HRFA Fred Rung Striper Release Tournament coming up

NOTE: On Thursday April 15th all Derby registrants will receive an email invitation to attend a ZOOM meeting to be held that night at 7:00pm. The purpose is to review rules and answer any questions. Attendance is not mandatory but if you never fished the Derby before you may find it helpful.
On Friday April 16th, around 8:00pm, everyone entered in the Derby will get an email with their own 3-digit Derby Number. That number is unique for each angler and MUST be visible in any photo submitted for review by the judges. Do NOT show your name in the photo or it will be disqualified.
Entry photographs are to be emailed to:
Remember this is strictly a “no kill” derby. Catch, Photo & Releaseand/orCatch, Tag, Photo and THEN Release.
To register by US Postal Service, print and complete the Entry Form below. (Entry Form also available on the website at Then mail it, along with your check made payable to “The HRFA”, to our address:
H.R.F.A.PO Box 421Cresskill, NJ 07626

Party boats are still trying to break through with stripers. Capt. Rob Semkewyz gouldn’t even get a hit Saturday on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands despite using lures, bunker and clam. The only fish he saw caught were by trollers, and even they weren’t doing much.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar did well with blackfish yesterday, including a “slob” they estimated at 14 pounds. Their customers may have to take up a collection to buy them a scale.

A small craft advisory is up through Monday afternoon. The morning forecast is for northeast winds at 15-20 knots with gusts to 25 and likely showers.

Tough start for party boat stripers

Though charter boats have been doing well with Raritan Bay striped bass, initia[ party boat reports were negative.

At Atlantic Highlands, the Sea Hunter started on Friday and quickly found some marks to which Tsunami Shads were cast. Two were hooked, and a good one boated — but that was it. They also tried bait later with no action. The Fishermen got started today and reported poor tide conditions especially when a east wind came up later in the trip. They marked some fish that would’t hit.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar once again saw stripers, but couldn’t get a hit. However, there was an interesting development in the ocean as they caught a few mackerel. They won;t be fishing the next two days.

Also at Belmar, the Big Mohawk reported several blackfish limits on Friday along with lots of shorts.

There’s a chance of showers after midnight, but Sunday starts with southeast winds of only 5-10 knots before increasing to 10-15 with gusts to 20 later.

Fine spring fishing weather continues

The unusual run of light winds and mild weather continues into the weekend with southeast winds at just 5-10 knots predicted for Saturday.

While ftriper fishing remains hot in Raritan Bay, this could be the first weekend of striper fishing in the ocean. The Golden Eagle from Belmar has reported seeing and reading them though they haven’t started biting. All it might take is a slight increase in water temperature.

Blackfishing seems to be improving steadily at Belmar for the Big Mohawk, which had an angler with a limit yesterday, and Ocean Explorer (see photo).

Chuck Many had a fine striper bite during a late afternooon to night trip on Ty Man from Highlands as his crew tagged and released bass from 22 unches up to a 32-pounder on both live bunkers and chunks in Raritan Bay.

First sea bass report

The first sea bass report I’ve received indictates that the ocean is finally warming up after a frigid winter. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported seeing stripers, though they wouldn’t hit. They then caught some blackfish and ling plus short sea bass during a calm, warm day.

Also at Belmar, the Ocean Explorer reported yesterday wasn;t as good as Tuesday, though some blackfish were caught including one close to 10 pounds. The Big Mohawk is also catching blackfish on a daily schedule.

Capt. Jim Freda said both his morning and afternoon trips a cpouple of days ago on Shore Catch were a grind, but large stripers were caught with light St. Croix tackle by casting plugs and

Stripers turn onto ho-jos

Capt. Vinnie Vetere reported that Raritan Bay striped bass turned onto the ho-jos he constructs this morning after the previous morning was very poor.

Vetere fished aboard Bobby Diesel’s outboard as they trolled 16 stripers up to a 31-pounder.Vetere’s Katfish from Great Kills isn’t in the water yet, but should be ready to charter within the month.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar read stripers in the ocean yesterday, but they wouldn’t hit. Bait was present on a beautiful day as they did end up boating two cod and releasing some shorts.

Also at Belmar, the Ocean Explorer found lots of life on bottom that produced some blackfish and a few cod to keep.

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den said mostly short blackfish are hitting in the inlet, and flounder fishing was better at the L Street Pier, with sandworms being the best bait. A few short tripers have been caught in the inlet and on the beaches.

John Bushell Jr. did his fiirst morning video from Betty & Nick’s Tackle in Seaside Park this morning when it was calm and cold. Cold waters are holding back the fishing, but the shop is well stocked with bait.

Capt. Arthur Stokes has had reports of tuna being caught in Hudson Canyon already.

The fishing weather continues great with northeast winds tomorrow at just 5 knots before switching to southeast.

Ty Man chunks largest spring bass after slow start

Chuck Many said chunking in Raritan Bay from Ty Man got off to a slow start before they ended up with seven releases topped by a 37-pounder by Alyssa Katyan.– their largest so far this spring. Wednesday’s forecast is great, with a mere 5 knots from the northeast.

Tank Matraxia fished out of the Jupiter, Fl. area today as he and Kenny Fisher got into small snook while Tank also lost a small tarpon at boatside.

