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Friday’s Manhattan Cup seeking more anglers for wounded warriors benefit

The Manhattan Cup was an annual tournament that pleased catch-and-release striped bass anglers and benefitted great causes such as wounded warriors. Loss of a sponsor stopped the FCA event, and the costs of trying to run it from Manhattan became too great, but Yamaha and others have provided some funding this year allowing the RFA to bring back a friendly contest  that provides an opportunity for wounded warriors to fish with some of the top skippers in the area while also raising funds for programs that benefit them. As noted in last night’s blog, Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City will host the event this year, and the response from captains volunteering their boats has been excellent. Yet, Gary Caputi needs more anglers to utilize those boats on Friday. Give him a call at 732 740-9982  to get in on the fun that starts with an early breakfast before a day of fishing that’s capped off with a great dinner and lots of rewards before auctioning off valuable prizes.

The forecast of heavy rains this morning seems to have scared everyone off as I had no reports today.

Capt. Vinny Vetere said Saturday’s striped bass bite on his Katfish from Great Kills shut down at 8:30 a.m.. After that he fished everything from Sandy Hook to the Verrazano Bridge with no reaction. He’s fishing the Hudson River for big bass on Tuesday, and may have a couple of openings.

Great Deal:

I have a single angler looking for a partner to share a boat on our last trip of the year- fishing is absolutely wide open on fire.  Only deal of the season and a great one- normally 4895, this trip 3295.  Contact me please today or tomorrow, first call gets it-  TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

Capt Mike Augat

Co-Owner Pesca Panama

716-868-4432

mike@mikeaugat.com

www.pescapanama.com

 

 

 

 

First doormat reported from Raritan Bay

Bob Matthews passed along a report from Fisherman’s Den North in Atlantic Highlands that a 10 1/2-pound doormat fluke had been weighed in there by Justin David of Morristown, who caught it off the Navy Pier — presumably yesterday,  as the northeast wind pretty much wiped out today’s fishing. Party boat captains had hoped they could get out in the somewhat protected waters of Rartan Bay, but Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter conceded that “the weatherman was right this time” and no boats sailed from Atlantic Highlands. He noted that Monday looks like a washout, so he’s looking ahead to sailing again for fluke on Tuesday.

Capt. Stan Zagleski was sure he would get out with his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands, but there was no report after the good one about Saturday’s fluking. Here’s a shot of Danielle O’Brien with her Memorial Day fluke on Elaine B. II.

Danielle O'Brien fluke

The Manhattan Cup renewal is right around the corner. As noted in a previous blog, it’s set for June 8 out of Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City. For details and sign-ups call Capt. Frank Crescitelli at 917 468-4817 or Gary Caputi at 732 740-9982′

 

 

 

Fluke fishing improving — 9.4-lb. boated

Fluke fishing is improving in northern N.J., and the largest reported to this blog was boated today on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands  — a 29-inch, 9.4-pounder boated by Scott Ure. That was his second largest fluke ever, as several years ago he caught an 11.2-pound doormat on the Fishermen. A 5-pounder took second in the pool, and Capt. Ron Santee said the morning action was much better than yesterday. The Madison Boy Scouts were aboard to enjoy the day.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc said he had tough conditions for his first fluking trip of the season — and was happy with his new full-day schedule. The Atlantic Highlands boats will try to get out Sunday despite a forecast of gusty NE winds.

Capt. Stan Zagleski was happy with the morning fluke bite on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands as some regulars managed limits among lots of shorts. Zagleski will be sailing early at 6 a.m. Sunday.

