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89-lb Delaware state record cobia boated

What started out as an offshore trip turned out to be much more for Scott Brooks as he returned to Indian River Inlet with both a yellowfin tuna — plus a Delaware state record cobia weighing 89 pounds, 3.2ounces. According to the Field & Stream post, Brooks was on his way in when schools of bunkers were spotted off a beach close to the inlet — and he threw a bucktail jig into one of those schools before being surprised by the 63-inch cobia.

The Big Mohawk from Belmar will conclude its fluke season Friday before being chartered the next two days and going into dry dock on Monday.

The Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands switches to daily porgies on Wednesday.

The Paramount from Brielle has a special cod trip set for Wednesday 5-5 by reservation at 732 528-2117.

The morning forecast is for at west 10-15 knots.

Happy Birthday to Lee Wakefield, shown here with a sat-tagged striper on Chuck Many’s Tyman earlier in the year.

Fluke season winding down

Fluke fishermen are running out of time this season, though some of the largest are caught just before moving out to spawning grounds far offshore.

Capt. Ron Santee said there was less short action Sunday on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands when the weather was too nice with a lack of drift in crystal clear waters. A 7 3/4-pound fluke took the pool that day. There was also a 7-pounder reported Sunday on the Big Mohawk from Belmar.

Santee isn’t waiting for the N.J. fluke season to end on Sept. 27 as he’s already having to run beyond his normal fluke range in order to produce. The Fishermen will switch to full day porgy fishing on Wednesday.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a variety of fish on each drift today. Bluefish and chub mackerel were featured along with some jacks and bonito plus sea bass that had to be released and a big shark that released itself. Since they are on a canyon dolphin trip, the boat won’t be fishing for blues again until Wednesday.

The weather forecast is for southwest winds at 5-10 knots plus morning showers.

Bob Matthews sent the following from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina :

“Lots of bait moving around the rivers and bays, Peanut Bunker,Spearing,Mullet
and some Sandeels.
We will soon see these bait fish migrate to our local surf,then the predatory fish
such as Stripers,Blues,Albies, and Fluke will be on the prowl,be ready.
As for the last few days Mother Nature has hurt the efforts for anglers,boats are
sailing again with mixed results,Fluke fishing is a little slower but still fairly good.
The Blue fishing has been very good,with a heavy mix of mackerel.
Tuna fishermen are venturing out with some good success,Mahi mahi,Cobia and
Wahoo are adding to their trips.
Our local ponds are giving up some very nice Large Mouth Bass and some big Catfish,
some anglers are going to the streams for holdover trout.
Fall is closing in and for many of us the best fishing of the year, see you all
on the hunt for Stripers. “

9/11 — a day that can’t be forgotten

There are a few days so significant that everyone remembers where they were and how they felt — and 9/11 ranks up there with Pearl Harbor and Kennedy’s assassination.

There had been a few giant tuna hooked at the wreck of the Lillian off the northern N.J. Shore, and the legendary Capt. Bob Pisano had to check that out. We left Belmar in a developing northwest wind, and had only started chunking when Pisano heard some radio conversation about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center. I checked out the TV, and though we were out of range we were able to hear some audio. Even the dedicated Pisano felt uneasy about what was going on, and we soon pulled anchor to head back.

We weren’t very far away from the World Trade Center on a straight line, and would have seen the smoke billowing high in the sky if not for the stiff northwester which kept it so low to the ground that we never saw any until almost back to Shark River Inlet. It was quite a while after that before we knew we were under attack — and who the enemy was.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a good day of bluefishing along with some chub mackerel, a few bonito and little tunny — and a surprise cobia. They have a few spots open on Monday night’s last canyon mahi trip. Reservations are required.

Monday’s weather looks good with south winds at 5-10 knots and 2-4-foot seas. Showers are possible.

Golden Eagle cobia

Bluefish limits common on Jamaica

The Jamaica from Brielle reported beautiful weather and a good bite of bluefish that provided limits for most along with lots of chub mackerel and a few little tunny. That boat also has openings on upcoming canyon tuna trips. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

Little tunny were active this morning at Martha’s Vineyard, but Bob Correll of Bay Head, N.J. found them to be fussy during the first day of his vacation there. Fortunately, Bob was the only angler able to hook up and land one of those great game fish. The annual Martha’s Vineyard Fishing Tournament begins next week.

