Monthly Archives: September 2014

Overnight on the “Recovery Room” ! Sept 27-28

Timing was just right with everyones schedule and mother nature. This is a trip that I look foward too very much for many reasons. Not only is the 54 Blackwell a super beautiful boat, the company is as good as it gets. Tom and Scott, Diane and myself and Erwin Jr loaded up on a bright sunny day, expectations were high, and we could not get to the deep fast enough. The trip east was uneventful, except for the Arugula Salad that Tom served up about a hour before we hit the west wall. Conditions were calm, with a very small NE swell. A 11 rod spread was deployed, and even though the reports did not favor trolling in the weedy canyon, you could not help but think that at any moment a rod or 2 will bend and the reels will scream. Looking for life, we searched east and found some mammel life, where we worked the area. Next on the menu was roasted fillet mignon over fresh mozzarella, with roasted peppers and arugula and onions in a balsamic dressing on a slice of sesame seeded semolina bread. Lets not forget the red wine that tasted like it was made for this meal. Even Diane ate,  (only the arugula)!! We made course to a spot that we wanted to drift and fish the meat. As the sun dissappeared on the western horizon, we started the slick. First line in got hit within 2 mintues, and Tom bent his rod on a nice fish. However it was not acting like a tuna and before long we realized it was a shark. Not just any shark, but a very nice 150lb mako. It came right to the boat and gave me a very easy gaff shot!! Too easy because for whatever reason, I pulled up and missed this fish. That woke the mako up and it did not take to long before he bit through the 60lb fluoro leader. The abuse that I took was relentless!!! ( I have feelings too) It lasted until we parted ways on Sunday afternoon. We had sharks for the first 1-1/2 hours, getting bit off numerous times before finally getting a dart shot on another (story for another day) which ended the shark bite. As we drifted up the wall, the first tuna hit and Scott boated a chunky Longfin. The night was dark, the stars were spectacular and the fishing was slow. We headed back into the ditch and set up for another drift before midnight. The porpoises took advantage of the slender unidentified bait fish that gathered in the light. It was only a matter of time before the tuna would join in the feeding frenzy right behind the transom. Tom then served up Eggplant Parm and Lasagna!!! Our first good bite came at 1:00am. Erwin Jr got on the rod and we knew right away this was a very good fish. A dangerous walk around the bow making back to the cockpit, he finally started gaining line after a half  hour. With just a few cranks to go the hook pulled and it was game over. The dissapointment was crushing and we can only speculate as to how big. At 1:45 am another bite and Scott came tight and after a nice fight, a nice YFT was on the deck. For the next 2 hours it was game on. The bites came quickly. We ended up losing way more then we boated. Twice we had 2 on and crossing lines resulted in losing both fish. We killed 1 more nice YFT before all the life left us. Of course we all were expecting a good bite right before first light, and we continued to toss chunks just waiting for our next shot at these great fish. Thats when Tom perked a pot of coffee which was just what the Doctor had ordered after the long night of fishing. Not to mention it went perfect with the egg and cheese and taylor ham on a hard roll that we were about to eat. We had one more bite the rest of the trip, it came on the deep rod set for swords and turned out to be another shark which never stayed on long enough for us to identify. We set course for Manasquan after the sun made the horizon. In as calm as it gets seas, we left the Hudson, sad in a way, but happy to be so lucky to enjoy another trip to the deep surrounded by such good people. Less then a hour away form the inlet, Tom served up piping hot chicken parm!!!! (Diane had a half of Plum) and that was the last of the dining that we would do on the Recovery Room. A few of the Highlights of this trip are as follows: I need glasses to use the gaff, Erwin Jr needs push harder when using the Dart!!! We only had to listen to one verse of ROXANNE from Scott, Diane did not cut herself when cutting chunks, Erwin Jr should leave the filleting to me, its easier with the knife then the gaff. Washing up the Recovery Room went quickly, and to think about what we had just accomplished in the last 26 hours is amazing. My thanks to Tom for the invite, and for feeding me like a King once again………..

Overnight on the “Recovery Room” !

