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Boats getting back to fishing

The west wind is flattening the seas and the forecast is favorable tomorrow and Friday. Thus, what remains of the fleets will be heading back to sea this week.

The Big Jamaica from Brielle has room on offshore jumbo sea bass trips leaving at 11 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.  That fishing has been very good, and should hold up for some time.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands will try to get out for stripers tomorrow if enough anglers call by tonight to make the trip possible.  Call Capt. Rob Semkewyc at 732 291-4468.

The Golden Eagle will sail for stripers from Belmar at 7:30 a.m., and the Big Mohawk has an open boat trip for tog from that port at 7 a.m.

A small boat advisory is up through this evening for northwest gusts to 30 knots, but that drops to west at 10-15 with gusts to 20 overnight.

Surfcasters will be back in action if the waters have cleared enough.

Weakfish were practically unheard from this year, but they are being caught far offshore on the Jamaica.

Jamaica weakfish


Offshore sea bass providing limits

It’s not likely that there will be any reports to add during a poor weather day, but there was continuing good news from the far offshore wrecks that have been producing limit jumbo sea bass catches on the Big Jamaica from Brielle.

That party boat reports there have also been lots of porgies plus some bluefish, weakfish and ling. Weekend pool winners were Tony Tran from Germantown, Md. with a 12-pound pollock and two anglers with 7-pound sea bass — Jerry Chen from Staten Island, and Fred Cheng of Sayreville. Melito Bisany of Bellville had a 6.2-pound sea bass. The Jamaica has openings on many trips through the end of the year. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

The gale watch is continued tonight, but improves tomorrow to northwest at 20 knots with gusts to 30 that should start knocking down the big seas. It may take a day or two for the waters to clear.

Chuck Many has been releasing many trophy stripers since moving his Ty Man to Cape Charles, Virginia. Mike Greene and Bob Bowden have joined him.  When I fished live eels with Chuck there several years ago, my first bite was from a bass over 50 pounds. Those interested in releasing a trophy striper there can get in touch with Sho-Nuf Sportfishing at 757 710- 0098.

Chuck-VA bass




Green water, but no big surf bite

The start of the northeast wind provided the rough, but clean green water that often results in a blitz  — but Jerry Lasko said it was just a pick in the Ocean County surf. Maren Toleno worked hard to catch six school stripers. Will Fredericks caught three in the morning, including the one pictured below which was typical of the day.


typical bass

Bob Correll caught three bass at Bay Head in the morning.

The gale watch is up through Monday. The early forecast is for north winds down to 15-20 knots with gusts to 30.

The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant has many limited blackfish trips set for December. Call 732 370-8019 for info.

East gale coming

A gale watch is up for Sunday afternoon into Monday. Surfcasters may get an early shot as the Sunday morning forecast is east at 10-15 knots with gusts to 20. By afternoon it’s up to 25-30 with higher gusts.

Vinny D’Anton said surfcasting at Belmar was decent without the north wind that was hard to fish in the day before. He picked away to end up with six bass, including one pushing 28 inches.

Jerry Lasko said Maren Toleno only caught seven bass while working the IBSP surf most of yesterday. When she has a hard time catching, others are lucky to catch any at all!

Bob Correll didn’t see a fish caught at Bay Head this morning, and there was no bird action either.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands got into lots of bait which made the bass a little fussy. Yet, they still caught plenty and later had a shot at larger slots and some keepers up to 15 pounds. The Sunday trip is cancelled due to the forecast, and the next fishable day may be Wednesday.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar got into picky striper fishing with mostly shorts, but some bass were boated. They won’t be sailing Sunday due to the forecast.

Boaters get back into stripers

Thanksgiving was a blowout for boaters due to the NW gale, but Black Friday continued to be a best bet. Capt. Ron Santee of the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands said he was greeted by clouds of birds in the channels, and catches ran up to 50 bass. However, tomorrow will be his last trip of the season as bad weather is forecast after that.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had to make a long run to get into lots of stripers this morning, but they enjoyed great action until 11 a.m. The bite shut off then and very few bass were caught after that,

A small craft advisory is up until 10 p.m., but tomorrow looks good with northwest winds at 10-15 knots before the switch to east winds by Monday.

Though there were some good surf reports on Thanksgiving, blog contributor Dan said the only birds he saw today at Sea Bright were well offshore, and he never saw a fish caught during the hour he fished.

Happy Thanksgiving — less wind tomorrow

I hope everyone is enjoying a fine Thanksgiving!

There were no boat reports with the gale warning posted, but that goes down tonight. By morning it’s down to north 15-20 knots with gusts to 25,

Most boats will probably be fishing, and the Jamaica from Brielle is promoting her Black Friday Striped Bass Marathon at 6:30 a.m.

Jamaica striper

Surfcasters were able to cast like champs today with the strong wind behind them. Jerry Lasko reports that Island Beach State Park was crowded, but there was a steady pick of small stipers despite waters that were dirty due to all the west wind. Maren Toleno ended up with 20 releases.

Jay Russell used the Tsunami Sand Eel to release 16 schoolies last night at Sea Girt.

NW gale interferes with Thanksgiving trips

Gale-force northwest winds are forecast for Thanksgiving Day, and the usual shortened trips run that morning by party boats are being impacted. Even the Big Jamaica from Brielle has canceled, and anyone planning on making one of those trips should check with the skipper before coming down.

Actually, I used to run charters out of Manasquan Inlet in the old days in any kind of northwest blow as long as there were fish within a half-mile of the beach to the north. The land deflects the wind and it’s almost calm close to shore. The NW wind also lays down the swell, and makes for perfect surfcasting conditions. The Black Friday trip of the Jamaica from 6:30 to 3 is still on with  lighter winds.

