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Big Game Fishing Journal - TWO IF BY SEA

TWO IF BY SEA

Melton Brothers Follow Passions

As Captains And Partners



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    When RJ and Cody Melton are on the offshore grounds pursuing bigeye and yellowfin tuna for clients of Jersey Nutz Sportfishing, the brothers know they are in sync. From which set-ups they will use to where they will be placed in the spread to what to do when fish start crashing the baits, they work as a team.
    “I don’t have to turn around to look back at the spread, because everything is as I want it,” R.J. Melton said.
    “We know what each other is thinking,” Cody Melton said.
    “We know what the other is thinking, but we have different ideas,” RJ said. “We grew up around boats and fishing, so we know the other knows what he’s doing.”
    The brothers’ different ideas aren’t simply about whether they will change lures or tactics or even how long they will stay in a spot or at the canyon. “Sometimes even the customers are telling him they are ready to get off the boat, and he’s looking to keep fishing,” Cody said with a chuckle.
    The different ideas extend more deeply into the lives they lead, both on and off the water. RJ is the captain of their charter boat, Jersey Nutz, a 53-foot custom Carolina. Cody is the captain of a 50-foot Henriques that’s privately owned. And while RJ world is fishing 24-7, Cody’s path is far different: the 24-year-old also is working on his master’s degree and is a high school wrestling coach.
    “He’ll fish in anything,” Cody said of RJ, who runs the boat and fishes every possible day, going nonstop during the height of the offshore season. Cody, meanwhile, welcomes the schedule he has running the privately owned boat, where he’s fishing at a more leisurely rate from April through September.
    “That would drive me crazy. I wouldn’t be able to fish enough,” RJ said. “It works for him.”
    It works for Cody, in part because it allows him to juggle those pursuits while helping his older brother with Jersey Nutz. They ran 90 trips offshore in 2018, and Cody said he’s pleased with the growth the business has had since they started in 2012. Running a charter boat was RJ’s dream. Cody, who’s five years younger, was getting ready to start his freshman year at The College of New Jersey. While RJ ran the boat, Cody was the mate. Like most siblings, it took time to figure out what worked best to make the business and the boat run smoothly.
    “We each have our roles,” Cody said.
    The brothers grew up around boats and fishing, and both learned their way around diesel engines in the family’s business, Melton Industries. The company sells, services and remanufactures diesel engines for commercial and military purposes. Cody still works for their father five days a week at the shop, helping to run the business that’s been operating since 1949.
    In conversation, it’s clear Cody is something of an old soul. His thoughts and approach are what you would expect to hear from someone much older than 24. He’s more analytical, and soaked in the business side of things while helping in the family business. RJ, meanwhile, found his niche on the mechanical side. “I always tell people my dad is the best mechanic I know. But RJ is right there with him,” Cody said.

 

Big Game Fishing Journal

Offshore Tuna Fishing From Manasquan

Offshore Tuna Fishing From Manasquan. Fishing the Canyon's off the coast of New Jersey can put you on top of one of the best Tuna, Marlin, Mahi, and Swordfish spots on the entire east coast. The Tuna season typically runs from June through the end of October and can be fished any time in between. During a typical Trip you can expect to be away from the dock for a period of time between 18 and 30 hours. This time includes a 4-5 hour boat ride to our fishing spot as well as a return trip of equal length.

Once we are on the grounds the intensity is picked up and we are on the hunt for fish. Reading the water, water color, Mammal life (Dolphins, and Whales) and birds, will help us find the fish. Also our on board electronics will help us in the hunt, hinting at subsurface structures, bait pods, and fish, the instrumentation is an essential tool.

Upon arrival it will typically be daylight or just before, and in this circumstance we will deploy what we call a Spread (Our assortment of lures) and troll for fish during the day light hours. Usually the boat will be moving a long between 6-7 kts which will imitate the speed of a typical bait fish moving along. We will be pulling our lures over the contours and edges of the continental shelf. During the night time however it is a different ball game, we will use natural baits presented on hooks and draw the fish to the boat through chumming. We can use different methods of finding the fish for the night time bite. If we are able to find the fish before we are forced to stop trolling then we will deploy the anchor and park our self's on top of the fish. If however we are unsuccessful in finding the fish we will then set up for the drift to carry us over the best structure in the area. If need be we will make several moves during the night to cover as much ground as possible.  

When a Tuna or other species is hooked up on the troll or chunk the atmosphere on the boat can quickly turn to beyond hectic, with the possibility of hooking up to 10 Tuna at a time, things can become very exciting. However Our experienced and professional crew will coach you and your party members through every step of the process to bring one of these Mammoths in the boat. Delicately dancing while fighting Tuna is an extremely difficult skill to master and is what makes this sport so exciting. The battles that take place on our vessel is why our crew loves doing what they do. We understand that this can be a trip of a lifetime for our clients and as such we will go to great lengths to ensure a successful trip. We are a full service Charter company and have the skill, knowledge, and passion that it takes to make your trip successful.

