Page 12 of 20

Sea bass still abundant as season is running out

There doesn’t appear to be any shortage of sea bass off the Jersey Shore as the spring season draws to a close on June 22. After that the bag drops from 10 at 12.5 inches to a by-catch of just two at the same minimum during the summer season from July 1 to Aug. 31.  The only problem now is getting through all the shorts to catch a limit — especially on the heavily-fished inshore reefs and wrecks.

Jigging has been the best bet for getting through to the bigger sea bass, The Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported that today’s most successful angler was loading up on a sand eel teaser.

It was a beautiful calm day until the afternoon west wind, and another fine day seems sure for tomorrow.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano was fishing aboard Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club yesterday as they trolled for eight hours without a hit from Raritan Bay to the Shore. Ricky Stavola was a guest angler fishing the Navesink-Shrewsbury Club contest, and he got busy in the afternoon when seven bass, all in the forties, hit bunker spoons. shad rigs and mo-jos off Monmouth Beach.

Di Stefano also had reports that canyon trollers were enjoying great yellowfin action from Lindenkohl to Baltimore canyons.

There was a Friday blitz of school stripers in Point Pleasant Canal, but lots of boat traffic put an end to that this morning. The miracle was that there was still a pick of small bass even though canal anglers had to wait for openings between boats in order to cast. I released three stripers up to 21 inches on a Z Man jig and lost an even smaller one.

Jerry Lasko and Maren Toleno of Point Pleasant caught a couple of 26-inch stripers yesterday evening on sand fleas at Island Beach State Park before skates took over at dusk. Maren released a 30-inch striper there on that bait last Sunday.

Conditions weren’t great for Raritan Bay fluking today as Capt. Rob Semkewyc  said the wind came up against the tide when it switched.  His fares on Sea Hunter still managed to pick away. Also at Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Ron Santee was happy with his results on the Fishermen as 3-to-4-pounders were hooked by many anglers, and a pool winner over 6 pounds was boated at the end.

The fluke below was caught on the Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands last week, but had no chance of being accepted in the pool as the doormat was obviously stone dead and falling apart when snagged on the bottom.

Elaine B dead fluke

More 50-pounders added to Tony Maja honor roll

In addition to the previously-reported striped bass over 50 pounds trolled on Tony Maja  bunker spoons by Capt. Jim Freda of Shore Catch from Point Pleasant and by Paul Haertel, Tony Arcabascio notes that others have claimed a spot on the Tony Maja Honor Roll this spring.

Dave Carano had a 54.4-pounder on a chartreuse spoon, and Jerry Malanga  had the same size bass on a green spoon. Greg Davidson used a white Maja mo-jo for his 51 1/2-pounder from Obsessions. Mike Timez trolled the white #1 spoon for his 55.1-pounder. Capt. Jim Freda is pictured below with the 50 -pounder he trolled recently from Shore Catch out of Point Pleasant.

Freda -48-inchBluefish haven’t cooperated for the Shore party boat fleet the last two days, but the Golden Eagle, Miss Belmar Princess and Queen Mary  have all had good sea bass action with some porgies mixed in. The Golden Eagle also had a keeper fluke Thursday.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc had a slow start today with fluke on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands as the west wind was still blowing hard. Once it let down the fishing was good. That was also the case with sea bass fishing on the Big Mohawk and Ocean Explorer from Belmar.

Capt. Vinny Vetere had a wind against tide situation everywhere he went this morning  with Katfish from Great Kills, until getting into good conditions in the western Sound for a hot bite.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano fished aboard Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle yesterday as they trolled everywhere from Raritan Bay to Shrewsbury Rocks before catching a double  of stripers in the forties on a shad rig and a bunker spoon.

At Seaside Park, Betty & Nick’s reported a 22-pound striper weighed in yesterday by Ryan Seaman of Toms River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last chance for eel comments

The ASMFC is taking comments from the public on eel management, but Friday is the deadline. Following are suggested comments from Stripers Forever.  While these positions are probably the best to be hoped for, I can’t accept any commercial fisheries for glass eels such as is carried out in Maine to allow a few people to make fortunes while decimating a fishery. It would be different if they were just destroying their own fishery, but scientists believe eels spawned in the Sargasso Sea are randomly distributed by currents rather than being imprinted to return to the river of the parents. Comments should be e-mailed to comments@asmfc.org — with the subject line American Eel

ASMFC ACCEPTING COMMENTS ON EEL MANAGEMENT

Here is your chance to speak up for the health of our marine ecosystem and favorite striped bass food! We need to make sure that the harvest levels remain the same and NOT increased so that a few may profit! The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is seeking public comment on its plans to make changes to its American Eel Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for commercial yellow and glass/elver eel allocation and management.

