1-- PINK CURLY TAIL ORDER FOR WINTER 2011-2012 COD FISHING
2-- CAPE MAY TACKLE - FLAT HAMMERED COD JIGS
3-- "WHAT HATH IRENE BROUGHT" - CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS FISH?
4-- CAPTAIN TOM MARCONI AND HIS ALMOST LOST WRECK BOOK
5-- "YOU WILL NEVER STARVE WITH CAPTAIN HARV"
6-- ALBERTS & BONES LOVE TSUNAMIS, BUT WHICH ONE?
7-- WHO FOUND 'BULLY LEDGE?
8-- VIDEO - BETTY W III COMING IN 1984
9-- THE SECRET IS OUT - THE OLD MAN'S TACKLE BOX - BUCKTAILS
10- OUR FISHING HERITAGE - NJ PARTY BOAT FLEET BACK IN THE DAY
11- SOME DOCK TALK RECENTLY - PRICE & RICE BOATS?
12- "IF YOU ONLY LISTENED" - "TWO HARD PULLS"
13- NOTE WORTHY BOTTOM FISH READINGS ON A LOCAL WRECK
14- OLD SCHOOL SOLUTIONS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
15- IN THE JUST ASKING DEPARTMENT
16- CAPTAIN JOHN BOGAN POEM - ORDINARY HERO
17- LETS NOT FORGET OUR FUTURE FISHERMEN
17- THREE WHISTLES
ONE MORE FISH - MONTAUK - out of GONE FISHING MARINA'
(Story coming in the near future)
ARE YOU READY TO LAND THE BIG ONES?
** ORDER NOW FOR THE BLOCK ISLAND WINTER COD FISHING **
Last season, OE TACKLE offered to the members and for-hire vessels here on FISHING UNITED.COM a very special price on the 6" PINK CURLY TAIL GRUB. We set up a system where orders were placed by a number of members, along with a few party & charter boats placing their orders for the 2010/2011 season.
Needless to say we sold out so quickly, as the thousands of 6" PINK CURLY TAILS that were originally ordered, were sold out resulting in the JIG MAKER from the BAY and myself apologizing to a number of guys for not ordering another few thousand. We even gave up some of our own private stock and that was to close friends who just wanted 25 or 50 to get them by through last winter.
I have talked to the JIG MAKER from the BAY and we would like to get ahead of the orders for the 2011/2012 season, especially for the for-hire boats fishing off Block Island this winter which tend to buy the curly tails in the thousands.
We like to get the order to the manufacturer we deal direct with, in before the end of November since it takes about a month for them to be made, shipped to us, and then us counting out the specific orders..
This year we will continue to order the standard 6" HOT PINK curly tail, and will add the 6" Chartreuse which is also very popular, but we will only order a much smaller amount when compared to the HOT PINK color.
For this season, here are the guidelines for ordering:
The price will/should be the same....no changes I hope with the price. Our price should be the very lowest you will find on this item.
We will also not ship unless you are a for-hire vessel.
NO orders smaller then 100 pcs.
Private orders must be picked up, unless other arrangements are made.
If you make a commitment, HONOR IT, even though we will eventually sell out anyway. It is just the point and I see this all the time when guys hooks and jig.
For those who are looking for the CURLY TAILS, please let us know in another thread which someone can start on the CURLY TAIL ORDER from OE TACKLE. Just remember if you say you want 100, standby your word, that is all we ask.
As for the OE TACKLE - BAIT HOLDER HOOKS that we use with the curly tails with the added swivel, those can be purchased online at:
I will not sell these directly to anyone. Order them through HOOK SETTER SUPPLY.
For further info, you can contact me on the site.
Over the years we have seen a number of fishing products that look great inside the confines of a tackle shops, but then end up just not catching fish as well as one would think. Lately though, as a number flatter versions of the conventional diamond jig have come along, we have seen two products which stand out from the rest...the first the OE TACKLE HAMMERED JIG, and recently a FLAT HAMMERED JIG made by:
It was just this summer that I was contacted by one of the most recognized cod fishermen in New England who told me to take a look at this new hammered jig, especially since it had a unique feature which now allowed the standard diamond jig to be used for pounding into the craggy and rocky bottom in the Gulf of Maine. This jig did not have separate brass or stainless eyelets placed into, and extending past both end of the jig, but had holes made inside the jig similar to what is seen on the conventional Norwegian style cod jigs.
He was impressed and happened to buy a dozen or two and proceeded to fish with them during the summer. After using them, he sent me back this glowing report on the CAPE MAY TACKLE - FLAT HAMMERED COD JIG which truly surprised me:
I have used them for a couple of trips in the GULF of MAINE, and they have no appreciable damage, much more rugged then the eyeleted diamond jigs. That counts for me, with the 8 oz Angerman seen in this picture being ten years old and still fishable. Second feature I like is the weight bias toward one end , it sinks very fast and pulls very easy.
The last two trips where I have used these jigs, they have been very effective at holding bottom 60 to 90 fathoms and catching all the species of fish we get get here in the GOM. It is a very good baitfish (herring) imitation and I personally like the chrome plating better than the electroless nickle, (fish probably don't care at the depths we are using this jigs in).
I have been playing with these tiny little stinger hooks on the head of the jig and while I have been expecting to break or bend one, that hasn't happened. Those little stingers really work on the haddock and pollack, and to my surprise a 30 lb cod I caught this Sunday only had one hook in him, and it was that tiny little hook right in the jaw. Cool.
PS, these jigs come with welded rings and a quality swivel,,,no hooks, which I prefer.
He later added:
Those CM jigs got to the bottom, easily faster than the standard stainless steel Norwegian 17 oz jig.
None of these diamond jigs will last as long as an Angerman type jig, eventually the meat at the end of these jigs will peen over and 'work-harden', but the CM jigs will just give you a longer life than the regular diamond jigs. More to like about the CM jigs they are 'thru wired!' Price is reasonable and they work.
