April 29, 2016
HOLY MACKEREL! Five at a time!
There are more Mackerel swimming around this year than we have seen in the last ten years. The schools aren't large, but there are lots of them. While the VOYAGER doesn't target Mackerel directly, we are running into them on our Cod trips. You might want to toss a Mackerel rig in your tackle box.
April 26, 2016
Cod fishing has been slow of late. High hooks have had anywhere from 3 to 5 fish depending on the trip, but many people have had 1 or none. We have had some nice sized fish like Vic Bozzuffi's 27-pound pool winner last week. We also had a couple of 30-pound fish on Saturday. You can view some pictures from the trips on the VOYAGER Photo Gallery.
There is a lot of bait around this year, mostly Mackerel and Herring. This is usually a good sign for Cod, but the fish seem to be off of the wrecks chasing the bait. Hopefully things will settle down as we move further away from the full moon and the fish will stay put on the wrecks. We still have room on our two LIMITED LOAD COD TRIPS leaving at 1:00 AM WEDNESDAY MAY 4 and 1:00 AM FRIDAY MAY 13.
We start our Tilefish season on Sunday night MAY 1 with a 2-DAY TILEFISH TRIP. We also have a 1.5-DAY TILEFISH TRIP on MAY 5 and a 2-DAY EXPLORATORY TILEFISH TRIP on MAY 8. All of these trips still have spots available.
If you would like to sign up for one of these Cod or Tilefish trips please e-mail us.
April 23, 2016
Fishing was slow on today's LIMITED LOAD COD TRIP, but the fish were nice sized.
You can view the trip photos on the VOYAGER Photo Gallery.
NEW COD TRIPS added...
1 AM WEDNESDAY MAY 4 – LIMITED LOAD COD
30-60 Mile Wrecks, 35 Passengers, Reservations Required
1 AM FRIDAY MAY 13 – LIMITED LOAD COD
30-60 Mile Wrecks, 35 Passengers, Reservations Required
11 PM FRIDAY MAY 13 – 60-90 MILE WRECK TRIP
Cod, Pollock & Ling, 40 Passengers, Reservations Required
See our TRIP CALENDAR page for details.
April 8, 2016
We made our first OPEN BOAT COD TRIP of the year with good results. Most people had two or three keeper Cod, a couple of guys had four fish and one person had six. Archie Stewart of Nutley, NJ won the first pool of the year with a 15-pound Cod. Most fish were caught on bait, but some were jigged, and there were also a couple of keeper Pollock.
You can view some pictures from the trip on our Photo Gallery pages.
Lately, the weather has seemed more like March than April. Because of high winds and sloppy seas we have canceled our first three overnight wreck trips. Due to the lack of spots remaining in April, we have added a few more trips in May.
We added two LIMITED LOAD COD TRIPS leaving at
1:00 AM WEDNESDAY MAY 4 and 1:00 AM FRIDAY MAY 13
We have also added a 60-90 MILE WRECK TRIP departing at 11:00 PM FRIDAY NIGHT MAY 13
If you were already on a trip that was blown out and want to reschedule or you would like to sign up for one of these new trips, please e-mail us.
March 23, 2016
Last September, the SAVE THE SUMMER FLOUNDER FISHERY FUND (SSFFF) held a stakeholder meeting that recapped the next round of Fluke research the SSFFF is sponsoring and introduced the fishery scientists that are doing the work.
The new research includes two parallel projects. The first is to create a better assessment model that more accurately portrays the Fluke fishery. The second is to collect information on sex composition and discards of recreational fishermen on the East Coast. The goal of this research is creating a better assessment model that more accurately portrays the state of the Summer Flounder fishery. The results of this SSFFF funded research will be presented at the next NMFS Scientific Peer Review which is expected sometime in 2016/2017. It will help the feds make a better stock assessment process that ultimately results in the Summer Flounder regulations and catch quotas we get.
