Sun., Dec. 9, 2018
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-21-16


The <b>Down Deep Fleet</b> racked up a great week of striped bass fishing on Raritan Bay, mostly on rubber shads and jigs, Capt. Mario said. Sometimes boat traffic made the angling tougher. But plenty of the bass filled the water, and open-boat trips are fishing for them daily. Open trips began blackfishing daily on Wednesday, and the high hook landed 10 legal-sized, keeping no more than a limit. A 10-pounder was biggest on the trips. Charters are available, and join the <a href="" target="_blank">Short Notice List</a> on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about special open trips. The company runs two 40-foot boats, each accommodating up to 15 passengers and featuring heated cabins, full galleys and large cockpits. 

Excellent striped bass fishing was pounded Thursday and Friday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Stripers 38 to 41 inches, many, came in, and giant bluefish were in the mix, “and I mean giants,” he said. On Saturday, wind turned east, and striper fishing became tough. “With the appearance of blues, we switched over to live lining and bunker spooning,” he wrote. “Both produced good results.” Forecasts for the gale canceled Sunday’s trip, and would probably cancel fishing today and tomorrow aboard. Humpback whales swam right up to the boat, feeding on bunker that swam in huge schools, during trips, an unbelievable sight. Sometimes anglers just wanted to watch the whales! Charters and open-boat trips are fishing, including an open trip on Black Friday that Frank looks forward to. Plenty of striper fishing remains, “so come on down and get yours,” he said. <b>***Update, Wednesday, 11/23:***</b> Wind weathered out fishing the last several days aboard, Frank said. Striper fishing will resume Friday on the boat, and one space is available for the trip. Jump on it. Frank runs no trips on Thanksgiving, because he considers that family time. He apologizes to those who telephoned and wanted to go. From his family to yours, have a great holiday and enjoy the time together, and there’s nothing more important, he said.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Surf anglers smashed striped bass at Monmouth Beach yesterday, said Joe Julian from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Boaters cracked stripers on jigs, on trolled Mojos and spoons and all different ways. On Raritan Bay? he was asked. Wherever birds worked, he said. Blackfishing was pretty good. In fact, excellent, he said. Winter flounder fishing was good on Shark River to the south. Nobody seemed to target the flounder locally in the two-flounder bag limit. All baits are stocked.

Weather was beautiful on the water Friday on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Unfortunately, striped bass “didn’t get the memo,” it said! Fishing for them was slow. On Saturday, big bluefish turned on late in the trip. Two stripers had been caught at first in the morning. Then angling was slow, until the blues were caught. The trip then put in lots of overtime so the anglers could have fun and bail out the day. No trip fished Sunday in the gale warning.  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.

Daily blackfishing was weathered out Sunday in wind on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Wednesday’s trip, the first of the trips this season, fished best for the tautog. The bag limit was increased to six that day from the previous limit of one. Thursday’s through Saturday’s trips picked at the slipperies, not a lot, a mix of throwbacks and keepers, at every spot fished. A few would be boated, and the bite would end, and the trip would move. The fishing wasn’t good, but bagged some. Wednesday might be the next time one of the trips sails, because of weather. Whether a trip will fish on Thanksgiving was unknown at press time, because of forecasts that possibly called for rain or showers. Tom will see how forecasts turn out later in the week. The Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Wednesday, 11/23:***</b> A trip is slated to fish 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. tomorrow, Thanksgiving, Tom said. He’ll see whether anglers show up. Rain might be forecast, but predictions were unclear.


Took only minutes for blackfish to begin biting on a charter Thursday with <b>Lady M Charters</b>, Lady M’s Facebook page said. Then the fish came in shots, and the anglers limited out. The hot hand landed at least double a limit. On an open-boat trip Friday, blackfish catches began slowly. A few keepers and some throwbacks chewed at the first two drops. One more drop was fished, and some of the anglers needed to return soon. A pick developed, and the trip’s two high hooks landed seven and five keepers. On Saturday, a blackfishing charter nailed one-stop shopping. The catches began with a few bites, and developed into a good pick, in shots the whole trip. The trip limited out, and the high hook landed 12 keepers, and the other anglers caught well, too.  Three spaces are available for an open trip next Monday.


