>> AUG. 27, 2017 <<
It has been awhile since the last full NY BIGHT INSIDER and it has been just a strange July and August as far as having what many would consider "summer-like weather." One only has to think back to the summer of 2016 where inshore water temps "popped up" to and over 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with the humidity making all to many I spoke to wished the summer would quickly end. This year though, we have had some pretty quirky weather, first with the unseasonable cooler spring and early summer and then an unusual period of mild (at least for summer), wind and too many days of thunderstorms coming through during the early morning hours.
So, what does that mean for the last few weeks of summer and upcoming fall season? What does NOAA predict for the next three months?
Slightly warmer than average...a pattern based upon previous September temperatures which have typically been higher than normal?
- More Wind than normal for this time of the year
- Wetter than usual
- Slightly cooler temps
I base this upon the shift of the Jet Stream which is further south then in previous years. Let's see how this plays out....
Oh by the way, did you see the easterly blow coming for most of next week? Here is the NOAA chart until Sunday showing the building low pressure system coming up the coast, and which will close out the last days of August...
Last night prior to Captain Jeff of the Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ - VOYAGER going back offshore, he made mention of a couple of very special fish that were caught over the last week during their tilefish offshore adventures. Besides a solid mix of Golden and Blueline tilefish, a number of 'deepwater complex species' were caught, the most notable being record sized Snowy Groupers.
The two tackle-busting 'snowies' seen in the images above, were the largest boated, but Captain Jeff did add that a few smaller ones were also caught among others that were lost when hung up in the snags and obstructions that were fished on these previous trips.
Going up north to the New England region, Marc over at FISHARK ADVENTURES has been making some notable fish news with not only the number of 'King Whiting' being caught, but the record size in average weight of these Silver Hake.
From what Marc has told me, on one trip with Captain Nate (found at EASTMANS DOCK), these ARE NOT the whiting of whiting fishing that many of us older fishermen remember here in the NY-NJ BIGHT. Figuratively speaking, very far from what we still reminisce about here with the 'back in the day' stories, as these whiting are brought up from depth ranges from 55 to slightly over 60 fathoms, and the rig used and popularized by Marc, sets the first hook more than 10 feet off the bottom!
As Ralph 'Rodwinder' told me when I picked up some of these true baseball bat specimens, "it's meat fishing with multiple hooks," and if you want to mix in some of the other finest eating fish around, red hake, just place your hooks closer to the bottom and use Gulp!
Getting back to state record size fish, Marc reminded me that in past years, Captain Phil Eastman has caught silver hake up to 8 lbs (in a gillnet), and has seen a number of fish in the 5 to 6 lb class. On one August trip earlier this month, Chris 'Crabcake' had state record size fish....but was using a multiple hook rig (no more than 2 hooks are allowed if a fish is entered for a record).
Now a number of the biggest whiting measured at the top end of 27 to 28 inches, but that was for fish in the over 4 lb range. Can one imagine whiting over 5 lbs and measuring....30 inches or more?
By the way, Marc sent down with Ralph some of these big whiting and they they were as delicious as any fish I have eaten. Maybe it was the simple way I prepared them, or just maybe they are one of the sweetest and most pleasant texture fish around, compare to a red hake. If you are interested, contact Marc, but he said that it looks like all the whiting trips are sold out until November. Fishermen around these region are starting to notice what is no doubt the finest whiting around.
Finally......some pretty reasonable for handgear at least, "big butts....."
For those who have not been following some of the GOMaine fishing news, there has been not only more halibut hooked up to, but landed than anyone can remember. From what Captain Tim Tower of the fv BUNNY CLARK, Ogunquit, ME. told me that this may be the best season since he has been in business as far as anglers catching and hooked up with halibut, with a few fish that were lost being in the super XXXL range (over 150 lbs plus - by a wide margin at that).
I have also have INSIDER reports sent in where halibut are no longer a rare catch as they once regularly were in the recent past, with most easily surpassing the minimum 41" possession mark.....
Needless to say, GOMaine fishing seems to still be very solid, considering the time of the year. I should also add, this is the final rule making for GOMaine - for-hire and the rec. fishermen...