As good as the northern NJ striper jigging has been. Capt. Rob Semkewyc didn’t expect anything better this morning. Yet, his first drift with the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands turned out to be his best of the striper season. The boat was limited with bonus bass quickly, and 16 of 28 inches or more were added as everyone went home with two keepers. A Thanksgiving trip is set for 6:30 to noon.
Capt. Ron Santee Jr. had similar jigging on his Fishermen from that port as catches ran up to 47 bass plus some blues. A 12-pound bass took the pool. The Fishermen won’t be sailing on Thanksgiving.
Once again the ocean striper fishing was tough despite lots of fish on the surface. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported just a few bass and blues that would hit, and will be trying a different area tomorrow.
Also at Belmar, the Ocean Explorer had a fine day of blackfishing on flat seas as some fares limited quickly on 3-6-pounders. Both jigs and rigs worked.
Paul Haertel had to call off the JCAA blackfish contest as not enough boats entered, but he was out today limiting on his boat at the Axel Carlsen Reef and other spots.
Mike Monte started in the Belmar surf, but ended up getting into some stripers later at Sea Girt. Those were better schoolies of 24 to 27 inches which wanted Zoom Split-tails on a 1/4-ounce jig rather than sand eel lures.
Allen Riley took advantage of the northwest wind to fish Monmouth Beach, but found no bait or birds and nothing being caught when he arrived during mid-morning on a blow-out tide from too much wind.
South winds at 10-15 knots plus gusts to 25 with 3-5-foot seas are forecast for Wednesday. Rain may arrive after midnight.