DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

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DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:45 am

I remember hearing about this clip from EARLIER this year, and I was reminded again yesterday by one of my commercial fishing buddies......

I will state right here, THAT WHAT YOU HEAR IS SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION YOU WILL EVER HEAR, SPOKEN FROM ONE OF THE PROFESSORS OF CODFISHING, CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH OF THE CAPTAIN AL.

This was a radio broadcast done by Rich Johnson on January 10, 2009. In it, Rich asks all the right questions, and Captain Al without pulling any punches, gives you the gospel about how these codfish move around, the open bottom and wreck fish rigs, where to catch them, and the history of codfishing post World War II in the NY Bight.

Captain Al will mention the names of captains such as Richie Kessinger and Joe Gullo, who have caught more then their share of codfish over the years, but more importantly, he will literally give you the game plan on where codfish show up in this area during the winter.

I hope I don't get a couple of emails and phone calls for letting this interview become more well known, but one thing we have ALWAYS stressed here at FISHING UNITED.COM, is to give fishermen and fishing businesses, the best and most relevant information we find on the internet.

So go here to RIch Johnsons - FISHING LINE. I will link to the page, and then scroll down to 2009 Radio Show Guests. RIGHT CLICK on Capt. Al Lindroth and save the wma file. This file will open up with the VLC player so you can listen to information on south shore codfishing from one of the legends in the party boat business:

# 1/10: Capt. Al Lindroth of the Capt. Al in Point Lookout on the return of LI Codfishing


The file will look like this in your folder....click on it with the appropriate player and enjoy.

RadioShow1-10-09Capt.AlCodfishResurge.wma
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Re: DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

Postby ctwhitechin08 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:25 pm

great interview with Al. The years I spent listening to Richie, and later to Al about how things used to be really compared to how they are now just amaze me. Here's a few examples:

1) going to the Steel Wreck and catching 100 cod and a bushel of blackfish a man
2) flounder fishing rule of thumb was a bucket of flounders per man, anything less was a poor day
3) running circles around a wreck to chase the porgies off so people could catch some bass
4) people smashing 7-8 pound blackfish against the side of the hull and letting them float away, why? They wanted COD.
5) fishing the Gloria and Doris with just a jig, and catching either a porgy, seabass, cod, pollack, bluefish, or fluke every time down in the fall.

I can go on and on. Wish I knew what those two guys forgot :shock:
we are the people our parents warned us about!!!
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Re: DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:38 pm

Hi Marc.....both Captain Al and Captain Richie have seen and forgotten more then even the best fishermen here have remembered.

Those are some incredible points you have mentioned. The days of going from codfishing to flounders then to mackerel, then to a little bottom fishing or bluefishing, then a little tuna fishing, then either to whiting or for those boats, codfish again.

These were some fisheries we had here.......and Richie tells the story about a terrible cod trip one year and he decides to run to a new wrecks he found a while back, and it ends up it is loaded with tackle busting blackfish. After a while the customers get tired of catching these big blackfish and demand to go codfishing, as poor as it was that day. Hard to believe when we think about that mindset from fishermen these days!
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Re: DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

Postby Paul H / Emily S » Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:22 am

That is an enjoyable interview, Capt Al is the man, and the topic is one we can all relate too. One thing I must respectfully disagree with is where they first show up when swinging inshore from the east edge of the Hudson/ Mudhole. From what I've seen, particularly during the recent "resurgence", is that they show first where the bait is most prevalent, which is not always further to the west. These "new" fish first really showed up in Dec 2007 / early 2008 and the area was the 20 mile wreck S/E of Jones. They worked inshore to Cholera and wrecks outside of JI. Those fish were stuffed with herring and macks early on. The fish thinned out a bit, then an even bigger run appeared further west and inshore, down to the RR, Buoy 4, etc, on the bait. Last year was not as good, PERIOD. This year we have sand eels, changing the equation once again. Outside of JI, we had some green fish on xmas eve morn of this year, 70', here's hoping, I have not fished further off, (yet) ..

