Though it’s nothing like the hot fishing of the spring, striped bass remain on the menu in NY-NJ Bight all summer — at least for the pros who know how to catch them.
I fished with two such striper pros Sunday, and released legal stripers both trips. Chuck Many has earned his reputation while winning many tournaments over the years, but Sunday morning he and I joined old friend Capt. Fletcher Chayes on his Two Rivers Charters for a fun trip to areas he doesn’t fish often. While fishing together a few years ago, Fletcher spotted my class ring and noted that we’re brothers in Lamda Chi Alpha fraternity — he at LSU and me at Colgate. We also enjoyed a great trip to Pesca Panama a few years ago.
Chayes only needed one throw of his cast net to fill the live well, and we headed up to Hudson River to work several of Many’s drops. Bluefish were a surprising problem at the first, and we also spent some time in East River in the course of releasing eight stripers up to a 37-incher within a few hours.
After Fletcher dropped us off at Gateway Marina in Highlands, we walked to Many’s Ty Man as Hugh Mura and his son Dan joined us along with Bob Bowden for the afternoon tide. Bunkers were hard to come by in the afternoon boat traffic, but Many made a long run that payed off in a net-full on his only throw.
The bass were waiting for us where we had left them. It wasn’t easy fishing, and we missed many hits from fussy fish, but Hugh got us off to a good start with three and the rest of us caught up . Chuck only ran the boat to put us on his pieces as we ended up catching 10 legal bass ranging up to 36 inches plus two shorts. Not wild action, but not bad for weekend daytime summer fishing in an area surrounded by millions of people!
Trolling reports haven’t been as good. Capt. Chris Di Stefano fished aboard Frank Criscola’s Crisdel out of Brielle Yacht Club yesterday while looking for entries in the Navesink-Shrewsbury River Club contest, — but never got a bass hit. Crisdel is expert at trolling Shrewsbury Rocks with umbrella rigs, and they rarely fail there.
Fluking is looking up after a very poor start. Capt. Ron Santee, of the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands, said he saw more shorts and some keepers as Jimmy Valentino fell just two ounces shy of the monthly pool with a 4-pound, 10-ounce fluke. The pool is up to over $900.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar didn’t find any blues today, but did see some bonito running through the slick, Jon Falkowski was aboard and confirmed their report of very good ling fishing.
.At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reports some bass, blues and drum are being hooked in the surf — and fluking is improving. Betty & Nick’s noted that schools of bunkers are out-of-range, though nothing has been on them.
Showers and patchy fog are coming in later tonight. The wind will be south at 10-15 knots in the morning with gusts to 20,