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Ocean lays down nicely

The surf was still a bit rough this morning after yesterday’s northeast winds, but the ocean calmed down for boaters after they cleared inlets, and fishing conditions should be good tomorrow.

Fishing reports weren’t quite as good, but also should improve with clearing waters tomorrow. At Belmar, Miss Belmar Princess was able to boat three stripers north of Shark River Inlet. They later moved further north to the Highlands to add some small blues. The Golden Eagle found dirty waters from yesterday’s winds, though they managed one striper and a few blues. They are adding a prime time 3:30 p.m. striper trip on Tuesday. Call 732 681-6144.

At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc thought he was going to have a good day on his Sea Hunter as a 20-pound striper was boated right away and another lost on slack water. Yet, a bite didn’t develop on the tide, and splashing fish they ran to were only small blues. Fishing up at anchor, one more striper was caught and two lost. Semkewyc may check down the beach in the morning, and urges anglers to bring a rod with which they can snag bunkers.

Capt. Ron Santee saw an improvement in fluking from his Fishermen as he fished a different area that produced a pick of 2-to-3-pounders plus a pool fluke of over 6 pounds.

Capt. Stan Zagleski hasn’t sent a report so far, but he did fish Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands despite Sunday’s rain. Fluking wasn’t bad as long as the wind and tide were together. Yong Sim from Palisades Park had a fluke limit and added another limit — a 6-pound weakfish.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reported some surf blues were caught Sunday evening on poppers and heavy bucktails.

Not a day for boats

What a difference a day makes! From fine weather to northeast wind and buckets of rain. I doubt if any boats fished today except in completely protected waters. However, there were a few surfcasters out early as Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park  weighed a 48-inch, 37.95-pound striper caught by Kevin Reilly on clam. Joe Applegrove used an SP Minnow to land a 31-inch, 8.6-pound bluefish.  Betty & Nick’s had a 29-pound bass on the scale that Pete E. hooked on clam at Top of the Mast in Seaside Park.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro was frustrated at not getting out Saturday due to a bad forecast that was wrong. The day before he trolled a 36-pound striper on a Tony Maja #4 bunker spoon off Seaside on Hi Flier from Barnegat, but had a tough trip back in 3-to-4-foot seas kicked up by a surprisingly strong S-SE wind.  The weather looks a lot better for Memorial Day, with the NE wind expected to drop down with only a chance of a shower.  De Gennaro is sailing open 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow — and then through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. The cost is $175. Call 732 330-5674.

 

 

 

Hi Flier 42A 42-pound striper on Hi Flier last week

 

Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that big stripers are being caught by trollers and on live bunkers, while small bass are in the surf. Fluking was very good before the season opened Friday, but keepers haven’t been abundant since. Capt. Chris Di Stefano of Wall had the same experience Thursday upon returning to Shark River after trolling a trophy 53 3/4-pound striper for his son Boomer. They made a few drifts in the river and could have filled several limits, but when Boomer fished for them a couple of days later it was mostly shorts.

Jeff Merrill fished Manasquan River on Saturday and reported 22 fluke were caught up to 23-and-24-inchers.

Scott Leadbeater of Haddon Heights finally got to use his Aquasport 20 out of Atlantic Highlands this week, and was happy to troll some blues one day at Chapel Hill — and both blues and stripers the next morning.

One of my blog readers, Capt. Greg Simba, reported there was a blitz of 22-to-26-inch bluefish in the mouth of Manasquan Inlet yesterday around 2 p.m. — and it lasted for an hour. I don’t how many times I’ve checked the inlet for blues this spring without ever seeing a bird dip.

Sorry for the boxes below that I was left with after transferring Matt Slobodjian’s report from Cape May that you’ll find by scrolling down.

 Matt Slobodjian reports from Jim’s Tackle in Cape May that “drum fishing continues to be pretty good although some of the action has moved into a little deeper water. Boats are still picking fish in the Bayshore Channel close to the canal, but a good bite has come on at Tussy’s Slough. Fresh clam is the bait, and it has to be ordered a few days in advance due to a limited supply.  Fluking was good for some anglers who fished the backwaters. It was pretty rough out in the ocean, so we haven’t gotten any reports from the reefs as of yet.

