With the population having been in a decline for a few years, it’s not surprising that there wasn’t a good bluefish run into the rivers during the spring. However, the small blues which party boats have been working on in recent summers did show up — and now there are a few bigger choppers among them.
At Belmar, the Golden Eagle didn’t have another “awesome” day, but those who worked at it did well with blues from 3 to 10 pounds on a gorgeous ocean day. Some porgies, a 5-pound fluke and some shorts were also caught. Miss Belmar Princess had a similar report with 3-7-pound blues that hit all day, but only for those working for them with Ava 27 and 67 jigs — plain or tailed. Anglers are restricted to five blues on licensed party and charter boats, but just three otherwise.
I went back to river casting this morning and could have limited with blues of about 4 and 5 pounds plus my first big blue this year — a fat 26-incher that tore off quite a bit of line from my small Canyon spinner in a strong current. Those blues were released after hitting a Z Man 5-inch pearl DieZel MinnowZ. The ElaZtech material on those paddletails stands up to bluefish teeth pretty well.
Fluke fishermen found better conditions when they got back out into the ocean on Thursday. but the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands reported fishing conditions weren’t as good today. There were some keepers up to just under 5 pounds, and three jumbo porgies — though sea bass had to be released since the summer by-catch season is closed.
Those looking to get in on the great yellowfin tuna run have an opportunity as the Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant is setting up open boat spaces on another boat with seats at $995 on Sept. 8-9.
It looks as if a fine Labor day weekend is coming up. Saturday’s forecast is for northwest winds at 5-10 knots before going southwest in the afternoon.