Monday, September 03, 2012

Dolphin Cape May Report 9/1 2012

Being that it was Labor Day Weekend I headed down to Cape May Friday afternoon. I stayed at the Harbor View longer then I should have on Friday night. Saturday morning I wasn’t sure what to do, NOAA was predicting North Winds 10-15, after a while I purchased some bait and headed out of the slip by 8:00. I started off heading towards Reef Site 11, which is a 16 mile run. The sea conditions weren’t too bad, but not great either, so I decided to go over to the Cape May point. I only caught 1 short flounder over there and a few other junk fish. Then it started to rain. I packed up and started heading towards the inlet. After a short run I was out of the rain.

I noticed the Whale and Dolphin Watching boat as I was heading towards the inlet, so I decided to slow down and see if there were Dolphins in the area. There were probably about 20 Dolphins around. We see Dolphins quite often when we head out fishing. Some of them were putting on a good show, jumping completely out of the water. It was pretty entertaining, especially compared to the pathetic fishing I had been doing.
As we were watching the Dolphins I heard a loud roar heading towards us, and saw a pretty big rooster tail too. This is what zipped flying by within a few seconds; he must have been doing well over 50 knots.

I ended up doing a little more fishing, but had no luck. I should have gone out to Reef Site 11. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lots of Rain in Cape May Report 8/27 2012

I worked around the house this weekend, and didn’t make it down to the boat. On Saturday night I fell asleep and the TV was still on. I woke up in the middle of the night when I heard the Emergency Broadcast Signal, informing viewers that there was a flash flood warning in effect for Southern Cape May County. It wasn’t even raining at my house. I shut the TV off and drifted back to sleep.

On Sunday morning I called Capt. Randy to see how bad the storm was, he said it was bad. Capt. Dave had reported that a boat a few slips up from him had sunk in the slip.
I checked the news and Cape May had over 6 inches of rain overnight, and Wildwood had its usual flooding. Capt. Randy checked on our boats and everything was fine, in fact they are probably very clean now.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cape May Fishing Report 8/17, 8/18  2012

I drove down to the boat Saturday morning. The weather forecast wasn’t that great so I was no hurry to get down there. My plan was to do some maintenance on the boat. Last week I had noticed some oil in the bilge, the XM Antenna was bad, and I had an oil pressure alarm switch that I wanted to replace.

Randy, Jim and Dave rolled into the marina around 11:00 they were going out fishing, I told them I was sticking around to work on the boat.

I think the oil in the bilge is coming from the trim motor, which uses hydraulics to tilt the out drive up and down. This just might be the O ring in the reservoir bottle. I told Rich from R&J Marine service to take a look at it this week. I also showed Rich the Oil Pressure Alarm switch I had, he informed it wasn’t the alarm switch.  I had the oil pressure gauge switch. So the guys at Highway Marine had ordered the wrong part. I told Rich to order the right one and install that too.

Then I started to tackle the XM antenna. At some points I’d get a low signal, so I thought maybe I just had a bad connector. I cut the cable and tried several new BNC connectors but could not get the signal. Finally I pulled the wire all the way back through the radar arch and pulled it off. I asked Jim to hold the antenna up one more time while I tested it; he noticed it was full with water. So the antenna is being shipped back to Garmin today.

Randy, Jim and Dave didn’t make it too far on their fishing excursion, it was too rough out there so they just fished by the yellow cans in front of the Coast Guard Station. They didn’t catch anything.

The Bree Zee Lee did have there Flounder Tournament on Saturday. There were only 18 boats entered. I didn’t see many fished get weighed in, or on the board. The biggest fish was over 7 pounds.

Saturday afternoon we stopped in the Harbor View for some cocktails and wings. Then we headed back to the campers. I feel asleep in a chair on the deck, when I woke the guys were gone. I called them on the phone; they told me they were at South Jersey looking at the big boats. I tried to make it over there but there was incredible traffic. There had been a fire at the Haborside Café which is in South Jersey marina. They had to close the road, which is the main road in and out of Cape May. I finally made it back to my boat and went to sleep.

