Wed., Nov. 22, 2017
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 10-16-17

<b>Keyport</b>

Striped bass to 30 pounds were smashed with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. The fish are in, and were mostly eeled aboard. Some were bunker-chunked, and big blues were mixed in. Open-boat trips are striper fishing daily. Down Deep’s other boat is porgy fishing on open trips daily, and that was excellent. Lots of out-of-season sea bass were released, and those trips will switch to sea bass beginning Sunday, opening day of sea bass season. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers for any of this fishing. Sign up for the Short Notice List on <a href="http://downdeepsportfishing.com" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special open trips. Book blackfish charters for later this fall.

Great striped bass fishing was clobbered Saturday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The boat limited out, and many additional stripers were released. The fish weighed 15 to 25 pounds, and sometimes three and four were hooked at once. Chaos, he said, an absolutely great trip. Good-sized bluefish were mixed in. But on Sunday, boat traffic was incredible. That even made running the boat back up on a drift difficult. Was like an obstacle course. Some bluefish were hooked, until traffic became that heavy. Charters are fishing, and one space is available Thursday for an open-boat trip. Four spaces are available Friday for an open trip. The rest of the week and the weekend is full. Telephone to reserve, and don’t wait, or you’ll miss out.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Striped bass, limit catches, were here, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. The fish to 20 pounds, not huge, were eeled on the New York side of Raritan Bay. Some were trolled, but eeling rustled them up best. Porgies and blackfish still bit, and a mix of trips for stripers and the porgies and blackfish will probably sail, until more stripers fill waters. Scattered tuna catches were reported from offshore canyons. Joe will fish for them sometimes during breaks in weather. 

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

The daily porgy trip would be docked today in 30-knot wind on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. But the angling was great on Saturday and Sunday’s trips, “although Saturday we did get a good butt kicking!” it said. A nasty swell had built because of three days of wind. The fish were smaller Saturday, but much bigger Sunday. After today, weather looked great for the week. Trips are fishing for porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Some of the trips for porgies were weathered out toward the end of the week, but the fishing resumed throughout the weekend on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Catches were pretty good on both of Saturday’s trips. On Sunday morning’s trip, fewer were hooked but the porgies were big. On the afternoon’s trip, the angling was very good. Wind was forecast for today, but the crew is trying to sail on every trip. Trips are fishing for porgies 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. The trips will fish for sea bass beginning Sunday, opening day of sea bass season. Eventually, one ¾-day trip will fish daily, instead of two half-day trips. That’s because the fish will migrate farther from shore, and more time is needed to reach them. Toms expects the schedule to remain twice daily through this week, at least. Anglers can telephone the boat if they need to ask about the schedule.

<b>Neptune</b>

A charter slammed big bluefish Saturday aboard, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. Want big blues? Now’s the time, he said. Space is available on individual-reservation trips for sea bass Oct. 24 and Nov. 4 and blackfish Nov. 16. The bag limit will be raised to six blackfish beginning that day, from the current limit of one. <b>***Update, Tuesday, 10/17:***</b> A charter wants additional anglers for cod, pollock, giant sea bass, jumbo porgies and ling on Saturday, Oct. 28, Ralph wrote in an email. Contact him to jump aboard.

<b>Belmar</b>

From <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>, Bob’s been surf fishing for striped bass half the night, working the shop the rest of the day, he wrote in an email. But he’s catching! Stripers are beginning to migrate down the coast. “We should see a blitz any day,” he said. That’ll happen as baitfish like peanut bunker pour into the ocean from rivers and bays. Belmar’s party boats are having a banner season of fishing for porgies and blackfish. Party boats that are bluefishing from the port are hammering slammers. Bob weighed-in a 20-pounder. Winter flounder began to migrate to Shark River. More and more kept being hooked, and one angler saw five landed yesterday morning.

<b>XTC Sportfishing</b> had the weather to fish once this past week, Capt. Scott said. Bonito, small and large bluefish, porgies and winter flounder were decked. Out-of-season sea bass were let go. Trips are fishing for tuna offshore whenever weather allows. That angling was weathered out recently. Trips will run for striped bass when the migration arrives in this area.

Tuna fishing was canceled because of weather this weekend on the <b>Katie H</b>, Capt. Mike said. A charter was slated for Friday to Saturday, and was given the option to fish Saturday to Sunday or Sunday to today instead. But that was weathered out, too. Tuna trips are booked for every weekend this month. Sea bass season will open Sunday, so trips will have that option, too.

Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> was supposed to fish for tuna on a friend’s boat this weekend, he said. But weather scrubbed that. He worked on the boat instead. Striped bass began to be boated to the north at New York Harbor or in the back of Raritan Bay. They should be a couple of weeks from migrating to the local ocean. Charters will get after them aboard then, and sea bass charters will begin on the boat once sea bass season opens Sunday.

Big bluefish to 22 pounds were tackled Saturday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email from the party boat said. An excellent day of fishing, and Sunday’s trip jumped on big blues to 22 pounds again, another good catch. Was a phenomenal weekend of fishing for big blues, and trips are sailing for them and striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Blues to 20 pounds, all you wanted, were lit up Friday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Super fishing, and the angling began slower on Saturday’s trip. But then the fish, monsters, began to bite, until four gaffs were going at once, non-stop. The bluefishing ended up super again. A trip also fished Saturday night, and Mohawked blues again, this time up to 23 pounds. A tuna trip, the final this season, was supposed to fish Sunday to today. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Because last Saturday night’s trip went well, another will run 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. this coming Saturday.

