I noted in last night's blog that the hard southwest wind forecast for today might prevent a repeat of yesterday's scattered striper blitzes along the Shore. After the weigh-in list at Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park was loaded with big bass yesterday, there were only a few bass today-- and nothing big.
Jerry Lasko of Point Pleasant also fished in Bay Head, but snagged bunkers to catch seven bass that included a 51-incher and another over 40 pounds. Indeed, the Queen Mary from Point Pleasant considers Saturday to be a blowout day and won't be sailing even though today's striper trip was good -- with the emphasis on quality rather than quantity The Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands found plenty of birds and good readings, but fishing was difficult in the wind and current as they drifted at 3.
Yet, my next hookup on the same lure was a striper of about 18 inches-- a size we didn't see at all last week. The striper run in Raritan Bay continues to delight party and boat anglers who normally catch almost all small stripers during the fall run while hoping to find a keeper among them.
Chuck Many of Annandale and I released even more stripers today than during the wild casting bite with Tsunami 5-inch shads last Wednesday afternoon on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands, 54 to 51, but most of them were small bass rather than the quality fish of last week. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a decent day of striper fishing, with bass up to 25 pounds, though the bite was not up to the previous two days.
See you soon, Capt. Rob Also at Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Ron Santee of the Fishermen reported another great day of striper fishing including lots of bird action plus feeding whales. At Belmar Marina, the Golden Eagle reported even better striper fishing than the day before -- with lots of keepers.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands called to report such a hot bite that the boat limit of keepers was filled by 10 a. m. with many bass released. The Jamaica from Brielle made their first giant sea bass trip of the fall on the weekend, and had a boat limit of sea bass plus porgies and bluefish.
The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands reported marking plenty of bass, but the bite was way off from Saturday when the very cold weather reduced the fleet though it didn't really interfere with fishing for party boat anglers. The Angler from Atlantic Highlands had one drop fishing for porgies on Saturday, along with some tog on crabs and sea bass on both clams and crabs.
Ocean striper fishing improved greatly today, as it often does after a northwest blow, and a big fleet developed off the Monmouth Beach area where bass over 20 pounds were caught by those snagging-and-dropping bunkers. Capt. Rob Semkowitz called to report Raritan Bay striper fishing bounced back after Thursday's slump.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands even ran out to reports of bunker schools in the ocean in hopes of finding very big bass, but only a few bass were caught before he returned for the ebb. Even Point Pleasant Canal was strangely quiet as I often retrieved a large sandworm without a hit, but eventually released a 14 1 2-inch blackfish and one other plus two small sea bass on the morning slack.
The best surface casting bite of striped bass in Raritan Bay I've ever seen occurred Wednesday afternoon while fishing with Chuck Many of Annndale on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands after an 11 a. m. departure and a stop for gas before getting out just in time for the outgoing tide. The Jamaica has another canyon tuna trip set for Nov. 14 at 7 a. m. -- and is also taking reservations (732 528-5014) for the first giant sea bass trips to far offshore wrecks Saturday with a few spots left for a 1 a. m boarding plus Nov. 17 and 18 at 11 30 p. m.