Dave Lilly didn’t take any chances with weekend crowds and left in the dark from Highlands to fish for stripers down the beach. He came across bass on top from Sandy Hook on down, and had non-stop action for his crew on everything they cast. The only problem was that the bass were mostly around 27 inches for his anglers except for his son Jeremy who was casting the same lures to catch 30-inch and better bass. The action turned off as the current slowed, and Lilly passed the Fishermen and Sea Tiger II from Atlantic Highlands on their way out while he was returning with a limit. Lilly said his hands were so cold he didn’t fish, but it was getting warmer when the Fishermen got down the beach. Capt. Ron Santee said the bass turned on again after the current started running and everyone caught lots of fish in mild and calm conditions.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar also reported a boat limit. They start offshore giant sea bass trips next Saturday.
Bob Correll said there was again no surf striper life at Bay Head, but noted that the fleet coming out of the inlet turned south instead of north where the action has been.
Chuck Many as usual did his own thing with Tyman from Highlands as follows:
“Bob Bowden and I decided we were putting the blinders on, as we turned the hook and saw millions of birds over busting fish. We wanted to see if the jumbos were still around. Although that bird play fishing has been awesome, I will trade a 100 of those slot fish for a 40 pound one any day. As is usual, not a scratch on the screen, but put the eels out and within 10 minutes we had a rod double. Had a really good bite for about an hour with fish from the upper 20’s to 44 pounds. Great way to end my fall season up here. Time to head south and change jumbo bass in the Chesapeake and Reds in Hilton Head. Back in April!” See photos below,
Good news for surfcasters came from Mike Monte, who found schoolies in the Monmouth County surf that were feeding on sand eels and responded to the Tsunami 6-inch Sand Eel. That bait should hold the bass after most head south when the peanut bunkers leave.
A small craft warning goes up Sunday afternoon before switching to a gale watch in the evening. The forecast is for southwest winds at 15 knots with gusts to 20 before going to south at 20-25 with gusts to 30 in the afternoon. Rain is possible both in the morning and afternoon.