Fishing: Now is the time to catch striped bass

Strong winds this past weekend sidelined boaters from getting out into the ocean to target striped bass.

Traditionally this is the week when bass begin to migrate into Monmouth County waters from up North as ocean temperatures are ideal to get them moving. There has been reported that a very large concentration of striped bass off of Deb’s Inlet in East Rockaway, NY, which is most likely the body of fish that will move along the oceanfront.

This southerly migration takes place in earnest once our ocean temperatures drop into the 58-55 degree range. This past weekend however, ocean temperatures were still 61 degrees. The northeast blow this week will churn up some colder bottom water which will help to drop water temperatures and move the migration along.

There was a window to get out on Monday and Tuesday as winds were light and boaters found a good concentration of striped bass in the rip at the mouth of Sandy Hook Bay. The bass were easy to catch by casting white shads and everyone aboard a boat was catching fish.

In the last two weeks, this area and up into Raritan Bay has been lights-out for striper fishing with bass ranging in size from shorts up to 45 lbs. In Raritan Bay bass have been caught in the Union Beach area from shore and in the Reach Channel, Flynn’s Knoll, and Great Kills area by boat. There have been some days when it’s all the bass you want to catch.

Along the oceanfront in Monmouth County waters, we have plenty of adult bunker that have been here for about a month now.

When they first came in from offshore there were some decent size bass with them. There was an initial good bite for about 5 days. Then we got a hard South blow and the bass disappeared, but the bunker didn’t.

Bunker are still spread out in good concentrations right now all throughout Monmouth county waters. Last year we had the bunker appear at the same time in October as this year. But the difference last year was that the bass stayed with them for the entire month into the first two weeks of November and we had a great full run of decent size bass. Right now we are still waiting for the bass to show up along the oceanfront beaches.

Sea bass fishing is very good on the offshore wrecks for the party and recreational boats that are heading out to these 10-15 mile spots. Boat limits of sea bass and some porgy limits are being taken. There are also a few cod and winter flounder being caught in the mix. Blackfish limits will increase on Nov. 16 through Dec. 31, with a six fish daily bag limit measuring at least 15 inches.

Party boats have been doing well catching big bluefish on both their day and night trips on the west side of the Mud Hole. Blues are ranging in size from 10-20 lbs. They are being caught on both bait and jigs.

Capt. Rob of the Sea Hunter www.seahunter.info out of Atlantic Highlands had this to report.

“You know the saying you should have been here yesterday. Well you should have been here Monday and Tuesday. It was super striper action. We had the boat limit on Monday in two drifts with keepers, that’s stripers 28 inches or bigger, and then played catch and release for the rest of the day. We threw back lots of keeper stripers. The only downfall was there weren’t many slots, that’s a striper 24 to 27-7/8 fish to take home, they were almost all 28 inches or bigger. All the stripers were caught on jigs or shads. The pool winner went 17 lbs.”

Chuck Furimsky, of the International Fly Tying Symposium has announced “The 27th Annual International Fly Tying Symposium will take place November 11-12 at the Lancaster Marriott Hotel, 25 South Queen St., Lancaster, Pa. Fly tiers from around the world will be present. For ticket information, list of fly tiers, class registration and banquet, visit www.internationalflytyingsymposium.com or call 814-443-3638”.

Best Bet: Large concentrations of striped bass are located off Deb’s Inlet, East Rockaway and in Sandy Hook Bay. In Raritan Bay the Reach Channel and near Great Kills Harbor also has a large concentration of bass. Sea bass and porgy fishing is very good on the offshore wrecks. Big bluefish are located on the west side of the Mud Hole. Ocean fishing for striped bass fishing in Monmouth and Ocean counties is slow at this time.

Hot Baits: White-leggers or Atlantic rock crabs are an excellent crab bait to use to catch big blackfish when the season reopens for a 6 fish daily bag limit measuring at least 15 inches on November 16th.

Hot Spots: Flynn’s Knoll, Romer Shoal, and Old Orchard Shoal in Raritan Bay are producing good catches of striped bass for boaters fishing bunker chunks.

Announcements of Interest: November 11-12, International Fly Tying Symposium, Lancaster Marriott Hotel, 25 South. Queen St., Lancaster, Pa. For ticket information, list of fly tiers, class registration and banquet, visit www.internationalflytyingsymposium.com or call 814-443-3638. November 18, Rahway Fishing Flea Market, St Thomas Church, 1400 St Georges St., Rahway, 9am-2pm, call 732-381-2165 for more details. November 25, 1st Annual Manasquan Fishing Flea Market, Manasquan Elementary School, 168 Broad St., Manasquan 9am-2pm, call 732-330-5674 for more details.

Tip of the Week: To imitate adult bunker the Tsunami 6.5 inch heavy weighted swim shad in the pearl color is an excellent artificial to use. From the boat cast out as far as you can, let the shad sink to the bottom, and then retrieve back slowly. Strike hard as soon as you feel a bump.



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