Weather became rough Monday on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Three keeper striped bass, three shorts and a good catch of bluefish were totaled on the trip. Blues bit right away during the outing and were big, on a quick drop close to port. The trip took a ride before weather became too nasty, fishing shallow water, and blues bit right away again. The day looked like the weather would be good. But by 7 a.m., the harbor’s flags began to blow northeast and then east, and fog developed. Ron felt bad because many of the anglers wore shorts and T-shirts. On Tuesday’s trip, Rich Appert from Pennsylvania won the pool with a 16-pound striper hooked on a Crippled Herring. Blues and a couple of keeper stripers were taken on the outing, a great day on the water, Ron said. On Wednesday’s trip, the bite wasn’t hot, for whatever reason. A 22-pound striper was the pool-winner, and Rich Appert connected with a big striper again, boating a 23-pounder. Many of the blues caught were smaller than the previous couple of days. Lou, Ron said, has been bleeding the smaller blues and putting them on ice for customers. “Burlap bags are a thing of the past,” Ron said. When filleted, the bluefish meat was perfect. A couple of customers said what a difference in the meat when taken care of like that, how well it cooked and how good it tasted. If taken care of correctly, the blues were excellent, blackened, quick-fried or grilled. Capt. Dan, who runs the boat’s nighttime trips, makes a salad with lemon juice, garlic and fresh dill that’s out of this world, Ron said. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are also striper fishing 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.
Some trips fished for bluefish better than others on the party boat Atlantic Star on Raritan Bay, Capt. Tom said, but the trips will switch to fluke fishing Friday. That’s opening day of fluke season, and the bluefishing was weathered out on Monday. On Tuesday, bluefishing was no good on the morning’s trip, but very good on the afternoon’s. On both of Wednesday’s trips, bluefishing was slow, and the weather turned rough. Wind probably blew 20 knots, from northwest, seas were lumpy, and the day was cold. Was amazing how quickly the weather could turn. Starting Friday, the Atlantic Star will switch to fluke fishing, after bluefishing through today, on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.
The rivers gave up striped bass, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Striper fishing was a little tough on Raritan Bay, because many bluefish schooled. A few stripers were boated there and on the ocean. But lots of blues were boated. From the ocean surf, stripers were hooked, if anglers fished worms. If the surf casters fished bunker or clam, they beached blues, an odd striper. The bay’s shore anglers fought lots of blues. But they landed plenty of stripers at night, even if news about that is always scarce. Fluke season will be opened starting Friday, and the summer flounder were hooked and released on the bay already. Back on the ocean, ling were decked at Scotland and south of there. Looks like a good weekend for fishing, and anglers should catch, he said. All baits are stocked.