Though there were no hot reports, fluke fishing seemed to be a bit better on another beautiful day — and despite the big ocean swell.
At Atlantic Highlands, the Sea Hunter reported improved fluking with one limit taken and others with two. The Fishermen had decent fishing until the current got too strong. Kurt Wieditz boated a 6.11-pound fluke to run away with the pool. but there was also a 4 1/2-pounder and a couple in the 3 pound class. Capt. Ron Santee said grandpa John Sabonis brought his 15-year-old granddaughter Slyler Mosselle who caught three fluke on her first fluke trip. Some sea bass were also caught. The Fishermen is chartered from Friday through Sunday.
At Belmar, the Ocean Explorer had good action with fluke and sea bass. There were three or four fluke in the 4-pound class. The Golden Eagle had no problem filling two-fish limits of sea bass along with some ling and keeper fluke.
The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant caught sea bass plus some porgies and triggerfish on Wednesday — and fought a sand tiger shark.
Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst was invited to join a NMFS crew seeking live sea bass for studies aboard Tagged Fish from Highlands on Tuesday and Thursday. They fished in 40 feet the first day to ensure the sea bass would survive, but only ended up with small fish — though Marty Gras of Lyndhurst fought a sand tiger to the boat. The Thursday trip to 70 feet produced bigger sea bass, including a 19-incher by Tank.
Shark River produced a pick of school stripers from 15 to 21 inches this morning as I cast a light paddletail jig to release seven plus a 20-inch bluefish that was my first there in almost a month. Vinny D’Anton had some short hits on his Chug Bug, and caught a small bass on a Zoom jig. We then went to the surf to fight a much larger sea than yesterday’s — resulting from the far offshore hurricane. It didn’t look good for fishing, but I was shocked by a 21-inch striper that blasted my Chug Bug in the wash. That was it for us as sea weed was also a problem.
I was later surprised to hear from Allen Riley of South Plainfield, who took his wife, son Kevin of Raleigh, N.C. and two granddaughters to Sandy Hook and said it was calm there. They managed to catch some short fluke on Gulp.
Reader John Westerdale saw lots of cownose rays in the Monmouth County surf this week, but they ignored bunker heads and lures. He’s been picking at 15-to-20-inch stripers on swim shads in Point Pleasant Canal — even during mid-day. He fished last month on Cape Cod with Capt. Ray Ransom on Bass River Charters at Dennis to catch lots of 15-pound stripers at Monomoy and jumbo sea bass off Chatham.
Capt. Pete Wagner of Hyper Striper at Highlands will be back to fluking this weekend after brief trip to Los Suenos in Costa Rica with his daughter Nicole and niece Amanda. They fished aboard a friend’s L&H boat to get into lots of small dorado (dolphin), two small wahoo, a bigeye trevally, a cubera snapper on live bait — and Nicole’s first sailfish.
That cubera snapper is he same species as the one I’m pictured with at the head of this blog — which was released from Pesca Panama in March but weighed over 73 pounds by formula.
Nicole’s first sailfish before release