It happens every spring and fall. Fishermen (and women) line the beaches up and down the New Jersey coast hoping to land “that big one.”
Plenty more are out in boats from close to the beach to about 3 miles out. That’s the legal line you can’t cross or you’re now in federal waters.
The rules, regulations, and limitations have become far more complicated in the last couple of decades. Currently, a fisherman can only keep one per fish day, and that fish has to be between 28 and 38 inches.
Other people in the boat can catch one each as well.
Right now striper fishing is hot and heavy from Sandy Hook down to Seaside Heights. There’s a lot of action over by the north jetty of the Barnegat Inlet. It’s a good situation in the Raritan Bay further north as well.
Like many things in the state, things are broken down into two groups. North and south. Fishing gets hot at different times in both parts of the shore.
South would be anywhere from Long Beach Island down to Cape May. North would be from Island Beach State Park up to Sandy Hook.
Rarely do fishermen cross these boundaries, but if the other side is hot, they might burn the gas to get there.
You have a much better chance of catching a striper from a boat whether you have a full network of friends out there who know where the bite is at any particular moment of the day, or you’re just good at following the birds and boats. You’ll probably do well on any given day this time of year.
If you don’t have access to a boat, go down to a local tackle shop at the beach. Pick yourself up some waders, lures and tackle that works, a surf pole, and pole holder, and give it a shot.
If you don’t catch right away, you might just get hooked on the solitude and the feeling of it all.
The spring striper season is a great thing to experience whether you’re a veteran fisherman or novice. And if you’re not a fisherman at all you just might get hooked more easily than the striper the day you go the first time.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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