Snapper blues have invaded the surf, which is good news for those planning to use them as bait for large fluke -- or bad news for those trying to fish soft baits. The 4-to-6-inch snappers can be fished alive, but John Mazzeo of South Plainfield used a snapper fillet to hook a 20-inch fluke.
Capt. Dave De Gennaro reports bonito are in seasonal form at Barnegat Ridge for trollers, with the only problem being all the small bluefish also feeding there on large quantities of small sand eels. Fluking has been a mixed bag, but Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst was happy with what he experienced today at Sandy Hook Reef with Capt. Kevin Cole from Brown's in Keyport.
Capt. Ryan Bogan said there were many fluke limits for jiggers during today's weekly all-day trip of the Jamaica II from Brielle in perfect conditions-- and a new monthly pool winner was boated. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, reports lots of short fluke for his rental boats in Shark River.
The Viking 62 had a great Saturday at the 45th Beach Haven Marlin Tuna Club's 45th White Marlin Invitational, boating two whites of 60. 3 and 66 pounds to take the Grand Champion title that requires both a white and a tuna.
Just before sending this blog out I got an excited call from Dave Lilly of Hazlet to let me know that his crew fishing on the Relentless out of Manasquan Inlet had won the big money in the Point Pleasant Elks Fluke Tournament with their 10. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, reports an 11-pound striper caught on clams in the local surf by Bill Boyde of Howell.
There should be plenty of weigh-ins during the second day of the Beach Haven Marlin Tuna Club's White Marlin Invitational as only 10 boats fished the first day while over four times as many headed offshore today. The first boat to weigh in today after the scales opened at 4 30 was Martuni with yellowfin tuna of 61.
SANDY HOOK TO MANASQUAN INLETOcean fluking has been up-and-down, but Shrewsbury Rocks and the Rattlesnake remain good areas to seek out larger fluke. POINT PLEASANT TO BARNEGAT INLETCanyon trolling has picked up, with good yellowfin tuna results in Hudson Canyon along with some albacore and an occasional bigeye or marlin -- plus dolphin.
Though there have been signs that the unprecedented mid-summer run of large striped bass in Raritan Bay may be dying out, there was still good fishing today for those who stuck it out. My last bass almost cleaned out a Shimano spinning outfit , and turned out to be a 33-pounder -- proving that some of those very large for the summer bass are still in the bay.
The Jamaica will be adding 4 30 to 8 30 p. m. trips starting Sunday, and continuing from Monday through Wednesday by reservation. Last minute registration is possible at Wednesday's captains meeting in the Beach Haven Clubhouse from 5 to 8 p. m. For info call 201 376-5552, or 609 685-4130.
Also at Belmar Marina, Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman's Den that Brian Kean of Yardley, Pa. had a 4 1 4-pound fluke over the weekend from a rental boat, while Tom Mibail from Newton boated fluke of 3 and 6 1 2 pounds from a rental. Capt. Ryan Bogan said he had good fluking last week on Jamaica II from Brielle, but it was slower over the weekend -- especially in Sunday's strong current.