Finally had a day yesterday that coincided with calm winds, so we decided to run out and give it a shot. We planned on hitting the rips first, but the water was so dirty coming out of the canal we chose to head west instead, and set up at one of our honey holes out in the middle of the bay. We dropped fresh clam (now I'm really slumming it) on the bottom and it took just a few minutes before we had our first runoff. For the next 5 hours we had fish pretty consistently, with several "hot" periods with double and even triple headers! Only slow period was during the slack. Stopped counting at 20 fish, and we caught quite a few more after that. Had to leave 'em chopping, which is something I really hate to do. All fish were 10-20 pounds, and extremely healthy and energetic. Water was 43/44 and very clean out there in the middle of the bay. Pretty much a repeat of our last trip in mid-December, and the fish looked exactly the same. Same fish, I think.
For anyone fishing clams, I'd really recommend the use of circle hooks. Those fish suck those things down so quickly it's hard to get 'em set in the lips.
On the way out, saw some fish popping in the back bay, too. Coerced a strike from one on a jig, but dropped him. Water in the back was 41 in the morning, but warmed to 48 in the afternoon well into the ebb.
Go get 'em, guys. I'll be enjoying my fresh striper dinner tonight! Hopefully I'll see some of you at the NJ RFA meeting in Toms River.