Sun., Dec. 9, 2018
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 12-1-16


For the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, blackfishing was good when conditions were, Capt. Mario said. When conditions weren’t, the angling slowed. The tautog to 10 pounds were slapped aboard, and open-boat trips are fishing for them daily. Weather kept trips docked the past few days, and before then, striped bass fishing was slow a couple of days. The angling should pick back up, now that the new moon is past. Open trips are fishing for stripers daily on Raritan Bay and the ocean. 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 boats, both 40 feet. Each can accommodate up to 15 passengers and includes a heated cabin, a full galley and a large cockpit.

Blackfish, a good catch, to 7 pounds were cranked in Monday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank said. Weather kept fishing docked since, and striped bass seemed to migrate out of range for the boat for the season. Blackfishing will sail through the first two weeks of the month aboard. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will be scheduled last-minute, because of weather this time of year. The open trips will fish when wind blows west and not too strongly.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

The party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> fished a few drops on Monday’s daily trip for blackfish, Capt. Tom said. Some of the tautog were picked at every spot, and not all anglers bagged a keeper, but more did than didn’t. The high hook bagged five, and another customer tackled a 7-3/4-pounder. No trips fished since in the weather. Tom expected to shape up for today’s trip and see whether anglers showed up in forecasts. The Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. 

Few fished in weather including rain the past few days, said Jay from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. But catches are still being made, including striped bass from boats and the surf. From boats, the fish were found on the ocean, in New York Harbor toward the Statue of Liberty and at Raritan Bay toward Staten Island. The harbor and that part of the bay always hold the fish this time of year. Many boaters trolled Mojos, bunker spoons and umbrella rigs. They eeled for stripers at night, he guessed. In the surf, plenty of stripers, smaller fish, swam. Some were up to 35 or 38 inches, and none was huge. A wave of the fish seemed to migrate south toward Lavallette and Seaside recently. But stripers still remained in the surf locally. A second wave seemed to remain there well. Giant bluefish were around for boaters and surf-casters. There were tons, and bait schooled everywhere: bunker from peanuts to hand-sized. More boaters blackfished than sailed for other catches, including because of the six-blackfish bag limit. They were meat anglers. All baits are stocked, including green crabs and fresh bunker and clams. The bunker heads were most popular for stripers. White crabs can be ordered.

Bait schooled the surf everywhere Sunday and Monday from Sandy Hook to Long Branch, said Chris from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Striped bass weren’t on the bait throughout the stretch, but big areas gave up the bass for surf anglers there. The stripers weren’t huge, but some were decent-sized. Peanut bunker have been the bait in the surf. Previously, surf fishing was off the hook, some of the best he’s seen, from the Sunday before Thanksgiving through Thanksgiving. Mostly stripers, not a lot of bluefish, were beached. Nothing was heard about catches from Raritan Bay’s shore. Stripers were boated in the back of the bay, like toward the Amboys, the last Chris heard, about a week ago. Weather prevented fishing in past days. But stripers are probably still there, he thought.  Blackfishing was good, still a pick but catching, when boats last sailed. Even party boats were docked in past days. The shop, new this year, is the sister store to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar. It’s located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal, down the dock from party, charter and private boats.


A few keeper blackfish and some shorts were angled on the first drop Monday with <b>Lady M Charters</b>, Lady M’s Facebook page said. The trip moved to another drop, looking for faster action, but only a few more keepers and shorts came in, nothing special. Wind calmed, and that became difficult for keeping the boat still on anchor. Finally, south wind and incoming tide began, creating perfect conditions, and a good chew got going for an hour. The high hook landed 10 keepers. Another angler landed eight, and another landed six, a limit. The rest reeled in about four keepers apiece. A good number of shorts turned out action. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.


With <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, a good catch of blackfish was pounded Monday from the ocean, Capt. Ralph said. Fishing was weathered out since. Charters are sailing, and an individual-reservation trip for blackfish is slated for Saturday. More are set for Dec. 12 and Christmas.


