The unseasonably warm weather seemed to turn on both surf stripers and fishermen. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, said there was a big turnout of surfcasters in Ocean County waters this morning, and they found lots of small stripers hitting a variety of lures.
For throwing heavy pencil poppers to large stripers in the spring, I change the reel over to a 9-foot, one-piece Seeker rod. The one rod I use for almost everything while boat fishing is the Tsunami LSW706C, a 7-foot, extra-heavy model that I can cast with light sinkers and jigs -- or with adult bunkers and sinkers heavy enough to hold in Ambrose Channel.
Capt. Stan Zagleski has been shut down by high winds and sub-freezing temperatures, but resumes daily blackfishing Thursday with his Elaine B. from Bahrs in Highlands. One angler took the water temperature at 42 degrees in the morning and 41 in the afternoon.
I did a lot of blind casting into the rough surf with a Run-Off Sand Eel jig and a teaser with the short, slim Tsunami Sand Eel teaser that had been productive yesterday morning. That teaser provided me with three small bass on long casts into the rough surf.
I hooked a small bass on a Run-Off Sand eel jig on my first cast this morning at Bay Head, but my second cast produced a massive wind knot. I returned to the beach to add six more releases on a slim Tsunami Sand Eel rigged as a teaser.
To summerize Today's huge waves made surfcasting virtually impossible, but the west wind should knock that sea down and clear the surf over the next couple of days. At Brielle, Capt. Howard Bogan said Saturday's far offshore wreck trip on his Jamaica produced sea bass limits for all plus porgy limits for some.
Earlier I had talked to fly rod pro Bill Massey at another spot in Bay Head after he had managed to catch a small bass on fly while casting into the increasing northeast wind. Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reported small bass being caught in that area on metal and teasers.
Capt. Howard Bogan will be sailing his Jamaica from Brielle to the far offshore wrecks for jumbo sea bass and porgies almost every day the rest of the month before federal waters are closed to sea bass fishing on Jan. 1. Chuck Many of Annandale made his first winter trip to Cape Charles, Virginia last week as he and Nellie Greer of Bethlehem, Pa. only picked a few stripers with live eels on Many s Tyman but two of the big bass they seek(42 and 47 pounds) were included.