Where's the bluefish?
It is a timely question with the Ladies Invitational Bluefish Tournament coming up Saturday (June 16).
Mike O'Neill is signed up to take a crew of women out on the Stray Cat charter/open boat that docks at Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Inlet. But the fact that he is in the tournament did not stop him from answering the question without hesitation when asked Thursday morning.
He said they are "all over" the ocean, and they are inshore so contestants don't have to run way off to get into them. He said the blues he has been catching are in the 3-5 pound range.
Most of the captains who volunteer their boats to take the women fishing will be looking for those prize-winning 10-15 pounders.
O'Neill said the blues are "chock-full" of baby butterfish, so spoons and metals should be in the trolling arsenal.
O'Neill also said it is looking like the weather will break right. Tournament director Kim Kirk said Thursday that if small crafts warnings are up Saturday morning, the contest postpones to Sunday.
The pre-tournament meeting is 6 p.m. Friday (June 15) at American Legion Post 396, 3218 W. Brigantine Ave., Brigantine. Kirk said she has three all-female crews looking for boats. Anyone interested in participating can call 609-412-0641. The weigh-ins are 2-4 p.m. Saturday at Sen. Frank S. Farley Marina in Atlantic City, Seaview Harbor and Utch's Marina in Cape May.
The Polecats Stay in the Bay is also Saturday. It has prizes for the three heaviest fish total for flounder, weakfish and bluefish. Sign up for $20 per person at 6 p.m. Friday at Mott's Creek Inn. Call 609-442-2322.