As nice as the start of the winter was, we've been taking a beating since then. Though Saturday's northeaster will likely push fishing aside after a nice Friday, it isn't expected to be anything like the storm-force prediction from earlier in the week.
After watching too many spawning-size striped bass gaffed in Raritan Bay during the unprecedented summer bite there in 2014, I wasn't too confident about whether the Hudson River stock would once again provide us with striper fishng much better than most other coastal states. Though the summer striped bass fishery in Raritan Bay wasn't up to the previous year's standards, Many always managed at least schoolies -- and usually some large bass as the Hudson River stock bailed us out after another spotty ocean fishery on bunker schools with the coastal migrants.
The wind is supposed to drop below today's gale, but there are still small craft warnings posted. That's nothing compared with what's expected Saturday with storm-force east winds and seas up to 21 feet.
Needless to say, there were no boat reports Sunday with gale warnings posted and early rain. Betty Nick's in Seaside Park did have a report that was probably from Saturday of a 30-inch striper on an SP Minnow by Lou De Fontney -- plus reports of short bass.
The Shore's tuna fishing elite and his many other friends gathered today at O'Brien Funeral Home in Wall for final goodbyes to the greatest giant tuna skipper of the era, Capt. Bob Pisano. Melillo mentioned that water temperatures had moved up in the northeast winds to over 50 degrees.
Capt. Stan Zagleski said anchoring his Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands was difficult Thursday due to a lack of wind and current, but his fares caught from a couple up to 4-tog limits. I fished the Sea Girt surf at dusk Thursday with a similar lack of results, and the Seaside Park tackle shops had no reports today.
A giant tuna run had just developed in the Mud Hole, and Pisano had boated a 400-pounder the day before through the tuna door of the 36-foot Runaway rather than having to hoist it in on a gin pole as was traditionally done. A giant tuna run had just developed in the Mud Hole, and Pisano had boated a 400-pounder the day before through the tuna door of the 36-foot Runaway rather than having to hoist it in on a gin pole as was traditionally done.
I took a look from Point Peasant to Bay Head in the afternoon, but saw few anglers fishing into a rough and dirty surf. Though the wind was supposed to be light southwest, it seemed to be coming from the southeast. The forecast is for light west winds, so participation should be improved tomorrow.