- Jan 15, 2019
Hopefully we will get an early season-
Striped bass and winter flounder seasons are back open in New Jersey. Fishermen are already on their trail.
Fishermen are already pulling keeper striped bass on the Toms River.
It could be that the mild weather has the bass out early. Dennis Palmatier at the Hook House in Toms River had reports of fishermen catching as many as 20 stripers on Sunday.
That's the day the season officially re-opened to the rivers and bays.
To be sure, almost all of these fish are undersized. But a few are hitting the 28-inch mark to be a keeper. Steven Gumeny, of Nutley, caught one of those keepers and shared the news with Palmatier.
Palmatier said the fish are hitting from the mouth of the river back to Beachwood and almost anywhere in between. His exact words were, "it doesn't matter" where you go. The fish have been biting morning and night.
Fishermen are having success with small plugs or lures like the Rapala X-Rap size 10 and 12 and five-inch Yo-Zuri Bombers.
The stripers are also nosing around for bloodworms. In fact, Gumeny's keeper was landed on a hi-low rig with bloodworms, according to the report he gave to the Hook House.
New striped bass rules
There's been some confusion as to when the new striped bass size and bag limits go into effect. They don't start until April 1, according to Addendum VI of Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic striped bass.
New Jersey's Marine Fisheries Council voted in February for one fish with a 28 to 38-inch size limit.
The other rule, mandatory circle hooks in the bait fisheries, doesn't go into effect until Jan. 1, 2021.