The research is well under way and costs are somewhere between $60,000 and $80,000. The SSFFF has much of the costs covered, but they need our help to raise $25,000 by early summer to complete the research. Please pitch in and help ensure the future of a healthy Summer Flounder fishery with fair access for all user groups.
Donations can be made by check and mailed to SSFFF, P.O. Box 86, Brielle, NJ 08730
Or you can donate on-line at http://www.ssfff.net/ssfffdonate.html
The Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund was started seven years ago by a group of concerned East Coast anglers and is governed by a board of directors comprised of recreational fisherman, Captains of for-hire fishing boats, and members of the fishing tackle industry. The SSFFF has no political affiliations and is neither a recreational nor commercial fishing lobbying group. Their Mission Statement was and continues to be non-political with the simple premise that improved fisheries science funded by the SSFFF will ultimately lead to better management decisions and more equitable access to the stock for all user groups.
March 20, 2016
2016 OFFSHORE SCHEDULE
If you emailed us to hold spots for trips in 2016 and you have not yet sent in payment, please be aware that the "hold" on your spots expires March 31.
If you are scheduled on the APRIL 3 COD TRIP, we need to receive your payment by Saturday, March 26 in order to process your payments by sailing time.
If you sent in a reservation form and payment, you should have received an e-mail confirmation with your boarding number. If you did not get a confirmation, please e-mail us again.
February 25, 2016
Our 2016 OFFSHORE TRIP CALENDAR is posted on our web site. If you have emailed us to hold spots, you should have received a confirmation that your spots are on hold. If you did not get a confirmation please e-mail us again.
If you have sent in a reservation form and your payment, please be patient. We are working through them as fast as possible and you should get an e-mail confirmation by next Monday.
If you need to contact us, please do it by e-mail. Thanks.
We finished all of the big maintenance items at the shipyard and put the VOYAGER back in the water on Tuesday, February 23. It was quite an interesting process and we wanted you to see what happened during the three hours it took to splash the boat, so we posted a bunch of shipyard photos on our Photo Gallery pages. We will be bringing the VOYAGER back to Point Pleasant Beach on Friday, February 26.
February 20, 2016
We want to start by thanking everyone who fished with us in 2015. You made our first season with the new boat a great one! We hope you enjoyed yourself and hope to see you again this year on one of our many adventures.
We are very excited to announce that we built a below deck bunk room. This serves two purposes; first it opens up the main cabin and gives more room for booth seating. Secondly, the new bunks are longer and wider for a more comfortable rest. The new bunk room is air conditioned and heated for your comfort. Depending on the trip type, about half of the sleeping accommodations are still in the main cabin which is also air conditioned and heated.
We have just posted our 2016 OFFSHORE TRIP CALENDAR
YOU CAN SEE THE 2016 SCHEDULE ON OUR TRIP CALENDAR AND OUR SPECIAL TRIPS PAGES
The following are trip descriptions along with a few important items about our booking policies.
VOYAGER TILEFISH TRIPS
Last year we had super trips throughout the year with a mix of Golden and Blueline Tilefish. Our largest Golden Tilefish was caught by Art Strassler and weighed 49 pounds 8.5 ounces. The fish bested Andre Mezzasalma's giant by a mere 4 ounces. We're not sure what our largest Blueline Tilefish was last season, but quite a few were pushing the 20 pound mark.
Last year we had success on all length trips including 1, 1½, 2 and 2½-day trips. In 2016, we will be fishing offshore for Tilefish every week from the beginning of May through Labor Day in September. This year there are plenty of opportunities to join us and get on the trips you want. Unless otherwise specified, all trips will be limited to 26 people so you have plenty of room at the rail.
This year we do have a few small changes, the most notable being the addition of more 2-day Multi-Species trips. This comes as a response to those that want to utilize their time offshore to fish for more than one species. Other new trips you can look for this season include Tilefish/Rosefish, Tilefish/Mid-Range Wrecks (Cod, Pollock, Ling), and Tilefish/Mahi trips. The other change this season is that we will not be doing a Captain's Choice trip.
