Stripers, blues are keeping surf fishermen busy
Written by Asbury Park Press   
Tuesday, 23 November 2004 11:56

Surf anglers and boaters enjoyed good fishing for stripers and blues over the weekend, and are looking forward to more.

Capt. John Brackett, skipper of the Queen Mary from Point Pleasant Beach, logged his best striper catches of the season, and had plenty of bluefish as well.

"The last three days we caught 28, 71 and 31 stripers, and all the blues you could ever want," he said Sunday.

The action was all from Lavallette to Spring Lake, no farther than 35 minutes from Manasquan Inlet.

"All of the fish have been caught on jigs," he said. "About 40 percent of the stripers are keepers."

Raul Santos of Newark caught a 42-inch, 31-pound striper and won the pool Saturday, and Phil Riggins of Allentown caught a 36-inch striper Friday to win.

Bob Matthews of Capt. Bill's Bait and Tackle, Neptune, said most of his customers who fished the surf caught stripers.

Mike Commune of Brick had five bass to 30 inches on a Bomber in the Spring Lake surf, and Jerry van de Sande, Neptune, had two bass to 33 inches on a fly rod in the surf.

Mike Holwitz, Wall, trolled shad rigs, and caught a number of stripers up to 28 1/2 pounds, and Rich Wagner, also of Wall, caught and released several bass up to 37 inches while trolling shad rigs off Monmouth Beach.

The winter flounder fishery is finally gaining momentum in Shark River.

Jim Stigliano of Wall stopped at Capt. Bill's with a dozen keeper flounders he caught on sandworms in the main channel. Kurt and George Schreib, East Rutherford, had six flounders by the Belmar tennis courts.

Ed Klump of Neptune fished Shark River Friday, and caught 11 keeper flounders. He checked his catch in at Fisherman's Den, Belmar.

"Other boats had from seven to nine flounders," Klump said. "It looks like the beginning of the run."

John Christensen of Scott's Bait and Tackle, Bradley Beach, said Steve Nagy of Bradley Beach fished Shark River Inlet, and caught an 8.7-pound blackfish on green crabs.

Reports of a lot of school stripers came back to Scott's over the weekend, but the heaviest bass was a 30.5-pounder that measured 44 inches long, and was caught by Chris Lagrossa of Seaside Heights. He caught the bass on a plug at Monmouth Beach.

Allen D. Riley, South Plainfield, said the blitz fishing he enjoyed Friday was not repeated yesterday morning at C Beach, Sandy Hook, but the fish were in the area.

"I caught two slot fish, and only saw two other fish caught," he said. "There were a lot of guys out. The bass were there - the boats were getting them trolling and jigging - but they didn't come within range while I was there. I left at 8:30."

Capt. Jimmie Elliott, Suzie Girl, Belmar, said his wreck fishing trip Sunday was rewarding with a catch that included porgies, sea bass, ling, winter flounders, cod, pollock and bluefish.

"There were a lot of big porgies," he said. "A lot of guys had the limit, and they ran up to 4 1/2 pounds - the biggest porgy I've seen."

The codfish scaled as high as 25 pounds, and the pool-winning fish was a 31 1/2-pound pollock caught by Russell Bryk of Wall.

Capt. Ed Bunting Jr., Sea Horse, Atlantic Highlands, said he had good fishing for blackfish and some ling and sea bass.

"Most of the drops have some ling on them, and there are still a couple of sea bass around," he said. "Most customers had four to five keeper blackfish along with plenty of shorts that were just missing the 14-inch mark."

The heaviest blackfish caught on the Sea Horse was a 7-pounder taken by Jim McLacourte of Atlantic Highlands.

Capt. Melanie A. Boytos, Fisher Queen, had George Zlotnicki and party, Philadelphia, out, and they caught the slot limit of stripers in Double Creek and Oyster Creek channels.

Capt. John Larsen, Deep Adventures V, Waretown, fished some local wrecks, and found plenty of blackfish action Saturday for a party headed by Alex Umansky and Gregory Lee of Paterson.

Lee won the pool with a 7-pounder, and there were several close to that mark. A dozen of the blackfish weighed over 5 pounds, and there were some nice-sized sea bass in the catch.

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