Page 3 of 69

Huge mako on Jamaica

The Jamaica from Brielle is winding up its offshore wreck trips for jumbo sea bass before the season closes at the end of the month — with the last such trip departing at 11 tonight. Call 732 528-5014 to determine if any reservations are available.

Though a gale watch is in effect until 10 p.m., it will be dropping out later tonight — and the morning forecast is for west at 10-15 knots with gusts to 25 that will start knocking down the swell. Actually, the start of the NE this morning turned on the surf stripers after three days of poor fishing. Jerry Lasko reported that Maren Toleno released 33 bass and he had 13.

There was something very special about the weekend sea bass trip as Joe Welsh of Hopatcong not only caught his expected sea bass limit, but also added a mako shark estimated at over 475 pounds. Several lines had been cut off before Welsh reeled in a small dogfish that the mako came up for. It should have been a simple matter for the mako to strip even heavy sea bas tackle in seconds, but it hung around the boat and failed to cut the leader. As a result, it was hit with every gaff on the boat — most of which were broken or straightened out as the “green” mako went wild.

mako on Jamaica

Gale could chase stripers

The gale watch in effect through Monday will certainly affect fishing, and may well push the school stripers still hanging on to feed on sand eels to the south before the waters clear.  East winds will be gusting to 25 knots tonight, and will be east at 20-25 knots tomorrow before gusting to 35 in the afternoon.

You never know what may happen at this time of year as long as water temperatures remain in the forties. As noted in yesterday’s blog, Joe Massa got into lots of school stripers on the way back from blackfishing to Morgan Marina with his My Three Sons. Those were only small bass under birds, but during Christmas Week about a decade ago my son Mike and I joined Massa to check out Shrewsbury Rocks and spotted bids working at the inner buoy. Mike dropped a jig, but the expected bass turned out to be a cod!

We went on to jig a mix of stripers and cod including both shorts and keepers up to the mid teens. I also caught bluefish (remember them?), and Mike even jigged a blackfish. To top it off, a medium bluefin tuna jumped out of the water at the inner buoy. Though cod are found in shallow waters at times in New England, it’s very rare to find them so close to shore in the Mid-Atlantic. Other boaters got some of those cod the next day before a storm put an end to what we thought might be a basic change to area fisheries that’s never been repeated.  A photo of the striper marks Massa had on his Fishfinder yesterday follows:

striper marks

Massa finds stripers as well as tog

Joe Massa took advantage of today’s weather to run down the beach with his My Three Sons from Morgan Marina to some of his favorite blackfish drops that produced enough keepers up to 21 inches among lots of shorts on whitelegger crabs before coming across working birds on the way back. His crew then had light tackle sport releasing 20-24-inch stripers on jigs.

The Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands had lots of tog action Friday, and added their first cod of the year.

Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that party boats there continue to do very well with blackfish, while surfcasters are catching small bass.

Good weather continues tomorrow with northeast winds at 5-10 knots before shifting to east in the afternoon. On the other hand, a gale watch will be going up for Monday morning through late that night.

Get in on sea bass before season closes at end of month

Anglers who haven’t already loaded up on sea bass are running out of time as the season closes at the end of the month.

The far offshore wrecks remain loaded with jumbo sea bass, and a few more trips are available. The forecast is great with northwest winds at just 10-15 knots on Saturday.

The Jamaica from Brielle reports Thursday’s trip produced many sea bass limits up to 7 pounds plus some big porgies and a few weakfish. They have room on trips sailing at 11 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations. The Paramount will be making the same trips at 9 p.m. tonight and tomorrow.

Sea bass on Jamaica

Blackfishing holds up

Capt. Stan Zagleski found blackfishing to be just fine on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands today after making a move to deeper water following a slow start. Most fares caught about four keepers — and he’ll be doing the same thing at 7 a.m. tomorrow in a fine weather forecast.

The forecast is for south winds at 10 knots, shifting  to southwest in the afternoon.

Jerry Lasko reported that Ocean County surf conditions were about the same as yesterday. He caught seven school stripers, and Maren Toleno released 17.

The Canyon Runner Seminar is coming up Feb. 1 in Atlantic City.  The cost of tickets is $125, and they are well worth it for offshore anglers. Some of what will be presented follows:

You Can’t Afford to Miss This!
New for 2020 – Capt. Deane Lambros – Specialized Big-Eye Tuna Trolling Techniques
New for 2020 – Capt. Deane Lambros – Advanced Canyon Recon – How & WHEN to Find and Catch Your Quarry Without Fishing the Crowd – Fish Earlier and Farther
 New for 2020 – Capt. Capt. Jim Freda – “Shore Catch” Inshore Tuna – When, Where, Why & How “Core Class”
 New for 2020 – Capt. Gene Quigley – “Shore Catch” – Top Water Tuna – Plugging, Popping and Stick Baits – Casting for Tuna
New for 2020 – Capt. Craig Angelini – Advanced Offshore Sharking for Monster Makos
New for 2020 – Capt. Mike Zajac – “Core Class” – Learn How to Truly Run the Pit like the Professional Mate
New for 2020 – Capt. Mark DeCabia “Rebel” – How to Have a Successful Canyon Trip Without Targeting Bigeyes (Focus on Yellowfins, Longfins, Mahis, Swords – How to Adapt to What & WHEN the Ocean Gives)
New for 2020 – Capt. Mark DeCabia “Rebel” – Bigeye or Bust – Private boat big-tactics – Average More Big-eyes per trip than the Pros – Big Fish Tactics
New for 2020 – Using Your Electronics to Find Fish “Core Class” – Matt Finney – Master Electronics Technician – Wintron
New for 2020 – Capt. Tim Pickett – Day Time Swords in Northeast Canyons – It’s On in the Northeast – Just Ask Some of our Attendees Last Year
New for 2020 – Capt. Tim Pickett – Small Boat Dredge Fishing – Fish Your 30 Footer Like a 60 Footer
New for 2020 – Lt. Wynn Carney – Supervisory Enforcement Officer, Mid-Atlantic Region – Ask Any Question you May Have – Learn Why The Rules are What They Are
New for 2020 – Latest Tracking Northeast Yellowfin & Big-Eye Tuna by Dr. Walter Golet
1)  Canyon Recon – The Art of Finding Tuna – “Core Class” – How & WHEN to Find and Catch Your Quarry Without Fishing the Crowd – Fish Earlier and Farther – Capt. Deane Lambros & Canyon Runner Team
2) Advanced Big-Eye Tactics – Specialized Big-eye Tuna Trolling Techniques – Capt. Deane Lambros & Canyon Runner Team
3)  Offshore Sharking for Monster Makos – Capt. Craig Angelini & Canyon Runner Crew
4)  Water Temp Analysis “Core Class” Basic Courses for First Time Attendees – Capt. Len Belcaro
5) How to Have a Successful Canyon Trip Without Targeting Bigeyes (Focus on Yellowfins, Longfins, Mahis, Swords – How to Adapt to What & WHEN the Ocean Gives) – Capt. Mark DeCabia “Rebel”
6)  Advanced Water Temp Analysis – Debrief on the Year – Capt. Len Belcaro
7)  Using Your Electronics to Find Fish “Core Class” – Matt Finney – Wintron
8)  Private Boat Big-Eye Tactics  – Outfish the Pros – Capt. Mark DeCabia
9) Rigging Ballyhoo for Tuna “Core Class – Hands On Training” – Canyon Runner Crew
10) Small Boat Dredge Fishing – Capt. Tim Pickett
11) Canyon Trolling 101 “Core Class” – Must Know to Excel Offshore – Capt. Craig Angelini & Canyon Runner Crew
12) Day & Night Time Sword Fishing the Canyons – Yes It’s Happening – Capt. Tim Pickett – Lindgren Pitman
13) NMFS – Ask Any Question You May Have – Learn Why The Rules are What They Are – Lt. Wynn Carney – Supervisory Officer
14) Hi-Tech Rigging Baits for Big Fish – Capt. Charlie Vanderbeck – Canyon Runner
15) Canyon Chunking 101 “Core Class” – Rig Up like a Professional Crew – Capt. Chris Squieri Atlantic Yacht Haven
16) Tuna Jigging 101 – Learn from The Best – Dave Arbeitman – The Reel Seat
17) Offshore Trolling & Chunking from a Center Console – Capt. Freddy Gamboa – Andrea’s Toy
18) Winning Marlin Tactics – Tournament Winning Angler Brad Burgess – Canyon Runner
19) Offshore Game Plan – Trolling & Chunking – Capt. Sean Welsh & the Crew of the Restless Lady
20) Inshore Tuna – When, Where, Why & How “Core Class” – Capt. Capt. Jim Freda – “Shore Catch”
21) Engine Preventative Maintenance & Repairs at Sea – John Lane – Forked River Diesel
22) Tilefishing the Canyons – Dave Arbiteman – Reel Seat
23) Learn How to Service and Maintain Your Reels – Penn Reel’s Technicians – 15 Minute Hands-On Session
24) Rod Building, Repair and Maintenance – Joey Lamonica from Joeys Rod Building -15 Minute Hands-On Session
25) Learn How to Truly Run the Pit like the Professional Mate – Capt. Mike Zajac & Canyon Runner Crew
26) Latest Tracking Northeast Yellowfin & Big-Eye Tuna by Dr. Walter Golet
27) Gulf Stream Marlin & Yellowfin Trolling – Capt. Dennis Ednee – “A-Salt Weapon”
28) Top Water Tuna – Plugging, Popping and Stick Baits – Casting for Tuna – Gene Quigley – “Shore Catch”