Timing was just right with everyones schedule and mother nature. This is a trip that I look foward too very much for many reasons. Not only is the 54 Blackwell a super beautiful boat, the company is as good as it gets. Tom and Scott, Diane and myself and Erwin Jr loaded up on a bright sunny day, expectations were high, and we could not get to the deep fast enough. The trip east was uneventful, except for the Arugula Salad that Tom served up about a hour before we hit the west wall. Conditions were calm, with a very small NE swell. A 11 rod spread was deployed, and even though the reports did not favor trolling in the weedy canyon, you could not help but think that at any moment a rod or 2 will bend and the reels will scream. Looking for life, we searched east and found some mammel life, where we worked the area. Next on the menu was roasted fillet mignon over fresh mozzarella, with roasted peppers and arugula and onions in a balsamic dressing on a slice of sesame seeded semolina bread. Lets not forget the red wine that tasted like it was made for this meal. Even Diane ate,  (only the arugula)!! We made course to a spot that we wanted to drift and fish the meat. As the sun dissappeared on the western horizon, we started the slick. First line in got hit within 2 mintues, and Tom bent his rod on a nice fish. However it was not acting like a tuna and before long we realized it was a shark. Not just any shark, but a very nice 150lb mako. It came right to the boat and gave me a very easy gaff shot!! Too easy because for whatever reason, I pulled up and missed this fish. That woke the mako up and it did not take to long before he bit through the 60lb fluoro leader. The abuse that I took was relentless!!! It lasted until we parted ways on Sunday afternoon. We had sharks for the first 1-1/2 hours, getting bit off numerous times before finally getting a dart shot on another (story for another day) which ended the shark bite. As we drifted up the wall, the first tuna hit and Scott boated a chunky Longfin. The night was dark, the stars were spectacular and the fishing was slow. We headed back into the ditch and set up for another drift before midnight. The porpoises took advantage of the slender unidentified bait fish that gathered in the light. It was only a matter of time before the tuna would join in the feeding frenzy right behind the transom. Tom then served up Eggplant Parm and Lasagna!!! Our first good bite came at 1:00am. Erwin Jr got on the rod and we knew right away this was a very good fish. A dangerous walk around the bow making back to the cockpit, he finally started gaining line after a half  hour. With just a few cranks to go the hook pulled and it was game over. The dissapointment was crushing and we can only speculate as to how big. At 1:45 am another bite and Scott came tight and after a nice fight, a nice YFT was on the deck. For the next 2 hours it was game on. The bites came quickly. We ended up losing way more then we boated. Twice we had 2 on and crossing lines resulted in losing both fish. We killed 1 more nice YFT before all the life left us. Of course we all were expecting a good bite right before first light, and we continued to toss chunks just waiting for our next shot at these great fish. Thats when Tom perked a pot of coffee which was just what the Doctor had ordered after the long night of fishing. Not to mention it went perfect with the egg and cheese and taylor ham on a hard roll that we were about to eat. We had one more bite the rest of the trip, it came on the deep rod set for swords and turned out to be another shark which never stayed on long enough for us to identify. We set course for Manasquan after the sun made the horizon. In as calm as it gets seas, we left the Hudson, sad in a way, but happy to be so lucky to enjoy another trip to the deep surrounded by such good people. Less then a hour away form the inlet, Tom served up piping hot chicken parm!!!! (Diane had a half of Plum) and that was the last of the dining that we would do on the Recovery Room. A few of the Highlights of this trip are as follows: I need glasses to use the gaff, Erwin Jr needs push harder when using the Dart!!! We only had to listen to one verse of ROXANNE from Scott, Diane did not cut herself when cutting chunks, Erwin Jr should leave the filleting to me, its easier with the knife then the gaff. Washing up the Recovery Room went quickly, and to think about what we had just accomplished in the last 26 hours is amazing. My thanks to Tom for the invite, and for feeding me like a King once again………..

