Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

Wednesday, July 12, 2017: Mighty fine day out there. A goodly amount of radio chatter ...

Oh, s***, now you did it ... Let's get outta here!

Dog bites license plate off car


Alliance for a Living Ocean's photo.
9th Annual ALO LBI Longboard Classic
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Alliance for a Living Ocean

Wednesday, July 12, 2017: Mighty fine day out there. A goodly amount of radio chatter speaks of fair fluking and plenty of bluefish. Yet another huge ray was hooked into near the Middle Grounds (off BH).

I like the looks of the somewhat subdued winds from tomorrow through the weekend. That doesn’t mean gusty stints won’t show, late-day, but winds under 10 mph should dominate a.m. sessions. It might even get a little too glassy for offshore trolls, but lend itself to night chunks. Getting highly mixed big-game fishing report, ranging from rockin' it to full skunk sessions, sometimes in the same canyons. 

Surfcasting-wise, I got this good-news message from Walt P., a.m. today: “Don & I fished the HC surf this morning and ended up with 9 keeper kingfish and about 6 throwbacks all on bloodworms and gulp bites.” 

That indicates an unusually large biomass of these stellar panfish has reached us.

If you missed my last couple posts about targeting kingfish, it’s repeated in the “Rundown” in this week’s SP column, out later to today. Oh, wth, here’s an in-house rerun: 

Kingfish. We all know these are top-shelf eating fillets. I rate them near five out of five stars, taste-wise. I see no way they won't swarm here, soon ... if they're not already around. The current calmed down ocean is ideal for fishing them. 

Every 15 -- or maybe it's 30 -- years, NJ sees a total explosion of northern kingfish, though the explosions seemed a lot more regular in the 1940s and 50s. No olden fishing reports I've read failed to mention them in the surf.

I don't want to jinx it but these would make summer fishing a lot more fun -- both ocean and bay. Plus, they often hang around all summer, before really peaked again in early- to mid-fall.

I've always said these fish need a just-right rig, i.e. a kingfish rig. Imagine that. Red or orange floats rock. However, with real clear water, floatless bottom rigs work best. 

Moderate/light to light surf equipment is needed. Too heavy a rod/reel and there's no fun at all to catching them. 

While most folks know kingfish-catching rigs, a scant few know it's best to go bank sinker with those rigs -- and even offering a slow retrieve, a bit surf-fluking-like. Then, once a prime retrieve zone is found -- and kingfish can really school up tightly -- future casts are aimed right at the hot spot.

While it's no different than most fish, kings should be kept cool and cleaned/filleted as quickly as possible. I bring that up since all too often they're chucked in a bucket and left in the sun to bake, seeing they're mainly a daytime hookup. Bad, very bad.

As to you bay fishing folks, already loving fluking life in the bay -- as flatties avoid that cold ocean -- arriving kingfish are on a bay spawning run, offering a different meat for the plate -- by my thinking, superior to fluke, hands down. 

I must suggest, in the name of conservation, that a sensible one-meal amount of kingfish be kept -- and NOT as much as you can possibly catch. Over-catching of spawning panfish not only hurts the spawn but way too often leads to sloppier and sloppier filleting. Kingfish are way to good to leave chunks on the bones. 

Since I'm on a kingfish roll, well-cleaned kingfish carcasses make exceptional blue crab bait. Also, kingfish heads are thought to be among the best bait for big black drumfish, striped bass, or channel bass, that last one coming from an old news article talking of kingfish used to catch monster "channel bass" on LBI. Channel bass are known as red drumfish nowadays.

I won't get into the relationship between shrimping bycatch to our south and the kingfish we finally see except to say newer exclusion devices are now in use ... and shrimping pressure has been iffy. 


Of local interest, we were all wowed when Barnegat High School hurler, Jason Groome, was drafted by the Boston RS and became a multi-million-dollar baby; the leftie of the future for the BoSox. And the kid still has great promise, despite injuried -- and his move to florida. But the lad now has a lot on his mind now. His dad went down big time ...



            Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato announced today the culmination of a three month cooperative multi-jurisdictional investigation, continuing Ocean County Law Enforcement’s relentless pursuit of illegal narcotics being imported into the county. 

              In this latest operation, detectives from the Prosecutor's Special Operations Group, Southern Enforcement Unit joined forces with the Barnegat Township Police Department and the Stafford Township Police Department Drug Enforcement Units to conduct an investigation into the distribution of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and firearms in the southern Ocean County area. 

