JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

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JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:18 am

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It is catches like you see above which lead many fishing captains in this region to believe that all they have to have do, is obtain a few sets of numbers and a vessel, and they can easily load up the fishermen and customers on their boat with codfish.

But are these seductive pictures of codfish laying across the deck a true indication on how easy it is to catch codfish off of Block Island in the winter?

Many who have been around and fishing out of Montauk or Rhode Island will tell you, gone are the days, when party and charter boats ran to areas like South West Ledge, 20 minutes East, Cartwright or the Block Island wrecks and rockpiles during the sixties and early seventies, and just beat on the codfish.

What captain of that period from Paul Forsberg, Buddy Dorman, Dick Vigilant, Richie Rade, Tred Abrams, Jay Porter, Les Behan among the more noted names, stayed up nights worrying about the phase of the moon, time of the tide changes or making sure their boat was off the dock at 1 am, to ensure that they had a good catch of cod for their customers because the best bite is at night?

Wasn't it all about having a few sets of good numbers off Block, or the south side of the Point, and and then dropping the hook when they have readings like this on one of the hundreds of rockpiles in that area:

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The above is just an example of what many captain believe is going on when winter codfishing in Montauk, and again it seductively lures fishing boats from ports as far away as southern Massachusetts to New Jersey to travel sometimes over 100 plus miles to catch codfish.

I hope I am letting a little light into how difficult it can be winter codfishing in Montauk, when numerous vessels, both party, charter and recreational have now descended on this area at this time of the year:

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Gone are the days when few outside of the fleet out of Montauk knew these fishing grounds without even giving it a second thought, or worried about another boat beating them out to the best spots to catch a boat load of fish.

Many take for granted how easy it is these days to get the numbers to many of the wrecks and rockpiles in this area, but there was a time when a party boat captain went so far to cut both of his anchors while fishing on the Suffolk wreck, to ensure that another party boat would not get the numbers to a spot.

How far have we come from that time when you can now get the numbers of one of the best codfish wrecks in that area right off a Carmark fishing chart!

To give one funny example, a local captain who fishes out of Montauk was telling me about another friend on how easy it is on catching cod during the winter out of Montauk, and said 'just run out to where the FAIRWAY buoy is east of Block Island, drift around and your in'. He said the other captain who was not familiar with the Montauk area, said "fairway, like in a golf'? Kid you not.....

These days the local codfish fleet out of Montauk and Rhode Island has to deal with the numbers to many of the once secret fishing grounds, now be pasted on many sites all over the internet. I can give you another example here, by just typing in a certain word search, and this came up which happened to be posted on a Montauk based site:

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I know I am going to get a few nice PMs, emails and calls from some of the captains out east for the chart above, but would you believe that I have seen this list POSTED ON A NUMBER of fishing sites and fishing forums......I am not saying that the numbers shown here are correct, and with any fishing information posted on the internet, this should be added:

Not responsible for any loss or damages resulting from the direct or indirect use of this information.

But getting back to the main point of this article, fishing off of Montauk in the winter months should be left to the vessels and captains that do this on a regular, daily basis, or have fished out of that port for years.

In another 'classic' story, I know of one fishing boat that made the trip to the Fairway area, slowed down and proceeded to get onto a spot that they had been given a set of numbers too. The captain who had great experiencing in fishing another area for years, tried to set two anchors on the spot, and he couldn't.

Unlike fishing in his own backyard, he immediately saw that the currents off of Montauk, specifically off of the south east side of Block Island, are extremely strong, and he had trouble having the boat respond in rough seas to come around to set the second anchor. So he picked up the first anchor and reset on the drop with one anchor.

With the honking wind running against the flow of the screaming current, the big vessel acted like a sail and proceeded to do 180 degree arching swings over the spot.

Now this might work well if your fishing for summer flounder, but for winter Block Island codfishing, you are not only wasting valuable fishing time, but frustrating the heck out of your customers who are now constantly reeling in, then letting out to keep their sinkers on the bottom, and the mates scrambling with ice numbed fingers to pull apart the massive tangles that this captain created!

