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'EXTREME' DEEP WATER BLACKFISHING-ARE THEY THAT DEEP?

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  Discussion Boards > The Captain Corner with Captain Mike Marks
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EC NEWELL MAN


Joined: 04/16/2002
Posts: 2582
Location: SHEEPSHEAD BAY
 posted 01/05/2003 11:52 AM  

A few days ago i got a phone call from Joe P, who happens to be a pretty sharp fishermen in his own right. But he was wondering what another so called 'blackfish expert' had written on another site about catching big blackfish in depths of over 150 feet of water. Basically his question was, 'do you ever catch blackfish in those depths'?

I had to giggle to myself when speaking to Joe, and check this out. I saw the statement, and again, and i had to shake my head.

I have been fishing blackfish since the seventies, and i have fished from Virginia all the way upto Buzzards Bay Mass. I think i have fished almost every port on the east coast where you can catch a tog from. I have talked to many top notch blackfish captains over the years, and the consensus is, that our tautog rarely if ever caught at depths greater then 140 feet. And if they are, its a very, very rare to see! That is bascially the limit of their deep water offshore range.

With respect to the Mudhole wrecks their are about 50 wrecks south of the BA BUOY that run into the mudhole, and most never held any amount of blackfish. Their are a bunch of barges where we catch some blackfish late in the winter that border the 130-140 foot plus depths (this used to be a old dumping ground for barges, old wooden ships and drydocks, and thats why their are so many wrecks in this specific area). As a matter of fact, no one knew, or fished blackfish in this area, till the Sheepshead Bay party boats Friendship and Pilot started to fish blackfish this late into the winter in the mid eighties.

Their are also a number of wrecks that lie along the 100-120 depth edges along the mudhole where you would catch some blackfish. Wrecks that lie in the northern end of our mudhole, were always traditionally, cod, ling, hake and pollock spots. I have spoken to old time captains, who used to catch HADDOCK on these spots!!!!! The Brielle and Manasquan fleet used to make numerous trips out to these wrecks, and caught the cod very well on these spots. Years ago the Tournament Grounds for those old enough to remember, was a area just south of the southern edge of 17 fathoms. This area was about 130 feet deep and was where the biggest cod of the season used to be caught during the winter, thus the giving name of those grounds. Very rarely were blackfish caught here, and this was a area that bordered 17 fathoms. And during those years, who would want to venture any other place to catch blackish, other then 17 fathoms, where you have literally hundreds of productive fishing spots! I remember Al Coley running special crew trips during the seventies and eighties, and would always fish 17 fathoms, and have some incredible catches of big fish. Mudhole blackfishing? NEVER!

Blackfishing late into the winter is something that has really only been done during the last 15 or so years. It was COD or whiting fishing....Almost all of the party boats that were not codfishing would fish for whiting and ling, and i can remember all the supercruisers out of Sheepshead Bay going out whiting and ling fishing in the late seventies, early eighties. Even the Pilot II would fish for whiting and ling, up till the mid eighties, when whiting started to become scarce. Many Jersey boats like the Bogans boats, or John DeRose' Spray, would be running out to those mudhole wrecks for cod. Rarely were many big blackfish caught on those trips.

I know their are some other areas in the northeast where you catch big blackfish at around 140 feet of water. But, these are the very, very rare exceptions, that are ever fished! Their is one known wreck in the eastern part of Long Island sound where you can have some big catches of large blackfish at the end of the season (late November), when the tide is not screaming, by the boats our of Orient and Greenport. There also is a spot off of Virginia/North Carolina border, that is roughly 60-64 miles south-east of Rudee Inlet, where numerous big blackfish live, but is rarely fished due to its distance from the dock. This spot (wreck) happens to be ontop of a natural sea mount, and is only 16-19 fathoms deep. Other then this two areas, i do not anywhere, were a fishermen can go catch blackfish at depths approaching 150 feet!

So to answer your question Joe, as you can see, catching big blackfish late into the winter, such as in January, is something that has been done only the last decade or so. It is extremely rare to catch any blackfish at depths greater then 140 feet, and, that i do not know of any boat, that specialized in fishing for blackfish in depths this deep. So, anything you read about catching blackfishing this deep, has to be taken with a little skepticism.

I would love to hear if anyone on our board has done blackfishing in waters of over 150 feet. It would make for some very interesting reading!

