04/30/10 TD (Trevor, my son) and I took the boat out for a little “shakedown” trip in relatively calm seas. Anchored over a wreck 10 miles off the beach and TD proceeded to hammer some nice Tog & Sea Bass, one of which was pushing 12 lb. All the fish except two, just enough for dinner, were released, including the big Tog.
05/01/10 First trip of the season! A crew of four super nice guys from the DC area decided to try Tog fishing since our Sea Bass will remain closed off the east coast until May 22nd. Five minutes out the inlet it was apparent NOAA hasn’t improved their forecasting ability since last season one bit! Anchored in a 3′ tight chop and sent down the crabs & clams. The bite was very Tog-esque; they bite good for 50% of the time and the other 50%, not so much. Mixed in with the keepers were dozens of throw-back Tog as well as some dandy Sea Bass. Back in the slip one Tog shy of their limit plus a Cod as a bonus.
05/02/10 It’s a wedding gift to my nephew, a day of wreckin’ for him and his groomsmen. The morning bite was horrible for all but one of the crew, guess he had the magic touch. After several moves in very sporty conditions I finally found some hungry Tog. The last 1/3 of the day had fish clearing the rail at a crazy rate. Back in the slip with two or three guys who were very happy to see dry land as well as some good eats heading to PA. Congrats to Andy & Wendy 05/14/10.
05/15/05 Out for a day of Tog fishing with some veteran Tog fishermen from CT. Current was running hard against the wind which made anchoring a little tough. Bite was OK through the first 3/4 of the day but way too many “shorts”. Shortly after noon the bite shut down and didn’t come back until just before it was time to pull anchor for the last time and head for the barn. Back in the slip with 7 Tog, the largest right around 8 lbs. I can’t wait until Sea Bass opens on May 22nd.
05/22/10 SmileSea Bass OpensSmile These guys from Philly sure picked the right day back in Feb. then this trip was booked. Ran 17 mile to the east and found fantastic action on chunky Sea Bass. Most of the morning the mate didn’t know which way to turn, fish and baitless hooks clearing the rail at a frantic pace. By 11:30 the guys were exhausted and from that point on we normally only had two to three fishing at any given point. By 1:15 the lone survivor gave up and we headed for the barn. Back in the slip with 84 Sea Bass and two Cod. All of the Sea Bass were 13″ minimum and during the last two hours nothing under 14″ was put in the box. This crew would have easily reached their 150 fish limit if every legal fish (12.5″) would have been kept.
05/23/10 Half day bachelor party trip. Ran 8 mile off only to find the Sea Bass haven’t quite made it this far inshore yet. Bite was rather poor most of the time with only a few flurries here and there. To add insult to injury the previous nights escapades came back to haunt a couple of the guys. Back in the slip with a handful of Sea Bass and two Tog.
05/24/10 Charter arrived and I only counted three. Turns out, the other two were still “crashed-out” and un-able to get out of bed. This pretty much killed the budget of the three that arrived and I was asked to keep the cost to a minimum. Spent most of the day sorting through Sea Bass that were just under the legal limit and only two people actually fishing. By mid-day, we were down to only one angler fishing. Back in the slip with a bakers dozen Sea Bass, one Tog and one Cod. It’s amazing the difference in fishing 10 miles can make!!!
05/26/10 Ran 18 mile to the east in some very impressive swells with a great crew from Cadista Pharmaceutical to find fantastic Sea Bass action. Bite was steady all day with a very nice keeper to throw-back ratio. At the days end this crew of four were five fish shy of their limit. Back in the slip with 95 Sea Bass ready for the deep-fryer.
05/27/10 Headed to the same general area as we had fished the day before with great success. Arrived on the wreck with beautiful conditions and hungy Sea Bass. Although we had a slight language barrier, the crew of four figured it out and proceeded to have a ball. These guys really seemed to enjoy all aspects of the trip and spend as much time taking pictures and relaxing as they did fishing. Sometime around 10:30 the wind came-up very strong out of the north, and NO, the forecast wasn’t calling for it. By noon, it was just plain rough. Headed in shortly after noon with 21 Sea Bass and one jumbo (29″) Cod.
05/28/10 Cancelled due to the forecasted high winds & seas. Turns out, I think it would have been fish-able. Oh how I love NOAA Yell
05/29/10 The crew of six arrived looking a little rough, they claimed they even slept……one whole hour, wow. Apparently two in the crew were sick before they even arrived at the boat, can you say “hangover”. When I called for everyone to start fishing, I only had three anglers. One guy was out cold in the cabin and two others were enjoying getting rid of everything they had to drink the previous night. After two hours of crazy Sea Bass action one of the three anglers decided to take a break, never to return to the rail again. Now I’m left with two guys fishing, so much for filling the box. Called it a day about an hour early to get one guy back to solid land and a bed. Final count was 56 Sea Bass in the box, not bad for only two guys.
05/30/10 Out with six construction workers from the new power plant in Delaware. The bite was very slow in the morning and as of 11:30 we only had 15 in the box. Made a move to a little piece of bottom that is notorious to eating sinkers. Lots of lead lost but fish going in the box at a steady pace, back in the slip with 59 Sea Bass. Sorry, no pictures, my Kodak of eight years seems to have died.
06/02/10 Had two big time deer hunters on board today from State College, PA. Fog was terrible all day with the average visibility around 100 yards. Fortunately, the Sea Bass didn’t care and the bite was steady most of the day. Size was little off which didn’t really effect this crew since they only wanted to keep enough for a few meals. Back in the slip with 30 Sea Bass and two very happy anglers. Here’s a direct quote from one of the guys “I caught more fish today than all of the fish I’ve caught in my entire lifetime combined”.
06/03/10 Out with a good friend of mine from PA, his son and a few friends of his. Vern has listened to me brag about our Sea Bass fishing for quite some time and finally decided to give it a try. Call it sweet revenge, but those crazy fish just didn’t want to eat. I think the pending spawn has these fish all messed-up. Back in the slip with a lousy 21 fish count in the box.
06/04/10 The pre-spawn dilemma continues. Took six guys from Quarry Ridge Construction in Strasburg, PA out for a day of wreckin’. Bright side the ocean was super calm, dark side was the Sea Bass have other things on their mind than feeding. Worked more wrecks and patches of bottom than I’ve had to in a long time only to scratch out 19 keepers. Plenty of sub-legal fish (12″) but the larger fish are suffering from lock jaw.
06/05/10 Well, the Sea Bass just are not interested in feeding, lets see if the Tog are? Bottom temps are still very cold and to answer the previous question, YES, the Tog are hungry. This was very apparent since every time my two angers reeled up, their bait was gone. Tog are sly little buggers and hooking them can be quite testing. After several hours of feeding them my guys finally hung a few. Back in the slip completely out of green crabs and only three Tog and a few Sea Bass in the box. Highlight of the day…the rainbow excuse. Trust me, you had to be there.
06/06/10 Dads birthday so three sisters decide to take dad out for a 1/2 day of Tog fishing. Wind is building as we leave the inlet and by the time the anchor line is tight it’s really crankin. Tog bite was very good but way too many “shorts”. Decided to call it a day after about 90 minutes of fishing since one of the ladies was feeling quite bad. Back in the slip with a couple Tog and one lady angler happy to see the dock. Dad didn’t even care about calling the trip early, he was happy just to spend some time with his three favorite ladies in the world.
06/07/10 Out for a day of Shark Fishing with three Jersey boys, one of which now calls Fruitland, MD home. Threw the hook about 28 mile off the beach since the wind & waves weren’t going to allow for drifting. The morning was quiet with the only entertainment coming in the form of an Ocean Sunfish (Mola Mola) and three Bottle-nose Dauphin that decided to hang around the boat for an hour. Around 11:00 the wind had slacked off enough to allow for some drifting. At high noon, while checking our “floater” bait, we mate notices something big just under it. Minutes go by and the shark will not commit so I twitch the bait just enough to entice a strike. 30 seconds later a huge Thresher Shark breaks the surface 100 yards behind the boat and the fight is on. 90 minutes later and all three anglers on their third rotation with the rod the 500+ lb. Shark is next to the boat for pictures. She is a huge female likely carrying pups so the decision is made to release her. Great decision guys, the next generation of fisherman thank you.
