We ran our 1st trip this past weekend and decided to fish south with the Kevin Duffus charter and his two younger brothers on a 4hr Winter Flounder/Striped Bass charter. We had outgoing tide, but the water was a little chilly around 44-45F. We fished a few spots, but the crew could only muster one keeper Winter Flounder at 14 inches. We stayed in the spot for another 45 minutes with double chum pots and bottom stirring gear, but no more flounder made their way to us. We ended the trip drifting Bloodworms for schoolie Stripers, but unfortunately the tide switched and the guys were stuck with incoming water temperatures. The guys enjoyed a day out in relatively nice weather, so we will get back at them!!
I had the New Jersey Boat Show in Edison over the weekend and did a seminar on trolling motor tactics for for bay and inshore species using Minn Kota trolling motor setup and then I flew down the GSP to hit up Bass Pro Shops in Atlantic City and worked a few seminars for their Spring Fishing Classic. I will be at the Philadelphia Fishing Show (2/23/2019) and working at Bass Pro Shops the following weekend during the Atlantic City Boat Show. I will be performing a seminar at 2pm on Sunday at the AC Boat Show, so stop on by.
I took advantage of our early dismissal due to the snow and installed the second Humminbird Solix unit - can't wait to get back on the water - just a few more weeks before we start targeting backbay Striped Bass, Winter Flounder, and Tog!!
Prep on the bottom paint will start pretty soon...
First, I have secured a sponsorship with Humminbird / MinnKota and will be replacing all of my “other brand” electronics with 2 Humminbird SOLIX units/SONAR/GPS/RADAR. I replaced the two spreader lights with LED ones and also replaced the two trim tabs that needed changing. We are running with a new 250HP HONDA and will start doing charters early March for combo Winter Flounder and Schoolie Striped Bass charters, followed by Tog in April. I’m very excited for 2019 and can’t wait to get back on the water.
In addition, I have been asked to do fishing seminars at the Edison Boat Show, Philadelphia Fishing Show, and Atlantic City Boat Show. I will be also doing several appearances at Bass Pro Shops January through March! February will be a busy month, followed by splashing the boat in early March!!
I would like to thank all of my clients for making 2018 special - we had a great season and I'm looking forward to 2019. We will be running some more wreck species trips as I’m getting more comfortable with the Minn Kota trolling motor. I have a couple of more improvements I will be doing for 2019 AND will hopefully see some of you at the boat shows. April will start schoolie Striped Bass in the backwaters and Tog on structure. Have a great holidays and happy healthy New Year!! We are already booking for 2019!!
I ran our last charter over the weekend and had Mike G. with his two boys Mason and Bennet and friend Tom DiNapoli on a 5hr Blackfish/Tog charter. We left the slip with the mercury hovering at 25F and the Minn Kota trolling was a bit frozen from the day prior’s activity. Although I didn’t want to waste my coffee, I ended up pouring 40oz of hot coffee on the unit and it freed right up. We worked a bunch of wrecks and the guys ended the day with 10 keepers to 6 pounds picking through quite a few shorts.
I had return client Bruce Conner from Illinois on a SB/Tog charter. With the Stripers being small from the previous days report, Bruce opted to Tog some of the wrecks. We worked a few pieces in deeper water, but we were met with short period waves which made it a little tough to hold. But as the seas laid down, we moved around with ease using the MinnKota Ulterra trolling motor. Bruce ended the day catching and releasing over 40 Tog keeping 9 for the table. Great day on the water!! A big shout out to Tyson Alvanos for providing some MinnKota swag for my charters and seminars!! #MInnKotaNation.
I had return client Judi Stiegler and her son Chris on a afternoon Striped Bass charter. With the bite slowing from the morning, they opted to attempt Tog fishing as this was their 1st time. We stopped on a small piece and the worked the area using the MinnKota trolling motor and I moved us around in 5 foot increments. Chris and Judi got the hang of it and quickly starting catching after a bunch of misses. They worked through 25 shorts to box 4 keepers with some time to search for Stripers. Unfortunately, the bite was almost dead in the late afternoon even though I had great marks. #MinnKotaNation
I had new clients David Potts and his friend Josh Dean on a 5hr Striped Bass charter. We started working some areas North in search of Stripers and found some fish tight to the beach. I used the MinnKota trolling motor to spot-lock us just outside the breakers as the fish were feeding in the area. The guys picked close to 20 Striped Bass with 1 tagged fish at 24". Almost all of the bass ranged between 20-22 inches. Most were caught on the S&S Slimfish. #MinnKotaNation
Yesterday, I had return clients Doug Wainwright, his sons Doug Jr. and John on a 5hr Striped Bass charter. We started working the same area as the previous trip, but the fish were much slower on the bite. We had to grind it out and were finally rewarded with a 27inch and 36inch Striper. The guys went 2 for 3 before the conditions got a little too sporty with building seas. The waves were 4 to 5 feet with 3-4 seconds between waves. A tough day, but we boated a couple.
Over the weekend, I had return clients Mike Pollina, John Lucas, and John Krause on a 5hr Striped Bass charter. We started working some areas that we had fish the trip prior, but after an hour without a touch - we moved. The move paid off as the trio went 7 for 10 on Striped Bass 36 to 42 inches. Great job by the guys!
Today was a decent bite as I had return client Rich Sanborn and his son Ryan on a pre-Thanksgiving charter. We worked with another charter captain Mikey Villanova and got right on the fish as we got got a late start. The father and son duo ended going 8 for 11 with Striped Bass up to 38 inches. They kept 4 Stripers, including a 25-inch SBBP tagged bass and released the rest which averaged 32-34 inches. We worked close to the beach for the last few hours of trip to find some of the tag Bass, but unfortunately only had a few bites from Bluefish on live Spot. The guys had a great time and all of the Stripers were caught on the Mojo's and Bunker Spoons.
We had a relatively tough week as the Striped Bass bite has been very spotty. You have to put your time in trolling as there hasn't been the usually jetty bite or jig bite that we typically get. We worked areas as far north as the Axel Carlson, and we had some Tog but most were in the 14 to 14.5 inch range. Mike Pollina's charter scored a solid 25 pound bass, and then we finished the trip Tog fishing which Mike brought up a nice 8 to 9 pound Lobster which let go as it hit the surface. Another charter had short Tog and Striped Bass to 22 inches caught on the jig. We trolled for 3 hours without a touch, it seems the morning trips have had more action as they have been shutting down in the afternoon. It can only get better!
I had return client Paul Kaufman, his son Conrad, and friend Brian Fisola on a 5hr Striped Bass charter. With rather dirty water at the inlet, the crew opted to get on the troll in an area where we had them before. We pulled S&S Mojos and spoons and we went 2 for 2 with two nice 25-30 pound fish. With some time left, I hit a couple of choice snags and the Minn Kota trolling motor kicked ass again. We had a lot of Spiny Dogfish, some short Tog, and 3 keepers to 11 pounds. Great job by Paul for catching his personal best Tog! #MinnKotaNation
My mom and son were at the inlet as we rolled in from the yesterdays charter and they met us at the dock at Bobbies Boats in Barnegat Light. Luke wanted to go back out for Blackfish after my charter - how could I say No? So we turned and burned and used the Minn Kota trolling motor to spot-lock us on one snag. He had 5 fish before I could drop my rig in the water, and recorded his 10yr old personal best a solid 5 pound Tog. We ended with 14 fish released and had our limit on a 5 and 6 pounder in less than 1 hour. Luke did amazing for his first Togging trip!! #MinnKotaNation