Last year we did a few 'Manual Reels Only' Tilefish trips and while they were popular, we reduced them to just two this season. This year both manual reel trips in the schedule are World Record Hunts. The first one is a 2-day limited man trip taking only 21 people and the second is a 2½-day trip taking the usual 26 people. For those anglers using electric reels you have nothing to worry about since the expanded schedule also has 1½-day and 2-day trips where you can use them.
Two years ago we did a couple of 1½-Day Tilefish and Rosefish combination trips. We caught plenty of Tilefish, but the weather slowed down the Rosefish catch somewhat. Last year, we did a longer, 2-day combination Tilefish and Rosefish Trip which gave us a shot at good drifting conditions for Rosefish during part of the trip. Last year the trip was a great success with many extra-large to jumbo "Rosies" coming up plus limits of Tilefish. This season we will be doing a 2-Day Tilefish/Rosefish Trip in the months of June, July and August. This is two more than last season because many people who wanted to go got shut out. On these trips we will split the rail time trying for each species as long as conditions permit.
We have also added in a new 2-Day Tilefish/Mahi Trip for those that want to mix things up a bit and get into some light tackle top water action. We will utilize the times when the drift is either too fast or slow for good Tilefishing to "pot hop" for Mahi.
Last year, we did our second 2-day Tilefish/Cod combination trip. We had a boat limit of Tilefish and then hit wrecks where we caught a mix of Cod, Pollock, and Ling. Despite tough weather on day two, the overall wreck fishing was pretty good. It was a nice change of pace and a trip that most people really enjoyed. Everyone ended up with a cooler full of different types of tasty fish. This year we have a 2-Day Tilefish/Cod Trip scheduled in mid-May and a second trip in late July. These trips will target Cod, Pollock, and Ling in addition to Tilefish. Our intention is to Tilefish the first day and wreck fish on the second, but weather will always dictate what we do.
The following are trip descriptions for each type of our offshore trips. Please read them carefully since some things may have changed since last year. There is also a section on our booking and payment policy and this is a VERY IMPORTANT section to read.
TILEFISH TRIP DESCRIPTIONS
Please note that Electric Reels are NOT permitted on trips labeled as Manual Reels Only. All anglers get bunks on Voyager Tilefish trips. Please see our Trip Calendar page for specific dates.
1-DAY BEGINNERS TILEFISH (Special Charters Only) – For those of you that may be on the fence about fishing for Tilefish, Dave Arbeitman of the REEL SEAT Tackle Shop in Brielle, NJ has chartered the VOYAGER for two special Beginner's Tilefish trips. These trips will leave at 10:00 PM and return to the dock between 8:00-9:00 PM the following night. On these trips we will fish shallower spots from 300 to 500 feet for both Blueline and Golden Tilefish. These trips also include a special seminar given by Dave on the Sunday before the trip. Since these are private charters, please contact Dave directly at (732) 223-5353 if you are interested in going.
2-DAY TILEFISH – These trips leave at 10:00 PM and arrive at the fishing grounds around 6:00 AM. We fish until sunset on the first day and from sunrise the second day until about 12:00 noon. We return between 6:00 - 7:00 PM on the second day. We fish depths ranging from 400 to 1,000 feet and the catch is a mix of Tilefish, Hake, Rosefish, Grouper and Barrelfish. Last year, these trips were almost exclusively 'Southern Canyon' trips, but this year we may fish anywhere from the Block Canyon to the 'Southern Canyons'. It is our intention to fish the areas we think should be the most productive for any given trip and not fish a specific area based on a trip description written months earlier.
2-DAY EXPLORATORY TILEFISH – These trips sail on the same schedule as the standard 2-Day Tilefish trip. On these trips we will try a number of the areas "I always wanted to try, but ran out of time". We are hoping to find the next 'Big Fish' or 'Hot Spot' and these trips will require patience as great new spots are hard to come by, but if we do find one, the payoff can be amazing! Two years ago we had some of our largest fish on this trip and our largest fish of the year was caught in an area we first found on this trip. Last year we were plagued by no drift the entire trip but we still managed a good catch.