Blackfishing was better on a trip Saturday than on previous days aboard, maybe because of the waning moon, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> said. Wind canceled fishing Sunday. A striped bass trip the other day only hooked a couple, and the fish were scarce, compared with blitzes before. The blitzes erupted 20 miles south that day. Boats from Highlands traveled south to fish Last Lady’s waters that day, if that tells you anything, Ralph said. He doesn’t think striper fishing’s finished for the season. A few spaces are available for a half-day, individual-reservation trip for blackfish on Thanksgiving, Ralph thought. He thought one space is available for a full-day, individual-reservation trip next Monday for blackfish. Those might be the only spots left in the near future for the trips, but Ralph didn’t have the schedule in front of him when he gave this report. He’ll add more of the trips after Thanksgiving. Only December dates remain for striper charters. <b>***Update, Wednesday, 11/23:***</b> One space is available for an individual-reservation trip for blackfish 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving, Ralph said. More of the trips will fish 6 a.m. until later in the afternoons, and spaces available are one for next Wednesday, two for Dec. 3, three for Dec. 12 and six for Christmas Eve. Charters are available in December and are full in November.


<b>***Update, Tuesday, 11/22:***</b> Striped bass and more stripers were seen from the surf at <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> the past few days, Bob wrote in an email. Get to the beach before peanut bunker depart that are attracting the fish. “You could have the best fishing you ever had,” he said. Stripers beached ranged from throwbacks to 15-pounders and occasionally bigger, and bluefish to 20 pounds and larger were mixed in. Bob banked the bass yesterday morning “until my shoulder gave out,” he said. “… the best part (was that) I only saw a couple of fish leave the beach.” Nearly all anglers landed keeper stripers, but most released them.

Striped bass fishing on the ocean had been excellent through Friday, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. Beginning Saturday, smaller stripers moved in, and baitfish shoved south that attracted larger. A bunch of bonus stripers, smaller fish that could be bagged with bonus tags, were trolled that day aboard. Bluefish also inundated the water. Big stripers also pulled into the surf that day. Surf-casters caught them in shallows that boaters couldn’t reach. Still, plenty of good-sized remained in Raritan Bay, like around the Statue of Liberty, and off New York to the north. Pete expects sizable to keep migrating south to local waters. Wind weathered out fishing Sunday aboard. Some blackfish trips are booked, and a few dates remain in December for striper and blackfish outings. 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="" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

Wind to 40 knots kept trips docked Sunday and today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website.  Saturday’s trip pushed farther from shore for bluefish, because stripers “were not cooperating,” it said. Customers picked at blues to 15 pounds a few hours, and enjoyed the day, it said. Friday’s trip gave up good shots of blues a while. Five to seven of the 6- to 15-pounderss would be hooked at once. Then the trip would follow them for another shot. “We did see some bass early in the morning under the birds and they would swim on the surface swishing their tails but they would not bite …,” the report said. Trips are fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. No trip will fish on Thanksgiving.

Trips were weathered out yesterday and today on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, and the wind looks like it’ll keep the fishing in port tomorrow, too, a report said on the party boat’s website. Weather was great on Saturday’s trip, but only a few bluefish were landed, slow angling. The boat first fished close to shore to the south, and boat traffic was so heavy, putting down the fish. The trip then sailed farther from shore, and fish were seen breaking the water surface at times, and were read, but not many bit. Catches improved a little, late in the trip, on the last couple of trips. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for striped bass and blues 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, earlier than usual. One of the trips will sail 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving, reservations required.


Boaters found striped bass tight to the beach, feeding on peanut bunker, in past days, picking way at the bass in 15 to 20 feet of water, on Tsunami shads, popping plugs and metal-lipped swimmers, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>.  That was mostly to the south, but sometimes to the north. The boaters trolled stripers in deeper water, along the 3-mile line, sometimes. They also caught on bunker snagged and then livelined there. Bluefish, some of them 20 pounds, also hit there. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from shore. Surf anglers scored striper catches similar to the boaters who fished tight to shore. The surf casters snagged peanut bunker and livelined them. They also fished shads, poppers, swimmers and bucktails. The north pocket at Manasquan Inlet fished fairly consistently for the beach anglers. But the fish popped up at different locations at some point during the day from Bay Head to Lavallette. Catches usually lit up at about 7 a.m. for a time. Then they turned on throughout the day at different places. Great blackfishing was boated in 40 to 80 feet of water, mostly at Shrewsbury Rocks and off the Red Church. Some were reeled from the reef, and green crabs were a ticket. But jigging knocked off quite a number. Fourteen-pound blackfish caught were heard about from the ocean. Blackfish were still picked at Point Pleasant Canal. Nothing was heard about striper fishing at the canal, probably because most anglers surf-fished.  Sea bass fishing seemed pretty good, mostly in 100 feet, occasionally closer to the coast. Many sea bass were throwbacks, but a few were keepers, and anglers picked away, some of them limiting out.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