In the two images below, the first image shows a close up of the CAPE MAY FLAT HAMMERED DIAMOND JIG.
In this image we see a custom made OE TACKLE NORWEGIAN JIG with a heavy duty stainless eye. Notice the offset of the eye after just 4 hours of pounding into the crag on Jefferies in June 2009. (I have discussed this issue a number of times with the JIG MAKER from the BAY, and add that even though the plating of OE COD JIGS is bulletproof, the heavy duty stainless eyelets are not! Hello-Hello...inside joke here.)
As was mentioned, the CAPE MAY FLAT HAMMERED DIAMOND JIGS do not have eyelets on either end of the jig, which as many of us know will very quickly 'fold over' when worked on rocky bottom and which has always been the issue with the conventional diamond jig. When the eyelets fold over at the bottom of the jig, it renders these jigs to scrap heap, or for some as a nautical paperweight.
I don't know of any better endorsement a respected fishermen could give, along with the CAPE MAY FLAT HAMMERED DIAMOND JIGS lineup being expanded from the original CM 320 and CM 420. I was told by one of the owners that a new CM 520 jig is coming in at the end of October, and it is the same shape as the 320 and 420, just 100 grams heavier.
As summer hurricanes go, Irene will be remembered for a very long time as one that not only brought torrential showers and high winds, but one that carried a number of strange fish northward, one which surprised one of the for-hire captains I know who forwarded me a few shots asking me what this fish is.
When I first saw these pictures, what came to mind was that it looked like something that came out of John Hurt's stomach in ALIEN. I put the images to the side, and did not think nothing of them on till I bumped into Eddie 'Aquarium' who worked for a number of decades at the NY Aquarium here. I showed him the pics and he was not surprised seeing some strange fish up in the NY BIGHT during the months of August and September....but this one peaked his curiosity especially when he asked and then was told where it was caught.
Finally after looking at the pictures, all he could come up with was that this fish was a juvenile, brown moray eel that seemed to be carried up north due to storm surge from Irene. He noted that there were two types of Atlantic Coast moray eels that just happen to be similar except for their colored appearance, with one being this brown one shown in these images, and the other being the green moray eel which prefer warmer waters.
I don't know if this is correct, but Eddie was my best resource in identifying this strange, elongated eel like fish. If you have a better idea on what this fish is, please let us know.
CAPTAIN TOM MARCONI AND HIS 'ALMOST LOST' WRECK BOOK
I spend a good deal of time talking to some of the most noted wreck fishermen in the region, and what comes up in a number of conversations from time to time is not only how to catalog all the TD and Lat/Lon numbers you have complied over the years, but more so, in how and where to store them. One wreck fishermen just the other day was telling me how he not only has extra printed out copies of his wreck numbers, but has made a few back ups of the info on his portable laptop and home computer.
One of the guys listening then brought up the story that I even remembered from a number of years back about Captain Tom Marconi who was the owner of one of the most noted and popular inshore bottom fishing boat in the area, the PILOT II. Captain Tom was well known to come down to the boat in the morning, put his leather case down along the string piece at his dock, and then do his 'hawking and talking' to everyone both captains and fishermen passing by.
On this one day, for some reason as it was approaching 6 am, Tommy went inside the boat and turned over the engines without his leather case in tow, while the crew was making the last calls on the dock for customers. Finally the PILOT II singled up, and pulled off the dock, sans Captain Toms leather carrying case that contained his wreck book!
It just so happened as luck would have it, a RMP (police car) from the 61 precinct was passing by, and one of the officers was looking at the boats going out at that time of the morning, and saw a leather case sitting alone at the dock with no one around it. Now this was back in the day when Sheepshead Bay was still a bustling fishing port, and it was pretty surprising to see anything of value sitting all by its lonesome. The police officer had his partner stop the patrol car in front of the pier where the PILOT II docked, walked over and picked up the leather case, and then got back in the patrol car and took off, never reporting to the Police Department that he found a piece of property that technically under the NYPD Patrol Guide, should of been vouchered (official police jargon) for safe keeping.
The PILOT II was now on its way to the fishing grounds when Tommy realized that he had forgotten his leather case on the dock, but it was now too late to turn back and go back to his dock for the case. He was now sick to his stomach as his wreck book was inside the case, and that he only had this one copy which contanined of all the drops that not only he found, but a number which had been passed along to him by the legendary previous owner of the PILOT II, Captain Harry Phillips who had being running party boats for bottom fish since the 1920's!.
The PILOT II fished throughout the day down south in Tommy's favorite fishing area off Sea Bright, where he did not have to use a buoy and could easy work off some of the ranges he remembered for the drops he fished the most. The day was finally wrapped up by 2 pm and Tommy made his way back home, hoping that one of the other captains or mates from the other fishing boats had found the leather case and then give it back. At this time it did not matter if they got all of his drops....he just wanted his book wreck book back. In reality though, it was highly doubtful by this time since one of the Sheepshead Bay captains would of called Tommy over the VHF radio.As I was told, it was a long ride home with Tommy almost smoking a pack of cigarettes, full well knowing that what he had lost, could not be replaced.
Tommy went home that night and it was one where he was now scrambling, making calls and hoping to hear that someone down in the Bay knew something about the leather case that he left at the dock. There was no such luck, and for Tommy this meant going to and asking the captains he knew ,to get some of the numbers to wrecks he had lost.
The next morning Tommy made his way down to the dock and he was not feeling any better. He knew he would have to go about building up a new wreck book of Loran C numbers, and after doing this for many years previously, it could take years to replace the hundreds of drops he would fish during the season.
While standing on the dock, a RMP pulled up and stopped in front of the PILOT II. One of the mates yelled out "going fishing officer?'', as the patrolman got out of the patrol car. holding the leather case. Tommy was overwhelmed with joy as the officer, literally hugging the officer who told him that he just happened to see the leather case sitting all alone with the boatI on its way out for the fishing day.
