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Captain D's Fishing Report 2008
     

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OCTOBER 13, 2008

      What a treat this trip was as Shawn, Richsí good friend and Operations Manager, was going to join us.   Rudy and I only get to see Shawn maybe once a year.  I spend a lot of time talking to him, as heís the one solely responsible for creating and running this website.  All I do is type the reports.  Ok enough said letís get to fishing.

     Bluefin was on the menu once again, so off to the Mudhole we went.  Drove around for almost an hour before setting the hook after finally seeing a small amount of life.  I was wondering if Shawn was going to be the bad luck charm and put an end to our successful bluefin run we have been on.  Well I quickly changed my mind after throwing some chunks as Rudy was dropping the hook, and saw fish on the finder immediately once again.  Took at least an hour before we managed our first bite and yes it was on the butterfly jig Rich had been working.  What do you know false albacore, and hoped the bluefins would follow as in the past.

     Rudy got a bite on the working line which usually works the best and handed it off to Shawn.  I wonít get into detail on how long this took, but Shawn did a great job on the rod, catching and releasing his first bluefin ever.  The fished probably was thirty some pounds.  Rich got one on the butterfly jig not long after Shawnís release.  Once again the fish stayed under the boat all day as Rudy and I worked hard for some bites.  The tide was going to change soon so we stuck it out hoping they would turn on.

     Well they did not like mad dogs but we picked at them and broke at least three off.  Rich hooked a screamer on a free-floating bait.  This fish took us down half way into the spool on a thirty.  Well the fight was on, and after twenty minutes, a fifty one pound hit the deck.  It looked like the fish was tail wrapped and managed to get out, possibly having something to do with the long run.  What a beauty, this one went on ice, and Shawn and Rich fought three more bluefins up to forty some pounds.

     Well Shawn, you werenít bad luck after all and it was great to have you out with us.  Thanks for the good times, laughs, and for putting up with my late fishing reports.

  

 

OCTOBER 10, 2008

     Rudy and I had the pleasure of taking John Capra and his two sons, Michael and Jonathan, out for some bluefin tuna action.  These guys are regulars and donít need much in terms of instructions.   Arriving at sun up just a few miles from where we had been fishing in the Mudhole, things were looking fishy.

     As we were setting anchor the chunks were flying from the cockpit and once again before we were tight we had fish under the boat.   First fish to come over the side was a dogfish.  This isnít what you want to see because we all know what a nuisance dogfish can be, but the fish finder was showing readings of tuna.  John finally hooked a false albacore on the butterfly jig and things were starting to look good.  Rudy got another jig in the water and we were soon hooked up to a small bluefin.  Jonathan made quick work of this little guy and was set free.  The day would continue in this fashion - pick through the albies and get a bluefin on.

     Michael also fought a nice fish; he and his brother would do this throughout the day with dad getting in on the action, as well bringing five fish to boat side up to forty pounds.  You guys are a great pleasure to have onboard hope to see you in the fall for Tautog and Stripers. 

  

 

OCTOBER 5, 2008

     Back out again for a try with the bluefins.  Richís friend, Donald, from Minnesota joined the crew for the day.  We set off for the Mudhole today as I got reports from a few friends that this area was holding some fish.  It didnít take long before we set up on the anchor after driving over some good readings on the fish finder.

     Before the anchor was tight we were marking fish on the finder streaking up into the chunks.   Within minutes we had our first false albacore on, and it was quickly followed by a bluefin.   The butterfly jig proved to be deadly once again as it was accounting for most of the fish.   The fish stayed under the boat all day and we tried everything to get more bites.   They didnít respond to twenty pound test so we just waited them out and kept working.  Patience and hard work paid off as Donald got his first bluefin.   After a short fight the fish was boated and released after a quick photo. 

     We ended the day with four bluefins up to forty pounds with one on ice and released two dozen false albacores.  Was nice to only have to run twenty four miles back to the inlet.

 

 OCTOBER 4, 2008

      Finally we are back out after being held in port due to weather.  Rich, Rudy, and myself headed out for bluefin in the area of the Glory Hole.  We arrived at sun up and spent a little time looking around.  There was a small fleet in the area and they werenít doing much, so we moved a little north and set up on the drift since conditions were favorable for it.  Wasnít long before we started catching false albacore.   These are so much fun to catch on light tackle.  We even set one up on the kite hoping for a big mako; however the wind just didnít cooperate.

