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Deadline for striper comments is Oct. 7

For those who didn’t comment at the recent striped bass public hearings, the deadline for sending comments to the ASMFC is 5 p.m. Oct. 7.

Both Stripers Forever and the JCAA urge support of Option 2 which takes an 18 percent reduction from both recreational and commercial quotas in order to restore the stocks.

E-mails should go to — with a title of Striped Bass Draft Addendum VI.

The northeast wind put a big dent in fishing today, but there were a couple of good reports. The Golden Eagle from Belmar said they had good jigging for bluefish and added a 15-pound cod.

The Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands was able to fish at anchor on the incoming tide to catch big porgies  plus sea bass that can’t be kept until Oct. 8 — while a big triggerfish took the pool.

Unlike today, the wind tomorrow will get worse in the afternoon. A small craft warning goes up in the morning with south winds at 10-15 knots and gusts to 20 — but gets stronger in the afternoon at 15-20 with gusts to 30 knots.

Saturday afternoon looks best

Though small craft warnings are up into the morning with north gusts to 30 knots, it should actually improve during the day. After starting with northeast at 15-20 with gusts to 25, the afternoon forecast decreases to a mere 5-10 knots. Though the wind shifts to the south on Sunday, it is expected to blow at 15-20 with gusts to 25.

The west wind didn’t blow hard enough last night to smooth out the surf, but it was fishable this morning as I worked a southern Monmouth beach  that was very shallow. All I could do was to cast into white water, where I was surprised when a fat 24-inch striper hit my Chug Bug. I hoped that was an indication of where the bass were feeding, but I never raised another fish.

Vinny D’Anton and Frank Manzi fished further north later in the morning and found schools of mullet. There were no bass, but they did get into some bluefish.

There were no reports from boats, but there should be lots of porgies available over rough bottoms to the north along with small blues — and sea bass that aren’t legal until Oct. 8.

Capt. Chris De Stefano fished aboard Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club  on Wednesday as they trolled the Shrewsbury Rocks area, but only found small blues. There weren’t even any striper marks, but the current windy weather could start migrating bass heading to the west.

Boaters have been catching school stripers on eels in Point Pleasant Canal, and Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant now has that bait in stock.



Finally NW – but just for a day

It was worth putting up with nasty weather today in order to get a clearing northwester tomorrow which should start calming the sea — but instead of blowing from the west for a few days, the forecast is a return to northeast for Saturday.

Hopefully the surf will be clear up for a day while surfcasters can mike mighty casts with the wind behind them. Small craft warnings are posted through Friday night.

There were no reports today, but Pete Connell of Avon was out Wednesday with his boat from Shark River to fish for porgies at the Rattlesnake. It wasn’t even necessary to anchor as drifting over large readings produced plenty of action on small diamond jigs with big porgies plus some sea bass and small bluefish.

In yesterday’s report from Hans Kaspersetz about his weekend canyon fishing on the Blue Runner, I forgot to note that they also limited on dolphin. The fact that albacore were chunked during that trip is very good news because the longfins usually are the dominant species in the canyons at this time — and provide the most dependable tuna action.

Nick Honachefsky is still getting more prizes for his upcoming Barrier Island Beach Brawl, as noted below:

“Just arrived! Win this Brand new Tsunami SaltX reel for Raffle/Award Prize at the Barrier Island Beach Brawl! I cannot believe how many thousands of dollars of giveaways we have from #yeti #costa #Shimano #tsunamitackle #biminibayoutfitters #spro #st.croix #mustad and many more, all for a mere $40 entry! Do not wait! Spots Filling up fast. SIGN UP TODAY at Grumpy’s Tackle, Betty and Nicks, Charlies B&T or Fisherman’s Supply or CLICK NOW at to register, it takes less than 1 minute!”

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Nasty day coming

It appears we’re going to be paying for a fairly nice fall so far with a real bummer tHans swordfishomorrow. Northeast winds at 20-25 knots are forecast along with rain, but there’s good news ahead with the gusty northwest winds needed to knock down the surf predicted for Friday.

Capt. Hans Kaspersetz (photo above) fished Saturday and Sunday aboard the Blue Runner from Point Pleasant as they trolled a yellowfin tuna the first day before boating two swordfish at night — and then adding three albacore chunking.


Dolphin bail out another canyon trip

Canyon tuna fishing continues to be poor during what used to be prime time. Fortunately, dolphin have been providing party boat anglers on canyon overnighters with plenty of action and good eating,

The Golden Eagle from Belmar returned from this week’s trip with lots of dolphin, but only lost one tuna and a swordfish. Tuna were even breaking out there, but wouldn’t bite.

Porgy fishing was good again today for Capt. Ron Santee on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands as his anglers went to heavier weights to hold bottom in the new moon currents. Some sea bass, blowfish and bluefish were also hooked. Santee advises clients to fish tomorrow since it may be too rough for a couple of days after that.