Tommy was so happy that he told the officer that not only him, but his family could come out on the PILOT II for as long as he owned the boat, but the officer declined with a 'thanks, but I don't fish at all', gto back into the patrol car and then went on his way.
It also turned out this happened to Captain Harvey, also of the PILOT II as I was told one day he had left his leather brief case in his car and his automobile had the window broken and his leather brief case with his book stolen, forcing him to go around and put together another top notch Loran C numbers wreck book (at least 20 years ago when those numbers were not well known to fishermen in this area).
So is there a walkaway value to this story?
Make multiple paper backups and keep them separate with one in a secure place. If you keep your wreck numbers on a home computer or laptop, use multiple thumb (flash) drives to hold the data points of information, and/or a external hard drives as these devices are well known to not only fail, but in the case of thumb drives, being easily misplaced.
A number of years ago when Captain Harvey Saler was running the PILOT II, a customer came up to the wheelhouse around noon to thank Harvey for the great fishing they were having on this trip. Everyone's pail was over flowing with fish and the day was basically done before noon. The customer while thanking and talking with Harvey, kept staring at the big blue Northstar 6000 Loran C unit mounted on the overhead in the wheelhouse and was watching the red LED decimal numbers of both the 26 and 43 stations, shifting up and down as the boat moved along.
All of a sudden the customer switched the conversation from all the fish he caught to the blinking red flashing LED readings on the Northstar 6000.
"Captain Harv, what's this big machine do?'
Harvey, well known for his 'prickly' humor at times, and always seemed to come up with sharp reply said'
"Oh that machine counts all the fish that are right under the boat."
The customer now counting each of the digits on both the 26 and 43 loran lines, while at the same time shaking his head.
"Wow 26942.5 and 43650.5 fish under the boat right now?....that's a lot of fish. Why don't you stop the boat right here Captain Harv?"
Little did the customer know that the boat was heading north from Sea Bright which meant the loran c numbers on the 43 line would continue to get bigger as Harvey wanted to get closer to home on his last drops. Harvey then tells him:
"No, not yet.... that's not enough fish for us......let me keep going a little more here, and watch that number get even bigger....then I will stop the boat."
Over the last few decades, when it comes to albacore and bonita fishing, I along with countless other fishermen in this area who fish off party boats for these speedsters have seen a transition in the terminal tackle used, from the hammered 3 & 4 oz hammered diamond jig to the S&G VIke 3, then a few years later, white 5/8 oz white lima bean bucktail to now the TSUNAMI split tail minnow as the most productive lure for these inshore little tunas.
For myself, it was a tough sell to change especially going to a soft plastic lure as I had had excellent results either squidding the S&G VIke 3 oz, vertical jigging smaller hammered diamond jigs and even bait fishing using various small Mustad chrome or bronze live bait hooks. Why change to anything else when you have a few productive tools in the tackle bag for these fish?
The change though was in part due to the bait in the area and the effectiveness of the new lures coming out and being used by fishermen, In particular we noticed fishermen on the BROOKLYN VI starting to switch over to heavy duty spinning and bait casting outfits to toss out the white 5/8 oz lima bean bucktail which now was producing better results then the diamond jig. But, the who trick with using the limb bean bucktail was that you had to master the 'snap and retrieve' motion required to properly get the alberts and bones to bite. In fact, Captain Robert Sapanara was noted as one of the best fishermen, using just a Newell 220 with 20 lb mono line with the white lima bean bucktail.
Then a new lure just 'popped up' on the party boats, and I am not sure, but it most likely started with fishermen on the New Jersey fishing fleet out of Pt. Pleasant that fished for the little speedsters. The Tsunami 4" Split-tail Minnow in Glass Fleck (STM4-7) was so good, that it quickly replaced the white lima bean bucktail (its rarely seen as much now) for those who were using casting outfits. It eventually even became a 'go-to' lure for casting to mahi's around the hi-flyers offshore and out in the canyon.
Interestingly and for some unknown reason, TSUNAMI the manufacturer of this lure, just stopped production a number of years back of the popular Glass Fleck 4 inch size. Needless to say, those who loved using the 4 inch size Tsunami in Glass Fleck, raced all over the New York and Long Island region and bought every pack of this specific size and color that they could get their hands on from the brick and mortal tackle shops, and later when that dried up, searched out and bought from online tackle sellers.
Here in the Bay, the demand was so great that the JIG MAKER from the BAY, contacted TSUNAMI and the person who was responsible for production of this product, and he explained to him that he would guarantee he would take a pretty substantial order...... but the person he spoke to refused to restart production on this particular size and color split tail minnow.
A few weeks ago, one of the fishermen here who enjoys fishing for the alberts and bones told me that he pulled out his own personal container that holds 30 or so packages of this prized lure. He said that after all these years in storage, its look like the clear color that made this soft plastic lure so successful, is now turning a slight yellowish tint.
After he explained what is happening to his own limited supply of packages which he did point out are more then a half a decade old, I said to him, I believe the 5 inch are still available. He said he knew, but surprisingly the one inch increase in size, was no where near as good, to the point that he would rarely if ever buy and use it. He does numerous trips during the fall season on the BROOKLYN VI and said if it is not the 4 inch Glass Minnow Fleck, then the only other options are to use other similar 4 inch size TSUNAMIS in particular the purple aze/clear, chartreuse/silver or bubblegum clear with fleck. Five inch split tails are not just not as consistent fish catchers to the point where your better off at times, using a lima bean bucktail or small hammered diamond jig, all depending on the fishing day and the way these fish are biting.
Hopefully in the near future this will change, but to give you a heads up here, the JIG MAKER from the BAY is working on a similar product that should be available in 2012. I am looking forward to this since I am down to one package myself which I keep stored away to show what was the best lure I know of for catching alberts and bones.
WHO FOUND 'BULLY LEDGE?'
