Cold weather sends anglers to Jersey shore
With cold temperatures settling in, most of the best fishing action appears to be at the New Jersey shore where big stripers up to 51 pounds are being caught.
Fishing reporters from On the Water Magazine say linesiders are the ticket. Their report is as follows:
Bob Matthews, from the Fishermen’s Den in Belmar, said boat anglers are finding big fish from a half mile to three miles out. Trolling bunker spoons and Mojos seem to be catching the majority of fish, with spoons taking the edge over Mojos. Party boats are jigging them with Ava 47s and rubber shads.
Surf fishermen, he said, are taking a good number of smaller fish with a few keepers mixed in. Small Ava’s with green or red tails are working during the day and black Bombers and SP Minnows are doing the trick at night.
Matthews goes on to report that his shop has weighed fish up to 51 pounds and most recently had a pair of 48 pounders. But he’s asking anglers to think about releasing some of these big cows as they’re not that good on the plate, and are much better at making more striped bass.
Phil Sciortino Sr., at the Tackle Box in Hazlet, reports big stripers were caught last week in Raritan Bay on Flynn’s Knoll, Roamer Shoals and the West Bank. One Hazlet angler caught and released a 50-pounder that hit a white Mojo in the bay.
Beach guys at Sandy Hook aren’t doing as well, Sciortino said, but the action appears to be picking up along with bigger fish. He added that sea bass and blackfishing has been good for those looking for an alternative.
Mel Martens, at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright, said surf fishing picked up last week with more keeper fish reported from Sandy Hook down to Deal. Bass up to 34 inches were hitting mostly Kettle Creek shads.
Capt. Pete Sykes, of Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters, reported getting into jumbo bass last week and on Wednesday he had a boat limit with fish in the 40-pound range that were caught on jigs, live-lining and on the troll. They even managed to put a couple thresher sharks in the boat.
Vinny, at the Reel Seat in Brielle, also reported good striper action especially at the Shrewsbury Rocks. But, he added, not everyone is hooked on stripers. He said offshore boats are finding yellowtail and long-fin tuna along with some swordfish up to 300 pounds.
Greg Bogan, at Brielle Bait and Tackle, reported excellent tuna fishing on the Big Jamaica charter’s canyon runs. Sword fishing has also been good as the boat landed two-three on each trip.
Mahi-Mahi are also showing up with bottom fishing yielding porgies and sea bass.
On the local freshwater scene, there are still a lot of leftover trout in the Little Lehigh that were stocked two weeks ago. At that time, the water level was low and clear and the fish were hesitant to bite. But since it rained heavily last week, the stream level is up a bit and the water is colder.