Chuck Many of Annandale got out Tuesday afternoon to check his spots in Raritan Bay, and found them to be well-populated with stripers that didn't have to fight off bluefish to get to a live bunker. That bite wasn't good enough to hold us there, and Many set up in the mouth of Hudson River where we got lots of hits in a roaring current -- but had to fish through smooth dogfish and some blues in order to pick a few bass.
Though there wasn't any wild surface action today in Raritan Bay, bluefishing was still pretty good. Prowler 5 had mostly shorts both in the bay and ocean, with a high hook of three fluke, but the Monday magic hours trip produced the boat's largest so far -- an 8 1.
Capt. Ryan Bogan said the Jamaica II had much better sea bass fishing Sunday than Saturday, as several limits were bagged in 80-foot depths. Tournament Info Applications may be picked up online or at most tackle shops and mailed in or by signing up at the captain's meeting June 3rdh beginning at 5 30pm at the VFW Post 6902 Post (Hall), 331 Bay Avenue, Highlands, New Jersey Single day tournament format Entry fee is 150 per boat, max 6 persons fishing A mandatory captain's meeting on Friday, June 3rd at 7 00pm at the VFW Post 6902 Post (Hall), 331 Bay Avenue, Highlands, New Jersey No lines in water before 5 00 AM.
Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina that big bass are being boated in that area by boaters using bunker spoons and Mo-Jo's as well as by snag-and-drop bunker fishing. We are still getting reports of good bass catches in the bay as well.
Bluefish continued to cooperate in the bay, and both the Fishermen and Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands reported plenty of big blues for all despite the fact that most were hooked on rental rods by people not used to fighting such large fish. Scott Leadbeater from Haddon Heights fished his center console out of Atlantic Highlands in the back of the bay Friday afternoon, but it was all blues -- and the south wind that came up made for a rough trip back.
The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had great bluefish jigging today, but the best news was the season's finest magic hours striper bite Thursday evening on both live and dead bunkers with a 36-pound pool winner. Capt. Bud McArthur ran his Splinter from Brick down to Island Beach State Park, and passed lots of bunkers with no fish under them.
Fishermen seeking striped bass will be doing everything possible to get away from the choppers, but the availability of outsized blues is a unique opportunity which was emphasized Wednesday when I watched Nathan Mc Intosh (9) from Painted Post, N. Y. graduating from sunfish right up to 10-pound blues in Raritan Bay while chunking from Sheri Berri out of Baker's Marina on the Bay at Highlands. Capt. Dave De Gennaro has continued to put his customers on Hi Flier from Barnegat into big blues on poppers in Barnegat Bay, but also finally managed to get out of the inlet last Friday afternoon to troll a 38-pound striper on a white 4 Tony Maja bunker spoon for Gary Paulino of Absecon - and also a 30-pounder.
We ended leaving the river early to fish in the bay, where McIntosh of Toms River (a former colleague of mine at Garcia Fishing Tackle) and Ray Colon along with son and grandson Joe and Nathan McIntosh from Painted Post, N. Y. had fun wrestling with the big blues after they hit live bunker, chunks and trolled Tony Maja bunker spoons -- but no stripers broke through as we watched the naval fleet moving toward the harbor. Capt. Bud McArthur ran his Splinter from Brick to the south, and managed to troll a 42-inch striper on a green Reliable bunker spoon offshore of the bait and near the three-mile state limit.
Capt. Vinnie Vetere didn't have a charter on his Katfish from Great Kills this morning, but took a shot to the east with his crew and had a catch of big stripers on live bait. Bob Danyluk boated a 20-pound striper on clam at Oyster Creek on Monday before blitz popping for blues on the east side.
Capt. Deane Lambros ran the Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant out to Lindenkohl Canyon on Friday for a day troll charter only to find 61-to-63-degree waters that were too cool for yellowfin tuna -- but good enough for 35-to-50- pound bluefins. Saturday's bucktailing for fluke that provided good action during last year's opening was poor this time.