1½-DAY TILEFISH – These trips leave at 10:00 PM and arrive at the fishing grounds around 6:00 AM. We fish from around sunrise until sunset then head for home, returning between 4:30 and 5:30 AM. Depths may vary from 250 to 1,000 feet.
2-DAY TILEFISH/ROSEFISH – These trips leave at 10:00 PM and arrive at the fishing grounds around 6:00 AM. We will target a combination of Tilefish and Rosefish depending on conditions. We fish until sunset the first day and from sunrise until about 12:00 noon on the second day. We return between 6:00-7:00 PM on the second day. We fish depths ranging from 400 to 1,000 feet and the catch is a mix of Tilefish, Rosefish, Hake, Grouper and Barrelfish.
2-DAY TILEFISH/MID-RANGE WRECKS (COD, POLLOCK and LING) – These trips leave at 10:00 PM and arrive at the fishing grounds around 6:00 AM. On these trips we plan to fish canyons from the Hudson out to the Northeast, but you never know. On the first day, we may be fishing some deep water wrecks as well as some traditional Tilefish areas. Along with Tilefish, we expect to see some Hake, Pollock and Barrelfish mixed in with the catch. On the second day, we plan to fish some traditional shallower, Cod, Pollock, and Ling spots before returning home around 6:00 PM.
2½-DAY WORLD RECORD TILEFISH HUNT – These trips leave at 8:00 PM and arrive at the fishing grounds the following morning. We fish until around sunset on both the first and second day. We leave for home around sunset on the second day and return at approximately 5:00-6:00 AM the following morning.
Four years ago, our World Record was broken by our friend Angelo Ruvio while fishing on a private boat. On this trip, we are looking to catch the next world record Golden Tilefish and retake the title. We will only fish with manual reels. Electric reels are NOT allowed on these trips since the IGFA does not permit them and we don't want to jeopardize a potential world record.
Three years ago we caught many Tilefish from 35-50 pounds on this trip. We also caught a new New Jersey State record Blueline Tilefish. Last year, we had some really nice fish early but an extremely fast drift forced us to fish some shallower waters when 5 pound sinkers would not hold bottom. This trip is only going to target big fish. In other words, we will not be looking to 'bail out' on a slow trip by fishing known small fish areas (note: slow fishing is not the same as un-fishable conditions). It will require patience and the understanding that you may only catch a few fish, but hopefully they will be quality ones. If this does not fit your personality or desire, then you should book one of our many other trips. While we hope it happens, we are not looking to fill coolers on this trip.
VOYAGER TUNA TRIPS
This season we will be starting our Tuna fishing a bit earlier. Our first trip will be a Saturday morning 30-hour Tuna/Mahi trip at the end of August. Our only other Saturday morning 30-hour departure will be two weeks later on September 10. Trips during the first week and a half of September can be found on our Trip Calendar page. From that point on we go back to our regular schedule of a Tuesday and Thursday morning 30-hour Tuna/Mahi trips followed by 21-hour trips departing at 5:00 PM every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.
New for this season – We are offering a Limited Load Tuna Trip on September 25 and Limited Load 30-hour Tuna/Mahi Trips on September 20 and October 20. These trips will be limited to just 21 anglers. For the extra hearty angler we have added a special Columbus Day 2-Day Tuna/Mahi Trip featuring two nights of Tuna fishing. The trip leaves at 5:00 PM on Saturday night October 8 and returns between 2-3:00 PM on Monday October 10. Our last new additions are the "later leave" trips designed to capitalize on the Daytime Chunk Bite in November. These overnight trips will leave at 8:00 PM and return the next evening between 5-6:00 PM. On these trips we will fish during the prime pre-dawn hours as well as all morning until around noon. All Tuna trips are limited to 26 passengers unless otherwise specified. All anglers get bunks on Voyager Tuna trips.
