Canon Runner calls early canyon bite the best ever

Adam La Rosa of the Canyon Runner fleet at Point Pleasant has been calling this year’s early season canyon fishing the best they’ve ever had. That view was reinforced over the weekend as they hosted a total of 12 military and veterans for the fishing trips of their lives. All caught all the yellowfins they could handle during the July 3-4 and 4-5 overnighters. One of those catches is illustrated below:

Miltary on CR with yellowfins

The Canyon Runner may have a spot open on Saturday’s open trip. The cost is $899, but that includes food, drinks and tips. Call Adam at 732 272-4445.

Capt. Vinnie Vetere had friends aboard his Katfish from Great Kills on Monday when big stripers turned on to his Ho-Jo lures for just 15 minutes of trolling — but that was enough to produce one of the biggest bass of the year for the skipper — a 57.3-pounder. They added others of 29. 34 and 46 pounds.

Fluke fishing was slow today in Raritan Bay. Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter was once again surprised by the relatively few anglers at Atlantic Highlands this morning. Fishing was just a pick during the beautiful day. Capt. Ron Santee reported a very fast drift that made fishing difficult, though some fares managed two keepers. The Fishermen is chartered from Friday through Sunday.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar found no blues today, and ended up with two-fish sea bass limits plus a pick of ling and several keeper fluke among shorts. They did find a few blues Tuesday, and heard of a bluefish concentration 50 to 100 miles southeast that they’re hoping will eventually move a lot closer.

Shark River was unusually cold this morning, but I still managed six stripers from 18 to 20 inches on a small paddletail jig. Vinny D’Anton released four bass up to a 21-incher. A short attempt with sand fleas in the surf didn’t even result in a bite. The big swell from the offshore.  hurricane  seemed to turn off the surf fluke as I only caught three windowpanes while briefly casting a Storm Searchbait.

Tommy Cox used his fly rod in the Spring Lake surf to hook 15-inch stripers early, but switched to a Chug Bug to land a 23-incher further north.

Oliver Anderez (9) of Miami throws a great castnet for bait, and he used one of the pinfish he caught at Sanibel Island on the west coast of Florida to hook a trophy snook which he released.  Other readers are encouraged to send info about their catches and photos if they care to. E-mail to

Oliver castnetting


Oliver with snook.jpg

Some July 4 thoughts

A most unusual annual July 4 contest is going on across the world as this is being written. The Blue Marlin World Cup is a one-day, one-species tournament with a $5,000 entry fee per boat and a winner-take-all pay-off. Since blue marlin are found in most offshore tropical and temperate waters around the globe, it will take some time before the results are in from all time zones. It will probably take a blue of over 500 pounds to win — and likely areas include Bermuda, the Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

While cleaning up my office this morning, I came across one of my Star-Ledger columns from 2002 that had some interesting July 4 news about doormat fluke which have been missing from party boat reports so far this year.

Back then, Rob Larsen of Sayreville boated a giant 14.72-pound doormat fluke on the July 4 trip of the Sea Tiger from Atlantic Highlands — the largest by far from northern N.J. that year and a record for the Sea Tiger, breaking one that he had set himself two years earlier with a 13.8-pounder. Yet, just eight days later, Larsen not only lost his coastal honor but also his boat record when Mike Whiter of Middletown clearly beat Larsen’s giant with a 15.64-pound doormat weighed at Julian’s Tackle. Capt. Hal Hagaman reported both super doormats were caught near the tip of Sandy Hook on live snappers.

There were no doormat reports from Atlantic Highlands so far today, but Capt. Ron Santee said Tuesday’s fluking on the Fishermen was better as Capt. Ron Sr. boated a 6-pound fluke before Steve “Chaos”  caught a 5 11/16-pounder to take his second pool in two weeks.  Power drifting was required to make up for the lack of drift. That was still a problem on the holiday. Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter said it wasn’t a stellar day, though they picked away.

Vinny D’Anton of Wall celebrated July 4 with a school striper as soon as he started casting a Sluggo into the Belmar surf this morning, and later got another on a Chug Bug, but the hot topwater bite he had the previous morning didn’t develop as Frank Manzi and I couldn’t raise a thing. D’Anton later moved south and added one more schoolie.



Dolphin haven’t even been mentioned in any reports I’ve received off the NJ coast, and there wasn’t a single entry in the dolphin Calcutta of the Bluefin Open. However, there are dolphin way to the south like this bull plus many more caught trolling baleo today in 1100 feet off Miami by my daughter Cyndi. She was carrying on the tradition aboard Sheri Berri III, Luis Gonzalez’s trailered boat out of Palmetto Bay.