Capt. Vinny Vetere  trolled the biggest striped bass of his charter fishing career with Katfish from Great Kills today as a 67.55-pound bass hit his TGT gold/white bunker spoon to set a standard that will be hard to surpass this season. That bass was 55 inches in length. Katfish is booked tomorrow, but open on the weekend. The only problem is that a gale warning is going up Friday night through Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow starts well with west winds at 5-10 knots before increasing to 10-15 in the afternoon with nusts to 20.

Boaters did well today. Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter at Atlantic Highlands said it was his best day of the year as long drifts with everyone catching were possible rather than having to chase birds.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle reported splashing stripers that were easy to catch as they had a boat limit. The Big Mohawk also had a boat limit, and the pool winner was just under 30 pounds.

The surf was another matter, though Nick Honachefsky found school stripers chasing peanut bunkers at Lavallette — though the baits were very small and the bass fussy. Nick plugged a 34-inch striper at Normandy Beach last evening.

Fishing slowed at Brick Beach this morning, but John Gregor released a 26-inchbass. The big surprise was the arrival of the biggest and most aggressive sea herring I’ve ever seen  Those 17-inchers were fat and hit Tsunami Sand Eels with ferocity. Most of the 11 I caught hit the Sand Eel rather than a small teaser, and fought almost as hsard as stripers. I even caught one on a Run-Off Sand Eel metal jig. Another one jumped three feet out of the water like a tarpon to shake out the lure. Maren Toleno found one small bass among the abundant herring. Mike Monte, who grew up in Belmar, but has long lived in Nantucket caught three small bass during his first attempt at Brick this week.

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