Chuck Many once again proved there are lots of stripers in all sizes available in the Metropolitan NY/NJ area during mid-summer along with the more usual targets.
He already had lots of action before I arrived at 4:30 with husky porgies plus some small stripers and blues in Shrewsury River on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands for Mike Greene of the Bronx, Bob Bowden from Little Silver and Jason Marti of Harvey Cedars. After loading up with large bunkers. Many ran past schools of small blues to the Hudson River, where those bunkers were drifted for stripers in the 20-pound class until dark. Then he switched to power drifting for weakfish with sandworms, but couldn’t find any of the target species while putting his crew into school stripers (including one over 28 inches) and a surprising triple of big cownose rays where he’d never seen them before. I even caught a short fluke in the dark on a worm.
Many then anchored for chunking, and we were soon getting hits from bigger bass than expected. A 29 1/2-pounder was larger than anything we had caught on live bunkers, but it was soon surpassed by a 38-pounder. We had to work through some bluefish and a smooth dogfish to release additional legal stripers, and I added a 33-pounder just before leaving. Below is a shot of Mike Greene with the biggest bass just before Many (left) released it.
The bass release count ended at 41, and brought the Ty Man’s total over the 1,000 mark for the season. I’ll settle for striper fishing like that in prime time, and was amazed to do so well in the dog days of August.
We got in well before the northeast wind slew in, but it arrived with some rain this morning. Many skippers cancelled trips, but Capt. Rob Semkewyc warned nine customers that he’d have to stay in protected waters with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands. They wanted to go and had action with shorts, but the biggest fluke was 17 inches.
Vinny D’Anton said Shark River was fishable this morning, but he only caught one bluefish there on his Chug Bug. Sea Girt pro Frank Conover got a couple of blues on a jig. It’s great to see him fishing again after having to go through an adjustment to his hip replacement.
The Jamaica from Brielle got into bluefish on jigs early Thursday before switching to what’s become the usual variety of small dolphin, chub mackerel, bonito, sea bass and fluke. A 5-pound bonito won the pool. Unfortunately, the two-fish sea bass by-catch ends with the end of the month.