Tue., Nov. 21, 2017
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 12-19-16


<b>Keyport</b>

No blackfishing sailed in past days on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Weather was either cold, windy or both. “Weather this time of the year has to be watched closely,” he wrote. But one spot is available for an open-boat trip for blackfish Tuesday, and three are open for another on Wednesday. Forecasts look like the trips can fish, and forecasts look too rough for trips on Thursday and Friday. No trips will run Saturday and Sunday on Christmas Eve and Christmas. He’ll try to run a few of the trips next week, if weather permits. Frank wishes anglers Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. “The success of the Vitamin Sea is thanks to all of you who each morning step onto her deck and allow me to share my passion with you,” he wrote. “… I cannot thank you enough. What I can say is that this is my business and I will always give you my best. Even on those days (when fishing is against us), know that I am giving you my best effort. I will always be honest and work hard to earn your respect. Hope to see all of you back next season for another ‘Dose of Vitamin Sea.’ God bless all of you. Happy Holidays (again).” Striped bass charters are booking for spring.

When blackfishing gets the weather to sail, the angling is great, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. Open-boat trips are slated to fish for them daily, and charters are available. Trips are expected to continue until mid or late January. Striped bass fishing is finished for the year aboard. 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.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Capt. Tom Buban expects his party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> to resume blackfishing Tuesday, he said. Wednesday was the most recent of the trips, before the weather turned. The boat was shaped up to fish today, the only head boat in the port that was, but only three anglers showed up, so no trip sailed. Weather looks better in the next days, and trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Tuesday, 12/20:***</b>. Today’s trip sailed, and weather was beautiful, Tom said at 10 a.m. in a phone call aboard. The high hook on keepers landed three already, and anglers had to work through shorts to bag keepers, like usual, but all caught at least shorts. Action was good, and wind looks calm in the next days. If anglers want in on blackfishing, now’s the opportunity. The daily trips are expected to sail, and the fish are biting.

<b>Highlands</b>

<b>Lady M Charters</b> was supposed to resume blackfishing today, Capt. Steve said before the trip. Trips were weathered out previously, and charters and open-boat trips are sailing for the tautog, and a few dates are available. He expects to sail into January, and the water’s plenty warm for the angling. That should continue, unless a major snowstorm barrels in.

<b>Belmar</b>

With <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, blackfishing was canceled in past days, because of weather including extreme cold Thursday and Friday, Capt. Pete said. But larger blackfish are beginning to bite, like they do late in the year, and blackfish bit well on most days. Many trips had anglers who limited out. The boat will keep after the tautog, and individual spaces are available for the angling Wednesday and Thursday with charters who want more anglers. More of the spaces are available on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 29 and 30. 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.

Great blackfishing was tackled Friday on the <b>Big Mohawk</b> on the ocean, the party boat’s Facebook page said. “Guys had limits,” it said, and an 8-pound blackfish won the pool. Trips were apparently weathered out Saturday and Sunday, and the boat was expected to head out today. The Big Mohawk is blackfishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Sometimes the trips depart earlier, so check with the boat.

<b>Brielle</b>

Weather looks calm for Tuesday through Friday, the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b>’s Facebook page said. Trips were apparently weathered out in recent days aboard. But fishing’s been great on the boat, it said. Ten-, 12-, 14- and 18-hour trips are fishing for sea bass and other catches at ocean wrecks, before sea bass season is closed beginning Jan. 1. 

Anglers got out a little, and striped bass, occasionally up to 20 pounds, were still boated on the ocean, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Boaters ran into them off Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach, he knew. They also found the fish north and south of Manasquan Inlet, from Bradley Beach to Lavallette. The boaters often jigged the fish on rubber shads and crocs. They had shots at the bass on popper lures. They also trolled the stripers on umbrella rigs with shads, and whether the shads were white or green didn’t seem to matter. Surf anglers beached stripers, mostly throwbacks but a few keepers to 30 inches, generally in the same areas. That was on Daiwa SP Minnows, metal-lipped swimmers and pencil poppers. Bluefin tuna fishing was pretty good from the Mudhole to 5 miles from shore on trolled ballyhoos. RonZ’s and Williamson Surface Pros also hooked the tuna, 50- to 100-pounders. For anglers boating for blackfish, if they wanted numbers, Shrewsbury Rocks and off the Red Church were where to go, in 40 to 50 feet of water. Those places held plenty, and if the anglers wanted bigger blackfish, Axel Carlson Reef was the place to fish. The tautog were fewer but bigger there. Sea bass fishing had ups and downs but was good overall in offshore waters. The angling was dwindling inshore, but a few were picked at Shark River Reef inshore.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Blackfishing was a go today on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said before the trip on the party boat’s website. Weather looks great for the rest of the week, too, and Friday’s trip was the most recent that sailed. Weather was cold, but the ocean was flat, and anglers picked at some good-sized blackfish. Some anglers were “locked in and limited out 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 were canceled because of forecasts, and trips are slated to blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Christmas Eve’s trip will fish 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Gift certificates are available for the holidays.