This is an important opportunity for the public to ask for increased eel conservation.

Please share with a friend. We only have until June 15, 2018 to make our voice heard.


 

According to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, in all its life stages, the American eel serves as an important prey species for many fish, aquatic mammals, and fish-eating birds. Climate change may affect future ocean conditions, such as water temperature, current patterns and food sources that may have implications for the eels breeding success. However, high levels of uncertainty in the precise mechanism and timing of such changes make it difficult for scientists to accurately predict how, or to what extent, any changes will affect eel migration, aggregation for reproduction, and ultimately abundance.

According to the ASMFC, The goal of the current American Eel FMP is to conserve and protect the American eel resource to ensure its continued role in its ecosystems. This FMP requires that states and jurisdictions maintain existing or more conservative American eel commercial fishery regulations for all life stages, including minimum size limits. Each state is responsible for implementing management measures within its jurisdiction to ensure the sustainability of its American eel population.

However, the 2012 benchmark stock assessment results

indicated that the American eel stock had declined, that there were significant downward trends in multiple surveys across the coast, and that the stock was depleted. And, the 2017 assessment update repeated the 2012 finding that the American eel population is depleted.

In addition to the depleted stock status, the total coast wide yellow eel landings from 2011-2016 exceeded the coast wide cap in 5 out of 6 years. And, there are significant uncertainties in the commercial landings data because not all states comply with the required data reporting, and there are potential biases present in the commercial yellow eel data set because even with mandatory reporting, requirements do not always extend outside marine districts where yellow eel are harvested from non-marine waters, and misreporting between conger eel, hagfish, slime eel, and American eel has been known to occur.

Regarding the current elver harvest, given an estimated 2,000 elvers per pound, the current Maine quota of 9,688 pounds combined with the 15 states aquaculture quota of 200 pounds each would yield a total coast wide quota of 12,688 pounds, or a potential to remove 25,376,000 eels from the water, in addition to the total yellow eels removed under the current coast wide quota of 907,671 pounds.

To achieve the conservation goals of the ASMFC’s American Eel Fishery Management Plan through Addendum 5, we feel the following Addendum V options should be implemented:

3.1 Proposed Options for Maine Glass Eel Quota: Option 1: Status Quo Quota for Maine of 9,688 pounds of glass eel.

3.2 Proposed Options of Glass Eel Aquaculture Plans: Option 1: Status Quo.

3.3 Proposed Options for yellow eel Coast wide Cap, Management Trigger, and state-by-state allocations:

Issue 1: Coast wide Cap: Option 4: Coast wide cap set at 836,969 pounds; a 12% decrease from the mean or average of 1998-2016 landings.

Issue 2: Management Trigger: Option 1: Status Quo. There are also numerous allocation options in Addendum V, but the main options to maintain or increase protections for American eel are the ones noted above.

Eel life cycle

The small craft warnings for west winds kept most boats at the dock this morning. The Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands sailed into good fluke fishing at first with most being keepers. Yet, when the wind increased to 25 mph the anglers had to switch to 10-ounce sinkers and could hardly hold in even shallow waters.

Surf waters turned cold from the recent SW winds, and Jim Louro of Spring Lake felt fortunate to catch an 18-inch striper plus a skate on sand fleas. The NW wind should calm the surf overnight and start a trend upward in water temperature.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro reports he ran out to the canyons on Sunday with his Hi-Flier from Barnegat — and found blue waters with lots of whales and dolphins. There were also trolling hook-ups, but the action was from skipjacks. Only one small bluefin tuna was caught, but it was undersized. De Gennaro said the weather looks good for another canyon attempt on Saturday. He’s sailing open then, and is doing the same for inshore fishing Friday from noon to 5 p.m. School stripers have been hitting soft plastics cast into Barnegat Inlet — occasionally including a 21-pounder such as this one held by Capt. Nick De Gennaro. The Father’s Day open trip will be from 7 a.m. to noon.

