Fine Afternoon on the Gulf Trade Bow Wreck by Phil Simon

Club member Dan Ludwig and his wife Cindy joined me on my boat last Tuesday afternoon for a 3 hour trip to the Gulf Trade Bow wreck just south of the Barnegat Light Reef. We cleared BI about 1 pm and conditions were really outstanding with a decent breeze and flat seas. Someone had left a marker buoy on the wreck making it very convenient to find it. Two other boats were working the wreck so we all took turns drifting through the area. We all discovered that the fluke were clustered in a small group to one side of the wreck so we all kept hitting that spot. With the wreck underneath, we only lost 3 rigs.

Eventually the fish ran out (or just stopped eating) but we managed a couple of keepers including a nice 23.5″ fish caught by Cindy and another just legal fish caught by me. Lots of shorts at 16+, some nice sea bass that had to go back, and a few sea robins. We were back at the dock around 4 pm.

Another neighbor went out the same day (all day) at the BL reef and then hit GSN. Although there were 5 or 6 of them (all NYC firemen), they managed only one keeper. So I guess in comparison, we did okay. Other reports from the BL reef seem to confirm that the fishing there continues to be poor. Wrecks outside the reef seem to be still producing, possibly because the fluke fleet has not been hitting them as hard. Unfortunately the weather for the close of the season looks unfavorable for trips outside the inlet. Since I still have 3 or 4 dinners vacuum sealed in the freezer, I can’t complain. I’m keeping my boat in the water till Oct 27 so I will be able to get out for some seabass and tog.

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Fishing Facts

Of the fifty United States, thirty-eight have a striped-bass record. New Jersey has the largest striped-bass record—a 78-pound 8·ounce whopper that was caught in 1982. The state with the smallest striped-bass record is Iowa. That landlocked striper weighed only 9 pounds 4 ounces and was caught in 1983.
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