There wasn't any news today about a bluefish blitz such as occurred Saturday off Sea Girt for the few surfcasters on hand as dolphins and blues tore into adult bunkers. The Jamaica from Brielle also added a few winter flounder to the sea bass during Saturday's trip.
D'Anton's bass was clean, but mine had a few of the red spots we've been seeing on most surf bass lately. Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park is still getting reports of big blues in the surf on bait though none have been weighed in.
Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst made an evening trip on Thursday with Capt. Johnny Contello from Keyport to tag a 44-inch, fork length (as the ALS measures) striper on a live bunker. Many of the Shark River and nearby surf bass have been covered with red sores, including a 30-incher D'Anton caught on a Chug Bug in the river, and a 30 1 2-incher on sand fleas in the surf.
A series of fluke tournaments begins this month, starting with the 36th annual Sandy Hook Bay Anglers Club two-day contest out of Atlantic Highlands on July 15-16. The Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club held its annual Fluke A Mania fishing tournament last Saturday, July 1, and the junior mates of the BHCFA were on hand helping out cleaning fish.
The Mimi VI will be sailing open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week for lots of ling plus winter flounder, sea bass and a possible cod. I got a shock this morning in Shark River when I switched from a popper to a 4-inch Tsunami Shad and hooked a 24-inch striper at slack water while reeling fast to keep the lure off bottom.
Dave Lilly of Hazlet has been busy working this spring, but that fluke pro slipped offshore Sunday morning and boated one of the very few doormats reported so far. Miss Belmar Princess reported seeing schools of bunkers when they ran north this morning, but there were no blues in them.
Both weekend mornings were good for blues, bonito and even the first small little tunny reported. The cold ocean waters have had a negative effect on fluke fishing, but the Queen Mary from Point Pleasant reported they were limited by 11 a. m. Saturday with the two sea bass per man now permitted.
Anglers aren't missing much as John Bushell of Betty Nick's Tackle in Seaside Park had called the fishing horrible -- probably due to the cold waters resulting from a week of south winds. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar experienced poor fluke fishing today due to the cold waters, though a 7-pound fluke was boated.
Being in all the Calcuttas was the key to success for the second place boat in Mako Mania as Water Proof won the biggest share of the purse for their 218-pound mako even after being pushed back by Thor's 276-pounder. Winning boats and prize money 1st PLACE 'THOR' 19,125 2nd PLACE 'WATER PROOF' 144,165 3rd PLACE 'THE RIGHT PLACE' 12,276 4th PLACE 'SEAQUESTER' 7,878 5th PLACE 'TROPHY HUNTER II' 1,800 6th PLACE 'IMPRESSIONS' 900 The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a return of big blues for jigging as they ranged from 5 to 15 pounds.