Bluefish continue to build up in bays and rivers. Though I never got into them while moving around during the day, I was already satisfied after walking into the best surface plugging I’ve ever seen in Point Pleasant Canal. It started out with spme blues in the 6-pound class which were twice as big as the previous blues. Then the 8-10-pounders took over. Jerry Lasko released a couple that had to be 12 pounds. There were blues raised on almost every cast for awhile, and the bite even continued into slack and the first of the incoming. Some anglers left before then because they were too tired to continue. The old Gibbs pencial popper with no paint left on it that hadn’t raised a fish the previous day in Manasquan River proved its worth this morning, but all sorts of poppers and swimmers proved effective.
Checking the inlet later on I saw a strange sight — Miss Belmar Princess going out of Manasquan Inlet along with the Jamaica from Brielle as they had apparently gone well upriver with the blues.
Jim Louro got into lots of blues casting in the iinlet early. Tommy Cox boated one that weighed 17 pounds on the Boga Grip.
At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter said he had a second day of struggling with stripers that didn’t want to hit — though they caught a few and lost a few. Capt. Ron Santee had a similar slow morning, but waited out the change of tide with his Fishermen and ended up with a late hot bite in deeper waters where jigs did the job. Several fares caught multiple bass.
Tank Matraxia and his crew fron Lyndhurst went on a catch-and-release fluke trip to Jamaica Bay with Capt. Anthony on the Hard Bottom from Sewaren. They had a decent pick of fluke up to a 20-inch and a 23 which were tagged by Tank. Though the N,Y. season is open, those fluke could not be brought back to N.J. where the season opens on May 24 and runs to Sept. 21 with three fish at 18 inches minimum. Tank was proud of his two sea robins — a species I was shut out on last year. There was also an 11-pound skate boated. A try for stripers back in Raritan Bay was no good.
A couple of anglers who made the long walk to the tip of Sandy Hook this morning, after hearing about a Monday evening blitz of big blues there, ended up just missing the early morning bite.\
.Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reported more catches of big blues in the bay and from local docks on bunker chunks and poppers.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar is out of dry dock and starts striper fishing at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The weather forecast for Tuesday is a mere northeast at 10 knots — going to east in the afternoon, –