The weather was better on Sunday; however my head was still a little foggy. I headed out to the Cape May Reef for a few hours. The fishing was slow; I only caught a few shorts, couple of skates and a sea bass. I was back in the slip by noon.

The Mid-Atlantic 500 takes place this week, this is one of the biggest sport fishing tournaments on the East Coast. All the big boys come into town. Here’s a picture of the biggest sport fishing boat I’ve ever seen.

This is brand new 82 foot Viking, the beam is 22 foot. So the width of the boat is almost as long as the length of my boat. I’ve decided I’m going to trade mine in for this.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cape May Fishing Report 7/28/2012

I took “Offshore Bites” out to the Cape May Reef for the first time this season. I was out of the slip by 7:45AM. Capt Dave took “Tiramisu” and Capt Randy and Jim took “Just One More” to the Cape May Reef too. So we had three boats out there. We decided to fish the CM Reef because there was the threat of thunderstorms on Saturday and the CM reef is only about 8 miles from the inlet. Here are some pictures of “Tiramisu” and “Just One More” out at the reef.
I must have caught at least 12 short flounder, they were all in about the 16 inch range. I also caught at least 6 skates and a few sea robins. I managed to catch 1 keeper flounder that was about 21 inches. I knew I had a keeper as soon as I set the hook.  I think the water temperature was about 74 degrees. I was fishing right next to Capt Dave when I caught the keeper. He caught a bunch of shorts but no keepers.
Capt Randy called me on the radio, he was just a little bit south of me; I could see his boat. I told him he might want to come up by me since I had caught a keeper and was catching some good sized shorts. He cruised up and they ended up catching a 19 inch keeper. Based on his report I don’t think they had much other action most of the day.

We all left the reef a little before 2:00 PM; there were reports of thunderstorms heading for Cape May Harbor. I was back at the fuel dock filling up the boat at 2:30 and it just started to rain. Most of that storm bypassed the harbor, but I’m glad we came in when we did. I burned 14.61 gallons on this trip to the Cape May Reef.

Later in the evening we all went to the Harbor View and another round of thunderstorms came in. It was quite a light show. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cape May Fishing  Report 7/14/2012

Saturday was the Duke of Fluke Tournament; we did not enter this year. Since I wasn’t in the tournament I was able to leave the slip before the shot gun start. I was out of the slip by 5:45AM on my way to Reef Site 11. I figured it would get pretty crowded out there once the tournament boats showed up. The run to Reef Site 11 is about 16 miles South East of the Cape May Inlet.

When I was about 8 miles out I noticed a helicopter flying really low. Then they came right by me with a photographer hanging out the one side taking pictures. I was running at about 18 knots at the time. They looped around me a few times, and I was able to make out the name of there website on the helicopters pontoon. The name of the outfit is I looked them up later in the evening, but they don’t post the pictures, you have to pay them first then they send the pictures via mail. Pretty expensive to get the pictures, so I probably won’t do it. But I’m writing about in the blog in case I change my mind, I’ll know what date it was.

I arrived at Reef Site 11 at about 7:00AM there were only 2 other boats out there. Once the tournament boats started showing up there were over 50 boats out there. I hooked up immediately, sea bass. I probably caught at least 10 sea bass, 15 short flounder, and 2 keeper flounder. The keepers were 18 and 20 inches. The weather was perfect, it did rain for about 5 minutes but that was it. The water temperature was about 74 degrees.

At one point I was right next to the boat named Stalker, he’s been in the money in the last few Duke of Fluke tournaments. I heard they were in the money this year too, along with Duct Works and Adam Bomb, the usual suspects.

I fished until around 2:00 then headed back to the barn. The ride back was fantastic, very smooth with a South wind.

I got early and grabbed a coffee; this was the view I had while I drank my coffee. What were you looking at while you had breakfast this morning?  Sunrise over Cape May Harbor.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cape May Fishing  Report 6/23/2012

My return flight from Dallas got into Philly at about 1:30 on Friday. I hopped in my car at the Long Term parking lot and headed straight for Cape May. I arrived in Cape May at just about 4:00 and just as I arrived the skies opened up and there was a lot of thunder and lightning. So we ended up heading over to the Harbor View for some Sushi and cocktails.

