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Striped Bass, Fluke Catches Taking Off in Ocean County Waters

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Pell's Fish & Sport
Pell's customer Frank weighted in a 32 pounder on a white Tony Maja spoon.

Pell’s customer Frank weighted in a 32 pounder on a white Tony Maja spoon.

The two staples of spring and summertime fishing at the Jersey Shore, striped bass and summer flounder, are abundant in local waters, reports this week said.

(We’re bringing our usual Fishing Friday column to you on Saturday this week due to an abundance of news published on Shorebeat on Friday, which may have pushed the column off the front page rather quickly.)

“When the weather permits, this week has produced a steady catch of striped bass,” said Pete from Pell’s Fish and Sport on Mantoloking Road.

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Live liners have had success working bunker pods off Bay Head and north in the area of Shark River, while trollers have also been rewarded with most catches reported on white bunker spoons. Pell’s customer Frank weighted in a 32 pounder on a white Tony Maja spoon.

On Friday, ocean water temperatures dropped a bit, the staff at The Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights said, shutting down some of the red-hot fishing that has been seen over the past week or so. There’s good news for the weekend, however.

“Favorable winds like [Friday] will surely bring the surf temperatures up, bringing the bait within reach and hopefully the fish will be hot on their tails,” John from the shop said.

“There is still a good amount of blues and some short bass roaming around the bay and Toms River hitting bunker chunks, small swimmers and poppers before and after dark especially around Ocean Gate and Bayville area,” said Mario from Murphy’s Hook House in Toms River.

Likewise to the report from The Dock, anglers have been put off by the digging south winds on the oceanfront this week, though relief was expected by this weekend.

On the fluke front, things were off to a good start during the first week of the season.

The staff at Pell’s reported good fishing close to the mouth of the Manasquan Inlet and the river, as the ocean temperatures were still a bit low for the bite to really take off in the ocean. One customer caught a 6-pounder this week on a chartreuse Gulp bait near the “Dog Beach” on the outgoing tide.

Crabbing has picked up with good catches at the Mantoloking Bridge and local lagoons, the folks at Pell’s said. Likewise, some nice sized keeper crabs came in again yesterday from the Island Heights area, according to Mario at Murphy’s.


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