Mon., Feb. 18, 2019
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Offseason Report

Report from Tuesday, February 12.

| New York | Delaware/Maryland/Virginia | North Carolina | Florida | Last Week's Report |

The report covers out-of-state saltwater fishing
from late fall through winter, New Jersey’s off-season.

New York
Point Lookout

The party boat Captain Al sailed for cod Sunday, Capt. Tom Weiss said. The trips were weathered out for days previously, and on Sunday’s trip, the catches were alright. Only eight anglers climbed aboard, but they each bagged a couple of cod. The fish were hooked in the 70- and 80-foot shallows. So the cod were yet to push farther from shore like they do eventually in winter, seeking warmer water. The water on the fishing grounds was 41 degrees, the same as in past weeks. A few ling, the first of winter aboard, were also landed. No baitfish were really seen or marked. All the cod were clammed. Sometimes they can be jigged when baitfish are schooling. No trip fished Monday because of “lack of participation,” the boat’s Facebook page said. Too few anglers wanted to go, though wind was calm. Maybe too few showed up because forecasts had called for snow. Only a dusting fell the night before, though more was forecast. The snow apparently fell farther south than predicted. More fell in New Jersey. Several inches did. That might’ve kept anglers from showing up, too. A couple of inches were forecast for last night at Point Lookout, and that was supposed to change to rain today. A gale warning was posted for today and tomorrow, probably keeping the boat docked. But Tom hopes weather straightens out afterward. The boat is this website’s only that’s scheduled to fish for cod daily each winter. The trips are slated for 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. See More Info. Call: 516-623-2248.

Blackfishing on the ocean was slow because of cold water, but the blackfish were big that were caught, online reports said. That was on trips from Lewes, Del., to Ocean City, Md., and the water was in the 40 degrees. Sea bass fishing was outstanding from Virginia. Anglers limited out on hefty ones to 3 to 5 pounds. Big hake and some bluefish were mixed in.

North Carolina

Fishing for giant bluefin tuna was somewhat slower than previously, Marina Manager Todd Cummings from Outer Banks Marina said. The fleet fished for them a couple of days this past week, between windy weather. They caught some, but fewer than before. None of the tuna was huge, but they weighed 300 to 400 pounds. This is commercial fishing, and some of the commercial boats also take charters, and that’s allowed by law. Private boats can also fish for the bluefins, because they’re allowed to harvest one trophy bluefin per year. Todd had thought the commercial quota would be filled last week. But additional quota was added that week. Visit Website.

A few dog sharks bit in the surf, a report said on Teach’s Lair Marina’s Facebook page. But nothing was going on for surf anglers. A 19-inch summer flounder was known to be dragged from the water. One boat sailed offshore from the marina. Seas were rough, but the trip docked an 81-pound wahoo and some blackfin tuna. Visit Website.


Traveling charters to the Florida Keys will next fish in a couple of weeks aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, N.J. He offers the trips every winter, and catches on the most recent of the trips included a 40-pound permit on 10-pound line, a tarpon that was jumped and snook and redfish that were angled. That was from the bay to the Everglades and was covered in the previous report here. The permit was big, a fish of a lifetime. Visit Website. Call: 609-827-3442.


A morning trip yesterday lit into yellowtail snappers and cero mackerel “galore” with Manicsportfishing! Manic’s Facebook page said. The trip was the first time the anglers ever fished on the ocean, and the angling was a blast, it said. Manic, a charter from Keyport, N.J., that’s fishing the Florida Keys this winter, mostly fishes the ocean side from the islands. The previous trip, with a family aboard, limited out on snappers at the reef, the Facebook page said. The reef is several miles from shore, and Manic is also chasing catches beyond the reef, from amberjacks and king mackerel to blackfin tuna, sailfish and more. Most of this Keys fishing is on the ocean side aboard. Follow on Facebook. Call: 908-216-8355.

