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Roaring NW frustrates flukers

The northwest wind blew a lot harder than predicted, and made fluking conditions very difficult except for Allen Riley of South Plainfield, who went surfcasting at Sandy Hook with the wind behind him. Though the fresh bunker and clams he and John Mazzeo brought went untouched in 58 degree waters, Riley cast a soft plastic jig plus a large white teaser and was surprised by a 22-inch fluke that hit the teaser — and later released a 17-incher on the jig. He outfished many party boat anglers with that catch.

At Atlantic Highlands,  party boat skippers reported gusts to 40 knots and horrible drifting conditions. Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter managed only a few keepers and shorts, while the highlight was the sight of a big humpback whale feeding on bunkers. Capt. Ron Santee said they managed a keeper to take the pool on the Fishermen. Drifting conditions should be much better over the weekend.

Jim Louro and Nick Honachefsky did better in more protected Manasquan River on Louro’s Vicki Lynn from Manasquan after leaving at 5:30 and fishing most of the day. The action was in just 2 1/2 to 3 feet of water where three keeper fluke and 16 shorts were caught. Nick may have had the fluke of the day with a 4 1/2-5-pounder that hit his teaser tipped with Gulp and a bluefish strip.

At Belmar, the Big Mohawk reported sea bass limits for all, and will continue sailing through Memorial Day only with customers who have made reservations.  The Golden Eagle found poor bluefishing and a picky sea bass bite when they made the switch. They start their afternoon fishing and cruise trips Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Fluke fishermen may be looking for wind in the morning. After the present wind drops off this evening, there’s only a 5 knot south wind predicted for the morning — though it increases to 10-15 with gusts to 20 in the afternoon.

The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant reported two more giants plus lots of 30-to-80-pound bluefins in the canyons from the 60-foot Ritchie. An unusual open boat trip opening is available next Thursday to Friday. It’s limited to four anglers, and costs $1,750 all-in per person. Call 732 272-4445 for info.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reported more big bluefish action in the surf, and Betty & Nick’s weighed in two stripers this morning.

Point Pleasant Canal remained  slow in the daytime, but I saw one angler jig a small striper — and I got a 20-incher myself on a Z man white paddletail.

 

 

NJ fluke opens tomorrow

The long-awaited NJ fluke season opens tomorrow with the weather forecast being a bit better than it usually is at this time. After the rain and gusty south winds end tonight, it should go to northwest. The same three fluke at 18 inches applies, except for three at 17 inches in Delaware Bay, and two at 16 inches from shore in Island Beach State Park.

Even though the wind will be 15-20 knots Friday with gusts to 25, which keep small craft advisories up through Friday afternoon, that’s a good drifting wind in the ocean as boaters can run almost into the beach and drift out in calm conditions near shore.  However, don’t expect miracles as the ocean is still cool and the bite may be sluggish. The reefs should be a good bet if its not too windy, and sea bass should provide variety there.

Don’t hesitate to fish inside, as anglers casting jigs for blues and stripers have been hooking fluke for some time  — and the waters are warmer. I heard that a proud, but not very knowledgeable fishermen walked into a tackle shop with a 29-inch fluke yesterday before being thrown out with his illegal catch.

Fluke season usually opens with a northeast wind which is good for the Raritan Bay fleet which can shelter and catch well at the Sandy Hook Bug Light. Northwest will push boats to shore, but they’ll probably be fluke there anyway.

Capt. Stan Zagleski is moving his departure with Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands up to 6 a.m. from tomorrow through Memorial Day before going to his regular weekday sailing time of 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday. However, he’ll continue to sail at 6 on weekends and holidays throughout the fluke season.

At Belmar, the party boat bottom fishing fleet has been doing very well with sea bass and ling which will remain the targets. The Big Mohawk is sailing limited sea bass trips, which require reservations, over the weekend.

The Golden Eagle from that port only found a few blues Tuesday before heading off to a boat limit of sea bass plus ling. On Wednesday they found blues to be scarce, but Allen Hopkins of Reading, Pa. was fortunate to boat a 30-pound striper on his first fishing trip. The only problem then was that once that striper was aboard they couldn’t leave state waters — and the inshore sea bass fishing was picky.

