North wind made for tough ocean fishing
Shore party boats had a tough time with rough seas from a stronger than expected north wind on Monday morning, but picked away at jumbo blues — especially after the wind moderated in the afternoon. Lighter winds should provide better conditions on Tuesday.
Raritan Bay stripers were up first thing in the morning, but most wouldn’t hit. The Atlantic Highlands boats did a lot of searching and at least ended up better than on Sunday. The Sea Hunter reported nine stripers were kept, and the Fishermen went into overtime for a shot of keepers up to a 14-pounder plus a few big blues.
I joined Chuck Many of Annandale on his Ty Man from Gateway Marina in Highlands along with Nellie Greer from Bethlehem, Pa. Many ran up the Hudson River where conditions weren’t bad. Chunking was slow, but Many released two 35-inch stripers plus a spiny dogfish which had no business in the river. Live bait drifting with bunkers in the East River produced a big blue for me and a keeper-size bass for Greer. We also had lots of action with very small stripers under birds in both rivers, though Many did find a 29-incher among them on a heavier Tsunami Shad. We ended up in the back of Raritan Bay where there was a brief showing of bunkers, and I snagged one that was immediately taken by a 32-inch striper.