Ristori: Striper action temperamental

Friday, October 20, 2006 BY AL RISTORI

For the Star-Ledger
Though there's already been some good striped bass action, anglers are still waiting for dropping water temperatures that will spark a real fall migratory run to the south. The cold northwest winds predicted after today's bad weather may spark a movement of bait down the beach and should also provide ideal surfcasting conditions.
Daytime surfcasting hasn't been very good so far, but Rich Rusznak of Mountainside has been doing well plugging Sandy Hook at night. He released 15 stripers up to a 15-pounder Wednesday night. Joe Blaze of Brielle and I fished near the tip during yesterday morning's ebb, but didn't do a thing. The only catch while we were there was a short bass plugged by Gerry Gomber of Folsom Wholesale Fishing Tackle in Mahwah.

xThe schools of big bunker that attracted large stripers off Ocean County last weekend have disappeared, and the hot striper bite on eels in Sandy Hook Channel has also cooled. But there has been some casting and jigging under birds there and in Raritan Bay where Capt. Rob Semkewyc did well yesterday with Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands, though there were only a dozen keepers among the bass. Capt. Chris DeStefano trolled Shrewsbury Rocks with Harry Wilde's Strike Force from Point Pleasant yesterday and caught lots of stripers on shad rigs though most were shorts.
Canyon fishing remains generally good for chunkers, and trolling has been hot some days. Strike Force only trolled four tuna Monday at the Hudson's east elbow, but Capt. Frank Criscola was out there yesterday with Crisdel from Brielle Yacht Club and trolled two dozen tuna that were mostly albacore.
Bottom fishing for porgies and sea bass has been better than last year, and quite a few blackfish are also showing. Weakfish can be jigged on readings along the Shore, but most are barely legal size -- or less.
Some fishermen were surprised by big black drum while striper fishing earlier in the year, but no one was probably more shocked than Jimmy Serviss of West Long Branch who hooked into one Wednesday from Miss Marie on clam well up the Shrewsbury River at Monmouth Beach. That drum weighed 79 pounds at The Tackle Box in Hazlet
The Cape May Fishing Flea Market will be held Sunday in Convention Hall at 714 Beach Ave. Admission is $3, though kids under 12 are admitted free. Call (609) 660-7650, for information.


At Belmar, Capt. Greg Markert said bluefishing on his Golden Eagle remains excellent for large choppers up to 16 pounds on both bait and jigs to the north. He headed to Hudson Canyon Monday, but got some negative reports and turned south to Carteret where the temperature was still only 68 degrees -- but with loads of bait. Tuna turned on about 3 a.m. and hit to 6:30, after which a daylight pick continued to 9 a.m. The majority of the 62 tuna up to 68 pounds were albacore. Some spots are available on trips leaving Sunday and Monday. Call (732) 681-6144.
Capt. Chris Hueth reports sea bass and porgy fishing on his Big Mohawk has been consistent in recent days.
Capt. Len Forsythe said last Friday's bluefishing on Miss Belmar Princess was outstanding as almost all caught on bait and jigs at anchor were over 10 pounds.
Capt. Marty Haines is enjoying good sea bass fishing with his Sea Pigeon from Perth Amboy. His fares average 15 to 50, with many in the 10-to-12-inch class. Some sea bass and blackfish are also caught. Saturday night striper fishing from 5 to 11 p.m. begins tomorrow.
Capt. Fred Grover of Freddy C. from Leonardo was pleased with Wednesday night's striper fishing even if shorts dominated. E.J. Styles of Middletown found an exception to the rule with a 28-pounder.