Fished the Eastern Shore Marlin Club Tournament with Shawn Dutton, Glen Loller, Tom Gatch and Wayne Gwaltney.
Day 1, we started inside looking to catch more 20# mahi that we caught the week before. Tough day working in 10-15kt NE wind. Ended with 2 mahi 10# and 12#. Neither qualified for the board. No marlin, tuna or wahoo were caught.
Day 2, we did not fish, but fleet did very well on marlin.
Day 3, being behind the eight-ball — down big on marlin we decided to go for the meat. Worked inside with only one runoff until 1PM when we went 2 for 3 on 10# class mahi just east of Sam’s Hill. Managed to pickup a 2.5# false albacore near the 21 Mile Hill, which was top fish in the Tuna category for about 45 minutes until another boat weighed a 5# skipjack.
Fun tournament as always. Impressive amount of marlin were released, which bodes well for next week’s Ocean City White Marlin Tournament.
Good luck to our buddies and dockmates on the Heatwave.
Mahi meat haul. Great mahi fishing for the Allen family. Fished the 30 fathom lumps Saturday and had action all day long with mahi to 20 lbs. Ended with 9 fish. Winds S 15kts. Water was 81 degrees. Beautiful but hot day on water. Next week we fish the ESMC Tournament, Friday thru Sunday.
Hot day on water. Started at Lumpy Bottom and picked up a gaffer south and east in 77 degree water. Continued working east and managed another gaffer on the 30 fathom lumps. Spent most of afternoon in south wall area of the Washington and had no pulls. Trolled west – back towards 30 fathom lumps in last hour of fishing. No bites or pulls. Was calling it a day and pulling in lines when I spotted a white following the bait. Angler extraordinaire Joe Hudock quickly hand feed and coaxed a bite and we had game on. Nice work Joe.
Beautiful day on water, sunny, WNW wind 10-15 kts. Seas 3-4 with some big roller swell in canyon. Third white marlin release so far this season, a new boat record.
Trolled just outside of Wachapreague sea buoy and had a steady pick of nice Spanish Mackerel to 16 inches before it started blowing 20. Fish were hungry — spoons are the ticket. Came inside and flounder fished for a couple of hours on outgoing tide. Ended with 1 keeper out of 10 fish caught. Fish were biting Gulp grubs aggressively. Heard of several limit catches of flounder the last few days, so fish are still inside near inlet.
Fished the Norfolk Canyon. SSW winds 15kts. 3 ft seas. Hot weather day on water, not hot fishing. Found a 1.5 degree temp break on tip and managed to pickup bull and cow dolphin on a couple of trolling passes. Both gaffers.
Fished with Shawn Dutton, Glen Loller and Wayne Gwaltney this past Saturday. Decided to stay in shore in search-mode for Bluefin Tuna. Started at Marine Electric and trolled south towards Parking Lot. Picked up a few false albacore. Fish finder was void of any bait concentrations so picked up and ran south to Lumpy Bottom. Found a bit more bait in this area. Water temps were 73-74 degrees. Ended up with 3 dolphin for the day. Winds SSW 15-20 kts. Not optimistic at this point that BFT will make a meaningful showing in the area this year. But stay tuned. We’ll be at it again this coming holiday weekend.
Great inaugural offshore trip on Saturday, June 15. Ran to the southern edge of Washington Canyon where we found a nice temperature break. Excellent morning bite with our first fish, a white marlin after trolling 5 minutes. Safely released this fish and one other white marlin an hour later. In addition to the two whites we ended up with 5 yellowfin tuna to 30 lbs and 2 gaffer-size dolphin. Also caught another 6 skipjack tuna and 1 false albacore all in same area. All bites were in 69-70 degree water from 60 fathom to 150 fathom. Seas were SW @ 15kts. Waves 3-4+.
On board were Joe Hudock and his entourage along with Johnny Joeckel.
Effective May 11 through December 31, 2019, the BFT daily retention limits are the following. For HMS Angling-permitted vessels: 2 school BFT (27 to <47″) + 1 large school/small medium BFT (47 to <73″); for charter boats with HMS Charter/Headboat category permits, when fishing recreationally: 3 school BFT + 1 large school/small medium BFT; and for head boats with HMS Charter/Headboat category permits, when fishing recreationally: 6 school BFT + 2 large school/small medium BFT. These limits (which are per vessel per day/trip) are effective for all areas except the Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip (e.g., whether a vessel takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day), no more than a single day’s retention limit may be possessed, retained, or landed. Angling and Charter/Headboat vessels may also land one bluefin tuna measuring 73″ or greater per vessel per year north of 39°18’N (off Great Egg Inlet, NJ), as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. The trophy bluefin fishery for the southern area is closed. The recreational yellowfin tuna retention limit is 3/person/day or trip. The minimum size for yellowfin and bigeye tuna is 27″ curved fork length. There are no recreational limits for bigeye, skipjack, or albacore tunas.
The recreational daily swordfish retention limit is 1 fish/person, with maximums of 4 fish/private vessel, 6 for a charter vessel, and 15 for a headboat vessel. The minimum size for swordfish within the recreational fishery is 47″ lower jaw-fork length.
You may not keep longbill spearfish.
There are no retention limits for Atlantic sailfish, blue marlin and white marlin, but NMFS encourages recreational anglers to release all billfish alive. The minimum sizes for billfish are as follows: Blue Marlin: 99″ lower jaw fork length; White Marlin and Round scale spearfish: 66″ lower jaw fork length; Sailfish: 63″ lower jaw fork length; Longbill Spearfish: Retention prohibited. Lower jaw fork length is a straight line measurement from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the caudal fin.
There are a total of 21 prohibited shark species that vessel operators should be able to identify (see compliance guide for details). For recreationally-caught sharks, retention of ridgeback sharks other than tiger or smooth dogfish (and oceanic whitetip in certain circumstances) is prohibited. For shortfin mako, catch and release is encouraged, and the minimum size for landing is 83″ straight-line fork length.
In summary, the recreational shark limit is 1 shark/vessel/trip with a minimum size of 54″ fork length (but 78″ for hammerheads and 83″ for shortfin mako) plus 1 Atlantic sharpnose shark/person/trip (no min. size); plus 1 bonnethead/person/trip (no min. size). There is no retention or size limit for smoothhound sharks (smooth dogfish, Florida smoothhound, and Gulf smoothhound).
Effective January 1, 2019, the bluefin tuna (BFT) daily retention limit is the default limit of 1 school, large school, or small medium BFT (27 to <73″). This default limit applies to both HMS Angling category-permitted vessels and HMS Charter/Headboat category-permitted vessels, and is effective for all areas except the Gulf of Mexico. Angling and Charter/Headboat vessels may also land 1 BFT tuna measuring 73″ or greater per vessel per year in all areas (North, South, and Gulf of Mexico). The recreational yellowfin tuna retention limit is 3/person/day or trip. The minimum size for yellowfin and bigeye tuna is 27″ curved fork length. There are no recreational limits for bigeye, skipjack, or albacore tunas.