This last September with one of the best tuna and swordfish bite we have had in the northern canyons in years, I have heard a number of fishermen and captains in this area asking this question, 'where to go in the Hudson Canyon?'
A few guys on the dock here in the Bay were given their opinions on where they heard the hot bite was, with 100 square and the 'tip of the Hudson' being the most popular and by the standard 'go-to' areas, but one old timer blurted out 'Bully Ledge.'
Goodness, we haven't heard the name of that area in years, and heavens knows who would remember where this actually location was! It brought up the discussion of where exactly was Bully Ledge along with 'who' originally found it, and that is where this story gets interesting.
It was during the great tuna fishing era of the late eighties, when areas like the Baccardi, Tower and Freight Train Alley became the places to go tuna fishing if you wanted to fish short of the 'Tip' of the Hudson Canyon.
Of course there were times that the party boats out of the Bay and New Jersey had to run to the Hudson Canyon proper to fish, and at times hunt around to catch a few fish to make the trip a 'good one.'Captain Al Coley by this time was the owner of the aluminum Betty W IV and was scouting along the west side of the Hudson, where it starts bending off to the south. Tuna fishing was tough and he was talking to a few captains over the radio, one being Captain Nick Canisi who had the Camcraft built Blue Sea IV at that time.
Now as 'urban legend' has it, a tuna longliner which was in the area heard the talk and broke into the conversation and said that he had loaded up on a good number of different tuna right along this big drop off, southwest of the letters HUDSON CANYON on a NOAA chart, and recommended to get right in there if they wanted to catch fish.
As the story goes, the Betty W went there and proceeded to put some catch together of tuna when they fished that area. The name 'BULLY' Ledge was given after the longline captain who told him the location of this new tuna hotspot.
I should add a disclaimer, before anyone who knows the true story, starts having a palpitations that this is not fact..... let me know.
I was also told that Bully Ledge may have been found and first fished by Captain John Larson of The Miss Barnegat Light who then passed it along to Captain Al Coley, as well as Captain Nick Canisi being the first from Sheepshead Bay to find and fish it when he had the Camcraft built Blue Sea.
Anyway maybe some captain or mate or fishermen for that matter out there on the internet knows the real story, and if you do please elaborate because it was a lively discussion on who and where Bully Ledge came about.
By the way for those who are interested to seeing the location, free BATHY CHARTS are available online here:
The Hudson Canyon BATHY CHART I listed above, should give you a good general idea on where the distinct edges are in and around the finger.
Here is a section of a long video that contained a number of Captain Al Coley's fishing trips, taken during 1984. For those who are familiar with Sheepshead Bay, notice the old time docks with no rails along the pier, and the dock boxes where fish used to be stored.
Also notice later in the video the mate carrying out the 'fish bags' that all the boats in the Bay that used to sell fish, would typically purchase at MIKES TACKLE. What used to be commented on was that if you looked at the images and writing on the front and back of the bags, many times these bags were for 'kitty litter', and now were being used to hold fresh fish that was sold by the mates. Goodness what was the price of those bags.....50 bags tied together with bakers string for $7.50?
This was originally shot in VHS and later converted by me to DVD.
For the last couple of years, bucktailing for jumbo flukes on the rocks, wrecks and reefs has grown in popularity to the point where a few new local tackle manufacturers have come out with custom lures specifically made for this type of fluke fishing. What a few fishermen have called rock hopping with a bucktail, has been so productive in the NY BIGHT, that two noted charter boats in the area, one being the BARBARA ANNE and the other the FISH MONGER out of Pt. Pleasant, have been consistently having fish-news worthy catches of jumbo fluke throughout the summer. One of the main reasons why, is due to this bucktail, custom made by Captain Jerry Melia Jr.
When I was first told about the maker of these bucktails, Captain Jerry Melia, the first words used after his name, 'a true gentlemen.' In talking with him you realize what a down to earth person he is, with his goal in producing the best fishing catching lures possible. He originally started the manufacturing of custom tackle on the side, and it has taken off, not only due to the incredible value he imparts into any of his products, but also because of the high quality components he uses. In fact, Captain Jerry emphasizes that he will use any brand and size hook upon request for his bucktails, (tackle shops, party & charter boats). I can pass along here that the Mustad ULTRA POINT hooks he uses, is as sharp as any you will find on a bucktail.
The results from one captain I speak to on THE OLD MANS TACKLE BOX bucktail led me to put in a substantial order for the 4, 6 and 8 ounce sizes, but Captain Jerry noted he will make bucktails up to 16 oz in the GUPPY JIG design we are showing here.
Funny thing I should point out, is that a number of months earlier and unbeknown to me, I first saw Captain Jerry's new swinging bucktail when I dropped by with Captain Dennis Bogan who happened to be visiting his brother Kevin Bogan at his "Fish Poison" Fishing Tackle Shop in Pt. Pleasant. I bought a number of this style bucktail at that time, but did not have a chance to use them.
Captain Jerry also told me that he is coming out soon with much heavier bucktails, designed for offshore cod fishing and other large northern groundfish, along with them being able to be used forgolden tile fish, wreckfish and other groupers. it is a new deep-drop model in 20, 24 and 32 ounces size. He has had a number of requests for larger then 16 ounce bucktail which led him to have larger bucktail molds to be made, and all these bottom fish will attack a a big bucktail tipped with a strip bait to add scent..
The OLDS MANS TACKLE BOX also has a Facebook page where you can make comments, ask questions on his products and see the latest updates on his jigs and bucktails:
When you see us fluke fishing next season, we will be rigging up with one of these bucktails from the OLD MANS TACKLE BOX.
It was just the other night in talking with Jim Feeney who just happens to tie the finest cod flies around, on how so much has changed over the years with fewer fishermen going party boat fishing. Of course there are many answers to that one question, and in pulling out some of the old black and white photos that Captain John Bogan has sent me, all I can say that it was a much different era, with different people who just enjoyed going fishing, loading up their burlaps and pails, no matter the weather or the time of the year.
