Sun., Dec. 9, 2018
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 12-15-16


Blackfishing plowed a decent number of keepers and good action with throwbacks yesterday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank said. A few jumbos got off. “Frustrating to say the least,” he wrote. “Highlight was the first keeper cod fish of the fall season.” Open-boat trips will blackfish on every day when weather is fishable. Those days are limited this time of year, and forecasts seem to change every few hours. Forecasts currently looked like Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday will be possible, but that could change. This weekend’s forecasts looked rough, and no trips will sail then.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

A few more keeper blackfish bit on Wednesday than on Tuesday on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. All anglers reeled in the tautog on the trips – the fishing was good. Just lots were throwbacks, and not all anglers landed a keeper. On Wednesday’s trip, the high hook bagged five. Weather was somewhat windy that day, but not bad. Today’s and Friday’s trips would be weathered out, but the Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Customers, a few, still surf-fished, said Joe from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. How they fared was unknown, and boats blackfished yesterday. No results were heard, but blackfishing’s been good on some days, slow on others: typical.

Surf anglers actually still beached a few striped bass, said Tom from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. The angling was better farther south, but they caught locally at Sandy Hook, not a lot, but a few. Not many anglers did the fishing, and weather often failed to encourage more to go. Mostly swimming lures connected, like Daiwa SP Minnows. Sometimes bait hooked up. Party boats racked up decent blackfishing. Farther south, this was a good season of winter flounder fishing on Shark River. Nobody seems to flounder fish locally anymore, because of the two-flounder bag limit. Flounder trips used to be popular locally. All baits are stocked, including green crabs and white crabs. The shop, new this year, is the sister store to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, and is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, down the docks from the port’s party, charter and private boats.


An open-boat trip for blackfish first fished at 17 fathoms Tuesday with <b>Lady M Charters</b>, Lady M’s Facebook page said. The angling was okay, picking keepers and shorts. After an hour, catches slowed, and the boat was moved. But conditions began to fall apart, including the current slowing, making anchoring difficult to stay on the piece. So the trip moved to “big bottom,” and that helped. The tide turned and a little wind began to blow, and the boat could finally be kept still, and life began to build, and an okay bite developed. The high hook landed eight legal-sized blackfish, keeping no more than a limit of six. A few other anglers also limited out, and a cod was caught. Bonus. Open-boat trips and charters are fishing. 


Fair blackfishing was canned the last few days on the ocean aboard, when trips had the weather to sail, said Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>. Forecasts looked like no trips would fish a couple of days now. An individual-reservation trip will blackfish on Dec. 24, and another is full on Dec. 28.


The cold shut down fishing today, but previously striped bass were winged from the surf, mostly from Manasquan Inlet to the south, said Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>. They should remain after these two cold days, and the fish were usually hooked 5 to 7 p.m. The bass were smaller than previously, maybe 23 to 28 inches, and smaller size is normal for the time of year. If a keeper was landed, it was 28 inches, minimum legal-sized. Small plugs reportedly caught best, like Mambo Minnows and Yo-Zuri Mag Darters, not the big swimmers popular before. Bob had done none of the fishing recently, but that’s what he heard. Blackfishing was great on the ocean, and a 13-pounder was weighed-in from a Belmar party boat. Several big were seen the last two days. Sizes were good, and no boats fished today. Winter flounder fishing was terrific on Shark River, and those were sizable, too, mostly keepers. Marty from the shop limited out on two of the flatfish every day this week. 

Good day of blackfishing, the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b>’s Facebook page said about Wednesday aboard the ocean. On Tuesday’s trip, the angling was a bit picky or sluggish, and conditions were no good. “Guys did manage to get some fish, but it just was not up to par,” it said. Nothing was posted about Monday aboard, and maybe the trip was weathered out. No trip would sail in today’s weather, but forecasts looked like a trip would sail tomorrow in a window of weather. Trips are blackfishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. However, sometimes the trips were slated to depart at 6 a.m., according to the Facebook page, so confirm with the boat.

