It was great to finally get back out on the water yesterday as we made our first TILE trip of 2014.
Fishing was not what I had hoped for as we spent a good portion of the trip running from the rare spiny dogfish. It didn't seem that depth mattered as we caught them from 400-900 feet. The tough thing about the dogs was that it was hard to gauge whether there were any Tiles in the area as they got on us pretty quickly each stop.
Fortunately we had a great group of die hard fishermen who never stopped fishing all day. A pretty amazing feat as it is easy to get discouraged under those conditions.
Early in the afternoon we found an area where the dogs were not as ferocious and where there were some tiles biting. It still wasn't great fishing but we managed to pick fish through the dogs. Most people ended up with 3-6 fish. High hook was Mike Desimone of Red Bank New Jersey with 10 TILES. Mike also had the pool winning TILE weighing in at 25 pounds.
Jigging worked well because you could avoid the dogs this way but lone dogfish strip baits worked well too.
If you had squid or Mackerel on you had a tougher time with the dogs. Due to the fact that we started to catch fish later in the day and that I didn't want to leave what we had found, I didn't really get to poke around that last area too much. It did seem that there were fish there and I feel that, had we spent the whole day there, we would have ended up with a decent catch.
We also had some ROSEFISH, HAKE and other bottom dwellers on the trip.
Our plan for the next month or two is to try and put a trip together each weekend if there is a good forecast. The trip may leave on Thursday, Friday or Saturday night depending on the weather. The trips will be announced on the web site and via e-mail around midweek when we can get a more reliable weekend forecast. For the moment these trips will be by e-mail/call-in reservation and "pay at the boat" like this past trip.
We have just posted our 2014 OFFSHORE SCHEDULE on the VOYAGER web site at:
You can view the entire schedule on our Trip Calendar page and on our Special Trips page. Below are a few changes in our trip policies and some information about our trips.
Last year we had super trips throughout the year with a mix of GOLDEN and BLUELINE TILEFISH. We had success on 1, 2 and 2½-day trips. Due to overwhelming demand we have added more weekday and weekend trips to our schedule this season.
In 2014, we will be fishing offshore for TILEFISH every week from the end of April through September. There are plenty of opportunities to join us and get on the trips you want.
This year we do have a few small changes, the first being the addition of more 2-Day and fewer 1-Day and 2½-Day TILEFISH trips. Last year, the 2-day trips were very popular and fishing was generally very good to excellent. We have also added a couple 1½-day trips where you fish from sunrise to sundown before departing for home.
Last year we did a few 'manual reels only' TILEFISH trips and they were very popular. We have included a couple manual reel trips in this year’s schedule too. For those of you that use electric reels you have nothing to worry about since the expanded schedule also has 1 and 2-day trips where you can use them.
Last year many people got to try ROSEFISH for the first time and learned what great table fare they are. This year we are offering a 1½-day combination TILEFISH and ROSEFISH trip. On this trip we will split time trying for each species as long as conditions permit.
Also new for this season is a 2-day TILEFISH and COD combination trip. On this trip, we may fish some of the 'Northern Canyons' and find some HAKE and POLLOCK mixed in with the catch.
We also have one CAPTAIN'S CHOICE trip in September which includes a night of TUNA fishing. Make sure you understand that this trip will not be a strict TILEFISH-only trip before you reserve a spot. We may fish for various species during the day. Last year we spent quite a bit of time trolling LONGFIN (ALBACORE) tuna during the day.
Below are trip descriptions for each type of trip. Please read them carefully as some things have changed since last year. There is also a section on our booking and payment policy. As you can imagine this is VERY IMPORTANT to read.
"MANUAL REELS ONLY" – Electric reels are NOT permitted on trips labeled as manual reels only.
The trips also include a special seminar given by Dave on the Sunday before the trip. Since this is a private charter, please contact Dave directly at (732) 223-5353 if you are interested in going.
The REEL SEAT is also hosting a 2-Day TILEFISH charter that will follow the standard 2-Day schedule outlined below. Again, please contact Dave directly at (732) 223-5353 if you are interested in going.