A trip today, trying hard, ended up with a few striped bass and a handful of bluefish in a big heave on the ocean on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email from the party boat said. The trip fished all over, but the rough weather in past days made the angling no good. Monday’s trip, in better weather, whacked a great catch of stripers and big blues. Forecasts called for better weather tomorrow. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for stripers and blues at 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. The trips will continue through the month, as long as the fish stick around.

The party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> will resume blackfishing Friday, after the trips were weathered out Tuesday through today, Capt. Chris said. The fishing’s been alright, okay, a little picky, but okay. Anglers had to work for them, and the trips are fishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Green crabs are provided, and white crabs are sold aboard at a better price than at stores. Jigging for blackfish was a fad lately, and that might work on the bay, but doesn’t on the ocean.

Mostly striped bass and a few blues gave up good fishing Monday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b> on the ocean to the south, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fish bit early and afterward turned out a pick a few hours. “A lot of guys caught their limit,” it said. The report didn’t say whether that meant limits of unders or limits of all sizes. “We had a few (stripers) around 30 inches with others around 28-29 inches,” it said. Most were hooked on swim shads, and the boat is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Blackfishing was tough Monday on the ocean aboard, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. But striped bass fishing was excellent that day on the ocean, and was pretty darn good on most days previously. Trips are hooking them on cast rubber shads and on the troll, sometimes on livelined bunker in mornings. Dates remain for charters during the second half of the month for stripers, if they’re still around, 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="" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces. One space is available Friday for stripers and another is available Dec. 8 for blackfish. Surely more will become available after mid-month.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

The <b>Norma-K III</b> was expected to resume blackfishing today on the ocean, after rough weather kept trips in port a few days, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. No much wind blew yesterday, and if wind went west today like forecast, that was expected to flatten the swell leftover. Trips are blackfishing 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Thursday, 12/1:***</b> The fishing resumed today with a light crowd aboard, Matt wrote on the site. A swell remained, but the west wind knocked it down as the day went on, and the trip did pick blackfish. Some were big, too. A few big were also lost, and Matt would’ve liked to have seen them. Back at it tomorrow, he said. See photos of the trip on the boat’s Facebook page.

<b>Toms River</b>

The surf became dirty the past couple of days because of the blow, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. So fishing for striped bass from the beach became slower than before. But surf casters began to pick up a few stripers on needlefish lures. Sand eels and herring reportedly began to appear in the water. One angler reported banking numerous stripers on a Boone needlefish. Many surf anglers switched to fishing bait in evenings, after plugging previously. Before the weather, boating for stripers was good on the ocean. Virginia sailed on a trip that boated three stripers 28 to 29 inches, a 44-incher and lots of throwbacks tight to shore off Mantoloking and Lavallette. The trip trolled a couple of blues on swim shads.  Blackfishing was fairly good on the ocean. It produced well at Axel Carlson Reef. Also on the ocean, porgy fishing was great, and the trips still picked on sea bass. The party boat Jamaica II was fishing farther from shore, scooping up sea bass and porgies. The party boat Dauntless was fishing closer in, catching porgies and still some sea bass. Sizable winter flounder were sometimes bagged from the ocean still. Flounder migrate to bays and rivers beginning in autumn to spend winter. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Rain-gear day No. 2, a report said about surf fishing yesterday on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Striped bass fishing from the beach slowed considerably in past days. But some of the fish were dragged in. First light and dusk fished best, and mid-day was hit and miss. Swimming lures, popping plugs and metal grabbed the bass including keepers Tuesday at Island Beach State Park. None was huge, but some were respectable-sized. Sand eels began to be found in striper stomachs. So thin-profiled lures and teasers could work. Fishing a teaser with the lures was a good idea. “Not into plugging?” the report asked. Fresh bunker and clams are tried and true baits this time of year. 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.