06/08/10 A toggin’ we will go, a toggin’ we will go, the Sea Bass aren’t biting so a toggin’ we will go. Bite was steady most of the day with only a few dead times. Size was also surprisingly decent, three over 7 lbs., considering how hard these fish got hit during the Sea Bass closure. Worked hard and weeded through the “shorts” but just couldn’t find one more legal fish to round out the limit. Back in the slip with 9 Tog, a Sea Bass and a Red Hake.
06/09/10 Out for a ½ day Tog fishing trip with a father and son pair from WV. Fish bit well with a few keepers mixed in with the shorts. Back in the slip with three nice tog, one shy of the limit.
06/10/10 Afternoon ½ day fishing trip with a family from PA. Hot Tog bite with several keepers. Put five Tog in the box and released a few others that were legal size as well as 15 to 20 “shorts”.
06/11/10 A day of Tog fishing with the crew from Bird-in-Hand Pet Structures, Bird-in-Hand, PA. The Tog bite was hot, unfortunately the anglers were having great difficulty hooking these crafty fish. Weeded through the “shorts” and sometime around 11:00 am we finally reached our limit so we decided to run off and see if we could find any Sea Bass that were hungry. Immediately hit a few very nice SB’s but the bite died as quickly as it started. Back in a little early to allow the crew to run to the beach before heading back to PA with their limit of Tog (12) and six nice Sea Bass.
06/12/10 Bachelor Party with a crew from the tri-state area. Spent most of the day loosing green crabs to crafty Tog and releasing 13 inchers. Managed to put a few keepers in the box, one over 8 lbs., before it was time to call it a day. Back at the barn with 8 Tog and 2 Sea Bass.
06/14/10 Make-Up Wreck Trip with two crews, both from PA, the Shrewsbury boys and the Hegins boys. Leaving the inlet I didn’t have high hopes for lots of keepers, especially the way the Sea Bass have been acting lately. Spent the day working hard, moving from one spot to another to try and put together a fish fry for both crews. Managed to scratch out a few keepers amongst all the “throw-backs”. Back in the slip with 8 Tog and 7 Sea Bass in the box.
06/15/10 Cancelled due to rough conditions.
06/16/10 Half day of Wreck fishing with a very nice family of three from Pittsburgh, PA. Sea Bass were acting like Sea Bass. Thankfully, the Tog seemed fairly hungry. About 45 minutes into the day “moms” rod gets slammed down, BIG TOG. After a serious struggle, we have a 10 lb. Tog in the net. About 15 minutes later, the daughter is fighting another stud Tog, now we have a 12 pounder in the net. Try as he might, “dad” can only seem to manage little Tog-ettes. Best part of the day, all of the fish were released. Great people, even though they had one of “those” Penguins stickers on their car. Guess I can’t hold that against em, especially since we know which PA team made it to the Stanley Cup…LOL!
06/17/10 A bachelor party wreck fishing trip with a crew from Baltimore. Spent the day moving from one wreck to another trying to find a few keepers amongst all the “shorts”. Worked hard, caught lots of fish, but we just couldn’t fill the box. Back in the slip with a bakers dozen mix of Tog & Sea Bass. Congrats to Leanne & Mike
06/18/10 Today was the Lancaster Christian School benefit auction trip won by the Kline Crew from PA. Ran waaay south to some wrecks 25 mile from OC. Found a great bite and the best keeper to throw-back ratio I have seen in nearly two weeks. Not only did this crew have very good fishing they also had a Cobia and Hammerhead shark swim right past the transom. Unfortunately, neither of these fish were willing to take a hook. One the way home we passed a huge Whale on the surface “blowing”. Back in the slip with 36 Sea Bass, three over 17″, and one Tog.
06/19/10 Headed out for a few hours of Shark Fishing followed by some Wreck action. Decided to run to where we had seen the Hammerhead the day before. Well, with-in the first 30 minutes of the drift, I knew we were in trouble. Our drift was 4/10 of a knot straight west, horrible speed and direction. After a four hours and only one pull, most likely a Bluefish, we decided to head for the Wreck. Found constant action on Sea Bass, even had a few keepers mixed in with all the 12 inchers. Back in the slip with 14 Sea Bass and lots of shark bait still in the box. Did see that same Whale as the day before, at least I think it was the same guy.
06/20/10 Out with a super nice family from Silver Springs, MD. Wanted to head south, back to our keeper Sea Bass, but the wind & waves wouldn’t allow for a reasonable speed. Spent the entire day straight east of OC moving from spot to spot but just couldn’t find any decent size fish and the Tog that were feeding were giving this crew a real spankin’ when it comes to stealing their bait. For all the small fish we did have quite a variety today, everything from Flounder to Sea Bass to Porgy to Sea Robins to Tog. Back in the slip with just enough Sea Bass for dinner, if, you’re a family of twoUndecided.
06/21/10 Half-day of Wreck fishing with four super nice guys from Pittsburgh. Sea Bass bite was good, size was poor, although we did manage a few keepers with-in the first ½ hour of fishing. Decided to make a move and try for some Tog. First fish that comes up, a nice 15″ Sea Bass. Right after that one fellows rod get slammed down, big, big Tog. Unfortunately, the angler was new to fishing and “steady pressure” was far from his mind. After an epic battle, the Tog won. Just before the bell rang, the guy at the back of the boat gets slammed and this fish makes it to the net, a nice, 9 lb. Tog. Back in the slip with a four Sea Bass and two Tog, plus some very happy anglers, especially since I warned them we might not see any “keepers today” before we headed out.
06/23/10 Running south for a day of Wreck action with three great guys from Chester County, PA. Tog bite was on and even though we had to sort our way through the “shorts” the limit (6) fish was met by late morning. Spent the last two hours returning 12″ Sea Bass in deeper water. Even though this was a fishing trip, at times, it seemed more like a nature cruise. While we were Tog fishing a Minke Whale decided to check out the “Fin Chaser” and hung around for over 20 minutes, at times, coming with-in 8 ft, of the boat and then diving right under us, WAY COOL!! We also had a Shark, Green Sea Turtle and Cow Nose Rays around the boat as well. Back in the slip with six Tog and five Sea Bass and lots of cool memories.
06/25/10 Out with two couples for our first Offshore Trip of the season. Hesitantly ran to the Baltimore Canyon where a handful of Yellowfin were caught over the last few days. Spent the entire morning working the “edge” but our only fish was a small Mahi. Ran back inside to try and find a Bluefin. Covered all the normal haunts, but never marked any on the sounder. Highlight of the day for the two ladies is when we were surrounded by Dolphins (the mammal) for about 20 minutes. They were jumping and swimming night next to the boat.
06/26/10 Headed out for a 12 hour Offshore Trip with a group of friends from Fredericksburg, MD. Decided to start on a lump I ran over yesterday and thought it looked good. With-in an hour of “lines in”, we have our first Bluefin of the season hooked up. The fight was nearing its end when I noticed a huge Shark going right past the transom in the direction of our Bluefin. Five seconds later the line starts heading the wrong direction with a slow steady pull. This lasted just long enough for the Shark to swim up into one of our other lines and make a huge mess. Right after that, his teeth cut through our mono leader. Worked that area for another two hours with one other Tuna bite that didn’t come tight and a gaffer Mahi in the box. Headed out to a rip I noticed in the distance only to find a small floating board with a school of Mahi under it. Broke out the light tackle and had a ball “bailing’ Mahi. Finished the day with two more Mahi on the troll and two mystery bites that I think was a White Marlin. Back in the slip with 24 Mahi and a very happy crew.
