Hot canyon tuna trolling

The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant has been off to a great start on their spring tuna trolling in Lindenkohl Canyon, as noted in the following message

109 Tuna in First Three Canyon Trips
Capt. Deane Lambros & Capt. Mike Zajac followed up their first trip of 39 tuna by going back out Monday to Tuesday with the Wallance Vicknar charter and found the bluefins right where they had left them. They went two out of three on bigeyes and had seven yellowfins. Out of 15 bluefins they kept a 60-incher and three around 30 pounds while releasing the rest.

The big trip so far this week was with another Canyon Runner Coaching and Fishing Report Member who was looking for a tutorial charter. Mike Bonnano and his crew didn’t have much time for lessons on gear, tackle, electronics etc. – as soon as they got on site – around the Toms Canyon – they had 4-5-6 fish on at a time.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a decent sea bass trip today as some limits were taken before it got very windy. There is some room on afternoon weekend trips.

That 25 knot southwest wind should drop to 10-15 by morning along with possible showers.

The Jamaica from Brielle reported a boat limit of sea bass yesterday along with some ling, a few whiting and couple of bluefish. That have reservations open for 7:30 a.m. Monday.

Fluke reports are still hard to come by from the Raritan Bay fleet. Capt. Stan Zagleski Jr. of Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands notes that it’s been slow, with almost all the fluke being caught in very shallow waters that are the warmest.

Canyon tuna trolling breaks open

The Canyon trolling season broke open with a bang for the Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant as Captains Deane Lambros and Mike Zajac made a Friday run to Lindenkohl Canyon.

They arrived at first light and had the first bluefin at 8 a.m. There were a dozen by noon, and it only got better as the final count was 39 tuna. Most were bluefins, but yellowfins were included — along with albacore which usually aren’t  here this early. In recent years, the spring canyon trolling has been better than the traditional summer and fall sport — though the spring  bluefins are often on the small side.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had another day which started slowly in a strong current before sea bass and ling turned on as the current slacked.

Despite the fog, Dave Lilly got off to a good start trolling bunker spoons for stripers over 20 pounds until a “red tide” moved into the middle of Raritan Bay and the bite died out though he still marked bass and bunkers.

Of course that’s not the real red tide that kills fish in Florida and  some other areas, but it turned the clear waters reddish.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano waited for the fog to lift before joining a friend at Sea Bright to seek bass in the ocean where there was a bite yesterday afternoon. They saw scattered bunkers in several areas before trolling at the Rocks and Highlands Bridge without marking a bass. However, as they ran back around the Hook there were large bass on top. They ended up having a blast casting poppers to those fish before they moved on.

Dense fog is predicted again tomorrow morning with southeast winds at 5-10 knots.

 

 

Friday is theend of NJ spring sea bass season

Friday is the last day for N.J. anglers to fish for sea bass with a 10-fish bag limit at a 12 1/2-inch minimum.

After that closure, there will be a summer by-catch season intended to accommodate summer ocean fluke fishermen from July 1 through Aug. 31 with just two sea bass allowed at the same 12 1/2-inch minimum.

New York is going in the other direction with sea bass as they re-open from June 23 to Aug. 31 with a limit of three at a 15-inch minimum — followed by a Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 season with seven at a 15-inch minimum.

Jersey anglers must be aware of the fact that regulations are different in New York. I heard of one case this summer where anglers from Morgan were catching fluke off Hoffman’s Is. and happy to have found 18-inch N.J. keepers when they were boarded by the N.Y. D.E.C Police and found their fluke were under that state’s 19-inch minimum  — a costly mistake. The Angler from Atlantic Highlands fished the N.Y. side with good success one day this week while observing the 19-inch minimum.

Also at that port, Capt. Rob Semkewyc reported that today was just O.K. — with a couple of limits and a 6.8-pound pool winner on his Sea Hunter. The Sea Tiger II had their best fluke so far when Roger Lee boated a 7 1/2-pounder Wednesday afternoon.

Sea Tiger II fluke

Capt. Vinny Vetere will be sailing the maiden trip of his new Dina Maria out of Great Kills Friday morning. The usual cost is $1250 for a party of six, but the charter had to back out. Vetere wants to make the trip anyway, so he’ll take up to three walk-ons at just $150 each. Call him at 917 693-8908.The 43-footer is powered by three 350-hp Yamahas, and has a width of 13.5 feet — plus air-conditioning. Vetere says the striper fishing has been hot the last two days

Capt. Chris Di Stefano of Wall said canyon fishing wasn’t hot today as Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle worked from Lindenkohl Canyon to the Carteret for only one hit and a lonely yellowfin tuna. He only heard of about five tuna today in a big fleet attracted by the calm seas. There was a report of a blue marlin caught further south, but the whales that had been in the canyons left with the bait.

