The long-awaited sea bass opener in N.J. began in perfect calm weather, and the Golden Eagle from Belmar reported they had many limits plus some ling and even cod. That should continue tomorrow with a forecast of southwest winds at a mere 5-10 knots before going south at 10-15 knots in the afternoon.

There wasn’t such good news for party boat striper fishermen though the N.J. Bonus Bass program also opened today. At Atlantic Highlands, there’s been no report from the Sea Hunter since Wednesday when they had one keeper plus shorts. The half-day Sea Tiger has had poor striper fishing. but their anglers got a thrill this week when they spotted a whale inside Raritan Bay.

Striper trolling has been another story. Capt. Vinny Vetere says it could hardly be any better day and night for big bass on his Katfish from Great Kills. Walk-ons are welcomed for the 5-9:30 evening trips. Call Vetere at 917 693-8908.

A member of Betty & Nick’s Fishing Club reported lots of bunker and spot in the Seaside Park surf, but not a hit from 5:30 to 11 a.m.

Capt. Monty Hawkins also had a good sea bass opener on his Morning Star from Ocean City. Md. including this big male.

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