Below are a number of images taken during the time of the last great democratic party president was in office (Harry Truman for those out there who cannot figure that one out), and the images contained within each of the photos is consistent. Many fishermen sharply dressed, rod in hand and standing shoulder to shoulder along the rails of the old 45 footers. I should point out that there is also one photo taken a short time later of the Tarpon Springs built 'SHAMROCK', Which was Captain John''s dad, Captain John Sr., custom built steel party boat.
Looking at these images closely, it is hard to 'fathom' that these photos were taken in the vicinity of sixty years ago. There are some out there who still remember this incredible fishing period, post World War II, when inshore fishing was as good as anyone here could imagine.
Just take a moment to compare these images, to what we know of party boat fishing these days. It truly is a long last era, captured black and white snapshots of what party boat fishing used to be in this region.
Last week when I was talking to a couple of the old timers in the Bay, I mentioned that another party boat was up for sale. I added it was the ORIENT STAR, and then said that I believe it was built at PRICE shipyard.
"A Price built boat?" one of the guys said out loud......
The fellow then stated:
"Price never built a bad boat, and Rice never made a good boat."
I asked him where he got that little saying, and further remarked that I never heard anyone saying anything about 'Rice' boats.
He told me that Captain Bill Doll party boat 'JET' has an old Price built boat, originally the Sea Horse II and then Captain Wayne before Captain Billy purchased it and commented how good Price boats were and how well they held up over the decades unlike another close by shipyard, Rice.
In fact as I was later told, at least two Rice built boats fished out of Long Island for a couple of years, and that they were known as 'soft' boats due to the way they were framed up. The JET now almost 48 years old is still in excellent shape, a testament to the 'good' work done at Price, which as Captain Billy said, 'never built a bad boat.'
"TWO HARD PULLS"
Back in the late eighties one of the big aluminum party boats (to go unnamed here) made a offshore tuna trip with a number of regulars from the Bay on board. The fishing that day was decent for jig fishermen, but so-so for bait fishermen. With the way the tuna were biting, one would think that everyone would be on the same page and fish with jigs.
Of course there is always a fishermen on board who thinks they know better and kept telling one of the old time mates on this boat, "I'm sticking with bait because the few tuna fish being caught on bait are much bigger."
The mate couldn't put up with this guys give and take and told him to go fish on the other side of the boat due to the direction the current was running. He kept recommending to everyone to use jigs, as to lessen the tangles that were constantly occurring. Sure enough, another tangle with this fellow whose line was now being caught, but this time from the other side of the boat. The mate yelled to him one last time, to put on some more egg sinkers to ensure that line would not carry under the keel of the boat.
It turns out that this fellow did put the another egg sinker on, and sure enough he got a hit, but with the tuna fish running underneath the hull of the boat and again tangling a few lines.
"That's it" the mate loudly exclaimed, with another few expletives for making another mess that he would have to again untangle. The mate proceeded to get all the tangled lines up, and then using a gaff grabbed the line with the hooked tuna on it, and started to unravel the mess on till he came to this fellows line.
He got a good hold of it, and started to handline the tuna fish in, as the fellow on the other side of the boat was yelling out "whose got my line?" The mate was now yelling back that they were working a tangle out and to be patient.'
Finally the tuna fish was right next to the boat and the mate was telling the customers along the rail to be quiet as he quickly gaffed the fish. With the fish being lifted over the rail, he cut this fellows line and then proceeded to give two hard pulls and quickly let the now cut line go. He then dragged the nice sized tuna to the back box and proceeded to put it where the crew and pullers were keeping their fish.
He then went to the other side of the boat and asked this fellow what happened to his fish. The fellow was upset and kept saying how he had a big fish on and then all of a sudden the fish made two lunges and then the line broke. The mate consoled him and then walked away.
Nothing was said to this fellow for a few years and it seemed the secret to what happened to this fish was kept on till the mate finally one day told this fellow who was a regular, what happened. The mate confessed to him cutting this fellow off because he was so annoyed with all the tangles he was creating.
The fellow though, kept saying "no way - no way" and told the mate that his memory of the events were wrong and it didn't happen that way. It didn't matter to this fellow that the mate was coming clean on what happened, no matter how many times the mate reassured this fellow what actually happened. All this fellow kept repeating was "no way, no way"...then adding "the fish took two hard lunges and then broke the line."
Any trip covering 2 calendar days and over 15 hours in duration, may possess 2 daily possession limits worth of cod. Likewise, any trip covering 3 calendar days and over 39 hours in duration, may possess 3 times the daily limit, and so on.
So a trip leaving before 12 midnight (starting the previous day), and extending greater then 15 hours, can keep TWO limits of codfish.
I hope this puts to rest this question!
It is pretty rare to see a bottom fish reading like this on the inshore grounds, but it did occur a few weeks ago in the NY BIGHT, as Captain Frank ran over this stack of sea bass just sitting off to the side of an old broken down wreck.
When I first saw these readings I said to him that the last time I saw this amount of sea bass that stacked up vertically on an inshore piece was off in Virginia State waters, and I have never seen a reading this high of biscuits in under 100 feet of water in our area.
Two weeks after this reading occurred, one captain I know stopped on this spot and he said there was still a mixed pick of sea bass of this spot. Then just this last Monday, he made the trip there again, and he told me you won't believe it....there were barely a handful of pin bass on this same spot!
I told Frank for all the time you go out wreck hunting and bottom fishing, you really can appreciate the very rare times running over a reading like this so close to your home port. It was chock-a-block full of sea bass.
Captain Greg Merurio of the YANKEE CAPTS, has sent me something that I personally find very special. It was a file that contained a number of paper recordings he has made over the last few decades on a number of the wrecks and hot fishing spots he has found and fished.
I cannot imagine how much time Captain Greg with the YANKEE CAPTS has put in searching for new wrecks, but from the file I received, there are more then you can imagine.