     Finally we had a fish that could take some drag.   As Rich got it up closer to the boat we could see color on a thirty-some pound bluefin.  We managed to pick two more fish, one was on a butterfly jig and the others were all on bait.  The fish were thirty to fifty pounds in size.   We kept our one fish and released the others.  For those of you who donít know the regulations on bluefin tuna our permit only allows us to keep one bluefin between 27 and 47 inches.  You are allowed another however it has to be over 47 inches and not greater than 73.  Last but not least you are allowed one more fish over 73 inches which classifies that as a giant bluefin, and this falls under the trophy division.  This only allows you to catch a fish of this size once and only once within one year.

  

 

SEPTEMBER 13, 2008 

     My brother Max made a trip with me for bluefin as Rich and Rudy were tied up with other plans.  We fished on the Reg.26 and headed to a spot where some bigger bluefins were being caught some 43 miles from the inlet.  After a bumpy ride out we arrived on the grounds along with a large fleet of boats.  From what we saw and heard on the radio things were very quiet.

     We marked a few fish but they didnít stick around.  A few hours later we got fish on which quickly turned into a double header.  I pulled the hook on mine and we chased Maxís fish around the boat only to have the unimaginable happen - the fish quickly changed direction and was heading towards the surface.  Next thing you know a basking shark jumps out of the water right next to the boat with our line wrap around him.  The line broke as we stood in disbelief and wondered what the chances were of that happening.  Well, it was a beautiful day and the seas laid down for a fast enjoyable ride home.

  

SEPTEMBER 3-4, 2008

      The annual Manasquan River Club tournament was in full effect and Team Big Boy was ready for the challenge.  The tournament runs for 10 days and you have your choice of 2 day trolls, or fishing 40 hours.  We picked to fish forty hours, and we for fished for 30 of the forty hours.  Our team was Rich, our good friend Cliff from Connecticut, Rudy, and myself.

     We departed the inlet midnight, set on a course for the east wall of the Hudson.  Here I was hoping we could pick up an eyeball (Big Eye Tuna).  There was no doubt in my mind thatís what would win the tuna division.  Two or maybe three weeks ago, this area had a good bite going on and has died considerably since then.

     On the grounds by sun up we only had a few other boats working the area and they didnít have much to report.  After a few hours drilling the area, and no signs of any life, I decided we would head up the shelf towards The Dip.   The temp charts showed a good break up that way.  This was our plan from the start if the 100 Square was dead.  Trolled for a few hours in the direction of our destination and soon picked up and ran.  The distance between the two canyons is about 33 miles.

     We stopped short of the Dip and put the lines out as we came across the temp break.  Just inside the break we started to see life.  We were the only ones there and it was looking fishy.    We soon found mounds of bait and whales by the dozens feeding on it along with some porpoise.  After a few hours of pulling my hair out we finally got bit.   Three lines go screaming off only to lose one right off the bat.  The first fish to hit the deck was a 60 lb. yellowfin which Cliff made quick work of.  The second, which Rich was fighting, gave us quite a tussle and by judging the way it was acting I thought for sure this was going to be a big eye.  About 10 minutes later we could just see color, and the rod was still lapped over.  As the tuna got closer we soon realized it was no monster or a big eye.  The hook caught the tuna in the side making the battle harder than usual.  Another 60 lb. yellowfin on ice.

     We trolled right into dark pounding the area and dodging whales, had a few shots at some white marlin but no luck.   Also got to see some huge Manta Rays sky rocketing out of the water.   Set up on the drift out off the shelf where the bait was, hoping for a night bite and a shot at some swordfish.

     The squid showed up, the porpoise showed up, the tuna didnít nor any swordfish.  However for a split second after setting a deep live squid with a glow light my spirits were lifted.  The bait wasnít in the water for more than five minutes when the rod started to lap over.  I yelled to Cliff we were on a big sword, but when it didnít take a run I knew right away we had a Manta Ray.  Rich came out and fought the beast.  While that was going, another ray, which we saw jump out of the water next to the boat with the line hanging out of its mouth.  Luckily the leader broke unfortunately I had to reel back in three quarters of line.  Got the ray up to the boat and took a few picks of the 400 lb. ray and Rudy cut the leader close for clean release.

     In the morning we were back on the troll in the dark with our fingers crossed hoping for some big eyes.  Well they came up just an eight of a mile from us.  The bad news is that another boat from the tournament came out that night and just happened to be in the right spot at the right time.  He called us over and we gave it hell until noon without a single bite.  Well I give our team an A plus for effort, dedication, and stamina.  Great job everyone as usual.

 

 

SEPTEMBER 1, 2008

      Headed out on Labor Day with Rich, his father Jack, and nephew Evan.  Bluefin troll was on the schedule once again and I was hoping the fishing improved overnight so we could try and get Evan on his first tuna.  It was a little bumpy ride out and Evan was wondering if we were there yet - Oh boy!