The sea bass fishing has held up pretty well on the 20 fathom line. There are a lot of throwback fish, but putting together a catch hasn’t been a problem. Striper fishing on the North Cape May beaches slowed down a little towards the weekend — but there were still some nice fish landed by the bait fisherman this week.

We will be holding our annual Mako Tournament next weekend, June 1st and 2nd. Anybody looking to fish it can call the store for details at -884-3900. We did get the first report of a nice mako caught by an Ocean City, Maryland boat. The fish was reported to be in the 290lb. range. The laws have changed on pelagic shark fishing, so anglers wishing to get an HMS permit have to visit the NOAA site and check out the changes.”

 

Manhatten Cup is back

There was good news recently for those of us who used to participate every spring in the Manhattan Cup fishing tournament to benefit disabled vets and other good causes.

The Manhattan Cup

                  Is Back!

And it’s Time to Get on Board

 

Date: June 8, 2018

Hosts: Capt. Frank Crescitelli & the Manhattan Cup Committee

Where: Liberty Landing Marina – Liberty House Restaurant, Jersey City, NJ

 

To Benefit: RFA Fisheries Conservation Trust & Wounded and At-Risk Warriors

 

The Manhattan Cup is the New York/Metropolitan area’s famous charity fishing tournament with a 17-year track record of great fishing, fantastic events and great people. It’s the only tournament where teams compete in a live release format to catch the biggest and the most striped bass, bluefish and weakfish. All in the shadows of downtown NYC and the Statue of Liberty, home to the most amazing run of striped bass in any river on the East Coast!

 

Reserve a Boat and Captain

You can fish aboard one of the top charter or light tackle guide boats, or with a local “sharpie” all with “local knowledge” by going to the website and making a donation that will entitle you and your team the boat and crew for the day. These boats are donated for your enjoyment and the proceeds of your donation are used to benefit our charity recipients. cSo get online at www.manhattancup.com and enter to secure one of these great boats and captains for your team. Four man teams sign up for a Platinum Entry. One or two man teams sign up for a Light Tackle Platinum Entry. Donated boats will be assigned on a first come – first serve basis so don’t delay.

 

Enter Your Own Boat

If you’d rather enter your own boat and team and compete against other boats in the Sportfishing Division we’ve got you covered. The base entry price covers up to three people, additional anglers can be included for an additional donation to the tournament. All entrants must be pre-registered and pre-paid and will include only the number of anglers specified. Remember, you donation is used to benefit our charity recipients.

 

*All divisions include a gourmet breakfast at Liberty House before blast-off; a scrumptious box lunch provided by Celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio’s “witchcraft” restaurant in Manhattan; and a gala awards banquet at Liberty House after the live release weigh-in. Each entrant will receive a gift bag and exclusive Manhattan Cup clothing and a shot at some great door prizes plus access to the auctions and live raffles.

 

DON’T WAIT – SIGN UP NOW!!!

http://www.manhattancup.com

 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and get ready for a totally unique fishing experience.

 

Questions? Please call

Capt. Frank Crescitelli – (917-468-4817) or email finfly@aol.com

Gary Caputi – (732) 740 9982 or email caputifish@comcast.net

Capt. Jim Freda had a thrill Friday evening while trolling a Tony Maja #4 bunker spoon in 60 feet off Asbury Park from Shore Catch out of Point Pleasant when John Wasnesky of Freehold reeled in a 48-inch very fat striped bass. That magnificent bass was released after being measured with a 30-inch girth. After applying the formula for determining approximate weight (length times girth squared, divided by 800), Freda got a weight of 54 pounds, but later remembered that the length in the formula must be to the fork of the tail — not to the tip. Though 48 inches overall is short for a 50-pounder, that bass surely made that because of the exceptional girth.  The ocean bass migrating from the south are spawned out, but Freda said this one seemed to be full of bunkers.

Freda -48-inch

The skipper thanks Capt. Eric Kerber for info that put him in the right area.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had a 40-pound striper in the ocean today, but that was the only one. They added some sea bass. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant reported some sea bass and bluefish.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands got into a shot of bass on the surface, but only a couple were caught on shads before they went down. The bait fishing was then slow with only a couple more caught. Due to the east winds predicted for Sunday being up against the tide, Capt. Rob Semkewyc is advising anglers to stay home.  Also at that port, Capt. Ron Santee said he had the same conditions that produced good fluking yesterday on his Fishermen, but keepers were harder to find today in the same areas.

