By far the largest surf bass of the fall that I've heard of was landed before daylight in Island Beach State Park by Frank Stone. There was a decent bite of yellowfins and albacore from false light to 9 a. m.
Most anglers will be hoping that the forecast of west winds up to 30 knots tonight will come true, as that will knock down the big swell we've been dealing with and help clear waters stirred up by Saturday's strong south winds. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, said the surf was unfishable early Saturday morning due to the south wind and rain.
There were also lots of blues for surfcasters at Seaside Park and Island Beach State Park -- though those are small blues that hit consistently on mullet while also taking metal and poppers at times. Instead, I tried Sea Girt after high tide in the afternoon, and did nothing with metal into fishable surf -- though another angler released a 25-inch bass.
That issue was number two among those to be considered in development of the Comprehensive Summer Flounder Amendment to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Plan by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Capt. Joe Bogan, of Jamaica II at Brielle, is also awaiting reopening of the sea bass season on Oct. 18.
Betty Nick's Tackle reported one angler caught 50 blues in two hours on metal and a teaser at the end of the paved road in Island Beach State Park. I took a look at the Bay Head surf early, but with the low tide and the northeast blowing down the beach it didn't look like I'd even be able to cast metal into fishable waters.
Opinions expressed will be considered in development of the upcoming revision of the Summer Flounder Management Plan. This is the last day to send your comments on striped bass management alternatives to the ASMFC if you didn't do so at one of the hearings.
After netting peanut bunkers, Manny took a shot down the beach for the first time in a couple of months. He released one in the teens on a peanut bunker and I lost one before we tried chunking with old bait that produced only small dogfish.
The best news of the day came from the Queen Mary out of Point Pleasant as they had a good bite of big blues on both jigs and bait. Small blues on bait was the surf nrews from both Grumpy's and Betty Nick's in Seaside Park, and the latter weighed in it's first fall bass -- a 30-inch, 8 1 4-pounder by Tom Nolan of Ridgefield.
Other fluke boats may be bottom fishing or taking a few days off before trying for stripers. Just before the storm he weighed a 19-pound party boat bluefish, but was told it lost the pool to a 22-pounder.
Fluking wasn't good after recent storms, and there were no reports on the day before that closure except from Capt. Hans Kaspersetz who had Tony D'Anna aboard Sheri Berri from Baker's Marina on the Bay in Highlands as he managed three keeper fluke on Flynn's Knoll in the morning. The surf at Bay Head was still rough and dirty Friday morning, but could be fishable by tomorrow.