Capt. Rob Semkowyc has been jigging a mix of short and keeper bass plus large blues on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, though every day is completely different as he's fished from Raritan Bay to as far east as Debs Inlet. The huge 2011 Chesapeake Bay year class should be providing a lot of small bass along the coast, but I never saw any until Tuesday while fishing with Chuck Many of Annandale on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands.
Bob Correll of Bay Head joined Mike Heaney of Allendale on his 32-foot Sea Vee, Four Reel, from Crystal Point in Point Pleasant along with Joe Holl and Joe Farrell from Ramsey as they worked bunker schools Tuesday morning from Bay Head to Seaside and caught 11 bass averaging 18 pounds and up to a 41-incher. Joe Melillo, of Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, caught a short bass on metal in the Bay Head surf on Tuesday and lost another.
The Golden Eagle only noted that it ran north from Belmar for lots of big blues on jigs plus stripers up to a 25-pounder. At Twin Lights Marina in Highlands, Gene Graman of Middletown reported poor eeling this afternoon from his That's It as only one 27-inch bass was released in Sandy Hook Channel even though bait was pouring out to sea.
The Jamaica is also leaving earlier for stripers this Monday to Thursday at 6 a. m. -- and has added an afternoon sailing from 2 to 8 p. m. those days The Shore has produced few stripers the last several days, but Capt. Rob Semkewyc ran east the last two days with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported making a long run to get into some keeper bass plus blues on Saturday, but on Sunday it was mostly shorts and many fewer blues.
Surf reports were also bleak, but there was one positive report from Dave Lilly of Hazlet who got into loads of big bluefish in the middle of Raritan Bay while trolling Tony Maja bunker spoons. Vaughm Kelly beached a 29 3 8-pound striper on an SP Minnow in the park a couple of days ago.
The event begins at 1 p. m. Northwest winds gusting to over 30 mph kept most boats in port today, but the Golden Eagle from Belmar continued the search for ocean stripers. The Jamaica from Brielle is sold out Saturday and Sunday.
After only releasing a couple, we started running out to the ocean to a report of a hot jigging bite, but Many made a brief stop under some birds in the mouth of the bay so I could throw a Tactical Anglers 5-ounce Sea Pencil to release a 38-inch striper that blasted it on the surface. Surfcasting has been mostly spotty, but it doesn't have to get any better for Brian Lytle of Keyport as the Tackle Box in Hazlet reports he made the long walk Thursday morning to the rip at Sandy Hook and found bass driving peanut bunkers to the beach.
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.