Our busting water all over the place report from last week was spot on, even if only for an instant, as boats trolling and livelining last week hit the first wave of stripers cruising past the Central Jersey coast. Tackle shops in the Barnegat Inlet area had bass to 45-1/2-pounds brought to the scale, while word of one 50-pounder caught and released off Lavallette came in to The Fisherman this week. A big cold front moves through early week finally ushering in the fall weather and hopefully pushing bait along the coast, and a couple of weekend tournaments should have the fleet on the grounds in search of wave two of the 2017 season. Black sea bass is back in the mix and keeping the rail gang in great spirits, while the appearance of monster blues over 20 pounds as Dream Boat hunters looking to check off another tournament box this week. In the political mix this Saturday, New Jerseys Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno will join both hunters and anglers on Saturday, October 28 at a gubernatorial rally in Point Pleasant Beach; the event starts at 2 p.m. and who sportsmens groups in the state hope will be New Jerseys next governor will arrive at 3 p.m. Thats at Captain Bills Landing at 49 Inlet Drive; park in the inlet parking lot where you can also try your hand at dunking a blackfish bait while theyre still there!
From Ortley to IBSP, a run of fish busting water all over the place had social media accounts ablaze and casters running for plug bags. As of late Wednesday afternoon, at least one 40-pound class fish was brought to Creekside Outfitters that was caught south of the lighthouse on a livie, though surfcasters looking to score big are watching the weather with anticipation; NOAA forecast has winds out of the southwest on Thursday turning northwest through Friday which hopefully lowers water temps and triggers the bait movement. With a little light northeast on Saturday morning, it could provide the first good shot at coastal bass by boat or by beach of the 2017 season. The Fishermans weekly reports this week have more reported stripers in the 20- and 30-pound class on the Raritan Bay, while South Jersey back bay reports are coming alive as well for light tackle anglers tossing jigs and plugs. Monster bluefish aboard the party boats in Central and North Jersey, while sheepshead continue to impress anglers from South Jersey down along the Delaware Coasts. Of course the big news on Sunday, October 22 is the reopening of the NJ/DE black sea bass fishery if you havent called your favorite boat to book your first trip, better hurry as it were expecting a busy opener!