Though the opening of the sea bass season in N.J. wasn’t good for everyone, that fishery has bounced back for most. Bud Mc Arthur of Brick was one of those who were disappointed in the opener, but today was a different story as he fished with Gerald D’Luisi of Verona on Hook & Cook from Brick for a four-man catch of 39 keepers out of about 80 sea bass on the Axel Carsen Reef. Mc Arthur was also surprised by a 22-inch fluke he released after it hit a bergall strip.
Tank Matraxia and his crew from Lyndhurst limited with sea bass this week on Lock & Load from Belmar. They added one ling, and Matraxia was able to put ALS tags in three out-of-season blackfish.
The N.J. fluke season opens Friday, and there will be a big fleet waiting to greet them. That won’t include the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands as Capt. Rob Semkewyc has decided to stick with daily stripers which are providing good action. He said today’s pool bass was in the mid-to-upper twenties.
Capt. Vinny Vetere had another fine day of striper trolling with his Ho-Jo’s from Katfish Charters out of Great Kills. They kept three out of 18 large bass, and were back by 9:30.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar fished the ocean, but bass and blues weren’t cooperative today.
The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant continues to find bluefin tuna while trolling in several canyons. A few blue sharks were caught at night, when a possible giant tuna broke off after a long fight.
At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reports small stripers are still hitting well on clams in the surf, while bluefish are becoming more abundant in Barnegat Bay. I posted the results of Sunday’s Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament in a separate blog this morning.
I had planned to try the Manasquan River bluefish this morning, but missed my exit and continued on to Point Pleasant Canal. Without much hope, I cast an Ava 007 with a short red tail because that’s what I had on my light spinning rod from my last river pick of 3-pound blues. It was a shock when I hooked a good fish that tore across the canal just as the first boat was coming through. Fortunately, the boater responded to my waving and moved over. Though I assumed I had a big blue on, the fish turned out to be a 29-inch striper with the small hook buried in the corner of its jaw so I could reach down and grab the lure to lift it up for the release.
Katfish Charters striper on Ho-Jo