Capt. Pete himself from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> smashed his personal-best blackfish, a 15-pound 28-incher, this week, he said. Blackfishing, on the ocean, has been great aboard, and some big have been heaved in. Sizable began to show up like they do late in the year. The fishing, as always, depended on conditions, and trips will keep after them into the New Year, weather permitting. Striped bass trips are beginning to book for next year, including because people are grabbing dates for holiday gifts. 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. Plenty of the spaces are available.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 12/16:***</b> Was a little chilly, but the ocean was flat on a trip today on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Anglers picked at some good-sized blackfish, and some of the customers locked into limits, “and some (caught) less,” it said. Dave Pereira from North Plainfield won the pool with a 13-pounder. “Hopefully the bite will get better as the water chills down,” it said. Saturday’s and Sunday’s trips will be weathered out, but Monday’s forecasts look good. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, and Christmas Eve’s trip will fish 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Green crabs and white crabs are carried aboard.

<b>Toms River</b>

Surf anglers who worked at the fishing banked throwback striped bass 12 to 18 inches, very few keepers, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Few fished, and weather this time last year was in the 60 degrees, but this year is colder. The high temperature is supposed to be 26 degrees today and 28 tomorrow in Toms River. But the weekend’s supposed to be warmer. The surf casters caught on swimming lures like Daiwa SP Minnows and bucktails. Needlefish lures were fished more and more, because sand eels began to be seen in the surf. The surf was 48 degrees, and nothing was heard about boating for stripers on the ocean. A couple of customers blackfished on the ocean on a party boat during the weekend. The angling was a slow pick on the trip, but the anglers were told the fishing was good the previous day aboard. A few fresh clams are stocked, but no more fresh bait will be carried for the year. Frozen bait including frozen, salted clams is on hand. The store will be open daily through next week, at least. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Not many anglers fished the surf, but a few locals yanked small striped bass from the water, said Tom from <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>. They tossed small plugs including Mambo Minnows and Yo-Zuris, and according to reports, and from what Tom saw, the bass were about 18, 20 or 22 inches. He took a drive on the beach. 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.


A couple of boaters snuck out for striped bass on the ocean on better-weather days this week, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. The fishing was very hit and miss within 3 miles from shore. Some anglers apparently boated beyond 3 miles, where striper fishing is closed, and were “intercepted” last weekend. Snow was on the ground and wind howled today, and Dave imagined this weather would drop the ocean temperature and chase any stripers from legal waters. He pulled his boat yesterday, and is finished charters for the season. He’d been chartering for stripers. The cold snap will pull blackfish out from bays and along jetties to the deeper water in the ocean for the year, he thought. But blackfishing was good on the ocean during a couple of calmer days of weather when anglers boated for them. A good number of green crabs are stocked for bait for blackfish, if the crabs don’t freeze tonight. But he didn’t think they would. The shop will hold a good sale for holiday gifts until the end of the year. If anglers want to get away and <a href="" target="_blank">fish Guatemala</a> this winter, he can set them up.


Striped bass were boated on the ocean until today’s weather, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Surf fishing for striped bass never developed this season, and the last weighed-in was on Nov. 11. The store will be open until Christmas Eve, closing afterward for a winter break. Deals, plenty of them, are available for holiday gifts. Buy a gift certificate for the holidays worth 10 percent extra. Pick up a <a href="
" target="_blank">Stock’s pound cake</a> from Philadelphia’s Stock’s Bakery that are carried at Riptide.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Although weather was cold today, Saturday is supposed to be in the 50 degrees and Sunday is supposed to be 62, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. The store will hold its <b>Fishing for Toys Striper Tournament</b> those two days, and prizes will be $250 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third for the heaviest of the fish. One prize per angler will be awarded. In other words, one angler can’t win two of the prizes or all three. To enter, simply donate a toy at the shop for the Police Athletic League. Small stripers bit along Absecon Inlet at the T-jetty and off the Flagship for anglers on foot. The T is at the ocean end of the inlet, and the Flagship is partway between the ocean and the bay. The stripers swiped fresh clams, fresh bunker and eels. Blackfish still chomped along the inlet on green crabs. Before today’s weather, boaters caught stripers on the ocean along the 3-mile line on trolled Mojos, livelined bunker snagged for bait and eels. All the baits mentioned and more, the full supply, are stocked.  Sign a <a href="" target="_blank">petition</a> for anglers to protest the government’s potential closing of fishing the jetties along the inlet. Click the link to read about that. The government said access will be granted, after Noel began to spearhead the protest. But until the government makes that official, the protest needs to continue.


