It’s not unusual for good fishing to drop off sharply not too long after the season opening surge, but that hasn’t occurred with sea bass so far since limit catches aboard party boats remain common.
Capt. Ron Santee is happy that he made the switch from a poor fluke fishery in still-cool waters to sea bass and ling on his Fishermen from Atlantic Highlands. Not only are the target species cooperating, but there’s interesting variety that includes winter flounder, mackerel, blackfish and even a pollock and a cod today. He urges anglers to bring ice in order to preserve fish in the warmer temperatures coming.
The Big Mohawk from Belmar has also been catching some cod while limits of sea bass are common on jigs and sand eel teasers– though bait also works.
The Jamaica from Brielle added flounder and ling to sea bass limits yesterday. Saturday half-night ling trips start this weekend at 7 p.m.
Though cool this morning, it was beautiful on the beach even though the bunkers, small blues and hickory shad didn’t return to Bay Head as the bait stayed out of range.
Allen Riley had a better report from Sandy Hook as bunker produced a 4-pound bluefish before large skates took over. Riley then ended up with a real battle from a 4-foot “sand shark” — probably a smooth dogfish. Duke Matero released a 17-inch fluke on bunker.
Riley said the water temperature cool 58 degrees — though that was up 5 degrees from last week,
Bob Correll looked for bluefish in Manasquan River during late afternoon, but we found no sign of them before I broke the ice with a17-inch fluke on a small bucktail jig and 4-inch Gulp just before he berthed his Sea Vee at Crystal Point Marina in Point Pleasant.