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Captain D's Fishing Report 2007



NOVEMBER 6, 2007

    Rudy and I ran the LBB out to the reef to investigate on how the tautog and sea bass were doing.   Found some ok activity and picked away at both species.  NOVEMBER 15TH - BLACKFISH SEASON OPENS!


NOVEMBER 4, 2007

     Ran up to the Shrewsbury Rocks for a go at some bass.  Threw the spoons out looking for some larger fish.  First fish was 18 lbs. followed by a short and another keeper.  Our best two fish we had on we dropped unfortunately, looks like things should start to heat up.  Heard Montauk was on fire with big bass - let's hope they pay us a visit.  Rich and his brother Mike were out on the boat today.




OCTOBER 30, 2007

     Threw a last minute trip together with Rich his son's friend Josh, and a good friend of mine Pat we were off for the 106 mile run to the Wilmington Canyon.  This would be Josh's first trip to the edge.  As we got close to our destination we watched the temp. Gauge on the fish finder hoping it would soon show some signs of rising higher than 63.  It soon jumped up a few degrees right in the area we were going to spend the night.  With calm conditions we dropped the anchor in 650 ft. and got to work.

     We picked at the tuna on and off through the night, all long fin that went 50 - 60 lbs.  Rich let Josh take the first one and Josh quickly found out it wasn't like bass fishing.  After a good battle the fish was brought to gaff and we all congratulated Josh.  I do believe Pat got a good whooping on Rudy's jigging rod as well.

      Everyone worked really hard and from the chatter on the radio it sounded like most boats only had half a dozen fish mostly long fin and a yellow here and there.  We ended up going 5 for 6 with a few small mahi's thrown in.  Beautiful night, calm seas, and good times... a good way to say the least to end the season.


OCTOBER 13, 2007

     Made a run out to the Hudson for an overnight trip with Rich and his friend Art Roth, and Rudy's Uncle Lou.  We were able to troll up one longfin before the sun set on the East Wall.  We then set up for the night chunk on the 100 Square in less than favorable conditions.  We were the only sport boat out that night along with a few headboats.  Another NOAA mess up. 

    We had plenty of bait in the 67.8 degree water and hundreds of porpoise that never left us alone.  All night we were plagued by them and when they finally did leave we had one shot at the tuna.  We went 1 for 3 on yellowfins and had to pull the plug early do to prior commitments.  The ride home was absolutely horrible way to go NOAA.  The tuna were in the 40 - to 60 pound class.


OCTOBER 1, 2007

 Rudy and I took the LBB out to the edge of the mudhole looking for some bluefins.  Fished the Monster Ledge area where we saw lots of bait on the finder but a lack of tuna. Sounds like it's been hit or miss lately, one day they're here and the next they're gone.


SEPTEMBER 22-23, 2007

     Had the Ashdee Charter out for an overnight chunking trip to the Hudson Canyon.  Arriving a little early to the grounds, we trolled up the East side of the canyon before finding our home for the night.  The troll produced three longfins in the 40-50lb class.  The first longfin came just inside the east elbow, which came inhaled a 13" squid spreader bar intended for a bigeye - but hey... take that any day.  The other two fish came on the troll east of the elbow, also eating the big squid bars.

From the chatter on the radio and the looks of the radar, the 100 Square was going to be a parking lot due to the previous two days of fishing and calm seas.  We figured our chances would be better away from the crowd, so we headed to the opposite side of the canyon.  As we were coming up on the 150/050 area, we found a great weed line and a good temperature break of two degrees.  With the calm seas, we decided to drift, leaving us with the option to run back to the 100 Square if we heard that it was good.  As we ran up the edge, the fish finder was showing good signs of fish and bait.  With a perfect drift along and out over the edge, we hoped the fish would show soon.

Well, the fish never showed in great numbers.  We'd mark one here and there, but nothing would stay or taste our live squid.  Finally, somewhere around 4:30, we marked a small school under the boat, getting one on and in the box... a nice 70lb yellowfin.  With half a bucket of chunks thrown in just 10 minutes, we couldn't get the school to stay.  We headed for home around 6:30, since some of the crew had to get to a wedding.  Wonderful bunch of guys who stayed up with us most of the night, and helped out in the cockpit.  Thanks guys, and we hope to see you again.


