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Epic striper action on "The Drop Off" in South Jersey!
Written by Bob Maehrlien   
Saturday, 12 November 2011 18:57

 

You know how real life tends to get in the way of fishing sometimes?  It was like that for me for most of this year.  I had been trying to find a date to fish with Captain Fran Verdi aboard “The Drop Off” for most of this year.  Capt. Fran had graciously donated a couple of open boat trips to give away at the 4th Annual NJ Saltwater Fisherman banquet back in April.  Capt. Joe of the Irish Ayes had won one of those trips and kindly gave it me.  Now, on this chilly, damp morning the day had finally arrived.  Accompanying us was my good friend Jerry Talerico from Brigantine, NJ and Troy from Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Heading Out
Jersey Shore Fishing

A blanket of thick fog enveloped the bay as Capt. Fran piloted his 25’ Hydra Sport center console towards Little Egg Inlet.  It was a slow ride as he made his way through the channel, carefully scanning his surroundings while keeping one eye on the radar.  The cold, wet air made me glad I showed up dressed for the occasion.

Our plans, as the captain told us, were to get outside and see if we could troll us some striped bass which had shown up in decent numbers over the past few days.  We also had a cooler full of fresh clams aboard that could be put into action if they didn't respond to the troll.  My tackle bag, as usual, was packed full of metal jigs, plastics and plugs which I hoped to have a chance to use if the opportunity presented itself.

The fog had all but burned off by the time we reached the inlet, and the captain opened the throttle to give the big Yamaha engine more fuel as we headed north along the coast.

First Bite
South jersy Striper Fishing

Arriving at our first destination, Capt. Fran deployed the trolling gear.  With a Mann's Stretch 25 on both rods, it wasn't long before we had our first bite.  I quickly grabbed the rod and reeled in our first fish of the day.  It was a fat striper that was just shy of 28 inches.  Not quite a keeper.  Back in she went and so did the Stretches.  We only trolled a few more minutes before the captain said, “Let’s bring them in.  We're moving.”  As he reeled in the plug to make the move another striper hit it and we had our second fish in the boat; another short.

The old adage goes, “You never leave fish to find fish.”  But Capt. Fran wasn't afraid to go against the grain, and we motored further north until we arrived at our second destination.  It turned out to be the right decision, as we wouldn't move more than a half mile from that spot for the rest of the day.

Mayhem and the Mother Lode

I stood on the deck and waited anxiously for the boat to slow enough for me to make my first cast into the chaos that lay before us.  Stripers were rolling, swirling and jumping clear out of the water as far as the eye could see!  As Capt. Fran throttled down I sent my small Krocodile spoon flying through the air.  When it hit the water, I made three turns of the handle and it was “Fish on!”  The fish made a few spirited runs before she was eased into the net and we had our first keeper of the day - a healthy, 36 inch fish.  

It was merely moments until both Jerry and Troy were hooked up as well.  Jerry was tight on a green tailed Ava jig and Troy on a Storm shad.  It was absolute mayhem!  Capt. Fran had put us on the mother lode of stripers!  “I have never seen anything like this!” he exclaimed more than once.


The Kitchen Sink

Stripers On Mikes Customs PlugsWe had our four man limit in the box by 9:30 am.  After that we played catch and release for the rest of the trip.   They were all fat, healthy fish, and they were gorging themselves on sand eels.  The bulk of the fish weighed in the high teens to 20 plus pounds.  Troy went up to the bow and continued to catch fish on the Storm shad, while Jerry and I had other ideas.

Everyone that has ever wet a line can relate to those tough fishing days when we wind up throwing everything we have in our tackle boxes trying to get just one bite.  These are the “kitchen sink” days, when nothing seems to work.  Today was the exact opposite.  We changed baits with regularity, catching fish on everything.  Some baits worked better than others, but all worked to some degree.

 

 

Striped Bass On The RonZBig, wooden Mike's plugs, poppers, Ava jigs, bucktails, Krocodiles, Sluggos, Yo Zuri Crystal Minnows, Rapala Sub Walks, Storm shads, and RonZ baits as well as others all caught fish.  For me, the 8” RonZ seemed to be the most effective, as it matched the sand eels perfectly.  Jerry continued to swap out lures after every couple of fish.  Capt. Fran had a sore arm, but eventually even he couldn't resist getting in on the action and catching a couple.

In between casts we watched in awe as these stripers did their thing chasing sand eels to the surface and devouring them.  The final tally on the day was eight fish kept (for our four man limit) with countless more released to fight another day.  We estimated it was maybe sixty or more, but truth be told, the action was so intense nobody ever really bothered to keep count.

A First Class Operation

As with all good things, this amazing trip had to finally come to an end.  After arriving back at the dock, Capt. Fran expertly filleted our catch and divvied it up amongst us.  Capt. Fran runs a first class operation and is willing to do anything necessary to put his clients on the fish.  If you are ever looking to do a private charter or an open boat trip in the area of Long Beach Island, I highly recommend you give a call to Capt. Fran Verdi and "Fish the Drop Off".

