Aside from shad showing up in the Delaware River, stripers too are on the run. And they’re also hitting along the Jersey coast.
Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle shop in Philadelphia have reported a few linesiders up to 40 inches were being caught in the Delaware downriver from the Philly airport to the Delaware Bay. There were also several 28-32 inch fish taken. Most anglers are enticing these hard fighters predominately with bloodworms while a few others are using bunker, as one customer did who hooked a 32-inch striper at the Tacony Bridge. One customer fished below the bridge with a top/bottom rig and double hooked a 41-inch striper that weighed 34 pounds.
Brinkman’s also heard of a few stripes being caught as far up as the Water Gap with locals picking up 3-8 fish an evening. Not far away from the Tacony, another angler said he was picking up smaller fish on bloodworms, but the perch were driving him crazy. At Trenton, decent size stripers in the 20-24-inch range were picked up on poppers, crankbaits and shad bodies.
At the Jersey shore, the Oyster Creek Cove area has been fishing good for small stripers but it’s expected larger ones will soon appear. In the Mullica River and at Crowley’s Landing Cove, stripes were hitting bloodworms and strips of clam.
Raritan Bay has produced some striper action with boat anglers trolling mojos, shad bodies and plugs like Yo-Zuri deep divers, Bomber CD’s, Mann’s Stretch and Rapala X-Rap’s. Anglers there say stripers have also been feeding on herring schools under diving gannets with plastics working on them as well.
If you’re looking for Jersey shore striper hotspots, in his book “Striper Hotspots,” fellow outdoor writer and book author Frank Daignault, lists the following popular Jersey locations starting at the southern most point to the northern most areas:
Cape May, Hereford Inlet (North Wildwood, NJ); Townsend’s Inlet (Sea Isle City and Avalon NJ); Corson’s Inlet (Strathmere, NJ); Absecon Inlet Plus (Atlantic City, NJ); Brigantine Inlet (Brigantine, NJ); Beach Haven-Hole Gate (Beach Haven, NJ); Long Beach Island, NJ; Barnegat Inlet South Jetty (Barnegat Light, NJ); Barnegat Inlet North Jetty (Island Beach State Park, NJ); Sedge Island-Barnegat Bay (Island Beach State Park, NJ); Island Beach (Island Beach State Park, NJ); Manasquan Inlet (Brielle/Point Pleasant, NJ); Manasquan to Long Branch (Jetty Country, NJ); Sandy Hook (Sandy Hook, NJ). While at Sandy Hook, you may want to stop in and see the Sandy Hook Marine Lab.
For those Pennsylvania anglers fishing Jersey saltwaters, The Fishing Wire reminds striper chasers that the Striped Bass Bonus Program is currently closed and will reopen Sept. 1, 2016. So if you have a 2015 permit, they are not valid in 2016. All 2015 permit holders must reapply to receive a 2016 permit. The number of permits issued will be limited at the Division’s discretion based on harvest reports and other factors to ensure the 2016 quota is not exceeded.
This program is intended to perpetuate the striped bass fishery and as such has allocated a commercial harvest quota of striped bass under the Striped Bass Interstate Fisheries Management Plan as administered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Since New Jersey doesn’t allow netting or sale of striped bass, this quota was transferred to the recreational fishing sector resulting in the origin of the SBBP.
The current allocation from ASMFC is 215,912 pounds to be distributed between individual anglers and party/charter boats. Should NJ overshoot this quota in 2016, any overage would be subtracted from the 2017 quota. Although this program does allow for the harvest of an additional striped bass for NJ anglers, the Division (of F&W) encourages catch-and-release whenever possible so this species can prosper for future generations.
The Division of Fish & Wildlife initiated this program in 1990 to allow the harvest of an additional striped bass for NJ recreational anglers. Although the program has been modified over the years, the main goal is to allow anglers to participate in the management process while enjoying their favorite recreational pastime.
If you’re not familiar with NJ regulations for striped bass in all state waters, it is as follows: One fish 28 inches to less than 43 inches and one fish 43 inches or greater. With a bonus permit, anglers can keep one fish 24 inches to less than 28 inches from Sept. 1 to December 31. And all stripers must be reported within 24 hours of harvest.
SHAD FISHERMEN’S NIGHT
The Delaware River Shad Fishermen’s Association is hosting their annual Shad Night April 20 at Se-Wy-Co Fire Company’s Social Hall in Bethlehem. The event gets underway at 7 p.m. and will feature longtime shad angler Kevin Ingram who will show a film screening of “They’re in the River.”
Ingram, who has been pursuing shad for over three decades, will share tips, techniques and tools essential for consistently catching shad on the Delaware River. He’ll also touch on the best locations for catching them as they make their way up the Delaware. The film screening is free with light refreshments, door prizes and vendors offering fishing and boating items for sale.
Se-Wy-Co is located at 3621 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bethlehem, 18015. For more information check www.drsfa.org or contact Mike Topping at firstname.lastname@example.org.