Bluefish have been very late in arriving compared to recent years, but there’s been enough action in Manasquan River to say they’re worth pursuing. I’ve been checking the river , inlet and canal the last couple of days and have only seen two blues caught so far. The trick seems to be not being where I am. I’ve been hearing of better action before or after my appearances. Capt. Jim Freda got into blues from Shore Catch in Manasquan River yesterday evening — and the blues were in only two-foot depths. Joe Melillo at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant got into heavy bluefish action last evening on shad lures and Kettle Creek jigs in the canal.
It was a tough day for party boats in Raritan Bay. Capt. Rob Semkewyc said he watched trollers catching stripers near his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands. He started with shads, but only two shorts were caught. That was the same result after anchoring to fish bait. It was the first trip this season without a keeper. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported reading bass, but they wouldn’t hit. They are chartered Friday.
Capt. John Kolias got a late start Thursday due to the fog, but got into a few keepers at anchor after live baiting didn’t produce for his party on Reel Fun from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park weighed their largest surf striper of the season — a 42.5-inch, 27.7-pounder on a bunker chunk in Island Beach State Park by Polish Al. Chris Allen weighed a 26-inch, 9.05-pound black drum. Betty & Nick’s reported a quick shot of big blues in the surf yesterday.