October’s surfcasting along the Jersey Shore has been tough to say the least. Except for cocktail blues in the Seaside area on bait, there have been few reports from the beach. However Nick Honachefsky sent along a shot (see below) of a fillet table during last weekend’s Barrier Island Beach Brawl with some of the fine-eating fish caught during the contest and donated to St. Gregory’s Pantry in Point Pleasant to feed the needy after the fish were filleted by volunteers.
We were hoping to see the first sign of migratory stripers from the east after the northeast blow, but there was nothing but rough waters when I tried Manasquan this morning — though it was fishable and not dirty. Allen Riley had the same results at Sandy Hook, where the conditions were favorable. He didn’t see any bait in the wash were it is usually at this time of year.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc got underway with daily striper fishing on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands. He said some stripers were caught (see photo below} on the first trip at the end of the tide, but the current didn’t move enough after the change. He thinks it will be better tomorrow just before the new noon. Be sure to bring a stout enough rod to handle heavy sinkers.
Dave Lilly had good action drifting eels in the Hudson today, but the stripers caught were only in the low 30-inches class before he switched to trolling bunker spoons on the way back and released a 44-pounder.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar got back offshore to find big blues. Jigging started fast, but slowed the rest of the day as they switched to sea bass. The biggest blue was about 14 pounds. Miss Belmar Princess also saw lots of blues, but had a hard time catching some though they ran up to about 14 pounds. Jon Falkowski of Linden was aboard and happy to jig three as one was large.
The storm was even tougher on bottom fishing. Capt. Ron Santee Jr. made many drops with his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands and caught 4 fluke, 4 legal sea bass plus lots of tiny ones, 3 short tog and one pool winner — and not a single porgy from the stirred-up bottom.
The Thursday forecast is for south winds at 15-20 knots increasing to 20-25 in the afternoon.