I should add, 'blue bird' days off of Montauk do occur, but how many captains and fishermen who regularly fish out of that port will tell you about going out in slick calm conditions to Coxs Ledge, then beating their way home in conditions that are colorfully stated as 'azz pounding', 'heads handed to us' and other vivid descriptions of unrelenting quick rolling frothy seas that tend to average 6-8 feet and more when the wind starts blowing over 20 mph, especially when it runs against the current?

Sure every bottom fishermen in the mid-Atlantic and New England region loves to catch the 'winter king'. As we have stated a number of times, catching blackfish is nice, but there is nothing like catching 30 lb and larger codfish, especially in water depths under 30 fathoms whether on bait or jigs.

I know many of us want to walk off the various party and charter boats with a catch like this, and this is the reason why we started this thread here....your highest probability of having a catch such as this is to stick with fishing on the party and charter boats that fish daily out of Montauk and Rhode Island.

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Sure, you can run out to Montauk on a boat that wants to make a trip or two there to catch a handful of codfish off of Montauk. But remember, the boats that regularly fish this area make it look easy since they understand these important facts....the night bite.....where the fish have been setting up....what spots have been productive, and which ones are barren rock piles and sand....what to do when you have to start hunting them after sun up.

How many cranky captains look at their watches and see its 10, 11 or 12 in the morning with little to show in the fish box or customers pails as they stare at Block Island and try to come up with a game plan.

Do you make the run east to Coxs and then worry about a 35 mile or more ride back to the Point? Do I stop short along the way, possibly wasting valuable fishing time? Do you run to Cartwright and CIA, and hope there are enough fish there to put a catch together? Will I get there and see the best spots are now taken by boats that have fished them for who knows, how many hours? Will one of the Block Island wrecks bail me out with a few fish so that my customers come back for a future trip or are so barren of fish because they have been picked over already?

The pressure is on as customers start giving you dirty looks as you try to concentrate up in the wheelhouse, and the shouts of 'captain move the boat' get louder and louder. Will a VHF report from one of the captains save the day, or will the report chasing only compound an already bad fishing day?

So many questions when it comes down to crunch time, and this again highlights the reason for going with a party and charter boat that does this on a regular basis and knows 'the lay of the land', so to speak.

A few set of numbers are always very helpful and get you into the ballpark, but it reminds me of the old line, 'who would you want to perform brain surgery on you...a doctor just out of med school, or a doctor with 20 years of experience'?

Take it from EC....It is more then the numbers when it comes to winter codfishing off of Montauk and Rhode Island. Your best bet for success is fishing with those captains and boats who are fishing in their own backyard, and have done so on a daily, weekly, or year around basis.


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Re: JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

Postby DTFISH » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:00 pm

Excellent post!I don't mean to be inflammatory but enough is enough, fishing etiquette in general has gone way down the tubes over the years.It's just part of the entitlement mentality that is so pervasive in America these days.With no respect or concern for the guy who's worked hard and busted his butt doing something for years.If I was a guy who for years made a living fishing the area the foreigners are encroaching on I'd be ripped.I'd like to see a return to the old days of settling issues like this.
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Re: JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

Postby MisterX » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:06 pm

DTFISH,

Your response strikes a chord with me and Im sure many others. However, years ago fishing was a much different business. Every port had its own specialties. With Sea Bass closed, many boats are doing what they have to just to survive! Is it right? Probably not. But how can you tell a guy who's trying to stay in a dying business that he shouldnt bring his boat to Montauk. Its become the only game in town. In fact its pretty much the only game from Southern Mass to Jersey. ( no offense you ling fans)

"When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others" - Chinese Proverb
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Re: JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

Postby COD » Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:55 pm

Now there is a cooler of good looking cod and a nice mess on the stern of the other boat. :o
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Re: JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:41 am

Morning everyone....

The theme here is to get into the codfishing that is going on, no matter where the party and charter boats leave from. We have not had a fishery like this for a number of years, and with its return it is great to see the amount of fishermen who want to go out in the winter and catch the winter king.

No matter what state you live in, get down to the boats in your area that make the run to Montauk and southern Rhode Island waters.

Winter fishing in itself can be harsh due to the weather conditions, no doubt about that. With the offshore sea bass fishery unnecessarily shut down, support the fishing fleet in this region and get out and catch some cod.

We will continue to put up articles and threads on the codfishing, along with tackle and techniques easily explained, both in words and images.

All of us here are looking forward to seeing the pictures and hearing the stories on this fishery.


