The New Jersey sea bass season opens Tuesday, giving bottom fishing party boats a target for the first time since the tautog season closed at the end of April.  Some will be leaving earlier or running extended trips. For instance, the Jamaica from Brielle has Sea Bass Marathon trips from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. though Thursday by reservation — 732-528-5014.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle will continue to seek stripers — but will switch during the day to sea bass if the stripers don’t cooperate. The Big Mohawk is sailing for sea bass at 6 a.m.. Call 732 974-9606 to determine if they have any spots open.

Capt. Stan Zagleski has switched his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands to sea bass daily at 7 a.m. until fluke opens on May 25.

Striper fishing was better today in Raritan Bay, as shorts provided action while some keepers were added. Capt. Ron Santee said anglers on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands had to wait for the outgoing tide before the bass turned on to clams. A 16-pounder took the pool.

The Tackle Box in Hazlet weighed 29-pound striper for Jim Schaublin of Stockholm who said he had a hot bite on clams at Sandy Hook.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reported a good Sunday with mostly small bass in the surf on bait while blues are building up in the bay. Miguel Serrano cast an SP Minnow from a local dock to catch a 31.5-inch, 8.85-pound chopper.  Surf stripers of 15.5 pounds on clam and 12.8 pounds on bunker were also weighed yesterday.

Jeff Merrill of South Plainfield took his son Steve plus Bob Lake of Brick put on his Boyz Toy in Manasquan River this morning as they cast plugs and metal to scratch out three blues around Treasure Island in about three hours. Merrill said other boaters were also picking, but he didn’t see anything caught by shore casters in the still cool 55 degree waters from the end of the ebb to the start of the flood.

There was a pick of cocktail blues in Point Pleasant Canal this morning on small lures. I cast briefly to release one on a 4-inch Tsunami Shad which it engulfed, requiring me to put a finger in over the gills in order to get to the bend of the hook and back it out.



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