The ocean was still very rough when I cast into the Mantoloking surf at dusk, and there was no sign of bass where I'd had some action the previous evening. It was calm back there in the evening, but there was no sign of bait or bass.
The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands had good action with short bass. Joe Melillo reports from Castaway's Tackle in Point Pleasant that Gerald CeCe released seven short bass from dark to first light this morning at Mantoloking.
Capt. Russ Binns tried jigging and casting in a big fleet off Seaside, but didn't do anything except hook a few small stripers before switching to trolling shad rigs. I cast both morning and evening in the Point Pleasant surf without a hit Capt. Rob Semkewyc did a lot of running with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, but the bird life that had been abundant was down.
Though daytime surfcasting remains very picky, there has been some action with mostly short bass in the dark -- particularly around the high tides. Joe Melillo, at Castaway's Tackle in Point Pleasant, got into a few bass Thursday night at Bay Head, and said everyone fishing from there to Mantoloking seemed to do well on plugs.
Though there were no large splashes, I made a few casts with the 5-ounce Tactical Anglers Sea Pencil and was surprised to hook a bass just short of 28 inches. We had sand eels between the channels then, and Quon with his friends from Brooklyn jigged lots of bass in the teens and twenties when they sailed on Sheri Berri at dawn under a canopy of birds before trollers put the bass down.
Gary Quon, of Tady Lure Co. in California, is in N. J. to test his jigs on our stripers, so Capt. Hans Kaspersetz and I made a special effort to get him out this afternoon in between gale warnings on Sheri Berri from Baker's Marina on the Bay in Highlands. We found lots of bird action off the Highlands Bridge, but had already heard from Capt. Rob Semkewyc on the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands that there were only fussy short stripers under them.
With all the NW wind the surf should be flat calm tomorrow, but that wind will also blow the water off shallow beaches. There were lots of sea bass and jumbo porgies Sunday along with a few cod and pollock, two triggerfish and a lobster.
Joe Melillo, at Castaway's Tackle in Point Pleasant, weighed several surf stripers from Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Gerald CeCe of Point Pleasant plugged two of 12 1 2 and 19 1 2 pounds in Bay Head.
Tady jigs worked fine as that boat fished to the east, but only blues and short bass cooperated -- with just a couple of keeper bass on the boat. He noted that unless we get a run of sand eels and a shot of migrating bass from the north this could be the worst fall fishery in memory.
Bob Longo of Brick had a 14-pounder plugging at Manasquan, and Jesse Shore from Point Pleasant caught a 12 5 8-pound bass on a teaser at Bay Head. Bob Matthews, at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina, reported lots of bass caught by boaters while surfcasters cast plugs and teasers at night to hook shorts plus a few keepers up to 15 pounds.