Capt. Ron Santee didn’t know what to expect after all the fluking time lost to bad weather, but was pleased with a decent pick on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. He’s ready to make the switch to porgies if fluke move to offshore spawning grounds early. A 4-pound fluke took today’s pool.

There’s a small craft warning up through Sunday morning though I don’t know why since the forecast is for northwest winds at 5-10 knots with 2-4-foot seas.

Mjke Rubino sent this shot of the Monmouth County surf this morning — which should be a lot calmer tomorrow.

Andea’s Toy had the U.S. wrestling team out to test their muscles on canyon tilefish before they headed to Serbia for the world championships

Small craft advisory up, but weekend looks good

Though most boaters cancelled NY/NJ Bight trips today and small craft warnings are up through Saturday afternoon, it’s only the 4-6-foot seas which seem to be a problem as the morning forecast is for northwest winds at 5-10 knots.

Capt. Frank Masseria of Vitamin Sea at Keyport said the previously good fluke fishing was tougher in northeast winds and a big swell, but should be fine by Sunday when he has availability.

Bigeye tuna caught on a recent canyon trip of Water Proof from Pt. Pleasant

Capt. Dave DeGennaro of Hi Flier at Barnegat had bluefin tuna action on his last trip as his party went 4 for 6 baiting 40-60-pounders on relatively light tackle. Dave notes that there’s still good weakfishing in calm waters of Barnegat Bay when the weather isn’t right for offshore trips.

A few openings in Panama

An opening for a shot at the great fishing at Pesca Panama is usually hard to come by, but Mike Augat sent the following availabilities for everything from black marlin to roosterfish as follows:

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REMAINING PESCA PANAMA BOATS FOR NOVEMBER 2022- JUNE 2023 AS OF SEPTEMBER 6:

Nov 6-11    5 boats

Nov 13-18    3

Dec 11-16    1

Dec 18-23    5

Jan 1-6    2

Jan 8-13    1

Jan 29- Feb 3    2

Feb 5-10    5

March 5-10    3

June 4-9    5

Contact Mike Augat by calling 716 868-4432 or e-mail mike@mikeaugat.com.

You may even be able to catch the cubera snapper I’m holding at the head of the blog as I released that near-world record 73.58-pounder (by formula) during my last trip there.

Vinny D’Anton reports peanut bunkers remain abundant in the Monmouth County surf even though he’s been picking school stripers best on a 7-inch Redfin swimmer that doesn’t resemble the bait. Last week he even hooked a 34-inch striper which is a very unusual catch in the N.J. summer surf. Sea Girt pro Frank Conway has been enjoying similar success with the 5 1/2-inch Redfin.

A small craft advisory is up through Friday night, though the weekend looks good. Friday’s forecast is for northeast winds at 10-15 knots with 4-6-foot seas. Due to the weather, the Golden Eagle from Belmar won’t be sailing for bluefish tomorrow, and the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands won’t resume fluking until Saturday.

The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant will be open for fluke trips Sunday plus 9/19 and 9/21. Call 732 370-8019.

This swordfish was caught during the Golden Eagle’s tuna Tuesday trip.

Bigeyes made a comeback at MRMTC Offshore Open

Bigeye tuna had been the stars of this year’s tournament season until most bigeye specialists couldn’t find them during the big money MidAtlantic. That situation changed completely at the Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Club Offshore Open which concluded over the weekend.

Pepper ended up finding the largest bigeye for a clear win at 265.3 pounds, but there were many other outstanding entries as The Experience had a 220.9-pounder — followed by Let It Bleed at 208.6 pounds and Miss Magic with a 203.6 pounder. Blue Runner has been trolling some of the largest bigeyes all season, but needed a few more pounds on their 191.1-pounder.

Fins N Sins had a 133.7-pound swordfish while Impulse led in dolphin at 22.9 pounds — and Papa Bear was first in wahoo with a 56.3-pounder. Leprechaun led many albacore entries with a 63.6-pound longfin. Polarizer won the featured white marlin release award with just six as that species remained scarce. Blue marlin releases were posted by Low Bid, Cast Strength and Tastego.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar returned from the Monday night tuna trip with “quite a few” dolphin and a swordfish. Tuna were breaking, but wouldn’t hit. The next tuna trip sails at 11 p.m. Monday by reservation. Thursday’s bluefish trip is cancelled due to the weather.

