Offshore Canyons Trip a ‘Reel’ Success for Southern Regional High School Fishing Club

Oct 17, 2018
Photo by: Jason Hoch

When the Super Chic, captained by Ted White, headed out of Barnegat Light on Sunday morning, Oct. 7, it was the first time many of the members of the Southern Regional High School Fishing Club had taken a trip to the offshore canyons.

“It’s a five-hour trip out there, about 70 to 80 miles,” said club adviser Jason Hoch, a geophysical science teacher. “The boat left the dock at 8 in the morning, and everyone was excited.

“Initially, there were large long-period swells from Hurricane Leslie, but it was a smooth, kind of up-and-down ride. It was pretty comfortable going out,” he added. “And it was cloudy when we left, but by the time we got out there, it was sunny and warm.”

Hoch and the kids were joined by marine science teacher Darren Dorris, who established the fishing club for the district years ago. When the boat reached the canyons, said Hoch, “we began fishing and immediately started catching lots of mahi. Most of the kids, this was their first mahi, so that was fun. The fish are really fast, and they jump and do a lot of aerial maneuvers when you catch them.”

The kids caught mahi through the afternoon, the biggest somewhere between 15 and 18 pounds.

“We had a beautiful sunset,” Hoch noted, “and at night, the winds basically dropped to nothing and the seas got really calm. We had a tuna on early, but we lost it, unfortunately.

“The night, then, was pretty uneventful except for one 6-foot blue shark that was caught and released at the boat.

“And then, at around 4:30 in the morning, a massive school of dolphins corralled a bunch of bait into the lights around the boat and were just gorging themselves on the small mackerel. There were hundreds of dolphins, all sizes – two-tone oceanic dolphins, according to Dorris.”

Before the sun rose, the anglers pulled their lines due to lack of tuna, and moved on to target tilefish, in 350 to 400 feet of water, before heading back to shore.

“All the kids caught fish,” said Hoch. “It was a very successful trip.”

He added, “We want to thank the captain and the mates, the school, and all the community and parent support for our fishing club”.

The group’s next trip is later this month, targeting sea bass on the Carolyn Ann III, also out of Barnegat Light.

And on Feb. 17, Hoch and the kids will hold the club’s annual Fishing Flea Market at the Southern Regional Middle School. —J.K.-H.

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