7/10: Had some of the guys from the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County on for a FTYP trip today. Broke the inlet just after 6 and found a completely different ocean than we saw yesterday - flat calm and smooth seas on our ride north up to the sticky stuff.
First drift was pretty much lock and load fluke as we were being pushed by a southerly current, and we had no wind at least for the first 30 minutes to butt-up against the current. On that first drift, we boated countless fluke, mostly shorts, but boxed 4 keepers. Second drift, everything changed, as a NNE breeze kicked in killing our drift. Dennis' rod doubled over a few minutes in, and we thought he had a slob of a fluke - headshakes and all - turned out to be a thick 4.5' silver eel!!
Ran all over the ocean after that between Long Branch and Sea Bright, picking way here and there, but couldn't string more than 2 drifts together with good results. Conditions were constantly changing, as we slid, or we didn't move, or we moved too fast. Bottom line was that We picked and picked and picked. Some spots yielded some fish, others didn't.
We wound up boating somewhere between 75-100 fluke today, and wound up with a total of 13 keepers up to 4#, as well as 2 seabass. It was a tough day, but we wound up OK. Dennis was high hook with 4, Frank followed up with 3.
7/9:FTYP trip today with Larry, Fred, Tommy, Don K, Keith "Hookafattie" and Aaron.
Ran out at 6 and was greeted by a STIFF NE wind 15-20 kts and 2-4' seasVERY close together with an occasional 5-6' thrown in Wasn't pretty, but we set up on a couple of lumps locally and found a drift of 1.5 - 2 kts and very few bites. We were only able to pull a few shorts. For all intents and purposes, we were waiting out the wind as it was supposed to blow itself out by around 9-10AM, but it never did, if anything it picked up.
So, we opted to fish the river for awhile then give it a go later in the day when the wind crapped out.
River was OK. Fishing west of 35 we had some bites, not a lot, but at the start of the incoming most of the fluke were nice fish - 5 made it to the box up to 19". Around 1130 we headed back out, only to find the ocean still real rolly, with more 5-6' ers thrown in now, so we again headed back inside after another futile attempt.
Finishing up where we started, we were able to pull a couple more keepers out and a good amount of shorts.
For the day, we had 7 keepers and 1 cocktail blue, 5 of which were over 18" and the biggest was 20". Fred and Tommy both had fish that were right on the mark. With that 5th fish, Fred remarkably got his 5 fish limit - congrats to him on a very tough day for really GRINDING IT OUT! Larry had the other keeper. Out of those fish, we probably boated around 40 fluke, lots of real small ones in the mix. Real fun day despite the sluggish fishing w/ some regulars, and it was great seeing Keith again as I haven't had him on the boat since 2006!