Mako Fever results

 

Though third place money is in escrow due to a legal challenge, John Schachel of the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers was able to confirm the following payouts from the recent JCSA Mako Fever Tournament:

Big Nutz Required ran away with first place by boating a 258-pound mako worth $45,645. Tra Sea Ann took second for $10,252.50 with a 236-pound mako. The fourth place money of $16,900 (including the thresher Calcutta) went to Retainer for their  316-pound thresher.

Capt. Danny McGivney  had this fine mako alongside his Megan Beth from Clarks Landing in Point Pleasant during Mako Mania, but it was short of the 83-inch  minimum and had to be released. Photo courtesy of Capt. Dan McGivney.

Mako - McGivney

The legal dispute over Seaquester’s mako that turned out to be short of the 83-inch minimum when brought to Mako Fever has also held up results from Mako Mania where it had ween weighed at 207 pounds when measured incorrectly on the scale at a legal 83 1/4 inches.

It was another tough day of drifting for fluke in Raritan Bay due to light winds, but the long period of calm winds is coming to an end with SW winds into Friday and a NE blow on Saturday. Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands said he scratched out a catch today topped by one angler who bagged three fluke. The pool went to a 4.5-pounder.

Also at that port, Capt. Ron Santee said his July 4 trip with the Fishermen was good for Big Mike from the Atlantic Star who caught five fluke of keeper size including the 5 11/16-pound pool winner.

Capt. Stan Zagleski had little drift on July 4 with his Elaine B.II from Bahrs in Highlands. but Ken Peters of Maplewood had two keepers up to the 4 11/16-pound pool winner. The youngster in the photo was happy with his two keepers.

Happy kid

There were no bluefish reports today. The Golden Eagle from Belmar limited with the two sea bass per person now permitted.   They also noted there were some mackerel on Tuesday afternoon’s trip, but didn’t specify Boston mackerel as on July 2. Boston is just a nickname for the Atlantic mackerel — a cold water fish which would be very unusual in the present very warm waters. The mackerel that were so abundant during the last few summers were chubs, and a shark fishermen told me he had chub mackerel in his Mud Hole slick recently.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant reported a hot porgy bite on July 4.

 

Jim Hutchinson Sr. filed the following report for the Beach Haven Charter Boat Association as follows:

“The Fourth of July has arrived in Beach Haven with hot, summer-like temperatures, and the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are finding the fishing action heating up in a similar fashion.

Captain Jimmy Zavacky had the Robinson family out on the “Reel Determined” for an enjoyable day on the water. With the help of first time junior mate Zach Rietmann and experienced mate Liane Lopez, they boated many sea bass and sea robins while fishing on a local reef.

Last Sunday the “Hot Tuna” with Captain Bob Gerkens at the helm did the 90-mile run to the Baltimore Canyon. Weather conditions were excellent as the boat was able to cruise at 25-knots in both directions. The group of anglers had a good day of trolling yellowfin tuna as four were caught. Capt. Bob reports he has been hearing of a good inshore bluefin tuna bite also.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Sportfishing” has been running two trips a day in local waters for fluke, and the fish are keeping his anglers busy. He had Stanley Gola of S&S Bucktails out with his sons who managed to box three nice keepers. That same afternoon he had Ali Gurko, her brother Vince, and Corey Cordell out. Vince served his country in United States Army for 4 years. Wind against the tide made it tough, but the group managed three keepers to 24.5 inches. Another trip he had Rich Sanborn of Levittown, Pa, out with his two sons Sean and Ryan. Sean is home for a week from the United States Navy. They worked quite a few areas with the S&S Bigeye bucktail, and the trio boated over 30 fluke with 4 keepers-24, 21.5, 19.5, and 18 inches.

The first Junior Mates Class was held with 17 eager youngsters on hand to learn about fishing. Additional information on the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association can be found at www.bhfca.net

Allen Riley of South Plainfield fished the Sandy Hook surf with Gulp this morning nder good conditions, but only came up with a short fluke.

Vinny D’Anton of Wall caught four small stripers on his Chug Bug at Belmar, and Frank Manzi added another release this morning. I couldn’t raise a thing to the Chug Bug at Sea Girt, but saw a couple of mini-bass such as we had in the surf last fall caught on small jigs.

Fluke tournaments are coming up, with the Sandy Hook Bay Anglers running their 37th annual 2-day contest on July 14 and 15 for a guaranteed $5,700 in cash prizes out of Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina.  For info visit http://www.sandyhookbayanglers.com.

 

Mako tournaments got their winners despite 83-inch minimum

Mako tournament organizers were sweating out the new 83-inch mako minimum, but so far they’ve all been able to just barely get by.

