Striper Bite Still Going Strong
Stellar. Epic. Incredible. Lights Out. Phenomenal. Off the charts.
And the descriptions go on and on regarding the striped bass action that’s now entering a second month. It was around the second month in October that reports started filtering in about the booms, blasts, and blitzes occurring around the seemingly infinite schools of bunkers slowly moving down the coast.
The bass were underneath and to either side, seemingly omnipresent, although they did not always strike the live-lined menhaden, plastic shads, or jigging spoons. However, it was often enough to create a buzz, and it appears the acme still hasn’t been reached.
Well, maybe a bit for the cows, as the majority of the stripers being caught were in the 40 to 60-inch class, with some even longer by a few hash marks. As is typical, it’s the bigger, heavier stripers that migrate south, followed by the mid-range and then schoolie-size fish. Oh, there are still monster bass being brought to the net and released, but now in the mix are increasing numbers of “slot” and “bonus tag” bass.
Slots, as in stripers within the legal 28-31 inch length possession limit that’s been the law since July 2 (formerly, it was one from 28 inches to less than 38 inches). A one-fish maximum.
Bonus tag, as in the tags that were available through DEP’s Bureau of Marine Fisheries through October 31, that allows the holder to keep a striper from 24 to less than 28 inches. This is in addition to the one slot fish and the smaller fish could be caught and retained before the slot bass.
Don’t have a bonus tag? No worries if you don’t mind forking over the $$ for a charter or a party boat trip, as most captains have numerous bonus tags in possession. It’s a chance to bring home a striper for dinner if the majority of the fish being caught are “overs”, i.e. in excess of 31 inches.
Predicated on weather and conditions, and how long the bunker (and now sand eels are showing) hang around, this torrid fishery could continue into the Yule Month, as has happened before, with trolling mojos and umbrella rigs now becoming part of the linesider pursuit.
And not to be overlooked is the percolating bites along the beaches, with increasing numbers of bass appearing in the surf suds, cuts, sloughs and bar breaks chasing bait and within casting distances of the sand soldiers and jetty jockeys.
Could be another Striper November to Remember.
7 reasons why you need to kill the spotted lanternflies infesting NJ
Gallery Credit: Kylie Moore
LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state
Gallery Credit: Elena Kadvany