FEB 6th - WHEN THE WINTER KING RETURNED TO THE NY BIGHT

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FEB 6th - WHEN THE WINTER KING RETURNED TO THE NY BIGHT

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:42 pm

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For us long suffering New York and New Jersey cod fishermen, catching local cod was something best described for years as 'hit or miss', with more misses then hits on the trips we made on the various boats we fished on. I know many of you are thinking about those trips over the last 20 or so years, where a bare handful of cod on the boat in this area put smiles on fisherman's face, and made a number of captains noted for having a 'cod-sense' in finding a fish or two for a fulls days fishing.

Over the last few years we have definitely seen a noticeable resurgence in codfish in this area, and as black fish tapers off during January, their are just enough codfish around to make things interesting for the private, charter and party boat fishermen who have the knowledge on where to fish at this time of the year. These captains are well aware and keep in mind a 'historical perspective' on where codfish show up during the winter months in this area.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that seeing any amount of codfish in the NY BIGHT is special, and many fishermen who did not start fishing on till the 1990's, probably have not even caught a codfish while late fall and winter black fishing on the local areas like Scotland, New Grounds, 17 fathoms and the Farms, once tried and true traditional areas where codfish were regularly caught.

I know over the last few weeks a number of fishermen are 'upset' at the size of the cod they are seen, with the vast majority between 17 - 21 inches making them 'short' of being a legal sized cod. Of course they also point out that a few years back, a 19 inch fish was legal, but I tell them that you barely got enough meat from these fish to make it worth putting these fish in the cooler.

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The abundance of what one of my commercial buddies call 'net-slippers' is the result of the most recent codfish class from between 3-4 years ago that are now showing up in larger numbers in every year. These fish show up like clockwork as December wanes, and they stick around for longer periods of time up on till the spring.

Fishing for them is pretty straight forward.....tackle similar to what you use for baiting striped bass with skimmers behind the clam boats works fine. For those of you that are not familiar with this fishing, you can use any good monofilament line between 30-40 test especially when you are using a 4/0, 5/0 or 6/0 sized, one hook rig when fishing on a sticky piece of bottom or wreck.

Reels in the size class of a Newell 229 fit the bill perfectly, along with rods similar in action to a 11 tip Lamiglas MB 114 3F or MB 108 3M, since the depth of water will usually range from around 110 feet and less.

Yes the above statement makes one wonder whether you can catch codfish here in any number in less then 100 foot of water but again using a 'historical perspective', codfish have come here in great number for years along our shores within a few miles of the local beaches.

I do know for many of us fishermen in this area, just holding a few like this in site of one of the biggest cities in the world is something to take satisfaction in.

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Anyone interested in catching some local cod must understand though that they will have to fish through a number of short fish to get a few keepers for the dinner table. It is well worth it though, as we carefully release these fish so that they can return back next season a few lbs heavier and a couple of inches longer.

Ps, there are a few party boats fishing throughout the week at this time that are regularly fishing for local cod. Don't miss out on catching a few local codfish, it is a blast!

In a future FEATURE ARTICLE coming up in a few months, we will discuss more 'in depth' on what to expect when local cod fishing.

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Re: FEB 6th - WHEN THE WINTER KING RETURNED TO THE NY BIGHT

Postby WHATTA CATCH » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:29 pm

Very nice Steve. It does seem these fish are making a comeback. I can't wait for the Feature Article.

On another note.
The more we fish for these local Cod the more it appears to us that they are just like Striped Bass. It seems we can pattern them the same way. At least I hope we can.
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Re: FEB 6th - WHEN THE WINTER KING RETURNED TO THE NY BIGHT

Postby Rodwinder » Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:25 pm

Hi Steve,

Thanks for a great read. Really nice to see local cod fishing
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Re: FEB 6th - WHEN THE WINTER KING RETURNED TO THE NY BIGHT

Postby MisterX » Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:59 pm

WC,

Great observation. Once the cod setup in an area, they tend to be creatures of habit. If they bite on a certain tide, like bass, they will repeat the pattern. Ive had reports of cod in 40-50 ft of water locally!. Might be a nice trend for the future!

now all we need is a few whiting to show up in the mix....... ;)
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Re: FEB 6th - WHEN THE WINTER KING RETURNED TO THE NY BIGHT

Postby drevil » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:05 pm

Steve just one big mistake with your post. I noticed that the Lat/Long numbers are not present on the fishfinder picture. Please be sure to not let such omissions occur in the future.
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Re: FEB 6th - WHEN THE WINTER KING RETURNED TO THE NY BIGHT

Postby bluefish69 » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:20 pm

MrX

If we get a run of Whiting then we will have Marc fishing down here. At present it's quiet here.
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