Check out what fishermen caught this week at the Jersey Shore. Wochit | Dan Radel
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The question on many an angler’s minds is: “Are the bonito still here?”¬†
Following a damp week with little sun and bathtub like conditions on the ocean, it looks like fishermen might catch a break this weekend. At least on this spot of the coast. Hurricane Florence looks to be homed in on the Carolinas.
Saturday and Sunday’s marine forecast is still iffy with east winds and wave heights around 4 to 6 feet but some boats aren’t calling it yet. Sunday the wind is supposed to relax and wave heights decrease.¬† ¬†
Howard Bogan, skipper of the 125-foot Jamaica party boat in Brielle, will sail Saturday and Sunday for bonito, albacore, blues and mackerel. All four species were biting inside of 10 miles before the weather rolled in.
Bogan will probably try areas 7 to 10 miles out from Manasquan Inlet, where they last had fish corraled¬†lat Saturday.¬†
Bogan ran also canyon trip for yellowfin tuna last Thursday into Friday.
He said he observed plenty of life offshore on that venture but the fish weren’t cooperative.¬†
Related:¬†Have bluefish changed their habits?
They were able to get the mahi-mahi incited, but only a landed a few yellowfin tuna. At one point he said they saw large schools of rays on the surface with tuna underneath them but fishermen were only able to pluck¬†a few fish from the school given that opportunity.¬†¬†
The 2018 fluke season has one last full weekend left to it. The season closes midnight Sept. 22, the last day of summer.¬†
If the water is fishable, fishermen will be out trying to gather in the last fish of the year. Tom Buban, the Atlantic Star’s skipper, was able to scratch enough people together to get out on Tuesday and Wednesday for fluke but the fishing was not that good.
On Tuesday, following a couple days of easterly wind,¬†he stayed inside the bays because of an ocean swell.¬†
“We tried Sandy Hook Bay, Flynns Knoll, the Reach channel and all areas where no good,” said Buban.¬†
The fishing was slightly better the following day.
The freshwater fishing has benefited from the drop in temperatures and rain, said Laurie Murphy at Dows Boat Rentals at Lake Hopatcong, the state’s largest freshwater lake.
Murphy said hybrid stripers are starting to hit on liver¬†in the Chestnut Point area, though herring is still getting it down. The fish are generally in the 4 to 6 pounds with a few known to be in excess of nine pounds.¬†
Walleye, crappie, white perch, catfish and smallmouth bass are all hitting.
The Shore has been getting both drenched by rain and battered by a large ocean swell since Saturday. It suffices to say that very little fishing was done over the weekend.¬†
The ocean doesn’t look like it’s going to calm down anytime soon. NOAA’s marine forecast calls for rough seas all week. The wave heights vary from 5 to a very gnarly 13 feet. In plain English, Fishermen can expect bathtub conditions to last a little while longer.¬†
Add in that a Hurricane Florence¬†East Coast collision in the Carolinas is looking more likely, and fishing could be shut down for a week. New Jersey is not in the landfall zone now but still could stand to get some residual swell and rain from the storm.¬†
That’s not to say everyone has ducked away. Ernie Gigilo at Ernies Bait and Tackle called in a fishing report Monday after Alex Rosseau of Asbury Park weighed in a 3¬†¬Ĺ-pound fluke.
Rosseau was fishing on the bay side of Sandy Hook and casting Gulp! bait, Giglio said.¬†
The few party boat trips over the weekend struggled to catch in the face of easterly winds.
Tom Buban, the skipper of the Atlantic Star in Atlantic Highlands, was out Saturday for fluke but because of the strong easterly winds had to resort to drifting the bay. He said fishermen picked away at shorts on the morning and afternoon trips but only put a couple keepers in the boat.
Representatives of the¬†Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be at the Long Branch Public Library 5 to 7:45 p.m. Sept. 20 to discuss the latest information on plans for offshore wind development¬†in the New York/New Jersey bite.
BOEM will present its feedback from regarding a recent call for the potential leasing of sites in the Bight area.¬†
Fishermen hit quite a number of false albacore this week as those fish have begun to make their presence known.¬†
The fishing remains stellar inshore for a variety of fish, the list of which seems to continue to grow, drawn in by the warm, tropical-like late summer water and bait. The temperature has been flirting with the lower 80s.¬†¬†
There is some strong easterly winds forecast starting Thursday along with some cooler weather and rain. That could shake things up a little but hopefully won’t chase the pelagic fish gathered from the shore out to 10 miles.¬†
A¬†snapshot of the saltwater menu is visible in the catches being made on the party and charter boats. The 125-foot Jamaica party boat, for example, returned to its Brielle dock Tuesday with a catch of bonito, false albacore, bluefish, mahi-mahi, mackerel and a cobia.¬†
“The variety of fish in and outside the inlet continues to be amazing,” said Captain Alex Majewski, of the Debbie M charter boat in Barnegat Light.
Majewksi’s fishing parties landed Spanish¬†mackerel, bluefish and tussled with some sandbar sharks that were over five feet in length fishing tight to the beach.¬†
The daytime¬†blue fishing is at the best its been all summer. Fishermen are finally beginning to reel in¬†bigger size fish on the inshore grounds. Captain Dave Riback¬†of the Queen Mary reported bluefish up to five pounds.¬†
The sea bass season closed but¬†there are a ton of porgies to keep bottom fishermen occupied on the inshore rocks.
Captain Willie Egerter of the Dauntless party boat said anglers who fish hard enough can get a daily bag limit of 50 porgies. The triggerfish are also helping to fill the buckets.
The ling are¬†biting on the deeper wrecks in the Mud Hole. Captain Francis Bogan of the Paramount party boat said the average angler had 8 to a dozen ling each on Tuesday’s trip, but the veterans reeled in 15 to 25 fish. A few winter flounder and mahi-mahi were picked off the spots.
Greg Bogan at Brielle Bait and Tackle weighed in a nice size fluke that was landed out front one of the reefs near Manasquan Inlet. The angler, Len Semon of Berkeley Heights, didn’t specify to Bogan which reef.
The fish weighed 9 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught dragging traditional¬†squid and killifish¬†combo. Semon had two more fluke that weighed 5 and 6 pounds each, to give him his bag limit.¬†
Bobby Matthews at Fishermen’s Den said the fishermen are coming off the party boats or excursions on the Shark River with some quality size fluke.A 10-pounder was reeled in on the Mohawk party boat, while Myra and Harris Reevey¬†had a pair of 5 pounders to show for their efforts on the river.
Matthews said there are hordes of bait in the river that when they spill out could make some interesting surf fishing.¬†
Tom Buban, the skipper of the Atlantic Star, is fishing the Sandy Hook Channel and False Hook Channel for fluke and finding a decent return when the drifting conditions are good.¬†¬†
Dan Radel: @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; email@example.com