Capt. Nick De Gennaro 21-lb.jpg


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Big money mako shark contests coming up

There will be lots of money at stake in the upcoming mako shark tournaments which get started this weekend.

The opening tournaments were somewhat disappointing, but that might have been due to the late and cool spring. However, water temperatures are up to 60 degrees and betting closer to the 64 degrees usually favored by makos.

Last weekend’s South Jersey Shark Tournament at Cape May only produced one mako at the new 83-inch minimum. Another mako didn’t make the contest’s 200-pound minimum, and there were only 29 mako releases by the 68-boat field. Gina L. ran off with $117,826 for their 269-pound mako.

I happened to come across a round-up of the 2002 South Jersey contest by Nick Honachefsky for comparison. During that contest, the winning mako was 443 pounds, and 1,115 sharks were caught. That included 264 makos, with 19 boated and 245  released.  Blue sharks are usually a pest early in the season, and 844 were caught in 2002.  This is the only N.J. contest that offers a prize for a blue shark, but only 54 were caught this year — and none of them made the 200-pound minimum for the prize money.

The official results for the Warriors for Warriors Charity Shark Tournament out of Hoffman’s Marina in Brielle produced just one mako of 86 inches and 225 pounds that swept the mako Calcuttas for Tra Sea Ann. Just Bill Me had the big shark with a 243-pound thresher. The new tuna division was no contest for Miss Tres at 121 pounds, with Taylor Jean second at 35 pounds.

The 17th annual Brett T. Bailey Mako Rodeo will be contested out of Hoffman’s Marina West in Brielle from June 14-16 with a new 48-hour format.  The captains meeting is on June 14 at the marina. Visit http://www.btbmakorodeo.com for details.

The Jersey Coast Shark Anglers also jump into action with a new format as their 40th annual Mako Fever runs from June 16 to 24 — allowing contestants to pick good weather days and fish as many as they want to by paying entry fees for each day. The captains meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on June 15 in Manasquan River Club, Brick. For details visit http://www.jcsa.org

The Greater Point Pleasant Charter Coat Association waits until June 23-24 for their 33rd annual Mako Mania which will be run out of  Captain Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant. The captains meeting is on Friday June 22 in Wehrlen Bros, Marina on Princeton Ave. in Brick. For info call 732 892-3666 or visit gppcba.com

Matt Slobdjian reports from Jim’s Tackle in Cape May as follows: “The tuna bite really turned on last week in the canyons. The fishing moved from north to south throughout the week. The water was in the Lindenkohl and the Spencer canyons mid-week and moved down from the Spencer to the Wilmington by Saturday. There were good numbers of yellowfin, bluefin, and also some bigeye tuna caught through the weekend. A couple of large blue marlin were sighted, but not hooked up in the same areas.
Drumfish are still biting, but have slowed down a bit. They are still being caught at Tussy’s Slough and in the lower Bayshore Channel.
We are starting to get some fluke reports from the artificial reefs. The bite is not great yet, but some nice fish are being caught on the party boats and private boats fishing the reefs.
Small blues are starting to show up around the inlet rockpiles early morning and again in the evening. There are still some weakfish around the inlet as well.
The surf was slow last week, but we did see the first few kingfish come from the Point, and we weighed the first nice fluke from Sunset Beach for George Barnard from Folcroft Pa.  — a 4.23lb., twenty-two incher caught on a bucktail with a squid trailer.”

Capt. Chris Di Stefano of Wall got word from offshore that the good water has moved out, and canyon boaters are on the prowl again.

CR canyon tuna

Canyon Runner tuna last week

The forecast of some rain seemed to scare off most party boat anglers today. The Sea Hunter didn’t get out from Atlantic Highlands after having a good pick of fluke, including some 4-to-6-pounders, Tuesday until the SE wind shut it down. That wind also hurt the afternoon trophy striper trip as some areas weren’t fishable. Some bass were marked, and Capt. Rob Semkewyc saw a few caught by trollers — but there were no hits on bait. He’s giving it another try at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Also at that port, the Angler reported that their 7 a.m. sailing time put them into a good fluke bite Tuesday morning, including their best drift of the year with 22 keepers coming aboard. Dennis Fuchs of Cranford won the pool for the second straight day with a 5-pounder. Juan Cortez of Bayonne had a very long 35-inch fluke for Sunday’s pool, but it was so thin that it only weighed 5 1/2 pounds.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle got into lots of small blues splashing under birds today — and they stayed up most of the day even though they were a bit fussy. Jigs and teasers also produced some sea bass and a short striper.

