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SPECKS & STRIPES

Posted By Jim Hutchinson, Jr., November 4, 2019
SPECKS & STRIPES
While North Jersey anglers take advantage of another epic run of big striped bass, South Jersey sharpies like Nicholas Moran are out and about in Cape May County hunting down the elusive speckled trout. Try hitting the oceanfront beaches at first light with bucktails and twister tails, smaller paddletails or Tsunami sand eel imitations. Photo courtesy of Hands Too Bait and Tackle in Cape May.
“Striped bass fishing overshadowed most other fisheries this past week along the northern coast,” noted North Jersey field editor JB Kasper in this week’s reports, which went to print very early this morning. That weekly edition is on its way to our subscribers now, but you’ll find our latest weekend reports online which show that North Jersey’s bite is the dominant one right now. “Despite the mid-week weather spasm and gale force winds on Friday big bass ruled the catches for boats that fished the bay on Thursday and Friday, especially in the back bay,” Kasper said, reporting that quite a few big stripers are chasing bunker schools up inside the Raritan where both trolling and running/gunning are effective. Sooner or later it’s expected that a few of those big fish will head out and make a hard right down the beach to the pleasure of surfcasters especially at the Jersey Shore. “A lot of folks I spoke with said the fishing was slow; the boats up north seem to be doing well trolling for stripers, but the surf has not been too promising,” said Central Jersey field editor Ashley Viola, reporting that Ava jigs and teasers have been the most effective surf option of late, primarily with smaller fish. “If you want schoolie action, it seems like soft plastics around bridges will keep you occupied,” she added. A few popular Central Jersey tournaments were held over the weekend, but the striped bass that were expected to be thick as thieves apparently broke through the fence and headed for deeper offshore waters. Very few bass were found inside the line this past weekend, but all eyes are peeled for surface action and blips on the fishfinder. In Atlantic and Cape May counties, anglers are modifying their tactics, growing accustomed to the improvise and adapt approach. “There are also plenty of resident stripers in the back-bays willing to take poppers and soft plastics along the sod banks,” reported South Jersey editor Anthony Califano, while noting that the fantastic tautog action at the local jetties continues as surfcasters await the big push of northern stripers. “And you know it’s November in South Jersey when a select group of anglers begin their month-long quest under the cover of darkness for one of our most elusive visitors; the speckled trout,” Anthony noted. If you wanted to knock one off the bucket list, now’s the best time to hit Cape May County for a shot at a speck or two from shore; small bucktails and jigheads with paddletails, swim shads or sand eel imitations will work.
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