Hello, fellow fisherpeople! With the recent streak of warm weather and light winds a lot of anglers have been taking advantage and getting in some quality fishing time. Let’s face it; winter is creeping up on us so at this time of year we try to get out on the water as much as we can. Last Friday Capt. Chris on the Long Shot ran an exploratory blackfish (tautog) trip and found great action on nice sized fish and he can’t wait until this week when the limit goes from 1 fish to 6 fish. Guests for this trip included Ron McLelland and Dennis McGinnis of Middletown and Will Hoffman from Fair Haven, all friends of mine, and from what I hear Will had the hot rod on this one. Bottom fishing continues to put tasty meat on the table including sea bass, porgies, cod, and now blackfish, so try this if you can.
Last Tuesday (11/3) after doing a morning shift at the Belford Ferry I met Joe Hagen at Gateway Marina and off we went, with our primary aim to catch a striper on a fly rod for Joe. We arrived at Staten Island after a nice ride across the bay and were able to catch a few fish on jigs, but every time the fish surfaced a bunch of boats would come flying into the scene and spook the stripers. We finally moved a short distance away from this traffic mayhem, a small pocket of fish came up with no other boats nearby, and Joe hooked up on the fly! A brief tussle ended with the 27 inch fish in the net, and if we had brought our bonus tags we could have kept it, but we had left the tags in our trucks. We took a few pics and released the fish, which actually worked out well for me…when we fish together Joe gets to clean the boat while I fillet the catch, so if we don’t keep any I win!
On Monday Joe and I left Gateway at 6 a.m. and our friend “Lucky Leon” Schnitzpahn joined us
on this trip, and our goals for the day were to catch a nice striper and then seek action on flyrods. We cruised all the way to Perth Amboy and found thousands of unmolested bunker at slack tide and we grabbed a few for bait. As soon as the current began Leon hooked up with what turned out to be a beautiful 30 pound striper that fought hard all the way to the boat. A short time later the bunker that were calm earlier began exploding from the water as hordes of big blues mercilessly attacked them! We had fun catching these toothy critters on light spinning gear using topwater plugs and then broke out the fly rods. I ran the boat, positioning us in breaking fish, while Joe and Leon waved the long wands. A few times they were both hooked up at the same time but it proved difficult to actually land the 12-17 pound brutes until, finally, Joe managed to get one inside my gaffing range and onto the ice in the cooler. Mission accomplished, a nice striper and a good fish on fly! We enjoyed a smooth run back to the marina and this time I did have a few fish to clean as Joe washed the boat, then we grabbed a nice lunch at On The Deck. All in all, a fun day at sea with great friends!
Did you guys hear about the kid catching a big fish at LBI? Six-year-old Sam Adams was fishing on the beach with his grandpa Don Saturday when he hooked, fought, and landed a 46-inch, 41.5 pound striper with no adult assistance! Sam is 47 inches tall and weighs 42 pounds, so if this was a boxing match I guess it would be a fair fight? I wish I could have gotten a pic of this, but if you want to check it out there is a video on YouTube chronicling the entire battle, just search for “Sam Adams, 6 year old….”It really is cool, congrats to Sam and his proud grandpa Don, who took the time to take a youngster fishing. See you here next week, till then, Hook Em Up!!
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