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Ristori: Some giant stripers are just to our south
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff

New Jersey anglers have seen a steady rise in the weight of striped bass caught locally over the past few years, and if what happened off Virginia this winter is any indication, there may be more trophy bass than ever before this spring.

Virginia has had some great early winter fishing in recent years, and lots of 50-pounders have been recorded. Yet, they couldn't break the 60-pound mark until this past January -- and then four were caught. Those records didn't last two months before Alvin Wimbrough caught a 66 1/2-pounder out of Rudee Inlet on March 4. That jumbo was 53 inches long with a massive 33 1/2-inch girth.
Unless netters to the south get at them first, we should be seeing some of the largest stripers in two decades when the northern migration brings them past our coast from mid-May into June. Hopefully, there will be enough bunkers around at that time to hold them and provide the great action we enjoyed last spring but with larger bass.
Will These Area's To Our South Be The Place
Where The Next New World Record Striped Bass Be Caught?

Here's Some Pictures and Info On The Latest Two
Big Boys That Have Been Taken-

January 3, 2005

State Record Striped Bass Landed

A 63-lb., 8-oz. striped bass caught on January 2nd by Paul W. Kleckner of Greenbackville has been certified as a new Virginia state record by the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament.

Kleckner caught his fish in the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Shore of Virginia, approximately 18 miles south of Wachapreague Inlet. He was fishing with Otis W. Evans, Jr. on the private boat White Bite. The record-setting striper, which measured 50.5 inches in length and had a girth of 33 inches, was fooled by a parachute lure dressed with a 4-inch white shad fished as the trailing bait of an umbrella rig.

They were trolling approximately 2 miles off the beach in area with a lot of bait and gannets sitting on the water when the record-setting striped bass struck. Kleckner fought the fish for almost 25 minutes before he was able to land it.


When is a commercial fisherman fishing for money and when is he fishing for fun? That is at the heart of a controversy over a 66-pound, 8-ounce striped bass caught by Alvin Wimbrough last week.

The weight of the fish easily tops the current Virginia record of 63 pounds, 8-ounces, but Wimbrough, of Virginia Beach, has been denied record status because he is a commercial fisherman. Rules of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament prohibit commercial hook-and-line fishermen from participating in the program.

Wimbrough swears he was fishing for fun. He and a group of friends ware aboard Capt. Paul Ewing?s charter boat, Fishing Fever. They were reported to be off Sandbridge.

Claude Bain, the tournament director, was adamant about the rule. ?We can?t get into the mind of a commercial fisherman when they go out on a trip,? he said. The rules, he said, were designed to keep a commercial fisherman from catching a big fish then saying he wasn?t fishing for money.

?This was a charter trip,? Wimbrough told the Virginian-Pilot.
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