I was satisfied with the light tackle casting in Shark River this morning, as I released two 3-pound blues and a small striper on a Z Man 6-inch Swimmerz jig, but there wasn’t much life despite a complete lack of boat traffic. I only had one other bump, and Vinny D’Anton of Wall raised just one small fish to his Chug Bug — which got off before being identified. Jim Louro of Spring Lake barely beat the rain to release a 26-inch striper on sand fleas at the beach. He caught a smaller bass and a 20-inch fluke there Tuesday morning when D’Anton caught two small bass and an 18-inch fluke on the bugs. There doesn’t seem to be any volume of bass in the surf, but the good news is that all being caught are in perfect shape — with none of those red blotches seen on almost every surf bass last summer.

Allen Riley of South Plainfield was surprised to see a rough surf Tuesday morning at Sandy Hook even though there was no wind. His bunker chunks produced only a 13-inch fluke and a “huge” sea robin, while Lou Vargas of Fanwood released a 16.5-inch fluke on bunker.

SH surf

Tank Matraxia and his crew from Lyndhurst fished Tuesday with Capt. Fletcher Chayes on Two Rivers Charters from Highlands as they worked Shrewsbury River for nine legal fluke including one over 5 pounds while using Gulp, killies and squid. Matraxia placed 15 ALS tags in the shorts.   He also received info from the American Littoral Society of a tag return from a 23-inch striper he tagged on Nov. 29, 2017 while fishing off Sandy Hook with Chayes. It was recaptured on June 7 at the west end of Nantucket, but the angler didn’t supply the length. That was Matraxia’s 203rd  ALS tag return.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reports Tuesday’s surfcasting was improved, with a pick of blues on bunker in the evening in the park — and a few bass — including the release of a 36-incher on bait

R.I.P. Capt. Dom Vitolo Sr.

Just before writing this blog, I checked Facebook and found the sad information that Capt. Dom Vitolo Sr. has passed away.  That former Belmar skipper was a great blackfish specialist, and a real gentleman.  I’ll add news about arrangements when received.

Capt. Ron Santee reported that fluking was good on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands when he started on the end of the flood. The first keeper turned out to be the pool winner at 4.9 pounds.  Fluking really turned on with the ebb until the SE wind came up and killed it.

Capt. Vinnie Vetere had to work hard again to make a good catch of stripers. He’s covered from Scotland to Stepping Stones Lighthouse recently, and his Ho-Jos have always come through on Katfish from Great Kills.  Anyone wishing to try them can place an order by visiting http://www.HoJoFishing.com.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had a Monday afternoon charter for John D’Andrea that produced a good sea bass catch before they fished up to dark for stripers. There were some readings, and a 46-incher was jigged on a Kroc.

At Belmar, the Big Mohawk reported most fares limited on sea bass today and added some ling. The Golden Eagle found the 1-to-3-pound blues for jigging before adding sea bass and a few ling to the bags.

The Jamaica from Brielle got into the bite of bigger blues on Saturday, and found the biggest one I’ve heard of on a party boat so far this year — a 15 1/2-pounder by Marquise Berry.  They’re sailing daily for blues, but will be running another tilefish trip on Sunday June 24 at 10 p.m. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

Canyon fishing was outstanding over the weekend. Adam La Rosa of the Canyon Runner fleet in Point Pleasant says they were following a temperature break all week from South Toms to the Baltimore for big catches of bluefins, bigeyes. yellowfins and makos.   Both boats got in three overnighters during the week. Capt. Charlie Vanderbock on his first Canyon Runner charter put the Mike Earle party into a 403-pound mako as well as tuna. The 60-foot Ritchie Howell had a great catch for the Mike Kozak charter as three bluefins in the 125-to-150-pound class were caught along with smaller bluefins — plus four yellowfins —  and three makos of 125 to 175 pounds were released at night.  The Deane and Peter Wilcox party had giants of 400 and 500 pounds plus a bigeye and 10 yellowfins.  The John Mendes charter did very well on a bigeye barrage, catching five out of seven

403-lb CR mako

Gina L. won SJ Shark Tournament with a 269-pound mako

The 38th annual South Jersey Shark Tournament out of South Jersey Marina in Cape May had great weather Thursday and Friday, but catches were well below their normal standards. That was no problem for Joe Zuccarelli on Gina L as Patrick Sheehan fought a 269-pound mako from the 31 Bertram. They weren’t in the biggest Calcuttas, but still ended up with $117,826.