Capt. Pete Grimbilas said the Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association’s Mako Mania got a mako winner at the last moment when Seaquester brought in a mako that was just a quarter-inch over the minimum and weighed 207 pounds.

There was a provision in this year’s Mako Mania that a thresher could take the prizes if there was no legal mako. It looked as if that was going to happen when Miss Ginny brought in a 467-pound thresher despite losing an engine.

The ongoing Jersey Coast Shark Angler’s Mako Fever Tournament already had a potential mako winner when Big Nutz Required weighed a 258-pounder Thursday. Tra Sea Ann added a 236-pound mako on Friday. Seaquester’s mako was also entered in Mako Fever, and a 316-pound thresher was weighed today. I’ll have more about these contests tomorrow.

Capt. Stan Zagleski said he had no wind for drifting in the morning, and then wind against tide later as anglers on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands worked hard for their fluke.  Michael  Stashluk of Denville caught four legal fluke, keeping his limit which included the pool;

Capt. Rob Semkewyz reported his worst keeper  fluking so far on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands. Yet, the boat’s largest fluke of the season was boated — a just under 8-pounder by Pat Lassen.

S.H. pool fluke

The Golden Eagle from Belmar jigged some small blues early, but later had a few shots at 8-to-15-pounders.

The Big Mohawk from that port reported the big swell hurt ocean fluking today, but a few limits were caught and the pool fluke was about 5 pounds.

It’s Mako Mania time

The 33rd Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association’s Mako Mania Tournament gets started this evening with a 6:30 p.m. captains meeting at Wehrlen Brothers Marina on Princeton Ave. in Brick. N.J.  Anglers can fish either of the next two days — or opt to fish both by paying two entry fees. All boats sail out of Manasquan Inlet, and weigh-ins are from 4 to7 each day at Capt. Bill’s Lamding in Point Pleasant.

There’s expected to be about $250,000 in cash prizes, and Lester Glenn Auto Group will present a 2018 Chevy Silverado to the angler who breaks the state shortfin mako record of 856 pounds.  There’s also a provision this year that if no mako making the new 83-inch minimum length (a straight line measurement from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail) is weighed, the largest thresher shark of at least 66 inches will be eligible for all prizes.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Remember that each boat is limited to one shark. If last weekend’s BTB Mako Rodeo is any guide,  it doesn’t appear that they’ll be any problem in finding a few big makos among a large fleet.

Nor’Easter put a 729-pound mako on the scale at Hoffman’s Marina in Brielle to run away with that contest and blew away the old tournament record of 401 pounds. Other makos and threshers were weighed in, and Fin-Ominal won the first mako Calcutta with a 242-pounder.

The 40th Jersey Coast Shark Angler’s Mako Fever continues through Sunday. Anglers entered in that contest were relieved to find that Nor-Easter’s mako wasn’t also in Mako Fever. However, Big Nutz Required jumped on top of the leaderboard this week with a 258-pound mako.

The N.J. sea bass season concluded today. so there will be more pressure on ocean fluking.  Raritan Bay fluking wasn’t very good today, and Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands said he couldn’t fish every spot as it got a bit nasty at times in the east wind. Yet, there was one limit, and the pool fluke was 4.5 pounds.

Tank Matraxia joined the family and friends fluke charter arranged by Marty Gras of Lyndhurst today on the Bingo out of Atlantic Highlands. He said fluking was a tough pick in the bay with only a few keepers, though the kids caught a couple of 23 1/2 and 24 inches. With about 30 people aboard, there were only 30 short fluke big enough to be tagged by the American Littoral Society volunteers aboard.

The bluefish fleet in Raritan Reach had a tough day of jigging. The Golden Eagle from Belmar  reported it was nothing like the last four days as they only got a few brief shots of big blues. Miss Belmar Princess only got a shot of small blues early before scratching out some up to 12 pounds as there was none of the surface action they had been seeing.

Point Pleasant Canal was quiet this morning except for one very excited little girl who fought a 30-inch striper to the landing net.

Vinny D’Anton of Wall was happy to catch two small stripers on his Chug Bug in Shark River before heading to the surf. The east wind created good white water conditions for fishing sand fleas, and he quickly caught two stripers — including a 32-incher. I went down to take pictures of his fish, and gave it a try that resulted in a 29 1/4-inch release before losing two others on-and-off with circle hooks.

Vinny’s bass was so fat that we expected it was full of sand fleas. Yet, it turned out that it only had hard-shell calico crabs and a rock crab in the stomach — and was still carrying roe though the spawning period was over a month ago. Some stripers don’t spawn every year, and reabsorb their roe.

