Winter flounder were finally tied into from Shark River – “finally (got) up from a long winter nap,” Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Bulkhead anglers cranked in a fair number of the fish to 18 inches. “Get down, before they move out,” he said. Flounder should migrate to the ocean before long. Striped bass were beached from the surf north of Shark River Inlet, on clams and worms. A good number were also banked from Raritan Bay’s shore. Bunker schooled the ocean off Belmar, so large numbers of migrating stripers and blues couldn’t be far behind. On boats on the ocean, cod and pollock dominated catches. Sometimes blackfish snapped on the trips.
The party boat Golden Eagle will fish Saturday and Sunday for the first time this season, Capt. Rich said. The trips will try for striped bass, but if stripers fail to show, the fishing will sail for whatever can be decked, like ling or cod. The ocean was cold, and fishing was slower to begin this year. But lots of bait schooled, a good sign, he said. Striper fishing could take off in a moment. That could be within two weeks, or on Saturday. After the weekend, the boat will be docked to wrap up seasonal maintenance, and daily trips will fish beginning the following Saturday, April 25. The Golden Eagle sails 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m.
Weather on Friday will keep the party boat Miss Belmar Princess docked, an email from the vessel said. But trips will fish for striped bass this weekend, and daily trips will fish for stripers beginning the following Friday, April 24. Many improvements were made to the boat this off-season, including new heating, air-conditioning, cushioned seating, lighting and paint. If you thought the boat looked good before, wait until you see it now, the email said.