|Pretty much on schedule, hungry bluefish hit the Delaware and Jersey beaches over the Easter Weekend, with schools popping up along local bays and estuaries throughout this third full week of April. A few teen-sized choppers have hit lures and chunks, which should also usher in the 2017 weakfish season as well (a few tiderunners already reported in the Barnegat Bay area in particular in the past week!) Dinner-size black drum continue to find their way into the reports for beach and bank casters from the Delaware Bayshore to Great Bay, as some of the boat guys start targeting the clam and mussel beds this week in search of a score. Meanwhile the North Jersey “big bass” bite is underway on the Raritan with folks taking a few really good fish on chunks and on the troll. Up the Delaware River, trophy striped bass reports continue north of the Salem River, while the spring shad run up past Trenton towards the Eason, PA area has busted out as a big boom in 2017! Over 600 anglers are signed up for this weekend’s Bi-State Shad Fishing Contest from April 20-23 boasting an estimated top prize of $10,000 for the heaviest shad of the contest, along with a chance to win a $12,000 G3 Boat and Yamaha Jet Motor with LoadRite Trailer Courtesy of Mayberry Sales and Service in Port Murray, NJ. Spring has sprung!
|Thursday appears to be a washout which may impact conditions into Friday – but with temps in the upper 50’s to low 60’s on Saturday and Sunday, rising into the 70’s to start next week, the striper bite should only continue to intensify. Warmer weekend temps and most clear skies should also kick off a banner trout season in New Jersey this Saturday, April 8; pick up the April edition of The Fisherman Magazine for a full stock report, with details on Saturday’s Spring Lake kids’ tournament presented by the Shark River Surf Anglers. In the salt/fresh mix, continued reports of 40-pound and up stripers from the Delaware River; the bite is from Salem County north with bloodworms registering the top catch and release trophies in the region. Anglers are reminded that as of April 1, any striped bass caught on the Delaware from the upstream side of the Calhoun Street Bridge downstream to and including the Salem River and its tributaries must be released through May31. Those fishing natural baits in this stretch must use non-offset circle hooks. Check out the latest striper reports and this week’s catches, from Salem County, around the bend at Cape May all the way into Atlantic, Ocean and Monmouth County, in this week’s video forecast from The Fisherman Magazine.