Chunking at night in the canyons is traditionally at its best in October, which is what the party and charter boat fleets are hoping for after a slow start to that fishery so far.
The Canyon Runner fleet from Point Pleasant had a very good spring to early summer yellowfin fishery, but tuna fishing has dropped off since. Fortunately, they did get in one good night of tuna and swordfish action last week during one of the many free canyon trips for armed service members and veterans that they run during the year,
Adam La Rosa notes that he has some openings for that October chunking on open boat trips coming up. The cost is $899 per person, which includes food, drinks, tips and everything else on the Viking 48. Call 732 272-4445 for reservations.
Surfcasting for stripers has been tough in N.J. so far, but it wasn’t even great last weekend during the annual Montauk Surf Fishing Classic. Fred Golofaro of the Fisherman magazine reported that while some of the almost 300 surfcasters who fished from noon Friday to noon Sunday did well with small bass, there were only a few bigger fish entered. A 39.96-pound striper taken on a darter at Shagwong ran away with the title as the runner-up bass weighed only 22.54 and 17.8 pounds. For the first time there was no entry in the catch-and-release division with the contest’s 36-inch minimum. The bluefish situation was even tough as there were few entries with just a 5-pound minimum. A 7.24-pound chopper won.
The Seaside Park tackle shops reported good bluefishing in the surf on Monday, with mullet being the best bet for bait. John Bushell Jr. at Betty & Nick’s is very enthused about the mullet run so far, and calls it 10 times better than last year’s. Let’s hope all this easterly wind doesn’t push them south too quickly.
I doubt if any boats sailed into today’s rain and wind, but the Golden Eagle from Belmar is set to try for bluefish on Wednesday.
Though small craft warnings are continued into Wednesday night, the wind forecast is for only 10-to-15-knots south. It’s looking very good from Friday through Sunday, with light winds including some of that rare northwest breeze.