The investigation by the partnering agencies identified the following three Ocean County individuals and their residences allegedly being utilized to store and distribute quantities of CDS and firearms:

  • Jason Groome, 43, of 3 Capstan Street, Barnegat, NJ
  • Anthony Brandt, 53, of 8 Longboat Avenue, Barnegat NJ
  • Daniel Wunder, 61, of 660 North Green Street, Little Egg Harbor, NJ.

Detectives also identified a 2008 Chrysler 200 and a 2010 Dodge Ram pick-up truck as being utilized by Jason Groome to store and distribute quantities of CDS and firearms.  The investigative findings would ultimately lead to detectives obtaining no knock search warrants for all three of the aforementioned residences and vehicles. 

              On Monday July 10, 2017 at approximately 4:40 pm, Prosecutor’s Detectives along with members of the Barnegat Township Police and the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team executed a motor vehicle stop on the 2010 Dodge Ram which was being operated by Jason Groome.  The motor vehicle stop took place within the Gunning River Mall located on West Bay Avenue in Barnegat and resulted in the arrest of Groome on various drug and weapon charges.  The seizure of approximately 2 ounces of Cocaine and a defaced 9mm handgun were from Groome as a part of the stop and overall investigation. 

Simultaneously with the arrest of Groome, members of the Prosecutor’s Special Operations Group, the Barnegat Police Drug Enforcement Unit, the Stafford Police Drug Enforcement Unit along with members of the Little Egg Harbor Police Narcotics Unit, the Ocean County Sherriff’s Department K-9 Unit and the Ocean County Regional SWAT Team executed the no-knock search warrants on the three listed residences.  The investigation and execution of the listed search warrants resulted in police seizing Cocaine less than ½ ounce, Marijuana, drug paraphernalia and a Mossberg 12 Gauge pump style shotgun from the Longboat Avenue residence and approximately four hundred (400) Oxycodone pills and a .22 caliber rifle seized from the N. Green Street residence. 

            Ocean County Prosecutor’s Captain Jack Sramaty, who serves as the Chairman of the New Jersey County Commanders Association and is the Commander of the Prosecutor’s Special Operations Group commended the efforts of all the law enforcement agencies that participated in this investigation stating, “This investigation is a prime example of what can be achieved by law enforcement when local and county police agencies join forces to combat the distribution of narcotics and firearms in Ocean County.” 

The media and public are reminded that criminal charges are merely accusations and that these defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  Below find defendant photos, arrest and criminal charges information:

Jason Groome (Photo courtesy the Ocean County Jail) - charged with Possession of Heroin, Possession of Heroin with the Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Heroin, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine over one half ounce with the Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Cocaine over One Half Ounce, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute, Distribution of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Firearm (9mm Handgun), and Possession of a Firearm (9mm Handgun) during a CDS Offense. Mr. Groome was subsequently housed in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.     

 Anthony Brandt (Photo courtesy NJMVC) - charged with Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Suboxone and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.  Mr. Brandt was released on a summons pending a future court date.

Daniel Wunder (Photo courtesy NJMVC) - charged with Possession of CDS (Oxycodone), Possession of CDS (Oxycodone) with the Intent to Distribute and Possession of MDMA (Ecstasy).  Mr. Wunder was released on a summons pending a future court date.


The surfing issue is on the agenda for tonight's council meeting at 7:30PM. From what I hear there is some resistance from the town. We need as many people at that meeting as possible. Especially Surf City residents, business owners and taxpayers. Good luck to us. Unfortunately I might not be able to make it. :-( 
Link here for Petition for surfing outside the flags. Town Hall Meeting.

Smoking is what should be banned, not surfing. I gathered these off the beach as I was leaving after being whistled out by the lifeguard. Luckily there was also a plastic bag (to hold the disgusting butts) to be picked up. (Not so lucky for any marine life if the bag had blown into the sea).


Capt. Alex (lhsportfishing@comcast.net)

If this last two weeks is any indication of the amazing bluefish bite we have been experiencing it will definitely go down as the summer of the bluefish. In no way am I discounting the real good fluke action when you catch the right tide or the continuation of summer stripers.  I was out every day except July 4 and on two of those days out I ran double trips.  Most of the time was spent battling bluefish, and I mean battling.  Most time we get into them we are getting several fish over 10 pounds.  Have had a few in the 13-14 pound range and then some in the 2-3 pound class. There is a certain unknown with every hook-up as to the size or how long the fight will last.  Been using mostly spinning gear in the 12-15 pound range for some drag screaming light tackle fun. Still tossing BKDs mostly but at times we have had good action with poppers. On Thursday I had the bite going for both of my trips during the time of 11 AM to 8 PM. The only time the blues stopped biting was when some porpoise swam by. Can you blame them?  Most of the forage is still sandeels but I did see some Spanish Sardines getting picked off. The time spent fluking I have had the best success on the ebb.  When fluking the outgoing during afternoon southerlies backing down into the wind and current has been a must to maintain the proper drift speed.  A little extra work for da Captain, but it is what it takes to keep the rods bent.