We fish depths ranging from 400-1,000 feet and the catch is a mix of TILEFISH, HAKE, ROSEFISH, GROUPER and BARRELFISH. Last year these trips were almost exclusively 'Southern Canyon' trips, but this year we may fish anywhere from the Hudson Canyon to the 'Southern Canyons'. It is our intention to fish the areas we think should be the most productive for any given trip and not fish a specific area based on a trip description written months earlier.
On the first day, we will be fishing some deep water wrecks as well as some traditional TILEFISH areas. Along with TILEFISH, we expect to see some HAKE, POLLOCK and BARRELFISH mixed in with the catch.
On the second day, we plan to fish some traditional, shallower, COD spots before returning home around 6:00 PM.
Two years ago, our World Record was broken by our friend Angelo Ruvio while fishing on a private boat. On this trip, we are looking to catch the next world record GOLDEN TILEFISH and retake the title. We will only fish with manual reels.
No electric reels are allowed on this trip since we don't want to jeopardize a potential world record.
Last season we caught many TILEFISH from 35-50 pounds on this trip. We also caught a new New Jersey State record BLUELINE TILEFISH. Congrats to RICK ENGLESBE!
This trip is only going to target big fish. In other words, we will not be looking to 'bail out' on a slow trip by fishing known small fish areas. It will require patience and the understanding that you may only catch a few fish, but hopefully they will be quality ones. If this does not fit your personality or desire, then you should book on one of our many other trips. While we hope it happens, we are not looking to fill coolers on this trip.
We will fish for whatever we think we can catch the most of whether it's TILEFISH, ROSEFISH, MAHI or whatever! On this trip we also intend to include a night of TUNA CHUNKING in addition to the day fishing. The fishing location will vary depending on the Tuna bite at the time. Please note that this trip has an alternate bad weather date (rain date) that could push the trip back one day. DO NOT sign up for this trip if you cannot make the rain date. This is our only 2-Day trip with this policy.
Last year we had problems with folks booking a number of trips and then asking to get off of the trips just days before sailing time. Unfortunately, this caused a problem because we were forced to either be a hard ass and take people's money when they couldn't show up or to refund/credit the money and sail short of a full boat and lose money. This was an unfair position for us and also unfair to other customers who wanted to get on a specific trip only to find out it was sold out months in advance. On top of that, potential customers often did not have time to change their schedules when a spot or two became available just a few hours before a trip.
With the price of fuel predicted to be $5 a gallon this summer and our strict capacity limits, we cannot be responsible for changes in your plans.
If you book a trip and cannot go, it is your responsibility to fill the spot.
We will NOT be keeping a waiting list.
You have to think of it like a Yankees game. If you buy a ticket and the game is played but you can't go, it is up to you to sell it or give it away. You wouldn't expect the Yankees to give you a refund or a credit ticket for next week's game, would you? In other words, if you buy it, you own it. So please make sure that you don't have any schedule conflicts before you book a trip.
To book a trip or trips please call our office at:
Or e-mail me from the Voyager web site. An e-mail is best.
Let me know what trip(s) you want and that you are sending in a reservation form and payment. I will put your name on the boarding list in the order that you contact us.
Please contact us even if you had previously mentioned that you wanted to be on a certain trip or trips. It was quite a while ago and we don't want to forget anyone.
Last year we required payment in full within 7 days for any trips you booked. Since our schedule is coming out much earlier this year, we are doing the following.
We will hold your spot(s) until March 15 with no payment or obligation. If we do not receive payment by March 15, we will delete you from the boarding list and you will lose your boarding spot and will then need to re-book. Unfortunately, I am a one-man show in the office this year and between running trips and office work, I will not have time to make courtesy calls to remind you to pay . It is your responsibility to make your payment on time.
While we always reserve the right to overbook each trip by one person we try not to do it on Tilefish trips since space is always at a premium. Following the payment procedure above will allow us to stick to our passenger limits.
Lastly, if any 2 or 2½-Day trip is significantly shortened due to adverse weather conditions, anglers will receive a credit ticket for a future trip for an amount determined by the Captain. There will be NO CASH REFUNDS.
We look forward to our 2014 OFFSHORE trips and seeing you at the boat. Thank you for fishing aboard the VOYAGER.