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Remember when we used to have those massive mackerel runs out of OC during late winter/early spring? Well, Smellslikefish tipped me off to the fact that these fish have been running lately, up off the Jersey coast. So last weekend we jumped into the truck, rolled up the Jersey Turnpike, and got aboard the Miss Belmar Princess for a nice winter fishing diversion. The bite wasn't exactally stellar - it started out slow, got worse, then ended with a great run of fish during the last hour - but it felt GREAT to get out on the ocean and feel something pulling on the end of the line! Plus, the boat was very reasonable ($30 for the kids, $50 for the adults). We ended the day with 25 mackerel in the cooler, 14 massive mono-on-braid tangles, (we had the braid - we win!) and 3 very happy kids. Good, clean winter fun!
Water Sky Glove Boat Boats and boating--Equipment and supplies
 

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Boy , does that bring back some great memories.
I can remember in the 1980's - following word of the Mackerel run from Va. Beach and counting the days until they were off Ocean City.

Short 5-6 mile run found huge schools - we often filled trash cans with them. 100 per angler was normal catch. Getting 3-4 at a time was common.
Some were eaten fresh - rest frozen for bait later in summer.

Great to hear some still around.
 

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Nice Job and thanks for the info. I need to fish. My last fish was DEC. 12,2010.....

TED
 

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I grew up fishing the bostons off NJ. Figured out a way to sort of light tackle jig em up back then.. I remember the trash cans full... hmm maybe part of the reason we dont see em so thick anymore.. they didnt freeze well.. the ones we ate the day we caught em were ok..Heard stories of guys hookin up with big head (long n skinny) blues that chased the macks.. never got any but did rell in some half-macks..

It was fun..
 

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Bottom knocker - Not sure if the big net boats were off NJ like they were in Ocean City.

When the 200 mile limit went into effect - there was a bad loophole.

Foreign boats could not net in US waters but they could buy fish from US boats. There was never a big commercial market for Mackerel in the US but over seas the fish sold well.

The recs and head boat anglers had been catching Macs for decades but the huge netters wiped it out in 2 years. We could often see the lights of the foreign factory ships at night from OC beach.

Shame the Mackerel are not around anymore - hopefully they will come back. Some say there are still good schools out deep.
 
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