Hopefully I will get the full story of Captains Gregs adventures in the Gulf of Maine, Georges Bank and down on Nantucket Shoals with these recordings in the future.
By the way, for those interested......
In the NOVEMBER 2011 issue of SOUNDINGS MAGAZINE, you will find the article on the YANKEE CAPTS - 4 DAY DEEP WRECKS, LEDGES & BANKS TRIP.. You know that you have the right issue when you see my handsome mug in one of the pictures. I believe it can be found on page 74 of this upcoming month publication.
Here are a few 'value based' SOLUTIONS that have seen or have been passed along to me which should answer a few questions I have been asked over the year.
Question I have been asked on more then a few occasions:
You sold me 3 different GOLD colored jigs over the years. Any difference when fishing with different shades of gold on your jigs?
The only difference over the last few years has been the shade of BRASS plating that was used when these jigs were first cast then later plated. No jig manufacturer that I know of makes a true GOLD plated jig, due to the high price of gold. Various tints of GOLD work and you should not be put off when you buy a jig from OE TACKLE where the luster of the gold is not as bright or for that matter, dull as in the past (See the article ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD to see the gold shades table).
What has been found through blue and striper fishing is that WHEN THE SUN IS SHINNING YOU USE A GOLD COLORED JIG. It does not matter if is a glossy looking gold or a matte looking gold tint. For some reason, the gold color appearance will out fish the chrome on bright and sunny days.
What one also has to keep in mind is that the shape of the hammered gold and chrome jig, is as much the KEY to consistently catching finicky bluefish and stripers. Look at the image and see the bend we put into this chrome jig.
Bottom line, when it is sunny and the blues and stripers are not feeding on bunker,
combine a gold colored hammered jig with a slight bend in this manner and you usually cannot ask for anything more out of a hammered diamond jig.
There is so much more to diamond jigging, but that is for another article.
I keep being asked by a number of fishermen about buying a sidewinder for the first time. My answer is to buy TWO similar sidewinder (if possible) for one very good reason that is becoming more apparent over the years. SPARE PARTS.
I have been seeing more and more over the last two years as the original Delrin cut sidewinders have parts that break or screws being lost. The point here is that many of the later Delrin cut sidewinders use different screw threads, longer and or shorter knob posts then the older models or totally worn out bushings. In fact if you change the knobs, you may find that you may need a longer or a shorter post, something that I know of only two people who have these parts. Keep that in mind.
If you buy an old U-NEEDA reel, I would really keep this in mind especially if they have been fished hard since the bushings on these reels most likely are worn and showing great signs of wear and should be pressed out and a new one carefully inserted.
I like to thank Captain Rob of WHATTA CATCH CHARTERS for passing this one tip along, and the credit really belongs to his dad for rigging up the sinkers in this manner, and all it requires is some thick gauge electrical wire.
It is very simple solution that accomplishes a few things with carrying a bunch of sinkers.
1- Separates each sinker by size
2- Easy to carry around
3- Good account of what you came on the boat with
4- Quickly find the desired size sinker
One thing we have all experienced when we carry a bag full of sinkers is that you have to sort through the bag or bucket (especially when you have a bite going), and this eliminates the wasteful time hunting for the right size sinker.
Just undo the wire and it will be left with a pig tail or two in it. Slide the desired sinker up and remove and place it back on, and later retie a simple over hand wrap.
By the way, I was asked 'how do you figure how many sinkers (the count) come in a 25 lb bag?'
Here is a quick breakdown using 8, 10, 12, 16 & 20 oz sinkers.
Continuing the discussion on deep dropping and sinkers, here is something that should help.
This simple, cheap device used to cost barely two quarters back in the day and was used by more then a few of the old time wreck fishermen. The reason for using the brass sinker release clip, is that unlike the other new style clips, it opens up if placed under a good deal of pressure when you are hung up.
Just think how many times you have hooked a fish on a wreck and was then hung up on a snag on the bottom and you lost not only the rig, but also the fish? Wish you had something like that on your line?
Just the other day, one of the regular fishermen I know and fish with was using this and he passed along a few stories on why he still uses them, and most were due to all the cod fishing we used to do on wrecks in this region.
The other bonuses i should add is that it also makes changing out different weighted sinkers a 'snap' and holds up better then a dropper loop which at times due to abrasions in the line around the sinker, just breaks losing the sinker without a fish on the line.
I know many of you think it is a cheap peace of unnecessary fishing tackle that you have tossed away many years back, but it definitely has its place for wreck fishermen. The brass sinker release clips are well worth their cheap price, and for a little over 20 dollars you can get a bag of 100 that will last more then a number of wreck fishing trips> Again, remember the big one that got away when your sinker got hung up on or in a wreck....that is why I am putting this in EC's quick solutions to your questions.
For those fishermen who own Newell 500 series reels, there are less then a handful of drag washer choices on the market. Lately with PENN discontinuing the narrow bridge sleeve 4/0 size washers that would fit on the main gear of the 500 series Newell Reels I had to find a new drag washer for these reels.
Another choice had to be located, and since I am not a fan of the Extreme Smooth drag washers, which are similar to the washers which come inside every new Newell reel, I continued to search and finally have settled on a washer similar in feel to the HT-100 washer.The CARBONTEX GLENDALE 500 fiber washers fits the bill, or better yet fits inside of the stainless main gear of this reel. From what I have now seen on the drag scale, you don't have to look any further.
The complete CARBONTEX GLENDALE 500 fiber washers cost roughly 10-12 dollars depending on who you buy them from. The package contains 4 washers, 3 of which are of the 4/0 size washers, and 1 smaller washer that is the size of the Jigmaster reel drag washer (or 200/300/400 series drag washer). This small washer in fact is the one that is placed ON TOP of the 6 full size metal and fiber washer drag stack. I point this out since many are going to wonder why a fourth, smaller washer has been added in the washer kit.
