Capt. Tom Savastano returned from Saturday's tuna trolling in the vicinity of Hudson Canyon with reports of bluefins up to 100 pounds plus a bigeye that size on Double Down out of Manasquan Inlet even though it was rough both ways. We've also gotten good reports from the Old Grounds this weekend on fluke and a few nice sea bass.
The 49-inch fish was something he'd never seen before, so he put it in the live well of his Release Me and ran back to Raritan Marina in Hazlet where the black drum was weighed at 52 pounds before Roy revived it for the release at Great Gun Lighthouse. There weren't many entries during the first two days of the South Jersey Marina Shark Tournament in Cape May. Nicara weighed a 310-pound mako to take the lead Thursday, and Shady Lady had a 202-pound blue shark Friday.
The Ocean Explorer from Belmar has the same report as every day this week -- limits of sea bass for most customers, with diamond jigs producing the largest fish. Capt. Joe Bogan has been catching a mix of sea bass and fluke on his morning trips with Jamaica II from Brielle, while the afternoon trips concentrate on sea bass with lots of limits taken during the half-day.
Capt. Allen Lee had run the boat down there for this week's South Jersey Shark Tournament plus the upcoming tuna fishing, and was just fun fishing at 2 30 a. m. Sunday when the mako took two baits. Don Marantz invited me to join his Monday party on BarbGail IV from Point Pleasant along with former JCAA presidents Tom Fote and Mark Taylor plus Bruce Vitale and Dr. Eleanor Bochenek as Capt. Chris put us into a boat limit of sea bass on a wreck before making a run to Shark River Reef for another boat limit of big winter flounder that had to outfight protected ocean pout for Gulp 4-inch Swimming Mullet.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc got an assist from Capt. Pete Wagner on Hyper Striper from Twin Lights in Highlands wih a castnet full of bunkers during his Tuesday Magic Hours trip with the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands and boated several stripers from 30 to 46. Capt. Kenny Namowitz has openings on his Mimi IV from Point Pleasant on Thursday for bottom fishing that's been producing limits of sea bass and winter flounder.
The chance to get together with veterans of conservation wars of the past was too good to miss, so I sailed out with Tom Fote, Mark Taylor, Bruce Vitale, and Dr. Eleanor Bochenek as Capt. Chris ran to a wreck where mate Alex was constantly unhooking sea bass of all sizes. The BarbGail IV is a charter boat, but Capt. Chris takes individual reservations on other days.
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