A guy named John Callahan from Pa. weighed in a monster striper at Julian's Bait & Tackle in Atlantic Highlands on Monday. He caught the 59 inch, 58 pound striped bass from the surf somewhere in the Raritan Bay. The exact location and what kind of bait or lure he was using is not known, but it has the shore buzzing.

The bigger fish seem to be off the Shrewsbury Rocks and in other spots in the Raritan Bay. Plenty of smaller fish caught off Belmar beach in big numbers, but most were smaller fish up to 28 inches. The run of big stripers up and down the coast is still a good three or four weeks away. A lot of experienced guys will release these fish to breed and be caught another day. Numbers of these big fish off our coast in spring and fall have been dropping off pretty dramatically in the last few years.

Most guides and charter captains will encourage their clients to drop these big fish back in after a quick photo op, to keep this great sport going for years to come. Many already have their doubts that any kind of catches in the great numbers we saw at the beginning of the 2000's will be able to be maintained to come back again without further renewed regulation. These things can be cyclical and regulation, as much as we fisherman hate it sometimes, can keep this stock healthy and returning in great numbers to the Jersey Shore every spring.

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