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Discussion Starter #1
Well met up with anthony sunday morning around 3 am at cape henelopen pier. Our main objective was to get some spot so we could try to get a doormat on the headboat later that morning. We got to pier and saw that the croakers were biting. Some large ones were caught by all we passed. Went to end of pier right before T and setup shop. Anthony had brought minnows to pass the time while we tried to catch spot. Almost every cast small croaker were caught but no spot. We decided what the heck and threw one out live on fish finder rig. Not long later we heard the great zinggggggg. Set the hook and had a nice 20 minute fight with a 45" dog shark. We decked it and released it. I caught a small ray on minnow close to the pylons. About 5 am the flounder started to bite on minnows. I finally caught one and it was 17". 1/2" short for DE. Damn, my biggest yet. We jumped on the headboat at 8 am out of lewes. Mate was telling us that the fishing has been horrible lately. And it was! Everyone on the boat wanted to flounder fish so the capt brought us out and drifted. I caught a small 12" and a 17 1/2". Finally a keeper! Again my biggest yet. Anthony finally got one but was about an inch short. Only other things caught by us were small skates, sea robin and small sea bass. Total for the boat was 4 keepers and maybe 20 flounder caught. We went to IRI and got there around 4 ish. We decided to tog fish. With 2 dozen green crabs we ended up with 6 caught. (First time I have ever toged by the way, so I was happy) Most were 10 to 12" in size. Last one caught by me was a nice fat 15" keeper. Dark came and saw a nice 25" rock caught on a jig. We left and went back to Cape henelopen pier hoping to get some more flounder. We got there and the pier was PACKED! Parking lot was almost full. Went to see if our spot was open but no dice. So we stopped at the nearest open area. Fish bite was really slow. Earlier the croaker bite was there because saw a many coolers full of croaker on the way down. We caught a 8 inch spot and castnetted a small blue. Flounder fishing was almost nonexistent. Did see one decked but too small to keep. Again decided what the heck and threw spot out on live liner rig. 5 minutes later drag was screaming. I grabbed pole and set it. I knew something was definitely different about this one immediately. I couldn't budge it. Pole it was on was a 10 ft med/hvy action, 30 lb test line, brand new okuma reel. This thing made me look like I was using my small trout pole. It swam right real fast than stopped. Immediately turning the other way and flying left. Tangling everyone around us. (I know what you are thinking a big ray or big dog shark but I am sorry I have turned a 70 lb ray before on 20 lb test while bringing him in) This thing would not turn! I handed pole to Anthony so he can fight it while I untangled everyones line. It went out another 50 ft and just layed on the bottom for a few minutes barely moving. He handed the pole back to me and was looking to see if he can make a makeshift gaff. I tried to walk him down the pier a little bit but he kept taking line like it was nothing. The rod looked like it was gonna break. It was taking so much line I had to put my hand on the reel to slow it down. I thought it was going to break the reel so I pulled as hard as I could to turn it. It got pretty pissed off and went on a big run and snapped the line! It was pure chaos for over 30 minutes. The whole time I never got more than 5 ft of line back in before it started to run again. The night before the same pole easily handled the 25 lb dog shark and I caught the ray on 14 lb test easily too. This thing was BIG!! And had no intentions of coming in. I think it was a real big shark. That being said does anyone know of what kind rome those waters(like bull or tiger or blacktip)?? It was very exciting and we wish we could of saw it so we knew what it was. I won't forget it though, next time I will bring my shimano baitrunner with 80 lb spiderwire on 8 ft heavy action ugly with me. It was a long weekend for us and that really capped it off for us. Hope everyone else had a good time and will see you out on the water. Tight Lines!
 

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Greetings Jason!

Sounds like one hell of a marathon! hope you took some pics to share....

First off, congrats on your P.B. (personal best) fluke and blackfish. Sounds like we can count on you for some seious togging in the Fall. But watch out, these fish get under your skin, and many a diehard striper fan has ben converted to fishing for Mr Whitechin exclusivly!

Second, thanks for proving that a boat doesn't always mean more and better fish. If you had spent the day at the inlet, you probably would have matched or even beaten that 17.5 incher (a thought that's probably crossed your mind already!)

Now for the million dollar question: You're probably right about the mystery fish being a shark. Delaware boats used to do a lot of "monster" fishing before many of the big species became endangered. My guess is bull shark or sand tiger -- both were commonly caught in large sizes in years past. However, you didn't mention having a wire leader. One thing about fishing for large sharks is their skin -- its made up of little teeth. Big sharks usually require a long leader because the line passing over the back of the shark will most often abrade and eventually break. Your line didn't break until you put the screws to the drag.... You also mentioned the big fish "just layed on the bottom for a few minutes barely moving." Most big sharks have to keep moving in order to supply oxygen to the gills (a necessity when involved in a life or death struggle.)

So there IS one other possibility. Given the way you described the fight, I think there is also a good chance it was a big black drum. You were in a perfect location -- DE is home of the world record, and every Spring drum fishermen report break-offs of fish that looked like/felt like 125 pounders (and drum fishermen traditionally use much heavier tackle.)

Either way it sounds like you and Anthony did everything you possibly could to bring the beast in. Some days the fish just win!

Oh to be young again!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
MJ, that thought had crossed our mind 1 hr into the boat trip:rolleyes: Well your theory is a very good possibility. i mean it would of had to been 100 +. I have caught them in FL up to 85 lbs in small spaces and this defintely was a much harder fight. One thing we were wondering is why it didn't go under the pier between the pylons. It practically stopped as soon as it got near them and ran down the side of the pier then out deeper. Very strange indeed. Sure wish I didn't lose him:(
 

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Greetings Jason!

