Lilly trolls an “exotic” — a bluefish

Dave Lilly called this morning with news that he ad trolled an “exotic” — at least by last year’s standard in Raritan Bay — a bluefish.

Lilly went east from Keyport and saw nothing but a lot of boats on a calm morning.  Therefore, he went to the back of the bay where he’s been doing well by trolling 3-ounce Tony Maja mo-jos and caught the blue of about 8 pounds before starting a pick of bass in the 30-34-inch class that got better before he came in later in the morning. Dave said the radio was pretty quiet. He did see bunkers flipping in the back of the bay.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano said a friend trolled mo-jos in the bay to catch 30-inch  bass. He also had a report of cod at Sandy Hook Reef, including a 20-pounder. Another boater had lots of both short and keeper blackfish at Sea Girt Reef. In addition there were 18-22-inch winter flounder and the first showing of big sea bass that are out of season.

Unfortunately, those areas may not be fishable Sunday as small craft warnings are up. East winds of 20 to 25 knots are predicted along with gusts to 30, plus showers.

Happy Easter!

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Easter. Fishing may be at a minimum today, but I was reminded about my recent trip to Pesca Panama yesterday while watching Jay Feely announce the Michigan-Loyola Final Four game on TNT.  Jay was part of Bob Correll’s group that flew into Panama City om March 17, but didn’t overnight there as is usual, before taking an afternoon flight to David in order to get out fishing earlier on Sunday.  The smaller hotel in David couldn’t come up with the NCAA Tournament games on their TV, but we were advised to walk over to a chicken restaurant a few blocks away. They had big screens showing soccer, but we talked them into searching the satellite to find the basketball in both English and Spanish while we enjoyed the chicken and beer.

The change in overnighting plans didn’t actually didn’t make any difference in getting started the next day, but the trip out to the Pesca Panama  barge on Oceanmasters  turned out well for those who were able to catch some blue runners on Sabicki rigs for big roosterfish live baits in the nearby Parides area. The next several days then produced most of the other species that make the Isla Coiba area of Panama one of the best variety sportfishing locations on earth.

 

_DSC0740This is what the “normal” 25-to-30-pound cubera snapper caught on Pesca Panama trips looks like — unlike the 73-pounder at the head of the blog. This one hit a small live Lane snapper drifted on bottom over a high piece on heavy spinning tackle before being released It’s hard to believe that this same fish can jump several feet out of the water to inhale a big popper!