The entire bluefish fleet from Brooklyn to Point Pleasant gathered at  Shrewsbury Rocks to jig the small bluefish that have been dependable all week. I joined Bob Correll of Bay Head in his Boston Whaler to look for stripers north of Manasquan Inlet, and we ere able to snag some bunkers from occasional flips, but saw no signs of stripers. When we got to the Shrewsbury fleet there were only a very few blues being hooked amid a constant blasting of horns as party boats kept moving to jump on readings due to a lack of birds on rainfish . Bob lost the only blue he hooked, but we did jig a few small sea bass and windowpanes off bottom along with a sea robin and a skate during a brief attempt. The blues must have turned on at other times as party boats reported fair to good bluefish catches. The Golden Eagle from Belmar also added sea bass and even winter flounder.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano was part of the crew on Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club on Friday that trolled seven large stripers from Deal to Flynn’s Knoll. They were fishing in the ongoing Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Clun Striped Bas Tournament and weighed in bass of 39 and 42 pounds — but are just behind entries of 42 and 45 pounds. Di Stefano said today’s trolling reports were very spotty, but he heard there was a showing of bass on top very early in the morning off the Red Church.  Capt. Dave De Gennaro ran his Hi Flier from Barnegat all the way up there, but had no luck trolling. He bailed out in Barnegat Inlet on the way back as his party cast shads to 3-to-4-pound blues. De Gennaro said the early Barnegat Bay run of jumbo blues just didn’t happen this year after three straight great springs.

Smooth dogfish taking over in Raritan Bay

Capt. Rob Semkewyc  was hoping to finish up his daytime striped bass fishing on the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands with a good catch, but wherever he went today there were smooth dogfish and no bass. He did report that trollers were catching stripers, and the first two blues of his season were boated. That was a complete mystery as blues were usually interfering with Raritan Bay striper fishing by May 1 — not June 1. The Sea Hunter switches to fluke from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, but some evening striper trips will be added.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano confirmed those trolling reports from Crisdel out of Brielle Yacht Club. He was part of Frank Criscola’s crew as they picked at large bass trolling mo-jos from Flynn’s Knoll to Deal. They had a couple of bass in the 40-pound class aboard  before the deadline for weigh-in at the Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Club Tournament

Scott Leadbeater of Haddon Heights  ran his old 20-foot Aquasport out of Atlantic Highlands this afternoon and was trolling a mo-jo on a spinning rod in Swash Channel when a fish almost spooled him. An angler in another boat watched the battle and offered Leadbeater a scale to weigh his 46-inch bass at 41 pounds before releasing the largest striper of his life. He noted that the bass was spawned out.

Stripers haven’t been easy for anglers fishing live bait. Tank Matraxia and his crew from Lyndhurst never had a hit on lively bunkers fished yesterday  from Two Rivers Charters out of Highlands.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle and Miss Belmar Princess have been getting into lots of jigging action to the north with 1-to-3-pound blues.  Sea bass have been the targets on other boats there, and the Big Mohawk reported an early boat limit today.  Take advantage of that action on Saturday, because lots of NE wind is forecasted for Sunday.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant has been working on both the small blues and sea bass. They report that magic hours trips have been tough so far. The only remaining openings for the evening bite are on June 3, 5,10, 12 and 14.

Capt. Ron Santee  said he fished into overtime to bail out a slow trip with a late bite on the Fishermen up to Iris’ fluke of over 5 pounds.

Capt. Stan Zagleski had his best fluke action today from Elaine B. II out of Bahrs in Highlands on the incoming tide as almost all had a keeper and there were some limits.

 

If you’ve ever wanted to take advantage of a big price break in order to fish at world-famous Pesca Panama, there’s an opportunity coming up this month. Mike Augat has one boat open from June 17-22 for two to three anglers at a $1,500 reduction per person. He says the tuna bite has been red hot, and cuberas and roosterfish to over 50 pounds have been caught. Contact him at pescapanama.com

Chuck Many with a 46-pound striper release down the beach this week

huck-46.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An unusual surf release

I’ve been trying to do some catch and release surf fishing the last couple of days, but I haven’t gotten the “catch” part figured out yet. After trying Sea Girt, Shark River and Spring Lake, I finally came across something to release without catching it when I spotted a turtle above the surf line at Spring Lake. It wasn’t a marine turtle, and I assumed it was dead until I nudged it with my boot. Surprisingly, it stuck its head out and tried to move toward the water with its claws.  Even though I gave it some help, the waves tossed the turtle on its back. Vinny D’Anton, a retired science teacher, was casting nearby. He thought it was a snapping turtle that might have gotten washed out of Shark River along with lots of wood and other trash that was cast up on the beach today. I was amazed that a freshwater turtle could be surviving in saltwater, but it appeared as lively as turtles usually are — so Vinny released it on the calm side of a jetty. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch any finny critters to release.