Funny thing here is that I and a few others who work on Newells, have been doing this 'little trick' over the years, adding the extra smaller washer on top of the drag stack for the 200/300/400 series reels (use the even smaller Squidder size washer), and now with the GLENDALE 500 kit, a 3/0 sized washer is included with the 4/0 size washer set.
The main point to keep in mind, is to ensure when you assemble the right side plate, is that the drag stack is not raised so high with the new washers that the cupped belleville washer now presses against the side plate. You will notice this when you turn the handle and feel a binding pressure on each rotation. It is very apparent, believe me.
If this does occur, and may if you can find HT-100 washers for your 500 series Newells (the edges have to be trimmed down though), and to ensure that the handle turns smoothly, you can remove the larger belleville washer on the 500 series Newells and put in its place the smaller belleville washer that comes inside the Newell 200/300/400 series reels. There will not be much loss (if any) of drag pressure, and I have found that the drag works as smoothly as a fishermen should expect.
With the popularity of bucktailing for fluke growing by leaps and bounds every season, I see and hear of more fishermen using bucktails. But along the way I continually hear more complaining about all the short biting fish they miss because of the large size hooks on a well known manufacturers bucktail.
Here is an old trick which i do recommend, and it does require a few moments to find the right size Rosco swivel to slip past the barb that is on that particular bucktail hook. You can then use any style smaller hook which you can slightly open the eye to slip onto the other end of the swivel as the stinger hook to improve your hooking up these short biting fluke.
On the last few offshore cod trips, I have been asked about how to adjust the squid skirt so that the cut plastic stripes on the squid skirt do not extend way past the hook.
If you look closely, this is a solution that was come up by the manufacturer of the OE SQUID SKIRT codfish rigs, but there is nothing unique here since a number of overseas rig makers will use roughly the same setup of beads and small cut pieces of plastic tube to move the skirt up further up the leader or dropper loop.
The solution here is that you have a choice to either slip cheap beads or small cut pieces of plastic tube on the line before you put the skirt on. Now the squid skirt rides higher up, and you now have the squid skirt now just barely extending past the bend of the hook.
A common, simple and very cheap item that you can use is are the thin coffee stirrers usually red in color. Cut them to the length where you have the end of the cut plastic squid strips meeting just below the bend of the hook...This is another quick solution that it will help lessen missing short striking bottom fish fish.
With more fishermen enjoying deep dropping for tilefish and other denizens of the deep, along with the price of lead sinkers rising to historic highs, can we find cheap workable alternatives to get your bait rig down to the bottom?
As the price of pure lead (99% lead) reaching the 2 dollars a pound mark, and the people who do the pouring and casting of sinkers looking to make more money, a number of fishermen have come up with their own heavy metal sinkers, and here is one made from some scrap metal laying around.
Looking years back for the reason why sash weights were so popular when tile fishing, and it was due to their availability, cheap price (typically free) and it didn't matter if you left a few on the bottom each trip. They were a truly disposable item. The point here being is that you are not locked into buying and using a heavy weight/sinker out of lead....any cheap, heavy metal object where you can securely attach a eyelet to, will work.
For those who keep asking me for tile fish numbers....your tax dollars at work> Government funded research on tile fish and the most productive tile fish grounds in the Hudson Canyon area. Watch your bottom machine and mark on your GPS chart plotter where you are catching tilefish.
In the images below, notice the type of bottom you should be fishing over.
If this does not help, look for where the commercial tile fish boats are working their gear. If you see them, then you should be in a productive tilefish area.
This is an 'old school' trick in which you use a permanent black ink market and blacken one side of a 4 sided DB hammered diamond jig. You can also place a coat of clear epoxy on the jig to protect the side you have blackened.
For the fishermen who do this, they claim a noticeable difference in the number of tuna they catch on a jig.
Why put old time Penn or even the discontinued Pro Gear parts on a Newell Reel? It comes down to a matter of preference, and they are slight improvements over the parts on the Newell reels. Here I will quickly break it down.
PENN REEL SEAT - I have gone over this a number of times and why the fishermen here in the Bay came up with this. What has been found is that the reel will fit more snugly in any reel seat (typically the smaller Fuji reel seat), while also bringing the reel slightly closer to the rod.
PRO GEAR STAR - The smaller Pro Gear dragstar uses the same size threads that are on the Newell bridge sleeve. We have found that you can get a more sensitive drag adjustments as the range of the drag (how many times you can turn the star), will increase. SInce Pro Gear has stopped making reels for years (what a shame too), you can use the Penn 505/506 chrome over brass drag star, since the threads are also similar.
PENN HANDLE - Not only added comfort with a rubber knob, but also gives the fishermen a choice between either a power or speed adjustment, something which for some reason Carl Newell never did with any of his custom handles.
The best thing though with these changes, is that it only takes a few dollars to customize your Newell Reel.
I cannot say enough about the cod flies Jim Feeney from Massachusetts ties, and at first glance you wonder, 'do these things really work?'
I can attest that these cod flies are such good fish catchers of groundfish in the GOM, and that my beloved curly tails and squid teasers are a far second choice on what I put on my line. The pink cod fly in fact caught the largest pollock on the last 4 day YANKEE CAPTS - Deep Ledges, Wrecks & Banks trip. Jim's cod flies prove again that fishing lures have to be attractive to the fish, not the fishermen. I should add they even have Captain Tim Tower of the f/v BUNNY CLARK stamp of approval.
In the image below is Jim's cod fly matched up with some custom tied flies made with the right bucktail material, Gamakatsu open eye Siwash hooks and high quality Spro swivels. Both seen here work, but I have to add Jim Feeney's cod flies are just that good.
Goodness how many times have i been asked about which is better, a gold or chrome Kroc for fishing in the NY BIGHT? The short answer is GOLD, but there are times running down off the New Jersey coast when the chrome is more effective.
First remember, you grab the KROC over a hammered diamond jig when BUNKER ARE AROUND!
