While the weather remains cold, diminishing winds should produce more comfortable fishing conditions over the weekend.
The forecast is for 10-15 knot northwest winds on Saturday and just 5-10 north on Sunday before shifting to the west in the afternoon.
Party boat striper fishermen who are afraid of the cold are missing out on some good jigging. At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc had another good day with his Sea Hunter despite a very fast drift, with three bass over 28 inches (down from seven yesterday and six the day before) — put lots of slots. The jigging action has been between the channels and down the beach. Capt. Ron Santee didn’t have enough to sail, but hopes to get out tomorrow with the Fishermen.
The big swell has moderated and blackfishing conditions are good. The Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands had many limits on Wednesday. They sail at 7 a.m. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported blackfish were chewing Thursday, and two old spawners of 8 and 10 pounds were released by conservation-minded anglers.
The Big Jamaica from Brielle is trying to put together an overflow trip for jumbo sea bass that will leave at 9 p.m. today . It’s limited to 25 fares at $195 each. Call 732 528-5014 immediately in order to secure a spot. If there aren’t enough to make the trip, the Jamaica will sail its regular striped bass trip tomorrow.
Surf striper fishing has been spotty. Steve Mirande put in a full day and caught a couple of small bass in Bay Head and Mantoloking early, but then didn’t do anything until catching a hickory shad and a sun dial in the Point Pleasant Beacch surf as the sun was going down.
John Letizia hit it right early in the morning when he fished the walk-in areas at Island Beach State Park and caught six bass and a hickory shad on a Tsunami Sand Eel before joining Jerry Lasko in his Beach Buggy to add a few more. Jerry caught eight bass early while Maren Toleno had 10 on the Tsunami Sand Eels. I got there too late and only caught one bass on a Castaways white teaser ahead of the Tsunami Eel. Just as yesterday, the fishing shut down under the bright sun. Jerry and Maren returned at dusk to each catch one bass.
As action further north has also declined, Jim Louro of Spring Lake and his friend J.J. fished IBSP early from a beach buggy and each caught one bass.
Vinny D;Anton tried Point Pleasant Beach late in the afternoon and only saw one small bass caught.