EC NEWELL MAN*




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LarryNoBoat


Joined: 05/01/2002
Posts: 944
 posted 01/05/2003 02:03 PM  

What about in the summer, where do the fish go when the water gets really warm?
 
bhm25


Joined: 08/12/2001
Posts: 775
Location: jamaica bay
 posted 01/05/2003 02:06 PM  

they go inshore. we have snagged 4 or 5 togs over 11 pounds this season while bass fishing at night in july and august ! i have another example about the biggest kind of dog days tog but nobody will believe it !


This post edited by Leprechaun 06:56 PM 11/22/2006
 
togmaster
Noreast.com Club Member


Moderator
The Captain Corner with Captain Mike Marks

Joined: 03/19/2002
Posts: 4412
Location: out fishin
 posted 01/05/2003 02:32 PM  

Understand the TOG >>>>>>>>>>

Black fish migration is a long and different journey for us all every year. Just quick notes is the fish move into the shallow waters around May and move to middle depths from late June till around Sept. There is no set time or month. the key is water temps as well as salinity of the water. Because we have had mild winters the past couple of years the Tog fishing has improved greatly! The Spawning fish will move into very shallow depths during the mating season and you would be amazed at seeing 15 lbs slobs in 8 ft of water The theory is Togs will return to there structure they were born from and keep returning there if all conditions are favorable for them . But over the years because of elements Roller gear and other things structures Wrecks and other natural holding places have faced demise and caused the tog to move to other places. Many of the togs we see here today are from a southern body of fish which have discovered our waters and seem to have been coming back year after year. Also water temps have been warmer then the past and are very favorable for the southern fish. This current winter is the coldest I have seen the water in years and maybe now another change may happen. I don’t think there is a 100% science as to location of fish and migration. I think it is an all together related type of scenario which moves the fish to different locations at different times. But we do have an idea of depths and places to try and find them. I could remember fishing as a pin hooker with EC. We would kill the fish 1 year on a spot to return the next year to a baron desert of nothing. Can I answer that question? I don’t think so got me baffled myself. But I do believe that fish will build themselves in number and attract other fish to a piece of bottom. Just like sea bass fishing! Fish do attract other fish. That is why when you find a good body of fish I believe in never fishing it out. If you keep hitting the same spot or many others join in you’ll deplete the piece and find nothing there sooner or later or the next year. This has started me in my theory of hitting a piece leaving it then moving on and return many days later. It will work most of the time. Becoming a good togger just a rod man is the easier part of the job. Knowing where and when to find the tog is the main Battle. That’s what makes a real togger! Knowing the migration of the fish as well as habits, baits, spawning, water temps. Just to name a few. All of these element s will make you a better togger and not to be under looked in any way shape or form! So my advice is experiment and don’t give up. I never give up and will always try things to make it better. Determination is a key factor in your quest for the mighty Tog. And guys no fish fights harder then a big tog in shallow water!!!!!! I have landed over 1000lbs giants and Big Marlin and believe me pound for pound they fight till the death! Hope this give you some insight on being sharper


Capt. Mike Marks


Shut up N fish <;;;>
 
LarryNoBoat


Joined: 05/01/2002
Posts: 944
 posted 01/05/2003 03:09 PM  

I have caught them in shallow water(6-10 ft) during spawning in mid May then in 20-30 ft for a few more weeks after that but then what? Are you saying we could be blackfishing in Aug? If so sign me up, I'll take blacks over fluke, sea bass and porgies any day.
 
togmaster
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Moderator
The Captain Corner with Captain Mike Marks

Joined: 03/19/2002
Posts: 4412
Location: out fishin
 posted 01/05/2003 03:30 PM  

One Problem

the only Problem is for Rec's the season is closed till Oct.


Capt. Mike Marks


Shut up N fish <;;;>
 
WreckinBall

Joined: 09/15/2002
Posts: 412
Location: Egg Harbor Twp., NJ
 posted 01/05/2003 03:51 PM  

Larry No Boat,

August is one of my favorite times to tog. The only thing is, you can only keep 1, and you NEED calico crabs. No other crabs will work. Get a bunch of calicos and go to a wreck in 30-50 feet of water and catch all the big tog you want.
 
Leprechaun
Noreast.com Club Member


Moderator
Inshore Tackle and Techniques with Lep
Fishing Rods
Posted Reports

Joined: 08/11/2000
Posts: 9269
Location: Wantagh/Seaford, N.Y.
 posted 01/05/2003 06:24 PM  

Coxes' Ledge Tog?

Here's a related question - Has anybody here ever caught a blackfish at Coxes' Ledge?

Water there is 120-140' depending on which side you fish and having been there many, many times during the 15 years from the early '80s thru the mid '90s I can honestly say that I never ever saw a toggie come up from there. Nice live rocky bottom, plenty of bergalls, even some nice blackback flounder, but never a tog.

