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.
Tuesday was the first day of fall, and an appropriate time for Chuck Many of Annandale to kick off Raritan Bay autumn striped bass fishing with his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands. Dave Lilly of Hazlet won or placed in almost every fluke tournament this year, but he only caught a short while fishing in Ambrose Channel on Sunday with Walt Wojcik of Hazlet on his Nancy Lee from Lentze Marina before hooking the big one -- a large green turtle that fortunately shook off his rig.
I didn't hear of anything from striper anglers there, and I was happy when an 18-inch bluefish hit my tactical Anglers Bomb Jr. popper in the wash before the northeast wind got too strong. It will be a new ball game after the storm if the forecast of strong east winds and heavy rain is correct.
The first day of fall was an appropriate time to begin serious fishing for striped bass -- and it worked out fine for Chuck Many of Annandale on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands. The only variety was one blue of about 4 pounds, a small sea bass during a brief attempt at worming, and a dogfish just before we quit.
Allen Riley of South Plainfield tried plugging before daylight at Sea Bright, but only hooked small blues that then hit metal after daylight. Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reports fluking in the surf is still good, and small blues are being caught on both mullet and metal.