Posted on February 26th, 2020
I just arrived in Suffern, NY for tomorrow’s start of the World Fishing and Outdoor Expo at Rockland Community College and I was pleasantly surprised to get a fishing report from Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star. It seems the wind won’t reely start blowing until tomorrow so he was able to get a decent trip in with a light NE blow.
A light NE wind this day with 100% cloud cover. Not ideal, just what we had. Dropped 36 blocks at Sue Foster’s Block Drop & pressed on. (Pic is a NYCTA rail car to port & stb. Boat deployed blocks and pyramid units will eventually connect the two; make one nice-sized reef from two smaller ones.)
Mike Meszaros of Williamsburg VA boated a nice 22.5 inch female at our first spot. After mate JoNNah did NOT take a picture, Mike put her back. (We did get a of Mike with a little chinner later)
Nicking & picking, moving piece to piece; here come a 25.5 incher caught by Bill Schmitt of Freeport LI.. The fish would hold all day for the pool.
Wind got my attention when it puffed up to 18/19 knots for a half hour or so at our third set. It soon fell out again to just over 10 knots. Plenty calm if a bit foggy.
Have heard rumors of Boston mackerel down this way. Am looking everyday but it seems mighty unlikely.
Once a traditional mainstay – you couldn’t charter a bathtub in Ocean City on a Saturday during the mackerel run in the 1960s, 70, & 80s. When I was working deck on OC partyboats it was a lifesaver.
Then, in 1990 or 91, the Feds let in two foreign factory processor ships. Where in all years previous only 1 Ocean City trawler would get a decent price (around .25 cents) for the first big catch of macks — afterward it would fall below a nickel ..and sometimes they wouldn’t take em at all I understand.
But for 7 or 8 weeks those factory ship processors paid dear. Neither price nor trawl fishing pressure collapsed.
That was that for that.
It took a couple years for clients to quit coming. We’d see a flurry of fish now and again but the days of coolers slam full for weeks on end was over.
Those catches were almost always 5 to 8 miles off. After the collapse I once ran 40 miles off and caught – stayed in front of a massive gathering of saddleback dolphin as they pushed mackerel and herring – did OK.
Next day I ran back & had my first-ever skunk.. I guess the dolphin kept right on pushing em!
You can look at fisheries web pages today and see how guvmint’s protecting atlantic mackerel. Doing a fine job they say. Yeah, umm, protected just as soon as they wiped out the southern stock I guess.
I don’t know if we’ll ever get em back. Had two days on em 3 years ago. Courtney even caught em 5 at a time. Sure would like to see that fishery’s return.
Finished this long day of toggin with a bit more action. Nothing at all like yesterday’s, just a pick & mostly shorts with a keeper now and again. Stayed plenty late. Some fellows have dinner. I think all enjoyed..
Oyher individual snaps are Ramon Montoya from Alexandria VA – Matt King and Mate Jonah Robertson (Tanner tells me they’re both from ManDance DE)..
Also in the group snap are Moe Talierico of Brooklyn NY – Bill DeCosta of Long Island – Tre Elliott from Blue Moon DE – & James Milano from Long Island NY.