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Offseason Fishing Report 1-16-18


Point Lookout

Trips for cod fished Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday on the party boat Captain Al, Capt. Tom said. That’s when the trips had the weather to sail, and a handful of cod were picked on each outing. The trips fished depths from 60 feet to 120, and the shallower water, closer to shore, fished best on the first two outings. Then southerly wind began to blow during a warm front. That wind direction chills the ocean close to shore because of upwelling. That shut down the fishing closer to shore on Sunday’s trip. Ninety feet of water, farther out, was the only place that gave up cod on that trip. Fishing for cod relatively close to shore, like the boat does, is susceptible to wind direction. Cod on these grounds push farther from shore, where the ocean is warmer, as the water cools in winter. The water was 37 to 40 degrees. Blackfish, out-of-season in New York, failed to bite in the southerly. They hit previously on the boat’s trips. They might bite again, but dogfish that can be a nuisance disappeared, and they might be gone for winter, except in especially deep water, because of the cooler ocean. No mackerel and herring were hooked on the trips. Local boats that were mackerel fishing searched 40 miles to the south, finding none, on Sunday, so the crews quit fishing for them for the season. Baitfish were marked on the Captain Al’s trips that looked like herring, and birds were seen with herring they plucked from the water. All the cod were taken on clams, but they sometimes can be jigged when baitfish like herring or mackerel are schooling. Before these trips, the Captain Al was mostly weathered out in the two weeks of unusual, severe cold that assaulted the Northeast. Forecasts in the near future look warmer, above freezing at least, with calmer wind. The boat is this website’s only that fishes for cod daily each winter. Jump on the trips soon, because the fishing is usually best early in the year. The boat is sailing for cod 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. See More Info. Call: 516-623-2248.


Good catches of blackfish were reported from the ocean off Delaware last week for a moment during calm weather, after the cold snap and before the warm front that caused a storm late in the week, according to online reports. Not a lot of anglers squeezed in a trip during the break in weather. But anglers hoped the productive fishing for the tautog continued once they could sail again. Striped bass seemed to depart the ocean off Delaware and Maryland, migrating south weeks ago, at least within 3 miles from shore. Fishing for them is closed beyond 3. Boaters from those states had an all-too-brief shot at them in legal waters this past month. Delaware’s surf fishing is dead until spring, one of the reports said. Throwback stripers bit there for a moment during the height of the migration. Not a lot was doing with fishing in Delaware and Maryland for the same reason that not much happened with angling along the entire East Coast: weather. But blackfishing can turn out catches this far south in winter because of a somewhat warmer ocean than farther north. Blackfish might’ve begun to be sluggish and reluctant to bite off New Jersey because of cold water.


Atlantic Beach

At Captain Stacy Fishing Center, weather kept boaters from trying for bluefin tuna, Loretta Davis said. This was more than halfway through January, and the anglers were yet to get fair weather to sail for them this year. A few of the tuna were docked during the first half of this month last year. A bunch of bluefins swam the local ocean this past December. Then fishing for the tuna was closed but reopened beginning Jan. 1. Nobody knew whether any of the fish currently held locally. Commercial trips sailed for bottom-fishing Sunday from the marina for mostly vermillion snappers, triggerfish and sea bass. Those boats were yet to return, when Loretta gave this report this morning in a phone call. Visit Website.



Captain Easy Charters fished a little in past days, cashing in on a few sailfish, some blackfin tuna and lots of king mackerel, Capt. Bruce Andersen said. That was just offshore of the reef, 3 to 6 miles from port, on live bait like goggle eyes and cigar minnows slow-trolled or fished from kites. On the reef itself, about 3 miles from port, good catches of yellowtail, mangrove and mutton snappers were cleaned up. For that, the boat is anchored along the edge of the reef, and a chum slick is set up. The yellowtails bite pieces of cut bait drifted into the slick. The mangroves and muttons chomp the bait as it reaches close to bottom. A live baitfish on a kite is also fished during that angling, nailing king mackerel, cero mackerel and sometimes even sailfish. Rough seas kept trips from motoring farther from shore to deep-drop cut bait like squid for yelloweye and vermillion snappers that have been giving up good catches in 400 feet of water. They can be found at wrecks but are mostly located along hard bottom, usually limestone, with contours like holes and small peaks and valleys. Call: 305-360-2120. Visit Website.

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