My friend,Harry Aiken, in Georgetown, De., said a skipper fishing for sea bass 12 miles off Indian River Inlet this week reported acres of big stripers rolling out there. They put in a long day on Thursday to release two of the big bass Many seeks (42 and 47 pounds) plus a few smaller ones.
The surf was rough this morning after last night's southerly blow, but school stripers cooperated in many areas. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, had several reports of bass taken in the area by other anglers, including a 33-incher.
Capt. Joe Massa and David Witt were also jigging small bass from My Three Sons out of Morgan Marina before switching to blackfish at the Apple Pie for four tog plus many just short of 15 inches. I m sure there are many readers who have made the run out to Montauk in order to fish with the Viking Fleet, and they will particularly enjoy Manny Luftglass latest book Gone Fishin with the Viking Fleet The Forsberg Empire, as told to him by Capt. Paul G. Forsberg.
Joe Blaze of Brielle sailed with Capt. Hans Kaspersetz and I on Sheri Berri from Baker's Marina on the Bay in Highlands this morning as we worked on picking birds that ended up producing 26 bass for Blaze on his fly rod. Joe Massa jigged lots of short bass from his My Three Sons from Morgan Marina before he and Dave Witt added four blacks at the Apple Pie.
Whatever bass have been caught from the surf have been small. Surfcasters are picking at the small bass in many areas despite a big swell, though I never had a touch this morning at Bay Head or this evening at Sea Girt.
Big sea bass and porgies have been biting on the far offshore deep water wrecks that the Jamaica from Brielle normally fishes all winter. After missing a couple of hits there Sunday morning, I returned to the Bay Head surf this morning and managed to release two small stripers while also missing another one on the 6-inch Tsunami Swim Eel despite a big swell from an offshore storm.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc reports there were even more patches of short stripers for anglers on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands this morning, and a single bass close to 15 pounds was boated from among them. Joe Melillo, at Castaway's Tackle in Point Pleasant, said he dropped two hooked bass from a local beach this morning, but he saw a few small stripers released.
Capt. Russ Binns of Toms River ended up 27 miles south of Manasquan Inlet without finding anything before he got into a few 20-inch bass close to the beach at a couple of stops on the way back. Capt. Ryan Bogan, of Jamaica II at Brielle, said bottom fishing was very good for ling, with some sea bass also being boated.
That fishing dropped off, but Bob Matthews at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina said there was some good surf action before the storm from Sandy Hook to Asbury Park for school bass up to 25 inches. Conditions should be much better for surfcasters today, and boaters will probably find plenty of bass to work onA sturgeon of about six feet was the highlight of last Friday's trip with Chuck Many of Annandale on his Tyman from Gateway Marina in Highlands along with Nellie Greer from Bethlehem, Pa. and Brad Knecht of Nazareth, Pa.