Captain Gary Dugan of Irish Jig Sportfishing began a trip recently in the Mullica River drifting live baits for striped bass. There had been reports of bass being taken in the river both by trolling Stretch lures and drifting live eels. Captain Gary came up empty handed and decided to head out into the ocean despite some rough conditions. That turned out to be the right move as his party ended up with some very nice porgies between 12 and 18 inches in length. They also caught a decent amount of sea bass and kept two of them for dinner.
Captain Carl Sheppard had the Â?Star FishÂ? booked last weekend for Eric Burr and a bachelor party of 11 members. Despite the rough seas, the group wanted to brave the conditions and was glad they did. Their first stop was a wreck about 7-miles out which showed fish on the fish finder but with little interest in biting. A couple more wrecks were pretty much the same although they used 6 different baits which did catch a couple of porgies and some small sea bass. Captain Carl decided to try the Little Egg Reef, and that proved to be the right choice. They drifted until they had hits on all the rods and then anchored up tide of that spot. Within 5-minutes they had continuous action. The sea bass averaged one keeper for every three caught and reeled in a large number of porgies, which also had many throwbacks. In addition they boated some skates, dogfish, and then bluefish ranging from 6-ounces to 2-pounds. In addition, they noticed a large striped bass rolling on the top of the water. By the end of the trip they had a cooler filled with fish.
Captain Fran Verdi decided to take the Â?Francesca MarieÂ? north looking for stripers. He trolled all the way from Long Beach Island to Seaside Heights. They ended the day with no bass but did manage to pick up some bluefish. Captain Fran said the water was still a warm 63-degrees. He anticipates this weekend as the turn-on time for the bass bite to start.
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