Mike Monte is a Jersey Shore native who’s long resided in the striper paradise of Nantucket while continuing to make frequent trips back to the Shore. This morning he decided to try fishing sand fleas for the first time in the Monmouth County surf where the three sand fleas on a drifted hook and tiny shot resulted in a fish which almost dumped his light spinning tackle.

After a long battle, Mike needed both hands to release a 39-inch striper! Sand fleas {actually mole crabs) are a great bait for surf stripers which load up on them when other prey isn’t available, but jumbo bass are very rarely hooked on them. Mike tried again, but only came up with a fluke on the fleas,

Vinny D’Anton wasn’t doing anything in the same general area until a school of 3-pound blues chased rainfish into the beach. Before he went home, a last cast with the Chug Bug at a jetty produced an explosion that turned into a 33-inch striper release.

The Big Mohawk’s first fluke trip turned out very well except for the lack of a big fish that boat is noted for. They did have many limits up to 5 pounds as jigs and Gulp produced best. The Big Mohawk sails from Belmar at 6 a.m.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar got into 2-5-pound blues during the first trip for the choppers that hit teasers, poppers and jigs. Some bonito and fluke were added.

This 311.5-pound bluefin was weighed in last week at Hoffman’s Anchorage in Brielle

The forecast is for north winds at just 5 knots before going southeast in the afternoon

I’m sorry for last night’s screwed up headline as I didn’t check it after editing.

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