The forecast is for 10-15-knot southwest winds with gusts to 20  and 4-7-foot seas in the morning as land temperature may hit 80 degrees.  A small craft advisory goes up through Thursday afternoon. There’s a shift to northeast tomorrow night with 15-20-knot winds and gusts to 25.

The east swell was back on the beach this morning, and fishing conditions were poor during the low tide period.

Porgy fishing improves again

After a brief drop-off in porgy action, Capt. Ron Santee says the scup are biting for fares on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands again. There was a nasty sea today, but the bite was on for porgies along with blowfish and out-of-season sea bass.

Capt. Chris De Stefano fished aboard Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club over the weekend as they couldn’t troll tuna in Toms Canyon, but moved off into the great depths and had another good day with swordfish as two of abut 120 and 160 pounds were boated.

Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that kingfish and blowfish were caught in Shark River Inlet yesterday, while little tunny moved in and out.

Boaters have been catching school stripers in Point Pleasant Canal recently. Joe Melillo expects to get some eels in stock at Castaways Tackle on Thursday.

The east wind was blowing about 15 knots this morning, and combined with a swell to create a rough surf around the low end of the tide. Vinny D’Anton did nothing casting in Shark River before moving to the beach at a higher tide where the results were the same. The only positive word from the surf was from an angler who had caught a small bass yesterday with sea lice on it —  a sign of  a migratory fish. I made some casts in the canal this morning, but saw nothing being caught before making a brief attempt at blackfishing and caught a 12-incher on crab just to break the ice.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reports cocktail blues are still hitting mullet baits in the surf, while some small bass are being hooked on lures at dawn and dusk,

The Mimi VI will be sailing open for bottom fish from Point Pleasant at 7 a.m. Friday. The fare is $75, and reservations can be made by calling 732 370- 8019.

The forecast is for southwest winds at 10 knots in the morning before gusting to 20 in the afternoon.

Work your lure right to the beach

Anglers new to surfcasting often ask me for tips on the sport, and one I always give them is to work the lure right into the wash. Unless there are signs of working fish or birds further out, or bait schools, the likeliest spot to find stripers when there’s no structure is right along the drop-off where they can corner bait.

That’s saved many a day for me, and this morning was one of them as a 23-inch striper blasted my Chug Bug in the wash to provide the only fish I saw caught even though surf conditions were ideal.

The swell has gone down, but that may be changing as small craft warnings are going up at 6 a.m. for hazardous seas into Monday night. Yet. the forecast is for only 10-15-knot east winds.

The Jamaica from Brielle had a good Saturday night bluefish trip for 3-8-pounders on bait and jigs while chumming. A few bonito were added, and they’ll do that again Saturday night.

The Jamaica also a big dolphin catch on the canyon trip that returned Friday. Chuck Beerman also caught an 80-pound yellowfin at night, but only one other tuna was taken. Other 31-hour canyon trips are sailing at 7 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had sluggish bluefishing this morning, but 4-7-pounders turned onto jigs in early afternoon.

South wind was tough on fishing

Though it was calm at dawn, the south wind started blowing not long after I joined Bob Correll on his 32 Sea Vee from Crystal Point in Point Pleasant for a run to the north. We came across many schools of bunkers, but nothing was on them. The fleet north of Shark River Inlet wasn’t doing much, but Bob managed to catch four blues with a Deadly Dick. By 10 the wind was gusting to the 20 mph predicted for later in the day, and we headed back to find birds diving on rainfish. We got several shots that produced two Spanish mackerel and a little tunny for each of us while missing others before returning. Those flurries made the day. 

The Golden Eagle from Belmar  reported sluggish bluefishing for 3-8-pounders on jigs. Capt. Ron Santee said the south wind killed porgy fishing on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands as it got ugly fast with the wind against a strong outgoing tide. A drop in deeper water produced too many sea bass that had to go back.

Sunday’s forecast is for northeast at 10-15 knots — though I’ve often found such dry northeast forecasts to turn out to be 10 plus 15 knots.


Vinny D’Anton found some mullet schools along the beach at dawn and caught two school stripers among them with his Chug Bug.

Jerry Lasko reported very good blackfishing in Point Pleasant Canal, with keeper tog being common. Maren Toleno caught this 16-incher this morning.

Maren 16-inch tog.jpg




Striperfest in Falmouth on Saturday

Over 3,000 striper anglers will be converging on Cape Cod for Saturday’s Striperfest as Striper Cup awards will be passed out and an outboard rig will be drawn for. The location for the noon event is Marine Park,  180 Scranton Ave., Falmouth. Google striperfest 2019 for an  admission discount and driving directions plus attractions.

Capt. Vinny Vetere won the Striper Cup once again with his Katfish from Great Kills, though this time it was by a narrow margin. Vetere hasn’t been fishing this week, but will get back at it next week when he’s open for charters or individuals.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar saw blues splashing today, but they were very hard to jig.

I was happy to see the big swell down and the waters clear at local beaches this morning. My first cast with a Yo-Zuri Mag popper  was hit by a 2-pound bluefish almost in the wash. I knew I was in trouble after I released the blue as a fish on the first cast is almost invariably the kiss of death. Sure enough, I didn’t even raise another fish in good conditions.  The same thing happened recently to Joe Blaze when his first cast with a fly in  Shark River  produced a school striper — and there was never another touch.

