Though the gale warning continues through tonight, there should be much better weather ahead. Northeast gusts to 40 knots drop to 20-25 knots Sunday with 6-9-foot seas and rain. However, Monday is looking much better with west winds at just 5-10 knots plus a chance of morning rain.

While the northeast winds will be diminishing, there isn’t any forecast of strong west winds to knock down the sea. As a result, it may take a couple of days to settle and clear ocean waters. Sea bass fishing has been generally very good, but big swells aren’t good for bottom fishing. Jon Falkowski of Linden fished aboard the Golden Eagle from Belmar during the last beautiful day on Thursday He said fishing started slowly, but after 10 a.m. there were plenty of sea bass and ling caught while he also hooked a conger and an ocean pout.

Chuck Many had been doing very well with huge stripers to over the magic 50-pound mark on his Ty Man from Highlands prior to the storm, and felt badly that Lee Wakefield’s cow bass release barely missed the 50-pound status.

The same thing happened Wednesday when Many counted 41 releases from 34 to 49 pounds with David Mangone fighting the biggest.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc wasn’t happy with the early fluke fishing, and switched some weekday trips on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands to live lining bunkers for large bass on a reservation basis at $100 a man. That worked out well, and he’s planning to do the same thing this week.

I

I joined Mark Roy and his friend Bob on Release Me from Raritan Marina for a Thursday run into the bay where we had a hard time finding bunkers. We ended up limiting in the back of the bay with the few we managed to snag though bluefish were a problem. Mark dropped me off so I could drive home in daylight, but after running back out they found the late afternoon bite was all blues when they trolled mo-jos in the same area where we had been marking bass.

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