Paul Hines and friend Dave smashed bluefish to 16 pounds, lots, on the back bay yesterday aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The fishing’s been incredible, epic, he said. No trips fished Monday and Tuesday in the weather. On Sunday afternoon Jay VonCzoernig and son Luc whacked the blues to 16 pounds, again, all big, on fly and spinning rods on the bay aboard. Paul Hines and friend Dave were also aboard that morning for more of the same angling. The trips are fishing leadhead jigheads with soft-plastic lures and 1/0 and 2/0 Clouser Minnow flies bounced slowly along bottom in cool water that can slow blues. Joe likes to fish knot-able wire tippets for blues. Sometimes he had to fish wire, because the fish just bit through. They even busted through wire at times. Jump on the fishing quickly, because it won’t last forever. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.
Fishing was still going off, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Big bluefish swam everywhere surrounding the island, and were especially pounded in the back bay. What caught them was difficult to say, because when the bite was on, anglers hooked up on nearly anything. Many used soft-plastic lures like Bass Assassins and Fin-S Fish. Some striped bass were mixed in, including occasional keepers. Getting past the blues was the biggest difficulty. So the blues and stripers were also angled from the inlets and the surf. For the blues at those places, mullet was most popular bait, for some reason. Bunker and mackerel also sold for them, but customers mostly bought mullet. For the stripers, clams were fished. Many customers bought frozen, salted clams for that, but plenty of fresh clams are stocked, and some bought those. Blackfishing from land was maybe somewhat slower than two weeks ago, but still produced, and boating for blackfish picked up on the ocean. Crabbing was great, and Mike tried to convince people so. Some were skeptical, thinking the season was early.