From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “Just came off a few days of good striper fishing before all the rain and fog shut us down. Now we’re back in a W/NW wind pattern for as long as the forecast goes. That means calm seas and hot migration fishing. On the days I was not chartered this past week, I spent a few trips running offshore, looking for castable bluefin tuna, but never saw one. That's what makes it a hard trip to offer for charter. Spending a full day hunting and not even getting to cast is probably for the minority. Though it hasn’t suppressed my desire to hunt for these elusive fish. In fact, it's making me hungrier to find them. We finished off each day of tuna hunting with some really good surface striper action between Lavallette and Seaside Park at the 3-mile line. Tons of birds and swirling bass and gator blues. We threw swim shads on our 10-pound spinning outfits. We also trolled some heavier fish on full-sized spoons and Mojos in the same area. The striper migration is in full swing with an interesting mix of sizes. We’ll run open-boat or be available for charter 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday. Three people max on open-boats. All fish are shared. This is going to run into Christmas at least so get ready.”


After a couple of questionable days of weather, wind blew west this morning, and the sun was out, and Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b> planned to hit the ocean for striped bass today, he said. Check <a href="" target="_blank">the shop’s Facebook page</a> for results. Good catches were boated during the weekend, before the weather, and all the ones he heard about came from the ocean. A tow boat captain reported seeing bunker schooling 2 miles off Absecon Inlet yesterday. Stripers have also swum along Absecon Inlet and behind the inlet, if not elsewhere in back waters. But the action Dave heard about was from the ocean. He expected to look for bunker to snag and liveline on the trip but also bring live spots to fish. Plenty of the spots are stocked at the store, and so are Mojos and Tony Maja bunker spoons for trolling, and everything needed for the stripers. Eels, fresh clams and fresh bunker are also carried. Dave expects to continue running charters for the fish through December. Blackfishing’s been good at Absecon Inlet and bridges. Many of the fish were just undersized, but there were also good-sized keepers. This week’s weather seemed to fail to dirty the water. Blackfish bite in clear water.


A couple of boats fished the ocean for striped bass today, the anglers saying seas were rough, but they caught, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. A local charter captain sent a photo of a couple. On Monday in better weather, the fishing was slow picking in the morning but suddenly blew up in the afternoon. Then practically all boaters caught the fish to 30 or 35 pounds. A trip that day with the same captain must’ve landed 14 to 18 of the fish, all of them unders, except one smaller. Boaters have been trolling Mojos and Stretch 30 lures for the bass, making some good catches. Fred from the shop boated a 28-pounder. Another angler, fishing the bite recently, boated his first-ever striper, a 35-pounder.  Check the shop’s holiday gift sales that are beginning. Gift cards are available that are worth 10 percent more than the price.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

At jetty-lined Absecon Inlet, blackfish still bit along the rocks, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Fish green crabs for them, and striped bass occasionally hit along the inlet. Dunk fresh bunker or clams or swim an eel for them, and two hours before and after high and low tides were times to try for them. Customers fish the nearby inlet on foot. Nothing was heard from boaters in wind and fog in past days. All baits, the full selection, are stocked, including green crabs, eels and fresh bunker and clams. ***Big Heads Up:*** Noel began a <a href="" 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>

The store was closed the past three days because of weather, said John from <b>24-7 Bait & Tackle</b>. The doors were back open today, and fishing was the same as before. Striped bass swam the ocean a little north. Few fished for them since the weather, but the bass previously were trolled on Mojos, bunker spoons and Stretch lures. Big, gator bluefish sometimes bit among them. Surf fishing was slow locally and okay up north. Good blackfishing was tied into along bridges on green crabs. The crabs, eels and live spots are stocked. Fresh bunker and clams are carried when suppliers have the weather to sail for them. <b>The company also owns 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora</b>.


