The 31-pounder was caught on bunker chunks cast from Union Beach. Though stripers exploded on cast and trolled lures this week for boaters, that was also the first report I've received of a striper hitting bunker despite the fact that bunkers have been abundant in Raritan Bay for a couple of weeks.
Wind gusts to 40 and 50 mph are forecast from Saturday night into Sunday. Friday's winds appear to have kept party boats in port, but Capt. Fred Gamboa trolled stripers in Raritan Bay -- just as he's been doing for three days with Andrea's Toy from Keyport.
Mackerel are in local waters during the spring for the first time in many years, though there's a question as to whether it's a real spring run. Capt. Jimmy Elliott has been working on scattered schools of mackerel since the winter, and put his fares on the Golden Eagle from Belmar Wednesday into five-gallon buckets of them during Wednesday's trip.