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R.I.P. Capt. Dom Vitolo Sr.

Just before writing this blog, I checked Facebook and found the sad information that Capt. Dom Vitolo Sr. has passed away.  That former Belmar skipper was a great blackfish specialist, and a real gentleman.  I’ll add news about arrangements when received.

Capt. Ron Santee reported that fluking was good on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands when he started on the end of the flood. The first keeper turned out to be the pool winner at 4.9 pounds.  Fluking really turned on with the ebb until the SE wind came up and killed it.

Capt. Vinnie Vetere had to work hard again to make a good catch of stripers. He’s covered from Scotland to Stepping Stones Lighthouse recently, and his Ho-Jos have always come through on Katfish from Great Kills.  Anyone wishing to try them can place an order by visiting http://www.HoJoFishing.com.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had a Monday afternoon charter for John D’Andrea that produced a good sea bass catch before they fished up to dark for stripers. There were some readings, and a 46-incher was jigged on a Kroc.

At Belmar, the Big Mohawk reported most fares limited on sea bass today and added some ling. The Golden Eagle found the 1-to-3-pound blues for jigging before adding sea bass and a few ling to the bags.

The Jamaica from Brielle got into the bite of bigger blues on Saturday, and found the biggest one I’ve heard of on a party boat so far this year — a 15 1/2-pounder by Marquise Berry.  They’re sailing daily for blues, but will be running another tilefish trip on Sunday June 24 at 10 p.m. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

Canyon fishing was outstanding over the weekend. Adam La Rosa of the Canyon Runner fleet in Point Pleasant says they were following a temperature break all week from South Toms to the Baltimore for big catches of bluefins, bigeyes. yellowfins and makos.   Both boats got in three overnighters during the week. Capt. Charlie Vanderbock on his first Canyon Runner charter put the Mike Earle party into a 403-pound mako as well as tuna. The 60-foot Ritchie Howell had a great catch for the Mike Kozak charter as three bluefins in the 125-to-150-pound class were caught along with smaller bluefins — plus four yellowfins —  and three makos of 125 to 175 pounds were released at night.  The Deane and Peter Wilcox party had giants of 400 and 500 pounds plus a bigeye and 10 yellowfins.  The John Mendes charter did very well on a bigeye barrage, catching five out of seven

403-lb CR mako

Sharks starting to show in surf

Surfcasting for sharks at night has been catching on the last few years, and Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park notes that fishing seems to be getting underway with several sand tigers  reported recently. Daytime fishing was slow yesterday with only one striper and one blue weighed in. There are some fluke in the surf, with Colton Connell bringing in a 25-incher that weighed 3.55 pounds. Striper weigh-ins recently were topped by Annalee Nelson with a 39-inch, 19.20-pounder on clams in the surf — along with a 41.5-inch, 21.15-pounder the same way by John Radice.  Betty & Nick’s Tackle reported big blues were in the inlet Saturday.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro had no hits trolling for big stripers Friday with his Hi Flier from Barnegat, but while finishing up by casting soft plastics in Barnegat Inlet for 2-to-4-pound blues on 10-pound spin,  he was surprised after the tide turned by stripers up to 12 and 21 pounds.  De Gennaro will be looking for more of them, and is also taking along some shedder crabs and sandworms after getting reports of weakfish in Barnegat Bay. He also hopes to get offshore to the tuna that are edging closer — but only when the weather is right.

Capt. Stan Zagleski had tough fluking conditions today with his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands, but his regulars jigged some better fish topped by a 7-pounder for Mike Schmidt of Cranford.

 

 

Mike Schmidt 7-lb-Elaine B

 

Allen Riley and John Mazzeo from South Plainfield worked the Sandy Hook surf with bunker Thursday morning for lots of big sea robins and only one skate. John also released a 22-inch striper, and Allen hooked a 5-pound blue.

