Grazioso did best by using his light freshwater bass tackle with a Shimano Curado DE6 reel. Grazioso noted that the mostly 24-to-28-inch bass, with some up to 35 inches, were covered with sea lice -- indicating they're fresh in from the ocean.
Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park recorded their first striper weigh-in today with a 30. Betty Nick's in Seaside Park reported one of their regulars braved the northwest wind this morning to fish blood worms from the 14th Ave, Pier for two stripers -- including a keeper.
Presumably, that's in the ocean under gannets -- but there are also lots of bass in the back of Raritan Bay. Yet, when Grazioso moved to the Morgan flats that morning he saw bass swirling and they limited out by casting Tsunami shads.
A cocktail hour precedes a deluxe hot and cold buffet dinner followed by the popular Fishing Tackle Bonanza Auction where thousands of dollars worth of fishing tackle including rods, reels, line and lures donated by major tackle manufacturers and local tackle shops, plus jewelry, marine artwork and other fishing related items and accessories will be given away. A cocktail hour precedes a deluxe hot and cold buffet dinner followed by the popular Fishing Tackle Bonanza Auction where thousands of dollars worth of fishing tackle including rods, reels, line and lures donated by major tackle manufacturers and local tackle shops, plus jewelry, marine artwork and other fishing related items and accessories will be given away.
Local anglers are hoping for signs of the first bluefish that provided great shore casting last spring, but Mark Roy of Warren wasn't happy this morning when he heard that big blues had shown up off Miami. Roy managed to get Billfish Foundation tags into several of those sails, including my first which the skipper estimated at an unusually large 80 pounds -- more like the size of a Pacific sailfish.
It's not time for tuna yet, but the Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant warns that they're almost sold out for the first part of the season. There are only nine days available until then on the 60-foot Canyon Runner and eight days on the 48-footer.
Though Monday's weather was mild and calm, the offshore fishing didn't respond for the Big Mohawk from Belmar even though they did have some keeper blackfish. Tuesday's weather doesn't look good, so they'll be staying in tomorrow and getting ready for Wednesday.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar has maintenance scheduled the next two days, but will try to get out for mackerel or cod later in the week. The first few were reported in Raritan Bay before the water got dirty, but they should be biting again on clams this week.
Bad weather kept the fleet in port during today's opening of the blackfish season, but the forecast for Sunday is good. Though most party boats will be seeking blackfish, the Golden Eagle from Belmar will be searching for the elusive mackerel -- with cod as the alternative.
A report from the Tackle Box in Hazlet arrived too late for the Friday column with news of stripers hitting clams as Raritan Bay waters have warmed up after falling to 34 degrees earlier in the week. They did get out last Saturday, but waters were too cold at that time and fishing was poor.