After yesterday's fine striper fishing in Raritan Bay, especially with poppers, it looked as if they might get the action they needed -- until the totally unpredicted east wind started howling. A brief attempt at chunking in Shrewsbury River didn't produce any action before the crew had to come in to film interviews -- just as the wind was moderating enough that we might have been able to search for those massive bunker schools in the bay before Knie had to move on to Montauk for another segment tomorrow.
Sure enough, Pepe hooked up on a live bunker during the first drift in the mouth of Raritan Bay and soon was jumping for joy as Many weighed his bass at 32 pounds. After first catching a big blue, I then added releases of a bass in the 20-25-pound class, and another of 28 pounds that provided a spectacular strike -- while the others were catching bass and blues on bunkers.
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.