El Cid III, a 28 Mako, boated a 278-pound thresher  that earned $36,434,  while My Time took home $2,323 for a 249-pound thresher.

South Jersey winnerOne other mako didn’t qualify, and 29 were released. The blue shark money wasn’t claimed as only one short of the 200-pound minimum was brought in while 53 were released.  Other releases by the 68-boat fleet included a brown, three tigers and two duskies as the cold spring waters seem to have delayed the usual shark migratory pattern.

The Warriors for Warriors Charity Shark Tournament out of Hoffman’s Marina West in Brielle hasn’t posted any official results as yet, but the last leaderboard indicated that Tra Sea Ann weighed an 86-inch, 225-pound mako.  Just Bill Me had a 243-pound thresher. Miss Tress was way ahead in the tuna division with a 131-pounder, and Taylor Jean was on the board with a 35-pound tuna.

Warrior's mako

Despite the early morning rain, there were some fluke fishermen who braved the weather at Atlantic Highlands. Capt. Ron Santee was happy with the morning bite on the change of tide as Rich Mullenbrock limited up to a 6 7/16-pound fluke on the Fishermen.  Capt. Rob Semkewyc said conditions were horrible where he had been catching with the Sea Hunter, but there were still a few limits and fluke of 5.5 and 4.7 pounds.

Party boats along the Shore cancelled, but sea bass fishing has been very good for bottom fishermen who’ll  be glad to get back to them tomorrow. The Golden Eagle at Belmar and Miss Belmar Princess will be looking for the 5-to-8-pound bluefish they got into last week. Those blues weren’t hitting very well Sunday after a good jig bite Saturday.  The forecast for Tuesday features light southeast winds.

The Surf Kings almost held their home ground at Sea Girt during a weekend afternoon surf contest with the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association and American Angler as Tim MacMahon had an 18-inch fluke before a 34 3/4-inch blue hit a clam fished by Ron Stesney of America Angler late in the afternoon.

Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that fluke are hitting in Shark River, and some big stripers are being trolled in the ocean. Ray Soyka of Lincroft put a 52-pounder on his boat. Brett Thibedeau was trolling with his father two miles off Belmar when he fought a 48-pound striper. They also caught another over 40 pounds.  Matthews says clams are producing mostly short stripers in the surf.

Vinny D’Anton of Wall waited for the rain to stop this morning before trying to bait stripers in the surf, but they didn’t turn on.

Sharks starting to show in surf

Surfcasting for sharks at night has been catching on the last few years, and Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park notes that fishing seems to be getting underway with several sand tigers  reported recently. Daytime fishing was slow yesterday with only one striper and one blue weighed in. There are some fluke in the surf, with Colton Connell bringing in a 25-incher that weighed 3.55 pounds. Striper weigh-ins recently were topped by Annalee Nelson with a 39-inch, 19.20-pounder on clams in the surf — along with a 41.5-inch, 21.15-pounder the same way by John Radice.  Betty & Nick’s Tackle reported big blues were in the inlet Saturday.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro had no hits trolling for big stripers Friday with his Hi Flier from Barnegat, but while finishing up by casting soft plastics in Barnegat Inlet for 2-to-4-pound blues on 10-pound spin,  he was surprised after the tide turned by stripers up to 12 and 21 pounds.  De Gennaro will be looking for more of them, and is also taking along some shedder crabs and sandworms after getting reports of weakfish in Barnegat Bay. He also hopes to get offshore to the tuna that are edging closer — but only when the weather is right.

Capt. Stan Zagleski had tough fluking conditions today with his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands, but his regulars jigged some better fish topped by a 7-pounder for Mike Schmidt of Cranford.

 

 

Mike Schmidt 7-lb-Elaine B

 

Allen Riley and John Mazzeo from South Plainfield worked the Sandy Hook surf with bunker Thursday morning for lots of big sea robins and only one skate. John also released a 22-inch striper, and Allen hooked a 5-pound blue.

