Tue., Nov. 21, 2017
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-25-16


<b>Keyport</b>

Excellent striped bass fishing was lit up with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. The fish weighed up to 30 pounds, and he wasn’t asked where. But previously he reported that trips reeled the fish from Raritan Bay on mostly rubber shads and jigs aboard. Open-boat trips are fishing for stripers daily. Open trips are also blackfishing daily, and that angling was better on some days than others. Down Deep runs two boats, both 40 feet, for up to 15 passengers apiece. Charters are available, and 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.

After wind weathered out striped bass fishing on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> previously this week, and after Thanksgiving, the boat was supposed to resume fishing for them today, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Charters and open-boat trips are sailing.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Blackfishing sailed Wednesday for the first time since Saturday on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. None of the daily trips fished in wind on Sunday through Tuesday, and the angling began okay on Wednesday. Some of the fish bit, until current or something changed. Then catches dwindled, until the fishing began to pick away at the tautog on the final drop. One of the trip’s anglers bagged a limit, he thought, or at least five. No trip fished yesterday on Thanksgiving. Today’s trip boated a few keepers and picked throwbacks so far, he said at 10 a.m. aboard in a phone call. The bite seemed “funny,” according to the anglers. They could see that fish chewed on the bait. Anglers were seen swinging and missing. Other boats were seen moving around, and the angling seemed similar on other vessels. Weather was beautiful on the water. “Could use a little sunshine,” he said about the cloudy day.  The Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Sunday, 11/27:***</b> The boat will fish Monday, not Tuesday and Wednesday, and afterward will resume daily trips Wednesday, weather permitting, Tom said. Blackfishing was tough Friday aboard but seemed to improve, landing a few more keepers, each day afterward. One angler reeled in more than a limit Saturday, keeping no more than his quota. On today’s trip, shorts gave up better action, and a few more keepers were boxed than yesterday. Some of the trip’s anglers bagged two or three, and almost all bagged at least one. A few only caught shorts, but all anglers at least caught shorts. Weather looks good for Monday’s trip.

If anglers never before landed a striped bass, fish for them now, because the angling was awesome, said Jay from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Boaters caught them on Raritan Bay and the ocean, but surf anglers also reeled in many.  That included at Sandy Hook and Monmouth Beach off the beach club and Valentine Street. Anglers call that Big Monmouth. Surf anglers also eased in the bass at Sea Bright, Long Branch and Deal. Peanut bunker littered the surf. “It’s on,” he said, and anglers couldn’t really not hook stripers. Huge bluefish also crashed the surf. Popping plugs, swimming lures and all kinds of stuff caught the bass from the beach. Many surf casters fished bucktails with soft-plastic lures for them. Blackfishing also went well for boaters. All baits are stocked.

They’re still here! a report said about striped bass on the party boat <b>Fishermen</b>’s website Wednesday.  A trip aboard that day found stripers rolling all through loads of bait at several areas with bird life. The bass, moving fast, weren’t easy to catch, and that happened throughout the trip. Some drifts caught one or two, and some hooked none. A few big bluefish were in the mix, and each angler kept a couple. No trips fished Sunday through Tuesday because of the gale, and no trip was slated for Thanksgiving. Weather looked good for today’s trip.  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.

Fishing for striped bass was actually really good, said Tom from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. The fish were boated from Reach Channel on Raritan Bay and from the ocean off Sea Bright and at Shrewsbury Rocks. Good catches were made on party boats and private boats. Private boaters trolled the fish, including on Mojos, and caught them on cast rubber shads and on bunker snagged and then livelined. Good striper fishing was also blasted from the surf, including at Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach. Swimming lures and popping plugs were often fished for them. Some anglers eeled for the bass. Most surf anglers headed to the ocean, but stripers could also be winged from the bay’s shore. Blackfishing was good on party boats and private boats. Private boaters also tied into them under Highlands Bridge. Green crabs and white leggers are stocked for blackfishing. Many anglers jigged for the tog these days. Fresh clams and all baits are stocked. The shop, new this year, the sister shop to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, near party, charter and private boats.

