It’s that time of year when bluefish normally flood into rivers and bays along the New Jersey coast and Long Island’s south shore, but there are lots of questions this spring after bluefish stocks have been declining for a few years.

Some years those blues are small, but in other springs the first showings provide some of the largest blues of the year. That was the case last May, after the previous year was a bust with just scattered small blues and very few jumbos.

John Bushell reported getting word at Betty & Nick’s Tackle in Seaside Park on Saturday morning that blues were hitting bucktails in the inlet — though there was no mention of size. He also noted this morning that some juvenile stripers were hitting clams in Island Beach State Park.

The park reopened at daylight Saturday, but I heard of problems with cars getting stuck as some without permits were  trying to run the beach without lowering their tires enough.

Phil Fischer fished shallow spots in Raritan Bay just before the blackfish season ended Friday, and had great action with tog up to 8 pounds before running out of bait.

Vinny D’Anton is still fishing in Florida where there have been few restrictions on wading in the Sarasota area. He’s been plugging some spotted seatrout and snook — and also hooked his first bluefish there last week.

Pete Connell extended his stay in Florida, which provided him with lots of action with small snook in the back country at Islamorada plus a big day catching large tarpon..

The marine forecast looks good, with northwest winds at 10-15 knots before increasing to 15-20 with gusts to 25 in the afternoon.

 

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