The Jamaica’s Tuesday offshore wreck trip was successful with many limits of jumbo sea bass plus good numbers of porgies and bluefish. A few weakfish and ling were also caught. Lawerence Arabian of Allentown, Pa. won the pool with a 7.5-pound sea bass, and Mike Vastola from Lavallette was second with a 7.2-pounder. The weekend offshore weather looks better, and there’s room on the trip departing at 11 p.m. Saturday — as well as one on the Paramount at 9 p.m. Friday. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

The Golden Eagle was offshore out of Belmar today where they found plenty of breaking striped bass and caught enough to satisfy the fares. The Sea Hunter fished from Atlantic Highlands even though only eight anglers showed up on a nice day. They had good early fishing for stripers locally and returned by noon.

The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant has been wrapping up a fine striped bass season, and put a group of six veterans into a big striper for each among the smaller ones on the free Veteran’s Day trip they ran.

Vets Day bass

Small stripers are abundant all along the N.J. Shore, along with hickory shad. The northwest blow will be just fine for that fishing and will draw hundreds to the beaches tomorrow. Vinny D’Anton fished at Belmar this morning and picked away for hours to end up with 10 releases by casting where the loons were hanging around sand eels of all sizes that are the main attraction for bass.

Maren Toleno released 18 bass Tuesday and 19 this morning in the Ortley Beach area where the dusk action hasn’t been up to that standard  Below is John Greger with a fat 26-incher at Ortley. John Greger 26-inch

Jay Russell on the other hand  has been picking bass in late afternoon at Sea Girt.

Blog reader Jim Giles reported he was into fussy bass Saturday, but was able to fool them up to a 32-incher by casting a Sluggo on a jig head.

The Seaside Park tackle shops also report lots of small bass in many areas.

The marine forecast is for a gale warning to go up at 6 p.m. and through tomorrow. South gusts to 30 knots tonight – then go to west up to 45 after midnight.

Striper blitz at Tin Can Grounds

Dave Lilly said it was a sight to behold this morning as birds  and surfacing stripers were everywhere from the Tin Can Grounds to the Rockaways. They were gorging on very small sand eels, and hit shads or small diamond jigs as fast as they were cast.

Sorry for the delay, but I traveled to Florida today for Thanksgiving with the family.

Allen Riley didn’t have a good report from the Sandy  Hook surf as he and John Mazzeo were shut out in fine conditions as there was no bait inshore while birds were working far out.

Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that small bass and hickory shad are hitting lures such as the Tsunami Sand Eel in the local surf, but the big news was is the run of winter flounder at local docks with two-fish limits for all.



Lots of stripers for boaters

There’s still excellent striper fishing for boat anglers, with the bonus bass provision making it possible for to bring home dinner  even though bass over 28 inches aren’t common.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands reported very good action in fine weather, though the Thanksgiving Day trip has been canceled due to the forecast of 40-knot winds.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had to move around a lot, but ended up with close to a coat limit. They sail early tomorrow at 6 a.m.

Tank Matraxia fished today with Capt. Fletcher Chayes on Two Rivers charters out of Twin Lights in Highlands. There were loads of stripers off Sandy Hook, and they kept a few slots on jigs.  Both Tank and the skipper tried to interest the bass in poppers, but they weren’t interested. A seal checked them out during the trip.

The Tuesday forecast is great, with west winds at 10 knots. The surf bite is up and down, but was off at Belmar this morning after two very good days. I only saw a few bass caught early, though hickory shad were hitting. I lost a bass early, and only bailed out on my last cast with a Run-Off chromed Sand Eel jig


Surfcasters got a break from the weather

It didn’t look good for surfcasting yesterday with strong south winds predicted overnight. The surf was rough along the Jersey Shore, but there were reports from many Monmouth and Ocean County beaches of school stripers feeding on sand eels.

I was late getting to the beach I selected, and those who were there before daylight had been catching doubleheaders. It was more of a fairly steady pick there as the morning went on, though everyone caught stripers that were mostly in the 20-22-inch class at first before the very small bass often seen at the end of the fall became more common . I managed to release a 26-inch striper that was hard to get out of the heavy wash and looked big today, but my last fish was a 16-incher. I only caught one hickory shad and saw a few others. The Tsunami Sand Eel and various small jigs were producing. A young man named Gillon was catching bass as fast as any adult.

Most surprising was the mild weather and lack of rain while I was fishing. There wasn’t a whisper of wind and the rain had ended by the time I started in daylight. Bill Hoblitzell complained that he dressed for cold weather and was sweating in his waders. That changed a bit later when the wind shifted to NW and the temperature dropped so fast that my hands were cold within minutes.


The forecast for tomorrow is west at 10-15 knots with gusts to 20.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported good striper fishing despite the rain and wind. Lots of whales were spotted, and everyone brought home fish for dinner.

Joe Blaze had an unusual catch during yesterday’s charter with Two Rivers Charters  — a 2-3-pound bluefish that he jigged around Shrewsbury Rocks. That was the first one I’ve heard of since I caught one  while fishing with Chuck Many weeks ago. What happened to the great November bluefishing we used to have?

The Jamaica from Brielle reported a good Saturday offshore sea bass trip with many limits plus porgies, weakfish, a couple of cod and some ling and bluefish.  Thomsz Wojcik of Clifton won the pool with a 6-pound sea bass to edge Leon Jackson from Andover, Md. with a 5.5-pounder. There’s room on the Monday sailing at 11 p.m. and many other trips this week. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.