Capt. Stan Zagleski reported it took some time before the drift got right on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands. After that there were some fluke limits caught. He sails at 6 a.m. through Memorial Day.

Allen Riley of South Plainfield fished the Sandy Hook surf earlier in the week and had a thrill when a big fish took his bunker bait, though it turned out to be a 4 1/2-foot smooth dogfish.  He later added two sea robins and a 23-inch striper that morning on bait.  Returning Friday morning, Riley had an easier time with a 3-foot smooth dogfish on bunker before making his day with a 35-inch bluefish.

Opening day fluking was promising

The opening day of the N.J. fluke season was probably better than most anglers expected as weather conditions were perfect.

Capt. Ron Santee was pleased with the drift in Raritan Bay as wind and the outgoing tide were together for anglers on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. Fluke were located in many areas. and keepers were well represented.  Robert Neilsen and his wife combined for five. The pool fluke was a 6.3-pounder.

Capt. Stan Zagleski said his early start with Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands gave him a jump on the competition as fluke were found in several areas and there were some limits. He’ll continue to sail at 6 a.m. through Memorial Day.

Elaine B fluke

Capt. Rob Semkewyc is sticking with the striped bass on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands . The last couple of days have been slower, but today’s catch was topped by a 27-pounder fought by Jon  Keidel. The skipper hopes the full moon coming up will spark the striper action.

Capt. Sal Cursi relocated to Florida. but didn’t forget everything he learned from years of running his Cathy Sea from Sewaren. He Joined Capt. Hans Kaspersetz and his crew on Sheri Berri from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands as they scratched out a few fussy stripers plus some opening day fluke.

Cursi said they only had one bluefish at a time of year when we used to be overrun with them. Yet, Nick Honachefsky reports that Keith Schaudecker got into 15 gator blues up to 16 pounds Wednesday off Port Monmouth on live bunkers from his Castaway.

It took awhile to find them, but Bob Correll of Bay Head and I had plenty of action with 3-to-4-pound blues while casting Thursday afternoon in Manasquan River from his Boston Whaler. Metal was the best bet, but Bob also got hits flycasting.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle had no luck with stripers and blues before switching to sea bass for a good pick along with a few ling. Miss Belmar Princess ran north, but didn’t find stripers and blues before finishing up with sea bass.

At Point Pleasant, the Queen Mary had a good catch of sea bass today, Don Marantz and his party fished yesterday on Barb-Gail for limits of sea bass and some ling. Mimi VI will be sailing open on Tuesday. Call 732 370-8019 for reservations.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reported surfcasting was slower Thursday, but bluefish are hitting bunker chunks off local docks.  Billy Martin checked into Betty & Nick’s early this morning with two 19-inch fluke taken in IBSP on a white bucktail with a chartreuse Gulp.

Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant,  weighed a 35-pound, 14-ounce striper caught from a boat for Bill McCrystal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NJ fluke opens Friday

The New Jersey fluke season opens Friday with a limit of three fish at a minimum of 18 inches in all waters except for three at 17 inches in Delaware Bay and its tributaries — and two at 16 inches from shore in Island Beach State Park. Check with your favorite skipper in case he’s sailing early. Capt. Stan Zagleski will be sailing his Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands at 6 a.m. through Memorial Day before returning to his regular 7:30 a.m. daily schedule on Tuesday.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano of Wall went striper fishing this morning with his son Boomer on the latter’s 17-foot Angler from Shark River. After hearing the trolling bite at Shrewsbury Rocks was off, hey trolled off Asbury Park with a green bunker spoon Chris has had for 36 years. They only had one hit on the wire line outfit, but he knew it was a big one as Boomer fought a trophy striper that weighed 54 pounds at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc reported that striper fishing was slower today in Raritan Bay from his Sea Hunter out of Atlantic Highlands, but they still had six keepers plus shorts. A big bas was lost at the gaff. Stripers came up at one point. but they only managed to catch one at that time.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro  trolled a 42-pound striper Wednesday from his Hi-Flier out of Barnegat. That bass hit a big white mo-jo. Some bunkers were up, but he stuck with the trolling.