For More Images See The Report Here...  Saltwater Fishing Reports

 
New World Record Striped Bass
Written by Press of Atlantic City Oct 19, 2011 by Mike Shepherd   
Thursday, 20 October 2011 17:10

Atlantic City is no longer the home of world-record striped bass; Connecticut fish authorized

Albert McReynolds no longer owns the world striped bass record.

The former Atlantic City resident held it with a 78-pound, 8-ounce striper he caught on Sept. 21, 1982 until Wednesday morning when the International Game Fish Association approved an 81 pound, 14 ounce heavyweight from Connecticut angler Greg Myerson.

"Good for him," McReynolds said Wednesday from his new fishing headquarters in Naples, Fla. "It's really wonderful. Now people in Connecticut have something to shout about."

World Record Striped BassJack Vitek, world-record coordinator, met with IGFA president Rob Kramer and conservation director Jason Schratwieser early Wednesday to go over the details one more time, and then authorized the record. Vitek said the IGFA recently requested what he called testimonials from Myerson and the weighmaster that certified the catch

"Greg complied with all the regulations," Vitek said. "We've gone over it plenty of times."

Myerson's bass was caught Aug. 4 in Long Island Sound. It also will be listed by the IGFA as an 80-pound test line record.

McReynolds stays in the record book because he caught his striper with 20-pound test line.

McReynolds caught his striper on an Atlantic City jetty, and was certified at then Campbell Marine in Northfield.

"That's part of history now," McReynolds said. "It makes me want to get my fishing rod and go fishing (for bass). I know there is a 100-pounder out there."

McReynolds has had some health problems, but still goes fishing on the pier at Naples. He said pompano, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, tarpoon are among the species that swim past the pier.

He says he puts on his sandals, sunglasses and straw hat and heads to the pier. And, he added, it is free to senior citizens.

Additional Information
 
Fishery Management Council Begins Charting Course for the Future
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 15:14

mid atlantic fisheries console


Today the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council launched its much-anticipated initiative to develop a vision and strategic plan for the region's managed fisheries. While the Council has effectively rebuilt its managed fisheries over the last 35 years, it still faces long-term challenges, such as maintaining productive ecosystems and addressing the needs of communities that rely on ocean resources.

"This is a pivotal moment in the management of our region's fisheries. We have spent most of the past 35 years successfully rebuilding fish stocks in the Mid-Atlantic, and now that these stocks are rebuilt we need to work closely with our constituents to develop a cohesive vision for the future. This will enable us to identify successful outcomes for our fisheries and the fishing communities that depend on their continued resilience and productivity,” said Council Chairman Rick Robins.

The Council's first and most important step toward developing the vision and long term strategic plan is seeking the public's input. A survey has been posted to the Council's website (http://www.mafmc.org/vision/) for the public to begin providing their thoughts, ideas, and comments on fisheries management policies and processes. The survey, which includes opportunities to provide detailed input on each fish species managed by the Council, will be available until January 31, 2012.

In addition to the survey, over the next several months Council staff will be visiting coastal communities to hear from constituents and those most affected by the Council’s decisions. A list of these locations and events will be posted and frequently updated on the Council's website.
"This is a completely stakeholder-driven initiative and our number one priority is to hear from our constituents. They will determine how the vision and strategic plan are developed. Their input will have a real impact on how our fisheries are managed in the future," added Council Executive Director Dr. Christopher M. Moore.

For more information and/or to get involved visit http://www.mafmc.org/vision/ or contact Mary Clark at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (302) 526-5261.800 N State St., Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901 Phone (302) 674-2331 * FAX (302) 674-5399

 
NJ Summer Flounder Quotas To Increase In 2012
Written by Rod Houck   
Saturday, 20 August 2011 04:57

 Summer FlounderIn a joint meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Black Sea Bass, Scup and Summer Flounder Management Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Board) in Wilmington, DE on Wednesday, approval was given to recommendations to increase Summer Flounder and Scup quotas for the 2012 fishing season by 1.55 million pounds and 21.43 million pounds, respectively.

 The overall black sea bass quota will be the same for 2012, however, the recreational catch target will be decreased by nearly a half million pounds to account for increases in discards.

 Following the advice of the Council's Science and Statistical Committee (SSC), monitoring committee and staff, there was much debate about the summer flounder and scup quotas, but the final decision to increase the quotas was rendered with overwhelming support from both the Council and the Board.

 Black sea bass, however, was far more contentious. Capt. Adam Nowalsky, chairman of the New Jersey chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA-NJ) and serving as New Jersey's Legislative Commissioner's Proxy to the ASMFC Board, put forth a motion with strong support from New Jersey's other Commissioners and Council members to keep the 2012 recreational catch target the same as for 2011. This motion passed the Council in a narrow 10-9 role call vote, but was defeated by the Board 6-5. Since the species are jointly managed, both the Council and the Board must approve any measures, thus resulting in a failed motion.

 A motion was then put forth that would have reduced the black sea bass 2012 catch target by almost 700,000 pounds, but an amendment again put forth by Capt. Nowalsky won favor by both bodies resulting in a lesser 470,000-pound reduction.

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