Wed., Nov. 22, 2017
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-17-16


<b>Sewaren</b>

Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing was still peaking, said Rich from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. He hopes the angling lasts another two weeks, and the fish were boated including at the Triangle, but also throughout the bay. They were trolled on Mojos, sometimes on Stretch plugs, not so much on umbrella rigs. Sometimes umbrellas with rubber shads caught. All of that is stocked. The fish were also taken in other ways including on eels and bunker chunks at different places from the bay. That bait and also fresh clams are stocked. Stripers were also hung from the Arthur Kill north of Outerbridge Crossing. Bluefish were also tackled from the bay. Six became the blackfish bag limit beginning Wednesday, and good fishing for them was reported. Green crabs are stocked for blackfish. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, north of Outerbridge Crossing, is accessible from land and from the water at the fuel dock.

<b>Keyport</b>

Good striped bass fishing was socked on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Monday’s trip cranked in bonus-tag bass and keepers. Fishing was weathered out Tuesday. Wednesday’s trip mauled all big stripers, including releasing many large females. The anglers got to watch gannets diving and whales feeding on bunker schools. “The fall bass run is now in full swing,” Frank wrote, and is shaping up to be a gem. An open-boat trip will fish 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Black Friday with Capt. T.J. at the helm. Call to reserve. See photos on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/vitaminseafishing/" target="_blank">Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page</a>.

For the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, striped bass fishing was excellent on Raritan Bay, Capt. Mario said. Quite a few 30-pound-class were hauled aboard yesterday, and trips caught on rubber shads and jigs. But yesterday’s trip hooked-up on livelined bunker. Open-boat trips are fishing for stripers daily on the Down Deep Bull, one of the company’s two boats, both 40 feet. On the Down Deep, the other vessel, open trips began blackfishing daily yesterday, because the bag limit was increased to six, from the previous one. The tautog fishing began slowly, because a rainstorm dirtied the water. But once that cleared, the fishing became pretty good. The catch included a couple of 10-pounders. So fishing’s very exciting now, Mario said. Charters are available, and both boats feature heated cabins, full galleys and large cockpits for comfort and room. Join the <a href=" http://downdeepsportfishing.com/short-notice-list/" target="_blank">Short Notice List</a> on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about special open trips.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Blackfishing was kicked off Wednesday on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The bag limit was increased to six beginning that day, from the previous limit of one, and the fishing was nice. All anglers reeled in the tautog, and one limited out. Just a few jumped aboard, and forecasts called for rougher weather but were wrong. Weather turned out to be some of the better, and was warm with calm wind.  The Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Green crabs are supplied, and white crabs are carried aboard when available. <b>***Update, Thursday, 11/17:***</b> Blackfishing wasn’t great on the boat today, Tom said. More of the fish, mostly throwbacks, were picked in the final hour, at a new area, than earlier in the trip. Action was better there, but the fishing definitely wasn’t as good as yesterday’s aboard. “We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” he said. “We’ll give it hell again tomorrow.”

Big bass and blues and lots of action! a report said about yesterday on the <b>Fishermen</b> on the party boat’s website. The fishing began with gannets working the water all over. “Only managed a couple fish,” it said, though different areas were fished. Way too many baitfish filled the water, and two whales surely scared the heck out of stripers. But when outgoing tide began, the bite turned on – turned on hard – like the flip of a switch. Keeper and bonus stripers to 28 pounds and blues to 22 were jigged. Tuesday’s trip fished in the snot, bad weather, an understatement. Hard rain fell, strong north wind blew and seas were rough on the bay in the morning. A few hardy souls showed up to fish aboard, and a couple of drifts gave up good-sized stripers to the 18-pound pool-winner. The high hook landed seven, keeping no more than a limit. Fishing rubber shads was tough in the wind, but the trip got the day in, returning with happy customers. On Monday’s trip, stripers went nuts crashing bunker, making white-water, and the crew went crazy netting stripers for customers. Shads and livelined bunker caught, and an 18-pound striper won the pool. Don’t wait long! the report said. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Boaters pounded striped bass well on Raritan Bay, including on trolled Mojos and bunker spoons, said Chris from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. They eeled great catches of the bass in evenings at the Sandy Hook Rips off Sandy Hook Point. Big bluefish shoved into the bay. Giants were seen from party boats. A few stripers were also taken on the party boat trips, and the bass were there, if anglers could fish through the blues. Customers bought big jigs – Ava 67s and 87s – and large crocs for the angling. Stripers and blues popped up in the surf often, like from Sandy Hook to Asbury Park. He beached two of the bass on a trip on a white bucktail with a pink RonZ tail. All anglers on the beach fought big bluefish on the trip. Something heavy like Chris’s bucktail could hook stripers underneath the blues. Raritan Bay’s shore anglers also banked stripers and blues, including from Leonardo to Keansburg. Decent blackfishing was party boated, and six per angler could be bagged beginning Wednesday, after one was the previous limit. The fishing was better last week, apparently because rough weather including rain and wind Tuesday dirtied the water. But the water should clear. The shop, new this year, is the sister store to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, and is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, near the party, charter and private boats.

