Blues, weaks good weekend bets
Friday, September 22, 2006
Bluefish remain abundant in the ocean and Raritan Bay as anglers have a choice of chumming in the Mud Hole or at the other usual hot spots such as 17 Fathoms, or chasing birds and bunker schools. The latter are unusually abundant along the Shore, and Joe Blaze of Brielle was able to even catch them on flies and poppers Wednesday near Manasquan Inlet.

Weakfish seem to be building up in Raritan Reach, but they don't bite throughout a tide, and some patience is required while fishing for them. Fluking has been picky, but is usually good at this time of year as they migrate offshore.

Canyon tuna fishing has been very good when weather conditions are favorable, and unusual numbers of swordfish are also being hooked out there. Giant tuna remain a possibility in the Mud Hole.

Capt. Greg Markert had a slow start to his Monday overnighter on the Golden Eagle from Belmar. There was only a little action at 1 a.m. before it broke open at 4:30 when most of the 18 yellowfins plus a few albacore were boated. Dolphin were around during the night, and a large wahoo swam through but wouldn't hit. There are openings on Monday's trip.

Captains Phil Dulanie and Mark DeCabia got off to a good start trolling Sunday afternoon with Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant as the Elliott Braun charter from Middletown boated two 80-pound yellowfins that hit balao and Tuna Clones just inshore of the Bombs. Chunking in the 100-Square area started slowly before getting hot around 11 p.m. They ended up with an 18-yellowfin limit and released one as only two were lost for their best average in a long time.

The Monday overnighter for the Todd Palumbo charter from Darien, Conn., was slow until 10 p.m. A dozen yellowfins were boated before a swordfish was fought for two hours. After the 160-to-170-pound sword was boated, they got back on the tuna and boated another seven yellowfins plus an albacore and released two more tuna for a total of 21. Tuna fishing was even better last Thursday night when 36 were caught, including a 120-pound yellowfin, along with a 35-pound wahoo that hit a chunk.

Capt. Bob Pennington had a good Wednesday trip in the Hudson with his Sea Devil from Point Pleasant despite rough seas. There was a pick of yellowfins plus dolphin, and Brian Weingarten boated a 100-pound swordfish.

Capt. Jeff Gutman has been doing well on canyon trips with his Voyager from Point Pleasant. Tuesday was productive despite rain and wind. In addition to the tuna, Peter Bardes of Newark boated a 46 1/2-pound wahoo on bait. Gutman had openings on most October and November trips. Call (732) 595-3019.

John Cafiero of Forked River ran his 28-foot Hyrda Sports center console, Seafood, out to the Hudson on Sunday night. He started at 7:30, and in an hour had six dolphin and 150-pound swordfish in the boat. Another sword was lost next to the boat, but tuna didn't hit until 3 a.m., when they came up alongside. With only three anglers aboard, a nine-yellowfin limit of 75-to-100-pounders was boated before dawn as they fished bait with circle hooks south of the fleet at 100-Square.

At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Ron Santee says he has been doing well with weakfish and blues on his Fishermen since last week from the Earle Pier to Staten Island, though action has been best from slack into the change of tide. Afternoon bluefishing has been excellent on the weekends, but no little tunny or bonito have joined them so far.Page 2 of 2
Capt. George Bachert of the Angler said the switch to a west wind revived fluking from his Angler as Archie Stewart of Nutley caught seven keepers, and Jose Reyes from Paterson had five up to a 4-pound pool winner.

Capt. Tom Buban continues half-day fluking with his Atlantic Star, but is also carrying worms for weakfish. He said Saturday's fishing was tough, but Sunday was better with some weaks and a few fluke.

Capt. Hal Hagaman also saw the improvement on his Sea Tiger II as over 30 fluke and weaks were boated on a half-day trip. Kenny Fraiman of Edison boated five fluke, and Bill Hall from Somerville had a 6 1/2-pound weak.


Capt. Art Hilliard didn't do well clamming for stripers from his Eagle in rough seas last Friday, but put the Argee Supply Co. party into blues on top in the back of the bay, where they totaled 60 up to 5-pounders by Hazlet anglers Bob Mula and Brian Freeman. Hilliard stuck with those blues Saturday when the pool went to Pat Patton of Middletown with a 4 1/2-pounder. He went offshore that night and anchored on readings northeast of the Mud Buoy, where big blues hit steadily and they were releasing after two hours. Tony Baccalla of South Orange had the largest at 12 pounds.