The Jamaica from Brielle will be sailing Saturday at 7:30 for sea bass. They only jigged two blues Wednesday, but then limited on sea bass. The Jamaica will also be running Saturday and Sunday night bluefish trips from 7:30 p.m. to about 2:30 a.m.  A June 1 sea bass Marathon trip requires reservations by calling 732 528-5014.

Tom O’Connor has been fishing on South Amboy Beach, where bunker chunks have been producing blues and a few stripers for the many anglers fishing there. Tom had both a 10-pound blue among the smaller ones this week plus a 31-inch striper. He noted that the beach has been kept very clean this year.

Jerry Lasko and Maren Toleno fished Island Beach State Park yesterday evening and did nothing there. Jerry said there were relatively few anglers fishing in the park. On the way back to Point Pleasant they fished the canal where Maren released a short striper on a Bomber and Jerry missed a couple.

I tried the canal briefly this morning without getting a touch on my paddletail jig. The regulars weren’t even fishing since the daytime bite has been so poor. That will change tomorrow as they seek the several large fluke which have been released there this month. Joe Melillo has plenty of bait and rigs at nearby Castaways Tackle, but he had no encouraging word about the surf fishing due to beach replenishment that discolors the waters.

Jim Hutchinson Sr. reports for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association as follows:

“It is Memorial Day weekend 2019, and the captains of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association are busy welcoming visitors and fish alike to Long Beach Island.

The big news in town is the official opening of the summer flounder season on Friday, May 24. Captain Gary Dugan of the “Irish Jig” says he is switching gears from stripers and drum fish to fluke and the great wreck fishing going on for black sea bass. He is excited about what he feels will be a “great season.”

Captain Alex Majewski of “Light House Sportfishing” notes the spring run of fish is at full throttle. He has been seeing stripers from schoolie size to over 30-inches in the back bay and inlet waters. Captain Alex especially likes fishing for these bass with artificials. He has heard of some good catches of big bass trolling off Island Beach State Park, but no word yet on snag and drop fishing with live bunker. He has also been involved with some big bluefish in the bay waters caught in just a few feet of water on topwater plugs.

Captain Brett Taylor of “Reel Reaction Charters” recently had angler Mike Galindo along with his son Mason and co-worker Dave Stankiewicz on a 5-hour ocean charter looking for striped bass. After hearing of slow action on the stripers, they decided to hit some of the local wrecks for black sea bass. It was a great decision as the guys caught over 100 fish comprised of 40 keepers up to 22-inches, along with some ling, mackerel, and a small bluefish. It turned out to be a great day on the water.  “

Dr. David Cheli left his Brielle office to catch this big blue on an Ava jig with red tail in the Manasquan River this week

Cheli blue

Continue reading → NJ fluke opens tomorrow

Gearing up for Friday fluke opener in N.J.

The Atlantic Highlands party boat fleet is looking forward to Friday’s opening of the fluke season after a good start in April turned into a frustrating May when bass were marked regularly and trollers kept catching — but party boats had a hard time getting bites.

Capt. Ron Santee gave it his best effort Monday with the Fishermen, but even the blues wouldn’t bite. He didn’t fish the last two days while getting ready for fluke. Capt. Rob Semkewyc  usually sticks with stripers on his Sea Hunter into the start of fluking, but will make the final striper trip on Thursday.  He will probably set up some June afternoon trips for big bass.

The Sea Tiger II didn’t have enough to sail this morning, but the few who showed up for the afternoon trip were rewarded with a surprisingly good bluefish bite. If you want blues, Capt. Hal Hagaman suggests you bring wire-leadered hooks tomorrow.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had a slow trip Tuesday until some blues were caught late in the day. After hours of searching, the Queen Mary got into some readings Sunday, and a few stripers up to 30 1/2 pounds were caught on 9-inch white shads and 6-ounce diamond jigs. They also jigged a few sea bass and a couple of blues.