2014 Fluke recap –Slow start-great fishing-slow death

With the bass fishing coming to a very abrupt end, I was really looking foward to the fluke season. Sometimes you have to be careful what u wish for. With the exceptions of a few last minute cancellations, we were full regarding charters, and all of my clients are expecting big fish and good action. It took awhile for the fhisng to get good. Early on, it was tough fishing, and all my usual spots held very few fish. The guys all fished hard all day long with just enough white meat to go around. Limits were non extistent for us, and nice fish were in the 5-6lb range. Mother nature, the bitch that she can be at times, really threw us a curve ball in July with some nasty weather that did us a favor in cancelling some trips in the middle of July. After 3 weeks of mediocre fluking, it came together the 3rd week of July. Zempe broke it out with his crew, followed by Dick Leathery and his crew on a 2 day trip, boxing 60 fluke on his 2 days of fishing. It was off to the races after that. We did fish a few tournaments with no big fish when it counted. Going into August, the big fish was only 6.2lbs. Fishing day to day was consistant, it was determined by how hard the guys wanted to fish. It really broke open the first full week of the month. On Bob Steady Centemore, James, landed a fat 8lber and it was followed up by PAP on the Dick Leathery’s 2nd 2 day charter with another 8lber and another load of the great tasting white meat. Zempe Friday’s continued to be limited out with quality fish, but no giants. Richie Splash’s trip produced another big fish int he 8lb range, with a few big ones lost. Frankie scratch dropped a big one because of itchy balls. All the signs are in place, it is only a matter of time. On some trips, the guys dont want to bang the jigs, and that slows the production. With this style of fishing, you only get out what you put in. Weather always dictates where we fish, and we have a number of pots that I really have confidence in. Jay, even with his buddy looking for Ralph produced a real good catch to 6 bucktails virgins, proving, if you work at it, you can make it work. Big Fish Al Gallo, got the first doormat with a 10.6 lber and along with Steady Centemore, and Tom the Hitman, Anydaynow Paul, the best trip of the year with nice big fish. Mark (Meltzers) followed with another good trip in windy conditions. Bil Haskel, got a 9lber, with Zempe getting a 9 the very next day, and the best big fish trip to date. It really turned on for us now, but it all changed very quickly. We ended up with a handful of 9lbers, only one over 10, although, Charlie just missed with his 9.8 the fist Friday in September. Too many 8lbers to list, and as many 5-7lb fish that I could have wanted. Again, and I hate to keep saying this. Most days, it all depends on how hard the crew wants to fish. Big RIchie Swissstack, got into a few good trips, with Dave Colley  of St Croix Rods, got into very good fishing ealr in September. Of course, we had a few days, that no matter what we did, it was just picky. Luckily they were few and far between. The very end of the season for me, was dominated by shorts. Uncle Mark, along with Steve and Bill, and George had the last limit of the year, fishing was so good that even Uncle Mark, caught some fish!! We ended on a high note with 10 keepers to 6- 1/2 lbs on the 16th. I would like to thank all the guys that booked with me. Many brought along their sons and daughters, which is very special. Hope everyone enjoyed themselves and we look foward to fishing with you all again next year. I will be making some tackle changes regarding fluking next year. We are changing up somethings, that I really think most of you will enjoy.

Sept 16, 2014 Last fluke trip of the year

Bob “STEADY” Centemore, Al “BIGFISH” Gallo, and Tom the “HITMAN” Sweeney along with “ANYDAYNOW”Paul, and “WHERES THE BEER”Jeff on board. Im planning on taking this team to my go to spot, where it will be all or nothing. None of us figured on what mother day had instore for us. HITMAN got us started early on the first drift with a solid keeper, and the guys all got into some throwbacks. Then it turned into a grind. They fished hard, losing their fair share of bucktails. in the hard cold rain. STEADY boated the big fish of the day at over 6- 1/2 lbs. Any Day NOW came in a close 2nd with a 6 1/4lber. BIGFISH had a few nice ones, WHERES the BEER was high hook fishing his tiny fish rig. Mixed in were many throwbacks. The rain along with the slow fishing made for a tough day. HITMAN found out his blue jeans are not water proof, and BIGFISH will leave his sneakers at home on his next fishing trip. WHERES the BEER also learned that you can’t light a cigarette when Im doing 40 mhp!!! A fun day despite the weather, and they did manage to catch more keepers then any other party in the last 8 days.  It seems the major school of Fluke have moved out, therefore today is the final Fluke trip of 2014.  Please stay tuned to the recap of this past Fluke season..

Sept 12- 15 2014 Fluke, very slow

Had Zemp and his “A” team onboard only to find the slowest fishing of the year.  I fished all over and the men fished very very hard for very few fluke. Looks lilke the moon and the hard winds really sent these fish packing. On Monday fished a totally different area with the same results. John Littel and his crew fished hard for a few keepers and some throwbacks. Not what I had hoped for being there is still some time left in the season.

