Big bluefish finally spread out today with reports from Barnegat Bay to Raritan Bay.
There had been a blitz of blues in the rain yesterday afternoon in Manasquan Inlet, and Nick Honachefsky said they were there from mid-morning on as the Jamaica from Brielle returned from a trip that produced some keeper stripers to get into lots of jigging blues up to 12 pounds. Nick said he got arm weary catching blues on metal jigs with tails fished with a slow retrieve.
I fished the Manasquan from shore late in the morning when there was a pick going on. I couldn’t raise a fish to my favorite lure, a big pencil popper, but a last minute switch to a 7-inch swimmer produced a 10-pound blue on the third cast. I had fished Point Pleasant Canal in the morning to catch a small blue and a larger striper on a Z Man paddletail, but was high hook with that little action.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reported more anglers getting into big blues on both poppers and cut bunker in the bay and from local docks.
Capt. Chris Di Stefano reported that Jimmy Herrick got into big blues in Raritan Bay — where they never showed at all last spring. He first clobbered stripers by trolling mo-jos, but that bite was over by 7:30. Those arriving later had to struggle for bass.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter at Atlantic Highlands said it was a struggle as he marked bass and they even followed shads to the boat but wouldn’t hit.
Tom Fote of the JCAA had a charter with Capt. Fletcher Chayes on Two Rivers Charters from Highlands. His party managed four keepers on live bunkers and shads.
The hard northeast wind forecasted blew through very early the morning and left anglers with a nice day. Tuesday’s forecast is for south winds of just 5-10 knots early, but increasing to 10-15 with gusts to 20 in the afternoon.