Mon., April 23, 2018
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Offseason Fishing Report 1-2-18

NEW YORK

Point Lookout

One trip fished for cod, on Saturday, on the party boat Captain Al in the cold this past week, Capt. Tom Weiss said. The trips are slated to fish daily, and the trip picked a few of the fish. The angling has gotten off to a good start this winter, and January is usually the peak. The cod on the trip were hooked in 60 to 80 feet of water, slightly deeper than the 50- to 75-foot depths that gave them up the previous week aboard. The fish usually keep schooling deeper as winter continues, seeking warmer water. They seemed to begin doing that, but the ocean on the fishing grounds was 43 to 46 degrees on the trip, about the same as during the previous week aboard. The water temperature had dropped during the previous week, after snow. Tom wasn’t asked whether snow fell on the trip, but about 2 inches did in New Jersey that day. That was less than during the previous week. All the cod were hooked on clams on the trip. Herring were around, and sometimes cod can be jigged when herring or mackerel are also swimming the water. No mackerel were seen on the trip, and mackerel were hooked during the previous week aboard. Blackfish, out-of-season in New York, were hooked and released on Saturday’s trip. Ice prevented some boats from sailing out of harbors, but the Captain Al had no problem. The Captain Al is docked near the inlet, and currents help prevent ice there, and the steel hull can break through much ice. Ice that prevented some boats from sailing was at docks farther back in estuaries, where less current and maybe more freshwater was. Trips are slated to fish for cod 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and the crew is trying to go every day. Tom wasn’t asked why Saturday’s trip was the only that sailed last week, but reasons probably included that the cold kept anglers from wanting to sail on some days. Maybe some days were too windy to sail, too. The boat is this website’s only that’s slated to fish for cod daily each winter. See More Info. Call: 516-623-2248.

DELAWARE/MARYLAND

Few striped bass schooled within 3 miles of shore lately off Delaware and Maryland, according to online reports. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles, and stripers had given up good catches in the area briefly until this cold weather began around Christmas. The cold now seemed to make the fish push farther offshore and to the south. Throwback stripers and spiny dogfish were reported beached from Delaware’s surf. Nothing was reported about blackfishing on the ocean in last week’s cold. Blackfishing sounded decent off Delaware previously.

NORTH CAROLINA

Hatteras

Hardy anglers made a trip last week that whacked 20- to 25-pound king mackerel, a great catch, on the ocean, a report said on Teach’s Lair Marina’s website. Air temperature was 38 degrees on the trip, and the marina reported nobody else fishing in the cold, except a commercial trip that also bagged kings. News from the marina will pick up this winter when bluefin tuna begin to be caught nearby.  The fish usually first begin to be hooked farther south in North Carolina. Visit Website.

Atlantic Beach

Bluefin tuna season opened beginning yesterday, but cold, windy weather kept boaters from trying for them, Terry Willis from Captain Stacy Fishing Center said this morning. That weather was going to continue today, but she was sure that boaters will head out for the fish as soon as the weather breaks. Visit Website.

FLORIDA

Islamorada

Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys were launched Wednesday aboard, Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, N.J., said that evening. The trips fish from Christmas to Easter each year, and the trip, with an angler and her two sons, grabbed a variety of mangrove snappers, yellowtail snappers, yellow jacks and Jack Crevalles near Islamorada. Then the trip moved to Florida Bay to sight-fish for sharks, hooking lemon sharks to 40 pounds and bonnethead sharks. More of the trips were going to fish in the following days. The angling could likely include tarpon fishing, Joe said, and a photo of a tarpon landed aboard was posted on Jersey Cape’s blog the next day, Thursday. Permit fishing’s been good on the trips in recent years, and every year can be different. But Joe saw two permit on Wednesday’s trip. Weather was 74 degrees and calm on Wednesday. The next day was supposed to be breezier, but winter is breezy. Evidence of last fall’s hurricane could be seen, but businesses seemed completely available to serve visitors. Fishing seemed normal and good. See the traveling charters webpage on Jersey Cape’s website. Call: 609-827-3442.

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