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Capt. Johnny Luchka

Capt. John operates Long Run Fishing Charters out of NY and NJ and has appeared on numerous TV shows and speaks at many boat and fishing shows

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June 26, 2015

Tuna and Forecasting Analyses

by Capt. John Luchka

Offshore and small boat Tuna trips usually don't come up in typical fishing conversations but in all honesty, it has gained in popularity over the past 5-10 years. Being an avid inshore fisherman I have been bitten by the lure of catching Bluefin, Mahi, Yellowfin and other pelagics on center consoles up to 32 feet. I have seen boats in the 22 foot range up to 50 miles off the NJ coast engaging in a hot Tuna bite with a 6 rod spread.Picking and choosing your days offshore take into account numerous things from making sure you have all the appropriate safety gear, a float plan, fresh and frozen bait, the right tackle, and getting the best weather conditions to assure you have safe travel to and from your adventure.
Time and fuel costs are always important considerations when fishing. I personally rely on ROFFS™ reports as it will show you where the fish are located before you leave the dock by sending you the most comprehensive oceanographic analysis for fishing available that day. You will travel to the concentrations of fish faster and because you will reduce your search time, you will be saving fuel and money. You will catch more fish per gallon of fuel when you break it down. This is accomplished by ROFFS™ expert fisheries oceanographers who evaluate the oceanographic conditions using their knowledge and experience on fish migration, feeding behavior, and catchability (availability and vulnerability). The analyses are genuine science-based decision making tools that show you where your best chances occur for catching fish.
I can tell you first hand when using this service and of course there are many others on the market, you will along with your electronics be more confident with your plan, where you lay out your spread, or jig for example vs. wandering the vast ocean hoping for a bite.

If you are new to this please take the time to research the many forecasting services as they will provide you with a myriad of things like;(This is from https://www.roffs.com/
An integrated analysis (map & text) of approximately 20 different factors, performed by professional fisheries oceanographers. they provide expertise in fisheries biology, physical oceanography, satellite image analysis, and climatology.
An easy to read graphic composed of a detailed nautical chart with enhanced bottom topography, pinpointing specific locations (GPS or LORAN coordinates) where the greatest chances for catching fish occur. They have customized maps with the important bathymetric features (canyons, hills, ledges, holes, ammo dumps, reefs, sea mounts, and wrecks) highlighted.
A full page written explanation (fishing oceanographic analysis) that provides both an interpretation and summary of the current and predicted conditions for forming concentrations of fish. Understanding water motion is critical for forecasting fish catchability (availability and vulnerability).
Several updates per day, including reliable catch reports. You receive the latest possible fishing forecasting analysis that meets your schedule. Available in color via email or on the internet or black & white via fax. Verbal updates are free in the morning (10:30A.M. – 12:00P.M. EST) while you are offshore.
The most accurate and reliable scientific data from real-time, high resolution infrared and visible (SST, Ocean Color/Chlorophyll, RGB) satellite imagery, ocean monitoring stations, fishing and research vessels, radar, altimetry, and reconnaissance airplanes
Now head out and put some Tuna on the table!

March 08, 2015

Spring Checklist

by Capt. Johnny Luchka

This winter has been brutal to say the very least but it does not damper the spirit and hope now that daylight savings is here and spring is not too far behind. A new season is upon us which leads to making sure your tackle, boat, rods, and reels are up to the start of a new season.
Usually I take out my log book of both the Western LI Sound and the Jersey Shore as we fish out of both locations and compare conditions, water temperature, and where we found our first fish. But, this goes hand in hand in working in the man cave to make sure the line has been changed on your reels, old leader cut off and replaced, knives sharpened, tackle boxes are in order, reels sent off to be repaired, guides checked with a Q-tip to make sure there are no chips or cracks which could fray or break your line and this is a good start while we wait for the snow to melt. And of course know your states regulations and be registered and update your license depending on what water you fish.

As for us boat owners, our checklist is long and grueling but a necessary evil to insure safety first and foremost when you leave the dock. Here is a partial list of what we do, check all hoses, connections, filters, impellers, props, shifting cables, all ground connections, batteries for sufficient charge, thorough check of all electronics and VHF, flare and safety kit is up to par and nothing expired, first aid kit, epirb check, life raft and all safety gear, a check to see if there is any mold or water issues, a fresh coat of bottom paint, and possibly a trip to your marine mechanic for a complete engine check to make sure there were no safety or recall updates. If you trailer your boat please give your trailer a once over and a thorough washing of both the trailer and boat along with a few coats of wax and you are ready. Lastly, have your USCG Auxiliary give it a once over as they do a great job and if you ever get stopped on the water that feeling of panic will not be necessary as you will have everything in order.
Making sure you due your preventive maintenance will assure you both peace of mind when fighting a fish but also knowing you have safe ride to get you home. Tight lines and a safe season to all!

