Sun., March 24, 2019
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Offseason Report

Report from Tuesday, March 19.

| New York | Delaware/Maryland | North Carolina | Florida | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY

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

New York
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.

Delaware/Maryland
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.

North Carolina
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.

Hatteras

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.

Florida
Marathon

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.

Last Week's Report
NEW YORK

Point Lookout

A few good-sized cod and a handful of big, fat ling were axed Saturday on the Captain Al, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Sunday’s trip was weathered out. Saturday’s trip caught best in 160 feet of water to 180. That’s deeper water. So the cod seemed to migrate to the deep, like they do each winter. Trips are slated to fish for cod 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. See More Info. Call: 516-623-2248.

DELAWARE/MARYLAND

Few trips sailed for fishing by this time of year from Delaware and Maryland, according to online reports. Plus, weather was frigid much of last week, and that didn’t help. One trip ran for blackfish from Delaware that was known about, and the two anglers limited out on the tautog to 18 pounds. A trip from Maryland was reported to land a good number of blackfish to 27 inches that week. Delaware Bay was in the low 40 degrees, interestingly. Migrating striped bass from south should enter the bay soon, on the way to spawn in Delaware River.

NORTH CAROLINA

Oregon Inlet

Bluefin tuna, lots, were smoked Saturday on trips from Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, a report said on the marina’s website. The fish included a 425-pounder and a 420-pounder. The fleet was back out Monday, had the weather to sail, and tied into bluefins again. Sometimes yellowfin tuna were caught among the fleet lately, too. The General Category that includes charters was closed beginning 11:30 p.m. Feb. 28 for bluefins, because the quota was filled. That’s a commercial category. But the Angling Category is allowed to bag one trophy bluefin a year. So those anglers are getting after those fish and releasing other bluefins. Most of the bluefins mentioned in this report were let go. Visit Website.

Hatteras

Surf-fishing’s picking up a little, River from Teach’s Lair Marina wrote on the marina’s Facebook page. A couple of slot drum were dragged in. Blowtoads began to show up. Several good catches of them were reported. River hooked a small sea mullet. Maybe that was a good sign. Boaters locked into tuna and wahoos. The report didn’t mention the species of tuna. Visit Website.

FLORIDA

Islamorada

Joe Pewdo jumped on traveling trips 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, cranking in catches including snappers, jacks, a bunch of lemon sharks and a 25-pound permit. The sharking was sight-fishing along shallow flats. The permit jumped on a jig with a shrimp. A little breeze blew, but weather was good. See the traveling charters webpage on Jersey Cape’s website. Keep up with his fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog. Call: 609-827-3442.