<b>Highlands</b>

<b>Lady M Charters</b> had been blackfishing from Brooklyn, and began fishing from Highlands on Wednesday for the tautog, Capt. Steve said. The trip made three drops, and each gave up life, and by the end, the anglers limited out and released additional. A 6-pounder was biggest, but Steve couldn’t complain, and the anglers left happy, he said. The trips had fished from Brooklyn because four is New York’s bag limit for the tog. They began fishing from New Jersey because the limit was lifted to six beginning that day in the state, from the previous limit of one. More of the trips were slated for today and the next days, and the boat is pretty busy now. Open-boat trips and charters are sailing.

<b>Belmar</b>

Jumbo bluefish and striped bass to 25 and 30 pounds were lit up Monday, good fishing, on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website.  No report was posted for Tuesday, maybe because of weather. Wednesday’s trip put stripers in the boat, though getting stripers to bite was tough, and the trip covered lots of ground, and fished overtime a couple of hours. Today’s trip had a couple of shots at fish and picked large blues, but fish “did not want to eat,” it said.  Back at it tomorrow, it said. The Golden Eagle is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Trips limited out on under striped bass 31 to 41 inches every day aboard, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. No overs bit lately, but the fishing was awesome, and the fish were good-sized. Yesterday’s trip had an hour of insane fishing for them, and all anglers hooked up. Trips clocked the bass on livelined bunker and trolled Mojos, either in morning or afternoon. Every day was different, and trips found them at different places. Big bluefish also snapped on some days, not others. None did yesterday, and plenty of bait and whales swam the water on trips. Pete was excited that good-sized stripers were still around. When schoolies show up in December, Parker Pete’s has bonus tags to bag them.  Plenty of spaces are available in December on weekdays and a couple of weekends for fishing for stripers and blackfish. The blackfish bag limit was raised yesterday, and Parker Pete’s will keep striper fishing for now. But a couple of blackfish charters are booked.  Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway about individual spaces available on charters. Sign up for the email blast on <a href=" http://www.parkerpetefishing.com/" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

 A good mix of porgies, sea bass, blackfish, blues and winter flounder were shoveled aboard the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. Anglers averaged maybe 15 to 50 fish apiece, a mixed bag. The fishing was good, and on some days, the porgy fishing was especially good, including yesterday. Most of the trip’s anglers bucketed 20 to 30 porgies apiece and six or eight sea bass. On Monday’s trip, some anglers limited out on 50 porgies apiece. Six, eight or 10 sea bass per angler wasn’t uncommon on trips. A few blackfish were bagged on the trip yesterday, when the bag limit was lifted to six, from the previous limit of one. A few customers, not a lot, fished for them. Tuesday’s trip was weathered out. Mondays and Wednesday’s trips boated 5-pound bluefish. Over the weekend, some monster blues nearly 20 pounds were batted aboard. Trips fished in 100 to 120 feet of water, and the ocean was 58 to 60 degrees there. The Dauntless is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

What a beautiful season’s first day of blackfishing yesterday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The bag limit was yanked up to six that day, from the previous limit of one, and the trip picked some of the tautog. Not great, but anglers who worked for them, and cast around, got bites. High hooks limited out, some anglers bagged one to four apiece “and a few had a tough day,” it said. Green crabs and white crabs both caught. The fishing can only get better, and trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Green and white crabs are carried aboard.