<b>Neptune</b>

With Capt. Nick at the helm, trips fished every day, and blackfishing on the ocean was great now, said Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>. All recent trips limited out, and three spaces just became available for an individual-reservation trip for blackfish Dec. 3. Room is available for more of the trips Dec. 12 and Christmas Eve. One of the trips is full Wednesday. Charters are available in December.

<b>Belmar</b>

On the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b>, blackfishing on the ocean was somewhat slower than it should be, and the water was warm, Capt. Chris said. “Don’t get me wrong,” he said, and customers, many actually, limited out. But the angling was fair to good or not what he considers good, and not very good like last year at this time. An almost 12-pounder was heaved aboard this week, and trips are blackfishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Green crabs are provided, and white crabs are available for sale on the boat.

A couple of dozen striped bass were bagged by 12 noon Wednesday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email from the party boat said.  Only 25 anglers sailed aboard, and the fishing got off to a great start at plenty of birds working the water and plenty of readings. Afterward, the fishing became slow, landing a striper or two each drift. A handful of blues were mixed in during the trip. That was the most recent report at press time, and a trip was also supposed to sail on Thanksgiving. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for stripers and blues 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Some good catches of striped bass and jumbo blues were made Wednesday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fish were hooked on swim shads and Runoff hammered jigs. Many birds worked the water, and stripers rolled along the surface. No trip was slated for Thanksgiving, and the boat was supposed to resume fishing today. Trips are sailing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> blackfished Wednesday, but striped bass fishing was excellent for the fleet that day, Capt. Pete said. That was all on the ocean, and the blackfishing was kind of a pick. Experienced anglers caught the tautog well, and inexperienced didn’t. Northwest wind against southerly current made the angling a little difficult. But good-sized roasters were slapped aboard. Striper fishing remained good, and smaller stripers schooled on some days, and bigger did on others. A crew trip was supposed to fish yesterday, on Thanksgiving, probably for both stripers and blackfish. Dates are available in December for trips for stripers, if stripers are still around then, and blackfish.  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. Two spaces apiece were available for Dec. 2 and 6. Spaces were also available for Dec. 13.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Fishing for striped bass was generally good, Capt. Alan from <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. On some days, bunker snagged and then livelined caught aboard. On others, cast rubber shads did, and on others, trolling hooked the fish. The angling produced on most trips, and room is available for an open-boat sea bass trip to offshore wrecks Dec. 11.

The party boat <b>Dauntless</b> resumed bottom-fishing Wednesday, after wind weathered out the trips Monday and Tuesday, Capt. Butch said. The fishing was pretty decent, swinging aboard porgies and sea bass, some bluefish 4 to 10 pounds, a few bigger, and a few blackfish and winter flounder. Anglers probably averaged 10 to 25 fish apiece, and 120-foot depths, deeper water, was fished. That was because the boat targeted porgies and sea bass, not blackfish. But a few blackfish bit there. The ocean was 55 degrees on the fishing grounds, and Butch heard the water was chillier close to shore, because of shallower water and outgoing tides. The Dauntless is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

Anglers picked and plucked blackfish at every spot fished Wednesday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. “I really cannot say it was great,” he said. “Few anglers had the touch and landed a few keepers.” The high hook bagged five, and a 7-pound blackfish won the pool. On Thanksgiving, a few blackfish were picked aboard, but the anglers had to work for them, and the fishing was tough. He hoped the fish bit better within the next day or two. On Wednesday’s trip the fish chomped both green and white crabs, and on Thanksgiving’s, mostly whites caught. Both are carried aboard, and before these two trips, wind blew strongly a few days, and too few anglers were around to sail. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Many anglers limited out on slot stripers and 28-inch and larger ones Wednesday on the ocean on the <b>Gambler</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Some sizable bluefish were in the mix, and a half-day trip was supposed to fish for the bass on Thanksgiving, and full-day trips were supposed to resume today. 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 and are filling up.