SEPTEMBER 7-8, 2007

     The Big Boy entered the Manasquan River Club Tournament as we are now official members.  The club holds the same tournament. every year and you have a choice of doing two day trolls or one 40 hour trip within the ten days scheduled.  Well we all agreed that we would fish the 40 hrs.  So as we prepared the boat Rich got a crew together.  Onboard we would have Rich, Stanley, Glenn, Martin, Scott, Rudy and myself.
     Leaving at midnight we would arrive at our destination just before sunrise.  The tip of the Hudson is where we would begin this journey.  We would spend the entire day trolling specifically for big eyes knowing these fish are usually over 100 lbs. and have the best chance of winning.
     Well the troll was productive mainly for longfins and where there are longfins there is usually some big eyes.  With five longfins in the box we started releasing them so we would have room for some yellowfin and hopefully a big eye.  We were soon blessed by the tuna gods with a big eye.  Rich got the fish to the boat in just about ten minutes were Rudy leadered the fish up and we stuck two gaffs in the 140 lb. big eye.  This was what we were looking for let's hope it's big enough.
     Back on the troll we worked the area hard as we also saw another boat fighting a big fish.  With only a few more longfins and two yellowfins we started to troll towards the 100 square where we would spend the night chunking for yellowfin.   We would spend the night about three miles north of the 100 square.
     Dropped the anchor in about 600'  where we had some good bait readings.  The night bite never really turned red hot for us.  We had a steady pick on and off  of yellowfins and longfins.  Live squid and sardines worked best.  By morning we had a total of  7 yellowfins and our release on longfins was up to thirteen. 
     Back on the troll we headed towards where we had the big eye.  We would spend most of the day in this general area.  With only an hour to go before we would have to depart for home we started marking a lot of fish on the finder.  There were definitely big eyes down there and it would only be a matter of waiting for them to come up and feed.  Well they never did and we were out of time.  We did manage to release another four longfins.
     Back at the scales we disappointed to learn that our fish was currently fourth and only first and second were payouts.  Overall we had a great time and good fishing with one eye ball at 140 lb.,7 yellowfin 60 - 80 lbs. and 5 longfin 40 - 60lb. along with 17 longfin releases no complaints here.


AUGUST 30, 2007

Ran the boat down to Atlantic City for a couple of days with Rich onboard to take some very good friends of his out fishing.  We left the slip around 9am on a beautiful sunny, flat, and calm day.  Onboard The BIG BOY for the day were Gene, Jake, Michael, Art, Ricky, and Jared.  After the six mile ride out, we reached the Atlantic City Reef where we would spend the day drifting for fluke and sea bass.

Well, it may have been too calm, because there wasn't much drift to be had... hampering our chances for a great catch.  With the fishing starting to slow, we stuck it out and were able to put a decent catch together.  The highlight of the trip, excluding the best bagels and philly cheesesteaks that I have ever had, was when a small school of mahi's came up to the boat.  We quickly, threw spearing into the water to keep them interested while we got a light tackle rod rigged up.  In no time we had a 10lb mahi on, and Jacob took up to the bow for the fight of his life.  After some strong runs on the ten pound tackle - Jacob caught his first mahi.  Give this kid a few more years and he is going to be one great fisherman.

After a wonderful day of good company, food, fishing, and weather... it was time for The BIG BOY to head west toward that Atlantic City Horizon.

Some pictures from the trip, and very nice cards send my Mike and Jacob:


AUGUST 27, 2007

     I gave one of our usual customers and friend a call informing him that the fishing was hot offshore.  Dominick replied " what time are we leaving?"  Dominick charters the boat every year for Mako Mania and Jersey Coast Tournament, along with some trips offshore to the canyon.  Everyone from the Big Boy crew and family wish Dominick the best and healthy recovery as you will read in this thread his misfortune.

