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.
Your chances of catching one are best at the Keys bridges, where tarpon are common and I rarely run into another angler fishing for them, but the striper of your dreams could also be swimming under a local bridge. Striper fishing has been spotty in Raritan Bay, but bluefish weren't an interference when I fished Sunday with Chuck Many of Annandale on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands along with Nellie Greer of Bethlehem, Pa. as we released nine stripers in the bay and Hudson River.
The run of big blues in Manasquan Inlet on surface lures continued early in the morning, with poppers producing lots of surface strikes. Jim Freda had his Manasquan High School Fishing Club out on the north jetty rocks during late afternoon, casting into the inlet with swimmers to catch some big blues when nothing was going on west of them.
They also released the year's first few sea bass reported on Sunday, when some ling were added and Bob Williamson of Whippany won the pool with a cod. Betty Nick's Tackle in Seaside Park reported Bob Brecht weighed in a 14 1 2-pound striper that he caught Sunday night in Island Beach State Park along with three shorts.