*”Core Classes” – While big-eyes and tournaments might steal some of the headlines – 95% of the time when you are offshore your focus should be on these core skills. If this is your first time attending our Seminar or if you’ve been here before but haven’t attended one of these classes – it’s time you do so. It’s these skills that build the foundation of a great offshore team.
For additional information and Tickets
Call 732-272-4445
Canyon Runner, 62 Ivy Hill Rd, Red Bank, NJ 07701

Christmas stripers

They should all be much further south by this time, but school striped bass are still feeding in the N.J. surf. Maren Toleno and Jerry Lasko celebrated Christmas morning with the Ocean County bass as she caught 30 and Jerry 10 in a surf with some swell and whitewater. With northeast 10-15 knot winds forecast  tomorrow that fishing should continue. Pete Connell was passing through Spring Lake yesterday morning when he spotted a surfcaster leaving and found out that he had released a couple of bass there.

The party boat fleet should also be in full operation tomorrow.

Merry Christmas!

The title sums it up. Have a great holiday with the family, but if you get up early enough there may be time to catch a school striper before opening the presents. The forecast is for northeast winds at just 5 knots  — shifting to south in the afternoon. You might even catch a fluke as Bob Correll did at Bay Head this week!

Bobby's fluke

Blackfish boats picking away

The few boats still fishing for blackfish have to work through shorts for keepers, but are finding the effort to be worthwhile. The Ocean Explorer at Belmar reported the seasonal pool is up to over $3,000, and they’ll be looking for a new leader during a Christmas Eve trip running from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands is taking advantage of the good fishing weather at 7 a.m. Once again on Sunday they had a slow start before making a move that produced more keepers into overtime to provide a decent catch.

The Jamaica from Brielle will be sailing for the offshore sea bass wrecks at 2 a.m. on 12/26. Sunday’s trip produced many limits of jumbo sea bass plus porgies and some bluefish. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations on this and other sea bass trips before the season closes at the end of the month.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for north winds at 10-15 knots with gusts to 20.

Jerry Lasko reported there was some swell in the Ocean County surf this morning, and the water temperature was up a tick to 45.4 degrees as there was some action. He caught four stripers while Maren Toleno had 16 and John Greger seven. They all missed other hits.

I’ve been working a lot harder in Florida to catch largemouth black bass in small ponds while enjoying the holiday season with my family and awaiting Cyndi’s marriage next month in Palm Beach. Most of the released bass are small. but all the surface strikes are fun — and a few larger ones provide a pleasant surprise, such as this fat 22-inch bucketmouth that hit a Z-Man 5-inch DieZel MinnowZ worked on the surface during my last cast at dusk while fishing with future son-in-law Luis Gonzalez in Palm Beach Gardens.

Al's big bass

Offshore sea bass bite still hot

While cold waters may be affecting inshore fisheries, that’s no problem at all on far offshore wrecks which are normally at their best n mid-winter.

The Jamaica from Brielle reported many limits of both sea bass and porgies during Friday’s trip. Bruce Snyder of Philadelphia won the pool with a 6.5-pound sea bass over a 6-pounder by Jimmy Ricardo of Pittstown.

There may be room on the trip leaving at 11 p.m tonight. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations. Other trips will be sailing at 11 p.m. Dec. 26,27, 28, 29 and 30. The sea bass season closes at the end of the month.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had finished up after their last striper trip, but they have added an offshore sea bass trip on Friday, Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. The fare is $200, and it’s limited. They made one successful offshore wreck trip earlier in the month (see below). Make reservations online at

Jerry Lasko reports there was some life in the Ocean County surf this morning as he caught two stripers and Maren Toleno had one.  Bob Correll was surprised to catch a decent fluke at Bay Head, where he also saw one striper caught. The good weather continues in the morning with southwest winds at just 10-15 knots with gusts to 20.

TheGolden Eagle sea bass

Surf temp cools striper bite

The school striper bite in the surf has been so good that it looked as if it would last all winter — until the Ocean County water temperature dropped to 40 degrees today.

Jerry Lasko reported that he only caught two bass this morning while Maren Toleno had just one. In the evening it was even tougher as Maren hooked the only striper.

That colder water may have been the reason Capt. Stan Zagleski didn’t find many blackfish where he’s been catching them with his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands.  However, a move from that area provided steady action that resulted in several keepers for most fares plus lots of action with 14-14 1/2-inch shorts. Zagleski sails there tomorrow at 7 a.m.

The good weather continues as west winds at a mere 5-10 knots are forecast for the morning before shifting to southwest in the afternoon.


Chuck Many continues to catch and release big stripers off Cape Charles, VirginiaVA bass