Loosing a mystery fish is always tough -- just don't beat yourself up about it.

I've had two similar incidents, and remember both like it was yesterday. The first was a monster that picked up a squid bait in the surf at North Wildwood and just kept running. I was walking deeper into the surf, screwing down the drag when my line popped. The last foot or so of my main line was very abraded. I was 17, so I blame that on youthful panic!

The second was a monster that picked up a big piece of fresh cut sea robin on a wreck while fishing a partyboat out of Barnegat Light NJ. I was a whole two years older, and began following the fish up the rail while it stripped line from the spool. This didn't make the other fisherman very happy. When I finally reached the bow, the line simply went limp... The big fish had taken the entire rig. Again, the last foot of line was very abraded.

They've become great memories. And they've taught me lessons. I now use a heavier boat rod and reel with a minimum of 30lb test (instead of my beloved spinning gear) on partyboats, and hardly anything gets away. (Sometimes a big blue or shark runs under the boat, and the line breaks... can't help that!) Should the occasion arise, I would still stick with spinning tackle and 20lb test running line in the surf, but I'd sure as hell attach a five foot shock leader of 50 lb test. And I'll never play with the drag... the finger on the spool for added drag is the best choice!
 

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Sounds like an ok trip;but it sounds like you really worked for those fish.The Tog should bite better during our clean up.I've hooked them before but never got any keeper size.But some were close.I hope to get a bunch of keepers later.:cool:
 

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Yeah the trip wasn't what I was expecting but it was still fun. Can't beat fishing with a buddy who catches the only two keepers of the whole trip. :) The tog bite was pretty decent. Me and Jason had a lot of hits but could only land a few. I forgot how tricky the smaller ones can be to catch. I do regret not seeing what we hooked up with at Cape Helopen. For Jake's question, I was using a 50lb leader with a red circle hook on a fish finder rig. Me and Jason were wedged b/w quite a few people and we tightened the drag quite a bit so we wouldn't tangle so much. If we had more room we probably could have at least seen it or at least fight it for longer. I have never felt any fish like that before. Maybe next time.
-Anthony
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Don't worry anthony we won't be unprepared our next trip. I will have my liveliners with me for sure. I didn't bring them because I wasn't sure if I could use them off of that pier. Tog fishing was fun and I plan on doing it again. I actually didn't lose that much terminal tackle(1 rig I think?) Hey anthony are you going to post about the charter trip and headboat trip for next month???
 

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Jason & Anthony....If you guys are really serious about headboat fishing and want to put quality fish in the cooler you've got to go out with Capt. Monty on the Morningstar. I'm going out the end of Oct. and again in Nov. unless the rock fishing really turns on in the bay. I've been out with him 4 times and filled the cooler each time.

Catman.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Oh yeah when in oct are you going. Anthony has gone with capt monty a few times and loves him. Anthony wants me to go with him in Oct as well and I think I will. Maybe we can all go together.
 

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Jason...I have tent. plans to go out with Monty on Sat. Oct 25th. I'll be coming down Fri. the 24th. and staying at the Talbot Inn and going back to Balto. on Sun the 26th. There's a new moon on the 25th. which usually means calmer seas. I'm also planning on going out Sat., Nov 22nd because of the new moon on the 23rd. Also staying at the Talbot Inn again. I hate that ride down and back the same day. However, if the fall rock and trout run really turns on I'll fish the bay. Either way we can get together.

Catman.
 

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Greetings catman!

Keep me posted on those trips, too. I know the tog have gotten under Anthony's skin, and Jason sounds like he's well on his way! Although I prefer yanking them out of the rocks, I'll try the boat just to get a taste of that Morningstar success!
 

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Greetings (again) catman!

Just remember, the full and new moon also mean stronger tides... and blackfish don't like running water (best time to catch them is dead low, at least on the jetties.) That works out well for guys trying for stripers -- they pass the time during dead water fishing for Mr Whitechin!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Low tide was when Anthony and I were fishing at IRI. I was flipping out about 15 ft and letting it come down to edge of rocks. We found a little honey hole and caught all our fish there and had most of bites there. I believe we did the best out of all the people around us. We were the only ones fishing for em and as soon as we caught one everyone else seemed to start fishing for em. By the time I caught my second one there was a lot of people around us fishing the rocks. Hey catman I think that is when Anthony said he was going. I better reserve my spot now i guess. That day is filling up quickly I see.
 

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Jake...Wreck fishing for tog can be a blast but like jetty fishing you can loose a lot of rigs. I use a 2 hook no snell rig. I use a 36" lenght of 30# leader and tie 2 dropper loops with the circle hook tied into the loop. The loops are no longer than 2" and I attach my sinker via a rubberband. The sinkers are what get hung up on the junk down there and using a rubberband you only loose your sinker and not a potential keeper tog. Hope we can all get together for some toggin'. Jason, make that reservation.:D

Catman.
 

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Yeah I have a reservation for 5 on the 25th of October for the Morning Star. Me, my dad, my girlfriend, and her dad and stepmother. I know how good Capt Monty is. I have been fishing with him for 10+ years. I just wanted to do a charter for just Tog and heard that the Grizzly was good so I made a reservation for october 12. Don't get me wrong, I love to fish for sea bass but wanted to get a good Tog charter in as well. Usually by October, the seabass will be running so thick it will be tough to get past them and to the tautog. I will be posting on the Boating board to see who wants to join me.
-Anthony
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I need the number and I can make my reservations tomorrow at lunch time. Sounds like we are gonna have us a little get together.:D
 
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