The Sea Hunter didn’t get out from Atlantic Highlands today, and tomorrow will be their last morning striper trip before switching to fluke on Saturday. Fluking worked out well for the Fishermen from that port today as Capt. Ron Santee reported their largest so far.  Mike Nicholas boated a 27 1/2-incher which weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces. That beat out a 6 5/16-pounder for the pool, and there were also a couple of five-pounders. One fare caught over 20 fluke to put two in his cooler.

Bob Correll of Bay Head fished with a corporate group yesterday afternoon on Two Rivers Charters out of Highlands. Capt. Fletcher Chayes said there had been a big bass bite morning and evening off the Highlands Bridge, but he noted that it hadn’t happened when he was down there that morning. Therefore, they fished in the bay with live bunkers where one large bass was boated. Correll had a powerful fish tearing line off his reel, but the circle hook pulled.

One that didn’t get away this week was Paul Haertel’s 54.8-pound  personal record that was noted in yesterday’s blog.

Paul 54.8

Capt. Vinnie Vetere said it was picky striper fishing today in the Hudson River from his Katfish out of Great Kills. He marked bait, but few stripers, and the bass didn’t want live bunkers. His dependable Ho-Jos did the job  as usual and trolling filled the box.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle once again got into the small blues north of the inlet and lots up to 2 1/2 pounds were boated. That boat has room on a Friday afternoon striper trip at 3:30. Reservations are required by calling 732 681-6144. The Ocean Explorer reported another great day of sea bass fishing with limits for most.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle weighed a 24.65-pound striper caught in the surf on clams by John Grodzicki.  Betty & Nick’s said there was a hot Wednesday evening bite on bunker by bass and blues while the usually reliable clam was ignored.

The Jamaica from Brielle is fishing daily at 7:30 a.m. for stripers and blues, but also gearing up for a tilefish trip departing at 10 p.m. Sunday.  Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

 

Mako Fever tournament 
Jersey Coast Shark Anglers from Brick NJ will be holding their 
40th Annual Mako Fever Tournament
which is a 9 day event on 
$250,000 IN PRIZES!
Prizes based on 300 boats entered
ENTRY FEE: $500 PER BOAT PER DAY
 
ANGLERS CAN WIN A 2018 CHEVY SILVERADO LTZ!*
PROVIDED BY LESTER GLENN AUTO GROUP!
*MAKO WEIGHED IN MUST BREAK NJ STATE RECORD!
 
Check Out times: via text to 732-551-3912
Crystal Point Yacht Club, Pt. Pleasant NJ
 
Portions of the proceeds will go towards 
Ocean Reef Foundation, 
St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the 
NJ Make A Wish Foundation charities.
 
For additional info please visit http://www.jcsa.org

Canyon Runner starts mako season

Adam La Rosa reports his Canyon Runner crews from Point Pleasant have fought at least one big fish during all but one of the eight canyon overnighters they’ve run so far. It’s been mostly giant bluefin tuna, but Capt. Deane Lambros and mate Mike Kelly came up with the variety Friday morning for the Vincent Ponte charter as they boated an 85-inch giant drifting before catching three makos. The first two were in the 150-pound class and too small under the new regulations– but then they added a legal 84-incher of about 200 to 220 pounds.

CR mko

cr nj canyon giantA pretty good Friday morning canyon catch for the Canyon Runner!

Yesterday’s title of “Time for a 50” worked out for Paul Haertel of the JCAA as he put a 54.8-pound personal best striped bass in his boat out of Barnegat Inlet.   Paul has the unique honor of having caught 50s from both boat and jetty.

Bob Matthews weighed some big bass at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina.  John Reilly of Hookers Café in Belmar was credited with 50 pounds. Nickolay Kryvenka weighed a 45-pound striper that was caught this week on Miss Belmar Princess.  Ray Soyka had a 48-pounder from a private boat.

Mathews had no such big bass news from the surf, though small stripers are hitting clam. Jim Louro of Spring Lake has been catching a few school bass on Tsunami Shads from his local beach, but Vinny D’Anton of Wall returned from Florida and did much better in the middle of the morning today. After breaking the ice with bait for little bass of 20 and 21 inches, Vinny noticed splashes and switched to the Chug Bug to release four of 23 to 24 inches.