Ocean trollers continue to pick a few big stripers, but the reports I got this morning from Capt. Bud Mc Arthur and Capt. Chris Di Stefano were negative along the northern Shore at that point. Pete Connell of Avon trolled a 42-pound striper on the weekend, but only missed one hit today.  Those skippers reported scattered bunkers popping

Following up the Canyon Runner report from yesterday, it was during a free trip for six military veterans that Capt. Charlie Vanderbeck  on the 48-footer put them into two giants and smaller bluefins plus an albacore and two makos. One of the makos was an 80-inch male (about 180-200 pounds) that met the standards for a legal catch and was kept.  Four hooks were found in it, including one in the liver. The Canyon Runner has only one date left before mid-July.

Capt. Vinny Vetere has had good striper fishing for bigger bass from his Katfish out of Great Kills. During the last week, there were four in the 40-pound class, and two in the 50-pound class. He’s open Thursday and Friday plus Wednesday to Friday next week.

I’ve been having a big problem with AOL, including e-mails coming in late or not being able to open them. Today I was also unable to reply — or to write an e-mail. If you haven’t seen your report or received an answer, try again or call me at 732 757-5531.  Please don’t text me as I don’t text and rarely remember to check for those messages.

The Big Mohawk from Belmar has been doing well with sea bass and ling, but will be sailing from Friday to Memorial Day only by reservation on limited trips.

Bob Matthews reported from Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina that he’d heard of stripers up to 54 pounds being caught by trollers off Ocean County. He weighed a 32-pounder for Jake Langerveld (10) from North Whales, Pa.  Blues are in the river, and small stripers in the surf. The Den’s rental boats are ready for Friday.

Paul Haertel of the JCAA had no luck trolling stripers out of Barnegat Inlet yesterday afternoon, and it was the same story with casting after dark in Point Pleasant Canal. I was on the other side with Jerry Lasko and Maren Toleno as we failed to follow up a successful night. Jerry quickly lost what he thought as a striper, and I had one run from a big blue before the hooks pulled. Maren later moved to another area to release a 22-inch striper. –

Joe Melillo reports from Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant that short stripers are feeding in the canal on cinder worms at night and are a fly rod target. He’s getting stocked up on fluke bait for Friday, and tying  sliding hook rigs so long baits for larger fluke can be presented properly. Anglers fishing the canal for stripers and blues have been catching large fluke for weeks.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reported good action out front with blues from 8–14 pounds Tuesday on both bait and artificials, plus smaller ones in the evening. They had their first big blue weigh-in on a popper in the surf, and also heard of fluke being released on Kettle Creek shads — including a 5-pounder by Lou DeFonthey.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for a return to south winds, but at only 10-15 knots in the morning before increasing to 15-20 in the afternoon.

Jell Merrill took his son out bluefishing I from their small boat in Manasquan River yesterday as the cold front blew through. Steve, who graduated from Rider this week, was dressed like it was November, but caught a 10-pound blue on the surface after they left 50 degree water at Dog Beach and fished in 58 degrees at Treasure Island.

Steve Merrill (1) blue.jpg

Canyon fishing breaks open with bluefins & makos

The canyon fishing season is off to an amazing start as the Canyon Runner fleet from Point Pleasant totaled  two giants, 20 school bluefins, 15 mako sharks and even an unheard of spring albacore in their first four trips. I’ll have moreabout this tomorrow.

As noted in yesterday’s blog, the inshore bluefish bite has turned into a night opportunity. I joined Jerry Lasko and Maren ioleno last night to plug in Point Pleasant Canal, and got into good action . As almost always, Maren was high hook with a dozen large blues, but Jerry had the prize catch with a 28-inch striper that he released. I released seven blues up to a fat 36-incher that had me running along the canal to keep up. Bill Hoblitzell was fishing a different area of the canal and had similar action with a half-dozen big blues plus a short bass.

The long-awaited results of Sunday’s Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament at IBSP were finally received from the DEP at 12:50. Please excuse all the empty lines and boxes I COULDN’T ELIMINATE IN TRAFERRING.`.


