The Moniot family put the hurt on Staten Island’s bass—striped and largemouth–population last week. Above, Jack and Patrick hung a beautiful largie at Orbach Lake after working a black worm around lilly pads. The big bucketmouth took a little coaxing, but when he hit…it was FISH ON! The boys reveled in the catch and Dad…well he knows that it is a memory that will last.

Not that he did too badly himself just few days later. After putting in hard time looking for them the first weeks of the season, Jan Moniot hit for an epic night/early morning this past week.

Bunker chunked and dead-sticked on both sides of the tide was the menu for the night and while the other poles around him were harassed for 6 hours but nothing hooked up…

Jan managed to drive 4 hooks home and come up with all four stripers in the 20-22 lbs range. He went home, well past midnight, tired but with a smile on his face.

Both the surf and the boats are finding a solid group of big fish around the waters. Reports are of big spring weaks from boats, but nothing from the surf. Blues, to 12 lbs, have been caught and will be on the prowl now as will these bigger bass. Bunker, snagged and dropped or chunked, is it. Worms and clams have fallen out of favor with these eaters. That said, you wouldn’t be wrong to float a sandworm looking for weakfish. From the surf, two rods—one wire and one fluoro—will get the job done as that these big bass have proven to be wily and wire shy. Trolling soft baits will cost you more than you’ll get with gorilla blues around. Try top-waters near bunker pods or even faster worked silver, AVA’s or Deadly Dicks, might do it. Personally, I’d stick with live or freshly chunked.

From the lakes and ponds, cold nights and warm days will have the largemouths hitting mid-day. They will take their time to wake up, but when they do…they’ll be hitting on anything shiny and noisy…spinners in white are a good call…worked in and out of the shade. Once the day wears on, drop a Carolina rigged worm into the cover and you might find a moss-back willing to bite. As always, sunnies are a good bet with the kids, but for a true thrill try a little corn for carp. Nothing beats seeing one of this over-sized gold fish come up through the mud.