     We decided to stop a little short of our initial destination.  We marked some bait and had a few draggers working the area as well.  Then we marked some tuna, but they werenít interested at all.  After putting in a few hours in this area and not getting as much as a sniff from anything, we slowly trolled out to the east.  Talked to a couple guys on the radio from our dock that were already out, but they didnít have much to report.  Much of the day went on with no action for us Ė although one of our buddies lost one at the boat.  Other than that, the crew was getting restless, and Rich asked if we could find some bluefish on the way in for Evan.

     Stopped on a hump on the way back where I marked bait and what I thought looked like tuna.  So we put 4 lines out and quickly found out they were bluefish - very large I might add.  They were so thick that we trolled 2 drone spoons with wire leader and had Evan reeling one in after the otherÖ in until his arms feel off.  WellÖ the day wasnít a total loss and Evan did get to drive the boat in once again.

 

AUGUST 31, 2008 

     Rich and Laurie were onboard again, along with Richsí very good friend Arthur and his wife Andrea.   We were headed back out to the Little Italy area and the Slough.  This is where we had the fish a couple of days ago.  With a late start we arrived around 11:00 am.  Its only about a 16 to 18 mile run from the inlet.  There was a small fleet of boats in the area and it sounded as if the action was slow.

     Once on the troll you could see that conditions were much different then Thursday.  No whales, no porpoise, and no birds to really speak of and very little bait.  However, for some reason, I was marking a tuna every now and again and it wasnít long before we had our first fish.  Andrea was on the rod and did a tremendous job reeling in a 35 inch bluefin, which probably weighed in the low to mid 20 pound class.  We all agreed to let this one go and try for a bigger one.

     Well, that was the only fish we saw and with time running out, the fishing was not looking so great so we called in an early day.  Everyone onboard had a great time.  Arthur it was good seeing you again and meeting Andrea.  Looking forward to another trip.

 

 

AUGUST 28, 2008 

     With the canyon fishing being so poor offshore the only thing left was to get in on some of the bluefin activity inshore.  The bite has been hit or miss and being in the right place at the right time is always nice too.  Well I thought for sure we were in the right place Thursday morning.  The amount of life was incredible.  There were fin-back whales, some porpoise, and tons of bird life.  The bait was the thickest Iíve seen in a very long time.  Mountains of sand eels were showing up on the fish finder, but very few tuna.

     We trolled this area very hard, anxiously waiting for a bite.  Well one finally came on a cedar plug daisy chain right in the wash, only not to get the hook in him.   To make matters worse my brother was fishing to the south with a friend of ours on the ďBilly the KidĒ a 34í Yellowfin - they were having some luck.  As the saying goes ďwhy leave fish to find fishĒ.  Well I hate to leave the fish, especially with what I saw there, but they were getting consistent action so I slowly trolled down towards them.  They were only two and a half miles away.

     About half way to their location I started marking more fish but very little life.  We had another bite which missed the spreader bar in this area, so we stuck it out.  We finally got tight on a decent school bluefin.  This fish was quite the scrapper.  Once up to the boat we got a good look at a 40 plus pound bluefin and figured weíd keep this one for the table.

     We kept at it for the rest of the day.  The biggest problem was trying to stay away from the bluefish.  I think we had 9 bluefish on at one time.  Oh man!  What a way to end the day.  It was a beautiful day and onboard were Rich, Laurie, and Ross.

 

AUGUST 19, 2008

 Hey what do you know we are on our way back out to the Hudson for a day troll.  Onboard we have Rich, his father Jack for his first canyon trip ever, Constantine and his Uncle John, and Richs' friend Scott.  We departed Hoffmanís at midnight and had a full moon to enjoy for the entire ride.  We set course for the 100 Square where there was still an on-and-off bite for bigeyes.  This was really the only game in town as we are still wondering when the yellowfins are going to show up.

Arriving just before sunrise my thoughts of a big fleet came true.  To much disappointment a big fleet in one spot doesn't fair well for fishing.  Out of two dozen boats only three fish were caught and by 1pm most of the boats had left.  We continued working the area hoping maybe they would come up and feed.  Well they didn't but we did manage to find a hungry white marlin snapping at one of our custom spreader bars.

