Striped bass in Raritan Bay are the best bet at present, if you can find a way to get at them. Relatively few anglers have boats in the water so far, and getting launched may be a problem as marinas aren’t considered to be an essential business. To top it off, there are no party boats sailing in the bay, and some charter skippers aren’t sailing until the legality of doing so is settled.
Joe Massa went out himself with his My Three Sons from Morgan Marina today and had steady action casting a large shad. He then netted some bunkers and found that the bass responded to them as well. The stripers were mostly 15-20-pounders, but he also released a 40-incher.
Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina can supply bait, and reported a pick of flounder from the docks. One angler told them that he had done well with stripers at Union Beach. A few small stripers have been taken on lures in the local surf.
At Seaside Park, Betty & Nick’s is open for food take-outs, and the rest of the store is accessible for bait and tackle purchases. John Bushell continues to report a strong smell of bluefish blowing in from the surf, though it’s very early for blues.
Grumpy’s Tackle is closed, but the mail order business continues for those using Pay Pal.
Bill Hoblitzell has been raking worms and fishing for flounder, but only catching shorts lately. Yet, he did get a surprise in Point Pleasant Canal when a very early 18-inch blackfish put up a spirited battle on light tackle before the release.
Lots of N.J. anglers are still in Florida. Ric Gross of Point Pleasant said he had a fine offshore trip Wednesday with a boat out of Hillsboro Inlet which trolled lots of blackfin tuna plus little tunny.
Tommy Cox bought a kayak, and has been doing very well in Lemon Bay on the west coast with seatrout, redfish and snook –including a 30-incher yesterday.
Vinny D’Anton is still wading in the Sarasota area, and finding good action as the waters have warmed to 80 degrees. Snook have been hitting the Zara Spook, though it’s been hard to get hooks in them. Seatrout and ladyfish have also been abundant.
Bob Corell of Bay Head and his wife Mary Agnes hosted his brother Todd and wife Karen on his Sea Vee out of Marathon yesterday as they finally got a calm day which produced a good catch of dolphin and blackfin tuna trolling out at the Hump.
Capt. Sal Cursi, who ran the Cathy Sea from Seawaren for many years, took advantage of the good weather a couple of days ago to get out in his small boat at Palm Bay for a limit of mangrove snappers while releasing a few puppy black drum.