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Old 04-04-2007, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Asbury Park Press latest fishing reports

Cold, damp weather produces another slow start
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 04/3/07

BY JOHN GEISER
CORRESPONDENT
The weather and the fishing are much the same as they were last year at this time.
Cold, damp winds off the ocean, rain and cloudy skies, and water temperatures in the 40s hurt participation and slowed the harvest of winter flounders and striped bass over the weekend as they did in 2006.
Roger Housman of the Fisherman's Den, Belmar, was out opening day in Shark River, and had his limit of flounders, as did many others on the first two days of the season.
"It's been up and down since then," he said. "Friday was a decent pick — most of the rental boats had six or seven fish, some eight to 12 — but Saturday was not good. The water was cold, and only a few guys caught fish. Sunday was raw and rainy and (Monday) morning wasn't good."
Capt. George Bachert, Angler, Atlantic Highlands, said flounder fishing in Raritan and Sandy Hook bays was not outstanding; so he fished the Navesink River over the weekend.
"We picked fish all day Saturday," he said. "Two guys had five (keepers) each — we had about 40 on the boat — and two small bass."
Capt. Tom Buban, Atlantic Star, Atlantic Highlands, said he got a change of tide Friday, and his anglers caught fish on both trips. Some anglers wound up with eight to nine keepers.
"Saturday was not as good as Friday," he said. "We picked some fish in the morning, and, again, some had eight or nine. The afternoon was tough, though, with wind against the tide and miserable weather."
Capt. John Connell Jr., skipper of the Capt. John out of Keyport, said the boat is ready for the season, and the first winter flounder trip is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Friday. The first bass trip is set for 5 p.m. April 17.
"I've got to go to Florida for a couple of days, but Capt. Marty Haines (Sea Pigeon IV, Perth Amboy) will be at the helm of the Capt. John Friday and Saturday," Connell said.
"We'll be fishing for flounders every day," Connell said. "And we'll be fishing for stripers from Tuesday through Sunday, beginning April 17."
Capt. Ed Bunting Jr., Sea Horse, Atlantic Highlands, said he fished Raritan Bay Saturday on his first trip of the season, and found it was slow.
"We had just a few keepers and not many shorts," he said. "Sunday we fished the Shrewsbury River, and had better fishing. Most all customers had from four to six keepers and quite a few shorts."
Jay Warford of Rumson caught the largest flounder on the Sea Horse: 2 1/2 pounds. Woody Woodcock of Lincoln Park had one that weighed 2 pounds.
Capt. Bill Burdge, BarVic, Point Pleasant Beach, said both trips Sunday produced winter flounders, with action better on the incoming tide. He fished upper Barnegat Bay.
Capt. Ron Santee Jr., skipper of the Fishermen out of Atlantic Highlands, opened his striped bass season Saturday in Raritan Bay, and reported lots of action, but few keepers.
"It was tough in the morning with only three fish, but we had a nice bite all afternoon on the incoming tide — lots of 15- to 16-inch fish — and two keepers," he said. "Sunday they bit on the outgoing tide — a lot of fish, plenty of action — but not many keepers."
Capt. Bob Bogan Jr., Gambler, Inlet Basin, Point Pleasant Beach, made a tilefish trip Saturday to the edge of the continental shelf, and came back with a good catch.
"I started the first drift in 400 to 600 feet of water, and it was all dogfish," he said. "So I moved about 10 miles southeast to another spot that I had found when I was tuna fishing, and we had a nice pick."
Bogan said some drifts produced as many as three tilefish at a time. Everyone on board had from three to five keepers up to 10 pounds.
Russell Frey, Reading, Pa., had the pool winner, a 15 1/2-pound tilefish. Jim Rae, Bensalem, Pa., had nine tilefish to 10 pounds.
Bogan said he will settle into an inshore wreck fishing schedule with trips set for the 30-mile grounds every day except Thursdays and Fridays when he will make special 10-hour blackfish trips. The boat will leave the dock at 7 a.m. and return at 5 p.m.
Mike Alman, Belmar, weighed a 14.4-pound striped bass at Scott's Bait and Tackle, Bradley Beach. The fish was caught on clams at Union Beach. The first striper to be weighed at Scott's in March was a 9.2-pound bass caught on clams by Bob Mirynowski, Freehold.
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