Fluking conditions in Raritan Bay were tough today, but Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter at Atlantic Highlands said he did much better than on Saturday as a few limits were taken. Colin Bennett (10) boated a 5-pounder to take the pool while his grandfather limited.  Capt. Ron Santee said he fought wind against tide with the Fishermen and stayed later as the fishing improved.

At Belmar, the Big Mohawk reported very good sea bass fishing with many limits. Jigs produced the bigger fish. The Golden Eagle even had some sea bass limits on the Saturday afternoon trip.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant had lots of sea bass today, but Capt. Dave Riback noted that keepers are getting harder to come by. The Sunday and Monday magic hours trips were cancelled due to ocean conditions.

There were no bluefish reports today.

 

 

Work your baits for fussy fluke

Fluke fishing in the Raritan Bay area has been tough most days even though party and charter boats usually end up with decent catches. The difference between those anglers who limit regularly and those who struggle for a dinner is usually working the baits. Bait has generally been best so far, but just dragging it isn’t normally productive. Every skipper is frustrated when he sees anglers waiting for a fluke to commit suicide rather than continuously bouncing bait off bottom.

Modern lightweight tackle makes it a lot easier to work baits, but Dave Orlkel proved today on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands that it’s not necessary to fool fluke as Capt. Ron Santee said his customer used his grandfather’s wooden-handled reel on a rod at least 50 years old to limit out and boat the pool-winning 7.4-pounder. Santee noted that there were also fluke of 6.5 and 5.7 pounds while some fares managed a couple of keepers  — but he emphasized that “In no way is it easy”. The Fishermen is chartered Saturday.

Also at that port, the Sea Hunter had similar fluking with a couple of limits and a 7.5-pound pool winner plus many shorts.

 

The small bluefish in the Shrewsbury Rocks area cooperated today and there were some limits up to 3 pounds jigged on both Miss Belmar Princess and the Golden Eagle from Belmar — while the Ocean Explorer, Big Mohawk and Capt. Cal continue to load up with sea bass out of that port.

Capt. Deane Lambros had a facebook post of a great canyon trip yesterday on the Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant that produced two giants of 96 and 90 inches plus a bigeye and 10 yellowfin tuna.

Capt. Dave De Gennaro trolled out of Barnegat Inlet with his Hi Flier from Barnegat and only caught a 14-inch fluke that actually was hooked in the mouth on a turn with a Tony Maja bunker spoon. However, there were bunker schools up that have attracted thresher sharks. Some threshers have been caught, and he was looking for another as I talked to him late in the afternoon.

Many short stripers and a few larger ones are still being reported by the Seaside Park tackle shops — and there’s also been a bonus of black drum on clams.

Vinny D’Anton of Wall didn’t have another day on his local beach such as the day before when he caught six stripers up to 35 inches on sand fleas. He hooked a similar bass right away this morning only to lose it almost in the wash due to a broken circle hook. After that there was only a pick of small bass. I even caught three, but none over about 23 inches. Joe Milko got a surprise when he hooked a 17 1/4-inch fluke on sand fleas.

Joe Melillo has had some weigh-ins recently at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant. Bill McCrystal of that town had boat stripers of 27 pounds, and 35 7/8 pounds. Terry Martuscelli of Brick landed a 24 9/16-pound bass from the surf on bunker.

 

 

 

 

 

Fluke fishing improving — 9.4-lb. boated

Fluke fishing is improving in northern N.J., and the largest reported to this blog was boated today on the Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands  — a 29-inch, 9.4-pounder boated by Scott Ure. That was his second largest fluke ever, as several years ago he caught an 11.2-pound doormat on the Fishermen. A 5-pounder took second in the pool, and Capt. Ron Santee said the morning action was much better than yesterday. The Madison Boy Scouts were aboard to enjoy the day.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc said he had tough conditions for his first fluking trip of the season — and was happy with his new full-day schedule. The Atlantic Highlands boats will try to get out Sunday despite a forecast of gusty NE winds.