Golden Eagle will seek ocean stripers tomorrow

Though striped bass have been solid in Raritan Bay since last week, there’s been no word about them from the ocean so far. The Golden Eagle from Belmar has observed bait close to shore, and will be leaving at 7:30 in what should be good weather conditions for an effort to locate ocean stripers right around the time they often up at areas such as Shrewsbury Rocks. Reservations are still required.

The forecast is for northwest winds at 10-15 knots which drop to 5-10 during the morning and switch to southwest late..

Sea Hunter to provide Atlantic Highlands party boat striper fishing on April 9

Striped bass fishing is already solid in Raritan Bay, and charter boats are taking advantage of it. However, party boat anglers have to wait until April 9 before the Sea Hunter begins sailing daily from Atlantic Highlands with a new time of 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar had flat seas and mild weather for Saturday’s trip which produced some blackfish and cod plus short tog from mostly lively bottoms. They plan to sail on Monday, when the forecast is for northwest winds at 15-20 knots, but sunny and warm.

Andras Toy from Keyport reported 20 stripers up to a 34-incher caught in Raritan Bay on Saturday.

The most unusual party boat reports I’ve ever seen are posted on Facebook by the Morning Star out of Ocean City, Maryland. That boat has such a great reputation for catching outsized blackfish that Capt. Monty Hawkins can be brutally honest about the odds of catching them as follows in his latest announcement:

“Luvs you some misery? Have to get out even though tog fishing is but a shade of it’s former glory? Yes, I’m Going toggin – but with a boat limit far more restrictive than State regs and NO expectation of great fishing. Tog Trips in April 2021 will have a 2 Tog at 16 inches boat limit. Of those two, only one may be a female. That’s less than half the state’s limit. I’ve needed to do this for some while. It’s a Boat Limit – aboard My Boat. It’s NOT A State or Fed Regulation Change! 
This fishery is tough getting tougher. Skunks happen on a daily basis. Even with incredibly skilled anglers aboard – goose eggs! But here we go.. The tug is the drug. 
April 4th & 5th – Sunday & Monday – Tog Only – 2 Fish Limit of which One may be Female – Have shrimp and some crabs for boat bait – my crew has some whites for sale – both trips 7 to 3 – 12 anglers sells out @ $125.00 each. Anticipate tough fishing! 
Released Tog Count In Our Pool. We go by LENGTH. No Live Tog Leave The Boat. All Kept Tog Will Be Bled. 
Reservations Required at 443-235-5577
Tog (Blackfish) Trips Only – Allowed zero sea bass. They’re closed now.

Weather Cancellations Happen – I Make Every Attempt To Let Clients Sleep In If The Weather’s Not Going Our Way..
Be a half hour early! We always leave early!
..except when someone shows up right on time.
Clients arriving late will see the west end of an east-bound boat.
With a limited number of reserved spots, I do not refund because you
overslept or had a flat.

Bait is provided on all trips: Shrimp & green crabs for tog. (Whites Are USUALLY available from crew for a reasonable cost…) 
I have always encouraged releasing female tog; any keeper, really, that’s in good shape. Those who respect the fishery know what they need to do. 
If You Won’t Measure & Count Your Fish, The State Will Provide A Man With A Gun To Do It For You. We Measure & Count — ALWAYS — No Exceptions!

It’s Simple To Prevent Motion Sickness, Difficult To Cure. Bonine seems best because it’s non-drowsy. It’s truly cheap & effective insurance.Honestly – If you get to go on the ocean once month, once a year, or
even less; why risk chumming all day? Similarly, if you howl at the
moon all night, chances are good you’ll howl into a bucket all day.

Bring A Cooler With Ice For Your Fish – A 48 Quart Cooler Is Fine For
A Few People. Do Not Bring A Very Large Cooler. We DO have a few
loaners – you’ll still need ice.
No Galley! Bring Food & Beverages To Suit. A few beers in cans is fine for the ride home.

Except in high-summer, waterproof boots are almost a necessity unless fishing the bow – sneakers will ruin your day when the water is cold! While some rarely, or never, wear gloves for fishing, you’d not likely see me fishing this time of year w/o at least the half-finger wool gloves. Tuck a “hot hands” warmer in the palm and life is good..”

Fishing weather looks good for Sunday

Striper fishing is improving every day in Raritan Bay, and anglers have a fine weather forecast coming up for Sunday with west winds of just 5-10 knots going to southwest during the day.

Andreas Toy from Keyport posted on Facebook that they had fine light tackle jigging for over 30 stripers up to a 30-incher in the bay on Friday.

Stripers are showing up in other places as Roger Burnley proved Tuesday as he caught three bass to 25 inches casting from his kayak at night near the Manasquan River railroad bridge.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar got offshore on Friday when it was windy and cold, but found lots of life on bottom even if most of it was from bergalls. They did boat some blackfish, cod and ling while releasing short tog.

Raritan Bay stripers best bet for stripers

Striped bass have flooded into Raritan Bay right on schedule and should provide a solid bite well into the next two months.

Capt. Joe Massa fished Thursday morning with his My Three Sons from Morgan Marina and found lots of marks in the back of the bay which provided 10 school stripers up to a 30-incher on small plugs cast with light spinning tackle. Bigger bass are turning onto bunker chunking — and should also be responding to live bunkers and trolling lures such as bunker spoons and mo-jos.

The blackfish season is open in N.J. and some cod and ling are also available offshore. The Golden Eagle from Belmar begins their daily schedule of bottom fishing on Saturday.

The marine forecast is for northwest winds at 15-20 knots with gusts to 25 before dropping to 5-10 knots later.