The recent Shinnecock reports are encouraging, but the last couple of years these fish get fished down or move and that's that. I don't believe these fish follow the route Capt Al spoke about, and are more like "Montauk/Georges" spillover fish. The dividing line for east / west fish may be the wrecks / fingers S/E of FI. Comments ??

Here's hoping for continued COD along our shores. They would fill in some gaping holes in our winter fishing opportunities....
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Re: DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:26 am

Morning Paul.....

That interview with Captain Al about codfish provoked much thinking on, ie: migration, proper rigs, history of the fishing and so on. I wish we could of heard from the other old time captains that are still around who have their own ideas on this fishery.

Let me digress for a moment.....

From what is know, there seems to be a few different stocks of codfish that come to the south shore of Long Island.

Montauk seems to receive both bodies of fish....on that comes from and migrates from Georges and Nantucket westward and then circumnavigate back in the spring. Another body of codfish were the ones that stuck around from Shinnecock westward to the Mudhole. These were the fish that would move back and forth offshore, and typically seemed to pass to and from the Virginia area.

In the past, remember how the codfishery in the spring and early summer here would have codfish off of Shinnecock through the Virginia area from April through early July, and the fishing was better then the Montauk fishing during the same period?

It is documented through tagging studies that codfish will migrate extremely large distances through the year, following bait as you stated. Sand eels are one of the key forage foods for the codfish, especially with mackerel and herring stocks at what seems like all time lows.

The codfish Captain Al mentioned are fish that were 'native' to this area that would run as far south in good numbers to say the Resor wreck area, and would be caught offshore as deep and past the Texas Tower area. Then tend to run along and in the mud hole, the filter out again, typically to the east, then come right back to the mudhole.

Unlike in the Gulf of Maine where cod will be seen as deep as 600 feet of water, in this area cod will not be seen in any numbers deeper then 40 fathoms.

The question is WHY since further north, codfish normally will be found in deeper water depths then here.

Just think for a moment about the fish that we are now seeing being caught in Montauk....are these Georges fish that have made their way here or the normal body of fish that typically makes their way here every winter.

I also want to point out how cod would come here in the NY Bight in the winter. Didn't these fish first be seen in noticeable numbers from Ambrose Ridge right through Scallop Ride early in the season instead of being first seen in noticeable numbers at say the Fire Island NA wrecks and the 20 mile wrecks?

Then as the we went from election day through December and then into January, the body of bigger fish were seen being caught off the 20 mile wrecks?

Codfish are known to be VERY 'EDGE' oriented as they move along in their travels. When the fish come westward from Nantucket, doesn't it seem the largest concentration migrate along the 30 fathom edge?

Just think about how the best WRECK CODFISHING typically occurs along wrecks off of southern Massachusetts from the DUMPS, through the Suffolk area, which is just south of Coxes Ledge, right through eastern and western rig wreck area to south of Block?

How about in this area, where the CIA fish filter westward along and inshore of the 30 fathom edge and then take a similar track of bending off at the Coimbra, and then working their way through either the Virginia area just to the south, and the Fire Island wrecks just a little north?

How come the main body of these fish didn't continue on southward from the Coimbra and follow the 30 fathom edge right through the Rabbits area, like scup and sea bass do in the fall, but run along shallower areas as they migrate?

I am just giving my 'laymens' idea on how these fish move around. The old time professors of the south cod fishery like Captain Al, Captain Richie, a number of the old time Captree Captains, and even Captain Laddy Martin and Captain Jay Porter are the ones who best knew this incredible fishery we had here. I am just passing along what I have been told and heard, and even Captain Billy Doll who also has seen the cod fishery past World War II will also mention have the fish in the west would run straight in northward to the beach and setup in November on the south shore beaches here.

How come fishermen could not follow the body of fish from east to west in a calender like fashion following these fish from say the Jug east of Shinnecock, then to the Coimbra, through the Oregon and San Diego, through Cholera and finally right onto Ambrose Ridge?

Didn't it seem these codfish came from the south first instead of east when we saw them here in early November through December?

