Today’s cold fog made it difficult to find stripers in the ocean, and both the Big Mohawk and Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported not being able to find any stripers. They switched to blackfishing which was basically a pick of mostly shorts with good life on bottom. The Ocean Explorer also noted the ocean was lumpy, but they added some ling. The Big Mohawk sails at 6 a.m., while the Explorer and Golden Eagle sail at 7:30.
The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands couldn’t find anything in the ocean, and returned to the bay to cast shads which produced one keeper bass and a short while another was lost. They’ll be trying again tomorrow when the weather looks fine for spotting fish. The forecast is for northwest at 10-15 knots.
Dave Lilly of Hazlet didn’t let the fog keep him from trolling stripers in the upper teens in the bay while fishing this morning with Rick Martel out of Sea Bright. The bass weren’t in the 12-foot depths they favored on the weekend, but a move to 25 feet in the middle of the bay resulted in the release of a dozen bass in short order despite the tough conditions on incoming tide. Lilly was using mo-jos soaked in Fin Essence bunker oil, and had a 40-pounder hooked which came off just as they were reaching for the leader. He also had a fish on briefly that was acting like a bluefish. The water temperature was 51 degrees.
Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that John Reilly trolled two 40-pound stripers on Magic Tail 20-ounce Mo-Jos, releasing one. Matthews says surf reports have been few, but there are more bass on the inside. He tried with plugs one night and hooked bass to 32 inches. Blackfishing shows promise offshore, but has been slow in Shark River Inlet and Point Pleasant Canal.
The Jamaica from Brielle is in drydock, but will start striper fishing in mid-April — while 10 p.m. Sunday tilefish trips are set for April 12 and 27 plus May 3 and 19. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.
Mimi VI from Point Pleasant will have a special blackfishing trip Thursday that’s limited to 12 fares at $120. Call 753 370-8019.
Pesca Panama is coming off one of its best ever weeks with massive numbers of yellowfin tuna. Owner Mike Auget has openings for April 21-26 that are available for two to four anglers at a deep discount. Call him at 716 868-4432.