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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 12-12-16


<b>Keyport</b>

Everyone limited out on blackfish Thursday on a trip on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The anglers also released many, including plenty of throwbacks, and no trip sailed Saturday in the cold. Capt. T.J. ran a trip Sunday aboard. The anglers, both experienced and newbies, totaled 19 keeper blackfish to 8 pounds. The experienced cracked most of the keepers, and plenty of throwbacks bit. “There is a knack to blackfishing, something that only experience can teach,” Frank wrote. Open-boat trips will blackfish Wednesday and, if weather ends up fishable, Saturday. Telephone to reserve. Spring striped bass trips are booking.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

All anglers, a small crowd, except one landed keeper blackfish Sunday on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. One angler only reeled in throwbacks, and no one limited out, but the trip fished a few drops, and all turned out the fish. Many of the tautog a half-inch or an inch undersized bit, and more keepers could stand to bite. Saturday’s trip only fished two drops, and blackfish catches were better than previously, covered in the last report here. The trip’s anglers bagged one to five apiece, except one only boated throwbacks. Anglers worked through throwbacks to bag keepers, and the Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Tuesday and Wednesday looked like the best weather this week, according to current forecasts. Watch forecasts or telephone the boat, Tom said.  <b>***Update, Tuesday, 12/13:***</b> If anglers want to fish for blackfish, tomorrow’s trip is expected to sail, and the fish are there, Tom said. Wind and bitter cold are forecast for Thursday and Friday, and no trips are expected to run then. He hopes to resume fishing Saturday, and anglers can check the report on the boat’s website for an update on the schedule. On today’s trip so far, anglers picked keepers, and plenty of throwbacks bit, he said at 11 a.m., when he gave this update in a phone call aboard. One angler in the stern bagged two, and the angler next to him landed no keepers yet. Another in the stern bagged two, and the angler next to him bagged one, and so on. All anglers at least reeled in throwbacks. One landed at least 15 throwbacks and no keepers yet. Quite a few of the trip’s throwbacks were only a half-inch or an inch undersized. Green crabs and white crabs caught equally, and greens are provided, and whites are for sale aboard, when whites are available. Forecasts call for a wintry mix tomorrow, but no strong wind or rough seas. Tom didn’t even attempt to sail Monday in rough weather.

<b>Highlands</b>

A blackfishing charter Saturday picked away at good-sized with <b>Lady M Charters</b> on the ocean, and the high hook limited out, Capt. Steve said. On a charter Sunday on the ocean aboard, blackfishing was a slow pick, but hung some quality. The next blackfishing is supposed to sail Tuesday aboard. Wind and cold might prevent the angling later in the week. Charters and open-boat trips are blackfishing, and space is still available through the end of the year.

<b>Neptune</b>

Not a lot of blackfish snapped on a trip Sunday on the ocean, but the size was there, and a 14-pounder was biggest cranked in, said Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>. The fishing ended up fairly good, and a trip today for the tautog was weathered out. An individual-reservation trip for blackfish is full Dec. 28.  More of the trips are set for Wednesday and Dec. 24.

<b>Belmar</b>

Blackfishing gave up a slow pick Sunday on the ocean with <b>XTC Sportfishing</b> but put together a catch, Capt. Scott said. A 7-1/2-pounder was largest, and striped bass fishing might’ve slowed. A trip is slated to fish for stripers this weekend on the ocean, but those plans could change.

<b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> ran blackfish trips on the ocean since the last report, Capt. Pete said. On some days, the tautog are biting early in the morning and again in the afternoon. On others, they’re biting all day, and some sizable are hitting, definitely. No striped bass fishing sailed since the last report, and fishing for them sounded like it slowed. If trips on the boat see stripers, they’ll jump after them. Currently, blackfish trips are slated. Space is available on a charter Wednesday that wants more anglers. 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. Room is available for charters and individual spaces on charters into the New Year for blackfishing.

Wind and cold prevented many anglers from fishing, “but the young and restless kept in the hunt,” Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. They beached striped bass from the surf, and the fish seemed smaller than before. But don’t put away the tackle, because vast schools of herring were seen. Gannets attacked them from above, and stripers chased them from below. Boating for blackfish went well on the ocean, and Hunter Schlegal released a 15-pound 4-ouncer on a charter. Winter flounder were active in Shark River, and many anglers limited out on two, who regularly fish for them.

