Still waiting for official results of WMO

Last night’s late blog summarized the major results of the White Marlin Open in Ocean City, Maryland, but I’m still waiting for the official results that were supposed to be sent today. Those would include the winners of  the release categories.

Now on to the 27th annual MidAtlantic Tournament out of Cape May from Aug. 19-24. That event had a $3.2 million purse last year. For info call 908  884-0177 — or e-mail southjerseytournaments.com.

Rain wasn’t much of a problem today along the Jersey Shore, though NYC and western Long Island got blasted.  The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported that rain held off all day,  and they caught lots of chub mackerel along with some sea bass,  ling, and fluke — plus even pollock and dolphin.

At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Ron Santee said there was more easterly wind than forecasted, ad it combined with a strong current to create a very fast drift  requiring heavy sinkers. As a result, fishing was off from Friday’s banner bite — though some quality fluke and sea bass were boated on the Fishermen.

Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant,  reports bonito were caught at Bay Head Friday evening by anglers casting metal. Bonito are a very rare catch in the surf (I’ve only caught one myself), but they were drawn in by an abundance of rainfish. Melillo said small pods of cocktail blues were in and out there and further south this morning. He noted that crabbing remains excellent, and there are plenty of snappers around.

There had been rainfish at Manasquan yesterday morning, but I didn’t see any this morning.  The waters looked good, but I never raised a thing until my last cast before having to move my car from a spot that became prohibited at 7 a.m. Fortunately, that 23-inch striper hooked up on a Chug Bug.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro ran his Hi Flier well to the southeast last Sunday where  he anchored up to chunk tuna. Jigging produced a surprise 16-inch ilex squid which was sent out on a float  and attracted an 80-pound bluefin tuna that was fought by Matt (with yellowfin below) and Tess Tebaldi of Manahawkin. A call from Brian Ewan on Dora Lee about a yellowfin trolling bite not far away inspired a change in tactics, and ended up trolling two 40-to-50-pounders.

Matt Tebaldi Yellowfin .JPG

Two 20-to30-pound yellowfins were trolled Monday among whales and dolphins. De Gennaro switched to sharking at Barnegat Ridge  Tuesday as small Atlantic sharpnose sharks provided action for Michael Fuhrman of Cherry Hill while Steve Karl of Loveladies released about a 200-pound dusky, and Erin Froose from Altona, Pa. released a 120-pounder.

Millions at stake during last day of WMO

With 324 boats fishing the final day, there’s likely to be some changes in the distribution of  the millions involved in the White Marlin Open out of Ocean City, Maryland. I’ll have the final results later tonight after the weigh-ins have been completed.

Though the tuna fishing has been way below expectations so far, billfishing has been good with 568 marlin caught during the first four days — and 559 of them released.

The big winners at this point would be the 83-pound white marlin that took over first place yesterday for Gregory Giron on Underdog for a projected $2.6 million — and the 881-pound blue marlin boated by Joe Rahman of Wanaque, N.J, on his Auspicious for a projected $700.000. Actually, the tuna winner could be in  the same area, depending on how many Calcuttas the eventual winner has entered. Gary Sansburry took the lead yesterday at just 75.5 pounds on Buck Shot .

Inshore anglers were treated to another fine day. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a real variety as they started off with small blues, then had some Spanish mackerel before going back to blues plus chub mackerel, sea bass, ling and two 5-pound fluke. On  Thursday they also had a bonito over 5 pounds and a pollock, The Ocean Explorer at that port had good fluke fishing with many limits for those jigging Gulp baits.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro has been catching tuna on offshore trips and sharks at Barnegat Ridge with his Hi Flier from Barnegat. He’s open over the weekend, and I’ll have more about his fishing tomorrow.

Allen Riley and John Mazzeo went from South Plainfield to Sandy Hook this morning along with Duke Matero of Piscataway. They found calm seas with so many rainfish in the wash that the small waves were dumping some on the beach as they tried to evade snappers. in the 78 degree waters.  John caught a couple of short fluke on Gulp, and Allen lost a keeper fluke in the wash when it  gave up its hold on a live snapper.  Duke caught a mystery fish which they thought might be a pilotfish. It’s pretty hard to identify from the photo, but it might be a banded rudderfish.

 

At Atlantic Highlands,, Capt. Ron Santee said he finally had another banner day on the Fisherman as the Columbia Bank charter had both fluke action and quality. Marty Herrman of Branchburg took the pool with an 8.22-pound fluke as he limited and added the two sea bass allowed. Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter  had a similar report of good fluking.

The Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands has also had good fluke fishing this week — as shown below.

Elaine B II winning fluke

Capt. Vinny Vetere of Katfish Charters in Great Kills continues to do well with stripers. A father and son team caught bass up to 26 pounds today among lots of  big smooth dogfish. He’s open for Saturday.

