It took a long time to find a fish today. but persistence finally paid off while shore fishing.
I started at the Manasquan surf which was as shallow as I’ve ever seen it. When I took a look at Bay Head, I ran into the regulars coming off after catching nothing. Then, Vinny D’Anton called to say he went to Shark River late and had plugged two school stripers. Though I was sure I’d be too late for that flurry, I made the run and waded out just in time to see Vinny’s Chug Bug get hit by a 5 1/2-pound blue after he’d added two more bass. . That was it for the surface plugging under the sun, but Jim Louro arrived and caught two bass on the Band of Anglers Dart Spin before that also stopped working.
I headed in to make a few casts, as I always do, on the way off the river. To my surprise, I got a hit on the glow Dart Spin — and on the next cast caught a 5-6-pound blue. Vinny then released two stripers, and so did I. Those were my first bass of the year in Shark River where I’d never been at the right place at the right time. There must have been a lot of unseen fish there when I arrived as there were hits on every cast until it just as suddenly went to “not a bump”.
Persistence also paid off Friday night in Point Pleasant Canan for John Westerdale as he cast swimshads for a 20-inch striper at 6 p.m., a big bluefish at night, and two more 20-inch bass at 1:30 a.m. He had also caught a houndfish in the Bay Head surf the previous morning.
Louro was fishing backwaters from his boat earlier in the week and catching lots of stripers up to a 32-incher on the Band of Anglers Flying Pencil popper.
Capt. Chris Di Stefano was into a good trolling bite of “football” yellowfins from Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club during the week, but he heard that the hot bite in South Toms had died out Friday.
Don Marantz fished today on the Barb-Gail from Point Pleasant as they had limits of sea bass and winter flounder plus 162 ling.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported good fishing for sea bass plus ling and bluefish.
Capt. Ron Santee said the weather forecast scared off many anglers, but they had no rain on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands while drifting conditions were good for a pick of shorts and keeper fluke up to a 5-pounder.
The forecast for Sunday is north winds at just 5-10 knots becoming east at 10-15 with gusts to 20 and possible thunderstorms in the afternoon. Many surfcasters are hoping for northeast winds to shake up the ocean a bit.
Some blog followers have not been receiving the blogs I’ve done every night — while others report no trouble. I’ll try to check that out.