Sorry for the delay in getting this out, but there was a problem with the system and my original blog was lost earlier tonight.
Though the striper fishery in the back of Raritan Bay is well-established, there are days when they don't bite well. Casters should be ready with jigs such as the 5-inch Tsunami Shad in pearl white, and Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow plugs. Trolling with stretch plugs and Mo-Jos has been most effective if you enjoy that method.
The New York Marine District striped bass season opens Saturday. Keep in mind if you go over the line that the N.Y. limit is just one striper at a 28-inch minimum.
The ocean should be exploding with stripers at any moment, but it hasn't happened so far. Tagged Fish from Highlands got into big bass on the way offshore for bottom fishing on Thursday, but only had an early shot at them Friday. The Golden Eagle from Belmar saw some big bass on top early Friday, but only marked them later in the trip as a couple up to 33 inches were boated. Those boats will be looking for stripers Saturday along with Miss Belmar Princess and the Jamaica from Brielle.
There's been some blackfish action in the ocean for boats from Belmar. The Big Mohawk reported good fishing, and will sail at 6 a.m. Saturday before resting Easter Sunday. The Ocean Explorer had a slow pick Thursday, but one angler caught three.
Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, says anglers are limiting on winter flounder with worms and clams.
Grumpy's Tackle in Seaside Park reported a 30-inch catch & release striper on clams in the surf early. More exciting was the report of bunker in the surf later in the day. One was snagged and chunked before a young lady released a 28-inch bass on a chunk.