Vinny D’Anton fished north of Manasquan Inlet this morning, and came across a spot where stripers were rolling in schools of rainfish. He managed to release a 27-incher and a small bass on a Chug Bug before it was over.

 

Capt. Jim Freda of Shore Catch Charter from Point Pleasant has been catching yellowfin tuna at the mid-range grounds with his Shore Catch from Point Pleasant as illustrated by this shot of Rich Brunger of the Salt Water Anglers of Bergen County party.

DDDRich Brunger yellowfin.jpg

Big blues hitting jigs like they used to

After some lean years of ocean spring bluefishing, we’re finally seeing some old-fashioned action with large choppers. The Shore party boat fleet had been happy when small blues showed up for jigging after a terrible spring striper run in the ocean, but they’re now into blues of a size we haven’t been seeing much of until the fall in recent years.

The Golden Eagle reported that those blues were once again up on the surface chasing bunkers today, and they ranged up to 17 pounds. The action was on jigs, and many of those fish are lost by anglers who haven’t been hooking such sizes in a long time.

The Jamaica from Brielle was into that fishing yesterday as Abdullah Samardeen of Philadelphia took the pool with an 18-pounder.

Jamaica blue Jumbo blue yesterday on the Jamaica

At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc reported lots of short fluke on his Sea Hunter along with decent catches of keepers up to a few limits and 5 pounds. That skipper has cancelled his afternoon trophy striper trips because the bass haven’t been responding to live bunkers.

Capt. Ron Santee was pleased with fluking on his Fishermen during a beautiful day. John Sabonis took the pool with a 5 3/4-pound fluke, and Gary Thompson had a 5 3/16-pounder. The Fishermen is chartered Saturday.

Jon Falkowski of Linden reported he caught eight short fluke on spearing and Gulp during the Tuesday evening trip of Misty Morn from Morgan, but keepers were hard to come by.

Capt. Vinny Vetere reported a epic striper trip today on his Katfish from Great Kills as the party caught 10 large bass on bunkers and 10 more trolling Vetere’s Ho-Jos.

Vinny D’Anton of Wall put in the time this morning, and after not finding anything to the north ended up catching a couple of short stripers on his Chug Bug at Spring Lake during mid-morning. One of those bass had a bloated stomach that felt full of sand fleas, yet an angler fishing that bait couldn’t get a hit.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro made the long run from Barnegat to Wilmington Canyon under ideal conditions Saturday — and it payed off for his party on Hi Flier as they filled the box with legal yellowfins plus a 40-and-50-pounder. On the way back they spotted some bluefins on the surface and Jarett Powell of Tuckerton fought a 50-pounder on a 20-pound rig for 45 minutes to top off the catch.

HHi Flier tuna

Fluke fishing improving — 9.4-lb. boated

Fluke fishing is improving in northern N.J., and the largest reported to this blog was boated today on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands  — a 29-inch, 9.4-pounder boated by Scott Ure. That was his second largest fluke ever, as several years ago he caught an 11.2-pound doormat on the Fishermen. A 5-pounder took second in the pool, and Capt. Ron Santee said the morning action was much better than yesterday. The Madison Boy Scouts were aboard to enjoy the day.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc said he had tough conditions for his first fluking trip of the season — and was happy with his new full-day schedule. The Atlantic Highlands boats will try to get out Sunday despite a forecast of gusty NE winds.

Capt. Stan Zagleski was happy with the morning fluke bite on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands as some regulars managed limits among lots of shorts. Zagleski will be sailing early at 6 a.m. Sunday.

The entire bluefish fleet from Brooklyn to Point Pleasant gathered at  Shrewsbury Rocks to jig the small bluefish that have been dependable all week. I joined Bob Correll of Bay Head in his Boston Whaler to look for stripers north of Manasquan Inlet, and we ere able to snag some bunkers from occasional flips, but saw no signs of stripers. When we got to the Shrewsbury fleet there were only a very few blues being hooked amid a constant blasting of horns as party boats kept moving to jump on readings due to a lack of birds on rainfish . Bob lost the only blue he hooked, but we did jig a few small sea bass and windowpanes off bottom along with a sea robin and a skate during a brief attempt. The blues must have turned on at other times as party boats reported fair to good bluefish catches. The Golden Eagle from Belmar also added sea bass and even winter flounder.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano was part of the crew on Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club on Friday that trolled seven large stripers from Deal to Flynn’s Knoll. They were fishing in the ongoing Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Clun Striped Bas Tournament and weighed in bass of 39 and 42 pounds — but are just behind entries of 42 and 45 pounds. Di Stefano said today’s trolling reports were very spotty, but he heard there was a showing of bass on top very early in the morning off the Red Church.  Capt. Dave De Gennaro ran his Hi Flier from Barnegat all the way up there, but had no luck trolling. He bailed out in Barnegat Inlet on the way back as his party cast shads to 3-to-4-pound blues. De Gennaro said the early Barnegat Bay run of jumbo blues just didn’t happen this year after three straight great springs.