After two brutal winters that shut surf fishing down early, we were hoping for better during a mild winter that is keeping water temperatures in the 50s. Jay Amberg reports from Sea Girt that the waters are beautiful, but there's no sign of bait or stripers in the surf.
Fishing for jumbo sea bass along with porgies and come cod and pollock on far offshore wrecks remains the best bet for anglers -- especially since the inshore bluefish and striper run cooled off. Capt. Howard Bogan reported Sunday's fishing on his Jamaica from Brielle remained very good with many limits of sea bass up to 6 pounds plus porgies, bluefish and a 10-pound pollock.
The Draft Addendum also includes options for extending use of ad-hoc regional management approaches for black sea bass recreational fisheries in 2016 and 2017. The Draft Addendum also proposes two options for the 2016 black sea bass recreational fishery (1) coastwide measures or (2) the continued use of management measures by northern (Massachusetts New Jersey) and southern regions (Delaware North Carolina).
Northern surfcasters also got in on the action at Sea Bright the last two days with a mixture of mostly jumbo blues plus school stripers that were being caught Friday in a driving rain and southeast wind. Offshore bottom fishing has been exceptionally good, with limits of jumbo sea bass being common, along with big porgies and the best fall run of cod in memory.
Capt. Rob Semkowyc said it was all stripers when he started today, but bluefish horned in eventually -- and it was a mix of the two species after that as there were five keeper stripers plus bonus bass taken on the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands. Capt. Dave Riback started finding fish at Shrewsbury Rocks, and continued to the north as anglers on his Queen Mary from Point Pleasant all caught their bonus bass plus all the blues they wanted.
Santee said there were four areas of birds when he first got out there with his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands, and bass dominated before some big blues were added. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant reported a a fast start with blues and then got into stripers.
That fishing was very good Friday, with many sea bass limits plus a 30-pound cod by Jack Karg of Little Egg Harbor. Saturday was slower, but there were still some sea bass limits plus an 11-pound pollock and a 9-pound cod.