Page 6 of 6

Boaters had to fight a hard west wind

The west wind blew even harder than predicted today, but some anglers fought through it.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc  said the wind blew a steady 30 mph with gusts to 40 — and it was raw as the few fares on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands picked at some shorts and keepers during every drop. That wind is predicted to drop down tonight, and only be 10-15 mph tomorrow.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar managed to finish up the spring blackfish season with food action and some limits despite the roaring west wind as they were close enough to shore that the sea was calm. They’ll be taking a day off to decide what fishing to pursue before the sea bass season opens on May 15.

Capt. Vinny Vetere continued to load up with stripers over the weekend while trolling his Ho Jo’s from Katfish out of Great Kills.  However, he hasn’t been able to get into the bass by chunking bunkers due to seals finding the baits first.

The Golden Eagle from Belmar caught some stripers over the weekend, but one day it was all on plastics, and the next only on bait. Their report about bluefish blitzing at the Manasquan Inlet jetties on Saturday didn’t check out as I’ve still had no bluefish reports from anyone. I talked to a regular at the inlet this morning who said he’s been there every day and hasn’t seen a blue as yet — though very small stripers hit the small bucktail he’s been casting.

I tried the Sea Girt surf this morning, and only got cold hands for my effort. It was hard to believe that the air temperature was only in the 30s just hours before May 1. The surf wasn’t flat, but very fishable. Jim Louro of Spring Lake caught a small striper on a 4-inch shad this morning, and hooked a 26-incher the previous afternoon.

Jerry Lasko of Point Pleasant had no hits in Island Beach State Park this morning, but the Seaside Park tackle shops had some good reports. Grumpy’s had good surf reports on shorts, but also weighed two stripers. Though both were only 29 inches, Dick Kenny’s that hit a Mag Darter was a hefty 12.45 pounds — while the other on a shad was only 9 pounds.  Betty & Nick’s reported one angler caught 12 bass to 16 inches in two hours at  three spots in the park.

The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant is sold out of canyon trips in May and June, and only has a few left in July and August. They do have an opening for an active military or retired veteran for a free striper trip on May 7. Call Adam La Rosa at 732 272-4445.

Dave Perruso reports the Bi-State Shad Contest on the Delaware River was a big success with 100 sponsors and 890 anglers fishing over the weekend. The largest shad was a 5.942-pounder worth $20,000 to Jake Kocsis. Many others were just ounces smaller. Zack Zupan took $3,000 for second at 5.768 pounds, and Bob Leciston was third for $2,500 at 5.686 pounds.

Chuck Many will be doing a striped bass seminar on Wednesday from 7-9 p.m. in Great Kills Yacht Club. All anglers are welcome to attend the event. For information call Walter Fisher at  917 335-7607. The Staten Island Tuna Club is sponsoring this presentation.

Chuck striper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The canyon Runner from Point Pleasant is almost

 

Are the bluefish in?

Bluefish are overdue by the standards of recent springs, and I still didn’t have any confirmed reports from shore fishing sources as of this morning. Yet, while checking the striper report of the Golden Eagle from Belmar this afternoon there was a mention of a bluefish blitz on the Manasquan Inlet jetties. I’ll be checking that out tomorrow!

The Golden Eagle did boat a couple of keeper stripers and lost a few others — which was still better than previous trips and provides some hope for tomorrow.

I made my first surf attempt of the year in the morning at Sea Girt, but the surf was rough and there were no hits. A couple of other anglers there did likewise. Jim Louro of Spring Lake took a look at his local surf and switched to Shark River. The water was fine there, but he and Frank Manzi had no hits. Capt. Chrid Di Stefano of Wall lost a fish that hit a lure in the river during the week, and saw a fly fisherman catch a small bass.

Jerry Lasko and Maren Tolano of Point Pleasant combined for 10 small stripers this morning at Island Beach State Park though conditions weren’t good. The switch to west winds should improve surf conditions over the next few days.

Castaway’s Tackle in Point Pleasant is now open after a winter renovation took longer than expected. Joe Melillo said flounder fishing has been good at both ends of Point Pleasant Canal, and some stripers are also being caught in the canal.

Blackfish anglers are running out of time as that season closes at the end of the month. Bottom fishing party boats will be concentrating on them tomorrow.