It was a good season of striped bass fishing aboard, but the bass and bluefish seemed to depart for the year “pretty much,” a report said on the party boat <b>Golden Eagle</b>’s website. No trips will fish until after Christmas, when mackerel and herring should migrate. Then trips will get after them, and dates will be announced on the boat’s site. Three gift certificates for the price of two are available through Jan. 31 for holiday gifts. Contact the boat for them, and the certificates should be available on the boats’ site in a few days.

Trips will next fish during the weekend on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, if striped bass are swimming and weather is fair, an email from the party boat said. If no stripers are in, trips will be docked until the mackerel migration arrives. On Saturday’s trip, a few keeper stripers and a few throwbacks were swung in, and the fish were read great at times. On Sunday’s trip, some drifts produced a few stripers, and most drifts caught none, 2 miles off Shark River Inlet. Birds worked bait, and stripers broke all over the water surface sometimes. The fish were read top to bottom at times, and there was no lack of fish. “They just didn’t want to eat,” it said. Take advantage of a special on gift certificates: buy one certificate for $60 and get a $10 certificate free; buy two for $110 and get a $20 one free; buy five for $250 and get one free for a savings of $110; or buy 10 for $500 and get three free for a savings of $280. The certificates, available through Jan. 31, are valid for any fishing trips aboard and never expire.

<b>Brielle</b>

Excellent wreck-fishing was creamed on the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b> this past week on the ocean, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Almost all anglers limited out on big porgies, and some limited on jumbo sea bass to 6 ½ pounds. Cod to 14 pounds usually won pools. Some of the anglers who limited on both porgies and sea bass included Mack Dubois from Bristol, Justin Murphy from Lakewood and Joseph Griswold from Philly. Griswold won a pool with a 14-pound cod. Fishing aboard includes 12-, 14- and 18-hour trips for sea bass offshore, before sea bass season is closed beginning Jan. 1. For the 18-hour trips, reservations are required, and the number of passengers is limited. Beginning in January, trips will sail every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday for cod, ling, porgies and blackfish throughout winter. 

Boating for striped bass wasn’t the greatest on the ocean since last week’s storm, but some of the fish were picked to the south, said Bob from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Quite a few stripers were beached from the surf Saturday at three or four places including a couple of spots to the north, including Spring Lake. The fish were smaller but not the tiny that show up at the end of the migration, and some were in the 30 inches. Stripers generally were beached lately from Shark River Inlet to Island Beach State Park. No bluefish were heard about from anywhere, and the ocean was probably too cold. Skim ice formed in back waters in past days. Blackfishing was fairly good on the ocean. No specific depths were heard about, but anglers said blackfish still held inshore. A 7-1/2-pounder was the biggest heard about in past days.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

With <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, an open-boat trip loaded up on jumbo sea bass to 6 pounds and porgies to 4 pounds Sunday during offshore wreck-fishing, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. An 18-pound cod was also hauled in, and windy weather kept trips docked last week.  Follow <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/mushinsportfishing/" target="_blank">Mushin’s Facebook page</a> for open trips sailing on short notice, depending on weather.

What a great weekend on the ocean, a report said on the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>’s website.  Little cold, “but the ocean was nice,” it said, and blackfishing was good aboard Saturday. Catches began slowly, but the final place produced. Some quality blackfish 5 to 12 pounds came in, and some anglers limited out. The rest bagged one to four apiece, except one or two anglers who “could not get the right bite,” it said. On Sunday’s trip, the angling was a little slower. Keepers and shorts were picked, and a 6-pounder won the pool. Today’s trip was expected to be weathered out, and the fishing was expected to resume tomorrow. The Norma-K III is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Buy a gift certificate for a holiday gift.

<b>Toms River</b>

Surf anglers who moved to different locations to search for striped bass grabbed throwbacks on artificials throughout the weekend, <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>’s Facebook page said. A couple of anglers Sunday reported hooking the fish on Daiwa SP Minnows. Anglers might also try Jetty Ghost Keeled Sand Eels or Slims or other metal including Ava’s and T-Hex’s with teasers in olive over white, because of rumors about sand eels seen a little to the north. One angler who fished clams on Sunday reeled in two throwbacks from the beach. Stripers were still to the north in the surf, so the fishing should last locally. Those fish should migrate south. Barnegat Bay served up stripers, mostly throwbacks, off Oyster Creek, the Forked River power plant discharge, on bucktails, rubber shads, Fin-S Fish and small swimming plugs. Fresh clams and eels were stocked. A gift-certificate sale is underway for the holidays. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