Capt. Sal Cursi has returned to Florida, but the former skipper of Cathy Sea from Sewaren had a good day of striper chunking in Raritan Bay before leaving while fishing out of Keyport with Ted and David Martinko as they caught bass up to 35 pounds.

It wasn’t like that in the bay today. Capt. Rob Semkewyc  didn’t have enough people to get out yesterday, when he heard the bass were up, and had high hopes for today. Yet, he said everyone was struggling to find any bass. He was fortunate to have two on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, but only heard of another two trolled on a charter boat. He’s finishing up with stripers the next two days before switching Saturday to daily fluke from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. He’ll also be setting up a few afternoon striper specials.

Capt. Ron Santee said most fares on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands had a couple of legal fluke today, and the pool fish was over 6 pounds.

At Belmar, both the Golden Eagle and Miss Belmar Princess ran north to get into good jigging for 1-to-3-pound blues that lasted to about 11 before they switched to sea bass. The Ocean Explorer reported a great sea bass bite, with a plain chrome jig working best.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle weighed a big bass for their own Sean after he worked for 15 minutes to try reviving it for a boat release. The 47-inch bass swallowed a bunker and weighed 48.25 pounds.

It’s time for a 50

The big migrating stripers moving up along the Shore after spawning in Chesapeake and Delaware bays, provide possibly the best opportunity to join the elite of striper fishing with a bass over the coveted 50-pound mark. Though those fish lost a lot of weight after dropping their roe, they regain weight quickly by feeding on bunkers.  That’s what provided the 30-inch girth on only a 48-inch bass to get it over 50 pounds for John Wasnesky of Freehold when he trolled a Tony Maja #4 bunker spoon off Asbury Park last week with Capt. Jim Freda on Shore Choice out of Point Pleasant.

wasnesky 50That bass was released, but you can get a good idea of the weight by using the formula — length to fork of tail times girth squared divided by 800. Remember to use the fork length measurement , as the formula was developed in the old days when that was the standard for length measurements.

While going through some old JCAA newsletters last night, I read a Tom Fote column on striped bass in which he noted that trophy stripers are usually about 25 years old; At that time the great 1993 year class was the hope for the future — and Fote said he was looking forward to catching and releasing those 25-year-old fish from the 1993 year class in 2018 — “God willing”.  Tom, your time is here!

Capt. Vinnie Vetere had a great Memorial Day weekend except for the rain-out on Sunday as lots of big bass were trolled on his Ho-Jo lures from Catfish out of Great Kills — including a 52-pounder. Rockfish from N.Y had a 54-pounder on one of Vetere’s Ho-Jos.

Today’s great striper catch wasn’t a 50, but a 41-pounder fought on fluke tackle by Bob Evans of Flemington from Elaine B.II out of Highlands after it was hooked on a Spro rig.

Bob Evans 41 on Spro

Capt. Stan Zagleski said fluke fishing was also good. That was also the report from Capt. Ron Santee on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands as he made the most of the morning incoming tide that produced the 7-pound pool winner.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar picked at small blues before adding sea bass in the afternoon. Miss Belmar Princess ran north from Shark River to jig small blues, including some limits before switching to sea bass and fluke.

 

 

 

Ocean lays down nicely

The surf was still a bit rough this morning after yesterday’s northeast winds, but the ocean calmed down for boaters after they cleared inlets, and fishing conditions should be good tomorrow.

Fishing reports weren’t quite as good, but also should improve with clearing waters tomorrow. At Belmar, Miss Belmar Princess was able to boat three stripers north of Shark River Inlet. They later moved further north to the Highlands to add some small blues. The Golden Eagle found dirty waters from yesterday’s winds, though they managed one striper and a few blues. They are adding a prime time 3:30 p.m. striper trip on Tuesday. Call 732 681-6144.

At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc thought he was going to have a good day on his Sea Hunter as a 20-pound striper was boated right away and another lost on slack water. Yet, a bite didn’t develop on the tide, and splashing fish they ran to were only small blues. Fishing up at anchor, one more striper was caught and two lost. Semkewyc may check down the beach in the morning, and urges anglers to bring a rod with which they can snag bunkers.

