This is the time of the year to start checking on the progress of striped bass possibly moving down from the more northern stretches of water.

Ray Kerico at Grumpy’s Bait and Tackle in Seaside Park sounded upbeat when he got on the phone with the local scribe Monday afternoon and said it looks like it “is finally starting to happen.”

He said he thinks the storm that blasted through Friday into Saturday may have “shaken them up.”

He said they are getting keeper-size catches with a lot of short bass in the ocean off Seaside Park. He said the local captains who reported back Monday said they were fishing with bucktails.

Alex Komdas said from Reel Seat in Brielle that those bass are “one step closer” to moving big time into New Jersey waters.

He said one of the captains out Monday reported catching a 44-inch bass off Red Bank. Last week, Komdas reported bass at Shrewsbury Rocks.

Dave Showell was out there pitching Monday with one customer on his guide service out of Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon. Dave said he got blown around but connected with eight striped bass, and a couple of them were slot fish that they kept.

Dave said he was casting lures up against the sod banks from the backwaters in Absecon Bay to Great Bay.

He said the lures were spooking small bait fish he called “white bait” that splashed. He said that “white bait” term was once used by the old-timers to describe what probably are bay anchovies or rain fish.