Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst joined an open trip Capt. Kevin Cole was running Friday afternoon on the Down Deep Bullet, and got off to a great start as he cast off the bow of the boat at Brown's in Keyport to catch a 21-inch fluke. Capt. John Kolias, of Reel Fun at Twin Lights Marinain Highlands, congrarultes his relief skipper, Capt. Marc Devino, after he teleased a 73-pound black drum that hit a live bunker he was fishing from his own boat Wednesday evening while seeking stripers.
There were mixed results on the striper front today, but it certainly wasn't a good one for Chuck Many of Annandale on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands as Matt Calabria of Hazlet, Nellie Greer from Bethlehem, Pa. and I joined in releasing only three stripers. Many stayed for the hoped-for evening striper blast off Sandy Hook, but I never saw a blow-up of bunkers, and only one bass was hooked before he decided to return prior to dark.
Thunder during the early morning hours seemed to keep most anglers at home today, but the Jamaica from Brielle got up north only to find very slow bluefish jigging in the morning. Mickey Sweeney of Howell said he twice set up earlier to chunk in Bay Head, but each time had thunder move too close and chase him off.
Both Grumpy's and Betty Nick's reported pods of bunker close to the beach on Tuesday from Lavalette to South Seaside Park. Also at Belmar Marina, Bob Matthews says his rental boats have had plenty of fluke action in Shark River -- including some limits.
Capt. Stan Zagleski said a lack of current hurt the drift in Raritan Bay today, but he ended up putting a catch of fluke together on Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands. The Bob Finan party from Fair Haven fished with Capt. Hans Kaspersetz and I on Sheri Berri from Baker's Marina on the Bay in Highlands as hits were hard to come by in the weak current even when we found marks.
the big bass never hit, and that fishing was a tough pick as Nellie Greer of Bethlehem, Pa. and local bass pro Matt Calabria joined Many and I in releasing five stripers. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina reports fishing for fluke in the river continues to be good, with plenty of action and enough keepers to keep interest high.
If this weekend's results are any indication, there should be some great mako shark fishing coming up next weekend in the Shore's biggest shark tournament -- Mako Mania. The Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association's 29th anniversary Mako Mania is expected to award over 150,000 in prize money when it's contested out of Crystal Point Yacht Club in Point Pleasant.
Capt. Russ Binns fished Barnegat Bay earlier in the week with his Mar-Lin from Toms River, and had fine popping for small blues near the Seaside Bridge. Capt. Joe Massa anchored in the back of the bay to pick though bluefish to get a bass on bunker from his My Three Sons out of Morgan Marina.
The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant hasn't been out during the day the last few days, and Capt. Dave Riback said Thursday's Magic Hours trip was a flop with very few bunkers for bait and no stripers. Capt. Sal Cursi says Raritan Bay is still loaded with stripers and blues, and expects to be able to make his day there tomorrow.
Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, said he tried casting for blues in Manasquan River early in the morning, but was driven off by the cool east wind. Capt. Jim McFarland, of Big Mac from Green Harbor, Ma.