Tuesday was the first day of fall, and an appropriate time for Chuck Many of Annandale to kick off Raritan Bay autumn striped bass fishing with his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands. Dave Lilly of Hazlet won or placed in almost every fluke tournament this year, but he only caught a short while fishing in Ambrose Channel on Sunday with Walt Wojcik of Hazlet on his Nancy Lee from Lentze Marina before hooking the big one -- a large green turtle that fortunately shook off his rig.
I didn't hear of anything from striper anglers there, and I was happy when an 18-inch bluefish hit my tactical Anglers Bomb Jr. popper in the wash before the northeast wind got too strong. It will be a new ball game after the storm if the forecast of strong east winds and heavy rain is correct.
The first day of fall was an appropriate time to begin serious fishing for striped bass -- and it worked out fine for Chuck Many of Annandale on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands. The only variety was one blue of about 4 pounds, a small sea bass during a brief attempt at worming, and a dogfish just before we quit.
Allen Riley of South Plainfield tried plugging before daylight at Sea Bright, but only hooked small blues that then hit metal after daylight. Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reports fluking in the surf is still good, and small blues are being caught on both mullet and metal.
It was far from good fishing, but there were some large fluke today in Ambrose Channel. Lilly, who won or placed in most of the summer fluke contests, couldn't find a keeper, but hooked into the big one that turned out to be a green turtle.
Joe Melillo, at Castaway's Tackle in Point Pleasant, had some surf striper activity to report on Friday. At Seaside Park, Grumpy's Tackle reports good surf fluking plus lots of small blues on mullet and metal.
Following is Friday's column as submitted SL9-9-19-14RISTORI FOR FRIDAY, SEPT. 19HAVE YOUR SAY ON FLUKE AT UPCOMING SCOPING HEARINGSby Al RistoriThe Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) have scheduled a series of scoping hearings to gather public input on the range of issues and information to be considered in the Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment. The Council and Commission are particularly interested in comments on the following topics Fishery management plan goals and objectives Quota allocation between the commercial and recreational fisheries Commercial management measures and strategies Recreational management measures and strategies Discards in the commercial and recreational fisheries Ecosystem, habitat, bycatch, and protected species issues Data collection requirements and protocols The Scoping Document contains background information on summer flounder management and on issues that may be addressed in the amendment, as well as a description of the amendment process and timeline.
Anglers in New England have been experiencing a much more serious decline in their striper fisheries than has been the case locally, as the Hudson River spawning stock has been providing us with fine spring fisheries in Raritan Bay the last two years even as the later coastal migration coming up from Chesapeake Bay has been disappointing. Haertel found good variety fishing Saturday at wrecks not far offshore for fluke, sea bass and dolphin.
At Point Pleasant, the Cock Robin will be sailing for big blues at 7 30 a. m., as will the Queen Mary for blues and bonito. The Jamaica from Brielle has cancelled the morning bluefish trip, but will sail for night blues at 7 30 p. m. Check web sites to determine what other boats may be doing.
It may be slightly better tomorrow, but only fishable in protected waters. The Cock Robin from Point Pleasant has cancelled for tomorrow, and Elaine B. II from Highlands won't start fluking again until Thursday.