After tough blackfishing Friday, the angling improved much Saturday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. A few anglers limited out that day, and Skip Reese won the pool with a 10-pound 1-ouncer. White leggers caught best, and Sunday’s trip was weathered out in wind. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, and green crabs and white crabs are carried aboard.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

The surf bite was on! a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website.  Bluefish weighing in the double digits and “mid-sized keeper” striped bass crashed a variety of lures Friday in the surf, mostly from Seaside Heights to Island Beach State Park. The lures included poppers, Daiwa SP minnows, bucktails and rubber shads. Cut bunker also hooked a few of the stripers. Holiday specials got underway. Gift cards are on tap through Christmas that are worth 20 percent more than the price of the cards. They can be used for any items except those on sale. SP Minnows are three for $25, and St. Croix rods are 20 percent off. Tsunami rods are 15 percent off.  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>

Lots of striped bass to 35 inches, just lots of throwbacks, and quite a few blues gave up much action Friday on the ocean with <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Mike said. On a trip only 2 hours Saturday, bluefish and only throwback stripers bit in the ocean off Barnegat Inlet. The trip had no time to run down the beach to where whales swam and bigger stripers might’ve held. The blues on the trips were huge, as big as they grow. More trips will fish this holiday weekend, if weather allows.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

On the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, fishing was the best of the season Sunday, a report said on the party boat’s website. All anglers bagged a keeper striped bass and a bonus-tag one, and many began releasing more by early morning. A 41-inch striper won the pool, and jigs, rubber shads and popping plugs caught. Birds worked peanut bunker and rainfish that the stripers and blues gorged on. “If it’s northwest and blowing, I’m going,” a striper sharpie once said, the report said. The few anglers who showed up on the windy day were rewarded. A handful of fish were boated Friday and Saturday aboard, and lots were marked, but catches were slow. “They just didn’t seem to want to bite,” it said. Trips will fish for stripers at 7 a.m. Friday through Sunday. A shorter trip will sail for them 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving.

<b>Beach Haven</b>

Bunker schooled and whales swam, and one striped bass, 35 inches, good-sized, was trolled off Atlantic City on Saturday on the ocean on the <b>June Bug</b>, Capt. Lindsay said. The trip fished in 30 to 45 feet of water, and 200 boats must’ve fished the area. Only two or three other stripers were seen caught among them. A 12-foot aluminum boat was even seen there, and the anglers were fortunate that wind didn’t blow earlier that arrived Sunday.  Lindsay hopes the current gale triggers more of the striper migration to arrive locally. He heard about no bluefish landed among the fleet.


Surf fishing was slow, but boaters sometimes landed striped bass on the ocean, a report said on <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>’s website. “We know the big ones are hanging in Brigantine … now,” it said. Two anglers on the Fabio boated “some nice fish with the biggest being 51” 49 lbs.,” it said.  No location for the catch was mentioned. The anglers trolled the stripers on Stretch 30 lures and Riptide Mojos, saying they tried snagging bunker and then livelining the baitfish. But only trolling caught. “Just had 3 great reports that a big school of bass is just in front of Brigantine and the boaters are on them,” <a href="" target="_blank">Riptide’s Facebook page</a> said on Saturday. Photos of stripers boated locally on the ocean were sometimes posted on the page. <a href="
" target="_blank">Stocks pound cakes</a> from Philadelphia’s Stock’s Bakery are on hand including for Thanksgiving. Telephone to reserve, and the cakes can be picked up at the shop on the holiday morning. The store will be open 5 to 10 a.m. that day.


