Bluefish are overdue by the standards of recent springs, and I still didn’t have any confirmed reports from shore fishing sources as of this morning. Yet, while checking the striper report of the Golden Eagle from Belmar this afternoon there was a mention of a bluefish blitz on the Manasquan Inlet jetties. I’ll be checking that out tomorrow!
The Golden Eagle did boat a couple of keeper stripers and lost a few others — which was still better than previous trips and provides some hope for tomorrow.
I made my first surf attempt of the year in the morning at Sea Girt, but the surf was rough and there were no hits. A couple of other anglers there did likewise. Jim Louro of Spring Lake took a look at his local surf and switched to Shark River. The water was fine there, but he and Frank Manzi had no hits. Capt. Chrid Di Stefano of Wall lost a fish that hit a lure in the river during the week, and saw a fly fisherman catch a small bass.
Jerry Lasko and Maren Tolano of Point Pleasant combined for 10 small stripers this morning at Island Beach State Park though conditions weren’t good. The switch to west winds should improve surf conditions over the next few days.
Castaway’s Tackle in Point Pleasant is now open after a winter renovation took longer than expected. Joe Melillo said flounder fishing has been good at both ends of Point Pleasant Canal, and some stripers are also being caught in the canal.
Blackfish anglers are running out of time as that season closes at the end of the month. Bottom fishing party boats will be concentrating on them tomorrow.
Trolling was once again the best bet for stripers in Raritan Bay. Capt. Rob Semkewyc said he had some shorts and keepers on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, but not nearly enough. On the other hand, outdoor writer Nick Honachefsky made a late morning trip on Bunkertown, a Contender from Shrewsbury River, after the fog lifted enough for safe navigation. They had a good bite on mo-jos, with chartreuse being the hot color. There was a mixture of sizes, but a 41.8-pounder reeled in by George Marc-Aurele was by far the largest. She was weighed on a hand scale before being released to spawn in the Hudson River within a couple of weeks.