The Jamaica from Brielle will be making another tilefish trip that departs at 10 p.m. Sunday. Call 732 528-5014 for details and reservations.

Those who would like to fish fresh waters in New York State have the opportunity to do it for free this weekend.

Maren Toleno of Point Pleasant was surprised by this houndfish while casting a popper on the bay side of Island Beach State Park recently, but Jerry Lasko’s dog Bunker was properly wary of those small, but sharp teeth

Bunker & houndfish.jpg

Just ounces short of $100,000

Winning a tournament is a thrill for any angler, but the joy is modified somewhat when it turns out that the winning fish fell just ounces short of being worth $100,000.

John Frione from Ct. was fishing with Joe Bartnecki on KB3 from Shark River in the Staten Island Tuna Club’s Saturday contest that had a $100,000 prize for the largest striped bass over 50 pounds. Anthony Arcabascio Jr. was trolling near them off Sandy Hook when Frione trolled a bass of about the right size on one of Anthony’s father’s lures — a Tony Maja Magic Mojo. Frione was a runaway winner of the modest contest purse, but the scale recorded 48.9 pounds — just short of the magic $10,000 50-pound mark.

Capt. Vinnie Vetere was fishing the contest with his Katfish Charters from Great Kills, and managed to put together a striper catch — but without a bass to challenge the leader. He noted that Frione is a friend, and on the next day another friend caught the bass he needed the day before as Capt. Rudy on Lady L. II boated a 52-pounder.

h17 oz from $100,000

 

Yet another “50” was caught on Father’s Day — the eighth to be weighed so far this season at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina. Jason Hadzimichalis was trolling a Tony Maja bunker spoon from High Life off Asbury Park with his father William when the 54-pounder hit.

Father's day 54  The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant almost never has room on any of their canyon tournament trips, but the group scheduled for the Ocean City, Md. Tuna Tournament from July 13-15 fell apart. The Canyon Runner fleet has won lots of money in canyon tournaments, and this is an unusual opportunity for a group to pick up at the last moment.

It’s taken some time to track down last weekend’s shark weigh-ins at Brielle, but it appears that a 729.5-pound mako was weighed at Hoffman’s Marina for the Brett T. Bailey Mako Rodeo from Nor’ Easter. Capt. Tom Savastano had heard about that weigh-in over the weekend, but thought it wasn’t in a contest. I couldn’t find it on Hoffman’s web site, but came across it on their Facebook today. The Mako Rodeo organizers don’t send out press releases or maintain their web site. Last year it took weeks and many requests before I could find any results from that contest. In addition to the huge mako, there were other weigh-ins for Mako Rodeo listed in Hoffman’s facebook as follows: A 242-pound mako on Fin-ominal; a 206.5-pound thresher from Tra Sea Ann; and even a 196-pound bluefin tuna from Lucky Strike.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc was surprised to see very few fluke fishermen at Atlantic Highlands this morning. They must have read weather reports from earlier in the week that had predicted possible showers and thunderstorms in the morning. I didn’t see any of that in the forecast last night, and it was a picture perfect day. Semkewyc said fluking was also pretty good on his Sea Hunter with a couple of limits and a couple of 5-pounders.

The Jamaica from Brielle was in on yesterday’s big bluefish jigging bite that started out with 2-to-4-pounders. It was topped by the largest bluefish I’ve heard of this year — reported as a 20-pounder by Stephen Chesonis of Hopatcong. If he’s a Fisherman subscriber that blue would blow away the current leader in that division of the Dream Boat Challenge which is just 16.56 pounds from Long Island. As noted here last night, four of the 10 places in bluefish have been filled due to the 15-pound minimum. Golden Eagle from Belmar reported blues up to 18 pounds yesterday, but there was no report when this blog was published,

Speaking fof big blues, Vinny D’Anton of Wall was shocked to hook a 36-incher this morning in the Belmar surf on his Chug Bug. He said the fight lasted at least 15 minutes before he was able to release the chopper which may have been the largest in the Jersey surf during this disappointing season.  D’Anton also plugged two stripers up to 25 inches.

I had been casting at Spring Lake, but never raised anything to my popper there. A quick stop at Point Pleasant Canal on the way home around 7:30 revealed no one fishing at the public access, but I decided to make a few casts with the Z Man 6-inch jig — and I was surprised to catch two small stripers.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park had a big surf bass weighed in Monday as Terry Mcquad used bunker to attract a 42-inch, 31.10-pound striper.

Those attending tonight’s meeting of the Salt Water Anglers of Bergen County are in for a treat as famed fluke pro Dave Lilly of Hazlet is the guest speaker.  Lilly is a regular winner in almost every fluke tournament along the Jersey Shore. The 8 p.m. meeting is at the American Legion, 33 W. Passaic St., Rochelle Park.

