Though you have to work hard for them with live bunkers, striped bass remain available to NY/NJ Bight anglers. I fished today with Joe Massa on his My Three Sons from Morgan Marina, and found Hudson River stripers eager to hit the bunkers he cast-netted with a single throw. We caught 10 bass up to 38 inches, and lost a few others. At one point we caught a doubleheader.
When the tide changed, Joe headed for his favorite fluke spot on the NY side where we had lots of hits on Spro jigs with Gulp Grubs, though my 22-incher was the only keeper where the limit is 19 inches. We also caught sea robins and dogfish, while Joe added a bonito that hit as he was reeling in.
Chuck Many worked both the Hudson and East rivers with his crew on Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands for 18 bass releases up to a 28-pounder.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a good day of mixed bag fishing with blues, bonito, chub mackerel, ling, and even cod. The Big Mohawk from that port had a problem with lack of drift, but still had some fluke limits. They’re sold out Saturday and Sunday.
Though the inshore forecast remains calm, Capt. Jim Freda showed me an offshore forecast that shows breezy conditions offshore where there’s been a hot bite of bluefin tuna. Saturday’s inshore forecast is for southwest winds at 5-10 knots increasing in the afternoon when evening thunderstorms are likely.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reported an improvement Thursday in surf fluking on Gulp. They’ve also heard of bonito and houndfish.
There have been lots of very small bluefish in the northern Ocean County surf, but I also saw a very unseasonable Spanish mackerel caught there Thursday evening,
Vinny D’Anton didn’t find anything in the surf this morning, but went to Shark River and released a 23-inch striper on a Chug Bug.