Sunday, July 30, 2006

July 29, 2006 – First Dolphin caught on Offshore Bites

Offshore Bites left the slip at around 6:30 AM and headed for the East Lump. As we approached I began to set up the new rods with snap swivels, and adjust the drag setting. At that point I was starting to feel a little sick, not good. I finally got all the lines in the water and we trolled around the East Lump for a short while. The water temperature at the lump was 76 degrees, with a wind from the west. At one point I broke out in a sweat and thought I was going to loss my cookies, but luckily that feeling passed.

We decided to continue trolling towards the Misty Blue, which is a wreck about 6 miles east of the East Lump. We were trolling between 5-6 knots. About 2-3 miles off the lump, while I was driving I saw a fish jump, and headed the boat in that direction. A few minutes later I heard the clicker go off, and hit the MOB button immediately. Jim started reeling in his first Dolphin (Mahi Mahi). It hit on the short line, on the green jet head. I continued to troll around the spot but to no avail. We then set course back for the Misty Blue and had another hit on the Red and White Cedar plug, but not a hook-up. We made our way to the Misty Blue, and marked a ton of fish on the fish finder but couldn’t raise anything. We trolled all the way back to the East Lump and didn’t pick up anything else.

I’d like to make it perfectly clear that I didn’t catch the dolphin, Jim did. He was too delusional at the end of the day to pose for a photograph.

One the way back to the reef we saw a pod of rays, there must have been 30-40 rays swimming just beneath the surface. As we approached them at 24 knots we thought it was just a weed line, but were surprised to see all these rays. Unfortunately we didn’t take a photo, but next time we will.

We then stopped at the southern end of the Cape May reef on the way back in. The water temperature at the reef was 70 degrees. We immediately started picking up short flukes, most off them around 14 inches. Then I finally picked up a 23” plus, that weighed in at 4.89 lbs. The big one was caught using a green tap dancer, and hit on the trailing hook. Unfortunately we didn’t enter the Bree Zee Lee Fluke tournament; I could have been a contender, not first place but a contender.

Capt Dave M. headed out for a Tuna trip at 3:30 AM on Sunday, and we hope to have a good report from him shortly.

Monday, July 24, 2006

July 23-24 2006, Rain, Small Craft Warning

This weekend was a washout. NOAA had a small craft warning posted for most of the weekend. So I used my free time to build a cal-custom rod holder that I can attach to the dock. The PVC pipe was imported from Italy. I also spooled up my new Shimano TLD 25 reels.

On Friday evening a bunch of us went down to Lambertville to help Capt. Randy pick up some new vessels for his growing fleet. He added a small 12 ft skiff with an 8 hp motor, and 2 jet skis. The new vessels are all used, but I think he got the deal of the year for the package.

Monday, July 17, 2006

July 15-16 2006, No Fluke for You

We planned to leave the slip early on Saturday morning, but the fog was pretty thick and took hours to burn off. We finally left the slip around 9:30 but didn’t get out to the first stop, the Sixty Foot Slough, until after 11:00 due to the thick fog in the bay. We had no action at the Slough, and then moved up to Buoy 16. Still no action here, so we moved up to Buoy 19 where we found a few party boats, but still no action. So we headed back to the slip, rinsed the boat down, showered up, and then went to Harpoon Henry's for dinner. No action at the Harpoon Henry's either, but we did score some free swag from Dos Equis beer girls, and were entertained by Capt. Larry.

Sunday started off just like Saturday but the fog burnt off by 7:30 AM. So we headed back out to try another spot. We went back out to Flounder Alley, which I called Skate Alley in a previous post. The new name is Croaker Alley. Jim caught a few croakers and I only managed one, and I snagged a crab pot. Jim also had a skate and 1 short fluke. We only fished until about noon, and then headed back in.

Monday, July 10, 2006

July 8-9 2006, Flying Bill-Fish Caught.

On Saturday July 8th, we borrowed Capt. Randy’s trolling rods, and Jim and I headed back out to the East Lump again. We were out there by 7:00 AM, and there was a little cloud cover. The surface temperature was around 70.2. When we first got there, there were only about 10 boats all trolling around. A few hours later it was probably up to about 20 boats out there. We trolled around until 11:00 AM and never had a strike.

Then we headed back in towards the FA Buoy. Jim picked up a short fluke there but that was it. We headed back and were back at the marina by 3:00 PM. The ride in was a little refreshing, with a few waves breaking over the bow, we didn’t have the ison glass in.

On Sunday Bill and his Dad flew down to Cape May. I picked them up from the airport and we headed straight to the boat. We probably didn’t leave the slip until about 10:00 AM. Based on a decent report I got from Capt Dave M. (he had four keepers on Saturday) we decided to run up the bay. We stopped at the Sixty foot slough because there were quite a few boats around including several Party boats. We drifted there for about a half hour, but no luck. I decided to run up the bay to another spot Capt. Dave told me about. Bill and his Dad each caught a sand shark, Jim had short fluke, and a blue fish, and a little shark. I think I picked up a short and a blue fish. There were a lot of schools of little snapper blue fish around. We moved to a few other spots and right by the Buoy Capt. Dave told us about Bill picked up a barely legal, 16 ¾ inch keeper fluke, right near the shipping channel. I think we had five shorts and one keeper through out the day.

The wake from some of the ships were getting a little narly, and the south west wind was starting to create some white caps on the bay, so we decided to call it a day at around 2:20 PM. The winds were killing us on the way back in, I could only run around 13 knots. I could have run faster and beat the crap out of the boat. We decided to put the ison glass back in for this trip home. The trip back to the marina took us over an hour, and I lost three fillings.

We cleaned the fish; Jim cleaned the boat, even though the rookie should have done it. I gave Bill and his Dad a ride back to the airport and they flew home.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July 1, 2006 – Trolling for Tuna

On Saturday we headed out on the “Just One More” for a tuna trip. We headed out for the East Lump and got there pretty early. I think we were out of the boat slip by 6:00 AM, maybe even earlier. As we approached the site Dave S. and I started rigging up the reels with an assortment of rigs, a bird with squids, a cedar plug, a jet head, and some purple and black thing. Somebody forgot to take the plastic covers off of some of the hooks before they we thrown in. I’ll take some of the responsibility for that, but I didn’t know they were on in the first place. Anyhow when the 300 lb Blue Fin Tuna chomped down on the plastic hook cover he just spit it out. No such luck.

We trolled around for about an hour with no real excitement, except for when we would pull the line out and set the clickers off just to mess with the other guys. Then Capt. Randy relinquished the helm to his brother Jim. We headed over to a few other lumps nearby and the center rod, the one up in the rocket launcher, went off. Jim didn’t believe us at first, but I kept telling him to hit the Man Over Board button to mark the spot. Dave S. grabbed the rod and starting reeling in the monster, and then he thought it came off. Then Capt. Randy told him to keep winding it in to check, and low and behold we had us a Bonita, about 15 inches. We through it back and never took a picture.

We trolled around that spot a few more times and had a few quick run offs, but nothing else. We were back at the marina by 1:00 PM, where we all enjoyed a few too many beers. Later that evening we had one hell of a barbeque.

Sunday was a blow out, not good since I had some visitors hoping to fish.
Monday, don’t even get me start about Monday.