Trolling was once again the best bet for stripers in Raritan Bay. Capt. Rob Semkewyc said he had some shorts and keepers on his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, but not nearly enough. On the other hand, outdoor writer Nick Honachefsky made a late morning trip on Bunkertown, a Contender from Shrewsbury River, after the fog lifted enough for safe navigation. They had a good bite on mo-jos, with chartreuse being the hot color.  There was a mixture of sizes, but a 41.8-pounder reeled in by George Marc-Aurele was by far the largest. She was weighed on a hand scale before being released to spawn in the Hudson River within a couple of weeks.

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Rain & wind coming Wednesday, but it looks good after that

The weather from N.J. to Long Island isn’t looking good for Wednesday with rain and gusty winds in the forecast, but it’s supposed to be back to just 10 to 15 knots from the west for Thursday — and the weekend looks good.

The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands clammed in Raritan Bay today, but it was mostly short bass that responded. There were some keepers topped by Eric Nova’s 15-pounder. Capt. Rob Semkewyc won’t be sailing tomorrow due to the weather, but will be ready to go on Thursday.

Tank Matraxia and his crew from Lyndhurst fished with Capt. John Contello aboard Just Sayin from Keyport. After casting produced only one short, they switched to trolling mo-jos and limited out with keepers up to about 32 inches. Matraxia was also able to put ALS tags in five legal bass and a short. One of those bass had a fairly recent bite taken out of it — possibly by a seal. The action was in the back of the bay where there were lots of boats and kayaks.

At Belmar, the Big Mohawk reported a good blackfish bite today, but won’t sail again until Thursday. The Ocean Explorer had good blackfishing Monday with some limits.

The Gambler has been getting out from Point Pleasant. but blackfishing has been slow so far due to cold waters. The Queen Mary starts striper fishing out of that port on Saturday.

At Seaside Park, Grumpy’s Tackle reports small stripers are hitting in the surf on small pieces of bait and lures. An angler fishing bunker chunks reported losing a better fish in the wash. An ODM rod demo will be held at Grumpy’s on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

 

Sandy Hook Late April SunriseAllen Riley photo of Sandy Hook at dawn Monday. Don’t expect that tomorrow!

Much nicer weather coming

After yet another day of strong  NW winds, it appears that we’re finally  going to see some much better fishing weather.

The inshore marine forecast for northern N.J. to N.Y.  is for northwest winds dropping to 10–15 mph Saturday and then to 5-10 mph SW in the afternoon. Sunday is supposed to start at 5-10 mph NW — going to SW with seas of one foot or less. The seas remain the same Monday with a 5 knot breeze from the northeast — and Tuesday it’s 5-10 from the southeast increasing to 10-15 in the afternoon.

The Jamaica from Brielle should finally get a break for their offshore trips. An offshore wreck cod & pollock trip sails at 1:30 a.m. Saturday(boarding at midnight), and a tilefish trip departs Sunday at 10 p.m. Both trips are by reservation. Call 732 528-5014.

At Belmar, the Ocean Explorer found blackfishing to be very slow this morning, but it picked up in the afternoon as some fares had two to three keepers plus shorts.

The Atlantic Highlands fleet is getting more active as the Dorothy B. starts striper fishing Saturday from 7:30 to 2:30.  The Sea Hunter passed its Coast Guard inspection today, and will be sailing daily. The Fishermen got out with a dozen anglers on Thursday. Capt, Ron Santee said anchoring conditions were poor, but short stripers hit all around the boat along with the “odd” keeper.

Jim Louro of Spring Lake tried to fish Raritan Bay this afternoon, but the NW wind was too strong for comfortable small boat fishing. Trolling has been most effective lately for scattered stripers, but the bass are starting to turn on to bunker chunks when conditions are good.

The Mimi VI from Point Pleasant will be making limited open boat trips for blackfish at 7 a.m. on Sunday and Monday. Call 732 272-4445 for information and reservations.

The Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands begins its season with daily blackfishing at 7 a.m. on Saturday.

Some school stripers have been caught, mostly on bait, in the Island Beach State Park surf, but many more are hitting small lures in Barnegat Bay. Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park reports skimmer clams are hard to come by as bait, but they do have large chowder clams in stock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Belmar,

 

Give pregnant stripers a break

Raritan Bay-area striper fishing looks as if it will be breaking open any day now, but the downside to the good fishing is that it’s mostly on females ready to spawn in a week or two.

