Some readers may have noticed in Capt. Dave De Gennaro’s description of his Barnegat Inlet worm drifting technique that he specified using worm hooks with his float rigs which also catch blackfish at the rocks. There’s nothing illegal about that technique since multiple species are involved, though the predominance of short stripers dictates that circle hooks should be employed. Dave went right over to his local tackle shop and bought the last package of small circle hooks left. I’m sure he’ll find them to be just as effective on blackfish as I’ve found them to be on tog in Pt. Pleasant Canal…

I’ve been an advocate of circle hooks ever since starting to use them with clam baits many years ago as they not only reduce swallowed hooks but also produce more hook-ups when used properly by simply reeling into the fish rather than striking. Unfortunately, putting worms on a circle hook is unwieldy. When manufacturers tried to deal with that by offsetting the hook, gut-hooked fish became common. That’s why only non-offset circle hooks qualify when targeting stripers under the rules.

Circle hooks have another huge advantage for the angler as once they set in the jaw they rarely come out even if slack develops in the line. Jeff Merrill has such faith in them that he’s taken the next step and re-rigged his bunker spoons with a single swiveled circle hook that prevents large fish from using the spoon weight to dislodge the hook. That rigging (see photo below) has not only worked with stripers up to 49 inches, but also with a thresher shark snagged in the tail last fall.

pt. pt.

Chuck Many took a ouple of days to travel south for casting to cobia from Capt. Clinton Lessard’s SHO-NUF Sportfisjing out of Cape Charles, Virginia (757 710-0098) with great success.

Capt. Joe Massa of My Three Sons at Morgan Marina took his sons Joseph and Nick to Key West for a couple of days. They got out on a small boat charter for lemon sharks up to 100 pounds in two-foot depths on spinning tackle by chumming and casting snappers to the toothy critters.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a coninuation of very good bluefish jigging today.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands had good fluke action with a couple of limit catches included.

Jim Lauro cast his Band of Anglers Dart Spin for three small bass and a blue;Vinny D’Anton and I did nothing in Shark River this morning before fishing sand fleas in the near-by rough surf asVinny caught three stripers and I broke the ice with one — though all were small. Jim Lauro cast his Band of Anglers Dart Spin for three small bass and a blue.

The forecast is for south winds at 10-15 knots with gusts to 20 plus possible patchy fog in the morning.

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