After larger stripers moved into Raritan Bay on Monday and then the ocean exploded Thursday, the weather seems to be shaping up for anglers to get into the first real surge of the season on legal stripers.
The forecast tomorrow is for west winds of just 5-10 knots with a chance of rain in the morning. Though it goes to northeast on Sunday, it’s still only 5-10 knots before switching to southeast in the afternoon.
Capt. Bobby Quinn was enjoying a calm Thursday with the Ocean Explorer from Belmar though there was only a pick of mostly short tog in 80 feet — though a blackfish of 10-12 pounds was released to spawn very shortly. He decided to check out birds diving inshore and got into a mass of stripers which ranged up to a 30-pounder and hit Crocs and diamond jigs. They finished up with a drop in shallower waters where there wa a pick of mostly shorts. It was encouraging to see life there as tog are moving inshore with water temperatures up to 43.5 degrees on the surface. The Ocean Explorer will be looking for stripers after today’s blowout, but will be ready with crabs for tog. The Golden Eagle from Belmar will also be sailing for stripers at 7:30 a.m. — but will carry clams for cod and ling if the bass don’t show.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park provided the first surf striper report as a regular caught a short on a plug at IBSP where bunkers were spotted outside of casting range. Their daily hours change tomorrow to 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fresh clams and bunkers will be available along with the bloodworms which have been producing bass in the back bay.
Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that blackfishing got off to a good start for boats, and the first tog were caught in Shark River Inlet. Winter flounder are still picky from the docks.
Vinny D’Anton reports from Sarasota that he and Frank Cursi got into the hard-fighting jack crevalle again this week, but were shut out yesterday morning while seeking spotted sea trout.