Lots of bottom fishermen have been looking forward to Saturday's reopening of the sea bass season but due to the forecast of gale-force NW winds some party boats may opt to postpone their trips. His main objective of trying to chunk bunkers for big stripers in the Hudson River didn't work out, but he released eight small schoolies casting Tsunami Shads up there.
The one fish limit on blackfish continues, but Capt. Stan Zagleski put his regulars into hot release fishing Wednesday on his Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands as catches ran into the 30's of mostly legal tog by Big John Poraba of Pompton Lakes up to an 8 3 8-pounder by Mike Naipawer of Bloomingdale. Capt. Joe Massa, of My Three Sons from Morgan Marina, had a good variety trip on Wednesday as he caught blackfish, sea bass and porgies at Shrewsbury Rocks before adding a little tunny off Sandy Hook on the way back -- and ending with a double of school stripers off Keansburg.
Mass caught a little tunny on the way back, and found some school stripers under birds off Keansburg where he caught a doubleheader of 25-and-27-inchers before leaving the flighty stripers. Many cast a Tsunami shad to release a 24-inch striper.
Tony Arcabascio is happy to report the first 50-pound striper reported locally since the spring was boated Sunday on his 4 Tony Maja bunker spoon trolled by Capt. Ken Gallop of Big Kid from Brielle Yacht Club. Capt. Joe Bogan can't wait for the sea bass season to open on Saturday, when he'll run an extended open trip at 5 a. m. with his Jamaica II from Brielle.
The Gambler from Point Pleasant reported the last canyon trip produced a good bite just before and after sunrise for 30-to-70-pound yellowfins plus a few 30-to-40-pound albacore. At Belmar, the Golden Eagle had a slow start with the jumbo blues, but ended up with a good catch to 19 pounds plus a couple of little tunny.
The Jamaica from Brielle reported more tuna bites during Friday nights trip, but better catching on Saturday night. There were no hits on snagged bunkers during a brief attempt as it soon turned into a sightseeing trip when a big whale escorted by small dolphins was spotted in just 38 feet off Seaside Park, and they followed it around while taking video for the folks back in Pittsburgh to see.
The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had a similar report for blues up to 18 pounds. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant was busy selling green crabs to anglers getting into the sure bite fishing for mostly short blackfish in Point Pleasant Canal, and also had word of lots of short stripers in Manasquan River.
Miss Belmar Princess marked lots of blues during a rough trip in the gusty north wind. Allen Riley sent along a Wednesday surf report from Frank Huza of Aberdeen who took the long walk to the tip of Sandy Hook where he saw about 15 tunny caught around 8 a. m. Huza caught two of about 3 and 6 pounds by blind casting a Manno 1-ounce Silver jig -- and saw something amazing -- a small dolphin (fish) chasing bait at his feet.
A couple of blues interfered with that fishing, but Many still switched to a small Tsunami Eel which produced short stripers as small as 13 inches. There was no repeat of the striper bite in the Spring Lake surf this morning, though Vinnie D'Anton of Wall released one of about 28 inches on a Chug Bug after raising two others in a very large swell, Mike Monte, a Shore native who has long run a tackle shop in Nantucket, raised three bass before I arrived -- and everything went dead.