We were trolling four bars and four ballyhoo.  This marlin wanted the bar in the worst way but quickly changed his mind when Rudy dropped the flat line with a ballyhoo on his bill.  The marlin quickly came for the bait, but missed it and went back to the bar.  So Rudy put the bait in his face once again and got him to bite and stuck the hook on the third try.  John fought the fish to boat side where the marlin then went crazy leaving a nice bill mark across Rudyís stomach.  A few quick photos and the 65-70 lb. class marlin were released.  Great trip guys and congratulations on your first canyon trip Jack you are amazing.

 

 

 AUGUST 13, 2008 

Headed offshore to the Hudson with the Bill Heidt charter for a day troll.  Left the dock at 12:30 am and arrived in the Hudson on the west wall before sunrise.  The fishing reports were still spotty with only a few boats putting together a catch of just a couple fish.  Well we hoped our luck would continue after our last trip.  Found an area that looked fishy and stuck out there for a while producing one undersized yellowfin tuna, which was released.  A friend of ours was working the same area with the same results, small undersize tuna.  At least the whales and dolphin were keeping the charter occupied while I tried to find some action.  Well having three radios on the boat paid off.  I heard two guys talking back and forth, and then telling his buddy to go to the other channel.  Well I found them on there secret channel and used the radio directional finder to locate there approximate location.  With the info I was able to hear and a good idea where they were fishing I steered the boat across the canyon to the east side.  At least I knew this guy had caught a few tunas and figured it was better than where we were.  His buddy had gone two for three on bigeyes so we changed our spread and fished strictly for bigeyes.

For anyone who had seen or caught a bigeye they normally run over a hundred pounds and are mean fish.  Also when you get hit by them it usually not just one fish but what we refer to as a "wolf pack."  Typically you can get a fish on ever line however landed all is a task even for the most seasoned crews.

We weren't in the area for more than thirty minutes and had located the two guys that were talking on the radio.  Well there was a third boat in the same area and he had just encountered a wolf pack of bigeyes.  So the weekend warrior gets on the radio and gives his exact position to the world.  Well we were hoping to get a bite before a million boats showed up, that didn't happen.  Within minutes you could see boats steaming towards our location on the horizon.  The reason I'm a bit salty about this is because when you put a ton of boats on top of a school of feeding fish it tends to automatically turn them off.

Well ten boats isn't too bad and I was anxiously waiting for a bite.  My anxiety was through the roof and finally as Rudy was standing next to me, I looked over at the screen on the fish finder and there they were.  Thatís exactly what I yelled out, followed by watch the lines.  We had nine lines in the water and just as I finished advising the charter, it looked like some one was dropping bombs off behind our boat.  Every lure got hit multiple times and when the water settled we had two drags screaming out.  Nine would've been nice but two is better than none.

We cleared the lines and got ready to do business.  The first fish was subdued in rather short time, much because it was on a bent butt 80W, a heavy rod and reel.  The other fish was on a 50w and I figured this fish would go through the entire charter, well I was wrong.  This one gentleman did a fantastic job on the rod and we had a gaff in the fish in thirty minutes.  What a difference when you get someone who actually listens to your instructions on how to fight a fish.  A job well done guys.  The bigeyes weighed 117 lbs. and 127 lbs.

 

 AUGUST 9, 2008

 Finally our first canyon trip of the season and with the reports not that good it was still great to get out to that blue water.  Rich, Pete, Doug, and Dougs son David were on board with us for an overnight in the Hudson.  Got to the grounds with a few hours of daylight left and went on the troll.  The water was beautiful on the west wall where we found our first pelagic specie of the year a white marlin.  Rich fought the fish and made quick work as Rudy wired and released the sixty pounder.  Back on the troll till dark produced nothing until we were reeling in the lines.  A forty pound yellowfin just couldn't say no to one of our custom spreader bars.

The night chunk was very slow.  We had plenty of squid around the boat all night.  The only two bites were a small mahi and a small yellowfin that was released.  We went on the troll before the sun was up and worked the area where we had spent the night drifting.  With all that bait around I hoped we could find some tuna.  It wasn't until 8:30 before we had our second yellowfin of the trip on.  What a beauty this fish was going sixty plus pounds.  I had great marks on the machine and continued to work the area hard.  It paid off with another big yellowfin in the sixty pound class.

As the action slowed I ventured off to the north a little where I saw some life on the surface.  As we were approaching the school of pilot whales I had some great marks on the finder, so I turned around and watched three yellowfin crush the lures behind the boat one by one.  The battle was on, Rich and his friends did an excellent job fighting the fish and staying untangled.  The two fish were 72 lbs. and 76 lbs. The third went 81 lbs.  We worked the area with no action and continued north towards the pilot whales and dolphin frolicking on top.  As we trolled in the mist of whales and dolphin we were attacked by a school of white marlin.