<b>Toms River</b>

Striped bass blitzed peanut bunker in the surf today, yesterday and pretty much all week, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. They didn’t always show up in the same place, but popped up all along the local surf including at Mantoloking, Brick Beach, Lavallette, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park and Island Beach State Park. The peanuts and bass swam at anglers’ feet, and the baitfish could be snagged on snagging hooks and dropped back into the water on the hooks live to catch. Popper lures were also very effective. Pencil poppers also caught, and so did Danny swimmers. No huge stripers were heard about, and most keepers weighed 9 to 12 pounds. But some weighed 19 and 20 pounds. No bluefish were in the mix the past three days. Not much was heard about stripers boated on the ocean. Nothing was heard about Barnegat Bay. Nobody reported trying for winter flounder. But if anglers tried for them, they’d catch, Virginia would bet. Boating for blackfish was good inshore, including at Axel Carlson Reef. Boating for porgies and sea bass was good. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Another great day of surf fishing for striped bass! a report said today on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. The catches were spread from Bay Head to Island Beach State Park, and pods of bunker seemed to school throughout the area. Wherever they were found, so were the bass. Rubber shads connected in all sizes and colors. Snagging the bunker and dropping them back into the water to liveline them on the snagging hooks worked, too. 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>

One customer talked about trolling striped bass yesterday in 40 feet of water off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park on the ocean, said Bryan from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. Boaters also hooked stripers on bunker snagged and then livelined in the ocean lately. Many of the bass were throwbacks, and lots of big bluefish also bit. “(But) they’re catching some fish – that’s for sure,” he said. “Just gotta be patient.” The last time fishing for stripers on Barnegat Bay was heard about, he reported that in the shop’s report last week here. Currently, boaters all seemed to fish the ocean, including because they had the weather. Last week, he said the bay’s boaters eeled the fish. A couple of good catches of blackfish were reported from Garden State Reef North. Green crabs, eels and fresh clams are stocked.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

A few good shots at striped bass were scored on the ocean on Thanksgiving morning on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Then boat traffic slowed the fishing. Catches lulled in the middle of the trip, but a flurry was boated toward the end. More stripers might’ve been angled, but the trip returned early for the holiday. Trips are striper fishing at 7 a.m. today through Sunday. The schedule for afterward was yet to be announced at press time, but the boat’s usually been striper fishing every Friday through Sunday.

Customers boated striped bass from the ocean to the north and south, said Alex from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. They caught as far south as Long Beach Island. Small stripers swam the water, but keepers definitely did, too. He was looking at six or seven at the shop when he gave this report today in a phone call, and the fishing seemed pretty good today. The boaters lately caught on nearly all usual tackle, including trolled bunker spoons and on bunker snagged and then livelined. Big bluefish were also around at the striper grounds. Alex saw no stripers from Barnegat Bay recently. But a few were angled along Barnegat Inlet in mornings. Blackfish still bit along the inlet’s rocks. Surf anglers plugged smaller stripers but a few keepers. The fishing was pretty “on” in past days, and a 42-pounder was heaved from the surf today. Live spots and green crabs and fresh bunker 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.

<b>Barnegat</b>

From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “Awesome Striper Migration Fishing Right Now,” it said. “I had a group out for an afternoon departure Wednesday, and it was terrific fishing. A mile and a half northeast of Barnegat Inlet in 30 to 40 feet of water there were birds, boats and bass. The flocks of birds would point you to the swirling stripers that were feeding on peanut and full-sized bunker. Even if you were out of the birds, the readings gave up plenty of fish. Anywhere from 25- to 36-inchers for us, but I heard of fish over 43 inches on other boats. Drifting and casting swim shads worked well for us, as well as wire-lining bucktail and pork-rind combos that you jig while we troll. It's the most fun you can have with a wire-line rod, and it’s a train wreck of a hit. Booked (today) and Saturday. I still have Sunday and Monday available for single reservations or a charter. Leaving at 6 a.m. Three people max on the open-boat trips. All fish are shared.”

