Fish On

Good weather brings anglers out from winter hibernation


The weather has been fantastic, and so has flounder fishing in the Raritan Bay.Anglers have been picking away steadily at flounder all week. Chris from Crabby’s Bait & Tackle in Keyport reported an excellent buildup of winter flounder in the Back Bay around the ammo pier and the 3 can.

From the surf, striped bass action over the weekend produced mostly shorts but a few keepers in between. It’s still a bit early for bass, about two or three more weeks before we start seeing some big fish in numbers in the Raritan.

From the surf, Joe Aloi from Old Bridge limited out on two 16-17-pound stripers from the shore at Cliffwood Beach on fresh bunker on a 6/0 hook on a sinker-slide rig. Tommy Wittle fished from the beach at South Amboy and claimed two 15-pound keepers, hooking a total of 19 on fresh clams. Chris also received a report of the first-ofthe season summer flounder. The fluke was caught and released near the 1 can.

With greatweather,many captainsmade their first run of the season for flounder and a shot at some early bass this week. It’s an important time to check in with your captains for updated reports. Don’t be shy to touch base and ask how he’s been doing on recent trips. Don’t forget, anglers caught some big fish off Virginia Beach, like Fred Barnes of Chesapeake, who caught a 73- pound giant near the 4A buoy off Cape Henry. And a few 50- to 60-pounders were also caught this year,with the previous 2006 record at 68 pounds. Conditions are perfect this year for theGarden State to produce the same. Choosing the right day to take off is very important if you plan to land a trophy. has some good advice on getting prepared and captains’ points of view on what fish to target and where. Winter fishing and tackle shows got everyone stocked with the latest plugs, hooks and line. It’s wait and see from here on. Are you ready?

Fish on.