The Garden State Brickface party opted for bottom fishing Sunday. There was a pick of porgies and sea bass at the reef, but the surprise was an 18 1/2-inch fluke caught there on a piece of clam by Julia Rodriques of Elizabeth. The Mahon Landscape party had excellent bluefishing that night at 17 Fathoms as the pool went to Bill Thomas of Mountainside with a 14-pounder. Hilliard was there again Monday, but Mulcahy Construction had a slow start in no current.

Fishing improved as the current built up, and was good by the end of the day. Some little tunny were spotted, but they didn't hit. Macho Garcia of Dover had the largest blue at 15 pounds. Regency Fishing Club tried clamming for stripers Tuesday morning, but managed only two keepers, up to a 12-pounder for Howard Beeferman from Monroe Township, and a short. A switch to bottom fishing produced about 70 porgies and 20 legal sea bass up to a 3.2-pounder by Marty Feldman of Monroe. A couple of rare large group weekend trips are available due to cancellations on Sept. 30 and Oct. 8. Call (732) 679-2826.

Tony Arcabasio of Bayville said there was a good blowfish bite in Barnegat Bay before last Thursday's rains. Bart Oberhaiser joined him to catch 30 large puffers plus 20 small ones. Joe Valvano, Tony Tambe and John DeBlasio of Nutley hit it right in Barnegat Bay last week as they combined for 184 blowfish plus 16 large kingfish.

Bruce Vitale of Piscataway and John Murphy from Middlesex fished Sunday with Power Pro and Quarrow Rods rep Lou Truppi on his Chelsea Lynn out of Belmar as they worked around a wreck in 70 feet to boat 10 fluke from 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds while releasing smaller ones. They used Fishskin jigs tipped with smelt.

At Brielle, Ernesto Rivera from Haddon Township and his family combined for 30 bass, 10 porgies and two triggerfish Sunday on the Paramount. Capt. Francis Bogan fished Monday in 48 feet for porgies along with a few triggerfish and sea bass. Sam Roher of Princeton was high hook with 35 porgies, and Mike Krall from Rockaway took the pool with a triggerfish. Ben Lau of West Freehold added a fluke and sea bass to his 20 porgies. It was back to ling on weekly Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Mud Hole trips as anglers averaged 25 to 35 a man. Ezra Nanton of Rahway bagged 40 ling, and O. Tift from Trenton won Tuesday's pool with a 5-pounder. Hank Matulonis of Avenel took yesterday's pool with a 13-pound pollock and added 25 ling.

Mike Brusca Jr. found only sea robins when he started Sunday at Sandy Hook Rip with his Finitalia from Edison, but a run to Sandy Hook Reef produced porgies at every spot he anchored. Over 50 were released in an hour before a move to Raritan Reach got him into a dozen weakfish. He finished by casting diamond jigs near the Navy Pier for instant bluefish action under birds.

Capt. Lou Grazioso of Striper Mania at Highlands found Raritan Bay to be alive with bait when he fished there Tuesday for a variety catch that included weakfish, stripers, bluefish and sea bass, but no fluke. Surfacing blues were abundant.

Capt. Jim O'Grady of Cock Robin at Point Pleasant chummed blues at the Mud Hole Wednesday, but noted they were smaller choppers of 3 to 9 pounds rather than the big blues he has been finding out there.

Chris Salus reports from Crabby's Tackle in Keyport that fluking is holding up in 12-to-15-foot depths of Raritan Bay, while weakfishing is good at the 18, 19 and 20 cans. Joe Simmons from Parlin used sandworms at North Beach to land three stripers over 28 inches.

Greg Bogan reports from Brielle Tackle that Jack Newitts of Point Pleasant ran his One Hit to Hudson Canyon, where he joined Keith Kirn, Bob and Tony Brandt, and Bruce Tipling in boating 13 yellowfin tuna plus two albacore and six dolphin on butterfish and sardines. There are still lots of mostly small fluke in Manasquan River, but Joel Reda of Bogota found a 6 1/8-pounder outside the inlet an a spearing/squid combo. Hickory shad are hitting Sabicki rigs in the river. Lots of bunker schools are swimming off the beaches.