Capt Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing
Looks like the weather is finally going to stabilize, for a few days, anyway. Sunday and Monday, July 29 and 30, are showing very little or no storm activity. The wind is coming around to an easterly direction with mild velocity. It looks like we could get out to Barnegat Ridge tomorrow (Sunday) at least, and maybe further in search of bonita and sharks. Sharks are mostly dusky, browns, spinner, Atlanic sharpnose, and browns. Anywhere from 20 to 150 pounds. All catch and release species. If we get into the bonita, they go in the cooler as they are delicious. Any way you prepare tuna, you can prepare bonita, including sashimi. Monday is even nicer, so I am looking to get out to the mid range 50/60 mile grounds in search of tuna. Open Boat or Charter either day. Sunday’s Barnegat Ridge bonita/shark trip 6AM to 1PM, $175 person. 4 people max. Monday’s Mid-Range tuna trip. 4AM to 4PM (usually later) $350 person. 4 people max. Reservations are required. All fish are shared on both trips.
We ran to Barnegat Ridge on Sunday. Two to three foot long swell, very fishable. Had John Post, his son-in-law Tim Smith, and grandson, 13 year old Timmy Smith all of Mountainside, NJ. Stopped about a mile and a half shy of the North Ridge as I usually do. This way the lines go out in the deep water and we troll towards the high ground. As Nick was setting out the fourth rod in the spread, a cedar plug, it went spooling off in his hand. He locked it up and Timmy boated a nice bonita. As we drew closer to the Ridge, there were slicks and chicks. This is best case scenario wherever you are fishing, but especially here. The slicks were so fresh that you could smell them 30 yards away and there were a dozen to twenty chick birds picking at them at any given time. I could here the rods going off in my head…….but it never happened. Killer fish and bait readings throughout the water column. I gave it two hours of tight turns and nothing. There were quite a few spinner sharks thrashing and crashing so this is the only thing I could suspect might have been putting off the species we were looking for. I brought a can of chum and some fresh bunker out with us so I asked our crew if they wanted to try sharking and they were game. It took about twenty minutes and the first rod went off, Timmy jumped on the rod and brought a 60 lb dusky to the boat. Then two rods went off at the same time, we lost one and Timmy finessed a 120 lb dusky to be released on the other. We were doing it all with 20 to 30 class gear so it was a lot of fun. Nick and I were watching the balloons and we both happen to see a fish jump over one of the balloons. I said “that was a mahi” and he said ‘Yeah, I know”. He had eaten a hunk of bunker on a 9/0 circle hook rigged on 200 lb mono. Once again, Timmy was on the rod and boated this 8 lb square head baby bull mahi. This kid was a true angler. Smooth on the rod. Here he his on one of those dusky sharks: www.youtube.com/watch?v=06cE7EZZ-VI
If we had stayed on the troll, it might have been a one bonita day that was over in the first five minutes. That bucket of chum and fresh bait turned it into a decent catch with plenty of action. Thank God for Plan B!
Yesterday (Wed) I had Nick Honachefsky of the new series Saltwater Underground on board. He was hosting friends Sean Reilly and WWE pro wrestler Jake the Snake Roberts, along with Jake’s son Dustin. Jake caught a nice striper on light tackle at the Barnegat Inlet jetty. We moved back into the bay and hammered away at short fluke jigging leadheads and Gulp for a few hours.
Running Open Boat to Barnegat Ridge tomorrow, Friday July 20. Leaving at 11AM, returning at 6PM. Trolling for bonita, mahi, or any other high speed fish that are in that neighborhood. I’ll have the chum and bait on board if we want to try a few hours of light tackle sharking. $175 person. 4 people max. All fish are shared. You can call for a spot right up until we leave. I’m available to call until 9PM tonight (Thurs) or as early as 5AM tomorrow (Fri). Sat is booked. Sun and Monday, July 22 and 23 are potential bay/inlet charter days as the ocean will be a little rough from Saturday afternoon on through the next few days.
Looking to run offshore for tuna next week Open Boat or Charter Sat/Sun/Mon, Trolling and chunking. Probably running 80 miles plus each way unless things heat up closer. Leaving at 2AM, returning around 4 PM, sometimes later, so if you have to be back at a certain time, you won’t make it. $400 person. 4 people max. All fish are shared. Reservations required. Everything is provided. If you have a favorite rod and reel, and it’s appropriate, you can bring it. Hoping we get a nice stretch of weather, we are due.
Timmy Smith of Mountainside, NJ with bonita and mahi.
Jake the Snake Roberts and Nick Honachefsky with striper
Capt. Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing
Not sure if there is anything happening at Barnegat Ridge but it’s time to go find out. I passed through there the other day on the way home from an offshore trip and the water was 78 degrees, blue-ish green, and there were slicks and flying fish. We only had 30 minutes to try as my group needed to be back at the dock. We didn’t catch anything in that short try but it sure looked good. Now with a few days of NE we just had, it can only have gotten better. Bonito and albacore are always the target but sometimes we find school bluefin tuna there, as well.
We are headed to the canyons to catch tuna. The bite is red hot and we have good intel on where to go. The boat is fueled, iced, and turn key ready to leave at 2AM tonight (Sunday), or technically tomorrow (Monday) morning. We have three guys signed up already and we take a maximum of four. $350 person, all fish are shared. Return around 4 or 5 PM on Monday. We have everything. Just bring whatever you want to eat and drink for the time we are out (14 to 15 hours). Wednesday’s canyon trip is sold out but we will be announcing more as we see nice weather windows coming up. As a result, these will be announced on short notice.
