I hope my fellow vets are catching something special like this swordfish aboard Capt. Nick Stanczyk’s charter boat at Bud ‘Mary’s Marina in Islamorada, Florida Keys.

Even on a rough day, Chuck Many was able to get his crew on Tyman from Highlands into many striper releases without another boat in sight.

While NY/NJ Bight boat fishing for striped bass has been as good as anyone could hope for. there’s been hardly any reports of bluefish among them as we had expect as a given just a few years ago.

Though the decline in bluefish during recent decades has been met with conservation regulations t that seemed to be working as the summer fishery was up to expectations, surfcasters have noted the small blues which used to be a fall staple just aren’t showing this year — nor have the blitzes of big blues been occurring despite the abundance of bunkers for them to feast on. It wasn’t many years ago that November was my favorite month for jumbo blues which provided great popper action around bunker schools with an occasional large striper. Now it’s exactly the opposite with stripers completely dominating. Most of us would prefer that arrangement, but the lack of blues is still a concern — especially for surfcasters who haven’t been getting into striper action as has been the case for boaters.

Vinny D’Anton also noted a lack of snappers this fall when he was surfcasting for fluke with Gulp. Normally that’s a good method during the summer until the year class of snappers invades the surf while nipping the tails off the Gulp every cast. Yet, that didn’t happen this fall.

Vinny is still waiting for the surf to turn on in Monmouth County. He did see some large bunkers with birds hovering over them in the north pocket of Manasquan Inlet this morning. Party boats went to them on the way out, but Vinny didn’t see anything caught. He’s hoping that the coming cold front will trigger the first significant run of migratory school stripers down the beach.

A gale warning is up at 3 p.m. through Saturday morning. The Saturday forecast is for southwest winds at at25-30 knots plus gusts to 40 with 8- to-11-foot seas. However, that will switch to a calming west at 15-20 knots in the afternoon.

Capt. Ron Santee reported more great striper fishing on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. He had two hours of tide with steady striper action on shads and jigs before it slowed on the change. Catches ranged up to 20 as everyone got in on the surface bite. That boat is chartered Saturday.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had great striper fishing yesterday, but has cancelled for Saturday due to the weather.


  1. The report about the lack of snappers is right. I was able to fish for fluke in the Navesink River right up to the end of the season without snappers biting off the baits. In over 50 years of fishing the river, this is the first time that has happened. But there were lots of crabs chewing on everything.


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