Dave Lilly reported striper fishing as hot as it was last week in Raritan Bay, but with bigger fish. The bass were in shallow waters at the back of the bay when he came out of Keyport, and it was the Tony Maja 5-ounce mo-jos that did the job trolling. His friends kept a couple and released others steadily before returning early in the morning.  They only came across one short, and released bass up to about the 38 inches that is supposed to go into effect as the maximum on April 1 if the governor signs that provision. Right now we’re still fishing on the old regulations.

Dave said that 30 to 40 boats were taking advantage of the perfect weather and what Tony Arcabscio used to call “stupid fishing” when he was chunking out of Great Kills over a decade ago and fishing was so easy that even beginners could drop an anchor anywhere and chunk tripers.  Kayackers were doing as well as power boaters in the exceptionally clear waters, though Dave saw no signs of fish. There wasn’t much to mark in shallow waters, and he never saw a bunker or a bird dive.

The N.J. D.E.P. issued a press release today encouraging outdoor activities except in groups. Commissioner Catherine McCabe emphasized that the state parks and Wildlife Management Areas are open and not charging fees. The rest rooms are closed, as are the offices. Anyone needing any sort of license must go online.  Social distancing is required. Be sure to stay at least six feet away from anyone else.

West winds of 10-15 knots are forecast for tonight with gusts to 20 and rain after midnight. Friday starts with west winds of 5-10 knots and rain before switching to north in the afternoon.

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