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Offseason Report

Report from Tuesday, March 26.

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

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

New York
Point Lookout

The party boat Captain Al fished for cod Sunday in better weather after wind forced Saturday’s trip to be canceled, Capt. Tom said. A handful of small cod were swung in, and at one spot, out-of-season blackfish were released. New York’s blackfish season will be open for the month of April. One-hundred-forty feet of water was the deepest the trip fished. But current screamed at that depth, and the trip had to pull back closer to shore to shallower water with calmer, fishable current. Most of the trip’s cod were hooked in 70 to 80 feet of water. But cod mostly swam the deep during recent previous trips. Cod typically relocate to deeper, warmer water sometime in winter. Still, the ocean began to warm now. The water was 42 degrees on the trip, and was in the high 30s two weeks ago. The warmer water seemed to make dogfish show up. Some began to bite on the trip. The trips had been slated to fish for cod every Saturday and Sunday. The boat will be brought to the shipyard to be spruced up for spring, and no trips will fish this weekend. Tom hopes fishing aboard resumes the following weekend, April 6 and 7. When the fishing does, it’ll sail for cod, blackfish and ling. See More Info. Call: 516-623-2248.

White perch were banked from Delaware Bay from shore at Bower’s Beach in Delaware, online reports said. That was some of the year’s first news about catches from the bay. But the first rumblings about striped bass catches trickled in from Delaware River. Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle in Philadelphia’s Facebook page on Thursday said someone called in a report about catching several 24- to 26-inch stripers on the lower river. The river averaged 43 to 44 degrees. That was the only striper report from the New Jersey area since on the page. The shop is a source of news for the river’s spring striper run. An angler posted an article today on the page about a 35-pound striper caught and released on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., apparently last week. Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon, N.J., reported that the year’s second striper was checked-in at the store yesterday, and the fish, a 16-1/2-pound 33-incher, came from the “Delaware River side” of New Jersey. But most reports about stripers from Delaware and Maryland only mentioned a few small ones, throwbacks, that began to hit at places like inlets and along bridges. On the ocean off Delaware, blackfishing was “less than spectacular,” one report said, but if you stick it out, you should catch dinner. Another report, from Maryland, said blackfishing was okay to slow off that state. It said fishing was yet to pick up in warming weather, but fishing for summer flounder began to improve during March’s final week last year at Cape Charles in Virginia.

North Carolina
Oregon Inlet

Boaters from Oregon Inlet Fishing Center beat yellowfin tuna, blackfin tuna and one bluefin tuna 160 pounds on Sunday, a report said on the marina’s website. One trip ran from the marina on Monday, totaling six blackfins, one yellowfin and some false albacore. Spring weather was becoming gorgeous. Visit Website.


After surf fishing began to amp up last week at Hatteras, wind, rain and rough seas ended that in the next days, a report said on Teach’s Lair Marina’s Facebook page. Catches of red drum and a few black drum and bluefish had begun to be eased from the beach. Blowtoads schooled the water everywhere. The weather also prevented offshore fishing. Visit Website.


Fishing for permit continued to improve at wrecks 7 miles from the slip, said Capt. Greg Fabrizzi from Manicsportfishing. Generally a 35- or 40-pounder was landed every time a trip tried the fishing. To catch, a live baby blueclaw crab – they cost $4 apiece – was used for bait. Closer to port, fishing for yellowtail snappers picked up and was tremendous at the reef. Huge were reeled in. A buddy decked a couple of mahi mahi the other day. But mahi fishing was yet to kick in. That’s a warm-water fishery, and the water was only 78 degrees. Sailfishing was spotty. Follow on Facebook. Call: 908-216-8355.

Last Week's Report

Point Lookout

The Captain Al fished for cod Sunday with another captain at the helm, Capt. Tom Weiss, who usually runs the trips, said. He was on vacation during the trip. The angling, fishing in 120 feet of water to 180, was slow. The previous trip, on the previous weekend, with Tom at the helm, landed a few cod and ling in 160 to 180 feet, covered in the previous report here. The water had cooled a little on that trip, and was below 40 degrees for the first time this winter. Melting snow and ice began to flow out from Hudson River, Tom guessed. These depths that were fished on the trips were deeper than the boat fished earlier this winter. That’s normal, and cod usually move deeper, where the water is warmer, as winter goes on. The ocean took longer to cool this winter than during some winters, but did cool. That seemed to cause cod to take longer to move to deeper water than in some winters. The trips have been scheduled to sail for cod 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. However, the boat will go in the yard soon to be prepared for the new fishing season. Telephone the vessel to confirm whether this weekend’s trips will sail. See More Info. Call: 516-623-2248.


For those waiting for the striped bass migration to reach Delaware Bay, the first place the fish will arrive in New Jersey: “The bay is still pretty cold,” one online report said late last week. Boaters who fished saltwater from Delaware and Maryland mostly sailed for blackfish on the ocean. The fishing could be banner or bust, and the fish were finicky, another report said. Some caught were big. Wintry wind often prevented sailing.

Oregon Inlet

One boat from Oregon Inlet Fishing Center limited out on yellowfin tuna yesterday, a report said on the marina’s Facebook page. Another boat also bailed a good number of yellowfins that day. Also that day, another landed a 63-inch bluefin tuna. Fishing was weathered out Saturday and Sunday. On Friday, a vessel from the marina landed a 65-inch bluefin. A couple of days until spring … give us a ring! the report said. Charters and open-boat trips are sailing on the center’s boats. Visit Website.


Surf-fishing was finally picking up, River from Teach’s Lair Marina wrote on the marina’s Facebook page. At first, several slot drum – redfish or red drum – were pulled from the water. Next, bigger ones, the season’s first, were sometimes heaved to the beach. A few black drum and bluefish were dragged in. Blowtoads hovered all over the surf. “Offshores still getting Wahoo and Tuna … with plenty of hookups on Bluefin,” he wrote. “… The bites on so come on down.” Visit Website.



At the reef, yellowtail snappers gave up solid catches, and mangrove snappers began to show up again, Capt. Greg Fabrizzi from Manicsportfishing said. Mangroves vanished a couple of weeks. The reef is a few miles from shore. Beyond the reef, permit began to show up at wrecks. They’re boat-shy, so the boat has to be anchored so that 100 to 200 yards of line can be let off the reel to drop a bait – usually crab – to the fish. Permit scream off line from the reel once they’re hooked. Wrecks that are fished for a variety of species, including permit, are mostly 8 to 9 miles from shore, mostly in 100 to 200 feet of water. A line of wrecks and manmade structure runs east to west, parallel to the Florida Keys where Marathon is located, at that distance from the islands. Manic hooked a sailfish that got off on a trip the other day. That was beyond the reef. King mackerel swarmed all over the water beyond the reef. Manic often hooked the kings on live bait fished 60 to 80 feet down. But kings can be hooked in a variety of ways, including on live bait fished from along the surface to mid-column, and on jigs. Fish that bit beyond the reef also included African pompano. Sharks are always a staple. Farther from shore, blackfin tuna fishing picked up again at the Islamorada Hump, an underwater mound that attracts fish. That angling had slowed a moment. Sailing that distance required fair weather, and weather was often rough. Mahi mahi fishing picks up when weather warms. Few mahi were around yet, and the season was early. Follow on Facebook. Call: 908-216-8355.