Striped bass fishing in Raritan Bay this month has been so good that anglers are particularly disappointed on those days when they just aren’t turned on. That was the case today on the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands as Capt. Rob Semkewyc said there were just a few keepers caught during a beautiful day with lots of boat traffic.

Tank Matraxia and Marty Gras from Lyndhurst joined with other anglers on an open charter from Keyport during which four keepers were chunked, though Tank lost his only hook-up. They even tried trolling at the end of the day with only one missed hit.

The Big Mohawk from Belmar reported a pick of blackfish with some limits as clams worked best. They’re chartered tomorrow, but will sail for tog again at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Bob Matthews reported from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that the warm weather was a pleasure. It even resulted in a better winter flounder bite from the docks, where some fluke are also hitting. Blackfishing in Shark River Inlet is still spotty, and small bass are hitting in the surf. Better-sized stripers are hitting in the rivers and bays.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reported small bass in the back bays along with a couple of keepers released. Small bass are also in the surf. The weather is great, and west winds continue this week with 10-15 knots tomorrow with gusts to 20 before dropping off to 5 knots northwest on Thursday.

Live bait can make a big difference in Raritan Bay as Capt. Joe Massa of My Three Sons from Morgan Marina  found yesterday morning as he put Drew and Don Desmitt of Garfield into nine bass up to 30 pounds in the back of the bay. The bunker were hard to net as they were suspended in deep water. In the photo, Drew nets a bass for his father Don who celebrates his 86th birthday tomorrow.

Massa bass

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