Instead of the channel bass (red drum) that were the most important inshore game fish along the central N.J. coast a hundred years ago coming back with Climate Change, cold water cod are being caught by anglers seeking sea bass in mid-May.

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina reports that Ben Green of Ocean Township boated a 25-pound cod off Pt. Pleasant today. The Ocean Explorer reported cod were mixed in with numerous sea bass plus ling and a few whiting yesterday afternoon. Sand eel teasers and a jig have been producing more and larger sea bass than bait,

Capt, Ron Santee Jr, gladly switched to sea bass yesterday with his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands and not only caught plenty of them but also a dozen cold water whiting which have been a rare sight in recent years. The Sea Hunter from that port has only been picking some stripers and blues, and will not sail morrow. However, the boat will fish for stripers from Tuesday to Thursday before shifting to fluke on Saturday.

Matthews also reports that Scotty Lex caught a 25-pound striper on a plug north of Shark River, while Kenneth Rittman fed a clam to a 75-pound black drum off Convention Hall in Asbury Park. There are still blues in Shark River.

The great weather continues with sunshine and southwest winds at 5 knots going to southeast in the afternoon.

Capt. Chris De Stefano got word from Raritan Bay today that blues were making it difficult to get through to stripers. but trolling bunker spoons off the Shore has been producing large stripers.

Happy sea bass anglers aboard the Queen Mary from Pt. Pleasant yesterday.

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