One of the saddest events here was the foreign invaders that destroyed the cod fishery here from the late fifties through the early seventies. Unrelenting pressure and 24 hour fishing operations by these foreign flagged vessels destroyed our native cod stocks. What we are seeing here as Captain Al spoke about is the remnants of those fish which come here every season....and the reason why I state this is that the Georges stock is still off Georges, the Great South Channel and Nantucket area and have not made their way here yet.

Again, I conclude I am repeating from what I have heard over the years from the old time captains who saw this fishery in its heyday.

It is a great discussion here Paul, and I know many other fishermen have their own ideas about where these codfish come from every season. Definitely thought provoking!

Hopefully the body of codfish keeps growing every season, so that a consistent winter fishery again develops.

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Re: DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

Postby fetchdup » Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:33 pm

E.C, ....Thanks for the great post. It was good to hear Al talk, thear is none more qualified to speak on LOCAL cod. A few observations if I may. Having been a comercial hook fisherman on the west end of the Island for 30+ years , I have seen codfishing go from scarce (70's),to abundant(80's),to scarce again (90's-00's). We have seen promissing signs theese last 2-3 winters ,lets hope for more. Having said that lets not count our chickens. Around 89-91 we had promising numbers of small cod south of Jones Inlet on the inshore grounds that never amounted to anything the next few years. We have seen one of the best seasons for bait of all kinds in the ocean this year. Especially encouraging is the resurgance of sandeels , probably the most important forage species in this area. As for the migration patterns of local cod , every year brings different conditions and patterns are affected by these . In the 60's Cod would show at Scallop Ridge around Election Day but during the abundance of the early 80's you couldn't buy a bite in this area. It appears these last few years cod are showing further west and further inshore than they used to. They are also much later. The huge Dogfish population may be playing a part here. Mid December would bring good inshore open bottom cod at the Sugar Barrel and other nearby grounds. I would not even attempt to anchor and chum in this area today. So this may be affecting both bait and cod as the doggies are not quite as thick further North and west. Let's remain optimistic and hope for the best in the New Year.
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Re: DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

Postby nickh » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:05 am

You can spew all the scientific data collected over the years you want, but I'll listen to the old salt any day because he has a sixth sense which in my opinion something science cannot teach. Not saying any of the other theories explained here hold no water.....they very much do, but who the hell ever would have thought we would have had fishing out east like we did last year. I didn't hear anyone say, "This is going to be the best local codfishing in years" before it actually happened. I know the conversation was about western area fish, but who the hell really knows?
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Re: DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

Postby Paul H / Emily S » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:31 am

Actually, Capt Al himself spoke at my fishing club and predicted an upturn of cod in general couple of years ago. His reasoning ? A resurgance of Capelin (a forage fish) making a big comeback up north.

The highly migratory nature of cod coupled with bait cycles in any particular location make COD predictions kinda like weather forcasting... Still history tends to repeat itself, and guys like Al have seen enough cycles to get a better view of what could/might happen then most of us would ever have.

The run last year at Montauk is unprecedented, but fishing has been pretty good out there for quite some time. So we shall see 1) if they show up like that and 2) how they withstand the onslaught
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Re: DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

Postby nickh » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:35 am

They did take some beating.
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Re: DEC 31st - A CLASSIC FOR COD FISHERMEN - CAPTAIN AL LINDROTH ON SOUTH SHORE CODFISH!

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:55 pm

As I said earlier, Captain Al is one of the legitimate codfish professors left in this area, and you may think is some BS story, but 2-3 years ago Al told Tommy to take the boat to one of the known Jones Beach wrecks since he said they should be there by now. The Captain Al went there, and to another spot, and nothing was doing.......two days the codfish showed up on those wrecks.

As Paul said and I agree, history does repeat itself with the habits these fish have, especially when it comes to times when they have to spawn.

As far as taking a beating, a good amount of codfish were caught. Who knows how many, but thankfully everyone enjoyed some of the finest kind of codfishing we have seen in years.
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