Actually, almost all stripers over 20 pounds are females. The very occasional male that large will probably be easily identified as it leaks milt when lifted. There are fair numbers of amaller males and immature females around if you want a fish for the table, but it’s clearly a shame to take a bass bursting with eggs that will be rejuvenating the stock in just a few days.  That’s especially the case in Raritan Bay where the Hudson River stock has been providing us with fine summer fishing after the southern spawners are long gone to the east.

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Bob Bowden with an obviously pregnant striper released in Raritan Bay recently from Ty Man  to spawn in the Hudson River next month.

The Atlantic Highlands fleet is getting into action. The Sea Hunter had a few keepers and some shorts Saturday, though trollers were doing better on the scattered fish.  They’re fishing daily except Friday when a Coast Guard inspection is scheduled. Capt. Ron Santee started his season Saturday on the Fishermen by observing a whale in the bay within a mile of the jetty before finding bait and some short bass plus three keepers up to 31 inches.

Capt. Stan Zagleski begins daily blackfishing at 7 a.m. with his Elaine B. II from Bahrs in Highlands on Saturday.

At Belmar,  the Golden Eagle sails for stripers on Thursday, while the Ocean Explorer and Big Mohawk seek blackfish and cod. Miss Belmar Princess joins the striper fleet on Saturday. So far, the weekend looks fishable — especially on Sunday.

The Gambler from Point Pleasant is running Lazy Man Tog trips from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Wednesdays to Sundays.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park had reports of some legal stripers in Toms River. Betty & Nick’s reported a calming and clear surf.

Allen Riley of South Plainfield gave the Sandy Hook surf a brief try with very expensive sandworms that were ignored in the calm surf that’s still a cold 43 degrees. The 38-degree air temperature and continuing blustery west wind this morning didn’t help.

Tuna bite still hot in N.C.

Though the Canyon Runner is concluding its winter tuna fishing out of Oregon Inlet today, that fishery remains hot. The Sam Mammiccio party waited around until the weather permitted Capt. Deane Lambros to get offshore where they had constant action on trolled Joe Shutes with balao as giant bluefins of about 450 and 525 pounds were released and another got off 50 feet from the boat. A bigeye tuna of about 125 pounds was boated along with small yellowfins. Adam La Rosa (732 272-4445) is booking the last few days of summer charters left on the Canyon Runner fleet out of Point Pleasant, but will recommend  Oregon Inlet charter boats for those who want to make the trip.Giant Tuna Pic 1

The April snow was another setback to spring fishing further north, but the Ocean Explorer from Belmar was encouraged by a showing of blackfish on Sunday despite the cold waters recently.  The Golden Eagle from that port got back offshore in nice weather on Saturday, but didn’t find any mackerel. They did go to bottom for a few short cod, a ling and lots of bergalls — and will switch to wreck fishing during upcoming trips until there are some mackerel reports.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park  has had anglers buying bloodworms that are attracting small stripers in the bay. One customer claimed to have caught bluefish on the east side of the bay, but those were likely holdovers from the power plant.

Wild giant tuna action in NC

The Canyon Runner from Point Pleasant has been enjoying great giant bluefin tuna action during their winter stay in North Carolina — whenever the weather permits them to get offshore. Adam La Rosa has been frustrated by so many charters being lost, but when the boat gets out the fishing has been spectacular. Seven giants to over 700 pounds were caught during the two most recent days at sea — March 19 and 24. On the first trip, the Mark Brzozowski party hooked an unheard of quadruple of giants at once after a slow morning. The next trip produced non-stop trolling action not only with giants but also yellowfin tuna and dolphin for the Matt Mozitis party. If you want to get in on this incredible bite, and are willing to wait out the weather, call Adam La Rosa at 732 272-4445.

 

The Tackle Box in Hazlet reports Matt Calabria has been picking away at small stripers in the back of Raritan Bay on bloodworms, and also caught the first keeper there.

Vinnie D’Anton  has been enjoying good light tackle casting from shorelines near his winter home in Sarasota, Fl. Spotted sea trout have been hitting 3-inch Gulp, and he topped yesterday morning’s catch with a 24-incher.