The spring surf striper bite on mole crabs (sand fleas) has been slow to start, but Vinny D’Anton caught three schoolies yesterday morning to get things started in a very comfortable surf.

I joined him this morning and watched Tommy Cox release his first surf striper of the season while Vinny also hooked a short. I couldn’t get a bump during my first surf effort of the year, and was shocked when I finally hooked up to a fish that was taking line off what I thought was a fairly heavy drag. It turned out to be a well-rounded bass that was 28 inches on the nose. That pleasant surprise was only the second time I’ve started started my surf season with a keeper – though it was released. Hopefully, that will lead to many more after a tough 2020 in the surf.

Chuck Many said bluefish created havoc on his eels as he fished further up the shore on his Tyman from Highlands, but his crew managed to release a few stripers from 36 to 47 pounds.

Dave Lilly of Hazlet is recovering from a serious illness, but that striper and fluke pro was up to the task of reeling in the 300 feet of wire needed to get down to bass in 40-foot depths in Raritan Bay as Tony Maja bunker spoons in every color tried produced 11 releases from 28 inches to three in the 30-pound class for the crew.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had another great day of sea bass fishing and added some ling plus a big fluke.

The marine weather forecast is for south winds at 5-10 knots with a chance of morning showers.

Capt. Vinny Vetere has been enjoying great striper action on his Katfish from Great Kills and sent one of last week’s photos.

CCapt/

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