The first marlin was very big and jumped off right away.  We then had a second up, much smaller than the other and got that one to bite a pitch bait.  Had that fish bite us three times on the ballyhoo only we didn't manage to get the hook in.  The third was hitting a spreader bar while Rudy was trying to get a hook in his friends mouth.  Oh wellÖ thatís the way it goes sometimes.  What a great trip full of action, calm seas, and great company.

  

 

AUGUST 8, 2008 

We had a bunch of friends and relatives of Richs' on the boat - Mark, Jonathan, Sara, and Steven Higger, along with Mike.  On our way out towards the Axel Carlson Reef I spotted numerous large fish breaking the surface.  So we stopped and put out at the spoons.  It didn't take long before the drags were singing out with a pair of big bluefish.   We caught and released numerous bluefish which the kids had a blast with.  Switched over to fluking on the Reef, fishing the out skirts of some sticky bottom producing throwbacks and only a couple of keepers.

  

AUGUST 5, 2008

 Had Rich and two friends of his, Stanley and Pete, on the boat today for fluke.  Was a nice day and good company despite the south wind and outgoing tide.  The fishing was slow with no keepers and a bunch of throw backs.  If the fishing wasn't bad enough a severe thunderstorm was baring down on us making a perfect ending to our day.

  

AUGUST 3, 2008

Had the Jim Ramstaler charter out for an inshore day troll for bluefins.  We started the day fishing in and around the area of the Resor, reading lots of bait just north we drilled the area producing our first school bluefin.  That fish was quickly returned to the sea along we the bluefish that kept plaguing us.  Listening to the radio there wasn't much at all going on and the day was getting late, so we made a move up towards the Slough where we found some great looking water along with some bait.

It wasn't long up on the troll before I spotted a school of fish out to the east.  We weren't sure what they were until we got right up on them.  Sure enough they were bluefins and they were hungry.  We got six fish to jump on boating all and keeping one for the table.  They were twenty five to thirty pound fish.  With the school back up we made multiple passes on them and different strategies only getting one strike.

Was a great way to end the day with a good bunch of guys.  For some it was there first tuna.  Congratulations.

 

AUGUST 2, 2008 

We fished a club tournament on Saturday for fluke.  We hit a few of our known sticky bottom spots looking for just one big fluke.  Well these spots didnít pay off and Iím hoping it was due to the lousy fishing conditions of tide against wind.  We ended the day a little early as a severe thunderstorm was barreling down on us.  Rich, and his two friends Stan and Pete were onboard for the day. 

 

JULY 15-23, 2008 

As we do yearly we were on our way up to the Vineyard for the Monster Shark Tournament once again.  This is always a great trip to fish and visit.  Was a real treat to fish in calm seas this year and not have to contend with any tropical storms, as we did the past two years.

The first day we fished a great temp. break with poor water clarity on the one side.  The blue sharks didnít seem to mind one bit.  At times we had as many as four blues swimming around the boat.  On the second we tried a different area hoping to get away from the blue sharks and find a thresher.  Well as fate would have it the blue sharks found us.  We had one bite from a mako on a whole dead bluefish but failed to get the hook in the right spot.  Had some great company on board; Rich, his cousin Lou, friends of ours that we met three years ago fishing this tournament, Cliff and his son Fred.

Fluke fishing was great as usual.  Rich, Rudy, and I put a great catch together in just sixty minutes one day. We took Richsí cousin       and his wife     along with Lori out one day as well.  Conditions were horrible but we managed a good catch.  Later that day we drove the boat down to Menemsha Harbor for a lobster roll lunch.  Yummmmm!  Great lunch and wonderful trip.  Thanks everyone.

 

JULY 3, 2008 

Had Rich, Laurie, Ross, and Richs, nephew Josh out again for a go with some bluefish.  Had them going for a little while on the drift,  picking a fish here and there.  The action then came to a holt.  We looked around for awhile looking for some reading but the fish finder was blank.  We did a lot of bunkers and even some whales just east of the Farms.

 

JULY 1, 2008 

Had Rich, Laurie, and her son Ross out for a shot at some fluke.  The fluke didnít really turn on.  Had a couple keepers and some throwbacks.  We tried multiple spots all yielding the same results.

  

JUNE 28, 2008 

Took Rich and Doug out for a day of sharking.  We fished some ten to twelve miles west of where we had been fishing.  Here we found  some action with the blue sharks, a brown shark, and a small mako that ate our live bluefish off the kite as we were calling it a day.

