Gale no problem for Maren

The northeast gale probably shut down boat fishing, but Maren Toleno still gave the Brick surf a try this afternoon. Jerry Lasko, who’s grounded after a medical procedure for two weeks, watched her catch eight stripers in almost impossible surf conditions by casting a 2 1/2-ounce Skippy metal. He noted that the bass were “cookie-cutter” 20-22-inchers that were much lighter in color than those we’ve been  catching.

Jerry reported that another angler took advantage of the gale. Casting for stripers is normally poor in Point Pleasant Canal on a Saturday due to all the boat traffic, but that wasn’t a problem today as Will Fredrick caught a 28-inch striper.


Will Frederick 28-inchThe forecast is for more gale warnings through Sunday afternoon. It will ne northeast at 20-25 knots with gusts to 35 tomorrow plus a chance of afternoon rain.

The surf was looking up just before the gale. Blog reader Chip Harter hit the right place at the right time by casting around 1 p.m. as bass were chasing peanut bunkers at Sea Girt. He caught five 26-inchers and lost others.

Jerry Lasko said peanuts were in the Brick surf that evening, but even those snagging bunkers couldn’t get hits.

Vinny D’Anton found some school bass at Belmar that hit his Chug Bug popper.

John Mazzeo took a Friday morning shot at Sandy Hook and quickly caught a 22-inch bass on a swim shad before ending up with six, including a doubleheader.  He noted that all anglers on the beach caught at least one bass feeding in peanut bunkers.

Capt. Chris De Stefano fished aboard Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club on Thursday as they trolled from the Spring Lake Hotel to Asbury Park to catch 20-25-pound stripers plus one over 43 inches. After spotting bass in bunker schools they snagged baits that brought lots of spiny dogfish to the surface in a flurry that also had them nipping at the bass. On the way in there were clouds of birds over small stripers off Manasquan Inlet.

There were mixed results on Friday when I joined Mark Roy on his Release Me from Raritan Marina, but we had to work hard for every short and slot striper we caught from the mouth of the bay and in the ocean. The back of the bay which had been loaded with bass last weekend was devoid of life.

Joe Blaze fished a charter with Capt. Fletcher Chayes on Two River Charters from Highlands. They did well casting to shorts and slots offshore of Shrewsbury Rocks, but the big story was the juvenile thresher shark that Tom Fote released after it hit a small teaser and never cut him off. The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported over 100 bass on Friday that included slots and keepers with a pool bass in the 30’s.

Gale warnings up

There were lots of boats on the ocean today, but that won’t be the case Saturday as we’re headed for a weekend northeast storm.

A gale warning is up tonight. and continues through the afternoon.   The day starts with northeast winds at 20-25 knots with gusts to 35 — before getting worse.Today’s results were mixed, and I’ll catch up with them tomorrow.

Katfish trolls a 67.55-lb striper

Capt. Vinny Vetere  trolled the biggest striped bass of his charter fishing career with Katfish from Great Kills today as a 67.55-pound bass hit his TGT gold/white bunker spoon to set a standard that will be hard to surpass this season. That bass was 55 inches in length. Katfish is booked tomorrow, but open on the weekend. The only problem is that a gale warning is going up Friday night through Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow starts well with west winds at 5-10 knots before increasing to 10-15 in the afternoon with nusts to 20.

Boaters did well today. Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter at Atlantic Highlands said it was his best day of the year as long drifts with everyone catching were possible rather than having to chase birds.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle reported splashing stripers that were easy to catch as they had a boat limit. The Big Mohawk also had a boat limit, and the pool winner was just under 30 pounds.

The surf was another matter, though Nick Honachefsky found school stripers chasing peanut bunkers at Lavallette — though the baits were very small and the bass fussy. Nick plugged a 34-inch striper at Normandy Beach last evening.

Fishing slowed at Brick Beach this morning, but John Gregor released a 26-inchbass. The big surprise was the arrival of the biggest and most aggressive sea herring I’ve ever seen  Those 17-inchers were fat and hit Tsunami Sand Eels with ferocity. Most of the 11 I caught hit the Sand Eel rather than a small teaser, and fought almost as hsard as stripers. I even caught one on a Run-Off Sand Eel metal jig. Another one jumped three feet out of the water like a tarpon to shake out the lure. Maren Toleno found one small bass among the abundant herring. Mike Monte, who grew up in Belmar, but has long lived in Nantucket caught three small bass during his first attempt at Brick this week.

Boaters anxious to get back to striper fishing

Sorry for delay. Word press was giving me problems.

After two days of wind and cold, the fleet is ready to resume striper fishing before the next blast of northeast winds over the weekend.

West winds at just 5-10 knots are forecast for Thursday.

