Anglers on the Ocean-Monmouth border are the lucky ones.
For many years, I kept my boat at Cove Haven Marina – now Lightning Jack's III – on the Manasquan River in Brick.
These days, I'm docked in Manahawkin, but the Manasquan has always offerred an amazing fishing experience. You have the best of the "bay," and quick access to the ocean through one of the most "user friendly" inlets on the eastern seaboard at Manasquan.
Why am I heralding the Manasquan? Flounder, that's why!
An unusually warm spring has accelerated the migration of winter flounder, and reports this week indicate they're traversing the Point Pleasant Canal into the river. Once the fish make it to the Manasquan, it's a B-Line to the ocean, but check out deep water holes in the river adjacent to the main channels to see what's biting. The mouth of the canal is also an option, though it is illegal to anchor there (the Coasties will tell you if you don't believe me!).
There have also been reports of blackfish in the canal this week. No details on size or number. Anecdotally, from my own experience, use smaller clam strips to entice the tog. Big bites of greenies or whiteleggers ain't their style.
As for bass, most of the linesiders are still out of reach of surf anglers. Boaters have been nabbing them about a mile off the beach. Trolling bunker spoons has been successful between Barnegat Inlet and Bay Head this week, reports said.
Aboard the Jamaica II party boat, which sails from Brielle, ling was the primary catch.
Lonnie Thompson of Jersey City caught 37 ling on a recent trip. Check out the boat's website for the latest schedule on trips.
On local beaches, bass catches were reported on and off. Nothing steady, but at the same time, action was randomly reported from most towns. Putting in one's time often resulted in a hit of some sort.
For those anglers willing to travel to the southern part of Ocean County, action has been diverse at Graveling Point. Bass and drum have been hooked in the area, according to a report from Scott's Bait and Tackle in Little Egg Harbor.
"Both bunker and herring are moving up the river," a report said Thursday. "It's just the luck of the draw that you're there when the next wave of bait and bass move through."