06/27/10 Wreckin’ with five high school friends from Binghamton, NY reunited for this fishing trip. Sea Bass bite was very good, even managed to put a few in the box, thanks primarily to our “military man”. Shocker of the day, a few Mahi blaze out from under the transom. Threw some cut bait and managed to stick a hook in two. One hook pulled immediately, the other small Mahi made it in the box. Back in the slip with 24 Sea Bass and one Mahi.
06/28/10 Cancelled due to rough weather.
06/29/10 Out for a ten hour ½ Shark ½ Tuna Trip with a father and his two boys. Set the Tuna spread out and with-in the first fifteen minutes a huge boil on the short rigger but the fish misses the bait. A few short strikes later we have our Bluefin on. All three of these guys found out just how tough these Tuna are. About 20 minutes goes by and we have a 45 pounder in the box. Puller in the riggers and made a 4 mile to the Shark grounds. Just after the third bait is set, we release our first Dusky on, a 60 pounder. The next hour was very quiet with only one pull. Reset the drift and everything breaks loose. Three Duskies in the bait and a school of Mahi show up, crazy! The last 90 minutes was chaos, two or three on at once, Sharks and Mahi going for the same light tackle bait. Back in the slip with a 45 lb. Bluefin and five Mahi, one 15 lbs.
07/01/10 Forecast last night, North winds 15 to 20 seas 5 to 6 ft., doesn’t look like we’re going. Up at 4:30 am and no wind. Checked the forecast, north winds 10 to 15 subsiding around noon to 5 to 10. Great, we’re fishing! Ran 30 mile and set the spread. Less than 45 minutes late our first Bluefin is in the box. Sometime around 8:00 the wind comes up, no biggie, the fish are here. By 9:00 it must be blowing 25 straight out of the north. Continued fishing with action on Bluefins, Mahi and a nice size King Mackerel. By 10:30 I told the father and son there was NO WAY we were going to be able to shark fish in this mess so we continued trolling and holding on. Around noon the father tells me “this has been a great day with lots of action, we’re ready to head in if that’s OK with the crew. Back in the slip after a slow ride home with one Bluefin, one King Mackerel and two Mahi. We also released a Bluefin, pulled the hook on two others and had a few other mystery bites that didn’t find our hook.
07/02/10 Told the crew it would be ROUGH but as long as it’s not unsafe I’ll take you if you really want to go. “Let’s do it”, they replied. Ran about 30 miles and proceeded to set the spread. As Dave was setting out the fourth line the rod is nearly ripped out of this hands. Ten minutes later, our first Bluefin makes it in the box. The next several hours found us fighting fish about every ½ hour. The last Bite seemed like a larger fish, perhaps our first “over”. After a twenty minute battle we have a second Bluefin in the box. Since we had both of our Bluefins and couldn’t keep any more I decided to troll out to some Bass Pot Markers and see if they were holding any Mahi, only found ridiculously small fish. Moved back on the hill but never had another pull. Back in the slip one hour early with two Bluefin (38 & 73 lbs.) and a small Mahi plus a crew member that really needed to get on solid land.
07/03/10 Tuna fishing with a crew from Overhead Door Company of Lancaster, PA. You know you’re getting spoiled when after 15 minutes of trolling you start to worry. Well, the Tuna made us wait an extra 10 minutes today. The first 3 hours of trolling produced four Bluefin Tuna, all under 47 inches (aka “unders”) as well as a few other pulls that didn’t come tight. Didn’t seem we were going to get our “over” at this spot so the crew tells me to make the run to where we might find an “over”. Covered lots of ground but never did have another Tuna pull. Finished the day messin’ with Sea Bass, even managed to put a few keepers in the box. Back in the slip with a 45 lb. Bluefin and a few Sea Bass
07/04/10 Out with a family for some Inshore Trolling. Unfortunately, our nine year old Jr. angler was very scared, so we decided to turn around after a few miles.
07/05/10 Ran 25 miles with a crew from North East, MD for some Bluefin fishing. Bite was very good in the morning with five Bluefin and a very nice Mahi. Decided to try for some Sea Bass on a nearby wreck. The bite was good but way too many “shorts” so we went back to trolling after about an hour. The after noon produced one more Mahi, a couple of Tinker Mackerel and a monster Kingfish or Wahoo bite that shredded our leaded and cut it to bits. Back in the slip with a 45 lb. Bluefin and two Mahi.
07/06/10 Arrived at the Bluefin hole to find flat calm, super warm, Bluefin lacking water. After two hours and no pulls, we decided to make a 28 mile run to the edge. Trolled 14 miles up the 100 fa. line with only two pulls. One a very small Mahi, and the other a Shear-water Gull that was attacking our long rigger bait and managed to find the hook with a little help from the guy running the boat. Ran back inside and finished the day messin with some very aggressive sharks. Released a few Blacktips and one Dusky. Back in the slip with nothing in the box but super clean iceFrown
07/08/10 Bluefin fishing with four nice guys from Potnets, DE. First hour or so produced bites from Kings (King Mackerel) and small Mahi, too small to even take the hook. Sometime around eight I finally mark some bait on the machine and the long rigger takes off. The fish doesn’t seem overly large and is staying very high in the water. A minute or two later I see a white pointed nose skipping my way, we’ve just managed to troll up a 20 lb. Blacktip Shark, weird! The decision is made to pick-up and run to another spot but before we can bring the lines in I notice concern by three of the anglers toward the fourth crew member. It doesn’t appear to be motion sickness but this very stout man isn’t doing well. After a little evaluation by Dr. Dan the unanimous decision is made to call it a day and run back in, better safe than sorry!
07/09/10 through 07/11/10 OC Tuna Tournament. The first day was rather slow fishing with one small Mahi and one Bluefin. Fortunately, the Bluefin is the right one and we’re sitting in first place at the end of the day with the heaviest single fish. Second day gets off to a great start with a “under” Bluefin, a nice Mahi and a 30 lb. Yellowfin. The afternoon was very slow and nothing else makes it in the box. Much to my surprise, our 78 lb. Bluefin from the first day is still in first place after the scales close on the second day of fishing, might just have a chance here. The third day of the tournament was our required “lay-day” so we didn’t tournament fish. The pressure mounts all day long to see if our fish will hold first place. The scales close and we get knocked out of first by……..ONE POUND. That’s right, a 79 lb. Yellowfin cost us first place. Second place isn’t bad especially with a 78 lb. Bluefin. Total pay-out to the crew from the Lancaster & Allentown area, $11, 913.00. Not bad for two days work.
07/11/10 Charter fishing on my “lay-day” and I must admit, I’m thinking about just driving around a cutting off and fish that looks like it might beat ours for the Tournament win. Problem was the “overs” kept my crew of five from north Jersey rather busy and very tired. By noon, we have a 65 lb. Bluefin in the box, lost a nice Mahi (lack of reeling) and released two other Bluefin both around 70 lbs. At that point we decided to call it a day since none of the angles wanted to fight any more Tuna and one of our crew members has been very ill since the ride out. Sharing the back seat with old JD ( Jack Daniels) on the ride down from NJ wasn’t such a great idea after all.
07/12/10 Rolled the dice with four great guys from northern NJ and ran 60 mile looking for some Yellowfin. Things were rather slow the first two hours of fishing, I’m thinking to myself “what have I done”. Shortly after that depressing thought I noticed a few Dolphins (the mammal) acting funny, trolled by them and and two rods go down, nice Yellowfins. One of the two make it in the box. Swung around for another pass but before we could get there a White Marlin is hammering one of our spreader bars but the tuna hook is just wrong. We finally make it back to the tuna and “wham” four rods do down. One fish pulls off immediately but the other three say hooked-up. The first two make it in the box, the third gets tail wrapped and the hook pulls. While we were fighting these fish other boats noticed and closed in for the kill. Unfortunately, the only thing they killed was the bite. Decided to move off these fish and look elsewhere. While looking around, a White Marlin comes right down the center of the spread and eats the one small bait thats just the right size. Ten minutes later, the White is next to the boat for pics. Back in the slip with three Yellowfin all in the 50# class and some extremely happy anglers.
