Tough day due to strong tides and winds: I had new client John Swarr of Doylestown, PA along with his wife Jessica on a 4hr Bay Fluke trip. I indicated to the couple that it would be a tough go as we had wind-against tide conditions for the duration of the trip, but they just wanted to be out on the water. The couple did manage to release a dozen shorts to 17.5 inches in very tough conditions. John had a nice fish on during one of our last few drifts, but it threw the bucktail boat-side.
I had return client Ian Habich of Mystic Islands on a 4hr Bay & Inlet trip which was booked by his wife, Tracey, as a present. We had very tough conditions with rain from the night before and heavy ENE winds. We started working some areas in the back with the sea anchor and power-drifting. Ian worked the S&S Bigeye to put 3 keepers in the boat to 5.5 pounds along with releasing a short Striped Bass. With the drift conditions too quick, we ended the trip working the inlet for 3 to 6 pound Bluefish with Ian keeping 3 for the smoker. Great Job on a tough day!
With a few hour weather/wind window on Sunday, I worked some old and new areas with my father, Michael Taylor, and we had over 25 fish in about 2 1/2 hours. The incoming water was 58F so we had to find some spots that was 6-8 degrees warmer. We ended up icing a nice 23 inch and 19.5 inch Fluke on the S&S Bigeye.
Over the weekend, I had Ryan Hathcock and Cole Danielson on a 4hr bay & inlet charter and we had very good conditions in terms of wind and tide. We worked close to 10 different areas in the backwaters on both the east and west sides of Barnegat Bay. The duo had well over 20 fish for the trip with only one keeper at 22 inches, but we did have a few that almost taped to 18 inches.
On Friday afternoon, I had Matt Odalen and his wife Chris along with his parents William and Mary on a 4hr bay & inlet charter. With rough conditions at the jetty, we opted to go for Fluke in the backwaters. It was extremely tough drifting conditions with steady 20 knot winds and higher gusts, but the crew did manage to catch close to 15 Fluke with a lone keeper to 21 inches.
I had return client Mike Galindo out on a 4hr Fluke/Striped Bass charter with his two boys, Bennet and Mason. We worked the backwaters first and I would've thought the Fluke bite would've been better, but it was a tough bite today. The trio ended with one solid 22 inch keeper amongst the 20+ shorts. All the Fluke were caught on the S&S BigEye bucktail. We ended the trip fishing the Barnegat Inlet to release a 23-inch Striped Bass and Bluefish to 24 inches. We had a few run-offs that were mostly likely short bass. Tough day, but the guys still hit a Barnegat Bay slam (Bluefish, Striped Bass, Fluke).
Another "MAGICAL" afternoon for backbay Fluke on the S&S BigEye bucktail - I had return client Erik Hansen of Doylestown with his two buddies, Rodger Gensec and Michael Miele. We started working the backwaters for Fluke and the trio caught over 25 shorts with 4 keepers to 23 inches. We lost a nice fish boat side that was estimated at 26-28 inches (7-8 pounds). We finished the trip working the jetty with fresh bait for Striped Bass and the guys caught 3 Stripers to 26.5 inches. A great day on the water!!
I had return client Mike Pollino, Mary Broerman, and her son-in-law John Krause on a bay Fluke charter. We hit the inlet for Striped Bass, but could only manage Blackfish (released) and Dogfish as the incoming was 49 degrees. We headed to the backwaters and started working some of the same areas as yesterday's trip. It was a little tougher on the bite today, but the crew managed over 25 Fluke with 2 keepers (19, 21inches) on the S&S Bigeye bucktail. Great job!
I had return client Alison Mack, her brother Jon Mack, and her two 10yr old boys Eoghan and Rogan on a afternoon Opening Day Fluke charter. The crew did a great job for their second time bucktailing and the S & S BIGEYE Bucktail worked it's "Magic" boating over 30 Fluke with 3 keepers. The crew missed a few more keepers, which swam away to live another day. But they did a great job and continued to learn and get better at bucktailing!! Rogan caught his 1st Barnegat Bay short Striped Bass which was promptly returned. Great job by all!!
I had return client Art Diebel and his son Bruce from Allentown, NJ on a afternoon Bay/Inlet Striped Bass charter. We started some areas in the back for Bluefish, but could only raise and hook a lone 3-4 pounder. We headed to the inlet and worked some areas to boat 6 Striped Bass with 1 keeper at 28 inches. We additionally caught another Bluefish on fresh bait. Even though it wasn't a keeper, 7th grade Bruce caught his 1st ever Striped Bass which was a solid 26-incher. Great afternoon on the water!
Striped Bass 20 to 40 pounds have finally showed up, but it's been tough to find a day when the weather cooperates. We've had reschedules on the days we have trips booked due to the poor forecast. In fact, this past week was a soggy one with wind and rain nearly every day. June is nearly booked up for Striped Bass, but I do have a few dates remaining. Reminder - Fluke opens May 25th. I will be running trips on the opening day of Fluke focusing on the afternoon tides in prime back-bay locations.
We will be running 7 days a week as of June 21st through September 1st, 2018.
We made our 1st charter trip this season with Bruce Conner from Illinois and his daughter Emily from Washington, DC. The father-daughter team threw everything at them (live bait, fresh bait, plugs, poppers, soft plastics), but it was a very tough day with cooler than average water temperatures. We worked the West side of the bay, East side of the bay, power-plant, and the inlet area in which we probably covered about 15 square miles of water. Our main target was Bluefish, but we also went for both Striped Bass and Tog in the bay.
The one positive was that I was marking some decent "blobs" of baitfish in the backwaters and I think once we get some warmer, more seasonable weather - the area is poised to go off.
Pics from last weekend's Atlantic City Boat Show - a big thanks to the Recreational Fishing Alliance for booking me for the Fluke seminar!! After this weather moves out, I will be finishing the seasonal prep for the Jenny Lynn and splashing in 2 weeks after maintenance from South Harbor. Looking forward to light-tackle Striped Bass!
I hope to get her in by early to mid-March depending on the weather! I will start the season running light-tackle trips for schoolie Stripers followed by the backbay Bluefish run which puts light tackle to the test! With the warmer weather, started getting her ready!
Pulled the boat - always the saddest day of the season! But we will be back at it in March 2018. I would like to thank all of my 2017 clients for making the season possible aboard Reel Reaction Sportfishing.