Anthony and his crew met us way before the sun came up for a Fluke trip. However, the reports have been very poor and Thursday the fluke were almost non existing. After they heard about the Mahi, it was a easy choice to head east and give themtry. The guys did great in flipping the small jigs on my baitcasting setups and did manage to catch some mahi, not the redhot fishing we had yesterday but enough to keep one interested. When they had enough, we headed inshore to finish the trip trying to locate some keeper fluke. Then what we figured what would happen happened, being I had no big Game gear on board. Within site of Asbury Park, I noticed some unusual surface activity off my starboard side. Thinking this was porpoises I really was not to concerned until I never saw any fins or tails or anything that would tell me that they are indeed porpoises. So I turned toward the large area of boils and white water. Getting close enough to cast to these fish , in 117′ of water, would you believe school of decent size school of Bluefin Tuna? Just my luck, but we are getting closer to these fish. So off to the fluke grounds where they got into some decent fishing. Paul was the hot hand as he boated the big fluke and 2 super size Seabass. Everyone got into the fluke and the water was as clear as I have ever seen in shore. How about this for a New Jersey Grand Slam – Mahi, Fluke, Seabass, and Bluefish. Great trip with a great bunch of guys. Joe proved you can eat a sandwich while holding a fluke rod in the other hand. Even 16” fluke feel like they have shoulders on a Toys are us Rod………
Wasting way to much time trying to locate peanuts, (first few throws were all adults, stripers anyone?), I got a later start then I wanted to in very nice conditions. The water was 72′ and extremely clear, not much life, but I wanted the lines in and troll towards the Glory Hole. So with much excitement a 7 line spread was out and looking good. Within 15 minutes a large pod of porpoises came around and we fished this area without a hit. Then we trolled through some pots and something very unusual happened. After the boat went past the marker, hundreds of Mahi wwould start jumping out of the water heading right for the prop wash and attack the lures, we could catch as many of these small mahi as you would want to catch. Some of these fish were not much larger then the green machines that were on our long lines. It was also pretty neat to see a school of these chicken Mahi attack a spreader bar. We took enough for some meals and released the rest. During the day we did manage to hook a much larger mahi that jumped off after a short battle. Then it happened, the port flat line went off and the Shimano 50 Tallus with a green machine spreader bar finally had a bend in it. This turned out to be a 10 -12lb false Albacore, but the big fish of the day. Heading west, we stopped on somepots only to find the mahi all to willing to eat the jigs that were tossed next to the float. Fishing out here really spoils me, even if we are not catching “Big Fish” yet. Just knowing that at any second you could hook a fish that can strip the 50’s in seconds is thrilling., and to see the gin clear water is indescribable. I think I found my new hangout…………
Looking to load up with live bait just in case we could head offshore was easy and the backup plan was to take a tank of snappers so we could stop on the rough bottom on our trip home. The peanuts were easy, but the snappers were very hard to come by, Sal even sacrificed my rod, his 2nd donation to King Neptune this year. This hurt me because it was my favorite ice fishing rod. Once near the rocks we decided to stay and try for some fluke and not take the chance of heading deep with the 15-20 south east that was fore-casted. It did not take too long before we had a decent size fluke in the boat and in the first 2 drifts had 3 fish over 5lbs with Zempe’s 6-3/4 being the largest. As the drift slowed so did the fishing and when the wind picked up we started really catching fluke, only they were all a little short. Did I mention that Sal also dropped his reading glasses over as well? It was just one of those days. At the end of the day, there were plenty of fillets to satisfy everyone and a couple of real decent seabass. Only 2 more weeks left of this fluke season, I hope the weaks show up………..
With a stiff west wind I made a quick stop at the Big Channel, just in case it was fishable, which is was not. So a ride south, which was interrupted by those crazy bluefish, was in order. It took no time for Mike Scanio to get into a real nice fluke, just under 5lbs and a few other keepers on the first drift. Brian’s nephew Tyler did a real good job in landing a few large fluke as well. Skip got into some keeper size seabass, and Gary had a decent keeper and way too many just short fish. All the while, and we worked the area hard, the crew put up with the dreaded snags. This is part of the game when fishing this location. They did not complain, just fished hard. When the wind died out so did the drift, power drifting provided a few more fish. Another day with great weather, plenty of action, good company. A move north to the channel found another keeper and the memory of the day, Brian finally smiled……………..