 

JUNE 21, 2008

 Had our annual customers charter us again for the two tournaments, but for just one day.  Fishing was ok with multiple blue shark releases through out the day and a small mako.  Was great having the guys back on the boat.  Dominick donít be a stranger we missed you this year.

  

JUNE 20, 2008

 Rudy and I fished one day of the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers Tournament in the Regulator.  We ran out towards the Virginia Wreck some 55 miles and found some decent water to fish.

Had our first shark on before I could even attach the float, which turned out to be a blue shark.  We released several blue sharks along with some browns and a small mako.  Had a mako on for a minute, that jumped and spit the hook which had to be close to 300 lbs.  Would have been nice to of boated that one.

 

JUNE 17, 2008

      Ran up to the north and fished off Asbury in 60 feet of water with a friend of ours who runs a sportfisherman named the Bedrock.   Here we put a hurting on the bass with multiple triple hook ups.  Most of the bites where on top with the live bunkers. We probably caught twenty five bass in an hour and a half.  We released all the fish that weighed up to 35 pounds.

 

JUNE 15, 2008

      As we usually do on Fatherís Day weekend we went bass fishing on the Regulator.  On board were Rich and his father Jack, my father Bill, and Rudy.  We had a beautiful morning and a full live well of bunkers ready for some hungry bass.

     Ran up to the north and fished out in 60 feet of water just south of were we had them good earlier in the week.  Marked some fish right away and got them to come up on some free baits we through over to try and hold them.  We got one and werenít able to hold them.  So back on the prowl we went.  Went further up to the north where there was a large fleet of boats, where we would just turn around.  I hate fishing in a large fleet of boats your chances arenít as good.

     Back where we started we went on the drift.  It paid off with some great surface action once again.  Was great to share the experience with Jack and my father, its something they donít get to see everyday.  By noon everyone had a bass and it was time to head in.  The fish ranged from the low twenty pound class up to thirty three pounds.  We kept five.

 

JUNE 11, 2008

      Had John Capra and his two sons out Wednesday looking for a repeat of yesterdays bass trip.  Well it took some time before we found some fish.  For some reason the fish werenít where they were 24 hours ago, and I hate telling people they should have been here yesterday.  Four hours past, before we finally got into some action.  The pods of bunker in along the beach were holding some big fish. 

     As we moved from pod to pod we could tell which were holding fish and  which were not.  The first fish was caught by Johnsí son Johnathan that weighed in at 41 pounds.  Soon followed by his brother Michael that tipped the scales to 35 pounds.  John finally got in on the action with a 40 pound monster as well.  The fourth fish went 32 pounds.

     Patience is a key in fishing to unlock what lies below the ocean and Capra boys had it and paid off in the long run.  After putting in overtime with these guys it still wasnít enough so they did some surf fishing with what little day light was left.

 

JUNE 10, 2008

      Back home and a few pounds heavier Rudy, Rich, and I went out for a few hours early Tuesday morning.  Netted some bunkers first thing, through em in the well and ran up to the north.  The first few spots we checked were horrible.  Then I got a hunch to run out into some deeper water were we caught some really nice fish in years past.

     It paid off big time.  We marked some fish and sent the baits out and it was instant.  The fish were all large and most of the action was on the surface.  If youíve never seen bass feed on live bunker on the surface, you are really missing out. WOW.  We kept only three fish that went 31,36,and 42 pounds.  A great few hours of fishing.

 

JUNE 6, 2008 

     On Thursday Rudy and I ran the Regulator up to Stratford, Ct.  We would eventually meet up with Rich here to fish another one of the ASA bass tournaments. 

     Well as our luck would have it we hit a submerged log just five miles from our destination.  Tearing off one of our blades on the propeller we had to come in on one engine.  The next morning we had a new matching set of propellers and were on our way for a half day of practice fishing.

     New to the area we looked at the GPS and found some spots that looked would be productive.  We hit a number of spots that looked great, however we didnít see any fish.  We even found some pods of bunker that only had bluefish on them.  Well at least we would have some fresh bait for Saturday.

     Well Saturday morning brought us another treat, fog with near zero visibility.  Joy just what every captain loves, especially when we had to run 49 miles to our destination.  Once we arrived we found other boats from the tournament fishing the same spot.  Through out the day we marked fish and only saw one caught out of thirty some boats.  Hoping and waiting that the tide change would trigger them to bite was a waste of time, the fish never turned on.  Well as Rudy put it, ď even Tiger Woods doesnít always finish.Ē

     We had a great time exploring a new area and have a better feel for it come next year.  I also canít wait to go back for the pizza.  Rich promised us the best pizza we could ever have, well he was right.  We ate at  Sally's in New Haven where we also met up with Mike (aka; fisheye).  This is a family run restaurant that dates back into the late 30ís.  All they serve is pizza and boy I wish the bass ate like I did that night.

