by Capt. John
The past two weekends out of Manasquan Inlet, NJ was the story of a summer day and then the greeting of a cool windy fall day but the water temps and species varied. We saw a huge abundance of peanuts in the back, larger bunker out front, and mullet hugging the shoreline. Albies were busting from close to the beaches all the way out to the Mudhole where we dropped our lines and trolled in very pleasant weather.
We hit up a few pots along the way with no takes even after seeding the area with a few dozen peanut bunker we cast netted right at the dock. Seven lines were out, clarkspoons,feathers on downriggers, squid colored spreader bars were also in the spread and a green machine as our furthest line. A double knockdown in the near 80 degree weather yielded 2 nice Albies that were spitting up small squid and both jumped on the squid spreader bars. A few more Albies were landed and off in the distance we saw a nice Bluefin Tuna landed by a friend of ours.
This Saturday was quite a different scenario despite nice sunny skies and temps in the high 60's but a howling wind which put a damper in us running into the deep water. The bait was present but inshore we same a gamut of sandeels, peanuts, mullet and some rainfish all schooled up pretty tight. A few boomerangs on the fishfinder got our hopes high but the fish had lockjaw. Staying within 1/4 to a 1/2 mile off the beach with gusty SE winds 20+, we decided to put out a 5 rod spread with both feathers and spoons and were pleased to find small blues, albies, and a schoolie sized Striper swipe the 1/0 silver clarkspoon in the clear water. A smorgasbord is indeed what this time of year greets us with and even a few gannets made a bombing appearance! November should bring a second serving and I'm in line for seconds!