     Leaving Manasquan a little earlier than normal the Big Boy was headed east toward the Tom's Canyon, onboard were Dominick and his good friend Jose, Joses' father and his son, and young Mike.   Talking to Dominick on the phone I explained to him if we left earlier we would have some time to troll strictly for big eyes.
     Somewhat of a smooth ride out in the following sea which only got nicer as we approached the grounds.  Also onboard with us good friend and captain Larry Grafas who was helping me out since I had some kind of a bug the night before.  At 2:30 we were pulling back the throttles and Rudy was putting out the spread of big spreader bars and big single lures.  By 2:45 we were on the troll and heard it was non existent the day before.  Well it didn't take us long to find some fish, looking on the fish finder we were marking lots of tuna.  It was so impressive I called Rudy up on the bridge to take a look at the screen.  Thirty seconds later we had our first fish on.
     It turned out to be a 46 lb. longfin which is good because big eyes hang out with longfin.  As the fish was being boated the long right rigger line was left in.  With the boat back in gear I noticed a large black object underneath the lure.  I yelled to Rudy to start reeling it away to provoke a bite, no such luck.  However we both knew that fish was what we were looking for.   Making the turn back to where we had our bite we came across a huge bait ball only 70 ft. below the surface.  I knew it was only a matter of time before we would see some incredible action.
     Just after passing the bait ball we had a big eye come up on the long rigger multiple times where every one got to see the hits.  One finally got the hook and the battle was on.  Everyone had a turn on the always mean and angry big eye.  With the fish getting closer to the boat a splash caught my eye on the right short lure hanging from the clip. Dobbing in and out of the water with the boat rocking the lure appeared life like.  Well much to my amazement when I looked over I could see atleast 10 -15 big eyes just hovering below the surface just waiting to pounce.  I could barley speak down to Larry and Rudy to tell them to drop the lure back 10 ft. and jerk it.  I think five fish tried the lure untill we got tight and everyone in the pit got a shower of salt water. 
     Well the first fish was finally gaffed and all three of us pulled the 152 lb. over the gunwale.  With much excitement and tired arms we still had one on.  Once again those that felt up to it went to work on what appeared to be an even larger eyeball.  The harpoon was out for this one no need to take any chances with all the work that has gone into this fish.   With a few more cranks on the handle the harpoon finsihed off this 183 lb. big eye.  With a lot of high fives going on we needed to get the lines back in the water, so everyone got involved helping Rudy and Larry out.
     Wasn't but ten minutes later when we got to see the show of hits behind the boat one more time.  This time the big spreader bar down the shotgun rigger got the bite.  Good thing this one was on the Shimano 80w.  With the lines cleared once again we were at work with another large eyeball.  Jose did all the work this time fighting the fish from start to finish.  When it was all said and done we dragged a 196 lb. big eye through the door. 
      With the tuna bag filled, the huge bonar box occupied by two and the day box with one and enough ice to care for these fish properly night fishing was out of the question.  We were soon forced to head in anyway due to severe medical emergency.  This is one of those trips you will never forget and only dream of seeing again


AUGUST 14-15, 2007

The weather and the fishing offshore was good, so The BIG BOY was headed East for her first canyon run of the 2007 season.  Our crew ; Rich, Michael P ”Fish Eye”, Doug and his son Dave , me and Rudy.  Left the dock around 2:30 pm in beautiful flat seas, destination 100 square of the Hudson.  The ride out was beautiful and we arrived on the fishing grounds just before sunset.  We set up for the night in 560 ft of water. Wasn't long before we had a bite, turned out to be a small manta ray.  Luckily it was small... those things get into the hundreds of pounds, and guys spend the entire night fighting them.  A half hour later we had our first yellowfin in the boat. From 9:30 to 12 am we picked at yellowfin and then the bait showed up. At times the squid were so thick you could catch a half dozen with one scoop of the squid net. We had the yellowfin visual behind the boat twice during the night. Highlight of the night was when our deep line went off. Rudy and I both knew what this was a sword. He showed himself when he jumped half way out of the water next to the boat, had to be 200 lbs. Well a few trips around the boat and under the anchor line we had them under control, only to pull the hook 50 ft. from the boat. We went to battle with another big sword just before sun up. Off the ball we fought this fish for a good 40 minutes on 30 lb. standup tackle and after a long battle the sword chaffed through the leader. We were headed home by 6 am. with no room for anymore tuna. 13 yellowfin 40 - 80 lbs. and one 40 lb. longfin. Great first trip of the season to the canyon.