The winners of Sunday’s Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament have been announced! John Kolacy of Flanders was awarded the Governor’s Cup for his 37 4/8-inch striped bass.
Tournament details are available on the Division’s website, and the complete winners list is below:

Bluefish Category
Child (Male):
First Place: Logan Apello, Cliffside Park, NJ – 20 5/8″
Second Place: John Ryanfalk, Ossining, NY – 20 4/8″
Teen (Female):
First Place: Morgan Vicidomini, Forked River, NJ – 19 4/8″
Teen (Male):
First Place: Nick Donato, Toms River, NJ – 28 4/8″
Second Place: Colin Graham, Toms River, NJ – 26 2/8″
Third Place: Benjamin Brenner, Toms River, NJ – 25″
Adult (Female):
First Place: Dawn Wesemann, Churchville, PA – 27 6/8″
Second Place: Norma Kasper, Downington, PA – 26″
Third Place: Margaret Crossley, Mount Laurel, NJ – 19″
Adult (Male):
First Place: Gary Galbraith, Carlisle, PA – 32 1/8″
Second Place: Damon Lofton, Morris Plains, NJ – 29 3/8″
Third Place: James Bielski, Forked River, NJ – 29″ (6:45am)
Striped Bass Category
Adult (Male):
First Place: John Kolacy, Flanders, NJ – 37 4/8″
Second Place: Michael Mastrian, Toms River, NJ – 31 2/8″
High School Team
First Place: Toms River High School South – 26 2/8″ Bluefish
Second Place: Manasquan High School – 25 6/8″ Bluefish
Third Place: Columbia High School – 18 3/8″ Bluefish

 

 

It took two 50’s to win Waretown F.D. Tournament

Paul Haertel passed along some very interesting results from the weekend Waretown Fire Department Striped Bass Tournament that I’d never heard of and wasn’t even included in The Fisherman’s list of events. It’s hard enough to catch a 50-pound striper at any time, but in that small contest it took two to win!

Balls Deep won with the two bass total of 112.7 pounds as that included a 52.7-pounder to earn the female award for Sara. Jerzy Boyz was second at 95.7 pounds — barely edging Lucky Stripers at 95.2 pounds. Balls Deep won the Calcutta for biggest single bass at a huge 59 pounds.  A mere 5-pounder took the bluefish prize. Paul wasn’t sure how those bass were caught, but he suspects they were trolled.

Capt. Tom Savastano ran north from Manasquan Inlet on Sunday to find big schools of bunkers on the surface, but couldn’t get a hit either trolling or live baiting before finishing up with sea bass.

Party boats sailing out of Atlantic Highlands have had a hard time getting the stripers they mark to hit. Capt. Rob Semkewyc said it was the same story today as trollers were catching while fares on his Sea Hunter caught only a short bass and some blues. As a result, he’s only going to run one more striper trip on Thursday before switching to fluke from 8-2 when the season opens on Friday. The Fishermen will also make the switch on Friday. Capt. Hal Hagaman of Sea Tiger II was surprised by a couple of what would be keeper fluke during the Sunday afternoon trip which produced only one blue in the strong south wind. There had been a keeper striper and some blues on the morning trip.  John Andrea reported that his partner trolled a dozen blues between 15 and 20 pounds Saturday by Buoy 19. That’s the first report I’ve had of big blues in the back of the bay as those chunking have been mentioning small blues.

Daytime bluefishing has been getting tougher in rivers and bays. While Jerry Lasko and Maren Toleno have been catching big blues at night in Point Pleasant Canal, there have been very few at dawn and dusk. Bill Hoblitzell and I did nothing Sunday morning casting jigs in the canal before going out on his Sea Vee from Mc Carthy’s for a couple of hours along with Jerry Gilbert from Pa. I scratched out a 3-pound blue working a small Z Man jig off bottom, before later getting a blind strike on one of Frank Cresscitelli’s Guide’s Choice Zara Spook versions for the only large blue of about 9 pounds. When blues come hot and heavy you take them for granted, but the way it was Sunday I really savored the strike and the fight. We also had a few follows and a couple of shad tails bit off — but that was it.

Al's big blue.JPG

I was surprised to see Capt. Dave Gennaro in Manasquan Inlet with his Hi Flier from Barnegat — where the big blues were supposed to be. He said the bay is now full of 1-pound blues, and was waiting for the change of tide to resume ocean trolling after coming up along the shore without a hit. He managed a few blues in the river by trolling small plugs. Trolling back to Barnegat Inlet didn’t produce, but he ended up getting into big blues on poppers by Oyster Creek Channel.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported that Sunday’s sea bass fishing was tougher than it had been as high hooks had from six to seven. Tuesday’s forecast is for northwest winds of 10-15 knots with gusts to 20l That switch from south will be welcomed as anglers have been blaming that wind plus the full moon for any fishing that hasn’t been up to par.