March 25, 2014

Marine Film - Scratch Repair

by Capt. Johnny Luchka

While visiting many of the NY and NJ Boat Shows in search of new products, I came across Marine Film from Interlux. This is an instant scratch repair for Gelcoat and Paint. I know in certain situations when a snag treble hook pulls loose from a bunker that it comes flying back at Mach 3 speed and the next thing you know you have an annoying scratch in your gelcoat and worse yet, the gelcoat could be a color! Now what to do besides moan and grown?!

Marine Film is coated with high quality paint and it covers minor scratches with an ultra-thin adhesive film, instantly covering unsightly scratches in gelcoat and paint above the waterline.
It is easy to apply as Bob Donat from Interlux explained and it is offered in the twelve most popular gelcoat and Interlux topside paint colors. It's cost effective, kind to the environment and it provides strong season long adhesion while being removable when the boat is next hauled where it can be permanently repaired.

Visit the www.yachpaint.com website to see the most frequently asked questions and answers about this awesome product!

January 01, 2014

Show and Seminar Season 2014

by Capt. Johnny Luchka

A new season of Boat, Sportsman, and fishing shows is now quickly upon us and this helps bridge the gap of a cold winter here in the northeast until we get underway once again in March. Of course there are many like myself who participate in some cold water Cod and Ling trips to feed the addiction.
If you are looking to get a new boat, engine, upgrade your marine electronics, purchase a new rod or reel, come out and participate in many of the shows that come to our region each year. The seminars are outstanding and many of the local sharpies will share their knowledge and that along is worth the cost of admission. Plus, go with your fishing buddies and make a great day out of it.
The Saltwater Sportsman Seminar Series with George Poveromo is one of the more popular instructional shows and one I have participated in and still thoroughly enjoy so definitely google this event as they give away some great prizes and you'll learn from some of the top fishermen in the region.
The NY and Atlantic City Boat shows as well as some of the smaller ones like the Edison NJ Boat Show are very well attended by the biggest names in the industry and always worth a look. For the Surf fisherman there are many like the Asbury NJ Show, Suffern NY, Somerset Fly, Somerset Saltwater Show and also Surf Day in NJ are all worth seeing as you will see new products, great plug makers, see some celebrities, and listen in on some great seminars.
2013 for me personally was a good year and to feed my addiction I plan to see many of the above as well as speak at the Edison NJ Show on February 23rd at 11 am to cover everything Striped Bass.
Good health and tight lines to all in 2014

September 28, 2013

Search Baits-Lures

by Capt. Johnny Luchka

Until a predator and bait-fish pattern is established at this time of year while fishing off a boat or kayak for example, it makes sense to bring an assortment of rod and reel combos as well as an assortment of lures and soft plastics if live bait is not your game.
Typically my lures are an assortment of deep divers like Stretch and Yo-Zuri's that range in 8-50ft depth ratings with the predominant colors being black over silver, blue mackerel,and gold. Soft plastics attached to an assortment of jig heads from 1/2 ounce to 4 ounces are typical on my boat. An assortment of Gulp! and Hogy lures in yellow, white, and amber cover a wide array of baits that are present which are peanut bunker, rainfish, sand-eels and mullet. These search baits when tossed or trolled on marks off your fish-finder or under diving birds should determine the interest of Albies, Bonito, Bluefish, and of course Striped Bass.
Braided lines prevail in these situations as they troll much better and while tossing soft plastics the smaller diameter increases sink rate and there is also less drag and wind resistance when casting to breaking fish.
Search baits like lures and soft plastics including metals should be a main stay on any vessel as the fall fishery can be unpredictable so why not be prepared to cover your bases. This Striper was trolled up off Montauk on this Yo-Zuri jointed plug and once we marked the area where fish were staged, we proceed to drop weighted soft plastics into the area for some additional Bass before the tide slacked out and the bite died off. We moved off to another area with our search baits in hand to start the routine over once again.