This is a great letter that Dave sent to us, about his day spent on The BIG BOY:


AUGUST 12, 2007

Back out on the LBB with Rich and his neighbor Doug to the Rocks. Yes that's right for fluke and fluke we caught. A banner day we had 10 fish weighing over 4 lbs. 6 3/4 was the biggest followed by three 5 1/2 lb., four 5 lb., two 4 1/2 . Had our limit of 24 with releases.


AUGUST 8, 2007

Had Rich and Larry from the marina out on the LBB for another shot at the fluke up on the Rocks. Fishing was good with the heaviest going 5lbs.


AUGUST 6, 2007

Had a day troll scheduled for the 7th but do to weather and sea conditions we turned around 20 miles out. Thanks NOAA.


AUGUST 4, 2007

Rich was onboard and he wanted to get back up to the Rocks for some of that great fluke fishing. Conditions weren't exactly ideal and fishing was a bit slow. Did manage some flatties and looked around for some new spots away from the weekend crowd.


AUGUST 3, 2007

Ran out to the Sea Girt Reef with a friend of ours who works at the marina. Gave the Reef a try do to our time frame and to investigate if there were any big fluke cruising around the wrecks. Caught a handful of fish nothing over 5 lbs. though.


AUGUST 2, 2007

Had the Armstrong charter out for a day of inshore fishing for sea bass. Fished around the Elberon Rocks off the red church and found the sea bass to be cooperative along with some small fluke. Made a move a mile north to another sticky spot and put a few more fish in the boat. It was then time to make a move to the Rocks where we crushed the fluke a few days ago. I told the guys the fluking here should be good and big fish, so some switched over to fluke and others continued to sea bass as this spot also produces that specie. Well I couldn't help myself and dropped a bucktail down, jigged it twice got hammered and pulled a 7 1/2 lb. flattie in. The charter couldn't believe their eyes and soon everybody was flukin'. Finished up the day with a great catch of sea bass and 18 fluke five fish weighed 4 1/2 lbs. a 6 1/4 lb. and the 7 1/2.


JULY 31, 2007

Well sure enough got a report from my brother that the fluking was way good in the Sandy Hook Bay and a favorite spot of ours the Rocks. We ( Rich, Rudy and myself) had the LBB out looking to fish the channels up north for some big fluke but as we were passing the Rocks the conditions looked to good to pass up. Well we spent the entire day there catching our limit of 24 fish and then releasing to boot. Average weight was 3 to 4 pounds with the heaviest going 7 1/2 lbs. with numerous fish in the 5 lb. bracket and a couple 6 lbs. The bucktails out fished the bait 5 to 1. With all the large fish hitting the bucktails.


JULY 29, 2007

After a couple days off and getting the boat squared away from our trip it didn't take long to get that itch back. Did some inshore fishing for fluke and some sea bass. Fishing was steady and looked and sounded as if it was about to get real good.


JUNE 2007

The first proved to be a good day with a successful bass trip.  The next day we fished The Hi-Mar Striper Tournament.  This event is run out of Twin Lights Marina in Highlands, and only gets better each year.  This is by far our favorite.  Great tournament directors, atmosphere, food, and best of all- it raises money for kids with cancer.  The top 6 places paid out this year.  Well, we got in on the action finishing 5th with a 31.8 pound fish.

On the 3rd we had The BIG BOY off of Island State Beach Park trolling spoons landing only 1 bass going 25 lbs before the rain moved in.

Four days later Rudy and I encountered some of the best fishing that we have seen in quite some time.  Fishing Shrewsbury Rocks, we caught over 75 bass, all on live bunker.  Most of the fish averaged 30 plus pounds, with a couple 40's and a whopper that Rudy caught weighing in at 45 pounds.  This fish was released, as were all with the exception of one.

