Fishing has been good when we find those weather windows. One of which appears to be on Saturday. I had a good trip out last Sunday with bonita and albacore in the 20 mile range. The best part is we caught them on bait with spinning rods, no trolling (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Anchored up, slinging chum and spearing over the side. Albies are outnumbering the bonita.
In the bay we have been catching some weakfish with regularity on live grass shrimp. They aren’t huge, quite a few under the 13 inch mark but fish up to 16 inches, as well. We are using 6 pound spinning outfits with small jigs and baited hooks. The biggest hurdle is fishing through the silver perch that invade the shrimp slick almost immediately. There are also quite a few snapper blues that are bordering on not being called snappers anymore, they are just about bluefish. If you’re nostalgic about weakfish or chumming with live grass shrimp this is a good time to go. Open Boat Bonita and Albacore Saturday, Sept 28 7AM to 2PM, $175 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. Open Boat Live Grass Shrimp Weakfish Sunday, Sept 29 7AM to 1PM, $125 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. Either day is available for charter and the Saturday trip could be converted to a live grass shrimp charter if you prefer but Sunday can’t be converted to bonita/albacore as the ocean will be nice on Saturday and rough on Sunday according to the current marine forecast. The best way to reach me is always on my cell below.
Fishing is firing on all cylinders, inshore and offshore. Bluefin tuna, bonita, spanish mackerel, weakfish, and stripers are all on the feed. We also had a Spinner, Atlantic Sharpnose, and a big Dusky Shark just 4 miles offshore on Friday on spinning tackle. I struck out on tuna at the 30 mile spot Saturday, as did the small fleet that was there, but that’s just a day in the life of tuna fishing. On the way back we stopped at Barnegat Ridge and put out some light rods. It didn’t take long and we had bonita and spanish mackerel bending the rods. For those of you that are unsure about the edibility of these two species, they are both excellent. You can prepare bonita, technically bonito, any way you prepare tuna including as sashimi. The spanish mackerel fillets are white, sweet, and delicate. Cook them the same way you do flounder or weakfish. There’s a lot of confusion here with these two fish because south of Jersey, from the Carolinas to Florida, they call what we know as false albacore….bonito. Which are so bloody and full of red muscle inside, they are inedible. The mackerel part of Spanish mackerel has a lot of people put off because of our locally caught Boston mackerel, which are not that high on the edible scale, though people eat them. I returned to Barnegat Ridge Sunday with Chris Lang of Barnegat Light and his brother Phillip who was visiting from San Diego, as well as Chris Soukatis of Staten Island. We boated six nice bonita and a pair of two foot Spanish mackerel in some sporty conditions. We decided to head into the bay and try some light tackle action. Using shedder crab we connected with 15 to 16 inch weakfish and fluke. Monday I had Wayne Hopkins of Kutztown, PA and Jim Soch of West Milford, NJ for a bay/inlet combo. We only managed one weakfish for the cooler along with some action with fluke and sand sharks. When that slowed up we decided to try the inlet jetty and it was on fire with schoolie stripers. These two guys caught and released a dozen bass between 22 to 27 inches. A great finale. Here’s a clip of Wayne with one of his stripers: youtu.be/L_EyKqrrWdM Thursday August 1 and Friday August 2 has light winds forecasted, so we are running Open Boat Barnegat Ridge trips for Bonita and Spanish Mackeral. 10AM to 4PM. $150 person. 4 people max. All fish are shared. Sunday we are headed to the Mid Range Tuna grounds or the Canyons in search of mahi, tilefish, and billfish. Pics: 1. Cutting table with our mix of bonita, Spanish, and weakfish on Sunday 2. Wayne Hopkins of Kutztown, PA Dave DeGennaro Back Bay Adventures 732.330.5674 cell www.hiflier.com
We had an interesting catch in the bay yesterday (Wednesday). I had a mix of Dads and kids and the inlet was a little sporty for our crew so we opted for some back bay fishing.
I had Jeff Frazier of Toms River along with his daughter Sienna and his son Rex. Also on board were Ed Cugno of Westfield and his son Nicholas. Fortunately, as I always do, I had some gourmet bait in the cooler…..live shedder crabs. We anchored up and fished a mix of 1/8 oz jigheads and baited hooks under bobbers on six pound ultralite spinning rods.
After about five minutes Jeff was tight to our first fish a throwback fluke. After that it was non stop action with small weakfish, a lot of fluke to 16 1/2 inches, one pound blues, a sea robin, a ton of sand sharks, and a short striper. In the end nothing went into the cooler, but they had a blast with the light tackle and constant action.
Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28, the marine forecast looks great for getting offshore to the tuna grounds. The best action has been on jigs and bait which is the most fun way to catch a tuna. These are 30 to 150 pound bluefins and you never know what size is going to eat your bait. We will have the trolling and casting gear on board, as well. We always have the mahi spinning rods armed, too.
Leaving at 2AM, returning 12 to 14 hours later (2PM to 4PM). $350 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. Monday we are probably looking at the bay or Barnegat Ridge, depending on the sea condition. We are also catching two to four foot spinner, blacktip, and Atlantic sharpnose sharks just 4 miles offshore. We can combo any of these Ridge/Bay/Inshore Sharking into the same trip. The Ridge has been holding a good amount of bonita and is due for some Spanish and king mackerel, as well as mahi.
