Today was as close to a total blowout as possible, with no reports at all. It’s blowing SE at 35 knots now — but at ;east the rain held off until late. I had hoped to get a shot in the surf early before the wind got too bad, but only made a few casts into the Manasquan surf which was already very rough and with no bird life to indicate the presence of bait. I did try Point Pleasant Canal on the slack later in the morning to pick at small blackfish and sea bass on sandworms before breaking the ice for the day when a 32 1/2-inch striper hit the worm.
The forecast for Saturday is sunny, but with 25-30 knot west winds gusting to 35. The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands has cancelled for Saturday, and I suspect many other party and charter boats will do the same. Be sure to check with skippers before coming down.
The Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands reported only a pick of short bass and a couple of slots on Thursday. Capt. Vinny Vetere said he caught 15 large bass from his Katfish out of Great Kills that day — mostly trolling his Ho-Jos plus some chunking bunker.
Mark Roy and his crew on Release Me from Raritan Marina in Hazlet trolled mo-jos between the channels on Wednesday for stripers of 21,30 and 32 pounds. He spent hours pounding the same area Thursday without a hit.
Saturday’s gale warning extends to that night, but Sunday looks better with NW for surfcasters with 20-25 knots though still gusting to 30. That should knock the surf down, but it may take longer to clear up.
NMFS is reopening the commercial General Category for large medium and giant bluefin tuna from Nov. 12-16 with a daily limit of one.