Some big striped bass to more than 30 pounds were beaten Sunday on the <b>Gambler</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. But anglers needed to work for them. “… it was a matter of being in the right place at the right time,” it said. More bluefish than stripers were axed Saturday aboard. Catches were the opposite Sunday. Another one of the trips was slated for Monday, but no report was posted for that at press time. An overnight tuna trip was slated for Tuesday to Wednesday, and a report was yet to roll in about that, too. That was the year’s final tuna trip scheduled aboard, according to the site at press time. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <a href=" http://www.gamblerfishing.net/offshore-sea-bass.php" target="_blank">Offshore sea bass trips</a> are scheduled for Dec. 17-30.

<b>Toms River</b>

An angler today kayaked slammer blues on the ocean off Seaside Heights and Park, and saw two striped bass pasted on a boat on bunker snagged and then livelined in the blitz, said Mario from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. See photos of the blues, and another angler reported beaching big blues from the surf recently, but that was unconfirmed. Surf fishing had been slow locally, but some stripers were cracked at night and at first light on artificials recently. Anglers hoped that was the tip of stripers migrating south from farther north in the state, where the surf fishing was good. The artificials included metal: Jetty Ghost rainfish, minnows and slims; AOK PB-40’s; Hopkins and Kastmasters. They also included swimming lures including Daiwa SP Minnows, Shimano Coltsnipers, Mambo Minnows and Baker lures. Pencil poppers and Polaris poppers also worked, especially when baitfish pushed into the water. But blind-casting them couldn’t hurt. At night, SP’s in Blurple with a teaser worked. Boaters scored stripers well on the troll and on snagged bunker on the ocean. On the troll on the ocean, Mojos, bunker spoons and umbrella rigs caught. A 35-pounder was weighed-in this week that was boated on a Yozuri Mag Darter from the ocean. Mario played stripers consistently on Barnegat Bay at certain spots during evenings. Good blackfishing was clubbed at jetties and ocean wrecks, and green crabs are stocked for them. Six became the blackfish bag limit beginning Wednesday, from the previous limit of one. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

That’s a little better! a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website.  Catches of keeper striped bass erupted in the surf Tuesday in the middle of the day in heavy seas, mostly from Ortley Beach to Seaside Heights, during an especially low tide. The fish finally swam within casting range, after local surf-fishing was a pick previously. The surf’s temperature and bait in the ocean would normally be expected to hold the bass in the surf much better than recently. Persistence was the answer for catching them, while the angling was slow. The action that day supported the theory that you just needed to fish and be there to catch. This is the season, “and you can’t catch from home,” the report said. Popping plugs, swimming lures, bucktails and rubber shads grabbed the fish.  The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing and, in season, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals.

<b>Forked River</b>

Boaters trolled striped bass off the Seaside Pipe on the ocean, said Bryan from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. Lots of blues schooled the ocean. One of the crew from the shop who works on weekends told Bryan 18-pound blues stormed inside Barnegat Inlet. Boaters on the radio today talked about lots of bait in the ocean. Livelined spots hooked stripers along the north side of Barnegat Inlet’s north jetty. The first hour of incoming tides reportedly produced, and someone today reported seeing the bass livelined on spots there. Some big stripers were eeled from Barnegat Bay at Oyster Creek Channel and along Sedge Islands in evenings on outgoing tides. Blackfish were picked from Garden State Reef North, and the bag limit became six of the tautog Wednesday, from the previous limit of one. Eels and green crabs are stocked. A bushel of clams is expected tomorrow. Killies are still carried. Gulps are on sale for 50 percent off, probably until Christmas.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Striped bass fishing was terrible during the weekend locally on the ocean, said Capt. Ted from the <b>Super Chic</b>. But it bounced back and was very good since Monday. A trip whacked them that day aboard on livelined bunker that caught the big bass and spots that caught the smaller. No bluefish were mixed in yet, and they were yet to migrate south to local waters. Boaters to the north in the state had big bluefish mixed in with stripers. Those vessels nailed the bass during the weekend, far north. The Super Chic during the weekend fished more than 10 miles north of Barnegat Inlet, and the angling was slow. Boats more than 10 miles north of there smoked the catches. Radio talk was killing Ted, he said. The season’s first blackfish trip isn’t slated for a while. A friend blackfished Wednesday, when the bag limit was raised to six, from the previous limit of one, and the fishing was relatively slow. Only two dozen keepers were landed, and the trip fished lots of drops. Blackfishing seemed yet to ramp up locally for the season.

