Jeff from Hands Too Bait & Tackle in Cape May puts it this way, “If history repeats itself, this run of bass should last until the end of the month. Fish anywhere from 20 to 50-inches.”

Mike “Critter” Cunningham at Sea Isle Bait & Tackle concurs, adding “They are hungry and they are eating, and there are plenty of cows in the mix.”

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“Lots of bass around. Mixed sizes and lots of good fishing,” says Fin-Atics’ Billy Wiggins in Ocean City.

“It’s triple bangin’ bass in AC. I’ve been here 32 years and never saw this number of quality fish,” proclaims Noel Feliciano centered at One Stop Bait & Tackle in America’s Playground.

“The bass are here. The bite should keep going for another couple of weeks,” predicts “Bayside Dave” Etelman, the LBI Director for the American Angler Club who is based in Ship Bottom.

Indeed, it’s been a mind-blowing rod bender!

The common denominator in this rip-snorting striper run is that the overwhelming majority of the linesiders, many in the 30 pound-plus class up to near 50-pounds, are being caught from the beaches and jetties. Sure, some are being trolled out front and the back bays and rivers are surrendering a few keepers, but it’s been a jackpot “Bass Blanket Bingo” game along the sands from Cape May County up into Ocean County including Island Beach State Park.

This is primarily a catch and release dealio because of the 28-inch to less than 38-inch possession/one fish regulation. Loads of stripers exceeding the upper end length limit are being caught but must be released. The bonus tag program is in effect, enabling one to also retain a bass measuring 24-inches to less than 28-inches in addition to one bass fitting the aforementioned slot. Bonus tag applications are available via www.njfishandwildlife.com, then clicking the saltwater fishing link.

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Clam is the striper jam, whether fresh or salted, and fresh bunker is the bomb. SP Minnow and Yo-Zuri Mag Darter plugs are also getting their share of smashes, thrashes and hits.

Eel Is The Deal: Along the Atlantic City jetties, especially after dark, it will a big time payoff if dealing a live eel. How long has the eel been the hot hand? “Anyone’s guess, but the local experts have been using them for years and years during May into June.

Somehow, the cat got out of the bag, so to speak and now, well, if you want to catch big bass in AC, the eel is the deal,” explains Feliciano.

A reminder: when using bait, live or otherwise, non-offset circle hooks are the law.

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