While winter flounder anglers had their fill of action this week, striped bass hunters also dialed into plenty of action from the bay to the ocean.
We'll go north to south.
"Hot" fishing was reported from last weekend through this week on board the Golden Eagle out of Belmar. The crew battled Thursday's strong winds and, while marks were located, the bite was slow. Still, a few keepers were hauled over the rail.
South winds put a damper on the action aboard the Big Jamaica out of Brielle on Wednesday, but the crew had hoped for a rebound Thursday as the winds switched west. Nothing was heard on the results.
There were scaterred reports all week long about the surf bite, though few anglers participated due to the strong winds. That made the bay was a popular destination, with reports of bass being hooked at the Route 37 bridge in Toms River, according to the folks at Murphy's Hook House in Toms River.
The area near the bridge and Pelican Island is a great kayak fishing spot, but be sure to take extra precautions as the bay water is still chilly.
According to John at The Dock Outfitters in Seaside Heights, winter flounder were biting mainly north of the Mantoloking Bridge in Brick and close to Barnegat Inlet.
"Clam chum and bloodworms are still the ticket," he said in a report Thursday.
There were also some reports of flounder biting near the mouth of the Point Pleasant Canal on the Manasquan River side, indicating a quick migration this year.
Flounder action was slow-but-steady at Oyster Creek, most locals told me verbally this week.
The striped bass capital of our region, of course, is Long Beach Island.
"More birds dropping on bait this morning, one angler confirmed seeing herring," Oceanside Bait and Tackle owner Valerie Zak reported Thursday. "If your boat is in, go get 'em!"
Customers at the shop, located in the Brighton Beach section of Long Beach Township, reported shorts being caught up and down the island, but diving birds primarily working a mile offshore, out of reach of surf anglers.
On another note, we received a request from the state Department of Environmental Protection this week to remind anglers to register before they fish this year.
Everyone who fishes from their own boat, from a beach or anywhere but a paid charter or party vessel must register by law. The good part, of course, is that registration is free, and they send you a nifty card that's waterproof.
"The state's free saltwater fishing registry was a great success in its first year, with more than 250,000 people signing up," said Rich Boornazian, Assistant DEP Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources, in a statement. "Online registration remains a very simple process. It takes just a minute or two to register. The information gathered from the registry helps protect and manage our marine resources."
Head to this website to register.
In other random fishing-related musings, I came across this product while browsing an online Land Rover forum Thursday night. Many a 4X4 owner seems as if they could have benefited from it.
Any local reviews? The videos look mighty promising to avoid a costly tow off the beach.
The other question of the day -- to what PSI do you air down your tires for beach driving?