On the <b>Stray Cat</b> yesterday on the ocean, blackfish bit in the morning, shut off a while and then turned back on, Capt. Mike said. A couple of anglers limited out, and a 7-pound blackfish won the pool. Some good-sized have been around. Strong west or northwest wind blew, after switching from north at first. The ocean was 47 degrees, compared with 45 during the weekend. Mike had said in the last report that the water might warm a little. The water had dropped to 45 by the weekend from 50, because of weather last week. During the trip, bird play was seen right on the reef. Stray Cat did no fishing at the birds, but a few boats did, picking away at striped bass. Open-boat trips are blackfishing every day when weather’s fit. None of the trips would sail today and Friday in the bitter cold, but the trips will resume Saturday and Sunday. A few spaces remain for special, open, 12-hour trips for jumbo sea bass offshore on Dec. 22 and 29. Reservations are required for the sea bassing.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Before today’s bad weather, most striped bass swam considerably beyond 3 miles from shore, said Justin from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Fishing for stripers is closed beyond 3 miles, and authorities reportedly cracked down seriously on the illegal angling last weekend. But if boaters trolled legal waters enough on the ocean, they found stripers. Surf-fishing was dead for stripers and any catches. Plenty of stripers swam the back bay before today’s weather, and the water was warm enough. Lots, including keepers, were angled Monday night along 9th Street Bridge. Night was the time to fish for them, and Justin tells anglers that once the bridge lights go on, the fish can be caught. Mostly soft-plastic lures hooked the bass. No blackfishing was heard about from the ocean to the bay. No green crabs were sold for bait for them in 1 ½ weeks. Maybe anglers concentrated on stripers.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

One striped bass probably 17 pounds was trolled from the ocean Saturday on a trip with three anglers aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. His trips have been trolling Mojos and umbrella rigs with rubber shads for stripers, and a trip also fished for the bass Sunday on the boat, but the angling was tough. Stripers are still around, but they’re not everywhere. “There’s been some flashes of brilliance,” he said, but the fishing is mostly on the troll, covering water. The ocean was 46 to 47 degrees, and bunker have been schooling. Fewer of the baitfish were seen than before, but plenty were still in. Joe would like to fish for stripers this weekend, but weather might prevent that. During the following weekend, Christmas weekend, his annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys begin, fishing until Easter. Mostly taking place on weekends, the Keys trips can be like a mini vacation. A large variety of fish can be targeted, from redfish, speckled sea trout and snook to tarpon, sailfish and blackfin tuna. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters’ page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


<b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> waterfowl hunted two days last week, and more of the hunting was supposed to sail late this week, Capt. Jim said. Fishing aboard might be finished for the year. The hunting was good for brant. They were in, and sea ducks were scarce. Colder weather was needed to trigger the ducks to migrate south to the local area, but enough cold might’ve been arriving currently. The trips fished on the ocean and Delaware Bay. On the ocean, about 30 boats were seen fishing just off Townsend’s Inlet Reef during the waterfowling. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including saltwater fishing and duck and goose hunting. The waterfowling is just getting started and will hunt into February from New Jersey. The hunting also takes place in neighboring states, wherever migrations are best.


The two striped bass trips slated for this weekend had to be scrubbed with <b>Fins & Grins Sport Fishing</b> because of weather forecasts, Capt. Jim said. Some of the fish were hooked at Peacock Shoal off Avalon yesterday. Fins fishes every day, when there’s demand, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.

<b>Cape May</b>

Good striped bass fishing was smoked from the ocean yesterday along the 3-mile line off Sea Isle City with <b>Caveman Sportfishing</b> on the troll, Capt. John said. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from shore, and the trip limited out on unders in an hour and then released five or six more. Then the anglers had enough fishing, so the trip returned to port. A hundred of the bass could’ve been landed, and stripers more often have schooled beyond 3 miles. Lots have been swimming there.

A bunch of blackfish were shoveled from the ocean Sunday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. A few anglers limited out, including Alex Levantovsky from Philadelphia, Craig Constantino from Voorhees and Mike Youcis from Bridgeton. Levantovsky won the pool with a 9-pounder. No trip sailed Saturday, because only five or six anglers wanted to go, maybe because that was the final day of deer season. Twenty-eight anglers joined Sunday’s trip. Go figure, Paul said. No trips fished afterward this week, and the trips probably had the weather to sail, but few anglers were interested. Telephone ahead to confirm trips will sail, including because of weather. Forecasts looked rough for today and tomorrow, and maybe afterward. The boat is slated to sail for blackfish at 8 a.m. daily.

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