Bass and Blues all over.
Published in the Asbury Park Press 05/11/05
Striped bass and bluefish have been both dependable and abundant this week.
Most charter and party boat captains who target bass and blues have chalked up consistently good scores every day that they have been out, and they can almost guarantee their clients they will have action.
Capt. Hank Leonard, owner of the Golden Eagle, Belmar, said he is so impressed with the spread of fish that he will step up the pace on Friday.
"We'll be sailing every night and every day, 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.," he said. "There are acres of blues out there. They're high in the water, but there are plenty of them, and there are a lot of striped bass."
Capt. Phil Sciortino Jr., Tackle Box Sportfishing, Highlands, said his charters have been into stripers regularly.
Tom Fornicola and party, Long Branch, were out Monday, and caught 15 stripers with 10 of the fish going over 20 pounds. The heaviest was a 27 1/2-pounder.
Brian Murray and party, East Rutherford, were out Tuesday, and caught 25 bass weighing up to 36 1/2 pounds. All were taken on bunkers in Raritan Bay.
Capt. Rob Semkewyc, Sea Hunter, Atlantic Highlands, said the bay fishing for bass has been principally a bait proposition, but he got into some good fishing on artificials.
"I was heading out, and there were birds and white water," he said. "My first thought was blues (and) I told the guys to put on the jigs ? Ava 27s and 47s ? and we will see what they are.
"The jigs hit the water and everyone was hooked up and there were bass ? fish between 28 and 32 inches ? nothing over 34 inches," he said. "The bass were feeding on small herring, and everyone went home with a slot fish and threw back plenty of others. So be ready with those jigs."
Capt. Howard Bogan Jr., Jamaica, Brielle, likes what he sees along the beach.
"We're in dry dock until May 13, but we will sail for striped bass and bluefish Saturday, May 14," he said. "Fishing has been excellent, and last year some of the best fishing was at this time of the year for stripers mixed with blues."
Bill Fisher Jr. of the Casino Fishing Pier in Seaside Heights said there have been times in the last few days when the blues were so thick around the pier that they were being caught on every cast.
"As soon as the water was fishable after the storm ? bang ? blues. All the fish were caught on mullet or mackerel strips," he said.
Bob Matthews of Capt. Bill's Bait and Tackle, Neptune, said the fluke fishery got off to a slow start in Shark River Saturday with the bad weather hampering the beginning, but some fish have been caught since.
John Tucker, Howell, brought the first keeper fluke of the season into Capt. Bill's. It was a 3 1/2-pounder caught on spearing. He had a couple of small throwbacks as well.
Tom Clayton, Wall, stopped at Capt. Bill's with a 12-pound, 12-ounce striped bass caught on a shad lure in the Manasquan River. Matthews had a 13-pound, 9-ounce bass and a 15 1/2-pound bass on a shad lure and a Tsunami lure.
Charles Triolo of Bradley Beach stopped at Scott's Bait and Tackle, Bradley Beach, with a 4 1/2-pound bluefish he caught on clams at Ocean Grove. Juan Ruvalcada of Spring Lake Heights caught a 14.4-pound striper on clams at Belmar.