As noted in yesterday’s blog, the marine forecast was for south winds gusting to 30 knots. Party boats were cancelling trips. and no party boat reports were filed by 6 p.m. Yet, Dave Lilly of Hazlet said it was flat calm all day in Raritan Bay.
He ventured out with a friend in a small boat from Keyport, but there were dark clouds and they stayed in the back of the bay where there was plenty of trolling action with stretch plugs — but all from the same 18-23-inch bass we were catching in the back of the bay in March. The mo-jos that had been producing large bass were undisturbed as they were almost as big as the bass. The only heavier fish was a big surprise — a fluke of about 7 pounds released after hitting a stretch plug. Due to the black clouds they didn’t venture out to the Old Orchard area where the bigger bass were still abundant Friday. Yet, flags hung limply all day as the bad weather never happened. Water temperatures in the back are 57 to 58 degrees, but they drop into the forties closer to the ocean.
Party boats won’t be sailing on Easter Sunday in any case. Small craft warnings are still up through Sunday afternoon, though I can’t figure out why since the forecast Sunday is for south winds at a mere 10 knots. There is a big swell, as they are calling for 5-10-foot swells — which is of no concern in Raritan Bay.
The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant has 7 a.m. open blackfish trips at $75 with a limit of 25 anglers set for April 22-25 plus 29 and 30. A Special tog trip on Friday, April 26 is limited to 12 fares, costs $120, leaves at 6:30, and includes whitelegger crabs for bait. Call 732 370-8019 for reservations.