07/13/10 Cancelled due to rough conditions.
07/14/10 This was to be a full day but due to the forecast for building winds and seas we decided to convert it to a 4 hour trip. Sea Bass bite was good but the size was normal for this time of the year….small.
07/15/10 Out for a split day of Wreck/Shark fishing. Spent the first 1/2 of the day catching what must have been 150 Sea Bass. Problem is, only two; that’s right, two, keepers. Set up for some Shark fishing and the action was outstanding. At any given time, we had 10 to 15 around the boat at once. Released a bunch of Spinner Sharks ranging in size from 20 to 40 lbs.
07/16/10 Ran out to the deep with a crew of five very sleepy anglers from Crofton, MD. Sometime around 10:30, with most still crashed-out in the cabin we get “jumped” by some fat Yellowfins. 45 minutes later, one fish was hooked on a light Mahi rod, we have three in the box. Swung around for a second pass and the long rigger is exploded on but the fish misses the hook. By that time the other boats noticed what was taking place and moved in and killed the bite. Worked some lobster gear at the days end buy didn’t find any Mahi. Back in the slip with three Yellowfin 52, 55 and 60 lb. and five very happy, and well rested, anglers.
07/17/10 The boyz from Heggins, PA decided to buck the trend and look for a Bluefin today. The reason I say this is simple, the Bluefin bite has been all but non existent during the last few days. Well, with-in twenty minutes of “lines in” we have our first fish on. Twenty minutes later, we have a 70 lb. Bluefin in the box. The next two hours held two more “big bites” that didn’t come tight as well as releasing a similar size fish as we have in the box. Around 10:00 the guys decide to head for the wrecks and try for the Sharks. Was a little worried when nearly an hour goes by and no Sharks, but then they arrived with a vengeance. Spent the next few hours testing the drag on my spinning tackle. At days end they boyz guess they must have released somewhere around 25 Spinner Sharks plus they still have that fat Bluefin in the box to take back to PA.
07/18/10 This trip was a birthday present from a wife to her husband. Headed toward the Bluefin grounds that were so productive the day before. The first two hours of trolling produced nothing, not even a pull. To make matters worse, our old friends at NOAA completely blew the forecast and it was much more “sporty” than predicted. Around 8:00 one of our ladies starts feeling ill and before long experiencing the dreaded “reverse digestion”. An hour passes and the wife is still feeling horrible so I offer them a cut rate if they decide to call it a day. “Lets go in” is the decision. Back in the slip with ice that’s waaaay too clean.
07/19/10 Cancelled due to rough conditions
07/20/10 First “No-Show” of the season.
07/21/10 Out with a party of five guys for a ½ day Shark Fishing Trip. Sharks took about 30 minutes to show but hung around for the entire trip. At the days end, we had caught and released about 20 Spinner Sharks up to 40 lb. These fish can flat out “melt” your drag,,GREAT FUN!!!!
07/22/10 Took a family of five from OH out for a day of Wreck/Shark Fishing. Sea Bass bite was good but the Sharks decided to hang out about 30 yards behind the boat making some of the ‘top water” bites rather impressive. Weeded through all the Sea Bass “shorts” and managed to box up enough for a nice little fish fry while releasing about ten Spinner Sharks to 45 lb. Had one Shark hooked that we couldn’t stop, that bugger managed to “spool” us.
07/23/10 Ran to the deep looking for some Yellowfin. These fish have had the fleet looking hard but not finding much. The day started fairly slowly until we found an old board that was holding some very skittish Mahi. Fished it for a while but only managed to put four in the box. Worked the numbers from last weekend hard and sometime around 11:00 we get jumped by three Yellowfin. Two come tight and one misses the hook. 20 minutes later we have two fat Yellowfin in the box. The day ended with no other bites except for a small “rat” Blue Marlin who smacked one of our spreader bars twice and then swam away.
07/24/10 Offered this crew from Smyrna, DE their deposit back if they didn’t want to go due to very rough conditions on the Bluefin grounds and the fact that no one that I trust has been looking for the Bluefin since last weekend. “Let do it” was the call so we made the 35 mile run and had lines in the water by 6:15. With-in the next 30 minutes we have a 76 lb. Bluefin in the box. Spent the next two hours looking for a “under” but only caught one out of two nice Mahi. The guys asked if we could go try for the Spinner Sharks or some Sea Bass. Spent a little over an hour trying to chum in the Spinners but they never showed so we turned our attention to Sea Bass. The bite was good but as I warned these guys, the size just wasn’t what we were looking for. Decided to call it a day early to allow these guys to get home at a decent hour.
07/25/10 Second “No Show” of the season. Sometimes it bites you in the butt when you bend the rules (no deposit) for a “local” guy. Never again….Dan from Strasburg, PA!!
07/26/10 Cancelled due to rough conditions.
07/27/10 Wreckin’ with a father and son from Fredericksburg, VA. Sea Bass bite was good, even managed to put a few keepers in the box. Finished the day looking for some Triggerfish close to the beach but the Bar Jacks were horrible. We could see the Triggers under the Jacks but the moment your bait hit the water the Bar Jacks swarmed to the bait and had the hook before the Triggers even had a chance.
07/28/10 Headed down toward the Washington Canyon with a family of four from Stevensville, MD. Forecast was correct until we reached about 25 mile out and then things go real nasty. Pulled the throttles back at the 45 mile point and decided to troll off the rest of the distance. Jumped into the head to rid myself of the morning coffee and what do I see as I come back on deck, mom is sitting on the engine box enjoying the “long evil fruit”, that’s right a banana. To add insult to injury after the mate and I make a few wise cracks she informs us she has more if we want one. Not sure what to think at this point but know full well if fishing is poor, those bananas will get tossed quickly. Twenty minutes go by and from out of no where we get jumped by two Yellowfins. One misses the hook but the other comes tight, fifteen minutes later we have a 47 lb. Yellowfin in the box. Worked the area for another 30 minutes but nothing else. Trolled all the way down to the Washington Canyon without a pull. Worked some of the gear, no Mahi to be found. Decided to pull in the lines and run up to where we caught our Yellowfin. A few minutes after lines out the mate asks if he could put out a 9th rod, sure, then he holds up a lure with a banana hanging on the hook. “Throw that thing overboard” I ordered, thirty minutes later we run into a school of Mahi, a couple nice ones. Back in the slip with our lone Yellowfin and a couple Mahi. This crew is proof of why I recommend pills the night before. Even through conditions were almost brutal, this crew felt fine, a little drowsy, but not sick. Thank You for listening and starting the pills the day before the trip, good job!
07/29/10 Out for a half-day of bottom fishing with a crew of great guys from PA. Arrived at the spot and pushed the button for the windlass and nothing. A little trouble shooting in rough seas did nothing so we headed for the barn. Took me 90 minutes to track down the bad wire and two minutes to repair it.
07/30/10 Strongly urged this crew from western PA to take the refund and do a day at the beach instead of fishing in 20/25 knot winds. Couldn’t convince them not to go so we set out on a four hour trip. Wind was so bad that trying to cast to the buoy where the Triggers hide was all but impossible. With the chum gone and my nerves shot I pulled up the anchor and headed in with one lonely Triggerfish in the box. I should have known better than to allow myself to be talked into fishing when I knew how tough the conditions were going to be. On a positive note, the magic pills were started the evening before and although it was terrible rough, everyone in the crew felt fine.
