Striped bass have been few and far between for northern party boats in both the ocean and Raritan Bay, so skippers really appreciate the current abundance of big bluefish. Blues from 10 to 16 pounds were blasting poppers and swimmers in Barnegat Bay for anglers fishing with Capt. Dave De Gennaro on his Hi-Flier from Barnegat.
Ocean striper and bluefish jigging has been poor despite the abundance of blues in the rivers and bays. Capt. Joe Massa put his crew on My III Sons from Morgan Marina into five stripers among non-stop blues while chunking in the West Bank area before finishing off with live bunkers that produced another bass.
Sunday morning looks best, with southwest winds finally arriving at 10 to 15 mph before ending up at 25 mph in the afternoon. At Seaside Park, Grumpy's Tackle reported that town's docks are producing big blues on bunker chunks -- while metal and bucktails are producing in the inlets.
Bluefish should also be available to shore anglers in Raritan Bay and Navesink River, but haven't been as much of a problem for striper fishermen as is usually the case in Raritan Bay at this time. Betty Nick's Tackle reported big blues on bucktails Wednesday morning at the south end of Island Beach State Park.
It doesn't make any difference how hard the wind blows when you're fishing in the protected Lake Ida canals with South Florida Bass Charters, but try to avoid Sundays. Betty Nick's Tackle reported that the few anglers fishing got into big blues on bucktails all morning at the south end of Island Beach State Park.
With seas remaining rough (the Jamaica from Brielle has cancelled Wednesday's trip), it's a good thing that big bluefish have been providing plenty of action in the calm waters of bays and rivers. Capt. Vinnie Vetere of Katfish Charters in Great Kills was thinking about getting some protection from this morning's NE wind and heavy rain by running up the Hudson River, but instead trolled Mo-Jos in the lee of Staten Island to find big bass before anchoring on them for a good catch on chunks and live bunkers without interference from blues.
Raritan Bay striper fishing has been very spotty lately, and many anglers are attributing that to the movement upriver of the Hudson River stock to participate in renewing that stock which has provided us with great fishing the last couple of years. Those spawners will soon be dropping back into saltwater to feed again, and we should soon see the migratory spawned-out stripers from Virginia and Maryland moving up the coast to provide action along the Shore for anglers who have been disappointed so far.
The early break was wasted on the Manasquan Inlet bluefishing as I didn't see a rod bend there after dawn after a good Saturday morning when I caught a blue on my first cast. Matt Slobdjian, at Jim's Tackle in Cape May, submitted his first report of the season as follows The beach bite has been pretty good on bass on the North Cape May side.
Big bluefish were hitting in Manasquan Inlet early this morning, and the large group charter boat Miss Michelle III from Point Pleasant stayed right there rather than testing uncertain prospects in a rough ocean. I released four in the 30-inch class on a large Redfin and a Gag's Bluefish Bomb before heading to Castaway's Tackle in Point Pleasant where Joe Melillo reported that blues were also being caught in the river and canal.
Arrived at 2 pm for the outgoing tide, light SE wind and immediately got Into some action with big blues on a red head white body Polaris popper in the bowl area along north beach. I got up near False Rip by 3 pm to find the northern end of North Beach stacked with big blues that provided non-stop action from when I arrived up there at 3 pm until the tide went slack at 6 30 pm when the wild action finally petered out.