As redicted in yesterday’s blog, Black Friday turned out to be a Bonanza for boaters. Indeed, it seemed impossible for boaters to get shut out wherever they went.The Golden Eagle from Belmar left early and sent possibly the quickest report ever — that they were limited on stripers by 9 a.m. on two drifts! They’ll be leaving at 6:30 again in the morning to get on the bass before the crowd.
Rich Carrione didn’t take a chance on the sometimes fussy ocean stripers and ran all the way from Manasquan to Between the Channels with Bustin’Chop and had constant action on diamond jigs from 7:30 to 9:30 before the fish shut down. They caught 15 bass up to 36 inches plus six blues up to 12 pounds as the many boats around them were doing the same.
At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc summed it up as perfect weather and perfect fishing. When you don’t hear party boat skippers complain about being crowded by private boats on a holiday you can imagine how good the fishing was. There were lots of slots plus a few bigger bass up to a 38-inch pool linesider.
Capt. Ron Santee Jr. reported from slots up to a 34-incher on his Fishermen as two anglers in the bow combined for over 80 bass. Big blues were mixed in and came up stuffed with sand eels.
Allen Riley and John Mazzeo figured they’d have ideal surfcasting conditions this morning at Sandy Hook– which they did. There was a high tide at dawn and a calm sea — but no bait or birds. Riley managed one hickory shad on a Deadly Dick, but there was no sign of stripers among the many anglers at that popular area,
There was a better report from Betty & Nick’s Tackle in Seaside Park as a 20 1/4-pound striper was weighed after hitting bunker at Island Beach State Park.
The great weather continues Saturday with northwest winds at 10-15 knots plus gusts to 20,