Small craft warnings are up through Thursday evening, The forecast is for northeast winds at 15-20 with gusts to 30 knots plus showers.

Chuck Many said tuna cooperated on a trip with Dave Glassberg on Critter Catcher

Roger Jachts reported limits of golden and blueline tilefish aboard the Voyager from Point Pleasant

Goliath groupers showed no respect for Crazy Alberto

While our goliath grouper plans worked out during our last trip to fish at Marco Island, Florida with Dave Rizzo, Crazy Alberto Knie and I received no such respect over the weekend.

Goliaths live in rough bottoms, and catching them is an all-or-nothing battle before the mandatory release. I might have had a small one on at the bridge while casting a small strip of fish on light spinning tackle from Dave’s center console to the bridge for a live bait, but never had a chance with that fish which quickly broke me off.

We stuck it out despite record 96-degree air temperatures until a likely goliath got under a dock before Alberto could get to the rod. Shortly after that there was another shot as the fish put a big bend in Alberto’s heavy rod and even pulled the anchor before getting off. The hook pulled even though the white grunt bait was intact.

When we tried again Labor Day morning, I got one light bump on a live grunt, but nothing else until I checked to find the bait that had been hooked in the mouth was gone. That goliath must have been working with a hook remover!

Dave had the only luck as he blind casted a slim metal jig intended for ladyfish and instead hooked a 3-4-pound pompano — a most unusual lure for that delicious species. Dave’s luch ran out when he ran into a bay with a few tarpon rolling — though they ignored the live sea catfish we were offering. At least there was some breeze and we got in before the usual afternoon thunder storms. Best of all, we enjoyed the great meals provided by master chef Alberto!

Small craft advisories are going up tonight in NY/NJ Bight, and are in effect until late Wednesday night. Northeast winds at 15-20 knots with gusts to 30 plus showers are forecasted.

Dave was the lucky angler as he caught a large (3-4-pound) pompano while blind casting a small slim metal lure — a most unlikely way to catch that species. Dave found scattered tarpon rolling in a bay where we fished live sea catfish that were totally ignored. The lack of respect was humbling, but at least there was some breeze and we got in before the usual afternoon thunder storms.

Small craft warnings are going up in NY/NJ Bight from late tonight through late Wednesday night. Northeast winds will be 15-20 knots plus gusts to 30 and showers.

Hot fluke and blues, but wind switches to SE

My trip to with Crazy Alberto Knie to Marco Island lasted longer than expected, and this time the goliath groupers had the upper hand. More about that tomorrow.

Capt. Ron Santee reported some of the best fluking of the season on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands the last few days. He rated Saturday as a “10” as three six-pounders were boated, and many fares limited. A 5-pounder took Sunday’s pool as the volume also held up. A 7 1/4-pounder won Sunday’s pool, but the shift to southeast winds at 10-15 knots plus possible showers may be a problem tomorrow. Call to confirm if he’ll be fishing.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had another hot day of bluefish and chub mackerel fishing today. Most action was on bait, but some choppers hit poppers and jigs. There were some better-sized 7-8-pound blues the previous day. That boat is on a tuna trip tonight, and won’t be sailing for blues again until Wednesday.

The new Tony Maja Drift Spoon produced this tuna.

Hope I’m back

After losing the internet at my home in Ft. Myers last week, I had to wait for a technician this morning. He replaced the modem and left — but then I was off again. Unable to get that guy back again, I was then surprised to get back on again. Since I’m headed out to fish tonight with Crazy Alberto Knie, I’ll just start to catch up.

Good news today from the Golden Eagle out of Belmar was a bite of chub mackerel before bluefish came on strong and most anglers added their 5-chopper limits.

Capt. Rob Santee started September in fine fashion when John Brock boated a 9 3/4-pound near-doormat on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. The only negative was that he was a day late for the August super pool. Another angler caught 44 fluke which included what would have been a double limit.

The Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Club’s Offshore Open started off with a strong showing of bigeyes. I’ll try to get those results in the next blog.

Capt. Dave DeGennaro is running open for tuna on Labor Day with his Hi Flier from Barnegat, Call 732 330-5674 for the $450 spots.