On the nature side of things: just like the timing of a precision clock the fall bird migration started this week. Small flocks of shorebirds (mostly short-billed dowitchers and smaller sandpiper species) have been seen flying south down Barnegat Bay.  These birds just left their breeding grounds way up north, like the tundra or locales at a little lower latitude. They left their young to fend for themselves as they head south to the southern hemisphere. This is what is great about the marvels of nature. While these birds are flying to the southern hemisphere we now have off our cost pelagic birds like petrels and shearwaters, that are wintering here in the northern hemisphere after leaving there breeding grounds in the southern hemisphere. So we have some species going one way while other species are going in the complete opposite direction. Now I’m even confused J Not all that uncommon in nature. Keep that in mind when I talk about flat fish next week.


Already looking at a busy schedule this week but have plenty of slots open for fishing or eco-tours so contact me as soon as you can.



Capt. Alex


Barnegat Bay, NJ


u Tube Channel: Fishing Barnegat Bay



The Rozzi party was out this morning and got to see first hand the amazing bluefish action we have been experiencing. At first, with little current, it seemed as if there were no fish around. I asked them to be patient knowing that we were going to be at the right place at the right time. Not leaving, it was game on once the current started to flow. The weight of the bluefish was all over the place again going from 2 lbs to 14 lbs. A friend of mine fishing close by weighed a blue he caught on his Boga and it pulled the scale down to 18 lbs. That is a serious world class slammer. Cow-nose rays are starting to show so be prepared!

Screaming drags, Capt. Alex



We just got back from OC,MD yesterday with the Hi Flier. She’s back in Waretown and we are jumping back in to our home base fishing. We did pretty good down there. We didn’t kill it, but we weren’t awful. The weather allowed us to get out four days out of the ten we were there. Attached are the pics of our catch. Steve Spina of Canton, CT with his first ever tuna, a 60 lb bluefin that crushed a rainbow spreader bar. Here’s a few minutes of the end game:

Anthony Scalea Jr. of Cranford, NJ with a mahi that snatched a flatlined cedar plug. Nick DeGennaro, my son and first mate with his first wahoo, a 31 pounder that smoked a ballyhoo he just learned to rig on the ride out. Steve Ondrof of Rockaway, NJ with his first billfish, a 90 plus pound white marlin that put on endless show of jumps and greyhounding. We counted eight jumps in a row on just one of his ariels. Big thanks to Darren Dorris who gratefully was on board to teach Nick how to rig Joe Shutes with ballyhoo as well as how to maneuver the boat and handle a marlin boatside. I didn’t anticipate a billfish as I had tuna on my brain when making our packing list so I didn’t have any leader gloves. Nick volunteered the sleeves of his sweatshirt and Darren used them as makeshift gloves to bill the fish for a few quick pics and then we revived her until she swam away on her own. A magnificent thing to experience. Had the trip of a lifetime down there with both my boys, Nick 18, and Max 16, working deck while I ran the boat. Max stuck his first fish with a gaff, the 60 lb bluefin. He also did battle with a 150 pound Southern Sting Ray that ate a chunk bait and after 30 minutes he got him close enough for me to cut the leader at his mouth. Nick filled the void of Darren’s departure by taking over the cockpit and rigging all the baits, and they caught fish.
Locally we will be jumping right into grass shrimping and other gourmet baits for weakfish and the mixed bag on light tackle in the back bay. There are also blues and bass to catch in the inlet throwing soft plastics and surface lures. We will also be running offshore in search of tuna and mahi. I have availability this Thurs and Fri, July 13 and 14 for afternoon trips in the bay and inlet. Sun and Mon, July 16 and 17 I am available for inshore or offshore morning and afternoon. The marine weather looks favorable so if nobody charters those days, I will be running Open Boat trips on Sun and Mon to the 50 to 60 mile bluefin tuna grounds. This is mostly a trolling trip but we will always be armed with jigs and casting gear just in case the opportunity presents itself. $350 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. Depart at 3AM, return around 12 hours later (probably later). Everything is provided, just bring whatever you want to eat and drink for the time we are out.
Capt. Dave DeGennaro
Hi Flier Sportfishing
732.330.5674 cell

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