Maren Toleno got into another shot of first light surfcasting in the northern Ocean County surf, and had released seven bass before I arrived — but only caught one after that. I went back at dusk to break the ice with a large schoolie that blasted my Tsunami Sand Eel in the wash. There was also good news for the future as my small fly teaser attracted two 14-inch herring.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar  is ready to get back on the ocean stripers they had before the weather turned. They will be sailing early at 6 a.m. The Big Mohawk from Belmar will run a limited striper trip at 6:30.The Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands has been releasing all but one blackfish per man while watching N.Y. boats keeping tog from N.J. grounds. They’ll be able to get back to real blackfishing when the N.J. season reopens on Saturday. The Elaine B. sails daily at 7.

Capt. Hans Kaspersetz reports that his trip to Quepos, Costa Rica was highlighted by grandson Sheldon’s blue marlin release that was illustrated in last night’s blog. Quite a start in big game fishing for an 8-year-old! Grandson Griffen (10)  caught a 30-pound snook while trolling a live herring from Capt. Roy Zapa’s panga’ close to shore, and Hans Kaspersetz Jr. released his first sailfish.







Gale warning tonight, but good weather coming

A gale warning is posted for tonight, and many boats are going to wait out another day before sailing into calmer seas on Thursday and Friday. The forecast for tomorrow is northwest at 20-25 knots and very cold early, but dropping to 10-15 in the afternoon.

Today’s forecast seemed to scare off most surfcasters in northern Ocean County, but Maren Toleno and John Gregor got into a hot surf bite on a northern Ocean County early this morning and had stripers on steadily for awhile even though there was no sign of anything in the area. Maren stayed most of the morning to work the rest of the beach and ended up with 20 striper releases. I got there a bit too late, but still managed three 23-inch releases plus a sun dial and a doubleheader if hickory shad. The latter was unusual because I was casting a Vision Surf Eel at that time and one of those 14-inch shad was on that lure which it couldn’t have possibly swallowed.


The surf was rough with a big swell, byt clean. The strong west winds should flatten it out very shortly

The Golden Eagle from Belmar has cancelled for tomorrow, but will sail early at 7 Thursday on a limited striper trip. They’re anxious to get out again after the great bite of surfacing bass yesterday.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands took today off, and will do the same tomorrow. They had a great Monday trip with hundreds of shorts not far from port plus four bass over 28 inches on the boat.

Capt. Hans Kaspersetz’s grandson, Sheldon, fighting an estimated 350-pound  blue marlin off Quepos, Costa Rica last week, More about this tomorrow.

Sheldon fighting marlin

Ocean stripers rally before a big blow

It may be hard to get out to them tomorrow, but there were lots                                                                       of feeding stripers in the ocean today.

At Belmar, the Big Mohawk reported a boat limit of bass aboard by 9 a.m. after an early start. The pool   winner was about 30 pounds. Due to the weather forecast, they will not sail tomorrow.

T h e   G o l d e n   Eagle d e s c r i b e d   a   m a s s   o f   s t a r t i pers on the surface as keepers,bonus bass and shorts were all biting and everyone brought home fish.

Cob Matthews at Fisherman’s Den has weighed three stripers over 50 pounds this week, with the largest being a 58-pounder trolled on a bunker spoon by Jeff Fairbanks of Bradley Beach off Asbury Park Bob says smaller bass now dohinate the boat catches. Winter flounder and blackfish are hitting in Shark Rive. Bob is picking some school stripers in the surf, but no keepers so far.He’s looking forward to the blackfish limit increasing to five on Nov. 16.

John Mazzeo missed a surf striper blitz at Sandy Hook, and has given up trying to run after fast-moving fish as some were able to do.

Jay Russel fished the Spring Lake surf this evening and was delighted to hook a striper on a Tsunami Sand Eel.

Blog follower Charlie G. said there was a blitz of 10-pound bass in the Asbury Park area at 3 p.m. Friday. At this time of year you just never know when it might happen.


Small craft warnings are up through Tuesday afternoon, and the go to a gale warning. Tuesday starts with west winds at 20 knots and gusts to 25 while going northwest in the afternoon. Rain is also predicted.

Capt. Arthur Stokes was looking for bluefin tuna today on the Mentor from Monmouth Beach but those spotted couldn’t be trolled. They did catch a couple of stripers trolling inshore at tuna speed.

The Jamaica from Brielle had a good start to offshore wreck fishing on Sunday as there were some sea bass limits to 6 1/2 pounds plus some porgies, cod and pollock along with a few ling. Michael Dennis of Newark won the pool with a 16-pound cod, followed by Alex Morgans of Bayville with a 7-pound cod. Wreck trips will sail every Wednesday Friday, Saturday and Sunday leaving at 11 p.m. the night before. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

Stripers cooperate for boaters

Though the action wasn’t up to what we had Thursday, Mark Roy and I had good casting for school stripers today on Mark’s Release Me from Raritan Marina. My first fish was a 27 1/2-inch bass, and I thought that might mean bigger bass than the abundant shorts and slots had moved in. Yet, it wasn’t until the afternoon that I picked up a 29-incher among the 39 bass that Mark and I caught on 5 1/2-inch Storm and Tsunami shads.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc told me that he had good action in the morning off the park with some keepers plus slots on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported stripers splashing on the surface and more willing to hit. as they ended up with a good catch.

