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.
Yet, there's reason to expect good action simply because the bunker schools returned this week and many large stripers have been taken by boaters all along the Shore. Castaways also reports good flounder fishing in the Point Pleasant Canal area.
Capt. Rob Semkowyc has been jigging a mix of short and keeper bass plus large blues on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, though every day is completely different as he's fished from Raritan Bay to as far east as Debs Inlet. The huge 2011 Chesapeake Bay year class should be providing a lot of small bass along the coast, but I never saw any until Tuesday while fishing with Chuck Many of Annandale on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands.
Bob Correll of Bay Head joined Mike Heaney of Allendale on his 32-foot Sea Vee, Four Reel, from Crystal Point in Point Pleasant along with Joe Holl and Joe Farrell from Ramsey as they worked bunker schools Tuesday morning from Bay Head to Seaside and caught 11 bass averaging 18 pounds and up to a 41-incher. Joe Melillo, of Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant, caught a short bass on metal in the Bay Head surf on Tuesday and lost another.
The Golden Eagle only noted that it ran north from Belmar for lots of big blues on jigs plus stripers up to a 25-pounder. At Twin Lights Marina in Highlands, Gene Graman of Middletown reported poor eeling this afternoon from his That's It as only one 27-inch bass was released in Sandy Hook Channel even though bait was pouring out to sea.
The Jamaica is also leaving earlier for stripers this Monday to Thursday at 6 a. m. -- and has added an afternoon sailing from 2 to 8 p. m. those days The Shore has produced few stripers the last several days, but Capt. Rob Semkewyc ran east the last two days with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported making a long run to get into some keeper bass plus blues on Saturday, but on Sunday it was mostly shorts and many fewer blues.
Surf reports were also bleak, but there was one positive report from Dave Lilly of Hazlet who got into loads of big bluefish in the middle of Raritan Bay while trolling Tony Maja bunker spoons. Vaughm Kelly beached a 29 3 8-pound striper on an SP Minnow in the park a couple of days ago.