The first ever Philadelphia Fishing Show will be held this weekend, February 22-24, 2019 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA. Over 75,000 square feet of fishing tackle, lodges, guides, apparel, travel destinations, boats, kayaks, RV’s and much more. Round the clock free seminars by professional guides and captains in two rooms presented by The Fisherman Magazine. Check out the 5,000 gallon Hawg Trough aquarium with local freshwater gamefish and then bring the kids over to the fully stocked Trout Pond where they can catch a fish at the show! A fly casting pond and cast net demonstration will help you hone your skills. Exhibitors will be displaying everything from dry fly trout tackle to giant bluefin tuna gear, and everything in between. $10 admission for adults, kids 6 to 12 are $5 and kids 5 and under are FREE. Free parking for everyone. Food and refreshments are available. Open Fri Noon -7PM , Sat 10AM-6PM , Sun 10AM – 5PM.
Check out www.phillyfishingshow.com for all the details, hours, location, exhibitor list, floor plan, attractions pictures, seminar list and much more. Hope to see you there!
That hard west wind is doing it’s job today. Leveling out all the sea condition that the hard easterly brought the last few days. More westerly tomorrow (Sunday), at a nice moderate velocity, means a flat ocean and stripers on the feed.
Open Boat or Charter tomorrow, Sunday, November 11. 6:00 AM to 2 PM. $200 person. 4 people max. All fish are shared.
This is our last available November date. Starting to book December, Sat, Sun, and Mon’s only.
The stripers are finally within striking distance. 20 to 30 miles north of our inlet today the boats caught really well on 15 to 30 pound fish from the shoreline out to the three mile line. Casting, trolling, and bunker snagging are all putting fish in the boat. They could be closer by the time we set sail this weekend but even if they’re not, we’re headed to wherever the bite is.
Sailing Open Boat or Charter Sat, Sun, and Mon, Nov 3, 4, and 5, 7AM to 3PM on Sat, Nov 3 and 6AM to 2PM on Sun, Nov 4 and Mon, Nov 5. (Careful, the end of Daylight Savings Time will turn the clocks back one hour at midnight Saturday night, that’s why our sailing time is different from Sat to Sun).
$200 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared.
The only dates other than these that I have left in November are: 10, 11, 20. December is wide open and should have awesome striper fishing.
Heading out Sun, Oct 21 and Mon, Oct 22. Sailing Open Boat or Charter. 7AM to 3PM (or later). Making a left out of Barnegat Inlet and cruising the shoreline until we find life. Birds, readings, breaking fish. Good chance we could run into albies, bonita, or stripers. I will have spinning and jigging gear on board for anything that arises. I will also be packing the trolling gear in case we have to. Snagging rods in case the bunker show. I have no limit as to how far north we will run. If we don’t find them close, we could end up at the Shrewsbury Rocks, I get there at least a few times a season when I have to. $200 person, 4 person max, all fish are shared.
We are still chumming with live grass shrimp for weakfish. Every day the size changes, they range from 12 to 19 inches. Once they get to be 15 inches or bigger they zip some drag off of our six pound spinning outfits. In the mix, and dominating the slick, are a million snapper blues, some that are approaching the one pound mark now. Also, silver perch, sand sharks, out-of-season and short anyway fluke, and more. It is steady, sometimes constant action. A test of endurance to fish through the body of snapper blues. We are using little 1/16 oz jigs tipped with shrimp as our best weakie catcher right now.
Sailing Open Boat or Charter Sun, Oct 7 and Mon, Oct 8 Shrimping Trips 8AM to 1PM on Sun and 9AM to 2PM on Mon (it’s a tide thing). $125 person, 4 people max on Open Boats, all fish are shared. $500 for the whole boat if you charter.
From here in we will only be sailing on Sat, Sun, and Mon’s through the rest of 2018. I am launching the Philadelphia Fishing Show, Feb 22-24, 2019 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo center in Oaks, PA. I am committing all of my time to coordinating this event. If you are looking to book a striper date with us we will only have these three days available each week and some are already booked. Just a heads up.
We are sailing Open Boat or Charter Sun, Sept 30 and Monday, Oct 1. Leaving at 7AM and returning anywhere from 5 to 8 hours later. Fishing for….???? These trips are a work in progress according to whatever everyone wants to do and what the sea condition will allow. We could fish the inlet jetty for bluefish, shrimp the bay for weakfish and the ultralite mixed bag, anchor up on the west side of the bay for blowfish, cruise the shoreline outside for migrating albacore, run to Barnegat Ridge for bonita and albacore either on the troll or chum, Whatever you guys want to do. We could also combine any of these species.
Rates according to duration. My trips are $100 an hour and range from 5 to 8 hours. 4 people max on Open Boat trips. All fish are shared.
It looks like the ocean is going to be “CLOSED” for a stretch with all of the impending storms and the swells they will produce for a while. No worries! There’s still fish to catch. Blowfish are here in good numbers. Lots of small ones but a good amount of “whales” in the mix. Sure they won’t dump any line off of your reel but they are delicious and it never gets old watching them blow up. We all say we’re going for the kids but the truth is if you want to recapture some of your youth, rub a blowfish belly until he fully inflates and it will transport you there. This is really Plan B as we are going to start fishing with live grass shrimp starting ASAP. There are some weakfish in the bay and live shrimp and/or shedder crabs are the bait to use for weakies, kingfish, and about a dozen other species that you might encounter using these gourmet baits. We keep the tackle light, 6 and 10 pound spinning tackle.
Sailing Open Boat or Charter Monday, Sept 17, 7AM to 1PM, $150 person, 4 people max. Also, Wed and Thurs, Sept 19 and 20, 11AM to 5PM.
Pics: Capt Dave DeGennaro and Pete Bonnaci of Roselle Park, NJ all with recent obligatory puffy face blowfish pics.