Striped Bass Fishing Charter From Manasquan

Striped Bass Fishing Charter From Manasquan

When winter finally starts to ebb and spring begins to poke around the corner, striper fishing is on the mind of anyone who wets a line. We make plans to intercept the striped bass as they make their way up the Atlantic Coast to their annual breeding grounds. On board the charter vessel Jersey Nutz, we’re prepared for whatever these stripers have in mind. Fortunately, they’re creatures of habit. Over the years, we’ve come up with three tried-and-true methods to catch stripers in the waters off Manasquan. Some days, it’s easy. Other days, not so much. On those days, all the head boats and party boats around us are struggling to put fish on deck.  But any day is a good day to fish with us. The fact is these picky and fickle fish are downright difficult to put on deck. If you’re on an overcrowded boat, you might as well pour yourself a cup of coffee and watch the waves. You can toss all the jigs in the world at them, but your day will be full of empty lines if the boat and crew are not savvy enough to use the methods required to coax a lunker striped bass to take a bite. The area that we fish here off of northern New Jersey — from Manhattan to Barnegat Inlet — is unlike anything else on the East Coast, and stripers love it!

Our Striper Fishing Techniques
The preferred method for catching these fish for any angler is live lining a freshly hooked bunker back into the pod, then watching him get swallowed up by a monster bass. Sounds simple, right? Don’t get us wrong, there are those days when we pull out of Manasquan, and the bass are blowing up on the bunker just outside. But what about those times when your bait is not getting taken right away, even though you think your captain has put you in the right spot? After all, there’s food there for the fish to eat. On those occasions, have you ever thought your captain was wrong? That just might be the case. Throughout the many years that we have been taking clients out in search of stripers and many other types of fish, we know what a school of bunker looks like when there are fish feeding on it. It takes a knowledgeable captain and crew to know if that pod of bait is worth fishing. On board the charter boat Jersey Nutz, we won’t spend time on a pod of bait that isn’t producing fish. Instead we’ll venture out further and tap into our vast network of friends to help us put you on the fish. Once we find a pod that is holding fish, we use various techniques to deploy the baits. This is where it gets interesting — yes, there’s a method to the madness! There are many ways to hook and prepare a bait. Many other boats are manned by crew who either don’t know how, or simply do not take the time, to make a proper presentation. That can be the difference between enticing a bite or not even getting a look from your trophy striped bass as it swims by the boat. We take pride in our attention to detail and are delighted to share our ideas and techniques with our clients.
 
Should we feel the conditions are not favorable for live lining, there may be a better opportunity to jig. That’s exactly what we’ll do! Jigging for stripers is a pretty involved task, and as an angler, you must be dedicated to it. In jigging mode, it’s a nonstop involved dance between the anglers, mates and captain. The decision to jig is usually because we’ve found the stripers holding in a tight school, so we’ll have to make constant drifts over the top of the school in order to produce good numbers of fish. Anglers must be on the rod constantly, making their best attempt to entice a strike. The captain has a lot to do as well, keeping the boat over top of the fish. Typically, multiple different jigs will be deployed at the start of our session. Once we get dialed into the type of jig that the fish are snapping up, we’ll switch over the gear to match that jig. Jigging can be extremely exciting, and it’s a great way to get a bite when fishing for bass. You have the opportunity to experience the whole event, and next thing you know, you’re doubled over on a lunker!

Onboard the Jersey Nutz we’re also set up for — and very effective at — trolling for stripers! This is probably a direct byproduct of our thousands of hours spent offshore trolling each summer for tuna. Regardless, when it comes to trolling these fish, we can assure you that there are very few, if any, who are better at it than us! We are FULLY equipped with all types of trolling gear for bass. In fact, we’re pretty certain that, unless you have fished with us before, you have not even heard of — or seen — some of the techniques we use to catch these beautiful specimens. Trolling for stripers off the coast of Manasquan is delectably exciting. Relax on our mezzanine, drink a cold beer or work one of the lines. As soon as one of the rods starts to double over, it’s game on! Having a tug of war with a striper, hooked up to the end of a larger trolling setup, can be a challenge for any angler! These fish do not like being pulled up from their natural habitat, and they often pack plenty of attitude throughout the fight!

Whether you come fishing with our crew during the Spring or Fall striper run, we’ll be ready for you. We are always geared up to put fish on the deck for your group! We’re here to catch fish. It’s our job, and we don’t take it lightly. In addition to being fully equipped to catch these awesome fish off the coast of Manasquan, New Jersey, our boat is meticulously maintained. Our clients often say it’s the most beautiful boat they have fished on, hands down. Our crew will put the needs of your group first and do all we can to exceed your expectations. The Jersey Nutz has become the prominent name for North Jersey Charter fishing. Book your trip now to experience the action!

Striped Bass Fishing From Manasquan

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