It was another tough day with striped bass in Raritan Bay for party boats, but trollers did much better. Indeed, Capt. Paul Regula of Bounty Hunter from Point Pleasant said he had his best trip of the season as 34 bass from 30 to 41 inches were trolled on Mo-Jo’s.
Capt. Vinny Vetere has been doing very well mixing up trolling his Ho-Jo’s from Katfish out of Great Kills plus live-baiting bunker. However, stripers were scattered in the back of the bay today and wouldn’t hit live bunkers. Trolling produced a pick of bass up to about 25 pounds, but with only one doubleheader.
At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Ron Santee said the fishing has been “beyond tough.” Even bunker chunks haven’t been working on his Fishermen. Normally striper fishermen would be cursing at bluefish eating striper baits, but they’d be welcomed now. Santee hasn’t seen one in the bay or ocean though they are two weeks late.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc failed to find a keeper bass yesterday for the first time this season on his Sea Hunter, but did get one today. On the first drop there was a pick of shorts, but it died out with the tide — and they never got the current back.
Tony Arcabascio, manufacturer of Tony Maja bunker spoons and other tackle for big stripers. caught his first bass of the year behind his home in Bayville. Business has been so good that he hasn’t been able to get out for the big stripers. Oh well, that bass will be big sometime in the future.
At Seaside Park, there was some good news from Grumpy’s Tackle of one angler catching blues from 5 to 10 pounds on bunker chunks locally Thursday night. Bait produced most of the bass and some blues caught in the surf yesterday.
Jim Louro of Spring Lake had intended to fish his local surf this morning, but I told him I had met an angler who had recorded the water temperature there as 43 degrees after yesterday afternoon’s hard south wind. Switching to Shark River, he caught 3 cocktail blues and 3 stripers up to 19 inches.