Rods: St. Croix 8- to 9-foot Legend Surf moderately fast-action and 6 1/2-foot Premier Conventional MH fast-action. For butterfly jigging, Shimano 5-foot-8-inch Trevala or 5 1/2 -foot Spinal jigging rods. For fly rod, St. Croix 8- or 9-weight Legend Elite fast-action, or equivalent.
Reels: Shimano Stradic spinning reels and Avet SX conventional reels; Jack Charlton Mako 9500 fly reels.
Lines: Spool spinning reels with 40-pound Sufix braid, conventional reels with 20-pound Sufix Superior monofilament. On both, use 4 feet of 20-pound fluorocarbon leader tied to a Spro ball-bearing barrel swivel. Attach artificials to a Duo-Lock Coastlock snap or Tactical Anglers 175-pound clip.
Lures: Ava jigs 27 through 87, Stingofish PBJ 80- to 200-gram lead jigs, A.O.K. T-Hex metals, long Hopkins jigs, Shimano 5- to 9-inch butterfly jigs, and custom wood swimming plugs and poppers. For flies, Popovics's Jiggies, Bucktail Deceivers and Hollow Fleyes.
What: Striped bass.
When: First three weeks of December, the peak of southerly migration.
Where: Central New Jersey beaches and Monmouth and northern Ocean counties. Hub of focus is Manasquan. Quick and easy ocean access out of Will's Hole Marina, Manasquan Inlet, which is ideally located; go north to Sandy Hook or south to Island Beach State Park.
Capt. Jim Freda or Capt. Gene Quigley
Shore Catch Guide Service, Manasquan
Capt. Terry Sullivan
Flats Rat Guide Service, Point Pleasant