The striped bass season in New York’s Marine District opened today, though I doubt if anyone was out there to enjoy it during a thoroughly miserable cold, damp and very windy day.
Saturday was a different story as there was the first big turnout of boats in Raritan Bay this spring. Indeed, Capt. John Kolias of Reel Fun from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands said boat traffic turned off the bite in the morning before he trolled three keeper stripers later up to mate Rick’s 39-inch, 22-pounder. The best news was that the water temperature finally got up to 50 degrees.
Dave Lilly of Hazlet couldn’t find any life under gannets diving in the bay Saturday morning, but on the end of the outgoing he got into all legal bass in just 12 feet at the back of the bay. It was too shallow for stretch plugs, but he took shads off an umbrella rig, put them on jig heads and trolled for steady action with bass from 29 1/2 up to 35 inches.
The Ocean Explorer from Belmar was out Saturday in a “monster” swell that they were afraid would kill the bottom bite. Yet, there was good life until a hard wind developed. Catches ranged up to three blackfish, and there were also a couple of legal cod and some shorts. Fishing will resume when the weather straightens out, but the forecast for Monday is no good.
Mike Greene & Bob Bowden with bass in Raritan Bay Friday on Ty Man before release — and my 29-inch legal bass on a Tsunami Shad during my first striper trip of the season before also being released.
Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park got a report of a surfcaster releasing a legal striper on a clam. Still no word of bluefish.