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.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro of Hi Flier from Barnegat reports he ran offshore to the southern canyons on the Fourth of July with Dr. Fred Leahy of Fanwood and his co-Capt Nick De Gennaro. “We were rewarded with six yellowfin tuna, four of which were very small so we released them, and boated a 20 and 35 pounder for the ice. We also released two 70 lb. class white marlin, one for Dr. Fred and one for Nick. Two mahi and a big jack off of a lobster pot on light spinning gear. We finished up with a golden tilefish and a blueline tilefish on the drift. All in all, a productive day.”
White Marlin in Water 1 (1)
De Gennaro further notes that on Friday he had Wes Jensen from Phoenix, Arizona on board for a mixed bag of spinner sharks, bonito, blues, and Spanish mackerel. The sharks were discovered on the way to Barnegat Ridge under bunker schools and hooked with the snag-and-drop  technique. Bonito were trolled at the Ridge, while the blues and Spanish mackerel were caught casting with light tackle inshore. Hi Flier will be running open tuna trips at $350 per person on Saturday and Monday from 2 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 732 330-5674 reservations.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reported sand tiger sharks are being  caught and released in the surf at night. However, the N.J. Division of Fish and Wildlife cautions  that they are a prohibited species under federal law and must be released without bringing them up on the sand for a photo. That seems like an overkill regulation, but be aware of it. Sand tigers sport teeth like makos and are prized by aquariums because they look fierce, but are really a lazy bottom feeder.


  1. The Shrewsbury and navesink River are giving up some nice size flute. The bait is very thick in both the rivers a lot of peanut bunker and Snappers along with spearing are in the river system. Best fishing late at night under the highlands bridge is worth a try. And fishing out in the Bay has been hitting the mess with the fluke but not to be surprised on drop offs.


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