"There are more boats out here than cars in a Wal-Mart parking lot."
That was a radio message from a boat captain fishing for striped bass on Black Friday morning in the ocean off Long Beach Island, according to Margaret O'Brienat Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven.
O'Brien said the bass are mainly in the 14- to 15-pound class with some "not much more than 20 pounds." She said some of the captains and crews were using metal lures. Ocean conditions Friday morning were a lot better than the heavy swells of Thanksgiving Day.
Bass were also a mile or so off Brigantine on Friday.Andy Grossman from Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine said that some of the bass caught were 20- to 25-pounders.
Grossman said there were "a thousand" anglers out on the beach.
Rob Barrett kept up his own Thanksgiving Day tradition by catching a striped bass. In fact, his wife,Joan Barrett, said he caught two - one 28 inches and the other 34. And, by the way, it was Rob's birthday.
Joan also reported that George Mack of Somers Point won the Dolfin Dock fall striped bass tournament. He had a two-fish weight of 59.31 pounds. Tommy D'Angela of Longport was second at 53.36 and Tim Lenzch of Somers Point third at 41.35.
Noel Feliciano said Friday was a "bonus day" for fishing. He had reports at One-Stop Bait and Tackle in Atlantic City of a lot of tautog caught from the T-Jetty in Atlantic City. Plus, anglers fishing the Atlantic City rocks and Absecon Inlet are catching some bass and ling.
Mike O'Neill has been running the open/charterboat Stray Cat "non-stop" for two weeks out of Seaview Harbor Marina in Great Egg Inlet.
He said blackfish (tautog) are all over the wrecks in 45-85 feet of water.
Sea bass have moved farther off, out to a depth of 165-200 feet.
O'Neill said last Saturday that striped bass came down the beach. He saw birds flock over them, then he moved inshore and had bass and bluefish for 5½ hours.