July 12, 2008

Bait Here, but Bass Are Taking a Break


Striped bass action has slowed along the beach in Monmouth and Ocean counties despite the fact that there is still plenty of bunker around to trigger the activity.

Many boaters put in their time working the pods over with few fish to show for it.

This can change quickly, however, if schools of striped bass decide to set up on them again. If it does, it will be a matter of being in the right place at the right time.

One spot that has consistently produced fish is the Shrewsbury Rocks in northern Monmouth County just east of Monmouth Beach.

Striped bass have been caught by boaters who are anchoring up and chunking bunker.

Stripers near 40 pounds were caught there this past week. Last year the Shrewsbury Rocks also produced in July while ocean waters to the north and south were slow.

Boaters heading out of the Shark River or Manasquan inlets can obtain bunker in 30-50 feet of water outside the respective inlets by snagging or netting this bait and then bringing it up to the rocks. Boaters departing from Sandy Hook can find bunker in the Atlantic Highlands Marina.

Bluefish have been providing plenty of action for boaters willing to move around and find them. Some days they are inshore and on other days they are not.

Party boat captains have been finding the schools anywhere from east of the Shrewsbury Rocks out to the west side of the Mud Hole.

During the day bluefish have been responding to Ava jigs with green tails or without tails as the bluefish are feeding on large concentrations of anchovies. The A-27 and A-47 have been working best. Fish have been from 6-13 pounds.

Capt. Howard Bogan of the Big Jamaica out of Brielle said blue fishing was excellent over the weekend. Bogan said they were fishing along the west side of the Mud Hole and had limit catches of 6- to 12-pound blues. The pool winner was Russell Bryk of Wall with a 13.5- pound blue.

Raritan Reach in the Raritan Bay is producing a lot of fluke action with keepers in the 4- to 5-pound ranges and pool winners up to 7 pounds.

Party boat captains fishing the Reach are averaging 30-35 keeper fluke a day. There are also plenty of throwbacks just short of the 18-inch minimum. Throwback to keeper ratio is approximately 10:1.

On the inshore lumps and ridges, fluking is producing larger keepers with the party boat pool winners from 6 to 9 pounds. One of the largest fluke caught in the last week was an 11-pound, 10-ounce doormat reeled in on a bucktail in the Sandy Hook Channel by Gary Read of South Amboy.

The Salt Water Anglers of Bergen County have invited Michael Hanson, president of Aqua Tackle, to Tuesday's 8 p.m. meeting to talk about his company's new fishing rigs. The meeting is to be held at American Legion Post 170 at 33 West Passaic St., Rochelle Park.

Hanson has a variety of rigs for all types of fish and also will discuss techniques to use them. Contact Rich Cybulski at 201-265- 9528 or swabc.org.

(c) 2008 Record, The; Bergen County, N.J.. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.