Vinny D’Anton got Mike Casella into wade fishing during the winter in Sarasota, and he became interested in broadening his fishing horizons after hearing Vinny’s accounts of N.J, fishing. Unfortunately, his first two mornings with Vinny didn’t produce a bass in Shark River or in the surf — and he only had a few hours this morning to change his luck before returning to Florida.
Though conditions looked perfect in Shark River this morning, only two bass were raised to poppers by all the anglers there. It wasn’t until we were walking off that I made a cast with a Band of Anglers Dart Spin that was hit in the strong current by a schoolie — and Casella saw his first striped bass. Though he was satisfied with that, Vinny took him to Spring Lake for an attempt to catch a striper with sand fleas. Surprisingly, the mole crabs were hard to rake in bait sizes, but we had enough to fish with in the short period before the life guards would move us off the beach. Vinny proved there were stripers there by catching a mini-bass on his Chug Bug, but there wasn’t a hit on the crabs until the last minute when Casella’s rod bent and another last shot striper was beached. That 23-incher looked like a carbon copy of the bass I had released in the river. Mike left on a high note!
My mention of the Queen Mary’s cutlassfish in yesterday’s blog came at the right time for Dr. George Gabuzda of Wall who was then able to identify after catching it from his boat out of Hoffman’s Marina in Brielle while fluking with spearing and squid. The hand surgeon cut the leader after seeing those fangs, but they are actually easy to handle by pressing on the gill covers.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar had a busy tuna trip yesterday as three bluefins were boated up to 100 pounds — but 18 were lost, including some at boatside. There were also a dozen 5-10-pound bluefish caught, and a thresher shark of 250-300 pounds broke off. They were back at the local chumming today and did well with chub mackerel, blues, sea bass and ling.