07/31/10 Ran to the Bluefin grounds with five guys from DC. Worked the area for an hour but our only bite was a super nice Mahi on one of our “way backs”. Trolled off to deeper water in hopes of finding some Yellowfin. Sometime around 9:00 our long rod goes off, Bluefin perhaps? Ten minutes later we have a 45 lb. Yellowfin in the box. The rest of the day was filled with a couple big bites, some came tight, some didn’t, some made it to the boat, some were lost during the fight. Back in the slip with one Yellowfin, two Mahi and one Skipjack. With the number of fish that were lost during the fight or simply missed the hook all together, I think we might be dealing with the left-over effects for the long evil fruit from the previous trip.
08/01/10 Set out for a day of Sea Bass fishing with a super nice family from near Lake Raystown, PA. Smacked the Sea Bass hard, must have caught close to 100, even managed about a dozen for the box. Surprise of the day, a super fat Spadefish on a bottom rig.
08/02/10 First day of the White Marlin Open and my crew isn’t looking for Marlin, instead our plan is to try and win some $$$ from the “meat category” ( Mahi, Wahoo & Tuna). Morning was slow with only one Mahiin the box. Sometime around 11:30 our mid-rigger gets hammered by a nice Mahi. As we’re fighting the fish a second Mahi piles on our wwb (way, way, back). Now we have three in the box, one that might just make the tournament minimum 20 lbs. Swung over the numbers again and the middle bait gets blasted by a Wahoo and proceeds to scream across the surface faster than you can imagine. A few moments later the fish is boat side. As the mate is reaching over with the gaff, the fish pops his head out of the water and throws the hook. Last two hours of the day held a few bites from very small Mahi, nothing more making it in the box. Our 22 lb. Mahi was in first place for the “daily $$$” until a 50 some pound monster Mahi knocked us out of the $$$.
08/03/10 Day two of our WMO fishing. Decided to fish the same area as yesterday in hopes of finding a Bluefin or a Wahoo. Less than 30 minutes into the day and we have our first Mahi in the box. Worked that area hard but only had one other bite. Moved off and worked the area where our wahoo was lost the day before. A few small Mahi bites but nothing else, that is until we reeled in the WWB’s. One was cut off cleanly right behind the hook, Mr. Hoo. Moved back inside to where our morning bite came from and as soon as we crossed the numbers, wham, our WWB get blasted, big bite but it doesn’t come tight, STUPID circle hooks!!!! I hate trying to troll for Tuna & Wahoo with these things but since the WMO is a “Marlin Tournament” we must use them for all baits except plastics. Day two ends with one lonely Mahi in the box.
08/04/10 WMO Lay-day charter trip. Headed east to try for some Sea Bass with a father and future son-in-law in some very sporty conditions. Arrived to find 15 to 20 knot winds as well as a very good Sea Bass bite, a fair number of keepers too. The wind didn’t lay down at all and by late morning the future son-in-law wasn’t feeling very good so we were try to put a catch together with only one line in the water, tough! Well the boy battled through it and made a return late in the day to help with our quest, keepers! Back in the slip with just under 20 Sea Bass in the box. Not bad for the time of the year or only having one hook in the water some of the trip.
08/06/10 Day three of our WMO found us looking for one bite, Mr. Wahoo. Now mind you, I hate fishing with wire but it is the only way to be assured these toothy critters aren’t going to cut you off. First bite was sometime around 11 and a nice 16 lb. Mahi makes it in the box. Unfortunately, that was our only pull of the day and by 3:00 I’m wishing I would have let the rig alone and fished like we normally do, and yes, I still dislike wire, doesn’t seem to get the bites like flourocarbon leaders do.
08/07/10 Out with a great crew from Easton, MD. Trolling for less than 45 minutes and we have our first fish on, a nice gaffer Mahi. Fifty feet from the boat the fish throws the hook, the semi-slack line didn’t help. Thirty minutes later we get attacked again but this one misses the hook. During the next hour we manage to put one small Mahi in the box, miss another Mahi and pull the hook on a Wahoo only 30 feet behind the boat, slack line while reeling is a BAD thing! Sometime around 11 the bite just died, not only for us, but the other boats that were working the same area so we decided to troll toward an area where we could mess with some Sea Bass. Spent the last few hours of the day spankin’ the Sea Bass, many only needed another ¼ inch to be legal. Happy birthday Meryl!
08/08/10 Fin Chaser will not be fishing again until 08/13/10 due to our summertime Inshore Mate’s (my son Trevor) heart valve replacement at Children’s Hospital of Phila. Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.
I would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support, Trevor pulled through the surgery with flying colors. Doctors said he stepped right off artificial life support without any problems. TD was released on Thursday and is resting comfortably at home with very little discomfort, already looking forward to fall fishing and archery season.
08/13/10 & 08/14/10 Cancelled due to rough conditions.
08/15/10 Headed out for a day of Inshore Fishing with a party of two from Baltimore. This was to be a 12 Hr. Offshore Trip but when people started to bail-out at the last minute the remaining couple were forced to go with something a little less expensive. Spent the first few hours trolling but that only produced one small Mackerel. Set up for some Sea Bass driftin’ and found great action as well as a decent throwback to keeper ratio, perhaps 4:1. Decided to let my long riggers dangle in the water as we were bassin’, maybe a stray Mahi will show. With 45 minutes left in the day one of the riggers gets slammed, I look over and see a beautiful sight, two nice Mahi attacking the bait. Hooked the one and he’s going in the box as the second takes another bait. Fought the second fish for a while but the angler couldn’t keep it out from under the boat and the fish cuts us off. Back in the slip with just under a dozen Sea Bass, one Mahi and one super fat Triggerfish.
08/16/10 Half-day Shark trip with a mother and her three kids. The first ½ of the day only produced some small Mackerel and Bluefish but the Sharks finally found our chum line. Released one small Dusky, lost two others, the angler was reeling with his wrong hand and couldn’t crank fast enough to keep up with the fish. Our final bite was a serious Shark and the spinning tackle we were using to allow the anglers the ability to reel with either hand was simply over matched and couldn’t slow the fish down, can you say “spooled”.
08/17/10 An eight hour Inshore Trolling with a super nice crew from northeastern PA. Ran to some lobster trap markers twenty four miles off the inlet and found pretty good action on Mahi. The first ¾ of the day produced lots of bites, I would guess a 12 to 15. Some fish made it in the box, some were lost close to the boat, and some never found the hook at all. While we were fighting a fish, drifting next to a trap marker, I look over at our “dangler’ and there sits a nice Wahoo looking at the bait. Does he eat it, nope, he just casually swims away, stupid fish. Back in the slip with six Mahi and one lady very happy to be back on solid land.
08/18/10 Cancelled due to torrential rail, three inches in OC.
08/19/10 A day Offshore with Dave’s, our Offshore Mate, neighbors in OC. Ran to the Baltimore and found fantastic Mahi action, trolling as well as light tackle, bites that came tight and fish that were lost during the battle. Big surprise when we managed to foul-hook a BLT (barely legal tuna) while fighting a Mahi. Charter told us they had enough Mahi and wanted to look for maybe a Marlin, which we never found. Did manage two more Mahi, couldn’t get away from them even when we wanted to, I guess that a good problem to have. Back in the slip with 20 Mahi and one BLT Yellowfin.
08/20/10 Took a group of guys from PA out looking for the weeds that were so productive yesterday and was lucky enough to fin them again, they had only moved about four mile. Mahi action started almost immediately and was only briefly interrupted when a Wahoo and a White Marlin appeared in the spread with-in minutes of each other but both were only “window shoppers”. The Mahi bite lasted the entire day and with less than 20 minutes of fishing time remaining we put number 38 in the box. Five minutes later we have three White Marlin in the spread, one is hooked and putting on a spectacular show 150 yards behind the boat while the other two are still hot on our baits. The second is hooked long enough for three jumps then the hook is thrown. The third fish never finds the hook and just swims off. Ten minutes after all the chaos start, we have our 50 year old birthday boy’s first Marlin next to the boat for pictures.