Fishing with anglers was weathered out aboard, but Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b> snuck out solo yesterday and crushed striped bass, he said. Nine were trolled just inshore of 3 miles from the coast in the fog on No. 5 Clark spoons on No. 5 planers, and he was eating striper soup when he gave this report last night in a phone call. The fishing was more fun than he had in 20 years, and he was landing a striper on one side while shaking off another on the other, he said. Open-boat trips will resume Friday through Sunday, fishing for blackfish, unless stripers pop up. But the trips, sailing daily when weather allows, are targeting blackfish. “Always go for the meat,” he said. One of the trips will run 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, a shorter trip than usual. No trips will fish on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Until weather prevented the trips, striped bass were boated on the ocean and beached from the surf through Monday, said Bill from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Sizable stripers were seen at the shop from the boats, and so were big bluefish. A 19.8-pound blue was weighed-in, and quite a few boaters ran into blues. The stripers and blues were trolled near the 3-mile line. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from shore. In the surf, a small run of stripers showed up during the weekend. Any decent-sized? he was asked. Yes, he said, and three larger than 30-some inches were checked-in, and a 20-pounder was biggest. That was hooked on a Daiwa SP Minnow swimming plug, and mostly swimming lures caught from the beach. Smaller stripers bit along bridges at night. Most anglers tossed soft-plastic lures to land them, and a few used hard lures to connect. Blackfishing had begun to taper off in the back bay but turned back on because the water warmed. They were small but there, and bigger chewed at ocean reefs. Nothing was heard about sea bass, but when weather calms, and boaters resume fishing the ocean, maybe more will be reported.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

A boater had just telephoned today and reported catching a few under stripers from the ocean, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The angler got his butt handed to him from the seas, but found the bass. Some good catches of the fish were reported Monday, the last time weather was better. But when weather calms, boaters will resume the fishing and probably locate the bass. Most were trolled, and nobody really fished the surf. People telephoned, asking if stripers bit in the surf. But reports were difficult to get. Blackfish still bit along structure like jetties. Blackfishing for boaters on the ocean was about fishing the right spot. Customers blackfished on two trips at Ocean City Reef on the same day, one landing four keepers, the other landing 11. The right spot. Nothing was heard about sea bass fishing on the ocean. Stripers were still angled on the back bay, slower fishing than two weeks ago, when the catches really went off. But the bass were still hooked on livelined eels or spots or on plugs.  

Trips for striped bass last fished throughout the weekend on the ocean aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. But a buddy boated them well Monday where Jersey Cape’s been fishing, and Joe will get back after them this weekend on charters. The trips last weekend reeled in the fish, covered in the previous report here. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish this winter, and see the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters’ page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. 

<b>Cape May</b>

Brian Hill’s charter on Monday trolled seven striped bass, keeping three, releasing the rest on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> on the ocean, Capt. George said. Another one of the trips was slated for Wednesday and was weathered out. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean. A buddy ran a trip for them, and many throwbacks, just undersized, bit, but so did plenty of keepers. A mess of big bluefish also hit during the trip.

On the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, blackfishing was hit and miss, but a few days fished well for them, and some fished slow, Capt. Paul said. Weather was “shaky” lately, but wind was calm Friday. A few anglers limited out on the tautog on the day’s trip. They included Bob Millet from Broomall, who won the pool with a 7-pounder, Bob Key from Lancaster and Ken Minett from Mays Landing. On Saturday’s trip, blackfishing was bad, and wind blew strongly. “Or maybe I went the wrong way,” Paul said. On Sunday’s trip, a few blackfish were clubbed. On Monday’s, the catch wasn’t so good but included some sizable. Mike Jung from Cape May Court House on the trip bagged two blackfish: a 9.7-pounder and an 8.94-pounder. Trips were weathered out since, and Paul was unsure when trips will resume, because wind was forecast for the moment. But the Porgy IV is slated to blackfish at 8 a.m. daily.

Boaters seemed to begin trolling striped bass sometimes on the ocean from Avalon to the south in afternoons, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. On Delaware Bay they bunker-chunked resident stripers, a couple of keepers and some throwbacks. Surf fishing was slow. Blackfishing that had produced along jetties became slower. But the tautog seemed to bite at reefs in the ocean. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean. Green crabs and eels are stocked, and Nick expected to pick up fresh bunker and fresh clams this evening. 

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