Raritan Bay-area striper fishing looks as if it will be breaking open any day now, but the downside to the good fishing is that it’s mostly on females ready to spawn in a week or two.
Actually, almost all stripers over 20 pounds are females. The very occasional male that large will probably be easily identified as it leaks milt when lifted. There are fair numbers of amaller males and immature females around if you want a fish for the table, but it’s clearly a shame to take a bass bursting with eggs that will be rejuvenating the stock in just a few days. That’s especially the case in Raritan Bay where the Hudson River stock has been providing us with fine summer fishing after the southern spawners are long gone to the east.
Bob Bowden with an obviously pregnant striper released in Raritan Bay recently from Ty Man to spawn in the Hudson River next month.
The Atlantic Highlands fleet is getting into action. The Sea Hunter had a few keepers and some shorts Saturday, though trollers were doing better on the scattered fish. They’re fishing daily except Friday when a Coast Guard inspection is scheduled. Capt. Ron Santee started his season Saturday on the Fishermen by observing a whale in the bay within a mile of the jetty before finding bait and some short bass plus three keepers up to 31 inches.
Capt. Stan Zagleski begins daily blackfishing at 7 a.m. with his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands on Saturday.
At Belmar, the Golden Eagle sails for stripers on Thursday, while the Ocean Explorer and Big Mohawk seek blackfish and cod. Miss Belmar Princess joins the striper fleet on Saturday. So far, the weekend looks fishable — especially on Sunday.
The Gambler from Point Pleasant is running Lazy Man Tog trips from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Wednesdays to Sundays.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park had reports of some legal stripers in Toms River. Betty & Nick’s reported a calming and clear surf.
Allen Riley of South Plainfield gave the Sandy Hook surf a brief try with very expensive sandworms that were ignored in the calm surf that’s still a cold 43 degrees. The 38-degree air temperature and continuing blustery west wind this morning didn’t help.