The weather holds tomorrow with south winds at 5-10 knots before there’s a switch at night to southwest gusts to 30 knots  that will lead to very cold and windy weather on Tuesday.


Cold day, hot stripers

It was very cold this morning, but many anglers who dressed for the weather enjoyed fine striper fishing both in Raritan Bay and the ocean.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc was disappointed to see so few anglers at his Sea Hunter in Atlantic Highlands, but they soon warmed up to the jigging and all went home with stripers.

Capt. Joe Massa was out by himself on his My Three Sons from Morgan Marina and said he had his choice of school stripers over most of the bay. Though there were no keepers caught there on poppers, he went outside the bay and trolled keepers on mo-jos.



The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported lots of fish on top as they boated a mix of bonus bass and keepers while releasing sorts before the current died around noon and dogfish took over.

Capt. Vinny Vetere had hot trolling action with his Katfish from Great Kills and ended up catching 36 bass to a 47-pounder. That boat is open for Sunday,. Call 917 693-8908 if you’d like to get in on that fishing.

The day starts well with southwest winds at 10-15 knots before small craft warnings go up for afternoon gusts to 25 knots that continue into Monday.


Capt. Dave De Gennaro is running open Monday with his Hi Flier from Barnegat. The 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for a $200 fare. Call him at 732 330-5674.

The JCAA is running its annual Sportsperson of the Year Dinner Sunday at Martell’s Water’s Edge, 125 Bayview  Ave., in Bayville. Tickets are $80 for the 4-8 p.m. dinner. Call Dan Miller at 609 641-7821  to reserve tickets.






Better weather tomorrow

It may not be warmer, but the wind forecast for Saturday is a lot better with west winds at just 5-10 knots and dropping to a mere 5 knots in the afternoon.

Most boats cancelled trips today, so there were few reports. Saturday will be a different  story.

Surfcasting remains a tough pick. Allen Riley and John Mazzeo tried Sandy Hook this morning and did nothing in 58 degree water, Allen had caught a 20-inch striper and a short fluke there Monday morning, but there was nothing caught early today.. Frank McGuire later reported he worked North Beach with no sign of bait or fish.

I got to Brick Beach at dusk and quickly caught a sun dial on a tiny sand eel teaser which also attracted a 25-inch striper in the wash at dark. That was my only hit during a short effort. That was a big drop from the 30 stripers I released yesterday in Raritan Bay from Mark Roy’s boat. Yet, every striper from the surf is a treasure this fall — and well worth the effort.


At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc found good jigging action with slots and shorts yesterday in Ambrose Channel from his Sea Hunter. Capt. Ron Santee had a similar report from Thursday with a 15-pound pool winner and several large bonito on his Fishermen.




Vinny D’Anton tried Manasquan in the afternoon and at least came up with some hickory shad.


Light tackle sport with Raritan Bay stripers

The west wind was stronger than predicted, and there weren’t as many birds as yesterday at the mouth of Raritan Bay when I joined Mark Roy on his Release Me from Raritan Marina this morning, but we soon spotted good marks that allowed us to pick away with school stripers. That action died after awhile, but we stuck around long enough to find more bass further back in the bay during the afternoon.

The release count was up to  48 by the time we returned, though that included only one 28-incher that I measured . However, there were lots of slots, including several 25-26 inchers. All were on Tsunami and Storm shads. See photo below with a double ready for release.

Mark & Al bassA small craft advisory is up for tomorrow, with 20-25 knot northwest winds plus gusts to 30 by the afternoon. Most boats are canceling for Friday, so be sure to check before coming down.

Capt. Vinny Vetere didn’t have anyone to join him for “monster” striper fishing yesterday, so he went out himself on Katfish from Great Kills to try out new colors on his TGT bunker spoons. The monster he was looking for turned out to be only ounces short of 60 pounds!

The Golden Eagle from Belmar once again found lots of uncooperative stripers on the surface, but did catch some along with large bonito. They won’t be sailing until Saturday — nor will the Big Mohawk from Belmar.

Bud Mc Arthur was fishing with friends ot of Manasquan Inlet this morning and tried snagging the abundant bunkers there, However, spiny dogfish ate them as fast as they snagged that prime striper bait. Trolling ended up producing a 35-pounder.

Vinny D’Anton got word of a surf striper blitz yesterday morning at Sandy Hook, but found nothing there today.f

The Big Jamaica from Brielle  is taking reservations (732 528-5104) for an offshore wreck trip for jumbo sea bass on Saturday. The Paramount will take the Saturday night bluefish trip at 7:30 p.m.