VOYAGER COD TRIPS
We will be doing Friday night 60-90 Mile Wreck Trips in March and April fishing wrecks from 60-90 miles out for Cod, Pollock and Ling. These trips leave at 11:00 PM and return the following day between 5-6:00 PM. All anglers get bunks on these trips.
We will also be bringing back the very popular Limited Load Cod Trips which fish wrecks from 30-60 miles offshore. These trips will be scattered throughout the spring all the way through August. They leave at 1:00 AM and return between 5-6:00 PM and are limited to 35 anglers. Last year fishing on these trips was excellent! Please see our Trip Calendar page for specific dates. All anglers get bunks on these trips.
VOYAGER SEA BASS TRIPS
This season we will be fishing for Jumbo Sea Bass and Porgies leaving at 11:00 PM most Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights in November and December. We plan to start these overnight trips in mid-November and head out to the eastern wrecks to "meet" the fall Sea Bass migration. Please see our Trip Calendar page for specific dates. All anglers get bunks on these trips.
TRIP BOOKING AND PAYMENT
Last year we had problems with folks booking trips and then asking to get off the trips just days before sailing time. Unfortunately, this caused a problem because we were forced to either be a hard ass and take people's money when they couldn't show up or to refund/credit the money and sail short of a full boat and lose money. This was an unfair position for us and also unfair to other customers who wanted to get on a specific trip only to find out it was sold out months in advance. On top of that, potential customers often did not have time to change their schedules when a spot or two became available just a few hours before a trip.
Due to the cost of fuel and our strict capacity limits, we cannot be responsible for changes in YOUR plans. If you book a trip and cannot go, it is your responsibility to fill the spot. We will NOT be keeping a waiting list. You have to think of it like going to a Yankees game. If you buy a ticket and the game is played but you can't go, it is up to you to sell your ticket or give it away. You wouldn't expect the Yankees to give you a refund or a credit ticket for next week's game, would you? In other words, if you buy it, you own it. So please make sure that you don't have any schedule conflicts before you book a trip.
To book a trip or trips please e-mail us from the Voyager web site (not any other potentially old and obsolete email address you may have for us) or call our office at (732) 295-3019.
An e-mail is best as they will be processed first
Let us know what trip(s) you want and that you are sending in a reservation form and payment. We will put your name on the boarding list in the order that you contact us and hold your spot until March 31, 2016. You will not receive boarding numbers until we receive your reservation form and payment.
Please contact us even if you had previously mentioned that you wanted to be on a certain trip or trips. It was quite a while ago and we don't want to forget anyone.
Since our schedule is coming out early this year, we are doing the following.
We will hold your spot(s) until March 31 with no payment or obligation
If we do not receive payment by March 31, we will delete you from the boarding list and you will lose your boarding spot and will then need to re-book.
Unfortunately, I am a one-man show in the office until August and between running trips and office work, I will not have time to make courtesy calls to remind you to pay. It is your responsibility to make your payment on time. It is also your responsibility to know what trips you are supposed to be on so the excuse of "I forgot I was on last Sunday's trip" will not fly.
Please see our Policies page before sending in any payments
While we always reserve the right to overbook each trip by two people, we try not to do it since space is always at a premium. Following the payment procedure above will allow us to stick to our passenger limits.
Lastly, if any 2 or 2½-day trip is significantly shortened due to adverse weather conditions, anglers will receive a credit ticket for a future trip for an amount determined by the Captain. There will be NO CASH REFUNDS.
We look forward to our 2016 OFFSHORE TRIPS and seeing you at the boat.
Thank you again for fishing aboard the VOYAGER.
February 14, 2016
2016 OFFSHORE SCHEDULE
Our 2016 OFFSHORE TRIP SCHEDULE will be published at approximately 10:00 AM Saturday February 20.