Weather is supposed to be beautiful for an overnight sea bass trip Tuesday to Wednesday on the <b>Gambler</b>, and room is available, the party boat’s Facebook page said. A number of the 18-hour trips are slated through Dec. 30, before sea bass season is closed beginning Jan. 1, and reservations are required. See <a href=" http://www.gamblerfishing.net/offshore-sea-bass.php" target="_blank">the boat’s website</a> for info.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

The only striped bass catches heard about from the surf were banked farther north, a report said Saturday on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. That was the most recent report at press time, and throwback stripers, but plenty, were reported from there on swimming lures like Daiwa SP Minnows with or without teasers. Light tackle with smaller lures and teasers is the way to go this time of season. The secret is to keep moving, both to find the fish and stay warm. Finding the right holiday gifts for anglers is no problem at the shop, the report said. Rods, reels and lures are available at deep discounts. Buy a gift card worth 20 percent extra. 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>Longport</b>

Spaces are available Tuesday and Friday for open-boat blackfishing on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. Wednesday and Thursday are sold out, and angling was weathered out in past days aboard. Thursday’s trip is an open-boat for jumbo sea bass offshore. Mike wanted to jump on the fishing before sea bass season is closed beginning Jan. 1. Space remains on another one of the sea bass trips on Thursday, Dec. 29. Reservations are required for the sea bassing, and the trip will blackfish, if weather is too rough to sail offshore. Mike will try to run more of the sea bass trips the next two weekends, if anglers want to go. Telephone the boat if interested. The ocean is 45 to 46 degrees, and the boat will keep fishing until the water drops to 40. Mike hopes to sail through January.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Reports were scarce because of weather, but customers who did report said striped bass in the ocean were “still present and plentiful,” <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>’s Facebook page said today. All of the trolling, jigging, popper-plugging and bunker-snagging tackle is stocked. So is a full inventory of live and frozen bait, and as much fresh bait as can be gotten from suppliers. While other shops might be closing up, “we are loading up,” the page said.

Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>, did no striped bass fishing during the weekend, because of weather, he said. Wind failed to blow nearly as much as forecast Saturday, but rain fell. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will kick off aboard this Christmas weekend, fishing until Easter. Fishing mostly on weekends, the trips can be a mini vacation, targeting a large variety of catches. Catches can range from redfish, speckled sea trout and snook to tarpon, sailfish and blackfin tuna. See the <a href=" http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters’ page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Avalon</b>

<b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> hunted waterfowl Friday and Saturday, no matter the weather, and the hunting was very good, Capt. Jim said. Fishing is finished for the year aboard, and 27 birds were bagged on the trips, hunting on Delaware Bay and along the Intracoastal Waterway. The hunters were taking nine to the taxidermist, and mounting some was their goal. On Friday, air temperature was 19 degrees, and the prop needed to be used to bust up ice. Saturday was warmer, and wind that was forecast failed to blow, but Jim and hunters woke up to snow, and then rain fell all day. The sky only cleared in time to see the sunset. The hunters limited out on one brant apiece each day. They also bagged hooded mergansers, red breasted mergansers, black ducks and mallards. They saw pintails, gadwalls, buffleheads, tundra swan and Canadian geese. The Canadians flew high, heading directly to Delaware. So quite a mixed bag of waterfowl flew. One of the brants had a single band. Jim in the last report said a brant bagged on the last hunting aboard had two bands, one on each leg. He received the info back since for that bird, and the brant was originally banded in 2008 in Labrador, north of Canada, and the goose was a year or two old when originally banded. That was a long distance away, and Jim didn’t realize the bird would be so old. The birds occasionally have two bands, either because two different metals, one in each band, are being tested, or because the bird was caught twice and banded each time. Bagging one with two bands is like harvesting a 10-point buck, he said. The hunter was going to mount the bird. Fins hunts waterfowl in New Jersey and surrounding states, following the migrations, into February.     

<b>Wildwood</b>

Weather was cold, but Capt. Jim from <b>Fins & Grins Sport Fishing</b> and friends dressed for the temperature and boated a couple of striped bass from the ocean Friday that they bagged, he said. The day was in the 20 degrees, but the ocean was calm. Stripers are still migrating the water. Right place, right time, he said. Jim also heard that striper fishing erupted off Atlantic City just off the beach for boaters that day. Fins is slated to fish every day, when there’s demand. Reservations aren’t required but suggested, and telephone for availability.

<b>Cape May</b>

Striped bass still swam the ocean off South Jersey, said Capt. John from <b>Caveman Sportfishing</b>. Thursday and Friday were cold, but wind and the ocean were calm on Friday near shore, and the four anglers aboard that day limited out on under stripers and released additional. Trips will keep after stripers, and John is trying to put together open-boat sea bass trips offshore before sea bass season is closed beginning Jan. 1. Contact the boat if interested.

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> was dry-docked for winter last week, but Capt. George might still fish with friends, he said. He’d like to sail for sea bass, before sea bass season is closed beginning Jan. 1. A friend talked with someone who clobbered terrific sea bass fishing 30 miles from shore. Wednesday was the most recent striped bass fishing George heard about. The fish were reported boated off Sea Isle City on the ocean that day. Thursday and Friday were brutally cold. Rain fell most of Saturday, after snow and then ice in the morning, and Sunday was surprisingly warm, until becoming cold late in the day.

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