The 2018 New Jersey Marine Digest has been provided to tackle shops around the state, and can be picked up free of charge. All of the year’s regulations are included except for sea bass which was settled after publication. The sea bass season opens on May 15, and the Jamaica from Brielle has scheduled 10-hour Marathon trips for the first two days. The cost is $78, and reservations are required. Call 732 528-5014.
The striped bass situation in Raritan Bay didn’t change today as it remained tough for party boat fishing, but private and charter boats fishing with live bunkers do well.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc said he only had a few keepers today on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, though the readings he had on his third drop were the best of the season. Yet, they didn’t get a bite on them.
Chuck Many only fished a half-day with his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands, but Rob Rommel and Mike Greene helped in releasing 20 stripers which included bass of 24, 28, 29, 32 and 38 pounds.
After Capt. Jim Freda got everyone excited about the start of the inshore jumbo bluefish run when his Saturday afternoon charter on Shore Catch Charters from Point Pleasant caught 15 by casting SP Minnows in Manasquan River. However, the following morning there were no bites on the cold incoming tide. John Wasnewski of Jackson was aboard late this afternoon along with your reporter as there were decent water temperatures in the mid-fifties during the ebb — but the blues were missing. John and the skipper at least each got a hit. None of the other boats caught anything either. Normally there’s a steady build-up of blues after the first catches, and Freda will be ready for them when they start biting again. Call him at 732 762-0870. Capt. Dave De Gennaro of Hi Flier at Barnegat found the same thing Sunday in his bay, even where water temperatures were over 60 degrees,
Jerry Lasko of Point Pleasant caught a blue on his first cast into the Manasquan this morning, but his popper didn’t raise another fish.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park only heard of a few blues in northern Barnegat Bay over the weekend. Anglers reported they were sluggish, rather than attacking poppers.
Bob Mathews, at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina, reports the Asbury Park Fishing Club, led by Gene Amato’s 17-pound striper, won the Spring Lake Live Liners Spring Tournament over the weekend with 64 points. The Live Liners were second with 24 points, and the other clubs didn’t score. Matthews says Shark River is loaded with fluke up to 24 inches prior to the season opening.