Last Week's Report

Point Lookout

After rough weather kept the fishing docked for days, trips resumed cod fishing Saturday through Monday on the party boat Captain Al, Capt. Tom Weiss said. The angling was slow on Saturday. That was on the inshore grounds, so the crew decided to push farther from shore on Sunday’s trip. The catches improved, and that was in 100 to 120 feet of water, 25 miles from shore. Cod were picked at most wrecks fished on that trip. Dogfish and ocean pout were also hooked. Monday’s trip returned to the deep, but this time, the angling was slow. So the trip pulled back inshore, and the fishing was better. The ocean’s temperature dropped after last week’s cold, and was currently 39 to 41 degrees. The warmest water currently was still inshore, where trips aboard had previously been catching cod. All the cod were clammed on these last few trips. Sometimes cod can be jigged, usually when baitfish are schooling. These last few trips did mark lots of unidentified baitfish inshore, and no baitfish offshore. Forecasts looked great for the fishing the next couple of days. The boat is this site’s nearest to New Jersey that fishes for cod daily each winter. The trips are running 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. See More Info. Call: 516-623-2248.


The ocean was cold, slowing blackfishing, online reports said. But when one was hooked, it was often big. The tautog heavier than 10 pounds were reported caught on trips from Lewes and Indian River, Del., and Ocean City, Md. Weather was brutally cold last week, but warm this week, reaching the 60 degrees. The warmth was expected to trigger yellow perch to bite in the upper stretches of tidal creeks or rivers. Males, smaller perch, usually nibble first. Later, the females, bigger perch, usually hit.



Boats were headed for bluefin tuna this morning when Marina Manager Todd Cummings from Outer Banks Marina gave this report, he said. Wind kept the vessels from sailing yesterday, but they fished throughout the weekend, smashing big bluefins, lots. Most of the tuna probably weighed 350 to 500 pounds. The tuna this year arrived early, and the anglers will probably catch their quota soon. A few scattered yellowfin tuna, not many, also swam the area. The bluefins were so abundant that sometimes small, 24- or 25-foot center consoles sailed for them this weekend. Four-hundred- or 500-pound fish were heaved aboard. Visit Website.

Oregon Inlet

A trip Sunday from the marina landed some yellowfin tuna, a bluefin tuna and a swordfish, said Brigitte from Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. The bluefin wasn’t big, she thought. That was a commercial trip, and charters become popular late this month and in March from the docks. Visit Website.


Surf fishing was slow, River from Teach’s Lair Marina wrote in a report on the marina’s Facebook page. A friend fished all the holes without a bump. A warm spell was underway now, and maybe that would help. Last week’s cold snap didn’t. In offshore waters, “tuna are out there,” he wrote, but few trips sailed for them. Visit Website.



A couple joined some of the traveling charters to the Florida Keys on Saturday and Sunday aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service from Sea Isle City, N.J. The fishing was great, and catches included a huge, 40-pound permit, a fish of a lifetime. That was on 10-pound line to boot. The anglers also jumped a tarpon and reeled in a bunch of usual fish including jacks, snappers and blue runners. They had shots at sight-casting to sharks, but never connected. This was all on the bay, and the anglers also fished in the Everglades, pulling up catches including snook and redfish. Conditions made fishing tough last year in the Everglades. But fishing there looked better this year. The waters looked healthy. A lot of small fish milled around the Everglades, suggesting that the fishing was rebounding. Weather was perfect both days. Weather is often windy in winter in the Keys. But there’s almost always someplace to fish, no matter the weather, and that’s one of the advantages. Joe runs the trips from Christmas to Easter each year, and fishes from Jersey the rest of the year. Visit Website. Call: 609-827-3442.


Water temperature began to rise in the transition from winter to spring, said Capt. Greg Fabrizzi from Manicsportfishing from Keyport, N.J. He’s running charters from Marathon in the Florida Keys for winter. A few more mahi mahi began to show up than before. Fishing began to light up at wrecks, after sharks haunted the wrecks previously. Catches at wrecks included fish like a couple of jumbo, 30-plus-pound black groupers, all the amberjacks anglers could want, big mutton snappers and more. The wrecks that Greg is fishing are mostly in 100 feet of water to 150, sometimes as deep as 200. When trips had the weather to sail farther from shore to the Islamorada Hump, 15 miles out, blackfin tuna could be hooked abundantly. That’s an underwater mound that attracts fish. A few miles from shore, plenty of yellowtail snappers bit along the reef, like usual. Just offshore of the reef, catches included king mackerel, cobia and more. About 10 days are available for charters in February, and March is beginning to book. Manic mostly fishes the ocean side from the Keys. Follow on Facebook. Call: 908-216-8355.