There was sad news today as Capt. Jeff Gutman passed away after a battle with cancer. Jeff ran the Voyager from Pt. Pleasant, and specialized in trips far offshore for tilefish.

Decades ago I drove down to North Carolina as that trend-setting pro tried to establish a winter party boat fishery for large school bluefin tuna. We were successful that day, but the logistics of that fishery didn’t work out for a party boat. I’m sure Jeff is scouting out some even better fisheries in heavenly waters right nowl

Fluking on the Sea Hunter out of Atlantic Highlands on a fine day was as usual this spring mostly shorts with a few keepers, but there was one very happy angler as Troy Sgozzafava from Central Valley, Pa. fought a 38-inch striped bass which hit a Gulp intended for fluke.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reported a run of black drum on clams in the IBSP surf. They noted that one angler weighed in two over 24 pounds, but there was nothing on their weigh-in list. The shop also mentioned some bluefish action on plugs in the back of the bay.

There was a brief flurry in the Bay Head surf this morning as decent-sized blues hit plugs and metal. I had just checked that area after doing nothing in the canal, and it seemed to be quiet. As I headed home there was a call about the bite being on – but I missed it again after turning around. That almost never works out.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant got into those blues in the river Wednesday as Capt. Dave Riback was heading out. They ended up with about 100 up to their largest of the year at 8 pounds. The Ketchum family had a hot sea bass jigging bite on a Thursday charter, and limited our for an early return at 11 a.m.

The Saturday morning forecast looks good with south winds at 5-10 knots before increasing to 10-15 in the afternoon.

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