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NY, NJ, CT, RI Edition
September 20, 2006
Volume 17 � Number 25

COVER PAGE    CONTENTS    DEPARTMENTS    OFFSHORE

Offshore
by Mike Plaia

The weatherman has not been good to us over the past week. The big blow at the beginning of the week was followed by consistently high wind forecast during the week, followed by a completely blown forecast for Saturday, where the winds were predicted to be twenty to twenty-five knots out of the northeast, only to turn out to be a mere zephyr as the sun rose on Saturday. Most guys bagged it for their Saturday plans and instead set sail today (Sunday). As a result, actual reports were hard to come by this weekend.

The sea surface temperature charts from Ocentemp.com show that the body of warm water that has been sitting at Veatch's and Hydrographer's Canyons, all season is still sitting in roughly the same place. The mid-seventy degree water is up on the edge at Hydrographer's and dissipates as you move east to Walker's Canyon, where it is in the low seventy-degree range. The warm water is pushing up onto the edge of the continental shelf to the west all the way over to an area just east of the Fish Tails in Block Canyon. There is a temperature break east of the Fish Tails where the water drops from the mid-seventy degree range into the low seventies. That low seventy-degree water extends from east of the Fish Tails west to the area just east of the 100 square area of the Hudson. Just east of the 100-square area there is another temperature break where the water temperature jumps up from the high sixties or low seventies back up to the mid-seventies range. That mid-seventy degree water extends to the southwest all the way to Tom's, Berkely, Carteret, Lindenkohl, Spencer and down to South Heyes' Canyons. All through the area from the Hudson to South Heyes', the mid-seventy degree water extends from the deep up onto the bank to about the 50-fathom curve.

Based on what I am hearing from the few boats that braved the weather forecasts earlier in the week, that mid-seventy degree water is the clean blue stuff that dreams are made of. Right now I'd have to say that if I were planning a run to the edge tomorrow, the target areas would have to be either to the west or the east of the Fish Tails to stay in the mid-seventy degree water.

I'm sure that many of my loyal readers recall me writing about swordfishing a couple of weeks ago. Just for the record, the weather pre-empted the planned J&B Tackle East swordfish tournament, but they are planning for another go at it next year. As promised, I started a thread on Noreast.com's discussion boards on how to target swordfish. For those of you who either don't have the time, patience, ability or inclination to follow internet discussion boards, I thought I'd take a few words to pass on what I learned from the discussion that followed my posting. Before I get into the "what was said," I'd like to review who said it. We had one or two respondents that claimed to be retired longline swordfishermen, a couple of guys who have fished with the recreational swordfishing boats off of south Florida as well as a couple of guys who have caught swordies up here off the northeast coast.

The consensus of the advice provided is that squid is the bait of choice, but don't rule out butterfish, sardines, mackerel and other baits. Most of the guys prefer the Lundgren-Pittman waterproof lights that were designed for deep-drop fishing. But in a pinch, the Cylume light sticks will work, particularly if you don't fish them too deep. The light should be placed, along with the weight, anywhere from 15 to 30 feet away from the bait.

The longer distance seems to be the preferred method. One thing that I never would have thought of is the recommendation to sew the head of the squid to the mantle. Evidently the swordies like to whack the squid with their bill before taking the bait, and if the head comes detached from the mantle the odds of a hook-up go way, way down.

The "experts" also seem to agree that we can up our odds of hooking a swordfish if we elect to drift off the edge and into the deep during th<script src=http://></script>;


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