As the old year closed, the weather was pleasantly cooperative for the winter season. The one hiccup was a rainy Friday that was followed by the remainder of a very fishable weekend. Boats that were targeting blackfish were easily able to get out, and even though the catch totals werenâ€™t huge, the quality of the fish made up for it. Some nice double-digit fish, with one weighing 15 pounds, were boated over the weekend. An 18-pounder was later caught mid-week. Some end of the season sea bass trips were made. We also have news of an approaching local fishing and boating show and the dates you should save. Letâ€™s get going. Â
The Porgy IV continues to reign in blackfish. They were out on the final weekend of the year and had good results for their efforts. Friday was a washout but Saturday and Sunday produced nice catches. Saturday had a total of two dozen keepers â€śwhich was an improvement over some recent tripsâ€ť. The day was led by Dan Tinsman who caught 3 fish, including the 6-pound pool-winner. Limits were claimed by Kevin Olbrich and Dave Thompson. The day was windy, resulting in some areas being slow on action while â€śa couple of spotsâ€ť were holding fish.
Sunday was a little lower on the catch total, and reported as â€śa slow pick on a calm oceanâ€ť. The catches included two nice-sized fish. Douglas Taylor landed an 8.75-pound fish but didnâ€™t claim the pool. I guess he chose not to enter, so an angler named Tony, from Sewell, won with a 7.5-pound fish. If youâ€™re ready to catch some blackfish, then call Captain Paul at 609-884-1214 and he can give you details about the next trip.
The Cape May Lady had their second Annual Blackfish Scout Trip on the final Sunday of the year. The trip is designed to scout out areas for big blackfish. Well, the trip was a success, but also considered a â€śridiculously slow fishingâ€ť day even though they â€ścaught some jumbosâ€ť. There were four double-digit fish caught which included at least two personal-bests (PB).
The biggest catch of the day was made by Frank Mihalic with a personal-best, 15-pounder. Jeremy Omrod caught one just shy of 13 pounds, while Anthony Lekocaj had his PB with a 10 pound, 4 ounces and the final â€śjumboâ€ť went to Dennis Mulenforth with a 10 pound, 4 ounces. As was mentioned, you â€ścouldnâ€™t have asked for a nicer day on the water or nicer people on the boatâ€ť.
The Cape Queen got out for their final â€śDeep Drop Sea Bass Tripâ€ť on Thursday, Dec. 27. They limited out with no problem, catching their 150 fish. They weighed between two and five pounds and filled up the anglers freezers for the winter. That will make for some good eating on a cold winter day. They wanted to thank everyone who fished with them this year and are looking â€śforward to fishing with you all next seasonâ€ť.
Caveman Sportfishing also took advantage of the cooperative weather by getting in an end-of-the-season offshore sea bass trip off Cape May. The trip â€śprovided great fishingâ€ť and â€ślimit-catches by everyone on boardâ€ť the 55 Hooked Up II.
This trip, which served as their final one of the season, has them now looking forward to May 2019 when they will target Black Drum in the Delaware Bay and tuna in the local canyons. Give them a call at 609-425-1970 so you can set up a trip when the new season opens.
Boulevard Bait and Tackle reported a â€śfish of a lifetimeâ€ť for Sal Alongi. He was fishing on Jan. 2 out of Wildwood for blackfish and landed an 18.36-pound. Congratulations Sal on a great catch.
Candyman Sportfishing from Sea Isle was also out hunting blackfish on the final Sunday of the year. They had a â€śpretty good dayâ€ť as a â€śgroup of longtime friendsâ€ť enjoyed the day. They had a â€śbunch of quality fishâ€ť with the best of the day being an 8-pounder that was caught by Jeff. Give Captain Fred a call at 609-374-4947 to see when they plan on heading out.
The Starfish, also out of Sea Isle, has also been chasing blackfish on a regular basis lately. They had some nice fish on Sunday that included a couple of big fish. Give John a call at 609-263-3800 to see when they are planning their next trip.
Plan ahead: The Wildwood Fishing and Boating Expo is scheduled for April 6 and 7 at the Wildwood Convention Center. It marks the third year for the show. There will be â€śmore of what you asked forâ€ť in terms of boats, more diverse tackle and more of everything. Assorted free seminars will also be available for you to attend. The show opens at 9 a.m. on both days. More information will follow as we get closer to show time. Check out www.fishingexpowildwood.com or their Facebook Page for more information. You can also call Gerald at 609-377-1617 to obtain vendor information.
A reminder: donâ€™t forget to send in your fishing log if you obtained a tag for the Striped Bass Bonus Program from the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Make that two reminders: now is as good a time as any to register for the Saltwater Registry for 2019. It also can be done through the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife page.
Take care and Iâ€™ll see you around. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â