Capt. Russ Binns of Toms River ran south to bunker schools he'd spotted from shore the day before, but said he heard of very few bass caught in large fleets off Seaside during a pretty day. Other than trolling a bluefish on a Stretch plug, the highlight was snagging a large squid out of a bunker school.
Capt. Dave De Gennaro trolled a striper and a blue at Shrewsbury Rocks from his Hi-Flier out of Manasquan Inlet, and then ran south to Ocean Beach where it was solid big blues on the troll. Though Joe Melillo didn't have any surf reports today at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, he had weighed a 20-pound striper caught in the surf during the storm by Keith Speidel of Point Pleasant, and a 13 1 4-pounder from the surf on Sunday by Roger Bauer of Avon.
Today's northwest gale following Saturday's northeaster should be good in the long run, as it will settle the rough ocean, but it wasn't very fishable today. When I stopped by the canal earlier, when the tide was running, it looked like the ocean with a short steep swell that would have been tough to navigate for small boats.
I had to cast a large Tactical Anglers Sea Pencil toward the beach in order to raise jumbo blues to 17 pounds and a striper while Chuck and Art surprisingly couldn't get a hit casting soft plastic jigs toward the beach. Vinny D'Anton was on the beach at Monmouth Beach where he caught stripers of 16 and 26 pounds on poppers along with big blues.
Many decided to run out to a hot jigging bite in the ocean, but first stopped under some birds over a few blow-ups where I cast the large Tactical Anglers Sea Pencil to release a 38-inch striper. All we found further off was more bluefish, and Many finished up in the calmer Raritan Bay where he added our last striper release on a bunker -- though there was no late afternoon blast such as had occurred the previous day for Capt. Joe Massa of My III Sons from Morgan Marina.
The Board adopted Option B1 -- a coastal recreational limit for 2015 of one striped bass at a minimum of 28 inches with all conservation equivalency measures equal to a 25 percent or greater reduction in harvest -- down from the present two stripers at 28 inches. At Brielle, the Paramount came back from poor sea bass fishing on Tuesday to enjoy a banner day Wednesday as limits were common along with some porgies and triggerfish.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc reported good striper fishing on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands while using bunkers, eels and jigs this week. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, reported school stripers hit the Bay Head surf at mid-day Monday, but nothing happened there this morning.
Capt. Dave De Gennaro ran his Hi-Flier north from Manasquan Inlet this morning to try bunker schools where I had hooked a 46-inch bass on Sunday, and put his party into a 28-pounder while three others were lost to pulled hooks. While off Long Branch he got a call from someone on the Manasquan Inlet jetty who saw bass crashing into a bunker school there.
The west wind finally came up as predicted and seemed to shut off the bite. They didn't find anything big, but added bass that combined with Saturday's carch to finish fourth in the Hi-Mar Striper Tournament.