Fluking conditions in Raritan Bay were tough today, but Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter at Atlantic Highlands said he did much better than on Saturday as a few limits were taken. Colin Bennett (10) boated a 5-pounder to take the pool while his grandfather limited.  Capt. Ron Santee said he fought wind against tide with the Fishermen and stayed later as the fishing improved.

At Belmar, the Big Mohawk reported very good sea bass fishing with many limits. Jigs produced the bigger fish. The Golden Eagle even had some sea bass limits on the Saturday afternoon trip.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had lots of sea bass today, but Capt. Dave Riback noted that keepers are getting harder to come by. The Sunday and Monday magic hours trips were cancelled due to ocean conditions.

There were no bluefish reports today.

 

 

Manhattan Cup was a success

“Following is the report on Friday’s Manhattan Cup as provided by Garry Caputi of the RFA, who organized the event along with Capt. Frank Crescitelli:

 The Manhattan Cup is Back

 

On Friday, June 8th the return of the legendary Manhattan Cup Charity Striped Bass Tournament—presented by Yamaha—was held and proved to be a huge success. After a hearty buffet breakfast at the Liberty House 28 boats departed Liberty Landing Marina for a special two column blast off, the columns honoring those who lost their lives in the Twin Towers attack on 9/11. This was the 18th time the event was held, and it is back after a two-year hiatus.

 

“The fishing was tough,” said tournament co-director Capt. Frank Crescitelli, “but some of the teams, including the many donated boats carrying the 22 wounded warriors attending as tournament’s guests, caught a mix of striped bass and bluefish. Bluebird weather can make it hard to put together a good catch, but it did make for a great day on the water for everyone.”

 

The FCT Manhattan Cup included fishing teams in private boats fishing alongside boats donated for the day by the area’s top charter and light tackle guides. Its goals are to highlight the amazing fishery that exists within sight of downtown New York City, provide a great day on the water for at-risk veterans and generate funds for fisheries conservation. The event is all charity, with donations to the Fisheries Conservation Trust and toward sponsoring warriors who were assembled by our very own Robert Gil, a hero veteran of the Iraq War. He returned with physical and physiological wounds and credits the Manhattan Cup with saving his life. Today Robert is the Cups official warrior liaison and favorite son.

 

After a full day on the water the boats returned to the docks, the teams turned in their score cards and headed inside for beverages, dinner and festivities inside Liberty House a stone’s throw away from the docks. Crescitelli reprieved his role as master of ceremonies, as raffles and the live auction got underway raising money for the charities. Celebrity angler and astronaut Bruce Melnick—two-time space shuttle veteran and a hero Coast Guard rescue helicopter pilot—address the crowd and then auctioned off autographed replicas of the Shuttles Discovery and Endeavor, which he flew. Among the many exceptional auction items was a fishing trip for six aboard Wicked Tuna multi-season winner Capt. Greg Meyers’ Fishing Frenzy out of Oregon Inlet, NC and a $1500 fly fishing outfit by Redington and Sage.

 

“Many companies stepped up to help us put on the 18th Manhattan Cup,” said tournament co-director Gary Caputi,” and we can’t begin to express our gratitude and the appreciation of our warrior heroes who fished with us. A special thanks to Yamaha Marine for taking on the top sponsor roll recognizing the importance of this very special event.”

 

Sponsors included Liberty Landing Marina, Costa del Mar, Gray Taxidermy, Yeti, D&R Boat World, Raymarine, Mojo Sportswear, Maui Jim, AllTackle.com, AFW/Hi-Seas, Pettit, Tony Maja Tackle, Tsunami Tackle, The Fisherman magazine, Princeton Tec, Interlux, the Recreational Fishing Alliance, Guides Secret Fishing Gear, Fin Chasers TV and Mustad. Thank you all for donating.

 

The winners of the 18th FCT Manhattan Cup are:

 

Manhattan Cup Champion

Largest Striped Bass Overall– Steve Liesman fishing with Capt. Howard Owens

 

Bluefish Categories:

Largest Bluefish Private Boat – Al Ristori fishing with Guy Talarico

Largest Bluefish on Artificial – Bruce Melnick fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli

Largest Bluefish on Bait – Rick Dunn fishing with Capt. Vince Trapani

Largest Bluefish on Fly – Steve Liesman fishing with Capt. Howard Owens

 

Striped Bass Categories:

Largest Striped Bass on Private Boat – Marc Kennis fishing with Dave Rooney

Largest Striped Bass on Artificial – Karl Anderson fishing with Capt. Howard Owens

