Striped bass fishing in NY/NJ Bight has probably never been better for boaters than it is right now, Dave Lilly waited for the crowd to leave yesterday afternoon before going out to troll Tony MJA bunker spoons to Raritan Bay, and still had non-stop action with bass, many of which were in the 30-40-pound class on any color spoon he put out to troll through schools of bunkers so thick that that they blanked out his fishfinder. He was literally too tired to pull on any more bass to over 40 pounds and went in after a couple of hours. Other boaters were catching bass of various sizes on a variety of lures plus live baits. Years ago Tony Maja called this “the stupid fishing” when even casual anglers can catch large bass without having any real knowledge of the underwater structure.

It’s pretty much the same thing in the ocean. where the Golden Eagle reported the bass were up and lures were all that was needed instead of having to work for live bunker baits. Many of these bass are too big to be kept, and anglers have a good shot at a personal record by weighing the fish before release or using the formula of length to the fork of the tail times girth squared and divided by 800.

The Hudson River Fisherman’s Assn. Bass and Blues Surfcasting Derby will be held from 6 -11 a,M. tomorrow at Sandy Hook. The entry fee is $25, and info [s at

Surfcasting hasn’t exploded like the boat action, and I’ve been having phone problems today if anyone has been trying to reach me.

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