Plenty of big fish to be had in local waters

Fish On


They’re back and all grown up.Over the next three weeks, the Raritan Bay should produce world-class striper fishing.

Despite tough weather conditions, some didmanage to pick the right time to fish. The big story this weekend was a few monster weakfish from 14 to 16 pounds taken from both surf and boat off Staten Island. Most big fish are coming from the north.

Great Kills Harbor remains loaded with bunker schools andmost didn’t need to go far for bass. The harbor also produced a few bass up to 30 pounds, and big blues patrolled the mouth and back walls, keeping bunker corralled up like an “all you can eat” buffet at Disneyland.

Outside the bay fromAtlanticHighlands south to Barnegat Bay, bluefish keeper bass and even weakfish are starting to pick up along the shore.Ocean temps in themid-50s and water clarity are amazing for poppers. It’s a time of year you can try jigs, lures, poppers and plugs and have a blast with swarms of bluefish.

Charters and party boats are in full swing, and this is the time they have all been waiting for. I received some great reports this week, and others were the complete opposite.

Charters are booking quickly, and for most of them May and June are booked solid. If you’re looking for a charter, NJSaltwaterfisherman. com has plenty of veteran charter captainswhowill find you those trophy fish.With just about every species of fish showing up early this year, we could see a few record-size fish in the coming weeks.