Largest Striped Bass on Bait – Steve Liesman fishing with Capt. Howard Owens

Largest Striped Bass on Artificial – Robert Gil fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli

Smallest Striped Bass –  Alex Folmar fishing with Capt. Pete Santero

 

Warrior Division:

Largest Bluefish – Robert Gil fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli

Largest Striped Bass – Roger Totten fishing with Capt. Ted White

 

Celebrity Division:

Largest Bluefish – Bruce Melnick fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli

Largest Striped Bass – Kim Melnick fishing with Capt. Frank Crescitelli

 

Makos biting in South Jersey contest

Shark fishermen gearing up for mako tournaments will be happy to hear that plenty of makos are being released in this week’s South Jersey Shark Tournament out of South Jersey Marina in Cape May.  That contest has long had a high minimum for makos, but there are still enough being weighed-in to settle the big pay-outs.

Through Friday, the mako leader is a 269-pounder on Gina L, followed by a 249-pounder on My Time. El Cid III weighed a 278-pound thresher.

Smooth dogfish made chunking for stripers in Rartan Bay a losing proposition during Friday’s Manhattan Cup as I fished in the sportfishing category with ex-N,J. Assenblyman Guy Talerico plus his son Alec on their JerSea Patriot along with Joe Massa of My Three Sons in Morgan  as we kept at it to finally come up with a single entry — a small bluefish that managed to get hooked by my large circle hook with a bunker chunk.  On a day when blues were hard to come by, that won me the anglers award in the Sportfishing  category of the release contest while an equally-shocked  Talerico took the captain’s award.  I’ll have the complete results in a blog tomorrow.

I told Scott Leadbeater of Haddon Heights about that dogfish invasion, and he found exactly the same thing this morning on his Aquasport out of Atlantic Highlands — without even a blue getting through.

Also at that port, Capt. Rob Sembewyc of the Sea Hunter said fluking was slow today in an almost complete lack of drift. His June 12 trophy striper afternoon trip is sold out, but there is room on the June 19 and 21 trips from 2:30 p.m. until dark.

The Fishermen had did well with fluke on Friday in a new area with bait being recorded as there were a few limits and a 7.2-pound fluke by Mr. Hughes. Capt. Ron Santee said small Gulp and bait has been the best bet — “Big bucktails not so much”.

Capt. Stan Zagleski was impressed with the effort today by young Gavin Myers of New Egypt who made his first fluke trip with his dad and not only limited — but also took the pool on Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands, Zagleski said most fares bagged a fluke or two during an all day pick. That boat sails at 6 a.m. Sunday.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle found the small blues to the north not cooperating — so they switched to sea bass before getting a report about bigger blues about an hour away. They took the chance, and stayed late to get a good pick of 5-to-10-pound blues on jigs.

Bluefish in Shark River this morning didn’t respond to Vinny D’Anton’s normally deadly Chug Bug, but I released three by casting a 6-inch Z Man Swimmerz paddletail on a jig head — and added a 20-inch striper.  The first blue was a 25-incher, but skinny  The others were 18 to 19 inches. and two more got off. Vinny released a small bass on a jig before heading  for the beach where both he and Jim Lauro released a short on bait.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reported bait is still the best bet for surf stripers.

 

 

 

 

Wounded warriors enjoyed a beautiful day at Manhattan Cup.

Though the fishing left much to be desired. 22 wounded warriors enjoyed a day of fishing along with many other anglers in perfect weather  in the Hudson River-Raritan Bay area during the renewal of the Manhattan Cup competition.

Actually. there was a good bite in the bay while we were still enjoying breakfast at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City.  Capt. Vinnie Vetere was in on that action with his Katfish from Great Kills and trolled bass up to 35 pounds on his Ho-Jo lures. By the time we got there the tide was dead and so was the fishing. Chunking in the bay produced lots of smooth dogfish at every stop. I just got home, and will update the Manhattan Cup and all fishing tomorrow.

The Jamaica from Brielle not only jigged plenty of blues in the Shrewsbury Rocks area, but also some bigger ones as the pool went to Ricky Killy of Allentown, Pa. for a 6-pounder. The Jamaica sails for blues at 6:30 a.m. daily, and also Sat. evening at 6:30 p.m.  A tilefish special sails at 10 p.m. Sunday. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.