Ralph Nissell Nj.com
Another successful year for Striped Bass Tournament
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Last weekend's two-day Striped Bass Tournament out of the Bay Point Marina saw 97 boats weigh in over 100 blues and stripers. According to Kate Nelson of the Bay Point Marina, the largest bass was a 47.8-pounder, boated by Joe Musso of Rosenhayn. The catch earned him the top prize of $5,000.
The next three prizes were for the total weight of the two largest bass in each boat. The largest was 78.5-pounds by Paul Bidic, the next 72.3 by Dan Sorantino and the third of 67.8 pounds by Paul Bidic. One bluefish prize was awarded, and it went to David Leighty for his 17-pound slammer.
"We were very satisfied with the tournament and are planning another striper tournament for the spring," stated Nelson.
Toad Fish Bait and Tackle owner Bryan Toft, whose business helped sponsor the tournament, remarked, "It went very well and everybody had a fine time. I'm looking forward to another contest in the spring."
Musso related they went way south in the vicinity of Brandywine and fished on the Jersey side of the bay.
"We were at the right place at the right time," stated Musso. "I had a good crew with me, Bob Wolak, who actually caught the fish, Anthony Visconte and Mike Jones. We got the fish on Sunday and were baiting with bunker heads at the time."
All indications point to the possibility of a new state record for white crappie.
Gibbstown fisherman Dean Montemore was using a chartruse crappie jig in an area farm pond when he hooked and landed a white crappie that weighed in at 2-pounds, 14-ounces.
The next-to-last week of the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Tournament has seen a total of 105 stripers and 571 bluefish inked in by the 967 registered anglers. Throughout the entire tournament, bunker was by far the dominant bait that did the catching.
Most anglers have been baiting with bunker because it is the best bet for both the stripers and the big blues. With this week the last one for the derby, the largest fish to date has been a 44-pound, 2-ounce bass from the undertow at Surf City, while the heaviest blue is a slammer of 14-pounds, 7-ounces that was beached at Barnegat Light.
This fall has seen an influx of big bluefish that is the best in years. Just the results of the Long Beach Island Surf Tournament bear this out as the slammers outnumbered the stripers by a 5 to 1 ratio. And in the Delaware Bay, more big blues are around than at any time in the past several years. Striper fishermen are unhappy as these battlers inhale their bunker baits and often bite off the hook. But for pure fight and nastiness, you can't beat a bluefish that goes anywhere from 8- to 15-pounds.
Delaware Bay anglers are strange in this respect. Up in North Jersey the party boats load up day and night with anglers seeking bluefish, but here the blues are looked upon as a pest. The same goes for fluke, as all along the coast anglers crowd the rails for summer flounder, but here they are liked, but only because weakfish are not around. It could be that we will have to adjust our thinking as our beloved "weakfishing" could be a thing of the past as we knew it. We will have to just take whatever we are sent and enjoy them.
The Bonanza II and the Salt Talk will both be sailing daily, weather permitting, out of Fortescue. There are still loads of croakers around, along with good striper action and big blues causing some excitement. Lots of large crabs can be had while waiting for the bass and blues as they hold on and can be lifted right into the boat without a net. Many of the marinas are still running full blast, with launching and fresh bunker on tap. If the weather holds, there should be some fine action on these big fish for weeks to come.