Also, through much trial and error:
1- You do not add a swivel between the hook and the Kroc spoon, and that is why the open eye OE TACKLE 4x LIVE BAIT hook is attached on the ring.
2- You should also be using a short shank hook over the longer shank diamond jig hook, since it lessens the chance of the Kroc spoon fouling itself on your line when the spoon is descending in the water column.
3- You should work the Kroc spoon slowly, even when the fish are busting on top.
One of the reason why larger bass and blues are consistently caught is that fishermen tend to work this lure lower in the water column where the bigger fish tend to be feeding.
It is highly recommended to carry both the gold and chrome Kroc spoon in both the 5 and 7 oz size. Also there will be a few surprises coming from OE TACKLE with the KROC spoon next season.....very surprising changes I should add.
I apologize here to those who have ordered certain pound test or specific colored lines in either BOTTOM LINE or EXSUM. They are similar products and we really did put these lines to the test during the last two seasons and I doubt that is a monofilament line comparable for the price.
If you need EXSUM line (and OE TACKLE only carries bulk 5 lb spools), give us at least a month or two heads up. The popularity of this fishing line by the fishing fleet in this region, and there is no top quality monofilament that is comparable in price.
Over the past few years as OE TACKLE has sold their hammered diamond jigs and KROC spoons, you may have seen a change in the hook that comes with these metal lures.
Not to worry since, OE TACKLE has been tweaking their jig hooks not only in strength, but also in size. Originally the O'Shaunnessey design was used since it is the standard diamond jig hook on this coast. A change was made to a 4x BEAK hook design since it set better and there was slightly less loss of hooked fish.
With the KROC SPOON, the change was made from a long shank hook, to the shorter shank 4x strong, traditional LIVE BAIT/BEAK hook design. When using KROCS you should use this style of hook since it lessens the fouling (jig tripping on itself) on your main line.
Also as you can see in the above image, try to match the hook size to the curtly tail grub you are using. When using the popular 6" curly tail, you can use the 4x strength, 5/0 and 6/0 OE TACKLE BEAK HOOK with slices in the shank for codfish. The slices in the shank help prevent the curly tail from sliding down the hook when a fish grabs onto it. When using plastic squid skirts longer then 4 3/4 inch, or the 8" curly tail grub, use a longer shank hook. This is another reason why we have the long shank BEAK jig hooks. With big codfish and pollock use the 9/0 size BEAK hook with the 8" curly tail.
This was something brought to my attention by a noted fishermen here, and it MAY or MAY NOT help those guys who keep green crabs. He said that when you pick up your bags of green crabs or catch and hold your green crabs, feed them skimmer clams.
Ok, I know it sounds far-fetched, but he told me that the crabs pick up the scent of the skimmer clams, which they later release when being used as bait, enticing finicky blackfish eat your green crabs.'
Again I don't know if this is for real, but I am just putting it out there due to the source I heard this from.
If you know the whereabouts for finding this jig, or have some to sell in one or the various sizes, PLEASE contact me.
As we are coming to the end of the FISHING UNITED.COM - FALL WINTER 2011 FISH NEWS BLOG, here is a poem that my good friend Captain John Bogan wrote and passed along to me. It is one I take a look at and read from time to time. With all that is going on around us, I hope you can understand the deep insight here.
Growing up as a child
I knew nothing of compassion or strength
I look back now as I am older
And realize what all lessons have meant
I had a good teacher
I was told always do the best you can
To everyone else he was an ordinary guy
To me more like superman
He taught about good and evil
I knew well of right and wrong
Still I stumbled down many paths
On others free falling headlong
Dad had tried to spare me
From all those same mistakes
Felt when he saw me fall
His heartstrings pulled and ached
I’ll never forget the time
And know I was the reason why
Shattered the image in my mind
When I saw my father cry
I stood stone still
As my hero and many things rolled into one
Sat with head in hand
And I noticed how easy he had come undone
We had talked of many things
On others we never touched
Flowing free were pent up emotions
Which I had never thought about much
Now, my own son has many questions
His two favorites are how and why
He too has been taught well
And he now knows even a brave man can cry.
By Captain John Bogan
You can never forget these special moments. The pictures just tell part of the story.....
Be there for the next generation of fishermen!
MANY THANKS TO OUR ADVERTISERS, SUPPORTERS & MEMBERS!
I do hope you enjoyed our FISHING UNITED.COM - FALL/WINTER 2011 FISH NEWS BLOG.
I just like to personally thank those that support FISHING UNITED.COM and as I continue to point out, 'WE' do things a little differently here then any other online fishing site. A good portion of the information you read here comes from many noted captains, mates and fishermen from this region over the last few decades.
My email box is always open, and anyone who wants to pass along fishing news, pictures, videos and stories, I will always look at it and get it up on the site if appropriate. Don't worry if it does not go up immediately. Anyone who knows my schedule now, will understand that I am only one person juggling a number of things at this time.
Getting back to the fish stories.......
My buddy Joe the Professor commented to me that 'I am like long time fishing writer and story teller Matt Ahern was to the LONG ISLAND FISHERMEN, but with fishing information on steroids.' All I can say to that, is it all due to the captains, the guys who work deck and pin hookers I have met, and fished alongside over the decades. All I am doing is passing along their stories and experiences here.
As you can see with my priority now being to emphasize the fading and loss of our fishing heritage along our coast. Of course many of the long time noted fishermen have passed away over the years, and few if any remember, or more so, write a little story about them.
The other day when I was contacted by one of the Captain Jay Porters daughters, it seemed that she was surprised someone would write a number of stories that can easily be found on the internet. These fishermen have given us some enjoyment, and for many like myself, it has been our lifestyle since we were young. I keep thinking back to when Harry Ostrow, who was the photographer for fishermen and fishing boats in Sheepshead Bay for many years, always taking a snapshot or two with his box camera. Looking back now, he was literally collecting the lives of the fishermen of that period. That is what we are doing here.
See you out there on the fishing grounds.................