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Posted By Jim Hutchinson, Jr., December 16, 2019
Josimar Domingos checked in to Absecon Bay Sportsman Center last week with a 20-pound striped bass came that he caught from an Atlantic City jetty in the early morning hours while fishing a soft plastic. According to Dave Showell at Absecon Bay, another local option for anglers is white perch along the local rivers where shrimp gets the nod as top bait, followed closely by bloodworms at number two, and Micro Minnows in third.
Still a few stripers in tight at the Jersey Shore, mostly small fish taking smaller tins and plastics (with teasers). Had one 20-pounder reported out of Atlantic City in this week’s reports out of Absecon, but the best action is still that “tins and teasers” bite in Monmouth and Ocean County. Poor week and weekend of weather had small windows of fishability at those wrecks and reefs where the tautog and sea bass are biting. Just two more weeks of local sea bass fishing before the regulatory gate slams shut as of the New Year; tautog will continue to be the winter’s best bet as most party boats up and down the coast in Jersey and Delaware focus on the white chins. The next printed edition of The Fisherman is out Christmas week, with a full port-by-port compilation of fishing reports for the month and a little insight into what to expect for 2020 from our New Jersey, Delaware Bay field editors. We checked in with those editors this week for a few last minute gift ideas; North Jersey and Freshwater reporter JB Kasper suggested a home weather station for those tired of getting their 50/50 forecasts from the network weather prognosticators. “At least when you get up in the morning you can get a quick look at what the current conditions are and just what kind of weather you might have had while you where sleeping,” JB noted, adding that prices can range from $30 to over $500 depending on the amount of sophistication you want. “A good La Crosse Technology or Acu-Rite which can be had for between $50 and $120 will give you in and outdoor temps and humidity; winds speed and direction, barometer, time and date,” he said. Central Jersey reporter Ashley Viola has been following along with the local reports and suggests a gift that can be used right away. “I went to Tackle Direct to pick out some Daiwa SP Minnows and Yo-Zuri Mag Darters that I’m sure will get a bass’ attention,” Ashley said, noting “This Christmas, I hope to spread the joy of fishing to other women-anglers like myself, to get more ladies involved in the sport.” From South Jersey Anthony Califano said he’s asked Santa for packages of Fishbites Bloodworms and Fishbites Clam in the stocking. “Easy to keep some on the boat, in the truck and in the tackle bag at all times,” Anthony said. Available in re-sealable bags, Anthony noted Fishbites “taste like the real thing, don’t ask me how I know.” He also suggested packages of Tactical Anglers Clips in stockings hung with care. “Tie these handy little clips to your leader and you can literally switch out lures in seconds,” he added. For Eric Burnley, we’re hoping his boys Roger and Ric have been saving up this year. “Aside from a 70-foot Spencer, or a completely restored 1968 red Corvette,” Eric told us with a smile, before saying “the new Evict spinning reels from Tsunami are really great. I have also used the Forged conventional reel with good success.” Our intrepid surf reporter Nick Honachefsky has still been banging away at stripers on the beach the last few weeks, and said his new waders are working out just fine. “Just picked up some Frogg Toggs Hellbender cleated waders from Grumpy’s Tackle and they are a serious game changer, so light and comfortable allowing me to be super mobile when I’m chasing fish,” Nick said. On the lure front, Nick said he can’t live without an assortment of Ava 007 jigs, Black Bombers, Tsunami Sand Eels and Storm Shads to round out his holiday striper surf bag. “All said and done, more than anything to ask for Christmas would be for anglers to get out and fish with friends and family and to be a much kinder community to each other on social media,” Nick added.
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