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.

Bumpy morning turns out well

The only report I could find today came from the Golden Eagle out of Belmar which reported a bumpy start before an unexpected calming of the ocean which resulted in a good catch of sea bass along with some ling and winter flounder.  Some anglers anglers managed sea bass limits.

The Queen Mary did not sail from Point Pleasant, but will be going Monday.

The Jamaica from Brielle is sold out for Memorial Day, but is taking reservations for Tuesday and the rest of the week.

There was a lack of wind and poor drifting conditions for the Raritan Bay fluke fleet yesterday, but no reports today when there was east wind that should have been good in Sandy Hook Bay.

The Little Hawk from Atlantic Highlands posted a video of releasing a 52-pound striper on Friday which was far larger than this year’s 38 inch maximum  in N.J. waters.

Capt. Jim Freda reports it’s been slow developing, but he got into bluefish Friday in Manasquan River with his Shore Catch.

Freda blue

Small craft warnings are up tonight with northeast gusts to 20 knots, but it’s forecast to drop to east at just 5-10 knots by morning as seas settle to 3 to 5 feet.

 

Ling bite in the rain

A few claps of thunder early in the morning and some rain may have scared off most anglers as there are hardly any reports today.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle noted a slow start again due to a strong current, but once that slowed down the sea bass hit — and there were many more ling than yesterday.  The Big Mohawk only noted that they had a good day. They had limited on sea bass during Friday’s trip while adding ling and the first whiting I’ve heard of in a long time.

There were no fluke reports from the northern fleet, but Nick Honachefsky caught a keeper yesterday in Manasquan Inlet along with shorts in just 1 1/2 hours of fishing.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano was expecting to do much better with fluke yesterday in Shark River but instead found a mass of boats and only one keeper for his crew among 32 fluke.

Kevin Kuriawa made the right move by fishing the south end of Barnegat Bay with Andy Hoydich as they boated four keeper fluke and released others that were close. Andy caught a small bluefish, and it was fillets from that fish on bucktails that produced all the fluke despite an abundance of grass.

The Mimi VI will sail open from Point Pleasant at 6:30 a.m. on Monday and Friday. The limited trip for sea bass costs $120. Reservations must be made by calling 732 370-9019.

Small craft warnings go up at 6 p.m. into late  Sunday night. Northeast winds gust to 30 knots tonight, but drop to 15-20 by morning before switching to east at 10-15 knots in the afternoon.

Gale should moderate

It’s literally blowing a gale as this is being written, but conditions should improve before the fluke opener on Friday and the Memorial Day weekend.

East winds up to 40 knots today are predicted to drop to 20-25 with gusts to 30 by morning, when seas will be 8 to 11 feet.

The Big Mohawk from Belmar may try to get out tomorrow, but be sure to call tonight at 732 974-9606. They had many sea bass limits yesterday, and also several “head fish” — which are properly known as anglers, or as monkfish in the market. If you fish wrecks in the big swell, you’ll also probably catch congers (silver eels) which usually come out of their hiding spots  under those conditions.

The Big Jamaica from Brielle plans to sail Thursday at 7:30 a.m. before sailing sea bass Marathons the next three days. Reservations at 732 528-5014 are required for all trips.  Masks must be worn.

The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant is taking reservations for open boat sea bass trips Friday and Saturday at 6:30 a.m.. The $120 limited trips can be reserved at 732 370-8019.

 

Blassberg bass Dave Glassberg’s 54-pounder with Chuck Many on Ty Man before release

Gale warning into tonight

It’s been a windy cold spring, but there are better days coming. The northwest wind now blowing up to 35 knots should drop to 20-25 west by morning plus gusts to 30. At least that should settle the ocean.

The relatively few boaters fishing in  Raritan Bay continue to do very well with large stripers. One claimed on Facebook that he had a hard time finding one under 38 inches.

I was able to find an article by Dan Radel in the Asbury Park Press noting that Norma Keller, owner of the Norma K party boat fleet in Point Pleasant, died at 80 from complications of old age. Due to the present restrictions, a small private service was held. However, I haven’t been able to find out any more about Capt. Art Hilliard after reading on Faceboook that he had passed away. Anyone with information can contact me at cristori@aol.com.

Vinnie D’Anton continues to do well wading for spotted sea trout at Sarastota, Fl. — and even added a flounder yesterday on a Z Man jig.

N.J. party boat fleet loses two great ones

Two of the great veterans of New Jersey’s party boat business have passed away.

Norma Keller, owner of the Norma K. fleet in Point Pleasant was a fixture in that town for decades. Capt. Art Hilliard was part of a famed fishing family sailing out of Atlantic Highlands. He was best known as skipper of the large group charter boat Eagle. I’ll try to get details for the next blog.

A gale warning is going up for Tuesday.  The morning starts with south winds at 15-20 knots plus gusts to 30 before going southwest and gusting to 40 in the afternoon Showers and possible thunderstorms are predicted.

Calm weather produced stripers for boaters

Calm weather made fishing bearable for boaters this morning, and striper fishing seemed to be good for them.

