It’s nothing like the hot spring bite, but striped bass can be caught even in the middle of summer in NY/NJ Bight by those with the patience and expertise to hunt them out.
Chuck Many specializes in that fishing with his Ty Man out of Gateway Marina in Highlands, and he demonstrated his expertise late yesterday afternoon with Chris Buchta, Shawn De Vincenzo and I handling the rods. Many releases all his bass with the rare exception of one that can’t be revived. That’s a good thing for the local resource as these are pretty surely Hudson River stock stripers whose reproduction is essential to maintaining that stock which has been providing us with a first class fishery even as the migratory stocks coming up from the south have been declining to the extent that ASMFC will be placing additional restrictions om an overfished population for 2020.
Our count was up to 19 in the mid to upper teens before Many ran to the mouth of the bay to try for a bigger bass after dark. Chris got the only hit on a live eel and released a 33-pounder to bring the count up to 20 plus a small dogfish that ate a bunker.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar ran offshore yesterday to look for big bluefish, but instead hit a hot bite of bonito that provided doubleheaders and tripleheaders along with 1-4-pound blues. They did the same thing with similar results today — and will continue doing so at 7:30 a.m. Tomorrow’s forecast is for south winds at 10-15 knots. There’s a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon.
Vinny D’Anton took a shot at the Manasquan surf this morning without success. A move to Shark River was little better with just a 15-inch striper on his Chug Bug.
Joe Melillo reports from Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant that bait is back in the local surf. Some stripers have been caught by anglers casting metal at first light. However, there’s been no sign of the return of Spanish mackerel.