The Jamaica from Brielle has added a Saturday night bluefish trip at 7:30 p.m.

The Paramount from Brielle is running daily at 6:30 for porgies and triggerfish except for a Tuesday ling trip. When the sea bass season opens on Oct. 8 they’ll switch to that fishing.

The weather forecast took a turn for the worse as south winds tomorrow are 10-15 knots but with gusts to 25.

The prizes are piling up for Nick Honachefsky’s Barrier Islands Beach Brawl that will be contested on Oct. 11 and 12. Nick has received so many prizes from manufacturers that he’ll be giving many away as door prizes. Following is his  current list:

ULTIMATE DOOR PRIZE LIST! Check out the goods below. Spots filling up fast! Sign up TODAY for the Barrier Island Beach Brawl. $40 entry gets you a chance at $10000 worth of door prizes! Go to


Tundra 45 Cooler – $300

24 can Hopper – $300

24 can hopper – $300

Yeti Bucket – $40

Yeti Load Lid – $30

Yeti Caddy Bucket – $20

Utility Gear Belt – $40


Ultegra – $335


(5) Sunglasses – $1500


Salt X Reel – $350


VS96 Avid Surf rod – $340


100 1.5-ounce Power Bucktails – $1000


500 Tuna/Wooden Plug replacement hooks – $200


25 Big Eye Bucktails – $250

15 Daggerman Jigs – $225

8-inch Fillet Knife – $40

8-inch Fillet Knife – $40

400 4/0 #92641 hooks – $300


10 Bomb Poppers – $200

10 Crossover Spooks – $100

10 Crossover Poppers – $100

50 packs TA clips – $35

5 TA Hats – $100


20 Smilin Bill bucktails – $180


15 Ocean Born Poppers, Dartspins – $200


5 bunker spoons – $200

2 Maja Mojos – $100


Rapala Wall Hanger – $70

6 360 GT Searchbaits – $60

10 T-Shirts/Sweatshirts – $400






We need some migrating stripers

A big swell from offshore storms has been making surfcasting both difficult and unproductive, but Vinny D’Anton was pleased to find the waves down and waters clean this morning as he made a casting tour of Monmouth County beaches. The only problem was that he didn’t raise any stripers.  We’re still working on local fish, and there don’t seem to be many of them. Chuck Many has been catching larger stripers on live baits from his Ty Man out of Gateway Marina in Highlands, but they’ve all appeared to be local bass. How do you tell fall migratory bass from the locals? One clue is the presence of sea lice on the ocean fish. In addition, large bass from the east usually have a purplish sheen in the fall.

I tried Point Pleasant Canal this morning, and thought I’d made the right move when an angler hooked up on light tackle and shouted that he had a big fish on. What he brought in was a complete surprise — the smallest cownose ray I’ve ever seen. It was also the first I’ve seen in the canal. The ray was snagged on a jig, but probably weighed 5 pounds and had the incoming tide behind him during the fight. There was little doing after that as Jim Gates caught a small blue, and one large blue broke off on a jump next to the wall. I got just one hit on a Z Man paddletail before switching to blackfishing that produced a 14 1/2-incher on light spinning with crab right away, but  nothing else in the short time I fished.  It appears that the green crab shortage I mentioned recently is over, and Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant has them in stock again.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro reports Sunday’s trip about 20 miles offshore put little tunny and bonito in his Hi Flier from Barnegat by anchoring and chumming so they could be caught on light tackle with spearing. He’s also been catching weakfish up to 16 inches on 6-pound spinning tackle with grass shrimp in the bay. The only problem has been an abundance of silver perch and snappers that also appreciate that expensive chum. Dave will try to get offshore for bonito on Saturday while trying for weaks in the bay on Sunday. Call him at 732 330-5674.

Capt. Chris De Stefano got a surprising report of small bluefin tuna being trolled yesterday on the reefs out of Manasquan Inlet. Supposedly, one was even taken at the mile buoy. Whenever something like that occurs, it rarely continues — but keep an eye out!

The small craft advisory for this afternoon’s south winds goes down by 11 p.m., and tomorrow starts with north winds at just 5-10 knots before going southeast in the afternoon. That’s Capt. Joe Massa in the photo below with one of the big sea ass caught at Southwest Ledge off Block Island Saturday, as noted in last night’s. Word Press dropped it in the wrong spot.

Capt. Ron Santee saw six straight days of hot porgy fishing come to a temporary end today. His first few drops were unproductive, and then he got on one that was full of out-ofMassa sea bass.jpg season short and keeper sea bass. Some porgies and a couple of big triggerfish were finally boated, but the boat’s first cobia was too short — and the south wind came up against the tide to make it ugly in short order.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar found 4-7-pound blues on top, with an 8-pound pool winner. Everyone caught some, but it wasn’t easy jigging.