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Re: JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

Postby nickh » Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:10 am

The last part of the article said it best and is what I recently experienced. Everybody had their own opinions of what the game plan should have been at the end of the day. The Capt. did what he thought was right and I could not argue. He knows the grounds and I don't and I'm sure he even assessed the trip on the way home and tried to figure out what else if anything he could have done. One note I would like to add and take this as you may. I would have had more confidence with the old man running the boat instead of the kid. The trip did advertise that the father would be running the boat and that is one of the reasons I booked the trip. With that said it might have made the difference in what resulted in a VERY slow day.
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Re: JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

Postby togilator » Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:54 pm

nickh wrote: One note I would like to add and take this as you may. I would have had more confidence with the old man running the boat instead of the kid. The trip did advertise that the father would be running the boat and that is one of the reasons I booked the trip. With that said it might have made the difference in what resulted in a VERY slow day.

Nick you are talking about your own trip :?: just recently Saturday the 2 kids had good catches while the old man stroked it,I hadf friends on both boats.Sunday Morning we Started off were the KID located the Fish all by our selves,In the afternoon when in a different area we were about to go looking and Capt.Mike of the Frances said to the old man,take a drift over here.We plugged the boat after 2 other boats went screaming off into the horizon.

My point is everybody has a tough day especially when the weather doesn't cooperate.It helps to have friends that you have been working with for 25 years.Thats another little advantage of the bigger fleets with multi boats and the ones that have known each other all these years.They talk and share valuable information.They never tell all though.
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Re: JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

Postby nickh » Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:57 pm

Agreed. I'm not saying that it would have made a difference, but maybe there would have been a different game plan. Those guys know that area like the back of their hand. I would think after poor fishing most of the day we would have hit a "bail out spot" at the end of the day.

Tog, this was Sat report. I don't know where you got your info?
"Fishing on the Viking Star's limited 1am cod trip was a tough pick."
When I say the kid, I mean 3rd generation.
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Re: JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:12 pm


BULLS-EYE

My point is everybody has a tough day especially when the weather doesn't cooperate.It helps to have friends that you have been working with for 25 years.That's another little advantage of the bigger fleets with multi-boats and the ones that have known each other all these years.They talk and share valuable information.They never tell all though.


Rob thank you for clarifying this issue. Just like the bluefish fleets we had in this area where all the captains would talk on the vhf radio and call the other boats in when they found the fish....and that meant captains from Captree, right on through to the Jersey ports.

Ground fishing is different, but when you have relationships with other captains who worked together on deck of in the wheelhouse, and known each other for years, IT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE when the bite is off, and many times it is due to the conditions.

Sharing of certain information is appropriate, and sometimes when you do know another captain on another boat, you will not try to get in their way when they have found fish on a spot. A simple " I caught them in this area', should be good enough for most captains, as well as " I ran down this way, and it wasn't worth the run'.

I heard today the fishing was very good with one boat getting back to the dock early in the morning with limit catches of codfish.

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Re: JAN 18th - IT IS MORE THEN FISHING NUMBERS WHEN WINTER FISHING MONTAUK & BLOCK ISLAND FOR CODFISH!

Postby togilator » Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:35 pm

nickh wrote:Agreed. I'm not saying that it would have made a difference, but maybe there would have been a different game plan. Those guys know that area like the back of their hand. I would think after poor fishing most of the day we would have hit a "bail out spot" at the end of the day.

Tog, this was Sat report. I don't know where you got your info?
"Fishing on the Viking Star's limited 1am cod trip was a tough pick."
When I say the kid, I mean 3rd generation.

Nick lets put this in plain Enlish,My info came from A friend Glen who caught the monster bergal on sunday for the Viking Star,He fished the weekend both trips and Saturday was a bad trip aboard the star,with 1-3 fish a person.The starship and superstar did ok WITH WHO I consider the kids as Captains.Steve sr. told me Carl AND steve JR. caught them ok Saturday,Not a bail job,but respectable if you could hold your own.

And now I am totally confused,You thought the old man was going to run the trip?

You say third Generation is the kid,ok that makes sense if you look at it that way.

Am I missing a generation or something :?

I am not trying to be a d@#K or anything but you thought Paul forsberg was going to run the trip :roll:

Please explain as I don't understand :?

best,


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