The Jersey Shore has been blasted by large waves from previous storms for a week, but there doesn’t seem to be anything worse coming to us from Hurricane Florence. There are small craft warnings up now for hazardous seas and rough conditions at inlets, but the present east winds aren’t strong and the marine weather forecast from Saturday to Monday doesn’t include any winds over 15 knots or seas larger than five feet inshore from Saturday to Monday.
The swell on the ocean isn’t good for bottom fishing, but boaters should be able to at least try for fluke before the N.J. season closes on Sept. 22. Capt. Ron Santee is going to give fluking a try on Saturday with his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. He had his best trip of the season last Friday, but isn’t sure if that fishing will still be there when he finally gets back to the ocean. This is the time of year when fluke head off to the edge of the continental shelf in order to spawn and overwinter out there. Santee said he won’t “beat a dead horse” and will switch to porgy fishing if fluking isn’t worthwhile.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar is also looking forward to getting back out for blues, little tunny, bonito and chub mackerel as soon as sea conditions permit comfortable fishing.
The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant has the same plans, but is chartered on the mornings of Sept. 15 and 17.
Chub mackerel (below)
Capt. Vinny Vetere reports he had to run from Great Kills to Keyport on Tuesday with his Katfish in order to get one castnet shot at bunkers for live bait. Stripers were also tougher to catch, but they still caught six up to 34 pounds.
There wasn’t much life in Shark River early this morning, though Frank Manzi got into some rolling fish just before daylight and caught two bass and a blue on a popper. Vinny D’Anton saw the same thing a bit later, but they ignored his Chug Bug. Bill Hoblitzell had blues hitting his yellow Deceiver at first light, but they kept cutting that fly off. I got there a bit late and was lucky to catch one small bass on a Z Man Swimmereez jig as I was reeling full speed to get it in for another cast. I made a move to Point Pleasant Canal and added three releases of blues in the 4-pound class on the same lure.
Betty & Nick’s in Seaside Park reports some “decent” blues were caught in the surf on mullet yesterday morning — and there were also three stripers reported from waters that are relatively clear.