Scott Leadbeater of Haddon Heights bailed out while fishing in Raritan Bay with his center console out of Atlantic Highlands when he got into surfacing 3-to-6-pound blues on light tackle as he moved toward West Bank. Capt. Stan Zagleski had catches up to four fluke on Thursday as Ken McGill of Atlantic Highlands won the pool with a 6 3 16-pounder.
The spectacular run of fluke in Raritan Reach that produced many limit catches on party boats plus some doormats during the last few weeks came to a sudden halt on Monday -- but has since resumed. Di Stefano watched fluke party boats throwing back big sea bass, but anglers will be allowed two sea bass at 12 1 2 inches per day starting Friday.
Matt Slobodojin, at Jim's Tackle in Cape May, reports Weather played a little bit of a factor in last week's fishing. The backwater fluke fishing is pretty slow right now and I don't get it, this is usually when it gets good in Cape May Harbor and the Intercoastal.
The NJ DEP has announced that beach vehicles will be prohibited from a portion of Island Beach State Park from the A23 entrance to the jetty as of Thursday due to piping plover nesting. The south winds that have been blowing every evening lately have driven the surf water temperature down.
Capt. Vinny Vetere, of Katfish Charters at Great Kills, thinks there must be some connection between local striped bass and the stock market. The Golden Eagle from Belmar got a good start bluefishing this morning with 5-to-10-pounders on Run-Off Hammered jigs, but after they went down there was only a pick of 2-to-4-pound blues.
Veteran fluke angler Dennis O'Brien of South Bound Brook watched his daughter Danielle hook the boat's largest fluke of the season just a couple of minutes into the first drift with a 13. Danielle's fluke was the first doormat by a female on Elaine B. II, and just barely behind the second largest ever on that boat which is her father's at just one ounce more.
There were also quality fluke caught on Friday, when Steve Herczegh of Spotswood had three keepers up to 7 3 16 pounds. The Jamaica II from Brielle had some fluke limits on Friday, including those by James Grady of Paterson and Mack Willen from Bristol, Pa, -- who each had a 4-pounder.
The Queen Mary also reported the last two Magic Hours trips were very good, with stripers up to 48 pounds caught. Capt. Vinny Vetere of Katfish Charters at Great Kills fished the river today with live bunkers as his charter caught 15 stripers up to 25 pounds.
The Mako Mania field was diminished to 113 boats due to the initial one week postponement and uncertainty about the offshore weather, but there was decent fishing as Capt. Pete Grimbilis of the GPPCBA said 18 makos were weighed while others were released or not weighed in since they were short of the sixth place leader on the board. Capt. Lou Grazioso joined the crew on Michele Ann for the 118-mile run to Wilmington Canyon on Sunday, when there was non-stop trolling action with 30-to-40-pound yellowfin tuna from 6-to-8 a. m. Though local sharking was decent over the weekend, there was an exceptional 730-pound mako boated by Thor III at the 31st annual Star Island Shark Tournament in Montauk that had 133 boats competing for almost a half-million dollars.
The others couldn't interest those blues with metal, but Tony Martino of Ocean Township released a 26-inch striper that hit his metal jig in the wash -- and Dan Brodzinski of Tin Man Tackle used his metal tipped with a Gulp Swimming Mullet for a short fluke and a sun dial. Vinny D'Anton of Shark River Hills nailed a 28-inch striper on a Chug Bug shortly after he started casting in Shark River this morning, and added two smaller ones later on a Zoom jig.