At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc had a light crowd for Black Friday on his Sea Hunter, but they ended up with a boat limit of bass over 28 inches plus slots and shorts. Capt. Ron Santee had good striper action on the Fishermen and noted that red-tailed jigs were most effective. He emphasized that anglers must turn the handle in this fishery rather than just bouncing bottom with jigs.  My usual technique is to hit bottom, give a good bounce like a sand eel coming out of the sand — and then retrieve to about 1/3 of the way to the surface before pausing. A lot of hits come on the pause. Then drop down and do it again.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had a good mixed jigging catch of short, slot and keeper stripers plus some blues.

Capt. Stan Zagleski said blackfishing was picky on his Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands, but those who worked at it did well.

The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant will be sailing open for tog at 7 a.m. Call 732 370=8019 for reservations at $75.

The Big Jamaica is sailing from Brielle at 11 p.m. for jumbo sea bass on far offshore wrecks. There are some spots open. Call 732 528-5014. They’ll be striper fishing Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

I was armed with hand warmers this morning, but didn’t see any of the birds dipping on tiny bait at Point Pleasant Beach — and didn’t brave the cold as anglers didn’t seem to be doing anything. I made a brief try at sun-down in “balmy” 32 degree temperatures and released a small bass on an old J&J lead quid with a swiveling green tube. That  was the only one I saw caught on the beach,

Jerry Lasko and Maren Toleno found a pick of school stripers in the Seaside surf during the day, and saw a few 30-inch bass caught from among them.

 

 

 

hooked a couple of small blues recently in the Point Pleasant surf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get out Tuesday while the weather holds

While there didn’t seem to be any Bonanza striper fishing today, there were many caught in various areas. With colder and windier weather coming, it might be best to get your shots in Tuesday when the forecast is for NW 10-15 knots in the morning before increasing to 15-20 with gusts to 30 in the afternoon. Small craft warnings will be going up through Wednesday afternoon — to be followed by gale warnings Wednesday afternoon.

There was a decent early jigging bite in the Sandy Hook area. At Atlantic Highlands, the Sea Hunter reported better fishing with more shorts and keeper bass plus a few slots. The Fishermen reported 10 keeper bass plus some bonus fish through there wasn’t as much bait as on Sunday.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had good jigging on long drifts. It was mostly shorts with some keepers and slots and even a couple of blues.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had a similar report with stripers up to 20 pounds.

Though surfcasting remains tough, there was at least a showing of shorts this morning in Point Pleasant Beach. I was surprised to see over a dozen anglers on the beach when I arrived just before sun-up, but it was well a——————————————-fter that before some rods started bending. The two small bass I cau-ght were both on a Castaways teaser rig rather than the sand eel jig, an-d the only two anglers who did more than pick were casting diamond- jigs with a red tail. Nothing great, but the best action I’ve seen so far this fall. I returned late in the afternoon and didn’t see a fish caught.-

Steve Mirande made the right move -late this afternoon when he fished Bay Head and cast both swim shads and metal to catch three small stripers — all of which hit his hand–tied sand eel teaser. Steve thought he’d hooked a big one that was taking drag before his monster surfaced — a three-foot waterlogged plank!

Waters clearing — stripers improving

Ocean waters continue to clean up after the storm. There’s been no resumption of Wednesday’s hot jigging, but that fishing was somewhat better today.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands jigged mostly shorts in local waters, but added a couple to take home.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle got into two dozen shorts and a few keepers. The Big Mohawk is blackfishing, and that was tough today though some limits were taken. They sail at 6 a.m. Monday when the forecast is for west winds at 5-10 knots.

Surfcasting remains slow, though I heard of a few shorts being hooked on metal at Bay Head and Point Pleasant.

Capt. Dave Riback of the Queen Mary from Point Pleasant didn’t have to run all the way to the Rockaways again, and managed a pick of stripers off Sandy Hook. In addition to shorts, the boat had 10 keepers for the weekend plus a few slots. Ashley boated a personal record 32-inch striper.

 

 

Ashley bass

A tough day in dirty waters after the storm — but clearing during the day

The weather was fine. but striped bass didn’t respond well in badly discolored waters after the storm. That situation improved during the afternoon and provides hope for Sunday

Capt. Dave Riback was hoping to find the new body of large bass which provided great jigging Wednesday on his Queen Mary out of Point Pleasant, but could hardly find anything in the dirty waters resulting from the storm before running to the Rockaways where conditions were better and there was some action with mostly short bass. Some keepers were caught, but slot bass are just shorts in N.Y. waters. He did add a few slots on the way home off the Highlands.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported mostly shorts before fishing improved in the afternoon.

The Atlantic Highlands boats ran to the areas of hot jigging on Wednesday and found them to be barren. They ended up in the action to the north where some keepers were added. The Fishermen had a 15-pound pool winner.

The Big Mohawk from Belmar had a poor start to their blackfishing, but the bite improved and they put together a decent catch with both jigs and sinker rigs producing. They’re sailing at 6 a.m. Sunday and Monday, but are chartered Tuesday. Jim Louro of Spring Lake found dirty water in the surf everywhere he looked this morning, but the swell was down and surfcasting could improve by tomorrow.

The weather forecast is fine, with north 5-10 knot winds Sunday before going to the SE in the afternoon.