The stripers are here and they are big. Averaging 20 to 40 pounds. That is huge for the Fall run, but it has become the pattern for the last five years or so. It’s probably no coincidence that we are getting a bunker run during that time, as well. There’s also sandeels in the mix.
On Friday, I made the left and ran 38 miles to the Highlands. We passed up closer fleets that had fish but a lot of boats. In those fleets, every time the fish popped up, four or five guys would run them down. Further north, where we wound up, there was very little pressure and the fish were swirling and crashing bait on the surface and down deep. We caught them on poppers, swim shads, and jigs. We had six fish between 25 and 40 pounds and released quite a few, all on spinning rods.
Saturday, I returned to the scene of the crime but there were quite a few more boats and the fish were not surfacing. I got called in by a friend, Gene Linder on the Side Chick, who was working on his third big troll fish off of Long Branch. I doubled back, we put out the rods, and soon after we boated a 35 pounder on one of my homemade umbrella rigs. Another pass, and the same rig gets clobbered and we added a 30 pounder.
I’m sailing Sat, and Sun, Nov 2 and 3, Open Boat, 6:30 AM to 1:30 PM $175 person, 4 people max, all fish are shared. We are probably going to troll to put fish in the box but if there is any indication that we can catch them casting or jigging, we are rigged and ready to do that. If for any reason, we do not find them locally, like as far as Seaside/Lavallette, we will run as far north as we have to and the price will go to $200 person to cover the extra fuel. We will also be returning later.
The best way to reserve a spot is to call me on my cell from 5AM to 8PM. You can call right up until”Go Time”!