the big bass never hit, and that fishing was a tough pick as Nellie Greer of Bethlehem, Pa. and local bass pro Matt Calabria joined Many and I in releasing five stripers. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina reports fishing for fluke in the river continues to be good, with plenty of action and enough keepers to keep interest high.
If this weekend's results are any indication, there should be some great mako shark fishing coming up next weekend in the Shore's biggest shark tournament -- Mako Mania. The Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association's 29th anniversary Mako Mania is expected to award over 150,000 in prize money when it's contested out of Crystal Point Yacht Club in Point Pleasant.
Capt. Russ Binns fished Barnegat Bay earlier in the week with his Mar-Lin from Toms River, and had fine popping for small blues near the Seaside Bridge. Capt. Joe Massa anchored in the back of the bay to pick though bluefish to get a bass on bunker from his My Three Sons out of Morgan Marina.
The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant hasn't been out during the day the last few days, and Capt. Dave Riback said Thursday's Magic Hours trip was a flop with very few bunkers for bait and no stripers. Capt. Sal Cursi says Raritan Bay is still loaded with stripers and blues, and expects to be able to make his day there tomorrow.
Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, said he tried casting for blues in Manasquan River early in the morning, but was driven off by the cool east wind. Capt. Jim McFarland, of Big Mac from Green Harbor, Ma.
After yesterday's fine striper fishing in Raritan Bay, especially with poppers, it looked as if they might get the action they needed -- until the totally unpredicted east wind started howling. A brief attempt at chunking in Shrewsbury River didn't produce any action before the crew had to come in to film interviews -- just as the wind was moderating enough that we might have been able to search for those massive bunker schools in the bay before Knie had to move on to Montauk for another segment tomorrow.
Sure enough, Pepe hooked up on a live bunker during the first drift in the mouth of Raritan Bay and soon was jumping for joy as Many weighed his bass at 32 pounds. After first catching a big blue, I then added releases of a bass in the 20-25-pound class, and another of 28 pounds that provided a spectacular strike -- while the others were catching bass and blues on bunkers.
The intermittent showers predicted turned out to be steady in the morning, and Matraxia got so soaked through that he opted to head back to Keyport, drive to a K-Mart for all new dry clothing plus rain gear -- and then return to Brown's Marina for an afternoon trip on Cole's Parker along with Emil Pavalac of Rutherford, Dennis Tarnoski from Byrum and I. Capt. Lou Grazioso also joined us. Fortunately, the wind dropped out and the rain stayed away as Cole and Grazioso steered us into stripers on live bunkers at the mouth of the bay where they'd had big trips on Sunday.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc had a good pick of big blues in Raritan Bay today, but no bass -- and will switch his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands to fluke next weekend. Bob Correll of Bay Head and I joined Mike Heaney of Allenwood for a late afternoon bass trip out of Crystal Point Yacht club, but we never saw a bunker flip on the way north.
Mickey Sweeney of Howell stopped by Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant after catching some blues on bunker baits in Bay Head. At Seaside Park, Betty Nick's noted lots of blues and some bass being caught on bait along with others on metal.