Sept 7, Uncle Mark, Steve, Bill and George – Fluke!!

Having not fished with Mark’s brother inlaws for 30 years, I was really looking foward to having them on my boat. Once again the weather was great, that was important as Uncle Mark has been known to call “Ralph” on occasion. George, fluked a few years ago and was looking to redeem himself. Bill and Steve were rookies on the salt. The guys did great as Bill and George put some decent fluke into the hotel. Uncle Mark, only could catch shorts and Steve, lets just say like to high stick!!! The men fished hard, even if Uncle Mark could only catch peewee size fish. Little by little the hotel started to fill. Once the wind finally dropped out, the fishing got harder. The guys stayed with it and when Steve boxed keeper 19, we needed one more fish. Thats when we heard the screams from the stern and not to be out done, Mark boxed number 20!  a fat 4lb fluke. He keeps his record of never being skunked intact at over 2749 trips, just ask him…….A great day on the water with a great bunch of guys,. Bill worked harder today then he does in a week, but looked liked he enjoyed it very much. Steve fished very hard in the bow and finally got the hang of it right before we had to leave. George did well and Mark provided the entertainment once again….What a Great day!!! Im sure his fluke is over 12lbs by now….you know Mark..

Sept 6, Mike Romano and crew

After the last few days of fluking, I was very eager to get these guys into some decent fishing. The first few drifts found a keeper and a few shorts, before the conditions made it uncomfortable and we moved into the shallows were the fishing was much slower. Sunshine was abundant, the fluke were not. They caught a few more shorts and Sal put 2 in the hotel, lost a third next to the boat. That was all they wrote this day…..

Sept 5 Zemp and the “A” team best flukin of the year

Zempe, Matt, steady Ricky along with Marty and Charlie were looking foward to this trip. Conditions were perfect, almost to perfect. Marty was first strike, and as his rod churned the water, and the big fluke pulled the drag, he turned and said “this cant be a fluke”.  As I slipped the net under a nice big fat 8lber all I could think about was how hard this crew fishes every week. Now they have a good start with a beauty in the hotel on the first drift. along with a few other 4-5lbers in calm waters. On the next drift, Charlie bends his rod, and this fish means business. He did great as this fish slowly came up. Once we were able to see this fish, he got excited. When she was in the net, it was obvious this was bigger then Marty’s fish. On the scale back at the dock, it weighed in at 9.8lbs!!! This is on the 2nd drift. Matt and Ricky added some nice ones to the hotel also. All morning they guys fished, fished hard. The drift stopped, but they never did. They picked n picked. Then it happened, Zempe doubled over and after a great battle on his legend, I netted his biggest fish of the year. A fat 8lber. After the high fives and on the very next drfit, he repeated that again with a bigger fluke. That one weighed 8.8. A great brace of fluke, anywhere, anytime!! Marty added another 7lber to the hotel and alittle after noon, the hotel was full. A great trip once again. 5 man limit with super great fish!!!!  Their hard work, week after week really paid off today…….

Sept 4 Dave Colley and the boys from St Croix

Excited to have Dave back on my boat, and the conditions could not have been better. Last year he fished in very rough seas. Lets hope the bite continues. Rob was hot as he landed his limit plus with very nice fluke. Everyone did well. Erwin Jr had the big fish at 9lbs. Gerard had a couple of nice ones, Rich and myself and Dave filled in with enough to fill the fluke hotel to capacity.  A great day on the water in every aspect. Once we got back to the marina, the trip continued into the evening, and then the night, as the stories kept comming. Dave got to take some sweet tasting white back home with him. Alot of laughs watching Rich swing for the fences, then having him force us to wo wash away those images with a cold beer or 3.

Sept 3 Rich Swisstack and his family

Big Rich, already having one trip cancelled due to the weather, arrived with his family only to find the wind blowing hard. Way more then what was forecasted, so what else is new??? That delayed the take off for a few hours, which was a good move. We had very nice conditions and the Swisstacks put quite a few nice fluke in the boat in short order. Lisa and the kids did great in the deep, feeling the bites and setting the hook. Before long it was trip over and time to enjoy some beers at the fillet table. Plenty of white meat going home with them.