Loads of striped bass were seen at <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>, Vince Sr. said. They came from the ocean, boated on livelined spots and on bunker snagged and then livelined. But they also came from Barnegat Bay, where the spots drilled them. Bay boaters could be seen fishing for them right off the shop. Lots of blackfish came in. They chomped at ocean wrecks but also along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks, on green crabs. Okay catches of sea bass were clammed from the ocean. Many fish were caught in past days. Live spots and green crabs are stocked. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and, in season, boat and kayak rentals. The shop is known for bait supply, including live baits in season.

The <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> is fishing for striped bass Fridays through Sundays on the ocean, but the crew sailed on their private boats yesterday there, the party boat’s Facebook page said. They landed sizable stripers on livelined bunker among good-sized schools of bunker, and also jigged some of the bass. A boater from the dock today slammed big bluefish and some stripers on the ocean, so blues were in, too. Bring jigs, crocs and bunker-snagging hooks on the trips. Gold caught best on the crew’s trips yesterday. The Miss Barnegat Light is sailing for stripers 7 a.m. Fridays through Sundays. A trip will also fish for them at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

<b>Barnegat</b>

From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “Crazy bass run so far. We had big bass on bunker for a few weeks, followed by five days of no fish anywhere, followed by lots of bunker and big bass from Manasquan Inlet to points north. Now they're here in our backyard off Island Beach State Park, and these aren't even migratory fish! These big fish on bunker are just a bonus that we’ve had for at least three fall runs in a row. Most of the fish we’re catching are on snagged bunker in close to the beach. They’re weighing anywhere from the high teens to 30-plus pounds. This is not a fishery you want to miss, because any minute now, the migratory run is going to collide with this bunker run, and we’ll be catching all sizes of fish on varied techniques, from snagging to casting lures with some trolling mixed in. From now to Christmas, this is not a time to wait for reports. It's the time to make reports. Running open-boat or charter at 11 a.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Monday. Six-hour trips (usually longer). Three people max on open trips. Can do four on charters. All fish are shared.”

<b>Mystic Island</b>

“Come on down, (darn) it,” Scott from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b> said about fall’s southern striped bass migration. Plenty of the fish schooled farther north in the state, and the wait was on for them to arrive locally. Lots of green crabs were sold today to anglers planning to blackfish tomorrow. Blackfish should bite in the ocean, and they surely hit in the bay, like along the sod banks, because they were reeled from along Barnegat Inlet’s jetties. But the deeper anglers fish, the bigger the tautog will be. Blackfish will depart back waters including along the sod banks and jetties as water cools, migrating to the ocean. Six became the blackfish bag limit beginning Wednesday, from the previous limit of one. Customers also bought clams for sea bass fishing on the ocean. They might as well fish for both blackfish and sea bass in a trip. No customers reported trying for white perch or stripers on Mullica River. Green crabs, fresh clams, fresh bunker, eels and bloodworms are stocked. 

<b>Absecon</b>

The back bay’s striped bass fishing slowed in cold weather and chilled water last Thursday to Saturday, said Tanner from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. But the angling picked back up and was very good in past days. Charters with Capt. Dave, the shop’s owner, bombed them well. His trips mostly fish with Gulp Nemesis on jigheads, and sometimes swim live baitfish. Live spots are stocked, and live mullet died that had been carried, because the baitfish pass away when water drops to a certain temperature. Live peanut bunker ran out sometime ago. On the ocean, a striper was boated here and there off Atlantic City and Brigantine. But not many were at all. Anglers waited for fall’s southern migration there. Tanner saw a photo of stripers from a boater who fishes farther north, from Barnegat Inlet. Some good fishing for stripers happened from there recently. Many customers bought green crabs to fish for blackfish along jetties, and no results were heard. Tanner had been away from the shop recently. But he knew that water was a little dirty the past couple of days. Blackfish bite best in clear water. Baits stocked also include fresh bunker and clams.

