• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On May 3, 2019
  • Comments
  •  4

The first wave of spring bluefish has moved into Jersey waters.

It still remains to be seen what size class will dominate the rush, whether it be 6 to 8 pound choppers or the 10 to 20-pound gorillas, but you better be prepared when doing battle with the tackle busting yellow eyed demons. The best way to find the fish is to cover ground via boat.

Boat rods should be stout and have enough backbone to muscle in the lobheaded brutes. Generally a 7-foot Penn Rampage spinning rod rated for 30 to 50-pound matched with a Penn 6500 class reel has enough brawn to effectively be able to control a fish. Spool up the reel with 50-pound Power Pro Braid and Albright knot a 6-foot section of 50 to 60-pound TrikFish leader to which a 75-pound TA clip is Palomar knotted to the end. The clip allows for a quick switch out between plugs, poppers and metals.

From the perch of the boat deck, many lure offerings can be tossed to the rampaging blues, but whatever lure you choose, be sure to switch out the treble hooks for single hooks to prevent a messy situation of a hooked hand or body part from the thrashing blues once on deck. Top lures in my bag for blues include all Ava jigs from size 007 to A27, Deadly Dicks, Ocean Born Flying Popper, Bomber A-Salt plugs and the ol’ Atom popper.

Blue dogs will be running all through the Jersey waters along the coastline, entering the inlets and into the backwaters from May through June. It’s a run and gun affair as schools will blow up on bait pods but understand that when you hook one fish, there’s guaranteed to be dozens more with it. Launch lures out fast and furious and remember to keep the drags relatively tight enough to be able to steer and control the fish but loose enough for them to burn the drag on a ripping run and not snap your lure off. Blues will be blitzing at all times of day, so it doesn’t necessarily require the use of sick days off work. Enjoy the run!


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