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Captain's Focus

Posted on July 20, 2019 Memories connected with the moon landing Where were you when notable events occurred? In my case it always seems as if I was fishing on those days. Yet, in the case of the moon landing I saw that on TV from a hotel room in Los Angeles after just returning from a trip to fish Ray Cannon’s Sea of Cortez Tournament in Baja California, Mexico. I had recently become director of field testing for Garcia (Mitchell and Ambassadeur reels), and that was my first foreign fishing trip. There were two days of fishing at La Paz, Rancho Buena Vista and Cabo San Lucas. The famed fishing author Al McClane was a judge of the contest, and good fortune smiled on me as I won the roosterfish division  and was second in blue marlin — with both fish caught on an experimental telescopic spinning rod made by Ed Haenelt. Luckily, in those days there were few excess baggage charges on the airlines or I would have taken a beating getting the two heavy trophies home. All that excitement and the moon too! There was no such good fortune this morning as Tommy Cox and I cast in Shark River. The incoming tide had just started when we arrived, and except for Saturday boat traffic everything looked good. However, Tommy only had three small fish on-and-off his popper and I had the same experience once plus a splash. There was no sign of the big blues that had been there yesterday morning. Capt. Jim Freda of Shore Catch Charters out of Manasquan Inlet had better news from his son Tommy who mates for him and is now also mating some days on Capt. Alan Lee’s Mushin. That boat put a party into over 25 bluefins on jigs today. Reader David Walsh reports he went out to Axel Carlsen Reef from 8:30 to 10 and ended up with four keeper fluke out of 20 — calling it a slow grind. Bob Correll didn’t see anything caught early in the Bay Head surf, but was encouraged to see a Spanish mackerel arc out of the water. In the middle of the morning there was a sudden flurry and anglers on the spot caught a good-sized Spanish and released a 6-pound blue. Carl Dano and his wife tried for fluke there later and only caught kingfish that ate the gulp on fluke hooks. Jerry Lasko has been fishing for the kings in that area with Fishbites. Most are only about 10 inches, but a few slightly larger are mixed in. Use small hooks and pieces of worms, clam, squid or shrimp. They’re too small for filleting, but are tasty when prepared as a whole fish. There are no regulations on kingfish. Seaside Park and IBSP anglers are also taking advantage of the kingfish run — and it’s probably just as good to the north. Rich Johnson of The Fishing Line said porgies are thick in many areas off western Long Island. He thinks that’s due to the almost complete lack of bluefish and stripers there. Capt. Vinny Vetere manages to find stripers with his Katfish out of Great Kills, and notes that it was only 75 degrees on the water a couple of days ago. He may be open tomorrow. Capt. Dave De Gennaro is planning open boat trips tomorrow for mid-range tuna and for bonito at Barnegat Ridge on Monday. The tuna trip sails at 2:a.m., while the Ridge run starts at 6 a.m. You can call 732 330-5674 up to the last minute to check on openings. The Jamaica from Brielle had a fine bonito trip Friday, with the hi-hook catching over 20. Some blues, chub mackerel and Spanish mackerel were also jigged. Aaron Ho from Philadelphia took the pool with a 5-pound bonito in his catch of 12 plus several mackerel.  The Jamaica sails daily for bonito, and has a 3/4-night ling trip tonight at 7:30. Dave Merrill sent the following press release: Canyon Club Resort Marina Hosts Yacht Club of Stone Harbor 53rd Annual Marlin Tournament The timing couldn’t be any better! As white marlin and blue marlin take up residence at the canyons off the mid-Atlantic coast, the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor is in the final stages of planning the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor Marlin Tournament. Hosted by Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, New Jersey, this year marks the 53rd installment of this event making it one of the longest running billfish tournaments on the east coast. The Yacht Club of Stone Harbor has a rich history dating back to 1911 and this event is always popular with members, guests and tournament anglers alike each year. Various awards will be up for grabs including 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Boat, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Angler, Top Female Angler, Top Junior Angler (16 and under) as well as 1st and 2nd Heaviest Tuna and 1st and 2nd Heaviest Dolphin. 1st and 2nd Place Team Award will also be presented and teams will consist of up to four boats each that will be picked lottery-style at the Captain’s Meeting. The Warren Buckingham Memorial Trophy will be presented to the angler with the Most Outstanding Catch while the Walt Hendee Captain’s Award will be go to the 1st Place Boat captain. As noted earlier the beautiful Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May will host the tournament and also serve as the event’s designated weigh station. Those needing dockage for the event should contact Paul Hoffman at 609-884-0199 to reserve a slip. The tournament gets underway on Thursday, July 25 with a Captain’s Meeting and Cocktail Party from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor located at 9001 Sunset Drive in Stone Harbor. Fishing days are Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27. Cocktails, music and dinner will be provided overlooking the infinity edge pool at Canyon Club Resort Marina after each fishing day. The Awards Banquet complete with cocktails, dinner and music is set for Sunday, July 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor. All boats must sail and return through Cape May Inlet and may not pass the inlet’s sea buoy prior to 4 a.m. on each fishing day. Fishing hours are 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and daily catch reports with released billfish information as well as any tuna or dolphin to be weighed must be at Canyon Club Resort Marina by 9 p.m. on each fishing day. There is no limit to size of tackle, number of lines, teasers or anglers. There is no minimum weight for tuna or dolphin and all billfish including white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish and spearfish will earn 100 points per release. All point ties will be broken on time of catch. The 53rd Annual Marlin Tournament is a billfish release competition with all entrants considered good sportsmen and their fishing (catch) reports will be accepted in the sportsmanlike manner and honor in which the tournament is held. Whether you’re new to big game tournament fishing or a seasoned veteran, the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor 53rd Annual Marlin Tournament is a great opportunity to connect with new friends or renew old ones. With a modest entry fee of $2000 which includes admission to all events for tournament participants, this family-oriented event is a low-keyed fun tournament you’re sure to enjoy. Come join us for a few days of friendly fishing competition, camaraderie, hospitality and fun! For more information contact Jamie Diller at 609-827-0020 or Aaron Hoffman at 609-412-3778.  

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