Boats are crushing striped bass as the hot fall pace continues
Striper fishing was good Monday with party boat captains heading home early with boats limits of fish before the clocks hit noon.
It is difficult to say how long this turbulent pace will continue, but last year this wave continued until the fall. As long as the bait stays local, the sea bass are likely to stay close to the shorelines, fattening them up.
Capt. Rich Falcone aboard the Golden Eagle boat reported the boat’s limits by about 10 a.m. Monday. This came after an excellent day of fishing on Sunday, where they saw drifts for an hour of non-stop fishing. Falcon said the bass readings have been huge on the fish finder. The schools were full of fish in the 28- to 31-inch range, the current size limit, and the sign of additional hatch-sized fish, so his jockey got out of the boat with food for the table.
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The Queen Mary was up early, having stopped by mid-morning with the keeper plus extra fish. Capt. Dave Riback said diamond rigs were responsible for most of the fish his rider landed.
The bulk of the fish boating Monday was mostly south of Manasquan Inlet. There are still fish off the north coast of Monmouth County. Giglio’s Tackle in Sea Bright has had reports of crazy birdlife diving on bait in the Sea Bright to Sandy Hook area. The store said a lot of anglers have been bitten by school-sized bass on topwater plugs and swim shads.
Smaller bass have arrived on Long Beach Island. There has been a flurry of fish landed starting last week by surf anglers competing in the island’s classic sport of fishing. These fish are located near the keeper mark making the final three weeks of the tournament very competitive if it continues like this. As it stands, there is a new leader as of Friday when Jay Shane weighed in a striped bass of 11.60 pounds. The fish just reached 30⅞ inches. Shane caught the fish at 1:30 a.m. in Barnegat Light surf using a lure.
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The season for blackfish, or tog as some call it, has begun. The bag limit is now five fish per angler per day. Capt. Ron Kish on board Capt. Cal II out of Belmar was hitting the nearshore debris hard, with some wind to help stabilize the boat. He has had a few catchers with their limits so far in this young season.
When Jersey Shore native Dan Radle isn’t reporting the news, you can find him in a college classroom where he works as a history professor. Contact him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; email@example.com.