Spanish mackerel being caught from surf

There was an answer yesterday to the question posed in my blog last month –Will the Spanish mackerel be back? Some surfcasters picked a few Spanish mackerel in the Bay Head surf on long casts, and did so again this morning. That didn’t do me any good as I started casting in the canal to no avail, and only a few very small blues were still being picked when I arrived. Greg Tirpak did much better slightly further south as he totaled eight Spanish and 30 small blues.

Anglers to the north didn’t see any of those fish. Jon Falkowski fished Sandy Hook to no avail, and Allen Riley was at Monmouth Beach, where he started out with two short fluke but only had a few hits from them after that while seeing no bait in the 75 degree waters. Dan the Tinman used his jigs and 4-inch Gulp at Sea Bright to catch 16 short fluke and a keeper.

Capt. Ron Santee Jr. reports some better fluke being caught from his Fishermen out of Atlantic Highlands. The monthly pool leader moved up to 6.1 pounds Sunday when there were also fluke of 5.1 and 4.9 pounds boated.

The morning forecast is for southeast winds at 5-10 knots with possible showers. There could be thunder storms again in the afternoon, but hopefully not as bad as those we had this afternoon.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported a pick of blues Saturday, when they also had a few whiting, . It was better Sunday when there were some Spanish mackerel Today there were lots of blues to 3 pounds while a few 7-8-pounders were hooked but all lost. Some fares had limits of both blues and sea bass.

Sea bass still abundant as season is running out

There doesn’t appear to be any shortage of sea bass off the Jersey Shore as the spring season draws to a close on June 22. After that the bag drops from 10 at 12.5 inches to a by-catch of just two at the same minimum during the summer season from July 1 to Aug. 31.  The only problem now is getting through all the shorts to catch a limit — especially on the heavily-fished inshore reefs and wrecks.

Jigging has been the best bet for getting through to the bigger sea bass, The Ocean Explorer from Belmar reported that today’s most successful angler was loading up on a sand eel teaser.

It was a beautiful calm day until the afternoon west wind, and another fine day seems sure for tomorrow.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano was fishing aboard Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club yesterday as they trolled for eight hours without a hit from Raritan Bay to the Shore. Ricky Stavola was a guest angler fishing the Navesink-Shrewsbury Club contest, and he got busy in the afternoon when seven bass, all in the forties, hit bunker spoons. shad rigs and mo-jos off Monmouth Beach.

Di Stefano also had reports that canyon trollers were enjoying great yellowfin action from Lindenkohl to Baltimore canyons.

There was a Friday blitz of school stripers in Point Pleasant Canal, but lots of boat traffic put an end to that this morning. The miracle was that there was still a pick of small bass even though canal anglers had to wait for openings between boats in order to cast. I released three stripers up to 21 inches on a Z Man jig and lost an even smaller one.

Jerry Lasko and Maren Toleno of Point Pleasant caught a couple of 26-inch stripers yesterday evening on sand fleas at Island Beach State Park before skates took over at dusk. Maren released a 30-inch striper there on that bait last Sunday.

Conditions weren’t great for Raritan Bay fluking today as Capt. Rob Semkewyc  said the wind came up against the tide when it switched.  His fares on Sea Hunter still managed to pick away. Also at Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Ron Santee was happy with his results on the Fishermen as 3-to-4-pounders were hooked by many anglers, and a pool winner over 6 pounds was boated at the end.

The fluke below was caught on the Elaine B II from Bahrs in Highlands last week, but had no chance of being accepted in the pool as the doormat was obviously stone dead and falling apart when snagged on the bottom.

Elaine B dead fluke