I kne wthe day was going to be a good one once I was introduced to 3 generations, Grandpa Bob, Father Chris and 2 sons, Charley and Willie. Mix in Anthony and his son Nick and this had all the makings of a great day. Could not ask for nicer weather as we headed south and encountered birds and all the small blues one could want to catch. After a few of the blues that were on rainfish, I resumed heading south and stopped on some good marks. It did not take to long for the peanuts to get them going and pretty good action. Willie had the hot hand as he got into them 1 after another, all by himself too!! Charlie did not do too bad either. Once that action slowed we moved in shore which provided steady action with short fluke as Willie proved he could catch whatever we fished for. A move north found the blues to really going crazy on the surface in very calm conditions and bright sunshine. The boys did a excellent job in hooking the fish and fighting them to the boat. (Please find their picture in my gallery). This was a special trip as 3 generations got to spend a day on the water together, cannot get better then that!!!!!
Getting the peanuts was not as easy as it has been and that should have been our sign for the day, nothing came easy. I took the ride and tried for weakfish. Stopping on some real good marks, that I feel are definitely weaks, the crew dropped live peanuts, sandworms, bucktails without a tap. So off to the fluke grounds (Ambrose). “No Fluke” Lou put the first fish and keeper in the box and set the bar for the rest of my “A”team. A few moves and I decided to take them to my honey spot. Once there “No Fluke” Lou did it again with another keeper. Then Zemp took off on of his patches and caught 2 keepers, things were looking good as we made another drift. Then Rick hooked into the bottom, he thought, then the bottom started shaking its head and before long he put a real nice fluke 6.6lber in my boat. A few more keepers and then it died. King Force needed to rest, he was tired, not from catching fish either. The guys seemed to find every snag on the bottom and with the lack of fish I need to move, so back to the Channel we go. A fish here and there, a missed fish, searobin, skate, but some action. Then it happened King Force hooked into a fluke, thanks to alittle coaching, and he was on the board. Then again, and 1 more time, before long we had a decent amount of keepers in the box. Nothing bigger then Ricks fluke but all had some keepers. By this time we were well into my afternoon charter and Keith starting yapping, he was no longer “Pissy”. So Patches called “TAXI” and we headed for home. Between the channels we came upon birds working and stopped. Blues and bass were working bait and Keith hooked into a blue, Anothony did as well. Zemp had a bass follow his bucktail and then it was over. The guys fished hard all day long and it was a long day to beat. No Toys R Rods on this trip, they came to fish. To bad the fishing could not have been a little better, but you sure cannot beat the company……
With the added pressure of a guarantee, we left the harbor about 1/2hour late, due to a traffic jam on 280 right BOB? 2 tanks of peanuts which I had big plans for. When my screen lit up, I knew this would be good. It did no take long for the fish to start boiling, Erin got into the first and then it was non stop surface action until the boat traffic beat these blues down. By that time everyone had their fill of these blues. Andrew had worked up a good sweat working surface popper as did his father. Erin was pitching live ones to the eager blues. I ride north to the channel was interrupted by a shot at few more large blues that was working somebait between the channels. A bunch of searobins, a few dogfish and some throwbacks in the shallows made me move to the deep. There we got into a few keepers and some more shorts. By time the tide slacked it was time to head back to port. Another nice day on the water, family friends, fishing…………….
Then weatherman was not wrong with this forecast as the forecasted 20 mph west winds were there. Plenty of sun, and with a father and his 2 sons aboard for a day on the water it really does not get better then this. We had some nice blues right away on live bunker, which gave them quite a battle. Then a move to fluking put a nice keeper in the box before we went back to catching blues. They were chewing the trolled baits hard and provided the Peterson’s with plenty of action and some sore arm muscles. What a day on the water, the fish bit, beautiful sunshine, and a great time with a Father and his 2 sons……..
I knew it was going to be bumpy when I felt the wind in my face at 2:00am. At the ramp, all the flags were starched, but with the High arriving , I gambled on it settling down, so east we went in a steep following sea. Put the lines in south of the BA and headed for the Glory Hole. Had Bonita on right away and that never stopped all day long. Never raised anything big, saw some propises, whales, tuna birds. No bait concentrations in the very clean 70′ water. As the day went on it layed out and got very nice out there. However I could not find the big fish. Even the pots only had a handful of small fish around the marker. Its getting late for these areas not to be holding game fish, lets see what happens next week….
With Thursdays trip still fresh in my mind, I could not wait to get the men back to the channel. However, when we arrived I found the wind with the tide which makes for a very bad combination. These guys fought hard and caught some nice keepers before we needed to move, 16 ounces on braid was not holding. A few stops here and there and every stop provided some more keepers. With the bright sunshine, and decent fishing, it turned out to be a real good day. Plenty of laughs all day long. We would have had a few more keepers if Al would have waited for the net! Rob, you need to put the beer down when trying to set the hook, (nice sea bass Rob). Plenty of fillets for all when all was said and done…….