The intermittent showers predicted turned out to be steady in the morning, and Matraxia got so soaked through that he opted to head back to Keyport, drive to a K-Mart for all new dry clothing plus rain gear -- and then return to Brown's Marina for an afternoon trip on Cole's Parker along with Emil Pavalac of Rutherford, Dennis Tarnoski from Byrum and I. Capt. Lou Grazioso also joined us. Fortunately, the wind dropped out and the rain stayed away as Cole and Grazioso steered us into stripers on live bunkers at the mouth of the bay where they'd had big trips on Sunday.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc had a good pick of big blues in Raritan Bay today, but no bass -- and will switch his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands to fluke next weekend. Bob Correll of Bay Head and I joined Mike Heaney of Allenwood for a late afternoon bass trip out of Crystal Point Yacht club, but we never saw a bunker flip on the way north.
Mickey Sweeney of Howell stopped by Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant after catching some blues on bunker baits in Bay Head. At Seaside Park, Betty Nick's noted lots of blues and some bass being caught on bait along with others on metal.
After loading up with bunkers at 5 Sunday morning, Gene Graman of Middletown had to make a decision whether to go for the possibility of hooking a volume of smaller bass plus blues in the bay or heading own the beach to seek quality with his That's It from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands. Capt. Dave De Gennaro said he got called into a trolling bite on Sunday by Capt. Steve Purul of Reel Fantasea, and ended up with stripers of 34, 38, and 40 pounds on Tony Maja 4 white bunker spoons off Island Beach State Park on his Hi-Flier from Barnegat for Jeff Boyer, Fred Baker and Bryan Jacobson.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc has been chunking bunkers on readings in the bay, or working around bunker schools where stripers and blues are often spotted feeding with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands. BAY HEAD TO BARNEGAT INLET Several big striped bass have been caught to the south with the snag drop technique around bunker schools, but it's not consistent for boaters and kayakers.
Capt. Sal Cursi was surprised to see the water temperature dropping as he ran down the beach this morning with Jim Curcio's Shenanigans from Morgan Marina in search of a big striper.There was no sign of bait or fish, but he did catch a small blue on a Brandy's Minnow.
Melillo nailed a13 9 16-pound striper on a swimming plug in the Point Pleasant surf, and Mike Commune of Brick plugged a 13-pounder there. Gerald CeCe of Point Pleasant plugged his 17-pound bass at Bay Head, where Terry Martuscelli of Brick fished a chunk to beach a 17-pound bass.
It took some time to get my 78th birthday bass this year, but Graman stuck it out. The birthday boy was still shut out on bass until we moved back out to deep waters and Graman's Shimano spinning rig filled with 20-pound mono doubled over in the stern.
Hugh Mura didn't see any birds or bait in the Sea Bright surf, but fishing bunker from 6 30 a. m. to noon produced blues of 23, 30 and 33 inches. Mimi IV from Point Pleasant will be sailing open for sea bass, ling and flounder on Tuesday and Wednesday plus a Magic Hours trip on Thursday.