08/21/10 Three days out of the same weeds, too good to be true, kinda. Ran to where we left the weeds the day before and found…..nothing. Searched all over but couldn’t find them so I plotted a course based on the last two days movement and sure enough, four miles to our southwest we found em. One big issue, they had sheared apart and looked nearly impossible to troll around. Dave, our pit monkey (mate), simple went from one line to line all day clearing weeds while I searched for any areas where we could drag our baits for more than five minutes without getting all weeded up. Worked our tails off and by the days end we somehow managed to put 15 Mahi in the box, the largest around 15 lbs.
08/22/10 Wow, did the weatherman completely blow this forecast. Out for a day of bottom fishing with a little more breeze at the inlet than was called for, but nothing to worry about. About 14 mile out we hit it, lots of wind and 3 to 4 footers, tight too. Made some drifts and the Sea Bass were feeding in high gear. Sometime around 11:00 the wind suddenly went from 15 to 20 to a solid 25 and I decided it was time to roll. Back in the slip with a few keeper Sea Bass and one fellow who seriously needed solid land.
08/23/10 Out for a twelve hour trip with a father and son from Elkton, MD. Ran to some lobster traps I knew of about 30 mile off the beach and had great action trolling for Mahi. Our first nine fish came fairly easy but then we had to work hard for the last eleven. With twenty minutes left in the day, Mahi number 20 goes in the box, we’re limited out, nice average size too. Tip of the day; if the mate tells you its OK to “thumb” a Mahi for a picture, just like you would a freshwater Bass, don’t believe him!
08/24/10 Cancelled due to rough conditions.
08/25/10 Offered this crew their deposit back if they didn’t wish to go, I guess they were of Norwegian decent and weren’t bothered by rough seas. Ran to the gear that was so productive on Monday only to find cold, green, ugly water and tides running so high and hard it had pulled most of the markers under water. Worked the area super hard in building winds/seas but could only manage one nice Mahi and a couple bites (I’m sure they were more Mahi) that didn’t come tight. With a few hours left and two of the crew not doing well at all, I offered them a reduced price which would allow the agony to end for the two crew members. Pulled in lines two hours early and ran home with one lonely Mahi in the box and two guys who I think are going to check that family tree.
08/26/10 This crew from the MD DNR office in Oxford told me, and I quote “we’re not looking for marlin, we want meat!). Decided to roll the dice and run way south looking for warm water and gear in the Washington. First set was bare but after pulling past the second we have our first fish hooked, a small tuna. Unfortunately Mr. Yellowfin pulls off ¾ of the way in. The next several sets of gear each produced four of five Mahi each, mainly on light tackle. I noticed a trash/weed line forming right in the heart of the canyon so I just had to take a look. As we were heading toward it, the Mahi were grey-hounding out of the water toward the boat in numbers like I have never seen. The next hour or so was a blood bath, Mahi flying everywhere. They were so thick behind the boat I was actually able to “free gaff” four or five. With our box nearly ¾ full and lots of time left in the day the guys decide to look for something else. Ran 12 mile to a patch of water we ran past in the morning. As I was slowing the boat down the mate noticed a White Marlin right next to us. The spread was set and the area worked over hard but we could only produce two small Mahi bites and one mystery fish on the long rigger, sure acted like a White. Noticed another trash/weed line so we had a look. I don’t think we were next to it for more than one minute when we get attacked by more Mahi. Back in the slip with 58 Mahi in the box, I’m sure these guys had well over 300 lbs of fish.
08/27/10 Cancelled due to rough conditions.
08/28/10 Charter called me the night before seriously concerned about the marine forecast, seas 3 to 4 ft. and larger offshore. I told them the forecast doesn’t make any sense, and I think it will be fine. Their decision was to change the trip from a 12 Hour Offshore Trolling to a 8 Hour Inshore Tolling. Ran about 21 mile and spent the day spankin’ the False Albacore (aka turkeys) and small (2 to 4 lb) Bluefish. These guys were amazed just how hard a 15 lb. Turkey can pull. Back in the slip at 3:00 with a very tired charter. Oh, and by the way, the seas… less than 1 ft. all day, same story offshore.
08/29/10 Same type of trip as yesterday, even ran to the same spot. Turkey action wasn’t quite as good but the Bluefish were absolutely crazy thick. Kept a mess for the smoker and then decided to try for some Sea Bass. First few drifts produced a couple keepers but then our drift died and we just set there not moving at all. Fortunately the day was nearly over so we didn’t have much time to kill. Back in the slip with a nice jag of Bluefish and a few Sea Bass to boot.
08/30/10 Ran 45 mile looking for Yellowfin knowing we would have to deal with the False Albacore (aka turkeys). With-in twenty minutes of lines in, we have our first double, one turkey and one Yellowfin, problem is the Yellowfin is ½ inch under the legal minimum. The next few hour was filled with singles and doubles of turkeys. Moved a little south and in the middle of no where we get jumped by a 40 lb. Yellowfin. Rest of the day was filled with singles, doubles, triples and quads of turkeys but no other Yellowfin bites. This was another group of anglers who were amazed just how hard these fish, turkeys, can pull. Back in the slip with one lonely Yellowfin and some very sore arms.
08/31/10 Decided to run about 9 mile south of where we had fished yesterday looking for a weed-line. I told the crew from central PA I heard a rumor of one that was holding some Mahi. When we finally came upon it the line had blown apart and turned a nice trollable weed-line into a mates worst nightmare, a hayfield. Dave spent the first 90 minutes of the day going from line to line trying to keep the baits clean. All this work only yielded two small mahi and one that threw the hook. Picked up and ran to where we had fished the previous day and found great action on turkeys and Yellowfin. Mind you, the Yellowfin were BLT’s (barely legal tunas) but they were legal, they put up a great fight on 30 lb. tackle and they look the same on a fork as a fat 60 pounder! At the end of the day we have two Mahi, one Skipjack and ten Yellowfin in the box. I’m sure we must have released 20 turkeys as well.
09/01/10 Out with a solo angler from Wisconsin and his flyrod with the intent of catching LR a Mahi on the fly. LR is writing a book chronicling his fly-fishing catches in all fifty states, and if he can connect with a Mahi his book will be complete. Took nearly two hours to find the weeds, but after we found em I knew we could get him his Mahi. LR spent the next several hours catching Mahi on several different fly types including a popper. The icing on the cake, he allowed the mate and I to keep his fish. I LOVE blackened Mahi! Back in the slip with a limit of Mahi and one man’s multi-year quest complete.
09/04/10 Out with a bachelor party for a day of bottom fishing. Hurricane Earl blew through yesterday, fortunately, the seas layed-out enough to allow for this trip. However, we weren’t able to get any farther off than 10 mile. I really wanted to fish a piece of bottom 18 mile east but that just wasn’t going to happen. Spent the day catching “under” Sea Bass as well as “snapper” Bluefish.
09/05/10 Offshore with a crew from Arlington, VA searching for where the fish have gone to since Earl. Worked the area that was holding our BLT Yellowfins prior to the blow but only found turkeys and a few small Mahi. Seems as if our Yellowfin have pulled a Houdini, they’ll show again somewhere. Back in the slip with 8 Mahi.
09/07/10 Turned around after three miles due to higher wind & seas than predicted.
09/08/10 Cancelled due to rough conditions.
09/10/10 Cancelled due to high winds & seas.Yell
09/11/10 Ran to where some lobster gear was reported to be a few days back. The SST service (sea surface temp) I subscribe to hasn’t been able to get a satellite shot for two days due to cloud cover. Arrived at the numbers only to find ugly, cold (71.5°) water. Looked around and finally found the “gear”. Three whole balls which had already been checked-out by another boat, nothing caught. Trolled north up the 50 fathom line looking for better water. Finally found some 73° water that was slightly better color. With-in five minutes we have a nice Mahi on the long rigger. Rod goes to the angler who immediately jumps into the chair but forgets one very important item……CRANK THE REEL!!! fish comes off. Five minutes later we have a White Marlin under the short rigger bait. Before I can tell the mate, the White snatches the bait and proceeds to go nuts jumping everywhere. At some point during this acrobatic show the fish must have kinked the wire and broke off. During this point in the season we normally will run wire on our rigger baits to guard against being “cut off” by Wahoo. While wire is the ticket for Wahoo, it’s not the best leader for Marlin, especially one that likes to jump. Trolled for another hour or two with no action. Out of nowhere, two rods go off….Yellowfins. Fish get to the boat and they’re both BLT’s. One is legal and makes it in the box, the other is a ½ under size and must be released. That was the end of our action except for a double header of “turkeys” at the days end.
