The 38th annual South Jersey Shark Tournament out of South Jersey Marina in Cape May had great weather Thursday and Friday, but catches were well below their normal standards. That was no problem for Joe Zuccarelli on Gina L as Patrick Sheehan fought a 269-pound mako from the 31 Bertram. They weren’t in the biggest Calcuttas, but still ended up with $117,826.
El Cid III, a 28 Mako, boated a 278-pound thresher that earned $36,434, while My Time took home $2,323 for a 249-pound thresher.
One other mako didn’t qualify, and 29 were released. The blue shark money wasn’t claimed as only one short of the 200-pound minimum was brought in while 53 were released. Other releases by the 68-boat fleet included a brown, three tigers and two duskies as the cold spring waters seem to have delayed the usual shark migratory pattern.
The Warriors for Warriors Charity Shark Tournament out of Hoffman’s Marina West in Brielle hasn’t posted any official results as yet, but the last leaderboard indicated that Tra Sea Ann weighed an 86-inch, 225-pound mako. Just Bill Me had a 243-pound thresher. Miss Tress was way ahead in the tuna division with a 131-pounder, and Taylor Jean was on the board with a 35-pound tuna.
Despite the early morning rain, there were some fluke fishermen who braved the weather at Atlantic Highlands. Capt. Ron Santee was happy with the morning bite on the change of tide as Rich Mullenbrock limited up to a 6 7/16-pound fluke on the Fishermen. Capt. Rob Semkewyc said conditions were horrible where he had been catching with the Sea Hunter, but there were still a few limits and fluke of 5.5 and 4.7 pounds.
Party boats along the Shore cancelled, but sea bass fishing has been very good for bottom fishermen who’ll be glad to get back to them tomorrow. The Golden Eagle at Belmar and Miss Belmar Princess will be looking for the 5-to-8-pound bluefish they got into last week. Those blues weren’t hitting very well Sunday after a good jig bite Saturday. The forecast for Tuesday features light southeast winds.
The Surf Kings almost held their home ground at Sea Girt during a weekend afternoon surf contest with the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association and American Angler as Tim MacMahon had an 18-inch fluke before a 34 3/4-inch blue hit a clam fished by Ron Stesney of America Angler late in the afternoon.
Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that fluke are hitting in Shark River, and some big stripers are being trolled in the ocean. Ray Soyka of Lincroft put a 52-pounder on his boat. Brett Thibedeau was trolling with his father two miles off Belmar when he fought a 48-pound striper. They also caught another over 40 pounds. Matthews says clams are producing mostly short stripers in the surf.
Vinny D’Anton of Wall waited for the rain to stop this morning before trying to bait stripers in the surf, but they didn’t turn on.