The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant has an opening on a free canyon trip for active duty or retired military. It’s first come – first served. Call Adam La Rosa at 732 272-4445.

The Staten Island Tuna Club Striped Bass Tournament that was set for last weekend was postponed due to small craft warnings, and has been moved to this weekend.  The captains meeting is from 5-6 Friday evening in Captain’s Marina, Staten Island. Call Robert Ludwig at 201 538-5252 for info.

The New York fluke season has been open for some time. and ocean fluking has been very good to the east. The Hampton Lady from Shinnecock has had big catches including doormats. The following recent shot should excite every fluke angler.

Hampton Lady

 

Sea bass fishing in good shape

Though the opening of the sea bass season in N.J.  wasn’t good for everyone, that fishery has bounced back for most. Bud Mc Arthur of Brick was one of those who were disappointed in the opener, but today was a different story as he fished with Gerald D’Luisi of Verona on Hook & Cook from Brick for a four-man catch of 39 keepers out of about 80 sea bass  on the Axel Carsen Reef. Mc Arthur was also surprised by a 22-inch fluke he released after it hit a bergall strip.

Tank Matraxia and his crew from Lyndhurst limited with sea bass this week on Lock & Load from Belmar. They added one ling, and Matraxia was able to put ALS tags in three out-of-season blackfish.

The N.J. fluke season opens Friday, and there will be a big fleet waiting to greet them. That won’t include the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands as Capt. Rob Semkewyc has decided to stick with daily stripers which are providing good action.  He said today’s pool bass was in the mid-to-upper twenties.

Capt. Vinny Vetere had another fine day of striper trolling with his Ho-Jo’s from Katfish Charters out of Great Kills.  They kept three out of 18 large bass, and were back by 9:30.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar fished the ocean, but bass and blues weren’t cooperative today.

The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant continues to find bluefin tuna while trolling in several canyons.  A few blue sharks were caught at night, when a possible giant tuna broke off after a long fight.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reports small stripers are still hitting well on clams in the surf, while bluefish are becoming more abundant in Barnegat Bay. I posted the results of Sunday’s Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament in a separate blog this morning.

I had planned to try the Manasquan River bluefish this morning, but missed my exit and continued on to Point Pleasant Canal. Without much hope, I cast an Ava 007 with a short red tail because that’s what I had on my light spinning rod from my last river pick of 3-pound blues. It was a shock when I hooked a good fish that tore across the canal just as the first boat was coming through. Fortunately, the boater responded to my waving and moved over. Though I assumed I had a big blue on, the fish turned out to be a 29-inch striper with the small hook buried in the corner of its jaw so I could reach down and grab the lure to lift it up for the release. 

 

 

 

Ho-jo's bassKatfish Charters striper on Ho-Jo

NJ fluke & sea bass regs set

The NJ Marine Fisheries Council agreed yesterday on a 2018 fluke season starting 5/25 and running to 9/22 with the same regulations as last year — a three-fish limit at a minimum of 18 inches.  Paul Haertel of the JCAA said there were about 70 people at the meeting, with South Jersey back bay anglers seeking an earlier opening while those from the north wanted more days in September. Yet Cape May party boats also favored the later opening as they can’t fish the shallow back bay waters and the ocean is too cold for fluking this spring.

The sea bass rules were set, but here could be a change since New York and the states north of them have filed an appeal with the ASMFC against their regulations and that could end up reducing the N.J. quota. As it is, the N.J. season opens on 5/15 and runs to 6/22 with a bag of 10 at a 12 1/2-inch minimum. The summer by-catch opportunity for fluke fishermen runs from 7/1 to 8/31 with two at 12 1/2 inches.  The fall season from !0/8 to 10/31 provides 10 sea bass at the same minimum, and the year finishes with 15 at a 13-inch minimum from 11/1 to 12/31.

The brutal spring weather continued today, and the weekend doesn’t look much better. New York cancelled its fishing festival at Belmont Lake State Park.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar cancelled Saturday fishing due to the weather, and also Sunday based on the wind prediction. However, they claim to have heard of some striper life and will start fishing daily for them on Monday. If the bass can’t be found, they’ll fish wrecks for cod and ling.