The 26th Annual Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament was held May 21 at Island Beach State Park under blue skies and a light easterly wind. More than 600 participants enjoyed the day with family and friends, including Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs program participants and thirteen teams from seven different schools in the brand new High School Team Category. DEP Commissioner Bob Martin along with Division of Fish and Wildlife Acting Director Larry Herrighty assisted with the awards ceremony
The surprisingly strong east wind made it tough on both boat and shore fishermen Saturday, but it's supposed to be lighter on Sunday in time for the Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament at Island Beach State Park. The east wind also prevented a repeat of a showing of small blues in the Bay Head surf, but I managed to tempt a 19-inch striper in Point Pleasant Canal on a Tsunami Shad.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar picked away at blues all morning, but then got into big bass attacking schools of bunkers in the afternoon as a 40-pound bass was boated and others lost. Joe Melillo weighed in a 20 1 8-pound striped bass at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant that was baited at night in the local surf by Terry Martuscelli of Brick, while Mike Commune from Brick did even better with a 25-pounder.
The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council will be meeting in Avalon tomorrow afternoon to select an option for the 2017 fluke season. Striper trolling was a lot better just before the storm, as the Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant made two trips Friday that produced limits from a total of 48 big bass up to a 49-pounder.
8-pound striper also hit bunker in the surf yesterday. With the local surf still being off-color before the NW wind got strong enough, I fished a 4-inch Tsunami Shad in Point Pleasant Canal to release school stripers of 19 and 25 inches this morning.
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