Please e-mail us your requests only after the schedule is posted.
If you prefer, you can leave a message at (732) 295-3019, but please be aware that e-mails will be processed first.
December 27, 2015
Fishing has been good overall with many limit catches of SEA BASS to 6 pounds and jumbo PORGIES to 3 pounds. It has not been the lock-and-load fishing that we are used to due to the very high water temperatures this December, but it has still been good. Unfortunately the federal government will be shutting down the Sea Bass fishery when the ball, or should I say ax, falls at midnight on December 31. We fought to keep the season open in January and February, but to no avail. Hopefully, next year's new stock assessment will show the federal fisheries managers that there are more Sea Bass out there than they thought and maybe, just maybe, they will give us a bigger quota.
A number of people have asked what, if anything, we are going to be fishing for in January. We do plan to fish the first few weeks of January. After that we will be going to the shipyard to do a few more upgrades to the boat. We will be fishing on the weekends from 5 AM to 4 PM. The trips are "bottom fishing" for COD, LING, & PORGIES and we plan to focus on whatever we think is biting the best. On Wednesdays, we will focus on COD on the same time schedule. The trips are all OPEN BOAT, so NO reservations are needed. All of the January trips are posted on our Trip Calendar page.
2016 OFFSHORE SCHEDULE
Probably the most asked question we have been getting lately has been "When will you be posting the 2016 offshore schedule?" followed by "Can I get on such and such a trip even before you post it?" Here is the answer to the first question that we give to everyone. The schedule is just about done, but we are waiting on a few charters to get back to us and also on some fishery regulations in early February that might influence the scheduling of some trips. That being said, our 2016 Offshore Schedule will be posted sometime around the middle of February. To the second question the answer is NO. We will undoubtedly forget someone if we make promises now to put them on specific trips months later, so please email us your requests only after the schedule is posted.
Please make sure you and your friends are signed up for our Voyager Newsletter since we will send out a notification of the exact date and time of posting about a week prior to the schedule going up on the web site.
Last but not least, we want to thank everyone who fished with us this past season. You really made the first year with the new boat a great one! We look forward to seeing everyone again this coming season and want to wish you all a Very Happy and Healthy New Year.
December 18, 2015
On December 12, angler STEVE SINGLER from Philadelphia, PA was aboard the VOYAGER on an offshore Sea Bass and Porgy trip and he landed a HUGE 9-POUND BLACK SEA BASS.
Steve took his Black Sea Bass to Dave Arbeitman's REEL SEAT tackle shop in Brielle, NJ for a weigh-in and the fish was also checked and identified by a New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife biologist.
A NJ state record application form was submitted and on December 17, the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife officially certified the catch as a NEW STATE RECORD SALTWATER FISH.
Steve was fishing with a Shimano rod and reel with 40-pound PowerPro braided line. Clams on 3/0 hooks served as the bait. He was bottom fishing in 180-200 feet of water when the big fish bit. Steve's Black Sea Bass weighs 11½-ounces more than the previous NJ State Record and is only 1-pound 4-ounces shy of the current IGFA World Record.
Here is the official tale of the tape…
December 1, 2015
Fishing was generally good over our first weekend of offshore trips. Many folks had limits or close to limits of Jumbo Sea Bass. We also had a good showing of Giant Porgies and we caught loads of Bluefish before the sun came up on all trips. The water is still pretty warm and fishing should improve daily as the temperatures decline and the migration gets into full swing. Pictures from our trips can be seen on our Photo Gallery pages.
WE HAVE ADDED THREE NEW OFFSHORE SEA BASS & PORGY TRIPS!
10:00 PM MONDAY NIGHT DECEMBER 14
10:00 PM SUNDAY NIGHT DECEMBER 20
2:00 AM SATURDAY MORNING DECEMBER 26
All of these trips return between 5:00 - 6:00 PM and the fare is $200. If you are interested in going on any of these trips, please send us an email or call (732) 295-3019.