As always, it depends on who you talk to and how forthcoming or truthful they are when it comes to fishing. So here is what I've seen and heard as of now. The Stripers have been around all winter. The water was so warm that they never really left. The big push of giant spring fish that run up the coast this time of year have shown up, but it's hit or miss. There was a pretty good run from Seaside Park up to Deal last week, but not that close to the beach, most in about 60 feet of water 1 to 2 miles off the shore. Bunker pods have appeared, and have produced some good catches, but not like the non-stop action of last spring. My friend Tony picked up this 43 pounder last week off Island Beach State Park in a boat about a mile off the beach.

 

The past few days have been fairly quiet, with the heavy wind, unpredictable weather and full moon. The next few days should produce better results with the full moon behind us and talk a large school of big Stripers making their way up the coast from the South Jersey Shore.

Whether you're a surf fisherman or boater chasing them off shore the next few days into the end of the month should be strong. You just gotta get out there. Fluke have been strong early on in most of the usual bay hot spots, and reports of encouraging weakfish catches have anglers excited about a strong return. But with low limits on both fish, even if the bite is good, it's a short day to limit out.

As for freshwater action. I've been confined to the small lakes and ponds around Medford and Marlton. Monday night I picked up about 3 large-mouth keepers in about 45 minutes on Monday night and Tuesday I picked up this nice one

on this "Gulp 6 1/2 inch night crawler" plastic worm

right before dusk. It's no 43 lb. Striper, but it keeps me occupied after dinner and satisfies my urge to get a line in the water. It's just about the best time of year to enjoy fishing anywhere in New Jersey. The weather is just right and they're bitin' just about everywhere.

Check back soon for more fishing tips from Dennis Malloy!