Just got back from Key West. Had my two boys, Nick, 19 and Max, 17 down there to catch their first permit. Found the best captain down there, Capt Jason Wells from Reel Easy Charters 305.906.2076. So impressed by this guy. Laid back, focused,….and persistent. The key to catching permit down there is to have crabs for bait. The whole island was sold out but he had a call out to a shop that was going to call us if any came in. We were already on the fishing grounds when the call came in and he had us reel in and motor back to get live crabs. Not too many guides would burn the fuel or put in the time to do this. It paid off as we caught four nice permit in the two hours after we returned to the grounds. We also had two big snook, a 17 and 18 pounder that Max and I took on live pinfish in the early morning out on a wreck in the Atlantic. I didn’t even know you could catch them there, I thought they were a backwater or near shoreline fish. We had some big mangrove snappers, yellowtails, barracuda, a black grouper, a bunch of Spanish mackerel and one good size king mackerel for the two days we spent with Capt Jason. Here’s Nick DeGennaro with his first permit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW4UyLwExXk and Max DeGennaro with his: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNrHwSdVOkY
We ran out to the Wilmington Canyon early Saturday morning. We met at the dock at 2:30 AM and threw the ropes by 3 AM. The chart plotter displayed 88 miles to our destination and I thought that’s a lot further than my Seaside Piers or Lavallette run. Ocean was flat calm and the marine forecast was for more of the same all weekend. Hoping this was going to be redemption time for last weeks zero we pulled at the Spencer Canyon.
I had a full Open Boat trip of four guys, Stuart Lombardi of NYC, Alan Smith of Manahawkin, NJ, Craig Kelley and his son-in-law Jarrett Powell both from Tuckerton, NJ. We arrived at the Wilmington around 7:30 AM and put out an eight rod spread. Three spreader bars, three squid chains, a cedar plug, and a Yummee Flying Fish I attempted to fish from a kite. There was not enough wind and the helium tank did not deliver enough gas to the assist balloon so I wound up with a whirling dervish instead of a stable square kite. It wrapped around one of the other lures and I spent the next 20 minutes untangling. When we started we had 63 degree water and some pilot whales. During my untangling, I gave the wheel to Stuart and gave him a heading to bring us deeper and more southerly. In that 20 minutes, the radio was lit up with boats hooking up yellowfin in 68 to 69 degree water. I grabbed the wheel back from Stuart and noticed the spike in water temp as well as a dozen circling boats and whales and porpoise. He brought us right to the spot!
We trolled around that area seeing and hearing boats hooked up, but not a touch for us. I started second guessing our spread, our speed, …..me. I dropped the RPM’s a little and that dropped us from 6.3 to 5.8 knots. I started checking the lures for grass as there was a little on the surface but they came in clean and alas…as I was checking the last lure we watched a yellowfin crush a rainbow spreader bar, and another hit the green machine bar, and another hit the flatlined cedar plug, and another on the second rainbow spreader bar……four on! We boated three of the four, all about 20 something pounds but over the legal size so they went in the cooler. We beat up that area some more and got a double header of slightly bigger fish and then we tripled up with a 20 pounder and two others that were taking more line and a little longer to subdue. They wound up being 40 and 50 pounders.
Here’s a video of that hookup: www.youtube.com/watch?v=65qGkX2xTII
We were all boxed up and headed for the barn feeling great about the day and about halfway home I saw schools of bluefin airing out. We put out a quick four rod spread and a 50 pound bluefin crushed the flatlined red and white cedar plug. Forty five minutes on a 20 class, Jarrett decked a 50 pound bluefin. Got back to the marina by 6:30 PM and all was right with the world.
We will be running offshore to the tuna grounds from time to time. Either the canyons or hopefully the mid range grounds, like 40 to 60 mile range will heat up in the coming weeks. These trips will always be announced with short notice, sometimes only a day or two before, as we are looking for perfection weather to run offshore. If you would like to be on our email list for these and all of our trips, as well as our fishing reports you can email us from our website.
As always we will also be fishing for bonita, albacore, bluefish, stripers, weakfish, fluke, kingfish and all of the mixed bag bay fishing. We will also be light tackle shark fishing within five miles of the inlet for two to four foot browns, dusky, and spinner sharks. All catch and release and a lot of fun.
~Capt Dave DeGennaro, Hi Flier Sportfishing, 732.330.5674, www.hiflier.com
We ran to the Spencer Canyon on Sunday. Found the right water. Beautiful shade of blue. Tons of porpoise and whales. Skipjacks attacking our spread every 5 to 10 minutes. Caught one small bluefin tuna, not even big enough for the cooler and way too many skippies. That’s the report. We were one of the boats that didn’t catch that day.
Haven’t been out since the blow came through on Sunday. We did sail Saturday with a full boat. I had some good intel from friends up north that Deal and Long Branch were giving up nice stripers so we got an early start and made the left out of Barnegat Inlet. Thirty miles later we put the lines out and we trolled for hours without a hit. The radio echoed the same sentiment of “what happened?”. There’s nothing worse than getting there to hear that. We went as far as the Shrewsbury Rocks and then we headed back to Barnegat. Stopped at the North Barnegat Inlet jetty and did really well casting light spinning rods with soft plastics for 2 to 4 pound bluefish. Fortunately the guys I had on board were having fun doing that.