December 22, 2012

After Sandy - The Gambler NJ

by Capt. Johnny Luchka

The New Jersey Shore was truly devastated after Sandy and spending a good portion of my life fishing this area with my Dad since I was a young boy (I'm now 49), was something very difficult to see as I joined Capt. Mike Bogan and his crew aboard the party boat, The Gambler out of Pt. Pleasant NJ for my first Striper trip post Sandy.
The somber drive down to Pt. Pleasant which is maybe 45 minutes from my home was something I tried hard to prepare myself for but the carnage was very tough to see. The many people I became friends with that lost homes, businesses, and boats seemed unreal to fathom until I pulled into the Gambler parking lot across the street from the USCG station. There I spoke to Capt. Mike Bogan and his mates Todd and Chris as we just looked around at the blown out buildings, their sign which was half gone, and saw in their eyes that it was time to try and get back to normal.
With each passing minute fishermen pulled into the lot each with a story to tell and all eager to come and support The Gambler who lost many weeks not fishing but more importantly not making a living as bills piled up. Capt. Mike said, "We gotta move forward, help friends and family and get busy living!"
I joined Capt. Mike at the helm as we navigated out of the slip and inched our way out of Manasquan Inlet. We passed house after house along the inlet that were either destroyed or ready to be leveled by the town. Capt. Mike looked at me with such a hollow stare because The Gambler has been a tradition for many years as he said he and his brother Capt. Bob who also runs the boat used to mate for their Dad on the original Gambler and the destruction witnessed was something no one could have ever fathomed. I snapped some photos and walked outside just to take it all in. It was overwhelming as Capt. Mike and I just shook our heads as he told me that one of the USCG Engineers told them how eerie it was to patrol at night and not see the lights of the boardwalk all lit up to greet them. There were about 30 people on board, all eager to fish and catch a Striper. We headed north and my eyes could not focus on anything but the shoreline of ruined homes and a beach usually filled with surf fisherman was barren. I wiped a few tears away and glanced over at Capt. Mike who was working the fishfinder and yelled out,"Bait!, look at all that bait!". As we pressed on, we saw a lot of bird life as rainbait and even bunker were around. Water temps hovered in the 49 degree mark and a new enthusiasm took over the boat. Total strangers on board became friends and Capt. Mike hit the horn to drop the lines. Fish on at the bow, one on the side and the mates were back to working. A smile was on my face and Sandy was not about to take this away from us. This crew and Captain worked hard as they always do as each angler enjoys being on this beautiful vessel. Capt. Mike and Capt. Bob have such a love for what they do and to see people come down to support them was truly heartfelt. I wanted to thank Capt. Mike, Capt. Bob, Chris, Todd and the rest of the crew for having me on board and please patronize this NJ business and many others who need support.

October 08, 2012

Central NJ Smorgasbord

by Capt. John

The past two weekends out of Manasquan Inlet, NJ was the story of a summer day and then the greeting of a cool windy fall day but the water temps and species varied. We saw a huge abundance of peanuts in the back, larger bunker out front, and mullet hugging the shoreline. Albies were busting from close to the beaches all the way out to the Mudhole where we dropped our lines and trolled in very pleasant weather.

We hit up a few pots along the way with no takes even after seeding the area with a few dozen peanut bunker we cast netted right at the dock. Seven lines were out, clarkspoons,feathers on downriggers, squid colored spreader bars were also in the spread and a green machine as our furthest line. A double knockdown in the near 80 degree weather yielded 2 nice Albies that were spitting up small squid and both jumped on the squid spreader bars. A few more Albies were landed and off in the distance we saw a nice Bluefin Tuna landed by a friend of ours.

This Saturday was quite a different scenario despite nice sunny skies and temps in the high 60's but a howling wind which put a damper in us running into the deep water. The bait was present but inshore we same a gamut of sandeels, peanuts, mullet and some rainfish all schooled up pretty tight. A few boomerangs on the fishfinder got our hopes high but the fish had lockjaw. Staying within 1/4 to a 1/2 mile off the beach with gusty SE winds 20+, we decided to put out a 5 rod spread with both feathers and spoons and were pleased to find small blues, albies, and a schoolie sized Striper swipe the 1/0 silver clarkspoon in the clear water. A smorgasbord is indeed what this time of year greets us with and even a few gannets made a bombing appearance! November should bring a second serving and I'm in line for seconds!

April 14, 2012

Rigging the Kayaks

by Capt. John

I figured I'd get serious and venture out beyond the boat and get a little closer to the water so I've recently brought home a Hobie Outback and a Revolution 13 both with mirage peddle drives. The Outback has a broader platform and is a very stable kayak whereas the Revolution 13 is sleeker and will allow me to punch through the waves when launching off the surf.
Having fished from the boat, surf, and from docks my whole life, I've dabbled with Kayaks and caught Fluke, Stripers, and a few other species but from very basic kayaks and getting behind the peddles of a Hobie has really made me enjoy fishing from a whole different perspective.
I had the opportunity to rig the Kayaks with the Hobie representative and the team from Jersey Paddler in Brick, NJ which is not far from the Manasquan inlet. We took time to carefully mount the transducer, the battery, the ram mounts for the rod holders and the fish finder. We upgraded the the rudder to a sail rudder and went from the standard fins to the "Turbo Fins", and it's like going from a 4 cylinder engine to an 8!
Extra rod holders were strategically placed along with leashes and tethers because you have to rig it to flip it as they say. Tackle accommodations, PFD's, a waterproof VHF/GPS, and a safety flag with a light were included and I have yet to consider which rods and reels to consider. This was day one and the fun part was loading both to the roof of my Ford explorer and that was easily done with Thule racks and straps. Since the Kayaks weighed less than 65 pounds, they are slightly cumbersome but I was able to easily lift them to the roof rack face down for the ride home.
I worked diligently the past week to clean out the garage, also known as the man cave and walking in with a a 13' and a 12' kayak had my wife speechless. Tomorrow I'll launch off the NJ Surf to get in on the wild Striper action as the bunker and herring are here and next weekend they will make their debut on the Western Sound.
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