Perfect surfcasting weather coming up

While a gale warning is bad news for boaters, when it’s from the northwest that’s fine for Jersey Shore surfcasters except during low tides when it might blow all the water off the beach. Since it’s also possible to fish in partially protected areas, some boats may also get back into action tomorrow. Be sure to check with skippers before coming down.

Northwest winds are gusting up to 35 knots this evening, but are forecast to drop to 15-20 with gusts to 25 by morning — and to diminish by afternoon to 10-15 knots.

There were no boat reports today, but the Ocean Explorer from Belmar had an unusual blackfish report from Sunday when the tog bite actually improved as it got rougher by late morning. Some limits were taken.

Boaters paid the price to catch stripers today

The east wind came up quickly today, and Capt. Rob Semkewyc said he buried the bow of his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands for the first time — and then that happened twice more! Fortunately, stripers bit even under those conditions and everyone went home with a striper dinner even though he docked at 11:45 and handed out discount coupons to customers so they can come back on a better day to enjoy the fishing — which won’t be tomorrow.

Capt. Ron Santee Jr. of the Fishermen at that port said the bite started slowly, but when it got really nasty the bass settled on the bottom and hit steadily in the “snot”. Catches ranged up to 28, and everyone caught them. It was a big change from Friday’s best striper trip of the year in calm waters and yesterday’s fine action in parking lot conditions between the channels. The Fishermen won’t sail until Tuesday.

Not surprisingly, it wasn’t nice on the ocean. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported having to make a very long trip in rough waters to get to where some stripers and blues would bite.

Betty & Nick’s Tackle in Seaside Park reported good catches of stripers on lures yesterday. and also a bite on clams. Hickory shad are abundant.

The Jamaica from Brielle will be sailing to the far offshore wrecks for jumbo sea bass at 11 p.m. Tuesday. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations. Joe Welsh from Lake Hopatcong won Saturday’s pool with a 9-pound cod along with his sea bass limit. Marc Shorts of Roselle had a 7-pound pollock.

After east gusts to 25 knots this afternoon, small craft warnings are up through Monday night — but the morning forecast is for a calming west at15-20 before NW gusts to 30 knots in the afternoon. Morning showers are possible.

Stripers for all between the channels

Though the ocean stripers were fussy for some, it appears that everyone fishing between the channels or anywhere near there caught all the school stripers they could handle.

Dave Lilly said his crew had non-stop action casting Tony Maja Mo-Jos, but everyone within sight was doing the same thing with a variety of lures. The action continued even after he drifted off into 72 feet. There weren’t any big bass, but lots of keepers up to about 34 inches. Bluefish were being caught on umbrella rigs, but didn’t bother the casting lures. Lilly took a look over at the Tin Can Grounds to get away from the crowd, but was surprised to find no fish over there.

Capt. Stan Zagleski was delighted with the fishing he found with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands despite all the boat traffic. A new 11-year-old customer, Stan Tactakoeski of Fair Lawn, showed his elders how to do it by catching 16 stripers.

It was a different story in the ocean. At Belmar, the Golden Eagle reported incredible bird action and fish on top, but boat traffic was outrageous and only a few bass and blues were boated. Miss Belmar Princess had a similar report.

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina said surfcasting for bass has been boom or bust. Mike Monte caught a couple of school bass on a Tsunami Sand Eel and missed others early at Belmar despite low water conditions.

Sunday’s forecast is for east winds at 15-20 knots..

Mixed results on stripers in SW wind

The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported that the weatherman was right about today being sunny and warm — but the southwest wind blew a lot harder than expected. Once again, there were fish on top, though the catching was something else. However, blues to 15 pounds were more cooperative as everything was on jigs. That boat sails at 6:30 Saturday and Sunday.

Miss Belmar Princess went south looking for a better bite, but encountered fussy stripers there also. They did get a few slots and a couple of bigger bass up to 36 inches.

The Atlantic Highlands boats did better on bass yesterday than those from the Shore. The Fishermen had a slow start before getting steady action with slots and up to 34 inches. Plain jigs worked best, but a couple were caught on shads. The Sea Hunter reported boating 18 bonus bass yesterday plus a bigger one while releasing many shorts and adding bluefish. Capt. Rob Semkewyc was out again today with a small group of anglers who quickly limited with slots. There were a couple of shots at 28-38-inch bass — and a 44-incher was released. Today there were only a couple of blues.

Vinny D’Anton reported that the southwest wind was a killer for surfcasting as is often the case. He went to Ocean County and saw bait, but nothing was being caught. The switch to northwest tomorrow could make a big difference,

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar had somewhat better blackfishing on Thursday as the high hook bagged four and hooked a dozen shorts. The key to success was using a light jig on spinning tackle as they’re fishing in only 30-50 feet.

The Jamaica from Brielle is sailing almost every night at 11 p.m. for jumbo sea bass and porgies on far offshore wrecks, Call 732 528-5014 for reservations. The pool winners on a recent trip were Juan Sasion of Linden with a 6-pound sea bass and David Livingston from Clayton, Delaware with a 5-pounder.

The Hi Flier from Barnegat is sailing open for stripers the next two days, with a limit of four at $225. Call 732 330-5674 for reservations on the 6-2 trips.

Small craft warnings are up this afternoon for southwest gusts to 30 knots , but Saturday looks great with northwest at 5-10. Sunday forecasts as east at 15 with gusts to 20 knots.

