May and June off the Jersey Shore signals the arrival of the Chesapeakes breeder bass. These bass are 20-60 pounds and HUNGRY!  The acres of Atlantic Menhaden that gather along the Garden States shorelines provide a well needed re charge and fattening session for these Mothers. They will stay glued to these bunkers until water temps go over 70 or so, and then many continue to move Northward to the cooler water temps in New England.
Unfortunately, at this time, springtime anglers have readied boats tackle, cast nets and snag hooks. Recreational anglers have suffered a long hard winter and they are ready to go fishin!  The usual method of targeting these big bass that loaf under the bunker schools is by live lining a live bunker deep and swimming them along. Some anglers use just the head and let it sit on the bottom. On my boat, we use circle hooks which keep the hook out of the gullet and pinned to the corner of the mouth to allow for a quick unhooking, photo and release.
The choice of whether to kill or not to kill is up to the individual angler, but there is a surprising trend that is getting worse each spring. Many new anglers on the water have a unique opportunity these days and unlike those of us that had to teach ourselves, a quick internet search and you too can be hauling a cow over the gunnel in no time.