Rich Swisstack (see photo below) has been into a surf bite of big red drum at Cape Point, Hatteras, N.C., but a century ago those same fish were being caught along the central N.J. Shore where “channel bass” fishing in the Barnegat Inlet area was the best in the country — and those fish were the primary inshore game species for N.J. anglers.

The first two world records for red drum came from N.J. waters, and there were few caught that weighed less than 20 pounds. Though climate change theory indicates that warming has been occurring for decades, there’s been no explanation of why semi-tropical red drum were so abundant in what should have been cooler waters a century ago and why large red drum have long been a rarity north of Virginia.

Striped bass are now the primary inshore game fish, and that fishing should resume tomorrow, after the Easter break, in Raritan Bay.  The marine weather forecast is for just 5-10 knot north winds, while the big swell should drop to 4-7 feet. The Jamaica from Brielle joins the party boat striper fleet tomorrow on a daily basis at 7:30 a.m.

Red drum - Rich Swisstack

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