Jersey Shore Fishing: Sandy Hook Channel lights up
There was a big improvement in Raritan Bay striper fishing today for the Atlantic Highlands fleet as Sandy Hook Channel was loaded up with bunker schools being blasted by stripers and large blues. I had finished up there Tuesday afternoon with Chuck Many on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands. We marked fish, but didn’t have great action — though Nellie Greer of Bethlehem, Pa. released two 29-to-30-nch bass on both a live bunker and a pencil eel. Capt. Rob Semkewyc of the Sea Hunter and Capt. Ron Santee of the Fishermen got into the breaking fish Wednesday with small groups not scared off by the late morning rain forecast. , and had a few keeper bass plus big blues. It was noted that there was similar action off the Rockaways. The Fishermen is chartered Saturday morning.
The Golden Eagle from Belmar reported good jigging today to the north for stripers from 10 to 30 pounds and blues over 15 pounds.
Surfcasters have been complaining about a rough sea created by a big swell. Leif Pettesen hasn’t caught a striper on his fly rod at Deal since a small one on Monday.
Matt Slobodjian at Jim’s Tackle in Cape May reports “Sea bass fishing has been very good on the wrecks in 20 fathoms. There are small blues on these wrecks and still some triggerfish around as well. There are sea bass at the Cape May Reef and Delaware reef site #11, but a lot of throwbacks. You really have to work for keepers on the inshore spots.
We’ve gotten some really good reports from the boats trolling off of Atlantic City for stripers. Some of the bigger fish landed were in the 40-50 inch range. The boats fishing off of Sea Isle and Ocean City are reporting tons of bait and whales in close but no fish yet — but that’s a great sign. It looks to be a week or two before the bass are here.
The surf is still slow with a few small stripers and an occasional keeper, but not many. On the other hand blackfish are pretty thick on most of the rock piles and we are getting a few reports of redfish from the beach.”