Had good action on the 7th, and another banner day at the Rocks on the 15th.  The 16th turned out to be a disaster.  We entered the Pete Pauls Bass Tournament held out of Rumson.  After departing the 6am shotgun start, we headed for the Shrewsbury Rocks, a we approached, I couldn't believe my eyes.  Word must have gotten out about yesterdays fishing , because I now felt like I was in a scene from the movie Jaws.  There had to be 150 boats all trying to fish one small area.  What a nightmare.  We caught one fish here before getting away from the crowd.  The fish was 25 pounds and unfortunately didn't place us in the top 10.

On a brighter note we had The BIG BOY out for Fathers Day.  Rich had his father out as well as his nephew, Jonathan Higger, and my father Bill.  We did some fluke fishing since the striper action came to a stand still.  We put together a fine catch by the end of the day.  Happy Fathers Day to all!

The 20th brought us some bad news as we stepped onboard The BIG BOY.  Right away we realized the boat had been struck by lightning in last nights storm!  The boat survived, just some of the electronics suffered.  By Friday night we were up and running after some hard work by Authentic Marine fixing some of the damaged electronics.  Good thing too, because Mako Mania Shark Tournament was only hours away from starting.  For at least the past 4 years now, Dominic and his brother-in-law, Tom, have chartered us for this event.  Also with them this year was Jose, Ralph, and his son Mike.

Day 1 started off sloppy as we made the 50 mile run in 4-6 ft seas.  It would only get better as it didn't take long for the action to start.  With a few blue sharks release d and a stray bluefish here and there, Mr. Mako finally showed up.  We released the first mako that we estimated to be about 100-125 pounds.  Not long after that we had another one on.  What an aerial show we got leaping three times out of the water before finally spitting the hook.  An estimated weight of 150 pounds.  With a lot of hard work and patience , we hooked up another shark o, only this time it was of greater size.  After only 5 minutes of getting some line back on the reel, the hook pulls.  We fish a  lot of drag on our reels for shark, and this is how we knew it was a good one.  Well... that's fishing.  It was only a matter of time before we were hooked up once again with a positive ID of a mako.  The crew made short work of this shark, getting him to leader in just 10 minutes.  This one made its way back to the scales with us weighing in a t 166 pounds.  When the scales closed that evening, our fish wasn't in the top 6.  We knew we would need a fish over 200 lbs tomorrow to have a chance at the top.

On the way in we got to witness something not too many people get to see in a lifetime.  Personally, Rudy and I have only seen it one other time.  A Great White shark.  We were only 15 miles from the inlet when what appeared to be a fin caught my eye.  Out of curiosity, we turned back around.  As we idled down, it was evident, this was an enormous shark.  Driving up along side of the 20 plus foot shark, The BIG BOY dint seem all that big anymore!  The guys came out to see what was going on , only to find themselves staining their under shorts.  We figured he had to weigh close to 2,500 pounds or better.  I brought the boat to a full stop and would you know, the shark swims over to check us out.  As he came across the transom, slowly swimming back down into the depths, it was like he was telling us to take a hike.

Day 2, the seas had laid down and the free chumming had come to an end.  Back in the same area a much different day was about to unfold.  We had bluefish all day in the slick, with not much action from the toothy critters.  Rudy and I both had a feeling that a mako was g0oing to show up and he would be of good size.  Our first bite came sometime around noon, with a small mako release.  Not too long after that, we had a screamer of a hit, we all know what that means... YES MAKO!!!!!  After setting the hook, Mr. Mako decided to run across the surface, showing his dorsal and tail.  Nice fish! was yelled out, and the pressure was on.  In the net 20 minutes, Mr. Mako was subdued.  After all the high fives, we got an estimated length of 90 inches... this could be a winner.  Anticipation, excitement, and nerves were on order for the 2 hour run in.  Not hearing news of any fish caught within this size limit, the scale was going to to determine our fate.

As the shark was hoisted up onto the scale, it was said to see that his belly was sunken in.  Well, the thought of 1st place went out the window, and when the numbers of 228 were called out... put us in 4th place.  We were all still very happy.  Turned out this shark had two commercial longline hooks in his belly.  As Rich would say, "What are you gonna do..."  hey , nice work to my crew, and especially Rudy.   By the way, Dominic and Tom have the boat booked for this event for the next 10 years in advance... SORRY!