Capt. Stan Zagleski was happy with the morning fluke bite on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands as some regulars managed limits among lots of shorts. Zagleski will be sailing early at 6 a.m. Sunday.

The entire bluefish fleet from Brooklyn to Point Pleasant gathered at  Shrewsbury Rocks to jig the small bluefish that have been dependable all week. I joined Bob Correll of Bay Head in his Boston Whaler to look for stripers north of Manasquan Inlet, and we ere able to snag some bunkers from occasional flips, but saw no signs of stripers. When we got to the Shrewsbury fleet there were only a very few blues being hooked amid a constant blasting of horns as party boats kept moving to jump on readings due to a lack of birds on rainfish . Bob lost the only blue he hooked, but we did jig a few small sea bass and windowpanes off bottom along with a sea robin and a skate during a brief attempt. The blues must have turned on at other times as party boats reported fair to good bluefish catches. The Golden Eagle from Belmar also added sea bass and even winter flounder.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano was part of the crew on Frank Criscola’s Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club on Friday that trolled seven large stripers from Deal to Flynn’s Knoll. They were fishing in the ongoing Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Clun Striped Bas Tournament and weighed in bass of 39 and 42 pounds — but are just behind entries of 42 and 45 pounds. Di Stefano said today’s trolling reports were very spotty, but he heard there was a showing of bass on top very early in the morning off the Red Church.  Capt. Dave De Gennaro ran his Hi Flier from Barnegat all the way up there, but had no luck trolling. He bailed out in Barnegat Inlet on the way back as his party cast shads to 3-to-4-pound blues. De Gennaro said the early Barnegat Bay run of jumbo blues just didn’t happen this year after three straight great springs.

Smooth dogfish taking over in Raritan Bay

Capt. Rob Semkewyc  was hoping to finish up his daytime striped bass fishing on the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands with a good catch, but wherever he went today there were smooth dogfish and no bass. He did report that trollers were catching stripers, and the first two blues of his season were boated. That was a complete mystery as blues were usually interfering with Raritan Bay striper fishing by May 1 — not June 1. The Sea Hunter switches to fluke from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, but some evening striper trips will be added.

Capt. Chris Di Stefano confirmed those trolling reports from Crisdel out of Brielle Yacht Club. He was part of Frank Criscola’s crew as they picked at large bass trolling mo-jos from Flynn’s Knoll to Deal. They had a couple of bass in the 40-pound class aboard  before the deadline for weigh-in at the Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Club Tournament

Scott Leadbeater of Haddon Heights  ran his old 20-foot Aquasport out of Atlantic Highlands this afternoon and was trolling a mo-jo on a spinning rod in Swash Channel when a fish almost spooled him. An angler in another boat watched the battle and offered Leadbeater a scale to weigh his 46-inch bass at 41 pounds before releasing the largest striper of his life. He noted that the bass was spawned out.

Stripers haven’t been easy for anglers fishing live bait. Tank Matraxia and his crew from Lyndhurst never had a hit on lively bunkers fished yesterday  from Two Rivers Charters out of Highlands.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle and Miss Belmar Princess have been getting into lots of jigging action to the north with 1-to-3-pound blues.  Sea bass have been the targets on other boats there, and the Big Mohawk reported an early boat limit today.  Take advantage of that action on Saturday, because lots of NE wind is forecasted for Sunday.

The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant has been working on both the small blues and sea bass. They report that magic hours trips have been tough so far. The only remaining openings for the evening bite are on June 3, 5,10, 12 and 14.

Capt. Ron Santee  said he fished into overtime to bail out a slow trip with a late bite on the Fishermen up to Iris’ fluke of over 5 pounds.

Capt. Stan Zagleski had his best fluke action today from Elaine B. II out of Bahrs in Highlands on the incoming tide as almost all had a keeper and there were some limits.

