South Jersey Fishing: Striper Fishing Hot and Hotter
Okay, so we have some bad weather and subsequent gnarly conditions this weekend, but it should serve to move more striped bass down the coast.
After a blitz of huge bass several weekends ago, things slowed significantly on the striper front, and then Boom! last weekend saw a detonation of the bass bite that just seems to be getting better by the day.
And not only out front and along the beach and jetties, but also in the bays and inlets. Keeper linesiders and also “bonus tag” (24 to less than 28 inches) have the feedbags on, and we saw more than a few bass in the 30-36 inch class that were caught bay side. In fact, there were reports circulating of fish in the 30-plus pound class being caught and released in the likes of Manasquan, Barnegat, Great Egg Harbor and Townsends inlets. We’re sure there have been others.
Mass movement of monster masses of bunker is the catalyst in this explosion. Acres of bunker generally mean acres of bass underneath, and this has been the case so far.
Trolling umbrella rigs and mojos has yet to reach its stride numbers-wise, but jigging flutter spoons and live lining bunker, spot and eels is producing big numbers of linesiders.
In the bays and inlets, live eels and spot have been killers, as has casting swimming plugs and poppers.
The surf scene is both bait and hardware. Fresh clam and fresh bunker chunks, and are being inhaled. Some in the know are scoring with live eels. Hardware-wise more than a few transient bass being picked off with plugs, poppers, bucktails and metals.
About the beaches: figure the fishing to get even better as the blow moves through and more bass tuck in close. Out front, the arrival of sand eels, and yes, even more bunker, should make for more outstanding rod bending, especially when the trolling game kicks off.