John Schachel of the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers reported their ongoing Mako Fever Tournament had its first entry yesterday when Big Nutz Required weighed a 258-pound mako.  Schachel fished the contest today and found beautiful warm water far offshore that were full of life. They had 11 releases that included a mako that would have been boated before the 83-inch minimum went into effect.

Bluefishing continued to the north today. Capt. Dave Riback of the Queen Mary from Point Pleasant said he only got into the smaller blues, but had his best volume so far. Blues up to 14 pounds were jigged yesterday.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar started out with the small blues, but got into jumbos later in the day — and even a keeper striper.

Jim Hutchinson Sr. sent the following report for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association:

“The sea bass season is temporarily on hold, but fluke fishing action continues to remain steady for the boats of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association. A few bluefish are around the inlets, and offshore reports are very good for both yellowfin and bluefin tuna. Sharks are also making their presence known offshore.

 Captain Ray Lopez and mate Liane Lopez on the “Miss Liane” reported some great family type fishing for black sea bass on inshore structure. The Occhipinti family celebrated Father’s Day in great style with “drop and reel” action.

 Captain Carl Sheppard reports he too has been running family trips of up to 12 anglers on mostly half-day trips. His groups have been averaging 25 fish per trip. He has been blaming cool water for the slow action but anticipates increased action as the water has started warming. On one recent inshore trip Captain Carl had bluefin tuna breaking water around the boat, but he was unable to coax any to his lines.

 Captain Brett Taylor of Reel Reaction Sportfishing reports a definite improvement in his fishing trips over the past few days. As the water temperatures have warmed, the slime grass on the bottom is leaving, making fluke drifting much easier. Weather conditions made fishing touch recently for Ian Habich and his wife Tracey. Using the S&S Bigeye, they managed to put 3 keeper fluke in the box up to 5.5 pounds along with a catch and release short striper. The finished the day with 3-6 pound bluefish caught in the inlet. Other trips resulted in 20 short fluke along with one keeper and another with five keepers to 22-inches. The bluefish in the inlet have been completing his trips. This is a good time to book an offshore tuna trip. The weather is decent and the fish are there. For information on tuna fishing and the boats of the BHCFA go to the website at www.bhcfa.net. “

There are still no reports of dolphin in the Mid-Atlantic, but Pete Connell of Avon just returned from Islamorada after clobbering them not far from shore on his outboard.  Luis Gonzalez of Palmetto Bay, Fl. ran his trailered Sheri Berri III out to 650 to 1050 feet off Triumph Reef where he and Austin Moore had a good shot of school dolphin such as we should be seeing very shortly.

 

The Sea Tiger fluke wanted a second showing!

Sea bass still abundant as season is running out

There doesn’t appear to be any shortage of sea bass off the Jersey Shore as the spring season draws to a close on June 22. After that the bag drops from 10 at 12.5 inches to a by-catch of just two at the same minimum during the summer season from July 1 to Aug. 31.  The only problem now is getting through all the shorts to catch a limit — especially on the heavily-fished inshore reefs and wrecks.

Jigging has been the best bet for getting through to the bigger sea bass, The Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported that today’s most successful angler was loading up on a sand eel teaser.

It was a beautiful calm day until the afternoon west wind, and another fine day seems sure for tomorrow.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano was fishing aboard Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club yesterday as they trolled for eight hours without a hit from Raritan Bay to the Shore. Ricky Stavola was a guest angler fishing the Navesink-Shrewsbury Club contest, and he got busy in the afternoon when seven bass, all in the forties, hit bunker spoons. shad rigs and mo-jos off Monmouth Beach.

Di Stefano also had reports that canyon trollers were enjoying great yellowfin action from Lindenkohl to Baltimore canyons.

There was a Friday blitz of school stripers in Point Pleasant Canal, but lots of boat traffic put an end to that this morning. The miracle was that there was still a pick of small bass even though canal anglers had to wait for openings between boats in order to cast. I released three stripers up to 21 inches on a Z Man jig and lost an even smaller one.

Jerry Lasko and Maren Toleno of Point Pleasant caught a couple of 26-inch stripers yesterday evening on sand fleas at Island Beach State Park before skates took over at dusk. Maren released a 30-inch striper there on that bait last Sunday.

Conditions weren’t great for Raritan Bay fluking today as Capt. Rob Semkewyc  said the wind came up against the tide when it switched.  His fares on Sea Hunter still managed to pick away. Also at Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Ron Santee was happy with his results on the Fishermen as 3-to-4-pounders were hooked by many anglers, and a pool winner over 6 pounds was boated at the end.

The fluke below was caught on the Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands last week, but had no chance of being accepted in the pool as the doormat was obviously stone dead and falling apart when snagged on the bottom.

Elaine B dead fluke