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PEANUTS & SAND EELS

Posted By Jim Hutchinson, Jr., November 18, 2019
PEANUTS & SAND EELS
This striper from the beach at Belmar was fooled by a FishLab Mad Eel last week outside of a mini-blitz of bass on peanuts by Jim Hutchinson, Jr. who said these new plastics coming to local shops soon do a good job of matching a couple of hatches (peanuts and sand eels) at once.
The big story since last week’s report is the 67.55-pound striped bass caught on a TGT rattle spoon by Tyler Lang aboard Capt. Vinny Vetere’s Katfish Charters out of Staten Island. You may have seen the hanging scale photo from Great Kills Bait and Tackle in Staten Island, but be sure to pick up the December NJ edition of The Fisherman for an exclusive deck shot of this 55-inch monster from the Raritan on November 14. Stripers have been exploding on bunker schools in North Jersey, peanuts and adults as well – there are still huge marks in the Raritan and out along the three-mile line, while school-size bass to keeper class are rolling on baits still, a good sign for the next few weeks down the Jersey Shore. If you plan on hitting the beaches this week following the weekend storm, take an assortment of artificials to match the hatch, paddletails and polaris poppers to fool those bass piling on peanuts in the wash, a few Ava jigs with colored tails, Tsunami sand eel imitations and teasers when bass are on sand eels. “There is no lack of bass or baitfish along the northern coast and there is no reason, other than the weather, the fishing should not continue into December,” noted North Jersey field editor JB Kasper in his December report, adding “The key will be the sand eels.” Central Jersey report Ashley Viola agreed. “If you want stripers off the surf, Ava jigs with a teaser at night or in the early morning will give you your best shot,” Ashley writes in her regular report in the December edition, noting how there is plenty of bait around which means there are still fish to be caught! “After hearing the reports, it seems like the bass bite will hold strong from Sandy Hook to IBSP through the month of December,” she noted. Down into Atlantic and Cape May County, the word from field editor Anthony Califano is the jetties are holding more tog than we’ve seen in many years. “Green crab and a tog jig are all you need,” Anthony writes in his December report, adding “regardless of December’s weather, jetty fishing can be the saving grace of the season when the boaters can’t get out.” On the South Jersey striper front, fat resident schoolie stripers have been gorging themselves on bait in the back bay for weeks and can be caught on a variety of artificial baits such as soft plastics, Mag Darters, Bombers and poppers. “South Jersey is also seeing huge schools of sand eels, bunker, rainfish and herring in the ocean, just what we need to attract those massive schools of fish that have been in the Barnegat area,” Anthony added. As for Delaware anglers, take some time away from the “rockfish” bite this Wednesday, November 20, as Delaware’s Advisory Council on Tidal Finfisheries will meet at 6 p.m. in the DNREC Auditorium at 89 Kings Highway in Dover, DE. The agenda includes discussion of recreational and commercial fishery options to comply with the ASMFC’s decision on striped bass harvest. You can find the meeting agenda and details at publicmeetings.delaware.gov.
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