I’ve been checking the web  all day for results of Sunday’s Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament, and also made a couple of calls to the DEP, but still haven’t come up with anything. Hopefully I’ll find that info tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Blues bite at Aberdeen Family Fun Contest

Frank Huza of Aberdeen Township reports there was finally a fishing contest where the fish cooperated!  Last year bluefish were scarce everywhere, while last evening only bluefish were caught.

“What a beautiful evening at Cliffwood Beach, with a beautiful moon rise over the gazebo on the sea wall. ”

Adult Winners:
1st Place:   Matt Hoffman of Aberdeen. 25.25″
2nd.            Delvin Caries of Trenton.      25.00″
3rd.             Enrique Vargas of Perth Amboy 22.25″

Teen Winners:
1st Place:    Anthony Colon of Trenton.  25.00″
2nd.             John Yahara of Hazlet.         19.5″

Youth Winners:
1st Place.    Matthew Samaniego of Scotch Plains  24″
2nd.             Hudson Yahara of Hazlet.                      18″
3rd.              Olivia Genitr

There have been no results received from Saturday’s Triple Challenge Tournament, but Chuck Many noted on Facebook that he fished with Capt. Bryan Pieros on his boat along with Dave Donahue to win the two-fish Calcuttas with weigh-ins 40.8 and 39.95 pound stripers, .
Daytime bluefish casting has slowed up in the rivers and bays, but Nick Honachefsky got into 3-5-pounders in the Lavallette surf with metal on Friday after first catching sea bass with Capt. Charlie Mancuso. It may be turning to a night bite as Jerry Lasko and Maren Toleno plugged big blues in Point Pleasant Canal  Saturday night. Jerry also hooked a striper he couldn’t stop before it broke 30-pound braid,
The Big Mohawk from Belmar had good sea bass and ling fishing today, but is taking a pass for tomorrow due to the weather — with small craft warnings up to tomorrow afternoon.
I’ll catch up with the Governor’s Cup and other reports tomorrow.

Governor’s Fishing Tournament at IBSP on Sunday

The annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament will be held Sunday at Island Beach State Park. Those not pre-registered can start signing up at 5 a.m. in Pavillion #1.

The weather looks good with south winds of 10-15 knots, though they do increase in the afternoon to15-20 with gusts to 25. That shouldn’t be a problem in the surf during the fishing hours. The Seaside Park tackle shops report blues are finally showing on the beach and hitting plugs and metal as well as fresh bunker which is available at the shops. Some stripers are also in the surf, and there were reports yesterday of bunker schools within range.  Be sure to carry a snag hook as your best shot at a big fish would be with a snagged bunker.

Party boats from Atlantic Highlands had a hard time with stripers today though they had marks and watched trollers catching them.

Sea bass fishing remains very good, and the Big Mohawk from Belmar also had lots of ling today,

Lots of tackle left at my garage sale

There was a surprisingly good turnout at this morning’s block garage sale at 1552 Osprey Ct., Manasquan Park, NJ 08736. That’s the first time I’ve ever exhibited on a Friday. Yet, there’s still plenty left for the conclusion Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Call me at 732 757-5531 or e-mail to cristori@aol.com with any questions.

There was good surf news at Seaside Park as Grumpy’s Tackle weighed the biggest surf bass so far. Brian Chiasson beached a 40-inch, 17.7-pound bass on cut bunker from the local surf. There were also some 3-5-pound clues in the surf , which bodes well for Sunday’s Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday at Island Beach State Park. There’s also a free Summer Fun Day there from 11-3 Saturday. Go to Swimming Area 1 for the activities. The state is doing the same thing Sunday at the Sandy Hook unit of Gateway National Park. A visit to the marine lab is included.

Nick Honachefsky of Saltwater Underground and Mickey Malchiondo had lots of action on bunker chunks this week at IBSP with 16 choppers in the 2-4-pound class.

At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Rob Semkewyc reported a very tough day on his Sea Hunter though lots of fish were recorded. Only one short bass and a blue were caught, but the bite has been fluctuating wildly from day to day.

