NJ SPOT BURN ALERT – The Bird is the Word!!!
A steady dose of W/NW winds seems to be exactly what the striper doctor ordered as Jersey Shore surfcasters are buttoned up tight under birds this week. Dive-bombing gannets and tightly-clustered gulls just off the beach, often within easy casting distance along the sand, are giving way to blitzing stripers in the wash. Depending on what you stumble up into along the Monmouth and Ocean County beaches in particular, you could find peanut bunker, maybe adult bunker, or possibly the sand eels. By beach or boat this week, be prepared for most any scenario; that means tins and teasers for the plug bag in addition to an SP Minnow, perhaps a popper, and a swim shad or two. For those grabbing the trolling gear to get inside the line, it’s not just Majas and mojos right now, but consider the umbrella rigs with sand eel imitations in place. With one more week to go before Thanksgiving holiday, it would appear that things are officially breaking open with the inshore striped bass. In our weekly reports for TheFisherman.com this week, we received solid word of migratory stripers showing up down into Cape May County as well with 10- to 20-pound bass reported at the Rips on live eels, with the local jetties giving up bass at the top of the tide to pluggers. We have contests to talk about in this week’s reports, the Brigantine Elks Fall Striper Classic this weekend, followed by a couple of catch and release matchups in Ocean County next week including the Surf Turkey and Berkeley Striper Club’s “Pony Tail Mike” Striped Bass Tournament. There’s also the Captain Bill’s Blackfish Tournament this Saturday, November 21 out of Manasquan Inlet.