<b>Mystic Island</b>

Boaters grabbed striped bass from the ocean from the Red Tower on Long Beach Island to farther north along the island, often on trolled Mojos and bunker spoons, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Stripers were sometimes beached from the surf on the island, but the surf angling was on fire farther north, including at Island Beach State Park. Brandon fished Island Beach this morning, bagging a 29-incher, and peanut bunker leapt onto the beach, trying to escape stripers. Stripers jumped from the water, and the bass there seemed 26 to 30 inches. Stripers boated on the ocean were generally bigger than stripers from the surf. A few boaters blackfished on the ocean, apparently catching well. A couple of customers were buying green crabs in bulk for blackfishing, but most ocean boaters got after stripers. Not many blackfish swam along the bay’s sod banks. Maybe a 12-incher would be hooked occasionally. But plenty of blackfish bit along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks.  In addition to green crabs, baits stocked include fresh clams in the shell and fresh, shucked clams. Fresh bunker were supposed to arrive tonight.

<b>Absecon</b>

Ocean striped bass fishing was good yesterday and not quite as good today, said Curt from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. No bluefish were heard about from the ocean locally, but they were probably coming, because they were fought farther north. Wind kept boaters from fishing the ocean early in the week. The most recent charter with Capt. Dave, the store’s owner, boated a 31-pound striper and a 25-pounder from the ocean. Dave also still fished for stripers on the back bay on his charters like before, catching slots, bagging them with bonus tags, and keepers. Pretty good blackfishing was boated on the ocean inshore. Blackfish were still angled along jetties and bridges. Live spots, eels and green crabs are stocked. So is all the trolling tackle for stripers on the ocean.

<b>Brigantine</b>

A good striped bass bite was run into on the ocean off Brigantine yesterday, one of the crew said from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. A few of the catches were heard about today, but the angling seemed kind of slow today. No crazy striper fishing happened on the ocean yet this season, and anglers waited for the migration. Capt. Andy from the shop said one angler boated a 24-pound striper and a somewhat smaller from the ocean today. Ocean striper fishing was “just a matter of getting into schools,” he said. Eeling for stripers along the bay’s sod banks could score decent. Customer Joe Jr. was into them all the time.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

A <photo of five sizable striped bass was posted on <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>’s Facebook page yesterday. The fish, 25 to 28 pounds, were mostly boated on the ocean, but shore anglers nailed some from the surf and Absecon Inlet, Noel from the shop said in a phone call. The anglers with the bass boated from the ocean reported good fishing for them yesterday. Customers sometimes whacked stripers from the inlet and surf lately. That was on eels, clams and bunker. They pounded lots of blackfish from the inlet on green crabs yesterday and lately. Bluefish occasionally turned up from the ocean to the inlet. Lots of bunker and spearing filled the inlet. Herring were still around in the inlet. 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 were boated on the ocean off Atlantic City and Ocean City, said Dave from <b>24-7 Bait & Tackle</b>. The angling was spotty, hooking a fish here and there, but did catch at times, on trolled Mojos and bunker spoons in tandem, occasionally on trolled pink Stretch lures. No bunker really schooled the water surface, but bunker schooled 25 or 30 feet below the surface. None of the blitzes of stripers on bunker erupted there that did farther north in the state. Farther north, whales also foraged on the bunker. That didn’t happen locally yet. Anglers waited for the run to slide south to local waters. The action farther north was known to be good yesterday off Brant Beach on Long Beach Island. Small stripers were played at night on the bay along 9th Street Bridge. Customers found good blackfishing at ocean wrecks. Live green crabs, spots and eels and fresh bunker and clams are stocked. <b>The company also owns 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora</b>.

