Shore angler lands whopper the hard way

Friday, October 13, 2006

A 46-pound striped bass is noteworthy at any time, but the one boated Tuesday by Larry Lucisano of Wanamassa was most unusual in that it was caught on sandworms at the TC Buoy while he was drifting for weakfish. Though striped bass love worms as they grow up, it's rare to catch a trophy bass on that bait.
Lucisano weighed his catch at Twin Lights Marina in Highlands, where his brother Tony runs the bait shop and castnets bunkers that are sold there. That catch came a bit early for the brothers, who will be fishing this weekend's Hi-Mar Striper Club 40-Hour Striped Bass Tournament.
The captains meeting for the Hi-Mar contest is at 7 p.m. today in the Senior Citizens Center in Atlantic Highlands Marina. Fishing commences after that and continues through noon Sunday with weigh-ins between Piers 4 and 5 in the Harbor. The entry fee is $100 per boat, and can be paid at the captains meeting.
Breaking the state record for striped bass will earn the boater a Wellcraft 180 center console, with motor and trailer, from Atlantic Yacht Sales in Sea Bright. The total weight of a boat's two largest stripers wins the contest and 40 percent of the entry fees. For information call tournament director Bob Kamienski at (732) 495-9210.
Clams will attract large stripers at times, and Duane Eggie of Seaville got off to a lead in the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Tournament when he beached a 22 1/4-pound bass on opening day at Barnegat Light, but Frank Pollock Jr. from Souderton, Pa., used the same bait at the same location to take over the top spot with a 28~-pounder Tuesday. Normally there are many more blues than bass entered in that contest, but the only chopper so far is a 10 516-pounder beached Sunday by Mike DiMartinis of Pennsauken.
John Magno of Middletown ran his Renegade from Brielle Yacht Club all the way to Wilmington Canyon to find good water Tuesday, only to watch it disappear during the night. I joined Magno, Capt. Ed Riveiro of Farmingdale, John Ferrara from Toms River and Orlando Caprio of Point Pleasant as we got off to a good start in 73-degree waters with one yellowfin on bait and another on a jig before dark.
Yet, after that it was only a pick all night and we were further hampered as the fishfinder didn't work. Four yellowfins were boated along with chicken dolphin, and several other tuna were lost. The water temperature dropped to 68 degrees by the morning, and many other boaters complained about the resulting slow bite.
Captains Rick Petschauer and Dave Bender had a similar slow chunking bite that night with Jenny Lee from Manasquan, but trolled among whales in the morning to add 12 albacore and a yellowfin for Joe and Gerry Zagorski on Jenny Lee from Manasquan.
Surf fishing still hasn't broken open, but Mark Millman of Keyport proved the potential by weighing a 38-pound striper at The Tackle Box in Hazlet after landing it Wednesday on clams at Sandy Hook. I cast into a rough surf that morning at Sea Girt and started my fall striper season with a 25-incher on a Tsunami shad.
L&H Woods & Waters has its formal opening on Route 35 in Wall over the weekend. A pond behind the elegant store is stocked with 1,000 trout, and there will be a fishing derby for 6- to 14-year-old kids both days from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fly casting and archery Page 2 of 2


At Atlantic Highlands, Capt. Scotty Hilliard said he had his best bluefishing of the year Sunday night at 17 Fathoms, as 10- to 15-pounders were caught steadily. Yet, his customers prefer stripers and that's what Hilliard will be fishing for on both a day and night basis.

Capt. Tom Buban had some tough weakfishing after the northeaster on his Atlantic Star, but it bounced back and some limits were caught Tuesday morning as everyone aboard had at least a few.

Capt. Rob Semkewyc said Wednesday's east wind really turned on stripers in Sandy Hook Channel for anglers in his Sea Hunter. Eels and worms produced bass up to 25 pounds throughout the trip.

At Highlands, Capt. Stan Zagleski reports good sea bass fishing from his Elaine B. plus porgies for those concentrating on that species. The Elaine B. began Thursday night striper trips yesterday.

Capt. Ken Dubman also took advantage of Wednesday's east wind to clam a limit of stripers up to 22 pounds plus more than 20 shorts for the Bud Ginsberg party on his K-Kat during the morning flood tide. The afternoon ebb was uncomfortable in the wind and rain, but Len Longo's group from Bethlehem, Pa., still managed eight keepers to 15 pounds and 16 shorts.

At Point Pleasant, Captains Bruce Miller, Tom Walsh and Rich Oris trolled Monday afternoon at East Toms Canyon to boat three dolphin. Chunking turned on at 8 p.m., and they picked away to 7 a.m. for close to a dozen yellowfins with only one being lost. Open canyon trips are scheduled for Oct. 18-19, and 25-26 plus Nov. 1-2. Call Miller at (908) 278-7415.

Capt. Willie Egerter Jr. is pleased with bottom fishing from his Dauntless that has been producing an average of 15 to 50 fish a man. Yesterday it was mostly sea bass, though porgies dominate other days. Jim Holmberg of Toms River won the pool with a triggerfish in the 6-pound class and also bagged 20 each of bass and porgies. Three fluke in the 5- to 6-pound class had to be released because the season closed Monday.