 

If you’ve ever wanted to take advantage of a big price break in order to fish at world-famous Pesca Panama, there’s an opportunity coming up this month. Mike Augat has one boat open from June 17-22 for two to three anglers at a $1,500 reduction per person. He says the tuna bite has been red hot, and cuberas and roosterfish to over 50 pounds have been caught. Contact him at pescapanama.com

Chuck Many with a 46-pound striper release down the beach this week

huck-46.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An unusual surf release

I’ve been trying to do some catch and release surf fishing the last couple of days, but I haven’t gotten the “catch” part figured out yet. After trying Sea Girt, Shark River and Spring Lake, I finally came across something to release without catching it when I spotted a turtle above the surf line at Spring Lake. It wasn’t a marine turtle, and I assumed it was dead until I nudged it with my boot. Surprisingly, it stuck its head out and tried to move toward the water with its claws.  Even though I gave it some help, the waves tossed the turtle on its back. Vinny D’Anton, a retired science teacher, was casting nearby. He thought it was a snapping turtle that might have gotten washed out of Shark River along with lots of wood and other trash that was cast up on the beach today. I was amazed that a freshwater turtle could be surviving in saltwater, but it appeared as lively as turtles usually are — so Vinny released it on the calm side of a jetty. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch any finny critters to release.

The Sea Hunter didn’t get out from Atlantic Highlands today, and tomorrow will be their last morning striper trip before switching to fluke on Saturday. Fluking worked out well for the Fishermen from that port today as Capt. Ron Santee reported their largest so far.  Mike Nicholas boated a 27 1/2-incher which weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces. That beat out a 6 5/16-pounder for the pool, and there were also a couple of five-pounders. One fare caught over 20 fluke to put two in his cooler.

Bob Correll of Bay Head fished with a corporate group yesterday afternoon on Two Rivers Charters out of Highlands. Capt. Fletcher Chayes said there had been a big bass bite morning and evening off the Highlands Bridge, but he noted that it hadn’t happened when he was down there that morning. Therefore, they fished in the bay with live bunkers where one large bass was boated. Correll had a powerful fish tearing line off his reel, but the circle hook pulled.

One that didn’t get away this week was Paul Haertel’s 54.8-pound  personal record that was noted in yesterday’s blog.

Paul 54.8

Capt. Vinnie Vetere said it was picky striper fishing today in the Hudson River from his Katfish out of Great Kills. He marked bait, but few stripers, and the bass didn’t want live bunkers. His dependable Ho-Jos did the job  as usual and trolling filled the box.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle once again got into the small blues north of the inlet and lots up to 2 1/2 pounds were boated. That boat has room on a Friday afternoon striper trip at 3:30. Reservations are required by calling 732 681-6144. The Ocean Explorer reported another great day of sea bass fishing with limits for most.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle weighed a 24.65-pound striper caught in the surf on clams by John Grodzicki.  Betty & Nick’s said there was a hot Wednesday evening bite on bunker by bass and blues while the usually reliable clam was ignored.

The Jamaica from Brielle is fishing daily at 7:30 a.m. for stripers and blues, but also gearing up for a tilefish trip departing at 10 p.m. Sunday.  Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.

 

Mako Fever tournament 
Jersey Coast Shark Anglers from Brick NJ will be holding their 
40th Annual Mako Fever Tournament
which is a 9 day event on 
$250,000 IN PRIZES!
Prizes based on 300 boats entered
ENTRY FEE: $500 PER BOAT PER DAY
 
ANGLERS CAN WIN A 2018 CHEVY SILVERADO LTZ!*
PROVIDED BY LESTER GLENN AUTO GROUP!
*MAKO WEIGHED IN MUST BREAK NJ STATE RECORD!
 
Check Out times: via text to 732-551-3912
Crystal Point Yacht Club, Pt. Pleasant NJ
 
Portions of the proceeds will go towards 
Ocean Reef Foundation, 
St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the 
NJ Make A Wish Foundation charities.
 
