By Jim Freda
Staff writer www.Northjersey.com
Bluefin tuna is still the talk at the docks, as they have spread out even more in the past week. Last week, bluefin up to 60 pounds were taken in the Glory Hole, while at the Monster Ledge, 30-pounders were being caught.
Plenty of fishermen in small boats (21-25 feet) are making this 20- to 25-mile run to the Mud Hole to try to cash in.
Making this trip with a small boat is possible if you are safety conscious and pick and choose your days. When heading offshore, take along satellite phones, radar or emergency position-indicating radio beacons. Any one of these can save your life and get help to your location. However, very few small boaters have this equipment. Remember, if you get in trouble on the water, your cellphone most likely will not work beyond 12-15 miles offshore.
Your VHF radio is your means of communicating with other boats or to call for help. A DSC (digital selective calling) VHF radio is recommended. It is relatively inexpensive and broadcasts your coordinates as a distress signal.
You will need to get a MMSI (maritime mobile service identity) nine-digit number and program it into your radio. This registers your boat in the U.S. Coast Guard's national distress database.