Small striped bass bit in the surf, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Some customers fished for them three times already this week, and the fish were mostly hooked on worms, sometimes clams. For boaters, blackfishing was good for some, fair for others. That was about all that anybody fished for. Not much was heard about winter flounder, but this is the time when flounder chew in the back of Raritan Bay. The flatfish should also hit in the rivers, though rivers were cold or 44 degrees, and will become colder. Nobody really boats for flounder in the two-fish bag limit. To boat for them, supplies like a bushel of mussels and half a flat of worms are needed. All baits are stocked, including bloodworms, sandworms, fresh clams and crabs.
The party boat Atlantic Star blackfished every day, Capt. Tom said. Sunday and Tuesday were the best days of the angling, not great, but catching some of the tautog, this week. Some good sized were hung lately. On Tuesday, none of the anglers limited out, but the fishing was good enough to stick with. On Wednesday’s trip, the angling picked away toward the bow, and caught some toward the stern, at the first drop. Afterward, the angling slowed, so the boat was moved to a couple of other places, and some of the fish were decked, but the fishing was never good again on the trip. At the first drop, while the angling produced, one angler landed six keepers, a limit, and never hooked another keeper the rest of the outing. Tom couldn’t know whether conditions changed or the reason the fish stopped feeding. The Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.