For additional info please visit http://www.jcsa.org

Canyon Runner starts mako season

Adam La Rosa reports his Canyon Runner crews from Point Pleasant have fought at least one big fish during all but one of the eight canyon overnighters they’ve run so far. It’s been mostly giant bluefin tuna, but Capt. Deane Lambros and mate Mike Kelly came up with the variety Friday morning for the Vincent Ponte charter as they boated an 85-inch giant drifting before catching three makos. The first two were in the 150-pound class and too small under the new regulations– but then they added a legal 84-incher of about 200 to 220 pounds.

CR mko

cr nj canyon giantA pretty good Friday morning canyon catch for the Canyon Runner!

Yesterday’s title of “Time for a 50” worked out for Paul Haertel of the JCAA as he put a 54.8-pound personal best striped bass in his boat out of Barnegat Inlet.   Paul has the unique honor of having caught 50s from both boat and jetty.

Bob Matthews weighed some big bass at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina.  John Reilly of Hookers Café in Belmar was credited with 50 pounds. Nickolay Kryvenka weighed a 45-pound striper that was caught this week on Miss Belmar Princess.  Ray Soyka had a 48-pounder from a private boat.

Mathews had no such big bass news from the surf, though small stripers are hitting clam. Jim Louro of Spring Lake has been catching a few school bass on Tsunami Shads from his local beach, but Vinny D’Anton of Wall returned from Florida and did much better in the middle of the morning today. After breaking the ice with bait for little bass of 20 and 21 inches, Vinny noticed splashes and switched to the Chug Bug to release four of 23 to 24 inches.

Capt. Sal Cursi has returned to Florida, but the former skipper of Cathy Sea from Sewaren had a good day of striper chunking in Raritan Bay before leaving while fishing out of Keyport with Ted and David Martinko as they caught bass up to 35 pounds.

It wasn’t like that in the bay today. Capt. Rob Semkewyc  didn’t have enough people to get out yesterday, when he heard the bass were up, and had high hopes for today. Yet, he said everyone was struggling to find any bass. He was fortunate to have two on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, but only heard of another two trolled on a charter boat. He’s finishing up with stripers the next two days before switching Saturday to daily fluke from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. He’ll also be setting up a few afternoon striper specials.

Capt. Ron Santee said most fares on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands had a couple of legal fluke today, and the pool fish was over 6 pounds.

At Belmar, both the Golden Eagle and Miss Belmar Princess ran north to get into good jigging for 1-to-3-pound blues that lasted to about 11 before they switched to sea bass. The Ocean Explorer reported a great sea bass bite, with a plain chrome jig working best.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle weighed a big bass for their own Sean after he worked for 15 minutes to try reviving it for a boat release. The 47-inch bass swallowed a bunker and weighed 48.25 pounds.

Manhatten Cup is back

There was good news recently for those of us who used to participate every spring in the Manhattan Cup fishing tournament to benefit disabled vets and other good causes.

The Manhattan Cup

                  Is Back!

And it’s Time to Get on Board

 

Date: June 8, 2018

Hosts: Capt. Frank Crescitelli & the Manhattan Cup Committee

Where: Liberty Landing Marina – Liberty House Restaurant, Jersey City, NJ

 

To Benefit: RFA Fisheries Conservation Trust & Wounded and At-Risk Warriors

 

The Manhattan Cup is the New York/Metropolitan area’s famous charity fishing tournament with a 17-year track record of great fishing, fantastic events and great people. It’s the only tournament where teams compete in a live release format to catch the biggest and the most striped bass, bluefish and weakfish. All in the shadows of downtown NYC and the Statue of Liberty, home to the most amazing run of striped bass in any river on the East Coast!

