Anyone who's been near the surf the last couple of days was in for a shock as it was brutally cold after days of south winds. Fish rarely cooperate after such a shock, and to make things worse there was also weed in the Point Pleasant surf this morning.
Chuck Many of Annandale followed up on yesterday's hot striper bite in Raritan Bay by doing even better this morning on Ty Man from Highlands for his brother Kevin of Middletown, N. Y. with his sons Luke (14) and Jake (11). They released 27 bass up to a 34-pounder for Luke and a 33-pounder by Jake on his birthday trip -- while Kevin released a 44-pound bass.
Fortunately, a school of bunker passed by and big tails came out of the water among them as Many hooked up on a chunk while I threw a live bunker in that was immediately hit by a bass that weighed 28 pounds before release. Though there was no longer any sign of those bass and bunkers, I cast another live bait that was hit by an even larger bass that pulled Many's Boga Grip down to the 40-pound mark.
The Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County is sponsoring its 3nd annual Fluke Tournament on August 9th with 6,000 in prizes and with three weigh-in stations Twin Lights Marina, Highlands, Fishermans Den, Belmar and Clarks Landing in Point Pleasant. In spite of the damages Hurricane Sandy inflicted on all 2013 fluke tournaments, the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County's payout for its 2013 fluke tournament was 4,650 with only 37 boats.
Though Arthur was a dud, it did bring in the warm water I predicted. Capt. Jim McFarland said John Policari of Manalapan wanted haddock on Saturday, so he put Big Mac from Green Harbor, Ma, into them up to 10 pounds while adding 40 cod plus some cusk.
Capt. Dave Riback reported from the Queen Mary in Point Pleasant that blues up to 12 pounds hit both jigs and poppers. Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant weighed a striper of 11 1 4 pounds caught on clams at Bay Head by Al Colfer of Point Pleasant -- who released another.
Bob Matthews, at Fisherman s Den in Belmar Marina, has seen some large fluke coming in on the party boats there, while his rental boat customers are catching lots of shorts in Shark River when weed isn t a problem along with a good shot at keepers up to 5 pounds. SOUTH JERSEY Jim Hutchinson Sr. reports for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association that there are some keepers among the short fluke in the inlet plus small blues in the same area.
The 33rd annual 2-Day Sandy Hook Bay Anglers Fluke Tournament will be held at the Atlantic Highlands Municipal Harbor on July 12 and 13 -- after the July 11, 7 p. m. captains meeting in the Senior Citizens Building. Though Capt. Chris De Stefano said they wasted a lot of time Saturday fighting a blue marlin for two hours on 80-pound tackle in Hudson Canyon when that species didn't count in the Manasquan River Marlin Runa Club's Jack Meyer Memorial Tuna Trolling Tournament, Frank Criscola's Crisdel is leading the contest with a 135-pound bigeye boated Monday when his son Michael took the boat further south.
Capt. Bobby Bogan said the south wind also hurt his fluking the last two days on his Gambler out of Point Pleasant. Capt. Butch Egerter is filling the three sea bass per man limit currently allowed along with ling and some flounders on his Dauntless from Point Pleasant.