<b>Longport</b>

A 7-pounder was the heaviest blackfish on a trip Wednesday for the tautog on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. The angling was a slow pick in 80-foot depths. The trip also fished at Ocean City Reef, and that fished somewhat better, but lots of small, 10- and 11-inch blackfish, throwbacks, bit there. In 80 feet, quite a few sea bass also hit. Mike was surprised, and the sea bass swiped fiddler crabs as soon as they hit bottom. The blackfish on the trip were mostly hooked on green crabs, a few on fiddlers. The water was gin clear and 56 degrees, and conditions were perfect for blackfishing. Current didn’t run too strong, and wind blew 20 knots from northwest at first, and 10 knots in that direction later. Huge bird plays 5 or 6 acres were seen 13 or 14 miles from shore for the third week in a row.  Striped bass are there, he said. Striper fishing closer to shore, in 40 feet, was a slow pick off Atlantic City and Ventnor, 4 ½ miles north of Absecon Inlet’s bell buoy, on the troll or on bunker snagged and then livelined. Lots of bait schooled the water. Trips were sold out yesterday and today. The next openings are available for open-boat trips Sunday and Wednesday. Open trips are fishing every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Striped bass were seen from the ocean sometimes, said Bill from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Not a ton were boated, but they began to be picked from Absecon Inlet to Sea Isle City and Wildwood within 3 miles from shore. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles. The bass were scattered in no big populations, but anglers found pods, usually trolling the fish. Some of the bass, not a lot, but some, were boated off Ocean City today. A few 30-pounders and a couple of 20-pounders were seen at the store today. Bluefish turned up for striper boaters here and there in the ocean, but most seemed still north. Lots of small stripers bit in the back bay along bridges, mostly at night. Blackfish still hit in the bay, and also bit at ocean reefs.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Boating for striped bass really kicked in yesterday from Ocean City to Wildwood on the ocean, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The migration seemed to be just arriving, and the fish were yet to be stacked up. But anglers who spent time trolling decked some good-sized. Stripers were beached from the surf here and there lately, and the fishing didn’t change from before. Not a lot of stripers were dragged onto the beach, but a few anglers routinely banked some. Mike would dunk clams or bunker for the fish, and not enough were caught to say one fished better than another. The back bay’s striper fishing was good on live spots and eels or on plugs along sod banks and under lights. Boaters who blackfished on the ocean said lots of small bit, and they worked through them to bag keepers. But the angling was drop-and-reel, not a bad thing. That was heard about from a half-mile from shore to 20-some, and the angling sounded similar at all those places. The trips farther out fished for a combo of sea bass and blackfish. Green crabs are stocked, and white crabs are usually on hand. Fresh bunker and clams are usually carried.

<b>Cape May</b>

<b>Caveman Sportfishing</b> was supposed to run the season’s first striped bass trips today and tomorrow, Capt. John said. The fish were reported boated Saturday off Atlantic City on the ocean. Strong wind kept trips from sailing Sunday through Tuesday. The trips resumed Wednesday, but the angling was slow. Reports were yet to roll in from Thursday at press time. But John was sure at least a few boaters found the bass Wednesday or Thursday, he wrote on Caveman’s Facebook page. 

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> was supposed to sail for striped bass from Thanksgiving through Sunday, Capt. George said before the trips. The boat’s been sea bass fishing, cranking in good catches, lots of throwbacks but limits or nearly limits, 30 miles from port, covered in previous reports here. Blackfish trips usually fish later in the year on the boat.

Dave Howard from Laurel Springs bagged three blackfish to a 9-1/2-pounder Friday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. Kevin Moran from Cinnaminson limited out on the fish on the trip. On Saturday’s trip, Kevin Campbell from Cape May Court House bagged four of the tautog to 5 pounds. Wind weathered out trips Sunday through Tuesday. On Wednesday’s trip, two anglers limited out on the slipperies: Ken Minett from Mays Landing, who also won the pool, and Alex Levantovsky from Philly. Though blackfishing wasn’t hot, maybe more will bite as the water cools. The Porgy IV is blackfishing at 8 a.m. daily. 

Sounded like striped bass began to be boated on the ocean from Atlantic City to the south sometimes, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Trolling for them with Mojos and Stretch 25 lures seemed best. A few keepers to 35 inches reportedly began to be boated from Delaware Bay at the sloughs like 20-Foot Slough on bunker chunks. Surf fishing for stripers was a little slow, but a few keepers were picked along Cape May Point’s jetties. The bass seemed to arrive there like they did in the ocean and Delaware Bay: not a lot of the fish did yet, but occasional arrived. Blackfishing was pretty good along jetties. Fishing for smaller stripers was good on the back bay, the last Nick heard. Green crabs and eels are stocked. Fresh bunker were difficult to obtain because wind seemed to scatter the baitfish in Delaware Bay earlier this week. But Nick was trying to stock them.

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