As usual, there is still good blackfishing not too far offshore and limits of jumbo sea bass on deep water wrecks -- but what's not at all usual is the abundance of large school bluefin tuna within center console range. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, has also heard about tuna action in the Mud Hole on popping plugs, while blackfishing is good in 70-to-90-foot depths (especially on whitelegger crabs) -- and winter flounder continue to hit baits cast from the docks into Shark River on incoming tide when waters are warmest.
The International Game Fishing Association (IGFA) has certified Bay Shore pro Justin Strehl as a line class world record holder for the 22 1 2-pound tautog he boated Nov. 19 aboard Capt. Frank Tenore's Fins on Feathers from Leonardo while fishing a jig and crab on 20-pound line. The previous record of 21 pounds had stood since 1954.
The Jamaica from Brielle had another good catch of jumbo sea bass and porgies from far offshore wrecks on Wednesday. Some blues were also caught, along with a few cod up to a 10-pounder that beat out a 6-pound sea bass for the pool.
For me, as a descendant of Nantucket and New Bedford whaling captains, one of my proudest responsibilities as the Regional Administrator of the Greater Atlantic Region has been the recovery and conservation of large whale populations In recent months, we have received reports of increasing numbers of large whales in nearshore waters off the coasts of New York and New Jersey. Stranding network staff assess and respond to local stranding events, and then confer with NOAA's Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program staff at both the regional and national level to determine the best and most humane course of action for animals in distress.
Wednesday's joint meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Boards with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council in Baltimore put off a decision on fluke regulations until the next meeting as the addendum is being changed to reflect various concerns. Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-06) spoke at the meeting about his efforts to convince NOAA Fisheries to postpone any decision on reducing summer flounder quotas until it conducts a new benchmark summer flounder assessment.
Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reports small bass have been hitting small plugs and teasers in the surf at sundown. Stephen Sautner noted that his 11-year-old son had fun Saturday morning releasing some of the small bass that were chasing peanut bunkers in the Long Branch surf.
Following is a report from the Jersey Coat Anglers Association At the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) meeting yesterday in Baltimore, the Council voted to approve Special Management Zone (SMZ) status for our artificial reefs. This is a crucial step in the process to have all fishing pots removed from the 13 New Jersey reefs located in federal waters.