Daniel David Jones and Arthur J. Higbee — a 253-page soft-cover which is available from Amazon. Every boater should read that fascinating first hand account of survival at sea.
Capt. Joe Massa of My Three Sons at Morgan Marina joined Guy Talerico on Jer-Sea Patriot out of Jersey City for a last try at stripers today, but found no trace of them. There was bait and gannets were diving, but they had no hits on live eels and marked no bass even though the water temperature was a mild 47 degrees. Two whales put on a show in just 24 feet off Breezy Point.
On the other hand, stripers are still a possibility in the surf. Frank Manzi reported that Jim Louro and Tommy Cox combined for 10 up to to 24 inches this morning at Belmar. Frank got there late and still managed a couple of smaller ones. The forecast for the morning is south at 5-10 knots before gusting to 20 in the afternoon.
My nephew, Todd Correll, recently had one of his best trips from Fort Lauderdale as he ran his Viking 70 to Cay Sal in the Bahamas to troll up lots of wahoo weighing at least 50 pounds. His son, Connor, is shown with a 60-pounder. They also were into many yellowfin tuna, barracuda and dolphin while a blue marlin jumped off.