Capt. Ron Santee of the Fishermen had a similar problem Thursday before running west in the bay and using both clams and bunkers to catch some small bass plus blues before winding up with four legal stripers on the change of tide.

Sea bass fishing remains good for all. The Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported they were feeding on sand eels today, and drifting was best as anglers casting jigs did better than bait fishermen. They recommend bringing jigs with sand eel teasers.

Miss Belmar Princess got into some 2-pound blues Thursday before snagging bunkers which didn’t attract any big stripers. They wound up adding sea bass to the fish bags.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar found only a few blues for jigging this morning, but went offshore to add sea bass and a pollock despite a wind against current situation.

Jim Hutchinson Sr. reports for the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association that  big stripers are starting to show for trollers.

 

 

 

 

School bluefin tuna made an appearance for BHCFA Junior Mates on an experimental trip.

 

 

Fishing Tackle garage sale Friday & Saturday

My block is having a garage sale the next two days, and I’ll be including fishing tackle at 1552 Osprey Ct., Manasquan Park, NJ 08736. The hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Call 732 757-5531 for additional info.

All sea bass reports have been very good during the first two days of the season.  Capt. Stan Zagleski said it was limits for all on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands — and that seemed to be the case for all.

Tank Matraxia and his crew from Lyndhurst fished aboard Lock & Load from Neptune and were limited in short order. Tank not only put ALS tags in sea bass, but also in an 18 1/2-inch cod that Marty caught as part of a double with a ling on a jig.

Chuck Many had his nephews from Slate Hill N.Y.  aboard Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands as we wormed in Shrewsbury River for a pick of school stripers up to 16 inches, though the bass were very fussy. An afternoon attempt to catch big stripers in the ocean with live bunkers didn’t produce as no bait was marked.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc said the hot gigging bite of large stripers in Raritan Bay wasn’t repeated. He had to change locations and go to bait to put a few keepers aboard the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands.

John De Bona of The Fisherman magazine reported there was hot bluefishing from the docks at Belmar Marina this morning.

The forecast for the morning is southwest winds at 10-15 knots with gusts to 20 — and a chance of afternoon showers.

Another fishing tackle garage sale this weekend

Though my recent garage sale went well, there’s still lots of fishing tackle left — and I found some more that hadn’t surfaced  during the last sale. Since my block is having an area sale this weekend, I’ll be adding my tackle to my wife’s household goods. The address is 1552 Osprey Ct., Manasquan Park, NJ 08736. I’ll have details in tomorrow nights blog. My phone is 732 757-5531.

The few reports received so far from today’s sea bass opener were good. The Golden Eagle from Belmar started out jigging bluesh from 2-10 pounds before heading offshore for sea bass which were 75 percent keepers. They’ll be doing the same thing at 7 a.m.

The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant had many sea bass limits plus ling. They sail open for $75 the next two days. Call 732 370-8019 for reservations.

It was a good day for Atlantic Highlands party boat seeking stripers in Raritan Bay. The Sea Hunter limited out with bass up to a 30-pounder on jigs and shads — and added many releases. The Fishermen had a similar report as ganetts were diving and two 24-pounders tied for the pool.

 

It was so cold this morning in Point Pleasant Canal that I thought an Ice Age was upon us. Never before have I experienced cold hands in mid-May. I had to take a break for awhile to warm my hands at Castaways Tackle in Poiny Pleasant, but managed to pick four blues on a 3-ounce bucktail tipped with a Z Man, Only a few other blues were caught while I was there.

The party boat fleet was fishing inside Manasquan Inlet, but I didn’t see shore anglers catching when I checked it.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reports big blues are still thick in Barnegat Bay, and there should be more in the surf for Sunday’s Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament.

Allen Riley, John Mazzeo and Mitchell Mc Kee fished the Sandy Hook surf this morning with fresh cut bunker. Allen caught bass of 19, 21 and 22 inches and missed two others. John released a 5-6-pound blue, and Mitchell released a 3-4-pounder. The water was barely over 45 degrees, and the air was 44 degreeThe forecast is for southwest winds at 10 knots in the morning with a 60 percent chance of showers.