Had Larry, Fred, Evan, Craig, and Tommy aboard today for a "mixed bag" trip. The guys wanted to try for fluke to start out the trip, and then we would switch over to tog/porgies. We ran north, found a nice heave out of the SE and fished a few spots off LB and Elberon for the fluke to start. We did have a few shorts, and Fred got one that was 17.5". After almost 2 hours of a very slow pick with loads of out-of-season short seabass we decided to switch over.
First drop was in 30' on some real nasty stuff, we had a few porgies and a few tog but the bite was very slow. We made another move to our north and after a few shifts got into a slow but steady pick of jumbo porgies with an occasional tog coming up. We also had several seabass in the mix, with some that would've been keepers if the season were still open - we even had a couple in the 2-3 # range - IT HURT throwing those back! We picked best here when we had the current and at the change, but after we lost most of the current the anchor line was pretty much slack and we had to use the motors to stay on the fish; we'd have a flurry of 4-5 then it'd die, and we'd repeat that every now and then.
One more drop yielded a few more porgies and tog, then it was off to finish off the day fluking. We were able to get a few more shorts, and Fred, who caught the first keeper of the year on Reel Class way back in June, caught the last keeper @ 20" to close out the day.
For the day we had a real nice mixed bag. We wound up with one full bushel basket of porgies (I didn't count them, Mike did), most of them in the 1-3# range and only one having to be measured, 4 keeper tog to 4#, 3 jumbo blowfish, 1 4' silver eel, and Fred's 20" fluke. We also boated ~100 seabass, with at least 20 of them being "keepers" if the season were opened - every one of them was released unharmed. The big swell certainly hurt the scup and the tog fishing today, but we still had a nice pick at times with them. Overall we had a good day of fishing and the guys went home with nice bags of fillets!!