A few striped bass were banked from the surf, a report said Friday on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. That was the most recent report at press time, and weather was chilly then. A report Thursday on the site said a few throwbacks and occasional keepers were dragged from the surf. The phone failed to ring “off the hook, so fewer fisherman are fishing,” it said. “Add to that the mindset that it’s all over, and you get your few shorts and an occasional keeper report every time,” it said. A few of the fish were still around, and anglers might need to dress a little warmer, “change your technic,” it said, and fish a little harder. Gift cards are available until Christmas that are worth 20-percent extra. They can be used to purchase anything at the shop except items already on sale. Daiwa SP Minnows are three for $25. St. Croix and Star rods are 20 percent off, and 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 and, in season, a dock for fishing and crabbing, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Striped bass are gone, said Capt. Ted from the <b>Super Chic</b>. A trip for them Saturday on the ocean caught none aboard, searching as far south as Brant Beach. The fish seemed to migrate farther south, and he heard about none boated that day, and he thought none was boated Sunday, too. So he wrapped up fishing for the season on the vessel. Trips will resume maybe in April and definitely by May, beginning with wreck-fishing for cod and blackfish. Sea bass season usually opens in May. Ted thanks anglers for fishing aboard this year, looks forward to seeing them next year, and wishes everybody Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Last week’s weather seemed to shove the striped bass migration away from the local ocean for boaters, the party boat <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>’s Facebook page said. “Seems (the weather) in the middle of the week pushed the fish we had (out) of here,” it said. Only one throwback was landed on Saturday’s trip, “and not for lack of trying,” it said. So the boat was winterized Sunday, and trips are finished fishing for the year aboard. Next year’s schedule will be posted in early spring on the vessel’s website. The Larson family, the captains and the crew thank all who fished on the boat this year. They wish everybody happy, healthy holidays and a prosperous New Year. Telephone the boat for holiday gift certificates.

<b>Brigantine</b>

Boaters beat striped bass on the ocean, but surf anglers found none, a report said on <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>’s website. Stripers were slid from the surf farther north, but hope is fading that they’ll migrate to the local wash. Lots of great gifts are on hand for the holidays. If you can’t get to the store, everything except rods can be shipped. That includes reels, other tackle, sweat shirts and even <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/CaptAndy911/videos/10153846649886627/
" target="_blank">Stock’s Famous Pound Cakes</a> from Philadelphia’s Stock’s Bakery. Buy a gift certificate worth 10 percent extra that are available until Christmas Eve. Stop in or telephone the shop.

<b>Longport</b>

Weather was cold and snow flew, but blackfish chewed during the whole trip yesterday on the <b>Stray Cat</b> on the ocean, Capt. Mike said. Good fishing, and he was surprised, because the ocean was flat-calm, and current hardly ran, and blackfish are usually finicky then. The water was gin clear, and Mike’s no longer going to sail on bitter-cold days. “Just not going to,” he said, but open-boat trips are blackfishing on every fit day. One of the trips is full Wednesday, and a striped bass charter is slated for Tuesday. Special open trips will fish for sea bass offshore on Dec. 22 and 29, before sea bass season is closed beginning Jan. 1. Reservations are required for the sea bassing, and if weather is rough, the trips will blackfish instead. The ocean temperature dropped to 45 degrees, 5 degrees lower than recently. The water might warm a little, if a couple of days are sunny. Trips will fish aboard until the water chills to 40 degrees. 

<b>Wildwood</b>

A good catch of striped bass, all about 38 inches, was trolled from the ocean Friday with <b>Fins & Grins Sport Fishing</b>, Capt. Jim said. Check out a <a href=" http://www.fishingreportsnow.com/NJ_Fishing_Photos_View.cfm/PhotoID/19413/desc/Striped-bass-from-the-ocean-br.html" target="_blank">photo</a> of the fish. Thousands of birds worked the water and a dozen whales swam the area during the fishing. Fins fishes every day, when there’s demand, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.

<b>Cape May</b>

Fishing for striped bass was a pick in legal waters on the ocean, said Capt. John from <b>Caveman Sportfishing</b>. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from shore, and many stripers to 20 and 30 pounds schooled 5 miles from the coast. Law enforcement boarded boats left and right in illegal waters.

Many boaters fished for striped bass on the ocean Sunday, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>. Weather was calm that day, and everybody he spoke with landed one or two of the fish per trip. He did no fishing that day, and sailed the boat to be wintered along Maurice River instead. Charters are wrapped up for the season aboard, but George will still fish on friends’ boats this year. He and friends on the Heavy Hitter on Saturday trolled five stripers from the ocean. Seas were a 3-foot chop but not bad. Weather was cold in the morning but warmed, and the trip returned by lunchtime.

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