 

Reserve a Boat and Captain

You can fish aboard one of the top charter or light tackle guide boats, or with a local “sharpie” all with “local knowledge” by going to the website and making a donation that will entitle you and your team the boat and crew for the day. These boats are donated for your enjoyment and the proceeds of your donation are used to benefit our charity recipients. cSo get online at www.manhattancup.com and enter to secure one of these great boats and captains for your team. Four man teams sign up for a Platinum Entry. One or two man teams sign up for a Light Tackle Platinum Entry. Donated boats will be assigned on a first come – first serve basis so don’t delay.

 

Enter Your Own Boat

If you’d rather enter your own boat and team and compete against other boats in the Sportfishing Division we’ve got you covered. The base entry price covers up to three people, additional anglers can be included for an additional donation to the tournament. All entrants must be pre-registered and pre-paid and will include only the number of anglers specified. Remember, you donation is used to benefit our charity recipients.

 

*All divisions include a gourmet breakfast at Liberty House before blast-off; a scrumptious box lunch provided by Celebrity Chef Tom Colicchio’s “witchcraft” restaurant in Manhattan; and a gala awards banquet at Liberty House after the live release weigh-in. Each entrant will receive a gift bag and exclusive Manhattan Cup clothing and a shot at some great door prizes plus access to the auctions and live raffles.

 

DON’T WAIT – SIGN UP NOW!!!

http://www.manhattancup.com

 

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and get ready for a totally unique fishing experience.

 

Questions? Please call

Capt. Frank Crescitelli – (917-468-4817) or email finfly@aol.com

Gary Caputi – (732) 740 9982 or email caputifish@comcast.net

Capt. Jim Freda had a thrill Friday evening while trolling a Tony Maja #4 bunker spoon in 60 feet off Asbury Park from Shore Catch out of Point Pleasant when John Wasnesky of Freehold reeled in a 48-inch very fat striped bass. That magnificent bass was released after being measured with a 30-inch girth. After applying the formula for determining approximate weight (length times girth squared, divided by 800), Freda got a weight of 54 pounds, but later remembered that the length in the formula must be to the fork of the tail — not to the tip. Though 48 inches overall is short for a 50-pounder, that bass surely made that because of the exceptional girth.  The ocean bass migrating from the south are spawned out, but Freda said this one seemed to be full of bunkers.

Freda -48-inch

The skipper thanks Capt. Eric Kerber for info that put him in the right area.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar had a 40-pound striper in the ocean today, but that was the only one. They added some sea bass. The Queen Mary from Point Pleasant reported some sea bass and bluefish.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands got into a shot of bass on the surface, but only a couple were caught on shads before they went down. The bait fishing was then slow with only a couple more caught. Due to the east winds predicted for Sunday being up against the tide, Capt. Rob Semkewyc is advising anglers to stay home.  Also at that port, Capt. Ron Santee said he had the same conditions that produced good fluking yesterday on his Fishermen, but keepers were harder to find today in the same areas.

Capt. Stan Zagleski reported it took some time before the drift got right on his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands. After that there were some fluke limits caught. He sails at 6 a.m. through Memorial Day.

Allen Riley of South Plainfield fished the Sandy Hook surf earlier in the week and had a thrill when a big fish took his bunker bait, though it turned out to be a 4 1/2-foot smooth dogfish.  He later added two sea robins and a 23-inch striper that morning on bait.  Returning Friday morning, Riley had an easier time with a 3-foot smooth dogfish on bunker before making his day with a 35-inch bluefish.

Opening day fluking was promising

The opening day of the N.J. fluke season was probably better than most anglers expected as weather conditions were perfect.

Capt. Ron Santee was pleased with the drift in Raritan Bay as wind and the outgoing tide were together for anglers on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. Fluke were located in many areas. and keepers were well represented.  Robert Neilsen and his wife combined for five. The pool fluke was a 6.3-pounder.

Capt. Stan Zagleski said his early start with Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands gave him a jump on the competition as fluke were found in several areas and there were some limits. He’ll continue to sail at 6 a.m. through Memorial Day.

