As noted in last night’s blog, striped bass fishing has been spotty lately along the N.J. Shore, but when Chuck Many’s first choice of seeking the potentially largest stripers off the Shore from Sandy Hook to the south didn’t work out, he quickly changed direction with Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands to the Hudson River. The current there was boiling, and we got a lot of light bites — but Many feels the river is a best bet for a 30-pounder. He guaranteed that we would catch bass despite the current that required 10-ounce sinkers.
Once again, Many was proven right as I reeled fast on a light hit to set my circle hook on a fish moving toward me. It took quite a while trying to gain line on that fish fighting into the current, especially when it opened its mouth. Eventually Many was able to use his extra-large net to scoop up a bass that weighed 34 pounds on his certified Boga Grip before releasing the female still heavy with eggs.
Alex Katyan of Annandale, Paul Kiatski from Port Monmouth. Rob Rommel of Highlands, Many and I only picked at bass from 29 inches up to about 15 pounds after that. We ended up drifting live bunkers at the mouth of Raritan Bay where trollers had been doing well, but we only had a few hits despite good marks — and brought the release count up to 13 bass while finishing a short day (by Many’s standards) in rain at Shrewsbury River.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc said it was a ghost town at Atlantic Highlands this morning as anglers were scared off by the rain forecast even though the wind was only 5-10 mph. He didn’t get out with his Sea Hunter even though big bass had been boated the last two trips.
.Chuck Many with a 38-pound striper released last week south of Sandy Hook on a live bunkerC
The other bass that Rob Rommel of Highlands, Paul Kiatski from Annandale, Ale