MAY 2007

On the 8th we ran the "LBB" (Little BIG BOY) up to Bahr's Landing in Highlands.  Here the boat would stay for the next six to seven weeks.  This time of year the Sandy Hook Bay, Raritan Bay, and areas along Staten Island and Coney Island tend to be the most productive.  In the spring and early summer we focus on strictly fishing live bunker for bass, as long as it's available.  The 9th & 15th proved to be good only for the wrong specie.  Yes, that's right, the ravenous and annoying bluefish.  Wasn't until the 20th when we finally encountered the first pods of bunker along the oceanfront beaches of NJ.

The morning looked as if it would have developed to be good one, however the action was short lived.  Good thing we stuck it out, found some bass just north of the Rocks.  Here we would catch and release 16 bass up to 25 lbs.  The next day Rudy and I took the big boat out for a sea trial.

The 22nd, and I had the pleasure of fishing with my wife on my tin boat for fluke in the Navesink River.  Yes... fluke fishing with light tackle and we bucktailed 10 fish in just an hour.  All were released as the season was yet to open, up to 3 1/2 pounds.

The following day had my brother Max out with us where we got into some hot action on bass.  Out of 29 bass caught we kept one.  All nice size fish, the heaviest on the boga grip hand scale was 31 pounds.  Fished off of Asbury and Deal.

The 24th we got Rich into some nice fish off of Elberon.  With no live bait we pulled out the wire.  Dragging the spoons in 35 - 50ft of water proved to be deadly.  I think we had at least 15 bass up to 30 pounds and were back at the dock by 9am.

The 26th & 27th we would be fishing the ASA tournament out of Highlands, where we finished 2nd last year.  This year we finished in 8th respectively.

Day 1, we got into a bass frenzy.  For the next 30 minutes we watched and caught 25-30 pound bass engulfing bunkers on the surface.  It's days like these that stay with you for a lifetime.  Finished the day tied for 5th with a 27.3 pounder.

Day 2, we made the long run once again to the same area.  Here we found a much different day than the previous.  Dropping some whole dead bunkers down under the birds was working and Rich landed a 22 pound fish.  This would be the largest for the day.  Nice work Rich.

The 28th, we had The BIG BOY out for her first trip of the season.  Rich brought along some wonderful friends of his.  Onboard were the Vitali's, Doug and his son Dave, Fred "The Iceman" (12 Time World Kickboxing Champion), and my wife Jen aka "Seaweed Girl".  Trolled some spoons around looking for some bass.  Unfortunately we couldn't get away from the bluefish.  Regardless... everyone had a great time as usual.


APRIL 2007

We made our first trip of the year on the 11th for winter flounder.  We fished in the area of the Mantoloking Bridge, on a cold and cloudy day.  Caught some keepers, but over all, the fishing was slow.  The water temperature was 44 degrees.  A few days later, on the 15th, we ran out to a favorite wreck of ours for tautog (blackfish or tog).  Here the fishing seemed to be just a pick, however most of the tog were of good size.  Both trips were on the 26' Regulator... we often refer to as "The Little BIG BOY".


CABO - February 25, 2007     Rich, Captain Javier and Javier Jr

Bob O decided to spend the day with our other buddies relaxing poolside.  Captain Javier, Javier Jr and I set out to the north for The Sea of Cortez.  Within a short period of time we spotted a striped marlin.  We had just picked up some fresh mackerel and Javier Jr pitched it within  a few feet.  A few more attempts... and no luck.  Captain Javier got a call from his buddy who told him that the Pacific was jumping.  We traveled 15 miles to the south and began trolling.  We hit a quick, and nice size, dorado.  Soon after, Captain Javier spotted a marlin.  He took the live mackerel, and 20 minutes later we released an 8 foot striped marlin estimated at 125 pounds.

Within a few minutes of trolling, "BOOM!" the second striped marlin even more sizeable jumping 20 times before we boarded him.  He measured 9 feet and approx 135 pounds... we released him.  What a great crew, Captain Javier was the son of a captain and his son is carrying the same passion as his ancestors.  I highly recommend anyone in Cabo to charter these guys - their telephone number is: (624) 122-21-75.


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