Bluefish populations are down, but there are suddenly lots of them off the North Jersey Shore. The Jamaica from Brielle reported that even novices were jigging them this morning as the choppers ranged from 3 pounds up to a 12-pound pool winner by Marc Stepper from Old Bridge.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar wasn’t fishing on those inshore blues as they had a special tuna trip. That worked out well as they were heading back after catching 20 to 30 school bluefins plus little tunny — and also 150 to 200 big bluefish. Their tuna trips start on Monday July 12 and then every Monday after that in July and August.
There was also good news on the fluke front as the Big Mohawk from Belmar reported their first trip on Wednesday produced some limits with fish in the 5-7-pound class included and lots of short action. They sail at 6 a.m.
At Atlantic Highlands, the Sea Hunter had its first good fluke fishing Wednesday with five or six limits among lots of shorts; The Fishermen’s first fluke trip that day was successful as one angler had two keepers out of 18, and another limited. Th pool fluke was 5.9 pounds.
Monmouth County surfcasting was slow again as I managed a 27-inch striper on sand fleas for the second day in a row. I saw Jim Louro catch two small bass on a Band of Anglers Dart Spin, while Vinny D’Anton missed one on a Chug Bug. I also caught a small smooth dogfish which was the first we’ve ever hooked on sand fleas.
The forecast is for east winds at 5-10 knots before going southeast in the afternoon. Morning showers are possible.
Al: Though I have yet to try sand fleas as a striper bait, I have tied a few rigs with 5/0 circl hooks.
These are fish finder rigs. Am I on the right track?
We use a basic high-low rig with 5/0 circle hooks, but the fishfinder rig should be fine;. Having a second hook helps as crabs eat off the fleas. Cast to white water, and check the rig regularly to keep the hook filled with fleas.