<b>Brigantine</b>

A 43-pound striped bass was weighed from the surf last Thursday, a 39-pounder was on Friday morning and a 29-pounder was on that evening, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. That looked like the surf’s striper fishing would be good last weekend, but it was slow. It was slow this week, too. Bunker were reported schooling off Absecon Inlet’s south jetty today, but no stripers were reported caught among them. But the back bay’s striper fishing was good. Fred from the shop got into them on a trip, and customer Joe Jr. and another customer also smashed them on trips. Live bait hit the fish.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

For the first time in five years, blackfish held along Absecon Inlet’s rocks, were yet to migrate to the ocean, when the bag limit was increased for the season, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. The limit was increased to six beginning Wednesday, from the previous limit of one, and many blackfish bit along the rocks. The keepers weighed 3 or 4 pounds, and the angling was good. “It’s wonderful, so,” he said. Mostly green crabs, sometimes clams, caught. Customers fish the nearby, jetty-lined inlet on foot. Good-sized stripers were sometimes hooked along the inlet, and eels and fresh bunker caught them best. Lots of schoolies swam the water. A 22.9-pound 39-incher was weighed today at the shop from the T-jetty, on the ocean end of the inlet. The catch swam the surf there. Kingfish were winged from the inlet, only occasionally. Much baitfish schooled the inlet, including herring, peanut bunker and pods of mullet. Weakfish schooled the surf at times from the Taj Mahal to Ventnor. Anglers often thought they were baitfish. All the baits mentioned and more, the full supply, are stocked.   ***Big Heads Up:*** Noel began a <a href="http://acprimetime.com/atlantic-city-fishing-petition-jetty-access/" target="_blank"><b>petition</b></a> for anglers <b>to protest the government’s planned closing of fishing the jetties along the inlet</b>. Click the link to read and sign it. The government recently said access will be granted, after Noel began to spearhead the protest. But until the government makes that official, the protest needs to continue.

<b>Egg Harbor Township</b>

Striped bass that had been boated off Brigantine were no longer reported, said Austin from <b>24-7 Bait & Tackle</b>. Many stripers were boated farther north in the state, and local anglers waited for the migration to swim south. A photo was posted on <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/24-7-Bait-Tackle-277925829654/" target="_blank">24-7’s Facebook page</a> showing two stripers weighed-in Monday from the north. “Seaside was on fire (that day),” the boater commented on the post.  A customer kayaked smaller stripers on the bay along 9th Street Bridge at Rainbow Channel. Customers bought many green crabs for blackfishing. No results were heard, but six became the blackfish bag limit starting Wednesday, from the previous limit of one. Customers also bought eels and fresh bunker for striper fishing. Live spots are also stocked, and fresh clams will probably be carried for the weekend. <b>The company also owns 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora</b>.

<b>Longport</b>

A 16-pound blackfish won the pool, and a couple of 14-pounders and a couple of 12-pounders were also iced yesterday on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. The bag limit was jacked up to six that day, from the previous limit of one, and trips began to target the tautog then. Though big were caught on the trip – a few smaller ones, 3-pounders, were, too – the angling was a slow pick. “Let’s call it a super-moon pick,” he said. They bit early in morning on a slow chew. After 11 a.m., the fishing kind of fell apart in that area. Some were snagged, not hooked in the lips, after noon. Then a few sizable sea bass and a couple of tog gave up a good bite closer to shore at wrecks 12 miles off. Next, one big blackfish was heaved aboard at the corral bottom, and not another fish hit. Hermit crabs caught the blackfish well. The big blackfish might’ve been caught because the anglers were skilled. Mike wasn’t attributing the size to anything he did. Open-boat trips are blackfishing every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Book early, because the trips are filling, because open trips aren’t running daily, like in the past. Wednesday is the next open trip with space available. Room remains for an open trip 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving, a shorter trip than usual, so anglers can get back for dinner. Room also remains for a full-day, open trip the next day, Black Friday. Many birds worked bait on the water 8 to 12 miles from shore around the boat during the whole trip. Striped bass might’ve schooled there. Mike’s also trying to put together an open sea bass trip offshore in December, maybe Dec. 17, if anglers are interested. 

