I took the day off yesterday (6/21) to do some striper fishing off of Barnegat Light.

The big ones are still biting off of Long Branch in the morning and afternoon. You just have to get there at the right time. Bunker can be found just about anywhere along the coast off Ocean and Monmouth County beaches, but the striped bass are few and far between.

We found sporadic bunker pods off Island Beach State Park, but not sure if there were any bass under them.

 

 

We concentrated our efforts with live grass shrimp(nearly impossible to come by) around the jetties and caught four keepers between the three of us. Nothing to write home about 29 to 31 inches, but legal size. We also caught plenty of shorts (smaller than the size limit) that we had to throw back. We timed the tide just right and getting into position is not an easy task either. We also saw tons of porpoises in good numbers in the bay and just off the beach outside of the inlet. They tend to scare away the fish, but they're fun to watch and try to catch on camera.

Good fluke catches are still reported in the bays and not far off the beach. Also crabbing is reportedly strong for this early in the season in many spots in the Barnegat Bay.

 

So I had grilled striper marinated in lemon, white wine and olive oil with Miller's Cranberry Hot sauce for dinner. Nice! But the highlight of the day was this 19 inch 3 1/2 lb. large-mouth bass caught at dusk on really light tackle in a cedar water lake in Medford NJ.

 

Here is the lure I was using for it.

A four inch plastic, watermelon colored worm, hooked through the middle (goofy hooked) and dragged very slowly along the bottom. It turned out to be the biggest bass I've caught in fresh water and about as big as they come in those shallow water lakes.

The weather looks much cooler and calm for the weekend after some possible thunderstorms today(6/22/12). With the stripers fading out, most serious saltwater anglers are turning to offshore shark and tuna trips. For the casual fisherman, there's plenty of fluke, bluefish and blue claw crabs to keep you busy close to shore. Enjoy!

Have any great fishing tips you want to share? Leave comment below.