09/15/10 Decided to run to where a friend of mine had fished some weed patches the day that were holding some Mahi. Arrived at the numbers but no weeds. A little later a White Marlin is messing around with our long rigger and finally finds the hook, ten minutes later he is next to the boat for pictures and released. In the distance I see some lobster gear and everyone is excited. Spent the next several hours working gear that was holding absolutely nothing. After trolling south six miles and passing gear the whole time I see why the gear is so empty, about one mile in front of me is the lobster boat and he’s hauling & resetting the gear. Trolled back tom some of the first gear we worked since it was from a different boat and perhaps we can pull some fish off of it with cut bait. Worked hard and finally managed to put two nice Mahi in the box and lost a third as well. Threw bait at a few other pots but nothing came of it.
09/16/10 Ran 45 mile south looking for the last warm water shown on my satellite shot from two days ago. That water must have pushed much farther south so we set the baits out in 71° degree green water. About fourty-five minutes later a small Mahi is messing with the flat line but the fish is only slightly bigger than our bait and can’t take the hook. Thirty minutes after that encounter we have a White making his way up through the spread. He smacks at the flat-line with his bill and turns off. A few seconds later my long rigger gets hit. As I’m lifting that rod from the bridge holder the other long gets nailed. Now I’ve got two Marlin on two baits and only one free hand. Every time I pick up one rod the fish on the other bait starts pulling. Finally pushed one reel up to strike and figured the fish would need to hang himself. Less than five seconds after doing that the rod doubles over and a small (40 lb.) white comes tumbling out of the water as the bait is flying threw the air directly at the boat. That was the end of the action until around noon when we finally managed to find a decent Mahi under a lobster ball. Trolled the rest of the day with only two more “knock-downs” resulting in another good Mahi in the box.
09/17/10 Headed out in slightly sporty conditions, but still very fishable. Three miles outside the inlet the mate tells me one guy isn’t feeling too great. Decided to make the offer to turn around and refund the $$$ even though I knew this trip should be run since the conditions were far from “turn around worthy”. Majority ruled and three of the five wanted to go back. Boat next to me fished and informed me I was crazy to have made that offer. “The seas laid-out nice after 15 mile” was “Slims” exact quote. Oh well!
09/18/10 & 09/20/10 Cancelled due to rough conditions
09/21/10 Out with a crew from DE that included three Jr. Anglers ages 11, 11 & 15. The Sr. members said they just wanted the kids to have fun and pull on some hard fighting fish, fish for the table isn’t the reason for this trip. Perfect, sounds like “Turkeys” on the menu today. Lines were in by 7:00 and by 7:30 we had one “big bite” on our long riggers that didn’t come tight. The second big bite, long rigger too, finds the hook and I know this is no False Albacore (aka turkey). Twenty minutes and four anglers later we have a fat 64 lb. Yellowfin in the box. The next six hours were filled with more turkey action than you can imagine. At one point I couldn’t even put the boat in gear without a rod going off. The kids, and adults for that matter, were having a ball but tiring quickly. At some point in all the chaos we managed to put a second BLT Yellowfin in the box. With nothing left in the anglers gas tank, we called it a day around 2:00 and headed for the barn. According to the charter, we caught close to fifty turkeys, just what they ordered.
09/23/10 Hear a rumor about a Bluefin being caught on Tuesday so I decided to run to the Bluefin grounds and give it a go. Looked over all the usual haunts by only found big nasty “Chopper Bluefish” as well as some Turkeys. While looking for these Bluefins I discovered a lid to a commercial fish box floating in the water. Pulled out the light tackle and proceeded to put about 20 small Mahi in the box. Decided to move off to deeper water and look for some Yellowfins. Arrived at the spot and with-in twenty minutes we have our first Yellowfin in the box. About thirty minutes later our long rigger gets slammed and I”m wondering if this might not be a Bluefin by the way the fish is pulling. About thirty minutes later we have a monster Wahoo next to the boat. Exactly one year to the day this crew landed a 98 lb. Wahoo and this fish looks similar in size to that one. Spent the rest of the day catching Turkeys with a couple Yellowfin mixed in. Back in OC I swung by the scale at Ake Marine and was very pleased to find out these guys had caught the largest Wahoo of the 2010 season in OC, a 103 pound beast. Back in the slip with the monster Hoo, four Yellowfins, and a mess of Mahi. Guys wanted to know if they could book September 23rd of 2011 yet?
09/24/10 Out with a crew of five, three ladies and two gents, from Chambersburg, PA for a day of tuna fishing. Started on the Bluefin grounds and with-in 45 minutes of lines in, we have a 84 lb. Bluefin in the box. The next two hours was a constant assault of Turkeys with one decent Yellowfin mixed in. Moved off to where we found some Yellowfins the day before only to discover the Turkeys and Chopper Bluefish had moved there too. Spent the rest of the day weeding through all the “trash” fish in order to put two more Yellowfin in the box.
09/25/10, 09/26/10 and 09/27/10 Cancelled due to high winds and very heavy rains.
09/29/10 Out with a solo angler from NJ looking for something to bend a rod on. We were slightly concerned looking at the forecast but it didn’t make sense to me and I had a sneaking suspicion it was just plain wrong. Thirty minutes after lines-in we have a 10 lb. Mahi in the box and missed a second. Fifteen minutes after that the “way-back” goes off, it’s the bite we’re looking for, our Bluefin. The fish seems solidly hooked and screaming off drag, then after 30 seconds, nothing, the hook pulled. Spent the rest of the day putting Joel’s arms & back through workout cranking on “Turkeys”, we just couldn’t pull any Yellowfins out of the 30 or so we must have caught. As for the wind & waves, super nice all day.
09/30/10 & 10/02/10 Cancelled due to weather.
10/06/10 Fishing again!!! Out for a day of Wreckin’ with a crew of three from Millersville, MD. Knew things were going to be good when the first drop produced fish before the baits ever touched bottom. Spent the day slamming Sea Bass and trying to keep the “chopper” Bluefish from eating our better size SB. One guys said, and I quote, ” if you don’t have a fish with-in the first ten seconds of hitting bottom, then you’ve lost your bait. Back in the slip with sore arms and 55 tasty Sea Bass ready for the deep fryer.
10/08/10 No trip today and Trevor has off school so we head to the inlet to see if the Tog want to play. First bait hits the water around 9 am, by 10:30 we have our limit. Continued to fish for another hour releasing another dozen or so. Looking for a cheap trip, call about doing a Inlet Tog trip on our small boat.
10/09/10 A day of Bluefin fishing with a crew from VA. Morning was dead, only heard of one fish caught. Looked over all the usual haunts but still no pulls, not even a turkey! Decided to check-out last years “hot-spot”. With-in ten minutes of arriving the short rigger gets nailed, fifteen minutes later, we have a 40 lb. Bluefin in the box. Swung through the area again and the long gets slammed. After a ten minute fight we have a second 35 lb. Bluefin next to the boat that must be released. Worked the area hard but as quick as the bite turned-on all the attention we had gathered in the form of other boats shut the bite off. Finished the day doing a little Sea Bass fishing. Managed to put a few keeper Sea Bass in the box as well as two jumbo Triggerfish.
