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Anyone chunk frozen ballyhoo up north?

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Skin

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In South Florida, it is available in virtually every supermarket and gas station. I think that I paid $10 for a 3lb box of mixed sizes. When defrosted, it is shiny like fresh, and has a hard belly. I brought some back for those days when cocktail shrimp and Fishbites won’t cut it. Holds up fine in a supermarket freezer bag on a 3hour flight.

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frozen is 1/2 as effective as fresh, if for chumming, its ok. If you want to catch fish, Fresh. fresh black mullet is tops and can be bought cheap at any fish market, answered before reading up north.

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Fresh is definitely better (fresh grunt strips, bonito, Spanish mac, blue runner were some

of what outfished frozen ballyhoo a couple of days ago, surprisingly live pin fish at $3 per and live shrimp were non starters), but a defrosted ballyhoo with the head and tail off and the belly squeezed to pop the guts worked pretty well.

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Generally the further north you go the inshore bait options change.  Like off the delmarva we start with frozen peelers until fresh peelers or sandfleas or even bunker is available then you switch over to fresh and work up from there as the different baits show up with the water temps.

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We don’t really see ballyhoo up here, it’s not one of our natural baits.  We get halfbeaks, one of their cousins, but not on a very regular basis. 
 

That being said, no, no one I’ve ever met fishes that kind chunk of bait up north.

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I've chunked it for dolphin hanging under lobster pot buoys off Long Island, when I was trolling ballyhoo for tuna pr white marlin and so happened to have it on board.

 

But I don't normally carry it just for chunking.

"I have always believed that outdoor writers who come out against fish and wildlife conservation are in the wrong business. To me, it makes as much sense golf writers coming out against grass.."  --  Ted Williams

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On 2/12/2024 at 9:07 AM, CWitek said:

I've chunked it for dolphin hanging under lobster pot buoys off Long Island, when I was trolling ballyhoo for tuna pr white marlin and so happened to have it on board.

 

But I don't normally carry it just for chunking.

Not to ask a totally unrelated question, but how’s your success with the whites been over the years? They’re such cool fish to me, as are all marlin, and while I dream of sticking a fly in one, I know it’s unlikely without spending a small fortune. 
 

However, from what I understand, us guys from Maryland into LI (maybe southern Cape?) have a semi-decent fishery for smaller whites, just was wondering your experience. 

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7 mins ago, Ftyer said:

Not to ask a totally unrelated question, but how’s your success with the whites been over the years? They’re such cool fish to me, as are all marlin, and while I dream of sticking a fly in one, I know it’s unlikely without spending a small fortune. 
 

However, from what I understand, us guys from Maryland into LI (maybe southern Cape?) have a semi-decent fishery for smaller whites, just was wondering your experience. 

A lot fewer now than there were in the '80s and '90s, and farther offshore.

 

Back then, you sometimes had whites within sight of land.  That doesn't happen much any more.  Years ago, it was rare that someone didn't accidentally hook a big white during the Bay Shore Mako Tournament, which was held on the last weekend in June.  That tournament died a couple of years ago, but I hadn't heard of any participant catching a white for a couple of decades.

 

Today, hjust about all of our fishing takes place seaward of the 30 fathom line, with most of the whites caught either in or fairly close to the canyons, usually on ballyhoo and often by someone intentionally targeting marlin, although they'll occasionally come up on a tuna lure, too.  Get a warmwater eddy in late July, August, or early September, and you have a fair chance of finding a fish or two, but a possible skunking will always loom large.

 

I'm talking about someone who is not going all out for billfish, of course.  The tournament team who pulls dredges and is laser-focused on catching a white, and has a lot of experience doing so, will undoubtedly have better results, being better able to take advantabe of what opportunities are available,

 

I'm not in that class, and focus more on shark and tuna.

"I have always believed that outdoor writers who come out against fish and wildlife conservation are in the wrong business. To me, it makes as much sense golf writers coming out against grass.."  --  Ted Williams

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6 hours ago, CWitek said:

A lot fewer now than there were in the '80s and '90s, and farther offshore.

 

Back then, you sometimes had whites within sight of land.  That doesn't happen much any more.  Years ago, it was rare that someone didn't accidentally hook a big white during the Bay Shore Mako Tournament, which was held on the last weekend in June.  That tournament died a couple of years ago, but I hadn't heard of any participant catching a white for a couple of decades.

 

Today, hjust about all of our fishing takes place seaward of the 30 fathom line, with most of the whites caught either in or fairly close to the canyons, usually on ballyhoo and often by someone intentionally targeting marlin, although they'll occasionally come up on a tuna lure, too.  Get a warmwater eddy in late July, August, or early September, and you have a fair chance of finding a fish or two, but a possible skunking will always loom large.

 

I'm talking about someone who is not going all out for billfish, of course.  The tournament team who pulls dredges and is laser-focused on catching a white, and has a lot of experience doing so, will undoubtedly have better results, being better able to take advantabe of what opportunities are available,

 

I'm not in that class, and focus more on shark and tuna.

Thank you very much for the very helpful info here. This is mostly what I expected in terms of it being a lot better decades ago, but definitely didn’t expect to hear that there was a time when they were nearly visible from shore—I’ve seen tuna bust from shore, but a marlin would be insane! 
 

Those shark sure are fun with a fly, I’ve had a few great trips feeding blues flies…hoping to add a tuna to the list eventually. 

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2 mins ago, Ftyer said:

Thank you very much for the very helpful info here. This is mostly what I expected in terms of it being a lot better decades ago, but definitely didn’t expect to hear that there was a time when they were nearly visible from shore—I’ve seen tuna bust from shore, but a marlin would be insane! 
 

Those shark sure are fun with a fly, I’ve had a few great trips feeding blues flies…hoping to add a tuna to the list eventually. 

In the early '80s, a couple were baited right off the sea buoy for Fire Island Inlet.  Quite a few were seen, and hooked up, within 10 or so miles from shore.

 

A friend of mine actually had one take a shark bait a couple of years ago on the 20 fathom line more-or-less south of Yaphank, but the big circle hook he used was too large for the fish.  But that was the only inshore fish I've heard about in a very long time.

"I have always believed that outdoor writers who come out against fish and wildlife conservation are in the wrong business. To me, it makes as much sense golf writers coming out against grass.."  --  Ted Williams

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5 hours ago, CWitek said:

In the early '80s, a couple were baited right off the sea buoy for Fire Island Inlet.  Quite a few were seen, and hooked up, within 10 or so miles from shore.

 

A friend of mine actually had one take a shark bait a couple of years ago on the 20 fathom line more-or-less south of Yaphank, but the big circle hook he used was too large for the fish.  But that was the only inshore fish I've heard about in a very long time.

Damn, even though these instances are pretty much history now, that doesn’t distract from how cool they are to me. I know these general areas and to think of successfully catching marlin there with any consistency is nuts. 
 

I heavily appreciate all of your info on this, as well as all of the other fishy contributions you frequently make. You really are the man and I’m grateful to have you on this board. 

 

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5 hours ago, Captain Ahab said:

20 plus years ago catching Whites at the Jack Spot was common.  25 NM off OCMD.  I remember putting lines in at less then 20nm and pulling yft 

 

 

 

Those were the days.  Catching yellowfins at the Hot Dog was common.  

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