If you’re a shad fisherman, reports from Delaware River Shad Fisherman’s website and various Facebook postings indicate the shad run in the upper Delaware River remains productive. In fact, in the lower Delaware, some stripers are also being caught.
Kate Dewaney fished the Zane Grey area from shore between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. and managed to hook 36 and landed 31 plus two doubles on double dart rigs with a quarter once on top and one thirty-second on bottom with three foot of line between them.
Kurt Miller reported last week that he hooked seven, landed five and released five. And he caught them between noon to 4:30 p.m.
Steve Meserve, professional shad fisherman who nets fish in the Delaware, reported last Friday that he managed to net 20 bucks and six roe, 10 catfish, six quillback, four striped bass and one herring.
If you’ve haven’t fished for a while, May 28 (and July 4) has been designated as a Fish for Free Day when you don’t need a Pennsylvania fishing license to fish. So, it’s an opportunity to reconnect to a lifelong sport that can also bring some tasty table fare.
Speaking of stripers, the northern Jersey shore has hot striper action. According to On the Water magazine, rivers and bays are producing jumbo bass that are being caught by boaters on the troll with live eels and bunker. The beaches are yielding stripers on big plugs, clams and sand bugs. Bluefish seem to be everywhere and black bass catches are upbeat.
Rick Hebert at Tackle World in Rochelle Park, says big bass are being caught between the channels on the troll in Raritan Bay. He received reports of jumbo bass at the Shrewsbury Rock falling for live eels.
Danny Stolba, at Fish Tail Bait and Tackle in Carteret, said bass were hitting bunker chunks on the Arthur Kill by Perth Amboy.
Capt. Phil Sciortino, at the Tackle Box in Hazlet, reported the bass bite in Raritan Bay is amazing with a few 50 pounders caught. Fluke are back in the rivers and big blues are with them.
Mike Pinto, at Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright, said striper action in local rivers has slowed a bit but is picking up on the beaches. Clams and chunks have been enticing most of the bass while a few are hitting artificials. Anglers are nailing big stripers offshore on metal-lipped swimmers and by trolling eels. Fluking is improving on the Naversink and Shrewsbury rivers by anglers using Gulp and bucktails.
Mike Gleason, at TAK Waterman in Long Branch, said the bass bite in the rivers and out front is still very good. A new body of jumbo stripers moved into the area and they’re hitting big metal-lipped swimmers and wooden plugs off the beach. Stripers are also eating clams and sand bugs off the beaches in Ocean Grove. One regular customer reported picking up two linesiders measuring 37 inches on clams. He added that tuna are here but still a good distance offshore.
As the Memorial Day weekend traditional kicks off the summer boating season and National Safe Boating Week, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission reminds boaters to always wear a life jacket, never boat under the influence, have proper registrations or launch permits, and tell someone where you’re going and plan to return. PFBC Waterways Conservation Officers will be on patrol throughout the holiday weekend to conduct safety checks and look for signs of impairment.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.