Capt. Ron Santee saw an improvement in fluking from his Fishermen as he fished a different area that produced a pick of 2-to-3-pounders plus a pool fluke of over 6 pounds.

Capt. Stan Zagleski hasn’t sent a report so far, but he did fish Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands despite Sunday’s rain. Fluking wasn’t bad as long as the wind and tide were together. Yong Sim from Palisades Park had a fluke limit and added another limit — a 6-pound weakfish.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reported some surf blues were caught Sunday evening on poppers and heavy bucktails.

Not a day for boats

What a difference a day makes! From fine weather to northeast wind and buckets of rain. I doubt if any boats fished today except in completely protected waters. However, there were a few surfcasters out early as Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park  weighed a 48-inch, 37.95-pound striper caught by Kevin Reilly on clam. Joe Applegrove used an SP Minnow to land a 31-inch, 8.6-pound bluefish.  Betty & Nick’s had a 29-pound bass on the scale that Pete E. hooked on clam at Top of the Mast in Seaside Park.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro was frustrated at not getting out Saturday due to a bad forecast that was wrong. The day before he trolled a 36-pound striper on a Tony Maja #4 bunker spoon off Seaside on Hi Flier from Barnegat, but had a tough trip back in 3-to-4-foot seas kicked up by a surprisingly strong S-SE wind.  The weather looks a lot better for Memorial Day, with the NE wind expected to drop down with only a chance of a shower.  De Gennaro is sailing open 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. tomorrow — and then through Friday from noon to 7 p.m. The cost is $175. Call 732 330-5674.

 

 

 

Hi Flier 42A 42-pound striper on Hi Flier last week

 

Bob Matthews reports from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that big stripers are being caught by trollers and on live bunkers, while small bass are in the surf. Fluking was very good before the season opened Friday, but keepers haven’t been abundant since. Capt. Chris Di Stefano of Wall had the same experience Thursday upon returning to Shark River after trolling a trophy 53 3/4-pound striper for his son Boomer. They made a few drifts in the river and could have filled several limits, but when Boomer fished for them a couple of days later it was mostly shorts.

Jeff Merrill fished Manasquan River on Saturday and reported 22 fluke were caught up to 23-and-24-inchers.

Scott Leadbeater of Haddon Heights finally got to use his Aquasport 20 out of Atlantic Highlands this week, and was happy to troll some blues one day at Chapel Hill — and both blues and stripers the next morning.

One of my blog readers, Capt. Greg Simba, reported there was a blitz of 22-to-26-inch bluefish in the mouth of Manasquan Inlet yesterday around 2 p.m. — and it lasted for an hour. I don’t how many times I’ve checked the inlet for blues this spring without ever seeing a bird dip.

Sorry for the boxes below that I was left with after transferring Matt Slobodjian’s report from Cape May that you’ll find by scrolling down.

 Matt Slobodjian reports from Jim’s Tackle in Cape May that “drum fishing continues to be pretty good although some of the action has moved into a little deeper water. Boats are still picking fish in the Bayshore Channel close to the canal, but a good bite has come on at Tussy’s Slough. Fresh clam is the bait, and it has to be ordered a few days in advance due to a limited supply.  Fluking was good for some anglers who fished the backwaters. It was pretty rough out in the ocean, so we haven’t gotten any reports from the reefs as of yet.

The sea bass fishing has held up pretty well on the 20 fathom line. There are a lot of throwback fish, but putting together a catch hasn’t been a problem. Striper fishing on the North Cape May beaches slowed down a little towards the weekend — but there were still some nice fish landed by the bait fisherman this week.

We will be holding our annual Mako Tournament next weekend, June 1st and 2nd. Anybody looking to fish it can call the store for details at -884-3900. We did get the first report of a nice mako caught by an Ocean City, Maryland boat. The fish was reported to be in the 290lb. range. The laws have changed on pelagic shark fishing, so anglers wishing to get an HMS permit have to visit the NOAA site and check out the changes.”

 

Manhatten Cup is back

There was good news recently for those of us who used to participate every spring in the Manhattan Cup fishing tournament to benefit disabled vets and other good causes.

