Monday, September 10, 2007

Sept 8th, 2007 – That’s All Folks

Since I found out last week I will probably doing a bit of traveling for work during the next few months I decided to pull the boat on Saturday. Friday evening I hooked up the trailer and drove down to Cape May. I dumped the trailer at the Bree Zee Lee, and headed over to the Harbor View for some dinner. There were a lot of bikers in town for Wildwoods Roar at the Shore weekend. After dinner we all sat around on “Just One More” and had a few beers.

Saturday morning Jim and I took “Offshore Bites” out for the last trip of the season. The wind was blowing from the South West, so it made the ride out and in from to the Cape May reef a little slow. The drift was pretty fast out there and that was with the drift sock out and we were using 10-12 ounce weights. The water temperature was around 72 degrees and the water was pretty dirty. I managed to pick up a 19 inch keeper; the last of the season since summer flounder season closes on Sept 10th in NJ.

We got back to the barn and we cleaned up the boat and filleted the fish. Then we headed over to the Harbor View for a while. High Tide was around 6:00 PM so I headed back over to the boat and hooked the trailer up. We backed the trailer down the ramp and then pulled the lines on the boat and drove it right on to the trailer.

Sunday morning I got up early and hauled the boat home. It’s sitting in the driveway now. I broke out the power washer and knocked most of the growth off.

And so ends another fishing season aboard “Offshore Bites”

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sept 2, 2007 – Finally got out trolling

It was the big Labor Day weekend down in Cape May. Saturday my brother was going to come down and go Fluke fishing, but yet again it was too windy. Capt. Andy took his 38 foot “Island Girl” down to the Old Grounds on Saturday and he even said that was a mistake. They took a wave over the hard top in that boat, and it took them 2 hours to get back from the Old Grounds.

The winds died down on Saturday evening. Mark drove down from Harrisburg and arrived Saturday evening. We got up around 4:15 AM and there was no wind and no waves. Finally a good day to go trolling. We left the slip around 5:00 and it was still dark out. I navigated out of the harbor using the chart plotter and radar systems. There was some boat traffic to deal with and we took it slow. Once we got past the buoy the boat traffic began to clear out. Soon we were up to 15 knots, and as it became lighter we were doing 22 knots. The seas were very calm.

We had our lines in the water at the Lori Dawn wreck at about 7:00 AM; I was hoping to have them in at sunrise. Next time I’ll leave a little earlier. We trolled around the wreck area a few times but had no action. I was also concerned about my fuel level. I had a full tank when we left the slip, but the fuel meter was bouncing around between half and three quarters full. So after a short while I started trolling towards another wreck called the Misty Blue. Along the way we found a nice weed or debris line and started following that. Pretty soon the clicker on Mark’s Penn 70 started going off. Mark reeled in a 9-10 lb Little Tunny. The water temperature was 71 degrees and we picked the fish up on the way back bird with a clean ballyhoo attached. We circled back again and started following the weed line again and had another Little Tunny on that I reeled up to the boat but we lost it right at the boat. We followed the weed line for a little more but again I was concerned about my fuel consumption so headed back towards the Misty Blue. We trolled around the Misty Blue a few times and then headed back towards the East Lump. There was no action in either location.

We finally picked up the lines and headed in to the Cape May reef. We picked up a few short fluke and some sea bass but that was it. Capt Randy and crew on the “Just One More” fished the Cape May reef and picked up three keeper fluke, Capt Dave took the “Tiramisu” out, but didn’t pick up any keepers.

When we got back to the marina I stopped at the fuel dock to fill up. It ended up that we only burned 54 gallons of fuel. The tank holds 101 gallons so I had plenty left. We should have kept trolling the weed line. We did 80 something miles and were getting about 1.65 MPG.

After cleaning the boat I headed to the Harbor View and Mark headed home. I did not win the Kayak that was hanging in the bar all summer. Andy and Sonya from the Island Girl stopped by at the Harbor View and filled us in on all the details from the big winning fish from last week. Then we headed over to the Tuna Marlin club to close out the evening. All in all it was a good weekend.