<b>Ocean City</b>

Tons of blackfish snapped along 9th Street Bridge’s piers in the back bay and along the Ocean City/Longport Pier, said Justin from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. None was heard about from jetties, and the fish were only reported from those two places. Six blackfish per angler could be bagged beginning Wednesday, after one was the limit previously. Nothing was reported about blackfishing on the ocean. But customers planned to sail for them today and tomorrow there. Little was reported from the ocean, but a 39-1/2-pound striped bass was weighed-in this week, and the angler said the trip boated a few off Brigantine, just inside 3 miles from the coast. Those were the only striper catches reported from the ocean. Not much was mentioned about surf fishing, but sometimes small stripers were angled along surf jetties on soft-plastic lures. Small stripers were also played along bridges at night on plastics. Some anglers tied into them along the bay’s sod banks on plastics. No bait was reported catching the stripers at either place.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Blackfishing was good, not bailing them, but decent, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. That was both at structure like jetties and on the ocean at wrecks and reefs, and lots of green crabs and white crabs were sold for the angling. The bag limit was raised to six of the tautog beginning Wednesday, from the previous limit of one. Striped bass fishing on the back bay reeled in the most catches, a good mix of throwbacks and keepers. Livelined spots hooked them best, if anglers fished bait. Soft-plastic paddle-tails like Bass Assassins and Z-Man’s worked best, if anglers chucked lures. Surf fishing was yet to kick in for the season, for the most part. But anglers hoped the surf’s striper fishing would pick up within a week or two. Only very few stripers were trolled on the ocean. He couldn’t say none was, but anglers waited for the migration. Crabs were still trapped.

Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>, fished from Puerto Rico last weekend, he said. That was covered in the last report here, and he’ll next fish this weekend from Sea Isle. He hopes to search for striped bass on the ocean. Weather looks good Saturday for that, and he hopes forecasts improve for Sunday. If conditions allow, he could also wreck-fish. Stripers are surely active in the back bay, and that’s an option, too. Those are younger, juvenile fish, yet to migrate. On the ocean, he’d look for mature stripers migrating south for the season, if they arrived. One of his trips released a 45-incher on the ocean a couple of weekends ago, reported previously here. He’s angled the bay’s bass as late as January, though the fishing becomes slower, the later the season becomes. Looking ahead, Joe will run annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys this winter. The trips mostly fish on weekends and can be like a mini-vacation. Anglers can arrive on a Friday evening, fish all day Saturday and part of Sunday, return Sunday evening, and be back to work Monday. Or they can do a different schedule. A large variety of catches can be targeted, from redfish, speckled sea trout and snook to tarpon, sailfish and blackfin tuna. See the <a href=" http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters’ page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. 

<b>Cape May</b>

A trip is supposed to run for striped bass Saturday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. Another is slated for Sunday, but might be weathered out. A few stripers were boated from the ocean in range of Cape May. George will see whether more showed up. Trips are also sea bass fishing, and that’s been good, 30 miles from shore. Many throwbacks were sorted through, but plenty of keepers were bagged. A friend sailed for blackfish Wednesday, when the bag limit was tugged up to six, from the previous limit of one, and George waited to hear results. Heavy Hitter sails for the tautog later in the year.

Daily blackfishing was launched Wednesday, when the bag limit was increased, on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. Just a few anglers climbed aboard, and the fishing wasn’t great, and none of the customers limited out, but a couple bagged five: Matt Lamelza from Ocean City, who won the pool with a 4-pounder; and Kevin Moran from Cinnaminson. Maybe more anglers will jump aboard when weather becomes too cold for them to use private boats. Lots of private boats fished, and the trip first fished at the reef. Not much bit, so the trip then fished other spots. Loads of anglers were seen fishing jetties. Blackfish still bit at jetties, bridges and piers. They’ll push to deeper water as weather becomes cooler. Trips are blackfishing at 8 a.m. daily when weather’s fit and enough anglers want to sail. Many want to fish Friday in forecasts for good weather. The boat fished for sea bass daily previously. Lots of small hit, and trips needed to sail far from the coast to catch. Blackfishing is a shorter run. The blackfish bag limit was raised to six Wednesday, from the previous limit of one.

Blackfishing sounded good, both at ocean wrecks and jetties, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. The bag limit was pulled up to six beginning Wednesday, from one previously. Wrecks in Delaware Bay, on the Delaware side, also gave up blackfish, the last Nick heard. The fishing was good at Reefs 6 and 7, and is always good at Brandywine, when the fish are in. Nothing else was heard about Delaware Bay, including about bunker-chunking for striped bass there, or eeling or fishing other live bait for the bass at the Cape May Rips, two types of angling that can turn on in fall, when the migration arrives. A few stripers seemed to begin to be picked from the ocean, like off Wildwood, on the troll or on bunker snagged and then livelined, when bunker schooled. Not much was heard about surf fishing, including for stripers, except about the blackfish along jetties. Back-bay striper fishing was good for throwbacks and a couple of keepers, mostly on soft-plastic lures. Green crabs, white leggers, eels and fresh clams are stocked.

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