Dave Lilly of Hazlet trolled up stripers in Raritan Bay again today, though it wasn’t as easy as it had been.
Lilly decided to head east from Keyport and never had a hit all the way to Romer Shoal before running to the back of the bay where about a dozen bass in the 34-35-inch class were trolled in 16-foot depths on Tony Maja 3-ounce mo-jos. He only saw one bass caught to the east among a good fleet taking advantage of a calm morning — though some snow flakes were falling in the cold air when he started out. However, he did hear a radio report of a 7-pound fluke being trolled. The water temperature was up a couple of degrees to 48 in the back, though there were no surface signs of bunkers or birds in the bay.
As noted in yesterday’s blog, Capt. Stan Zagleski passed away from cancer at 76. His son Stan sent this shot of his father with one of his top big fluke customers, Ashley, on Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands. Stan, Jr. will be running the boat as soon as party boat fishing is permitted.
Capt. Art Hilliard was also lost to the for-hire fleet recently. He had run the large-group charter boat Eagle from Atlantic Highlands. R.I.P. Art.
Capt. Bob Garafano from Belmar also reported the recent loss of former party boat owner Marty Tave. Capt. Chris Di Stefano noted that he bought the Renegade from Tave and briefly ran it as a party boat.
Chis had some inshore cod news as a friend told him that 19 legal cod were boated at Sandy Hook Reef last weekend along with ling and blackfish. There was also a cod report from Sea Girt Reef.
Bob Correll of Bay Head has been hooking and jumping small tarpon from the back of a house he’s been living in at Islamorada in the Florida Keys, but finally got one that hung on for a photo a couple of nights ago.
Rain is forecast after midnight, and the morning prediction is northeast winds at 15-20 knots with gusts to 25.