Paul Haertel of Clifton had an unusual double win in the 2018 N.J. Skillful Anglers Contest as he trolled a 54-pound striped bass on May 28 off Asbury Park on a Tony Maja bunker spoon, and in Sept. added a 30-pound, 9.5-ounce cod on an offshore wreck.
Phil LaGrossa of Toms River started off the year right by boating a 10 1/8-pound weakfish in Barnegat Bay which also stood up all year in the Fisherman magazine Dream Boat Challenge to win that division. Then LaGrossa added an 11 1/2-pound doormat fluke on Aug,. 5 with Gulp.
Surprisingly, there were no bluefish entries, along with many other species. Stacy Fowler from Pa. won with a 16-inch, 1.32-pound kingfish.
In the release category there was a double winner as Christopher Pereira of Hopatcong fished Sandy Hook Reef in August to release a 20-inch black sea bass and a 30-inch fluke. Larry Newman of Brick released a 35.5-inch bluefish on May 25 from his kayak in Barnegat Bay.
It was a beautiful day, but the only striper and blue report I got was of a tough day for Capt. Ron Santee on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. He spent six hours just looking for a bite even though he read bait and some fish, He went into overtime to avoid the doughnut, and that payed off in a late two keeper stripers and a short. There will be no trips Sunday and Monday due to the forecast.
East winds gusting to 25 knots come in after midnight, and the gusts increase to 30 knots tomorrow.
The Ocean Explorer from Belmar had plenty of bottom fishing action with some ling they could keep and lots of sea bass that will be a target on Wednesday’s season opener. They won’t be fishing again until then.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park weighed a 34-inch, 12.6-pound striper caught on bunker in IBSP by Roger K. Bluefishing was slowed somewhat yesterday by the south winds, but some up to 17 pounds have been recorded.
Doing well in school payed off for Keegan Rothman (13) as his father, Dan, took him to Zihuatenejo, Mexico to catch several exotic fish plus this trophy yellowfin tuna that weighed in at 89 kilos after a 45 minute battle.