The ocean striped bass bite is becoming that on again / off again bite - just have to be in the right place at the right time when their ready to eat. The fluke bite in the bay is heating up as the water warms and we had some readings close to 74F - the only problem is the amount of snot grass in the bay. The trick to finding biting fluke is finding clean water - the bite drops off dramatically as the water gets snotted up.
Over the weekend - I had Matt Windover of Norristown, PA and buddies Francesco Deno and Charles Jacu on a striped bass charter. We ran as far as Mantaloking looking for feeding bass and fished bunker pod after bunker pod from the beach to the 3 mile line, but unfortunately the bass weren't cooperating. So we headed in and got the guys on some nice bluefish action for the remainder of the trip with rough inlet conditions.
I had the opportunity to be chartered by radio personality Tom P of "Rack and Fin radio" 97.3 FM for the RFA Bass River Fluke Tournament and had Denise Marie Theiler, Stan Gola of S&S Bucktails, along with my wife Jennifer Taylor. We fished very hard for 10 hours for the heaviest two fluke, hitting all of my choice spots, and put 5 fish in the boat. Stan Gola landed both big fish on the S&S Big Eye bucktail - putting a 5.04 lb and a 5.50 lb fluke in the box with a total team weight of 10.54. This was good enough for 4th place out of a field of 60 boats, though we missed second by a quarter of a pound. The snot grass and relentless wind with tide and against tide made for challenging fishing - but the crew did a fantastic job.
Now is the time for backbay fluking especially using light-tackle until the ocean temps start warming up for ocean fluking. We use light tackle gear and quality tackle on all of our backbay trips. June and July fluke dates are filling up, and after June 20th (school out) - I will run charters seven days a week. All tackle, bait, ice, fish-cleaning, etc is included on all chartered trips.