The Manhattan Cup

                  Is Back!

And it’s Time to Get on Board

 

Date: June 8, 2018

Hosts: Capt. Frank Crescitelli & the Manhattan Cup Committee

Where: Liberty Landing Marina – Liberty House Restaurant, Jersey City, NJ

 

To Benefit: RFA Fisheries Conservation Trust & Wounded and At-Risk Warriors

 

The Manhattan Cup is the New York/Metropolitan area’s famous charity fishing tournament with a 17-year track record of great fishing, fantastic events and great people. It’s the only tournament where teams compete in a live release format to catch the biggest and the most striped bass, bluefish and weakfish. All in the shadows of downtown NYC and the Statue of Liberty, home to the most amazing run of striped bass in any river on the East Coast!

 

Reserve a Boat and Captain

You can fish aboard one of the top charter or light tackle guide boats, or with a local “sharpie” all with “local knowledge” by going to the website and making a donation that will entitle you and your team the boat and crew for the day. These boats are donated for your enjoyment and the proceeds of your donation are used to benefit our charity recipients. cSo get online at www.manhattancup.com and enter to secure one of these great boats and captains for your team. Four man teams sign up for a Platinum Entry. One or two man teams sign up for a Light Tackle Platinum Entry. Donated boats will be assigned on a first come – first serve basis so don’t delay.

 

Enter Your Own Boat

If you’d rather enter your own boat and team and compete against other boats in the Sportfishing Division we’ve got you covered. The base entry price covers up to three people, additional anglers can be included for an additional donation to the tournament. All entrants must be pre-registered and pre-paid and will include only the number of anglers specified. Remember, you donation is used to benefit our charity recipients.

 

*All divisions include a gourmet breakfast at Liberty House before blast-off; a scrumptious box lunch provided by Celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio’s “witchcraft” restaurant in Manhattan; and a gala awards banquet at Liberty House after the live release weigh-in. Each entrant will receive a gift bag and exclusive Manhattan Cup clothing and a shot at some great door prizes plus access to the auctions and live raffles.

 

DON’T WAIT – SIGN UP NOW!!!

http://www.manhattancup.com

 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and get ready for a totally unique fishing experience.

 

Questions? Please call

Capt. Frank Crescitelli – (917-468-4817) or email finfly@aol.com

Gary Caputi – (732) 740 9982 or email caputifish@comcast.net

Capt. Jim Freda had a thrill Friday evening while trolling a Tony Maja #4 bunker spoon in 60 feet off Asbury Park from Shore Catch out of Point Pleasant when John Wasnesky of Freehold reeled in a 48-inch very fat striped bass. That magnificent bass was released after being measured with a 30-inch girth. After applying the formula for determining approximate weight (length times girth squared, divided by 800), Freda got a weight of 54 pounds, but later remembered that the length in the formula must be to the fork of the tail — not to the tip. Though 48 inches overall is short for a 50-pounder, that bass surely made that because of the exceptional girth.  The ocean bass migrating from the south are spawned out, but Freda said this one seemed to be full of bunkers.

Freda -48-inch

The skipper thanks Capt. Eric Kerber for info that put him in the right area.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had a 40-pound striper in the ocean today, but that was the only one. They added some sea bass. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant reported some sea bass and bluefish.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands got into a shot of bass on the surface, but only a couple were caught on shads before they went down. The bait fishing was then slow with only a couple more caught. Due to the east winds predicted for Sunday being up against the tide, Capt. Rob Semkewyc is advising anglers to stay home.  Also at that port, Capt. Ron Santee said he had the same conditions that produced good fluking yesterday on his Fishermen, but keepers were harder to find today in the same areas.

Capt. Stan Zagleski reported it took some time before the drift got right on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands. After that there were some fluke limits caught. He sails at 6 a.m. through Memorial Day.

Allen Riley of South Plainfield fished the Sandy Hook surf earlier in the week and had a thrill when a big fish took his bunker bait, though it turned out to be a 4 1/2-foot smooth dogfish.  He later added two sea robins and a 23-inch striper that morning on bait.  Returning Friday morning, Riley had an easier time with a 3-foot smooth dogfish on bunker before making his day with a 35-inch bluefish.