 

JUNE 1, 2008

      On Sunday we took Rich out on the Regulator, in search of some bass.  Well with the water temperature reading 49 Ė 53 degrees I had a feeling bass fishing would be slow.  Sure enough we covered some ground south of the inlet without ever marking a single fish.  The bunkers were there in full force just no bass.

  

MAY 25, 2008

As much as I hate fishing on the weekends do to boat traffic, they can have their moments later on in the day.  When most people are heading home, some of the best fishing does occur in the late afternoon and early evening when conditions are just right.  As this is what Rich, and his two nephews, Evan and Josh, would soon encounter.  One of those days you just never forget.

     We departed Hoffmanís some where around two oíclock and headed to the southeast where I could see a fleet about two miles offshore.  There were definitely fish there, bluefish not what we wanted, well that was up until I told Evan we had a chance of catching some fish that may be as long as he is tall.  With that said Evan replied, ď I can reel in anything.Ē  So we continued our search for some bass.

     There was another fleet in towards the southwest just about on the beach.  These guys were either fluking or fishing the pods of bunker we had heard news of earlier in the week.  They were in the bunkers and man were they thick.  The only thing wrong was nobody out forty some boats were fighting a fish, so I told Rich we would troll the spoons and keep an eye open.  It wasnít long before we marked some fish down away from the fleet and watched a guy releasing a big bass along the side of his boat.  After seeing what I saw and the spoons not getting a hit after going over some fish I knew it was time for the live bait.  Told Rich to reel em' up and that we were switching over.

      I put Rich on the wheel as I got the cast net out and told Evan and Josh to get ready.  We slowly moved in on the bunkers and with one swift throw of the net we had thirty some baits flopping on the deck.  As we were putting the baits in the live well I informed Josh that we were going to use these as bait to catch the bass. I got this look of disbelief, it was priceless.

     As Rich and I were dropping the baits down and trying to explain to the kids on what to do, Rich yelled out he had a nervous bait and Josh was up front yelling that something was pulling his line out.  Wow I think we were 0 for 6 before Rich got a hook to stay in, and before u knew it we had two fish on. Rich helped Josh guide his first bass into the net, man what a beauty 33 lbs.  That would be the biggest of the day but all the other fish were in the low to mid twenty pound bracket.  Evanís biggest went 26 lbs.  We kept only six fish and released well over a dozen more.  As we got down to our last few baits the fish finder was lit up with marks, there had to be twenty plus fish on the screen. We even had the bass eating our baits on the surface a sight you will never forget.

     With the live well empty, a tired and cold crew, and a fabulous few hours of fishing we left em' biting for another day.  I think Evan talked Josh into a conspiracy against me for my job, as the two of them, took turns driving the boat back to the inlet.  I think Iím safe for a few more years at least until one of them learns how to throw a cast net.  Enjoy the pics. I think they speak for themselves.  Oh yeah and about Evan reeling in anything, well Iíll leave that up to him to explain.

 

 

 MAY 24, 2008

I heard the bunkers were in the ocean, in great numbers down to the south. With our time running out on our slip in Highlands, I figured it was time to head back to Hoffmanís Marina.  Since Rudy and I would be passing some of our favorite fishing spots no trip would be complete with out wetting a line.

     After netting close to a hundred baits, in Atlantic Highlands harbor we were on our way to the Rocks.  Arriving on the grounds we found a small fleet working the area out towards the bell buoy.  So we looked around and dropped some baits on a few marks.  The bass were there and showed very little interest in our live bait, as they would just pick it up, run with it and drop it.  With the fish hanging in the middle of the water column, the wind and tide working against us it could only mean one thing.  Thatís right time to drag the spoons out.

     As much as we love and prefer to fish live bait there are days that the bunker spoons will out fish them.  It was only a matter of minutes as we got the lines set before we had our first bass on.  For the next two hours we caught bass that ranged from 15 lbs to 20 lbs. with the heaviest going 25lbs. We called it an early day and headed for home. 

     Rich - good luck in your 5k race today!

 

MAY 17, 2008

     It was that time of year again, just one week earlier than usual.  Thatís right the ASA Bahrís Landing Tournament was in town and for only one day.  We had our usual crew; Rich, Rudy, and yours truly.  This is one of our favorite tournaments of the year to fish. Your two heaviest fish would hold your fate at the scales.

