"There hasn't been a king caught all summer," the proprietor at Avon Pier told me as I paid admission.
And the likelihood of any being caught today reduced by dense water clarity, nor would Spanish mackerel show, but perhaps bluefish. A week ago, a sailfish got caught off the end of the pier. I've never heard of such a thing any summer, although king mackerel used to be frequent.
"Fishing's been slow all year," one of the two other guys trying for kings told us later. Not only for kings, for everything. I've never fished a slower day on the piers, besides once in November, but at least I had witnessed a 16-pound blue. One of the other guys caught a blacktip shark of about 28 inches on the trolley rig, something got one of our live spots set out on the water surface to splash like the goat left out for T-Rex in Jurassic Park.
"Blacktips will just come up and chew the bait off," the guy said. We caught some other spot, a croaker, a small blue, loads of blueclaw crabs, I lost something nice (not a ray), and caught some mullet or what we call kingfish in New Jersey.
Nevertheless, the piers have never let me down. I think Matt got a little bored with it and we left after seven hours, but that's how teens are. I bet I would have got a little bored too in my teens with fishing that slow. As it was for me today, I relished sitting there for hours doing nothing but easily tending my hi/low rig as I watched my baits swim not far in the distance.
However the spot got off, I had it hooked well on the rig and the clip in order, just wasn't watching at the time whatever took.