Saturday the weather was beautiful. I wasn’t sure where I was going to fish; it was a toss up between the CM Reef and Reef Site 11. I met Capt Tommy at the Wawa, and the bait shop, and told him I was thinking Reef Site 11. As I was pulling out of the slip they pulled out into the harbor at the same time. I followed them out to Reef Site 11. We were running over 20 knots so I was happy.

There is a lot of good structure at Reef Site 11. It really shows up on the sonar. I had a short flounder in the boat within 10 minutes of my arrival. I kept doing short drifts, like about ¼ mile long drifts so I would stay on the structure. A charter boat named UnReel was beside me, I saw them catch at least 6 keepers. I was just picking up shorts.

Here's a shot of Tommy and friends at Reef Site 11.

After a while Capt. Tommy called me on the radio and said he was getting a lot of action a little further south, so I headed that way. I continued to pick through shorts and sea bass. I lost a lot of rigs out there, probably 10 or more. That’s to be expected at Reef Site 11. Finally around 1:00 I caught a 19 ½ inch keeper. I almost lost it at the boat, I missed with the net the first time and the little stinger hook on my jig got caught in the net. I was able to get the fish in, and put in the box. I kept fishing until about 1:45 then started packing up for the ride back.

The ride back was just as smooth, as the ride out. Here's a little video I shot while looking back at the Stern, you can see the sea conditions were pretty nice.

When I got back to the marina I filled the boat with gas. It took $90 bucks to fill the tank, and it was full when I left in the morning. So the flounder I’m going to eat to tonight better be damn tasty.

I only gave the boat a quick rinse down Saturday afternoon. A few of us ended up having some beers and shooting the breeze at the Bree Zee Lee. 

Saturday night we were back at the Harbor View to see Northbound Train.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cape May Fishing  Report 6/16/2012

The weather report for Saturday was not that great. They were calling for a strong East wind and seas in the 2-4 foot range out in the Delaware Bay, and even bigger out in the Ocean. I got up early and drove over by the Ferry station to look at the waters on the bay; at that point they didn’t look too bad. So I headed over to the bait shop and picked up a sandwich at Wawa.

I left the slip just before 7:00 AM and headed towards the canal, which leads to the bay. There wasn’t much boat traffic. About a ½ mile before I reached the Ferry Terminal, I looked out the Port side of the boat and saw a Bald Eagle sitting on a fallen tree branch. This is the 2nd time I’ve seen an Eagle in NJ. I saw an Eagle in about the same place last year. I slowed the boat down, grabbed my camera, and turned around to try and get a picture. The Eagle took off, and its kind of hard to get a steady shot from the boat. So I turned back around and headed out of the inlet.

By this time the wind had started to pick up and I could see some white caps starting to form in the bay. At first I thought about just turning back, but I persevered and continued my way up the bay. I could only run at about 12 knots and I was heading up to buoy 19 which is about 12.5 miles up the bay. I left all the Ison glass in the enclosure to keep me dry. It took me over an hour to get there, and I hardly saw any other boat traffic the entire time.

The water temperature was about 69 degrees, and the wind was from the East and the tide was just starting to head out. It was a pretty slow day of fishing. I ended up catching 7 small sharks, 1 short flounder and a little tiny sea robin. It was pretty cold and windy at first but the seas died down and it warmed up. I also had a sea turtle out there keeping me company; he would pop his head up every so often.

I decided to call it a day and head for the barn at about 12:30, the ride back in was a lot smoother. It only took me about a ½ hour to get in. Here's a little video footage of the ride back in, I was probably moving at about 20 knots when I shot this.
The closer I got to land the more the wind picked up. As I approached the marina I could see all the flags sticking straight out, the wind must have been blowing at about 20 knots still from the East. When my boat is in the slip it points due West. With the strong wind, I thought docking could be a challenge especially on my own. It took me a few tries to get her in the slip, but it wasn’t too bad.