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When I joined Capt. Erwin Heinrich this morning on his Scales N Tales from Twin Lights Marina in Highands, I didn't expect to see many boats in Raritan Bay during a weekday on the coldest morning of the year with a continuing northwest wind gusting to  25 mph. Yet there were lots of small boats chasing birds and breaking fish -- plus the Golden Eagle and Miss Belmar Princess from the Shore. Heinrich had invited Jim Hutchinson and John De Bona from The Fisherman magazine plus Jerry Gomber of Folsom wholesale fishing tackle, and I to do some of the exciting run-and-gun casting and jigging for stripers that is a special feature of the fall migratory run.  Gomber got things started in spectacular fashion when Heinrich stopped his Contender on bait readings and near a whale in mid-bay by tempting a 36 1/2-inch striper to hit a Tsunami Shad.  Further west in the bay there were many more birds, but the bass were fussy -- and the traffic didn't help. We ended up doing best by casting Tsunami Talkin poppers whenever the bass came up. Several in the 30-inch class were caught along with others that would have been slot size -- and there were few small schoolies. The party boats had similar reports of many keepers and slots in their catches. The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands had a 20-pound striper boated by Ray Frawley of Pompton Plains. Capt Joe Massa of My Three Sons from Morgan Marina had ex-Assemblyman Guy Talarico out with him as they used shads to catch eight bass, including three keepers, on the N.Y. side of the bay during a short trip. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had a striper special, and found lots of bird life in the ocean, but no stripers. There were loads of spike weakfish on jigs, but few of them barely made the 13-inch minimum. There were also pound-size blues and a few little tunny. A lone bonito won the pool. Tony Arcabascio of Bayville reports that his #4 green Tony Maja bunker spoon trolled up a 48-pound striper Sunday in 60 feet off Seaside for Dan De Pasquale. The Jamaica from Brielle has three spots left on Friday's 5 p.m. canyon tuna trip. Call 732 528-5014. Vinny D'Anton of Wall saw one bass caught on a popper early in the morning at Manasquan, but that was it in the surf all the way up to Belmar where there were whales putting on a show in bunker schools not too far offshore.

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Latest NJ Weakfish Reports

  • 2017-06-08 Captain Ron Atlantic Highlands

    Found some better action today with nice keeper Fluke.  Capt. Ron Sr. did his thing and I even managed to wet a line and land a nice 4 pound fish. Had two Weakfish in the mix with a couple blues also. 
  • 2017-02-16 Ristori Bay Head

    NOAA Fisheries issued a warning to New Jersey fishermen a few years ago warning them that they'd better learn how to fish for red drum as climate change would be sending southern species further to the north. There was no indication in the NOAA Fisheries prediction that the fisheries scientists there are aware that the Central Jersey Shore was the place to be for red drum anglers a century ago -- and that their reappearance would only be a return to the norm of a hundred years ago.
  • 2017-02-02 Ristori Bay Head

    The ASMFC meeting in Virginia finally came up with a summer flounder regulation for 2017, but NJ DEP Commissioner Bob Martin is standing fast in insisting on status quo regulations pending completion of a new baseline summer flounder stock assessment which many expect will show that species is in much better condition than outdated statistics presently indicate. com shore blogs fishing or updates on the fluke situation as well as other species involved at the ASMFC meeting.
  • 2017-02-01 Ristori Bay Head

    Commissioner Martin will be testifying at 8 tomorrow morning before the ASMFC meeting in Virginia -- and seems prepared to go out of compliance if necessary. I'll have more about this tomorrow.
  • 2017-01-30 Ristori Bay Head

    There were a few legal blackfish and some shorts, but the Ocean Explorer is expecting better results offshore in lighter winds on Tuesday. Sunday's porgy fishing on the Jamaica from Brielle was slower than expected due to strong currents, but there were catches of up to 25 to 30 scup along with a few ling -- and several weakfish.
  • 2017-01-07 Ristori Bay Head

    The redfish were around the docks both N and S of the Ft. Pierce Inlet most were undersized, but we did catch a couple of slot fish as we fought our way through the sheepshead to get to them. I was able to get out the inlet and fish along the inshore reefs and had 2 days of great fishing.
  • 2016-12-09 Ristori Bay Head

    Following are preliminary results of the Beach N Boat Tournament 2016 Top Anglers CONGRATULATIONS to All Beach N Boat Anglers!2 BLACK DRUM Place Angler Weight First Place Luke Dombrowski 74 Second Place Denise Theiler 52.
  • 2016-11-03 Ristori Bay Head

    The Hi-Mar Striper Club's Fall 40-hour Bob Kamienski Striped Bass Tournament ended up with good weather last weekend after being postponed the previous weekend due to gale warnings. The striper tournament season concludes this weekend with the Staten Island Tuna Club's Big Bass Shootout from Saturday night through Sunday.
  • 2016-10-27 Ristori Bay Head

    That's especially the case in Raritan Bay where the sky is often full of birds working on peanut bunkers being pushed to the surface by stripers of various sizes, When I was out there Wednesday with Capt. Irwin Heinrich on his Scales N Tales out of Twin Lights Marina in Highlands, there was lots of small boat traffic in a gusty and very cold north wind -- and then that fleet was joined by the Golden Eagle from Belmar, Miss Belmar Princess, and the Queen Mary from Point Pleasant. In November 2015, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) petitioned the Mid-Atlantic Council to designate 13 artificial reef sites as SMZs under provisions of Amendment 9 to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan.
  • 2016-10-26 Ristori Bay Head

    When I joined Capt. Erwin Heinrich this morning on his Scales N Tales from Twin Lights Marina in Highands, I didn't expect to see many boats in Raritan Bay during a weekday on the coldest morning of the year with a continuing northwest wind gusting to 25 mph. Gomber got things started in spectacular fashion when Heinrich stopped his Contender on bait readings and near a whale in mid-bay by tempting a 36 1 2-inch striper to hit a Tsunami Shad.

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