Fishing aboard pumped in triggerfish, sea bass and a few blackfish Friday from the ocean on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. The triggers were surprising in 58-degree, cool water. A 16-pound blackfish was the biggest aboard since the bag limit was raised Wednesday. That was angled that day, and so were a couple of 14-pounders and a couple of 12-pounders on the boat that day. The bite was no monster one that day, but a few big were clobbered, covered in the previous report here. A trip Saturday locked into striped bass to a 30-pounder on the ocean on the vessel. Someone at the marina docked a 44-pounder. Water was 56 degrees where Stray Cat fished for stripers, and the fish had migrated south in the ocean as far as Ventnor that day. “This is just the beginning,” he said. Mike expects the fish to push farther south to Avalon and 2-Fathom Bank by the time strong wind calms that began Sunday, canceling fishing, and is forecast to continue a moment. The trip caught best on bunker snagged and then livelined. That seemed to work much better than trolling. Massive schools of bunker filled the water, and whales also swam there. Trips are sold out through Saturday. The next spaces available are on an open-boat trip Sunday. Open trips are sailing every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.  Mike’s got plenty of green crabs for blackfishing. He expects to blackfish until the water drops to 40 degrees, and that currently looked like it would happen in late January, he thought. Mike would like to put together open, offshore sea bass trips, probably one on one day from Dec. 16-18, depending on weather, and another later in December. If interested, telephone and sign up.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Three striped bass were cranked from the ocean Saturday on a trip with Rich Carroll and friends aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish included a 35-pound 42-incher and a 26-pounder in the upper 30 inches. Those were trolled, and the other fish was a 26-incher that was hooked on a livelined spot, and all the bass were released. Birds picked rainfish that swam abundantly in the water. No bunker were around that could be seen. Joe heard about some stripers boated off Atlantic City that day, too, and the migration’s arrival hadn’t even started locally yet, really. Joe expects weeks of the angling now. He heard about no bluefish boated from the ocean. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will begin at Christmas, and see the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters’ page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. A large variety of species can be targeted, and anglers can enjoy a trip from Friday to Sunday or a different schedule there. It can be a mini-vacation. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


<b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> will probably fish for striped bass this weekend, if trips get the weather, Capt. Jim said. The trips fish from the ocean to Delaware Bay, wherever’s best. He’s been guiding hunting, and hopes to bring the waterfowl-hunting boats to Avalon during the weekend. Trips will hunt Atlantic brant and sea ducks from there. Anglers can even enjoy a combo of striper fishing and duck hunting over a series of days. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including saltwater fishing and waterfowling. Jim recently carved a bunch of brant decoys from foam. He’d like to carve them from cork sometime to hunt like old days. There’d be no foam or plastic decoys aboard. His trips also hunted deer in Maryland and New York recently. Pennsylvania’s Canadian geese season reopened Thursday, and his guided trips also hunt them.   


Striped bass were reported boated from the ocean off Sea Isle City, said Capt. Jim from <b>Fins & Grins Sport Fishing</b>. He’d imagine that once boats can sail after the current fierce wind, the fish will be found off Cape May. Autumn’s southern migration might’ve been arriving, and signs looked good for the fishing this holiday weekend. A good number of striper trips are booked. Space is available including for a trip 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving and on a full-day trip on Black Friday. Fins fishes every day, when there’s demand, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability. Blackfishing was slow aboard Saturday, and current screamed, and wind blew against the tide. Just a bad day all around, he said. Sea bass trips are also available but need to sail farther from shore.

<b>Cape May</b>

Good sea bass fishing was scooped aboard Saturday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, 30 miles from port, Capt. George said. Throwbacks, many 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch short, had to be sorted through, but the anglers bagged one sea bass short of a limit. Many 3- and 4-pound bluefish also bit. Three and four at a time were pitched aboard. Probably no boats in the fleet fished in Sunday’s wind. George heard about a few striped bass decked from the ocean. That was off Atlantic City, he thought, and nobody hit the jackpot, he said, but a few stripers were taken. The striper migration gave up good catches beginning around Thanksgiving in recent years, and Heavy Hitter is ready to jump on them. Blackfish trips usually sail later in the year.

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