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South gale may slow surf striper bite

Just when surf striper fishing turned on in several areas, the weather is turning on us.

A gale warning is up for Sunday with south winds at 15–s20 knots increasing to 25-30 in the afternoon. Rain is likely in the morning.

Belmar was one if the spots where surf stripers were active this morning. There were bass chasing sand eels out of the water before Vinny D’Anton and I arrived after dawn. Though the surface showing was over, everyone caught bass blind casting for some time. I didn’t see any keepers, but bass up to 26 inches were mixed with smaller ones and hickory shad. I measured the thickest of my shad at 15 1/2 inches. Most of the action was on Tsunami sand Eels.

Unfortunately, there was no afternoon bite though Vinny got one before dark. Prospects for the morning aren’t good if the weather forecast is right.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands had another good striper day as everyone went home with dinner. The Saturday turnout in fine weather was poor, and Sunday’s trip has been canceled due to the gale.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had another good day with stripers, though it wasn’t easy as was the case yesterday — and they went into overtime for “OK” fishing with some keepers and slots plus many shorts.

Joe Blaze was able to catch some bass with his fly rod on a charter with Capt, Fletcher Chayes on Two Rivers Charters from Highlands. There was a bite between the channels before boat traffic shut it down. They went south to catch bass casting , though there were no swirling fish. Some slot bass were included. An attempt at blackfishing wasn’t successful.


Capt. Hans Kaspersetz returned from Guatemala where the world’s best sailfishing produced 27 releases in three days for him while fishing out of Blue Bayou.  No sooner did he return than he was fishing locally today on his Sheri Berri from Twin Lights in Highlands. After releasing stripers, he switched to blackfish with similar success.


Calm weather predicted for morning

The weekend should at least start out well as the morning forecast is for west winds at just 10-15 knots. with 2-4-foot seas.

Boaters enjoyed another fine day of striper fishing. Capt. Rob Semkowicz reported good action with shorts and slots plus one over 28 inches on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands.  The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a boat limit of stripers and was in release mode by 11 a.m. They said there were several bass in the 25-30-pound class.

Vinny D’Anton fished several northern Monmouth Count beaches to pick at stripers both early and late in the day — including a release of that surf rarity this fall, a 28 1/2- inch  legal triper.  I tried the Long Branch surf later in the afternoon to catch two small bass quickly on the Tsunami Sand Eel before the bite died as it got toward dusk.

Stripers still biting

Boaters generally had a fair to good day with stripers in several areas, though there was none of the wild surface action that we’ve seen in the late fall many years.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc was happy with the slot action today as everyone on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands wen home with dinner from local waters.

I fished with Mark Roy on his Release Me from Raritan Marina  as we did a lot of running to try to find a Bonanza without seeing anything other than scattered birds dipping at times. We caught most of our 13 released bass mostly around Ambrose Channel, including Mark’s 28 1/2-incher. All were on Tsunami shads except for one on a heavy Run-Off jig further down the beach in deep water.

The Golden Eagle reported another good day of jigging not far from home port in Belmar.

The Big Mohawk from that port had decent blackfishing, and will sail open for tog tomorrow at 7 a,m

The Jamaica from Brielle had another good offshore wreck sea bass trip yesterday with many limits plus porgies and a few cod, pollock, white hake and bluefish. Felix Schlindler of Morrisville won the pool with a 10-pound pollock. David Cook from Raeford, N.C. was second with a 7-pound white hake.  Call 732 528-5014 for reservations on upcoming trips.Jamaica Nov. sea bass


Vinnie D’Anton had the only good surf news as he once again scored in the afternoon around Long Branch with blind casting. Metal didn’t work today, but he caught six up to 24 inches on a Tsunami Sand Eel, and lost another in the wash.

There’s a cold front coming through tomorrow that may bring some showers. Southwest winds gust to 30 knots tonight, but drop to 15-20 in the morning when a small craft advisory goes up at 5 a.m. West gusts to 30 are forecast in the afternoon.

Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant is still open on regular hours. It’s Joe Melillo who won’t be there for advice after 10 a.m.








Boat striper bite continues — when conditions are right

Boat fishing for stripers has come back off the Jersey Shore after the weekend northeast blow. However, the Atlantic Highlands party boats had to make a move after the wind came up against the current and killed the drift.

Capt. Ron Santee had a good start with his Fishermen with the end of the a.m. tide When the conditions changed, he took a ride to deeper waters where both bait and fish were abundant. Rachael Waudenberg took the pool with a 23-pounder– the largest in several trips.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter had a similar day which produced shorts, bonus bass, and keepers.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle picked away at short, slot and keeper bass on every drift while fishing not far from the inlet. Jigs proved more effective than shads, They’ll be sailing an early limited trip at 6 a. m.

The Big Mohawk will sail limited open trips for stripers each of the next two days at 5:30 a.m.

There wasn’t such positive news reported on the surf front. Allen Riley and John Mazzeo fished Sandy Hook, where Allen caught the only fish on the beach — a bass over 20 inches on a black Ulltimus teaser before dawn, and had one other hit. John had a hot morning of bass fishing there Friday, but this time there was no bait.

Maren Toleno caught a single schoolie at Lavallette early, but I never had a touch at Brick Beach despite clear waters and good conditions.

Despite the poor early reports, Vinny D’Anton went to Long Branch for a higher tide in early afternoon and picked three stripers up to a 26-incher with long casts of a Skippy metal and shorter ones with a Tsunami Sand Eel.

Capt. Vinny Vetere is running open tomorrow from 6 a.m. to noon for Hudson River stripers on live bunkers from his Katfish out of Great Kills.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro is taking advantage of all the northwest wind and will be running open with his Hi Flier from Barnegat on Saturday and Monday. from 6 a.m. to 2 p. m.

The marine forecast for tomorrow is northwest winds at 15-20 knots            before diminishing to 10 knots in the afternoon.


Time to get back to stripers?

The northeast storm virtually shut down fishing since Saturday, but things are looking up for Tuesday.

The wind finally stopped blowing this afternoon, but a small craft advisory is still up into tomorrow afternoon due to rough seas.

The forecast for the morning is for west winds at a mere 10 knots with seas down to 4-7 feet. After that we get into northwest winds that should knock down the waves. I took a look at the Manasquan surf this afternoon, and it was ugly with big waves that were solid brown. It may take a couple of tide changes to clear the surf.

Boaters can get offshore of those waters, and the Golden Eagle from Belmar is set for an early departure striper trip at 6:00.  Other also likely give it a try.

The Paramount from Brielle has scheduled an offshore wrecks sea bass trip for Friday, Nov. 22 at 9 p.m.  Call 732 528-2117 for reservations.

The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant had a cancellation for Friday’s striped bass trip. The boat is available that day, but otherwise sold out for the season. Call 732 272-4445 for info. The free Veteran’s Day trip produced a big bass for every vet.

Veteran's Day bass





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