With waters still relatively mild, striped bass have been reluctant to leave the Jersey Shore, but boat options for anglers are disappearing as a mid-week northeaster gets closer.
At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Ron Santee Jr. went out in a blaze of glory with his Fishermen today as the high hook jigged 79 stripers. Capt. Rob Semkewyc had a slot bass for everyone from among the many small fish plus some keepers on his Sea Hunter. He will be sailing in the morning, but has cancelled the rest of the week.
Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that the blackfish boats have had their moments, including their capture of a 15-pound tog. Winter flounder are being caught from the docks. Tom Tini from Pa. caught eight up to a 3 1/8-pounder while keeping only his limit of two. Matthews notes that surfcasting for mostly 24-28-inch stripers has its moments for those casting Tsunami Sand Eels and similar sand eel lures. Add a teaser unless you don’t want to deal with hickory shad.
Dan Sheehan reports there were small stripers feeding in the wash at Sea Bright early this morning, but hits were few and far between.
Jerry Lasko had a good morning yesterday in the Ocean County surf when he and Maren Toleno waded out on the sand bar to get into better-sized bass including some keeper releases up to a 32-incher by Maren as part her 15 while Jerry counted 10. The yellow-tailed Ava jig plus a teaser did the job as they both had two doubleheaders. A south wind killed the afternoon bite as Jerry only added two bass.
Frank Huza went to Island Beach State Park early this morning where he couldn’t get hit, but saw four bass caught among many anglers. His next surfcasting trip will be on April 1, 2021.
Vinnie D’Anton left the surf stripers to fish out of his winter home in Sarasota and got into 15 large spotted sea trout on DOA Shrimp and MirrOlures during his first wading attempt.
Monday’s forecast is for northeast winds at only 5-10 knots before increasing to 10-15 knots with gusts to 20 in the afternoon.