Thursday I had the chance to sneak in a last of season Striped bass trip out of Manasquan Inlet on the 80 foot Gambler docked in Point Pleasant. What a great boat! It’s not only pretty new but the design is great. The boat is FAST an can cruise in excess of 25 knots. The space between the rail and the benches is extra wide. No tripping over gear, other fishermen and hoses. Todd and Ron as mates are great.They are very helpful and worked hard for the 20 passengers on board.
Capt. Bob Bogan found the fish. He headed south and cruised toward Island Beach State Park. He finally found fish just north of Barnaget Inlet. At first there were plenty of shorts. Some really short, in the 20 inch range. Bogan kept moving around and finally found larger fish. About half the boat got a keeper. I was lucky and had two plus a bunch of “nearly legal fish.” Everyone caught something. Surprisingly there were even a few jumbo Blue Fish mixed in even though the water seems too cold for them.
The most dramatic part of the trip was the cruse Home. Bogan hugged the shoreline on the way north. We passed close to the hundreds of houses in places like Seaside heights, Ortley Beach, Mantaloking, Point Pleasant, etc. Nothing survived Sandy. Everything in site was smashed into pieces. Giant houses snapped in pieces. Monstrous piles of sand.
As I explained in my previous post, “Winterizing Your Boat”, I live in the shore area and had storm damage. I have been struck by the neighborhood damage that was worse than mine. However, the entire passenger group on the gambler hugged the rail and stood in silence as we starred at the devastation along the ocean. It was only then that I realized how bad that storm really was. It is truly heartbreaking to see what our state, our neighbors, are still trying to recover from with Hurricane Sandy. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you, and remember… Stay Jersey Strong.