Capt. Rob Semkewyc was happy with yesterday’s half-dozen keeper stripers plus slots on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, but said today was even better. There was also plenty of action with shorts as the disappointing fall season may be shaping up for another hot December finish as occurred last year after a very good earlier fall fishery.
The surf striper report isn’t nearly as good despite ideal conditions with a northwest wind and light swell. There were good reports from the Seaside Park tackle shops of very fast fishing with small stripers early in the morning on metal and teasers — along with a pick at other times. I started at Point Pleasant and only saw one bass caught before moving to Bay Head where there was no action. I joined John Letizia for a ride to IBSP to fish the walk-in areas, but we got together there with Jerry Lasko in his beach buggy. It was already mid-morning, but Jerry and I each got two bass and John one at the first stop before low water and a bright sun shut off what little bite was left. Tsunami Eel rigs were most effective.
Nick Honachefsky reported nothing at Point Pleasant and Bay Head, but a move to Lavallette produced three bass up to a 27-incher.
Vinny D’Anton had negative reports from his friends fishing beaches to the north.
Tank Matraxia and his crew from Lyndhurst fished for blackfish at Sandy Hook Reef aboard Tagged Fish from Highlands. Legal tog were not hitting well, but spiny dogfish weren’t a problem. A toadfish was caught far from its normal inshore habitat.
Fishing conditions remain good despite the cold. Northwest winds of 15-20 knots are forecasted for Friday, but drop to -10-15 with gusts to 20 on Saturday — and to just 5-10 west on Sunday.