Anglers in New England have been experiencing a much more serious decline in their striper fisheries than has been the case locally, as the Hudson River spawning stock has been providing us with fine spring fisheries in Raritan Bay the last two years even as the later coastal migration coming up from Chesapeake Bay has been disappointing. Haertel found good variety fishing Saturday at wrecks not far offshore for fluke, sea bass and dolphin.
At Point Pleasant, the Cock Robin will be sailing for big blues at 7 30 a. m., as will the Queen Mary for blues and bonito. The Jamaica from Brielle has cancelled the morning bluefish trip, but will sail for night blues at 7 30 p. m. Check web sites to determine what other boats may be doing.
It may be slightly better tomorrow, but only fishable in protected waters. The Cock Robin from Point Pleasant has cancelled for tomorrow, and Elaine B. II from Highlands won't start fluking again until Thursday.
Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, reported stripers in the local surf during the beginning of the northeast. Prospects in the surf for tomorrow may not be as good as the ocean has become quite rough and stronger winds are predicted.
The red hot surf fluke bite continued today in Seaside Park and Island Beach State Park as both Grumpy's and Betty Nick's reported lots of keepers being hooked on bucktails tipped with 4-inch Gulp plus a teaser above the jig with another Gulp. Joe Daley e-mailed me about a similar hot fluke bite in the Sea Bright surf, but those flatties were in the 10-to-14-inch class.
Anglers fishing the surf at Island Beach State Park are enjoying the special zone created by the state that allows them to keep two fluke at a minimum of 16 inches. In Seaside Park, Betty Nick's Tackle had a video of Jon Velez with fluke of 4 1 4 and 5 pounds -- and he said he caught them among 30 fluke in the surf.
Capt. Stan Zagleski said he had good fluke drifting conditions most of the day as some fares had multiple keepers on Elaine B II from Highlands. Betty Nick's in Seaside Park reported lots of fluke being caught in the surf.
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife (Division) has scheduled three hearings to gather public comment on Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Draft Addendum IV to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Draft Addendum proposes new fishing mortality (F) reference points, as recommended by the 2013 benchmark stock assessment, and associated management measures to reduce F to a level at or below the proposed target within one or three years.
Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst said there was plenty of action as he fished today in Swash and Sandy Hook channels with Capt. Kevin Cole out of Brown's in Keyport. The surf was down, and conditions were better this morning at Sea Girt, but I couldn't raise a thing on a popper after having released a short striper yesterday morning.