Worms were on the driveways after the last rain, so Dave Lilly knew it was time to start his striped bass season today — and the bass didn’t disappoint.

Dave trolled in the back of Raritan Bay for constant action on mo-jos with mostly keeper bass in the teens. No big fish, but all he could ask for as his friends caught all they wanted and returned to Keyport early in the morning.

Surprisingly, Lilly didn’t see or read any bunkers. Gannets were flying high, but he only saw one dive.

As noted yesterday, Capt. Freddy Gamboa had a very different experience on Friday as those stripers still hadn’t swallowed bunkers before hitting lures cast or trolled from his Andrea’s Toy out of Keyport. Yet, the only thing that didn’t work was live-lining bunkers, even though a few hits were missed.

Andreas Toy spring bass

Jerry Lasko and Maren Toleno fished the bay side of Bay Head yesterday evening, as she caught two stripers of about 22 and 24 inches.

N.J. trout waters will be closed (except for special regulation waters) next week. We can’t blame the pandemic for that. It’s to allow successful stocking before the opener.

Some anglers are wondering what will happen to party boats due to restrictions on groups gathering. A captain I talked to isn’t sure if he’ll be able to operate at this point. However, the Ocean Explorer from Belmar has been sailing on good weather days so far. Crowding hasn’t been a problem up to this point, and there’s been no specific policy relating the their operation that I’m aware of.

The shutdown of nonessential business operations could be a problem for tackle shops, but Betty & Nick’s in Seaside Park will be open for take-out food and the tackle portion of the building will be available to anglers.

Windy weather continues tonight with northeast gusts to 20 knots. The morning forecast is for east at 10-15 knots plus gusts to 20 before increasing to 15-20 with gusts to 25 later.


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