These are three great months to be a fisherman at the Jersey Shore. The fish are on the move, and they are on the feed!
Striped bass and bluefish are the target. Both species are on the migration path and need to fatten up for their trek south. Best case scenario is finding flocks of birds, usually gulls or gannets, diving at the surface, The bass and blues are driving the baitfish to the surface and the birds are exploiting the oppurtunity. This is very exciting fishing. "Expecting to hook up" kind of fishing. There is no better feeling than casting into a visual scenario like this thinking to yourself "I'm probably going to hook up any second now". We cast 10 pound spinning outfits armed with jigheads and soft plastics like BKD's or Fin-S. We also have 20 class conventionals rigged with diamond jigs to vertical jig the bottom.
If there are no diving birds or heavy readings to jig we can go on the troll and cover some ground. On any given day, this can catch fish when nothing else works. We usually troll my homemade umbrella rigs, mojos, or bunker spoons.
If the bait is available and the conditions are right we can also drift with live spots, a small 4 to 6 inch croaker, that is an excellent striper bait. This bait works really well in the inlet and back bay on the days when the ocean is too rough to fish. Live spots are available from marina and bait shops in our area and carry an additional charge if you opt to bring them.