Author: Pinnacle Reef Shark Fishing
The team suited up to face extreme conditions as we embarked upon our journey to northern Jersey. Temperatures expected to plummet to below freezing at times, and a strong easterly wind was in full effect. Perfect time to target striped bass in the surf. With reports of silver sides and sand eels throughout the area we were on our way with slim profile imitations. Such as epoxy jigs with teasers, small bucktails, diawa sp minnows, cut bunker, clams, and plenty of Bullbuster flourocarbon.
A strong lead from a local bird watcher who was out early photographing birds informed us we were late. He witnessed multiple anglers hooking up on sizable stripers, a total blitz. Not exactly the news we hoped to hear. However, we layered up, and strapped the waders on. The walk was certainly one to remember as we stumbled along to a point at Sandy Hook. The temperatures were low 30's and no matter how many layers you had, it wasn't enough. We waded out to a large sandbar and began casting. Many hours and lure swaps later darkness began to cover the sky. Across the water sat New York City, shinning like thousands of stars floating on the water. We continued casting swapping out for bunker and clams. Temperatures fell even lower as we were forced to call it a night without a single bite.
The next morning proved unproductive at Sandy Hook. The defeating feeling of getting skunked crept in. A quick decision was made to pack up and head south to Seaside Heights. Casting in frigid temperatures, with howling winds, waist deep in water, piercing cold rain, and raging waters finally paid off. Teammate Joe was the first to hook up on a fat schoolie that hit the teaser on his rig. Excitement filled the cold air as we continued casting.
The sky gray and the ocean angry, the rain began to pickup. Teammate Elli suddenly got a hit. Her gloomy day turning around, landing another striper, this time the hit was on a jig. Quickly observing the amazing species before releasing. It made it all worth it. Targeting this species in those conditions was certainly a struggle. Walking on a sandy beach in waders alone was a nightmare. Adding rain, freezing temps, rough surf, and high winds into that equation definitely set the bar.
had one last morning to target the elusive species before heading back to
Maryland. As we arrived on the beach many anglers stood shoulder to shoulder
casting, with high hopes of a large rockfish. We lined up, carefully
reading the beach looking for possible holes or cuts in the bar. Each
team member continuously casting as we walked the shoreline throwing
different presentations. To master this fishery, one would be wise to take
advice from the Bullbuster slogan and spend more time fishing.
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