What a difference a day makes! From fine weather to northeast wind and buckets of rain. I doubt if any boats fished today except in completely protected waters. However, there were a few surfcasters out early as Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park weighed a 48-inch, 37.95-pound striper caught by Kevin Reilly on clam. Joe Applegrove used an SP Minnow to land a 31-inch, 8.6-pound bluefish. Betty & Nick’s had a 29-pound bass on the scale that Pete E. hooked on clam at Top of the Mast in Seaside Park.
Capt. Dave De Gennaro was frustrated at not getting out Saturday due to a bad forecast that was wrong. The day before he trolled a 36-pound striper on a Tony Maja #4 bunker spoon off Seaside on Hi Flier from Barnegat, but had a tough trip back in 3-to-4-foot seas kicked up by a surprisingly strong S-SE wind. The weather looks a lot better for Memorial Day, with the NE wind expected to drop down with only a chance of a shower. De Gennaro is sailing open 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow — and then through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. The cost is $175. Call 732 330-5674.
A 42-pound striper on Hi Flier last week
Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that big stripers are being caught by trollers and on live bunkers, while small bass are in the surf. Fluking was very good before the season opened Friday, but keepers haven’t been abundant since. Capt. Chris Di Stefano of Wall had the same experience Thursday upon returning to Shark River after trolling a trophy 53 3/4-pound striper for his son Boomer. They made a few drifts in the river and could have filled several limits, but when Boomer fished for them a couple of days later it was mostly shorts.
Jeff Merrill fished Manasquan River on Saturday and reported 22 fluke were caught up to 23-and-24-inchers.
Scott Leadbeater of Haddon Heights finally got to use his Aquasport 20 out of Atlantic Highlands this week, and was happy to troll some blues one day at Chapel Hill — and both blues and stripers the next morning.
One of my blog readers, Capt. Greg Simba, reported there was a blitz of 22-to-26-inch bluefish in the mouth of Manasquan Inlet yesterday around 2 p.m. — and it lasted for an hour. I don’t how many times I’ve checked the inlet for blues this spring without ever seeing a bird dip.
Sorry for the boxes below that I was left with after transferring Matt Slobodjian’s report from Cape May that you’ll find by scrolling down.
Matt Slobodjian reports from Jim’s Tackle in Cape May that “drum fishing continues to be pretty good although some of the action has moved into a little deeper water. Boats are still picking fish in the Bayshore Channel close to the canal, but a good bite has come on at Tussy’s Slough. Fresh clam is the bait, and it has to be ordered a few days in advance due to a limited supply. Fluking was good for some anglers who fished the backwaters. It was pretty rough out in the ocean, so we haven’t gotten any reports from the reefs as of yet.
The sea bass fishing has held up pretty well on the 20 fathom line. There are a lot of throwback fish, but putting together a catch hasn’t been a problem. Striper fishing on the North Cape May beaches slowed down a little towards the weekend — but there were still some nice fish landed by the bait fisherman this week.
We will be holding our annual Mako Tournament next weekend, June 1st and 2nd. Anybody looking to fish it can call the store for details at -884-3900. We did get the first report of a nice mako caught by an Ocean City, Maryland boat. The fish was reported to be in the 290lb. range. The laws have changed on pelagic shark fishing, so anglers wishing to get an HMS permit have to visit the NOAA site and check out the changes.”