10/10/10 This crew of two from Pottstown, PA decided to “roll the dice” and run to the gear looking for some late season Mahi. First few balls we bare but then we found a few sets holding some fish. Even though they seemed extremely skittish, we managed to pull a few out for each set. While I wouldn’t call it a super bite, the action was fairly steady. At the days end, we have 15 Mahi in the box. Our limit would have easily been reached but we were having serious issues with fish becoming unglued 10 feet from the gaff.
10/11/10 Out for the last of the Sea Bass until November 1st with a family of three from Reading, PA. Bite was super good, fish on before the hooks even touched bottom. Keepers were a little more scarce today than we had seen the last few trips but this crew of three managed to put 25 tasty Sea Bass in the box.
10/16/10 Two man Tog trip to the Inlet (south jetty) on-board our skiff. Slammed the Tog for a couple hours even though our limit was reached in less than one hour. Spent the rest of the trip catching and releasing Tog as well as small Black Drum. Anyone out there that loves to fish but is on a tight budget needs to consider doing one of these trips, great fishing at a great price and only a 15 minute run for the docks to the fishing area.
10/21/10 Out with a party of two who didn’t care what they caught just as long as they could fish “their style” of fishing. The anchor came tight and Mr. Ho broke out the jigs. All kinds of jigs, all kinds of sizes, shapes and colors. Unfortunately, our Tog, Triggerfish and Sea Bass weren’t impressed. Mr. Ho’s friend, a newbie to saltwater fishing, was using our traditional bait and doing quite well on small Sea Bass with a few Tog mixed in. For the next five hours the jigging continued. Frankly, I can’t believe his arm didn’t fall off, I was exhausted just watching all this. With 30 minutes left in the day and realizing defeat, Mr. Ho asked to go back. Back in the slip with three Sea Bass and one jumbo Triggerfish which I was told is called a “Vietnam Fish” in Korea.
10/22/10 Rescheduled due to rough conditions.
10/24/10 A five hour trip with party of two, one of which is a Brigadier General in the Italian Air Force and flies the super fast Tornado fighter jets, his call sign “Batman”. Conditions were a little choppier that called for, not the best for Toggin’. Bite was spotty, just about the time you thought it was going to go wide open, they would shut down for ten minutes. Surprise of the day was a 12 lb. Black Drum, a very under-rated sport fish and great on the table too. Spent the day pickin’ at the shorts trying to find some size. With 30 minutes left in the day the bite turned on and we managed to add two more Tog and one very nice 8 lb. Sheepshead to the box.
10/29/10 Five hour Inlet Trip on the new 21 ft. skiff with a father and son crew from Mt. Airy, MD. Headed to the inlet in some crazy wind and super dirty water. Spent the first two hours catching mostly “rockfish”. Now don’t get excited, I don’t mean Stripers, I’m talking about rocks and snags, you know, right where those crazy Tog live. Decided to look for some flatties but between the wind, tide and the water that was as clear as chocolate milk, Flounder drifting just wasn’t going to work. Ran back to the south jetty and finished the day Toggin’. I think the total for the day was five fish, one that kept.
10/31/10 Halloween at the Inlet with a crew of four from Potomac Falls, VA. Tog bite was fairly good and the “rockfish” (see 10/29 report) bite was red hot, lots of lost tackle, oh well! Our limit was reached around 10:00 so the remainder of the trip was spent releasing fish. Back in a little early with 8 nice Tog in the box and another 7 that were returned to fight again.
11/01/10 Opening day of Sea Bass found the seas and winds much higher than called for so we were forced to fish waters not as deep as I would have liked to. The bite was super, but the keeper to throw-back ration was quite high. Fortunately, these guys were just happy to be fishing instead of working and didn’t seem to mind the throw-backs. Back in the slip with 30 Sea Bass in the box.
11/02/10 Second day of the Fall Sea Bass season found me running to the water I would liked to have fished yesterday with a crew of five, actually four, plus a pumpkin dressed-up like a pirate. Bite was off the charts good and keepers were going in the box at a good clip. Back in the slip with some very tired arms and 68 tasty Sea Bass in the box.
11/04/10 Todays forecast; passing showers winds & waves subsiding in the afternoon. Cleared the inlet with a crew who didn’t care about getting wet all they wanted was to fill the box with Sea Bass. Arrived at the spot and the bite was on. Keeper to throwback ratio was somewhere around 6 to 1 and by late morning we already had 1/3 of the box full. Then the swells started to roll in, serious swells, the 8 to 10 ft. variety, a few even larger. Thirty minutes later the wind started and at 12:30 we decided we better get while the gettin’ was good. Ride home was fine until the inlet. The outgoing tide pushing up against the incoming swells produced some truly nasty seas to try and plow through. Back in the slip with 49 Sea Bass ready for the deep fryer. Oh, and the rain we were going to be fishing in, never happened!!!
11/08/10 Cancelled due to rough conditions.
11/11/10 Five hour Inlet Trip in truly brutal wind and tide. Spent the first half of the trip dealing with the crazy drift yet still managed to put a 33″ Striper in the box while missing a few others. Set up inside the south jetty for some Tog action, the wind was almost to wicked for this. Huge belly in the line created by the wind made for super tough feel of the bites. The Tog won today, stealing countless baits, my crew could only manage one keeper and two throw-backs.
11/12/10 Our Inlet trip started off tough when one of our lady anglers wasn’t feel well so we decided to make the 10 minute ride back to the dock and allow her to go shopping for the next few hours. The second time we arrived at the inlet found slack tide and the fish just were not biting. Fourty-five minutes later, as the water started moving again, the bite turned on and two hours later we limited out. Back at the dock with a box full (12) of tasty Tog and a very happy crew.
11/14/10 A day of Tog fishing on the nearby wrecks with a crew of five from MD. As I was setting the anchor, one of the crew was already experiencing the dreaded “reverse digestion”. Fishing was great but trying to stay centered over this little wreck was very hard, the current was trying to push us off to the side of the wreck constantly. As I baited empty hooks and unhooked fish, our ill angler seemed to be getting much worse. With 90 minutes of fishing under our belt and six Tog plus a few Sea Bass in the box the decision was made that we needed to get our “green” angler, actually pale grey, back to solid land. Back in the slip with six Tog, one of which was 9 lb. and another monster at 13 lb. plus a couple Sea Bass. Ironically the angler who was feeling so bad was the one who caught the big Tog. A word of warning; Energy drinks are a BAD thing around boats. Me thinks this might have had something to do with Andy’s demise. He was also wearing the “patch” for the first time. While they normally work great for 99.999% of people, I have seen a few instances where I feel they have added to the discomfort level. My wife is living proof of this. Perhaps combining the “patch” with the energy drink was the issue????
11/19/10 Five hour birthday trip with a party of three looking for some Striper’s. Spent the first few hours looking all over but only had one bite. Birthday boy wanted to set-up and do some Toggin’ but the other guys seemed more interested in drifting for Striper’s. With about an hour let in the day the other guys gave in and we anchored-up at the south jetty and set out the crabs. A few fish, keepers and throwbacks but fairly slow. Back in the slip with three Tog in the box.
11/20/10 Four hour Inlet Trip looking for the ever elusive Striper’s. Made countless drifts with this father & son’s crew from NJ but couldn’t buy a bite. Lots of boats looking for these buggers and one one fish caught that I know of,,,,poor!!!
11/21/10 Five hour Tog trip at the Inlet with a crew from Kingsville, MD. Tide was perfect and the bite was on, keepers and throwbacks. Sometime around 10:00 am the tide turned and started going out, not the best for Tog fishing inside the jetty. Think we only had two fish from 10:00 to 11:00 am, both were throwbacks. Pulled anchor a little early to allow me time to clean the nine in the box and for the crew to get back north for a southern style fish fry.
11/26/10 & 11/27/10 Both trips cancelled due to Dad’s passing.
This season is dedicated to Dad. He always made time to take me fishing.
Henry “Hank” Stauffer
February 2, 1935 – November 24, 2010