Since the inseason trout stockings are over until fall, now may be a good time to head to the Jersey shore for some big fish like stripers and good eating fluke.
According to our fishing reporters from On the Water Magazine, the striper bite in Jersey rivers, bays and surf is good. They report some very big fish are falling for clams on the beaches, especially to the south.
Rick Hebert, at Tackle World in Rochelle Park, said stripers are hitting with regularity in Raritan Bay and anglers are throwing 2 and 3-ounce Mojos, plugs and shads and flutter spoons.
Mike Pinto, at Giglio’s Bait & Tackle in Sea Bright, reports striper fishing remains good in both the Shrewsbury and Naversink Rivers with anglers luring them with bucktails, shads and especially Savage Shads. More bass are showing up on the beaches and hitting clams, worms and paddle tails. He added that fluke are also biting in the rivers but could be a little spotty.
Mike Gleason at Tak Waterman in Long Branch, said there are lots of bass in Raritan Bay and the rivers, however they are a little more scattered.
Bob Matthews, at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, reports the opening sea bass season saw some nice fish being caught and there’s good fluking as well in Shark River. The striper bite in local waters has the Belmar Marina bustling with action. He said more stripers are showing up in the local surf with clams, worms and bunker chunks all catching fish.
Pete Kupper, at Charlie’s Bait & Tackle in Normandy Beach, is receiving good striper reports from the surf with bass eating fresh clams, SP Minnows and metal-lipped swimmers. He goes on to say the back bay is holding plenty of bass with the evening into the night offering the best time to fish. Plus, an occasional weakfish is turning up with shads and small plugs luring them to hook.
Ray Kerico, at Grump’s Bait & Tackle in Seaside Park, said the beach fishing for stripers is outstanding with big fish being caught almost entirely on clams. He happily adds that anglers are having difficulty finding slot fish as many of the bass are now over 40 inches. Fluking too has been good in Barnegat Bay as is blue fishing that are in the 10-pound range.
Jason Szabo at Fishermen’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach, reports stripers are in the Manasquan River at the Route 35 and 70 bridges and in Point Pleasant Canal. Fluking there is also on the uptick for anglers using light jig heads tipped with Gulp bait and squid strips. A few weakfish and blues have also arrived.
WHITEHALL FREE KIDS FISHING DERBY SET
As a reminder, the annual Whitehall Township Fishing Derby for youngsters is scheduled for Saturday, May 28, at Hokey Park on Lehigh Street in Hokendauqua. Registration is from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. prior to the contest casting off at 9 a.m. The contest runs until 12 noon.
According to Michele Dragovits, Whitehall Township Secretary, over 100 trout will be stocked in the Hokey Creek the morning of the contest. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in four age groups of 6 and under, 7-8, 10-12 and 13-15. Plus, there will be a special prize for the overall largest fish.
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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.