Why?

I dunno. Do you?

rgds, Leprechaun


"Hi, my name is Pete and I have a fishing gear problem."
 
Leprechaun
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Inshore Tackle and Techniques with Lep
Fishing Rods
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Joined: 08/11/2000
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Location: Wantagh/Seaford, N.Y.
 posted 01/05/2003 06:31 PM  

Oh, and about that "Other" Site . . .

Don't have anything against anybody over there, seem like nice enough guys, but by and large they are rod-men, not CAPTAINS.

Like was pointed our earlier - If you cannot put the boat over the fish and can only stick fish you've been put over, then IMO you are only half-way there. The hunt is usually the more difficult part of the catch, again IMO.

Not to take anything away from guys that only fish the headboats, don't want to come across as some kinda boat-owning snob, because the truth is that I fished headboats for 20 years before I could afford a boat of my own, and headboat fishing certainly takes some perseverence to succeed also, but as far as I'm concerned, withthese particular fish, you ain't "The Man" till you run the boat and produce for your crew consistantly.

rgds, Leprechaun


"Hi, my name is Pete and I have a fishing gear problem."
 
WreckinBall

Joined: 09/15/2002
Posts: 412
Location: Egg Harbor Twp., NJ
 posted 01/05/2003 06:45 PM  

Leprechaun,

I agree with you. Putting your own boat on fish is a lot of work, and you're not the man until you can do that and THEN catch lots of big tog. Not to sound conceited, but I'm 16 years old and I can anchor my boat on a wreck and put big tog in the boat, so I think I might know a little something, but I'm not part of the clique over there, so I'm just another dumb kid.
 
togmaster
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Moderator
The Captain Corner with Captain Mike Marks

Joined: 03/19/2002
Posts: 4412
Location: out fishin
 posted 01/05/2003 07:16 PM  

Why we do it?

I find a very competitive sense among many toggers. Funny how it is the type of fish where many people feel a need for competition. Wrecknball you maybe 16 but you know what you’re capable of so that’s what is most important. I find trying to prove your self in the fishing sense usually brings bad karmaFrown. What is most important is knowing you caught fish for your self and not anyone else. You got nothing to prove to them as well as anyone here. This is a enjoyment we all share together and unless you’re making a living from it no need to bring in other factors which seem un fit to me. Lep you hit it on the head about the other guys they are great guys. But most are very quick to make statements with out facts. Have no problem with any of them and enjoy some of there posts. Hey but that’s why fishing is so great! My motto THERE IS NO RIGHT AND WRONG TO FISHING ITS WHAT EVER YOU NEED TO DO TO MAKE IT WORK!
As far as coxes I believe the water temps have a great deal to do with why Tog’s don’t move into the area? I may be wrong. But when the water gets to cold togs go in to hibernation. And even if they are not they would most likely not bite. Remember the water gets a lot deeper in close to shore out there so for the tog to move off into deeper and colder water makes little sense. I could be wrong but just my guess. I’m not an expert in the Montauk area and have not fished much out there my life. But in the Ny bight once the fish move off past the Farms its kind a over. Even if they went deeper getting them to bite would be a project? Remember the winters here in the bight have been mild and the fishing was year round for the last 3 years or more. This is why we have had good fishing in the bight. So many elements can come into play. I wish I could find a concrete answer for you on the cox’s ledge theory but I’m sure some one out there has tried or come to an assumption on it. Love to hear some facts Smile Well got to watch the last quarter of the giant game there winningSmile




Capt. Mike Marks


Shut up N fish <;;;>
 
MakoMatt
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Offshore

Joined: 07/14/2002
Posts: 13142
Location: 26313.0/43267.8
 posted 01/05/2003 07:21 PM  

Great game!!! I hope the Giants keep winning too so the Jets can kick their butt in the Superbowl. Smile

MakoMatt
 
WreckinBall

Joined: 09/15/2002
Posts: 412
Location: Egg Harbor Twp., NJ
 posted 01/05/2003 07:55 PM  

San Fran is coming back and #36 just got disqualified for unnessecary roughness.
 
togmaster
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Moderator
The Captain Corner with Captain Mike Marks

Joined: 03/19/2002
Posts: 4412
Location: out fishin
 posted 01/05/2003 08:34 PM  

WOW:(

Man the weather is like hell this year and now the giants hope the jets pull thru?Smile


Capt. Mike Marks


Shut up N fish <;;;>
 
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