Mimi VI from Point Pleasant has scheduled a Hudson Canyon open trip that will leave at 10 p.m. Monday night and return at that time Tuesday. It’s limited to 12 at a $400 fare.  Call 732 370-8019 for reservations.. That boat is also open for bottom fishing at 7 a.m. on Friday.

Mako Fever starts, but no weigh-ins

The Jersey Coast Anglers’ Mako Fever Tournament is underway, but no makos have been weighed in to that contest which continues through next weekend.

The biggest shark tournament on Long Island was won as usual by a thresher, but makos were also well-represented.

The big shark in the 46th Freeport Hudson Anglers Shark Tournament was a 329.6-pound thresher that was worth $52,740 to Kenneth Owens. Second was a 293.8-pound mako that was worth more as Kevin Jinks on Grand Slam pocketed $73,332. Lana Ann took third with a 290.6-pound mako — and fourth went to Fatal Attraction with a 282.8-pound thresher. Over 100 boats competed.

Raritan Bay fluke reports were mixed. At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc complained about a slow drift all day with his Sea Hunter that produced mostly shorts, but Capt. Ron Santee was happy with results on his Fishermen where Moe took the pool with a 6 7/16-pound fluke.  Capt. Stan Zagleski was also pleased with the drift on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands that produced more keepers than yesterday. Dylan Myers came up from Egg Harbor to win the pool with 6 5/16-pound fluke.

 

dylan fluke

The Golden Eagle from Belmar jigged some blues this morning, but switched over to sea bass for more action and some keepers,

The initial reports Capt. Chris Di Stefano got from the canyons today weren’t that good as two boats reported only one strike — though they were good ones. Miss Christina boated a 216-pound bigeye tuna, and Out of Sight had a 63-inch bluefin tuna.

Though there’s been some good canyon tuna reports this year, I haven’t heard a word about dolphin. Maybe they’re all still in Florida where my daughter Cyndi’s boy friend, Luis Gonzalez throlled this one in 450 feet off Key Largo yesterday.

luis mahi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work your baits for fussy fluke

Fluke fishing in the Raritan Bay area has been tough most days even though party and charter boats usually end up with decent catches. The difference between those anglers who limit regularly and those who struggle for a dinner is usually working the baits. Bait has generally been best so far, but just dragging it isn’t normally productive. Every skipper is frustrated when he sees anglers waiting for a fluke to commit suicide rather than continuously bouncing bait off bottom.

Modern lightweight tackle makes it a lot easier to work baits, but Dave Orlkel proved today on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands that it’s not necessary to fool fluke as Capt. Ron Santee said his customer used his grandfather’s wooden-handled reel on a rod at least 50 years old to limit out and boat the pool-winning 7.4-pounder. Santee noted that there were also fluke of 6.5 and 5.7 pounds while some fares managed a couple of keepers  — but he emphasized that “In no way is it easy”. The Fishermen is chartered Saturday.

Also at that port, the Sea Hunter had similar fluking with a couple of limits and a 7.5-pound pool winner plus many shorts.

 

The small bluefish in the Shrewsbury Rocks area cooperated today and there were some limits up to 3 pounds jigged on both Miss Belmar Princess and the Golden Eagle from Belmar — while the Ocean Explorer, Big Mohawk and Capt. Cal continue to load up with sea bass out of that port.

Capt. Deane Lambros had a facebook post of a great canyon trip yesterday on the Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant that produced two giants of 96 and 90 inches plus a bigeye and 10 yellowfin tuna.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro trolled out of Barnegat Inlet with his Hi Flier from Barnegat and only caught a 14-inch fluke that actually was hooked in the mouth on a turn with a Tony Maja bunker spoon. However, there were bunker schools up that have attracted thresher sharks. Some threshers have been caught, and he was looking for another as I talked to him late in the afternoon.

Many short stripers and a few larger ones are still being reported by the Seaside Park tackle shops — and there’s also been a bonus of black drum on clams.

Vinny D’Anton of Wall didn’t have another day on his local beach such as the day before when he caught six stripers up to 35 inches on sand fleas. He hooked a similar bass right away this morning only to lose it almost in the wash due to a broken circle hook. After that there was only a pick of small bass. I even caught three, but none over about 23 inches. Joe Milko got a surprise when he hooked a 17 1/4-inch fluke on sand fleas.

Joe Melillo has had some weigh-ins recently at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant. Bill McCrystal of that town had boat stripers of 27 pounds, and 35 7/8 pounds. Terry Martuscelli of Brick landed a 24 9/16-pound bass from the surf on bunker.