Shore surfcasting breaks open

Surfcasting along the N.J. Shore finally broke open yesterday though I didn’t get the reports before publishing my blog. Jerry Lasko said he got into a mini-blitz on an Ocean County beach yesterday morning as stripers were working on bunkers larger than peanuts and smaller than adults. He caught bass on poppers up to a 34-incher, but many other lures also worked — including a Tsunami Sand Eel. Mike Monte reported walking into an 11 a.m. blitz of schoolies at Brick Beach. Nick Honachefsky went back to the beach in the evening to release 33 from 24-29 inches on a black Bomber — and was into them again this morning. Vinny D’Anton went south to catch schoolies on metal.

Surfcasters actually seemed to find more receptive stripers today than ocean boaters. At Belmar, the Golden Eagle reported a smaller catch of stripers than yesterday plus some big blues though there were lots of fish on the surface. They will sail early tomorrow at 6. Miss Belmar Princess had a similar report of stripers reluctant to hit, though some keepers over 28 inches were boated.

Small craft warnings are up for southwest gusts to 30 knots this evening, but they drop to 15-20 by morning and diminish in the afternoon.

Ocean stripers didn’t mind the wind

The Golden Eagle from Belmar managed to get out today despite the cold wind forecast, and they had hot action with stripers right away before ending up with a boat limit plus many releases and some bluefish,

The Sea Hunter didn’t sail from Atlantic Highlands today, but will be ready to go tomorrow.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had a boat limit of stripers and many releases on their Tuesday Striper Marathon. The hi-hook caught 15 bass plus eight blues.

Jay Russell thought he had something going at sunset yesterday in Spring Lake when he caught two school bass on as many casts with a Mambo Minnow — but that was it.

Thursday starts with southwest winds at 10-15 knots plus gusts to 20 before increasing in the afternoon to 15-20 plus gusts to 30.

Another good striper day for boaters

The ocean was calm and the stripers cooperated for boaters — but the tough pick continued on the surf.

Capt. Ron Santee Jr. of the Fishermen at Atlantic Highlands reported a calm ocean and lots of action even right through the change of tide. John the Vet was high hook, catching 21 stripers that were all slots and bonus bass. The pool fish was a 37-incher. Unfortunately, the wind will prevent fishing until Thursday.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had decent fishing early with stripers on top and blues in addition.

Vinny D’Anton finally got a small striper from the surf when he tried Brick Beach, but that was it for his morning. The surf was down and cleared up. Mike Monte tried Sea Girt, but that area was pretty quiet even though there was some bait. He feels the water temperature has to drop a bit more.

A small craft advisory goes up at 6 p.m. and through Wednesday afternoon. Northwest winds of 15-20 knots with gusts to 30 are forecasted for the morning.

West winds bode well for surfcasters

There’s a stretch of west winds coming up which could well bring the first big breakthrough in Jersey Shore surfcasting as well as knocking down the swell.

Small craft warnings are up through tonight. but west winds of 15-20 knots with gusts to 30 should reduce the 4-6-foot seas and clear waters muddied from the gale.

Arthur Young e-mailed this morning after seeing fish breaking on a beach cam at Manasquan, but Vinny D’Anton reported he fished there without a hit and at other areas where the water was badly discolored and there was no bait. However, gannets were diving everywhere offshore and whales were spotted.

Bob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar said he saw a few bass caught in the local surf this morning, and had reports from Dover Township and Sandy Hook. It seemed to be better later in the morning with metal or a Tsunami Sand Eel plus a teaser. He noted that blackfish boats were catching in areas close to shore. The Golden Eagle was limited jigging stripers by 9 a.m.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc said he wouldn’t have sailed with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands if he knew it would 40, but when the wind dropped off somewhat late in the morning his 12 fares l,imited with both bass over 28 inches and bonus bass. Tomorrow looks fishable, but Wednesday is canceled due to 30 knot winds and cold.

The Golden Eagle is sailing early at 6:30 on Tuesdays. Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through November in order to get in on the best striper bite. In addition to limits of legal bass today they released additional slots and some overs to 47 inches. Some big blues were added.

Nick Honachefsky  caught this big bass Saturday while casting poppers with Capt. Brien Keating to lunkers up to 30 pounds breaking under birds. Tactical Angler poppers did the job.

On Nov 16, 2020, at 9:58 AM, Nick Honachefsky

Switch to west winds should knock down seas

Though the gale warning continues into the morning, the switch to west winds should knock down big seas and make fishing possible on the opening day of the blackfish season as the limit goes up to five at a 15-inch minimum. West winds will be 20-25 knots with gusts to 30.

Gale warning Sunday

There likely won’t be any boat fishing in exposed areas tomorrow as a gale warning is posted.

There will be southeast winds at 15-20 knots early plus gusts to 25 — before increasing to 25-30 with gusts to 40 in the afternoon when seas increase to 7 feet.

Striper fishing was tough today. The Golden Eagle from Belmar saw lots of stripers thrashing on the surface, but only a few overs were released and a few keepers boated. Of course, they will not sail Sunday.

At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc had readings on his Sea Hunter similar to yesterday’s hot bite, but the bass were turned off today and most were under 28 inches. Some slots and a few larger bass saved the day. Capt. Ron Santee Jr. was happy he left early with the Fishermen as the first drift provided almost all the action for the day though they picked away at a few bass and blues, Those boats won’t be sailing tomorrow.