     We were up in the Navesink by 4:30 am looking for some live bunker.  We found them and made one throw netting us 103 pieces.  With the live well full we were back at Bahrís waiting for the 6:00 am start.  The only thing left now was making the decision on where we were going to fish.  I had two spots in mind and just had to pick wondering if we would be heroes or zeros.

     Well we were on our way and hoped this spot would pay off.  As we arrived and looked over the area, we set up and started fishing.  It wasnít long before Rudy had one on.  It was a bass and a decent one too.  The boga grip showed 24 lbs. Great start and knew we would need a similar size fish to place.  Wasnít long till we had another fish in the boat, that went 18 lbs.  Things were looking good and soon only to look even better, as Rudy had yet another good fish on.  After a brief fight the bass was finally netted.  This beauty went 25 lbs. and left us with a sigh of relief knowing we had two very respectful fish to weigh in.

     We pounded this area all day and were able to catch and release five more bass.  The scales were open and it was going to be a sloppy ride home as the winds were gusting to 30 mph.  Back at Bahrs we dried off and watched the boats ahead of us off load their catch.  I was confident we would place top five yet nervous.

     At the scales our combined weight was 49.75 pounds placing us third only ounces away from the second place finisher and only 2 1\2 pounds from first.  Job well done by our crew.  This is the third time we have placed in the money, with an eighth place, a second place, and now a third place finish.  Not bad for team big boy once again.

 

MAY 11, 2008

Had Rich and his father Jack out for a few hours on Motherís Day. Rudy and I netted some live bait early in the morning up in the Navesink before meeting up with the father son duo.  We left Bahrís and headed out into the bay in search of some bass.

     As we were approaching our destination we noticed a few bunkers leaping out of the water in fear for there lives.  With that I pulled em back and we dropped down a few live bunker.  The fish finder was showing life and it was only a matter of a few seconds before we had our first fish of the day on.  Unfortunately it was a bluefish followed by yet another.  I had heard the bluefish were thick and bass were few and far between.

     Well this proved to be true as we moved from spot to spot the bluefish were there and in great numbers.  At one point I advised that nobody fall in the water in regards to being eaten alive by bluefish. Anyway, we did manage one bass before headed home.   THANKS MOM FOR LETTING ME GO FISHING!

 

 APRIL 24, 2008

Rich, his brother Jeff and his son Evan, and I made a half day trip out of the Highlands on the LBB.  We were going to give it one last shot at the flounders before they departed.  Ran up in the Navesink to find nothing, along with a stop in the Shrewsbury also to find no flatties.  We then made a move out into the Sandy Hook Bay and tried our luck near the Coast Guard Station.  Upon our arrival there was a small fleet fishing with a couple head boats.  We dropped the hook and started chumming heavy.  Saw one head boat pick a couple of fish and another make multiple moves.  With that said I figured we would slip around the corner and try a few drifts in the Rip for stripers.

      As we went over the Rip the fish finder was showing some small scattered marks.  On the first drift Evan wasnít on the bottom for more than a couple seconds when he yelled he had one.  To much of our surprise Evan reeled in a whopper of a flounder that weighed 2 Ĺ lbs.  That tells me the fish are making there way out and we shouldíve been on the ocean side of the hook fishing for flounders, oh well.  Anyway the next drift Rich caught the first bluefish of the season, about  2lbs., and his brother was bitten off by another.  Just before calling it quits the first fluke of the season was caught, by Evan.  After a few pictures we let the estimated 2 Ĺ pounder go, since the season doesnít open for some time yet.

     Just my second trip of the year and I got some time off from behind the wheel as Richsí nephew Evan who is 10 years old drove the boat back to port.  Heís a natural, I hope Rich doesnít get any ideas?

 

 

The Reg.26 or the LBB will be running out of Bahrís Landing for the next five or six weeks depending on the bass fishing.  The Big Boy should be in the water and running trips no later than May 15th, CALL NOW AND BOOK YOUR CHARTER.      

 

APRIL 15, 2008

Well weíre back, after three months off we made our first trip of the season.  Rudy and I ran the Reg. 26 aka: ( the Little Big Boy) up to Bahrís Landing in Highlands where we met up with Rich.  We set out for winter flounder fishing on a beautiful spring day.

     First stop was off of Earle Naval Pier, fishing here was slow so we moved off of the Sandy Hook Coast Guard Station.  We found the same results here as well.  So I figured to go try back in the Navesink River.  Once again first stop revealed no life so we moved even further back.  After about a half hour and a tide change the fish finally bite.  We had a few double headers and even a triple putting seventeen flatties in the box with only one throwback.  Most of the fish were of nice size with Rich taking the pool winner at just over two lbs. 

 

 

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