Elaine B fluke

Capt. Rob Semkewyc is sticking with the striped bass on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands . The last couple of days have been slower, but today’s catch was topped by a 27-pounder fought by Jon  Keidel. The skipper hopes the full moon coming up will spark the striper action.

Capt. Sal Cursi relocated to Florida. but didn’t forget everything he learned from years of running his Cathy Sea from Sewaren. He Joined Capt. Hans Kaspersetz and his crew on Sheri Berri from Twin Lights Marina in Highlands as they scratched out a few fussy stripers plus some opening day fluke.

Cursi said they only had one bluefish at a time of year when we used to be overrun with them. Yet, Nick Honachefsky reports that Keith Schaudecker got into 15 gator blues up to 16 pounds Wednesday off Port Monmouth on live bunkers from his Castaway.

It took awhile to find them, but Bob Correll of Bay Head and I had plenty of action with 3-to-4-pound blues while casting Thursday afternoon in Manasquan River from his Boston Whaler. Metal was the best bet, but Bob also got hits flycasting.

At Belmar, the Golden Eagle had no luck with stripers and blues before switching to sea bass for a good pick along with a few ling. Miss Belmar Princess ran north, but didn’t find stripers and blues before finishing up with sea bass.

At Point Pleasant, the Queen Mary had a good catch of sea bass today, Don Marantz and his party fished yesterday on Barb-Gail for limits of sea bass and some ling. Mimi VI will be sailing open on Tuesday. Call 732 370-8019 for reservations.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reported surfcasting was slower Thursday, but bluefish are hitting bunker chunks off local docks.  Billy Martin checked into Betty & Nick’s early this morning with two 19-inch fluke taken in IBSP on a white bucktail with a chartreuse Gulp.

Joe Melillo, at Castaways Tackle in Point Pleasant,  weighed a 35-pound, 14-ounce striper caught from a boat for Bill McCrystal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sea bass fishing in good shape

Though the opening of the sea bass season in N.J.  wasn’t good for everyone, that fishery has bounced back for most. Bud Mc Arthur of Brick was one of those who were disappointed in the opener, but today was a different story as he fished with Gerald D’Luisi of Verona on Hook & Cook from Brick for a four-man catch of 39 keepers out of about 80 sea bass  on the Axel Carsen Reef. Mc Arthur was also surprised by a 22-inch fluke he released after it hit a bergall strip.

Tank Matraxia and his crew from Lyndhurst limited with sea bass this week on Lock & Load from Belmar. They added one ling, and Matraxia was able to put ALS tags in three out-of-season blackfish.

The N.J. fluke season opens Friday, and there will be a big fleet waiting to greet them. That won’t include the Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands as Capt. Rob Semkewyc has decided to stick with daily stripers which are providing good action.  He said today’s pool bass was in the mid-to-upper twenties.

Capt. Vinny Vetere had another fine day of striper trolling with his Ho-Jo’s from Katfish Charters out of Great Kills.  They kept three out of 18 large bass, and were back by 9:30.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar fished the ocean, but bass and blues weren’t cooperative today.

The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant continues to find bluefin tuna while trolling in several canyons.  A few blue sharks were caught at night, when a possible giant tuna broke off after a long fight.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reports small stripers are still hitting well on clams in the surf, while bluefish are becoming more abundant in Barnegat Bay. I posted the results of Sunday’s Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament in a separate blog this morning.

I had planned to try the Manasquan River bluefish this morning, but missed my exit and continued on to Point Pleasant Canal. Without much hope, I cast an Ava 007 with a short red tail because that’s what I had on my light spinning rod from my last river pick of 3-pound blues. It was a shock when I hooked a good fish that tore across the canal just as the first boat was coming through. Fortunately, the boater responded to my waving and moved over. Though I assumed I had a big blue on, the fish turned out to be a 29-inch striper with the small hook buried in the corner of its jaw so I could reach down and grab the lure to lift it up for the release. 

 

 

 

Ho-jo's bassKatfish Charters striper on Ho-Jo