Not everyone is at the right place at the right time, but the current run of large stripers in the NY/NJ Bight area makes the effort well worthwhile.
For some there’s the prospect of catching their largest ever, which is exactly what 85-year-old Bud Schweiger did while fishing with Dave Lilly on a friend’s boat in Raritan Bay. A surfcaster all his life, Bud hadn’t handled wire line before, and Dave was trying to troll him the bass of his dreams on a mo-jo so he could fight it on mono. However, once again the bass only wanted to hit the big Tony Maja bunker spoon. Therefore, Bud took the next hit on the spoon and handled the wire like a pro to boat a bass in the upper 30’s that was later weighed in the Tackle Box at Hazlet. Dave said they were releasing big bass steadily during 1 1/2 hours of trolling.
Striper trolling certainly wasn’t like that when I joined Pete Connell on his new 30-foot Robalo along with his Total Marine friends, George and Brian, at that marina in Neptune. We ran north out of Shark River and started trolling in some scattered readings. I ran the boat most of the time and never saw any solid readings of fish and bait — but the scattered marks were good enough. The first hit on a bunker spoon fished on lead core was lost, but the second one turned out to be a 44-pounder that was released. A 33-incher on a mo-jo was more of an eating size, and we finished with a 28-pounder before returning for lunch.
Bud McArthur was fishing further south with Bill on his 31 Regulator from Brick, and they also trolled three bass with a top weight of 36 pounds. They saw some bass splash, but couldn’t get them by casting.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar jigged some bass up to about 44 inches, but saw many more splashing. The best lure was an Ava 47 with green tail — but with a light wind it was possible to use the Ava 27 with green tail.
Friday’s forecast continues good with light southwest winds.
Capt. Dave De Gennaro is running open the next two days for big stripers and school tuna which are both about 40 miles north of his Hi-Flier from Barnegat. Call him at 732 330-5674.
Vinny D’Anton found the Monmouth County surf to be clear and fishable as he caught four school bass on a Tsunami Sand Eel and an old tin squid.