Allen Riley and Duke Matero made their first Sandy Hook surfcasting effort of the year this morning, and had pretty good conditions with a calm surf and enough water. Though Lot A is closed, there were other lots available at the southern end on a chilly, but pleasant day. Allen fished sandworms and Duke used fresh bunker chunks, but they didn’t even have a tap.
There was better surf news from Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park. All of the local beach is open to anglers, and lots of short stripers are being hooked on small pieces of fresh shucked clam. It’s the same story at IBSP, where the hours are from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is free, but a 2020 permit is required in order to drive the beach.
Mark Roy started off this morning with his Release Me from Raritan Marina in Hazlet off the Navy Pier, but only saw small stripers being caught there. After only catching one there, and not getting any hits from swirling bass, he ran to the back of the bay where trolling mo-jos produced better-sized stripers for Robert and Jacob Foehner of Warren even though there was no sign of bunkers. The fish count was up to eight when I talked to him at 5 p.m.
The Thursday morning forecast looks good with a northeast breeze at just 5 knots before going south in the afternoon at 15-20 with gusts to 25 knots plus 4-6-foot seas.
The latest standings in the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association Catch & Release contest (supplied by Joe Albanese) were topped by a 42.5-inch boat striper that was also the Calcutta leader. The largest from shore was a 34-incher, and a 29-inch bass from shore was the largest released with a tag.