The weekend saw one of those epic striped bass blitzes hit the beaches of Ocean County.
Ray Kerico of Grumpy’s Bait & Tackle said Seaside was the epicenter of the action, which saw gusts of bass in the waves starting early Saturday and throughout most of the day and resuming Sunday.
The fishery, in total, extended from Manasquan Inlet to the north pier of Barnegat Inlet. Most of the places in between had fish as the bass hunted and struggled through dark peanut bunker benches.
The fleet of private and charter boats stepped in, landing fish by trolling, jigging or throwing surface poppers from the beach to about 60 feet of water in the same area between the inlets. U.S. Coast Guard was also present, most likely monitoring violations at the three-mile line.
The fish were mostly in shorts up to the keepers and moved quickly. Grumpy’s Tackle weighed several on the scales. One of the largest of these fish was 37 inches tall and weighed over 16 pounds.
Fishing report: Big blues mix with striped bass
Almost all of the bites have come from artificial ones, whose fishermen have used a wide variety of poppers, swim shads, and metal lip swimmers.
Barnegat Inlet seemed to be the limit as Long Beach Island was fairly quiet. A bass was introduced to the island’s fall surf fishing classic, which weighed just over 11 pounds and landed at Loveladies.
Rental boats targeting blackfish were picked up over the long holiday weekend. A few lunkers were drawn in, but most of the time the fish weighed less than five pounds.
Captain Matt Sosnowski on the Big Mohawk reported that some anglers were able to scratch together a limit of five tog catches, but it didn’t look like the fishing was easy. The Thanksgiving Day bite was probably the best of the four days, as the fish bit early and often.
The 125-foot Jamaica sailed offshore on Saturday night to fish for wrecks in deep water on Sunday. Captain Howard Bogan Jr. said bass fishing was very good as a number of fishermen landed their limit of 15 fish. Jumbo sized porgies also bit, and anglers also attracted a few blue fish and weak fish.
What bites: get the latest fishing reports here
Anglers always scoop the porgies on the local pieces. Captain William Egerter Jr. on the Dauntless said his fares had full coolers after a morning scup fishing on Thanksgiving Day.
The tuna season is not quite over yet. The Gambler party boat raced south past Toms Canyon and returned with a good haul of yellowfin and longfin tuna up to 65 pounds. The boat will leave for tuna on December 7th. Meanwhile, the Jamaica was in the canyon on Monday but not in time for this report.
When Dan Radel, from Jersey Shore, doesn’t report the news, you can find him in a classroom where he is a history teacher. Join him @danielradelapp; 732-643-4072; [email protected]