<b>Brielle</b>

Was a tough week of weather for offshore fishing, said Alex from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. The only report he heard about offshore was from a charter boat that went 6 for 10 on tuna. The fish were yellowfins 60 to 70 pounds, and all the bites were at night on the chunk. Alex was unsure about location but figured almost certainly Hudson Canyon. Inshore fishing pounded plenty of porgies, including double-headers, at Shrewsbury Rocks. Plenty of blackfish were boated, though one is the bag limit. A tackle manufacturer clocked a 10-pound 8-ounce blackfish at Shrewsbury Rocks on one of his crab jigs. Striped bass finally began to be boated on the ocean. Stripers 20 to 35 pounds were trolled at Shrewsbury Rocks on bunker spoons and Mojos. False albacore swam the ocean from Sandy Hook to Sea Bright. Surf anglers also ran into the albies there. Surf fishing locally was slow. But large bluefish 10 to 12 pounds were fought from the surf near Manasquan Inlet. Stripers 20 to 32 inches were pasted at Manasquan River and Point Pleasant Canal on rubber shads, bucktails and eels. Bluefish also swam both places, tearing up the shads and eels. Blackfishing was fairly good in the canal and Manasquan Inlet on green crabs on blackfish rigs.

The high hook bucketed 28 ling and some anglers boxed as many as 20 big porgies at the Mudhole on Sunday on the <b>Jamaica II</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Customers who fished for winter flounder mostly limited out on two. A barrelfish was also cranked in. Fishing began slowly on the trip. Current ran strong into the wind, so the trip moved shallower. Out-of-season sea bass clobbered baits, but some good-sized porgies were managed. The final drop served up good ling fishing, a steady pick most of the afternoon.  Trips are bottom-fishing like this. Trips will target sea bass beginning Sunday, opening day of sea bass season.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Every one of <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>’s offshore trips for tuna were weathered out this past week, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips are fishing.

Good porgy fishing, including for sizable, was snatched up Saturday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fishing was a little slower on Sunday’s trip, for some reason. A few blackfish were drilled on the trips. Friday night’s bluefishing trip was weathered out. On Saturday’s night’s, anglers picked away at jumbos 10 to 20 pounds, a little better than the previous weekend’s bluefishing. So the crew hopes bluefishing keeps improving. Trips are fishing for porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, and the trips will sail for sea bass beginning Sunday, opening day of sea bass season. Trips are bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.

<b>Seaside Height</b>

A pick of small striped bass and bluefish was eased from the surf, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. But that can change on a dime this time of year. Catches slowed from the dock. Good-sized blues were nearly gone that were fought from the dock for weeks. Fewer and fewer crabs were trapped from the dock. 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, boat rentals and, in season, jet-ski rentals.

<b>Forked River</b>

No tuna trips sailed in a week on the <b>Tuna-Tic</b> because of weather, Capt. Mike said. He’ll try to resume the trips later this week. Striped bass trips will fish a brief period, about a week, in November aboard. Take note if you want stripers.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

A 30-hour trip sailed for tuna Saturday to Sunday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, the party boat’s website and Facebook page said. A good number of mahi mahi were axed Saturday afternoon, when the trip fished for them at lobster-pot buoys. “Some pots were duds and others were studs,” it said. At night, the boat was drifted off the Continental Shelf in 200 fathoms. Swordfish gave up some action the first half of the night. Three swords to 175 pounds were kept, and three small were released. Also at night, a 175-pound bigeye tuna and a 70-pound yellowfin tuna were bagged, and a few tuna runoffs were missed. At daybreak, tuna were marked, but no takers. Bait fished included live spots and squid and fresh squid, sardines and butterfish. Jigs were also fished.  <a href="http://www.missbarnegatlight.com/TunaFishing.html" target="_blank">Tuna trips</a> are fishing throughout the month, and telephone to reserve.

<b>Longport</b>

Fishing was gangbusters on the ocean, drop-and-reel, said Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b>. All kinds of fish bit, including kingfish, porgies, grunts, triggerfish, blowfish and pigfish. Green crabs couldn’t be fished for blackfish, because out-of-season sea bass chewed up the bait before it could reach blackfish. Sea bass were migrating farther from shore, thinning out close in. Saturday and Sunday are sold out, and the boat will begin sea bassing Sunday, opening day of sea bass season. Space is available on open-boat trips for sea bass next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As sea bass push farther from shore, the trips will, too. Trips will sea bass until blackfishing beginning Nov. 16, when the bag limit will be increased to six of the tautog from the current limit of one. Saturdays are almost all booked for charters. The ocean was 69 to 70 degrees, still warm, and was gin-clear beyond 6 miles from shore, murky closer in.  

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

The year’s final, annual traveling trips to Montauk fished this weekend aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. False albacore fishing was great. Saturday’s trip landed more than 30, and Sunday’s trip fished only a couple of hours, but fought 10 to 15 aboard. That angling was also stellar. No bluefish were mixed in, but they were sometimes in previous weeks. Other boats sometimes fished for striped bass this weekend from the port, mostly eeling for the fish. Most caught one if lucky, and striper fishing was underwhelming this season from there. The next traveling charters will be annual ones to the Florida Keys from Christmas to Easter. See the <a href=" http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. Joe will concentrate on fishing from Sea Isle City now. Trips for striped bass and bluefish will fish the ocean in November. Trips can fish for smaller stripers in the back bay right now. Sea bass fishing can sail aboard beginning Sunday, opening day of sea bass season. During the past couple of years, albie fishing turned on from October’s final week to November’s aboard the ocean off Sea Isle, so that might develop.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Cape May</b>

A sea bass charter on Sunday will kick off the season’s sea bass fishing aboard the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said.  Sea bass season will open that day. George took a sail to Delaware Bay and the ocean Sunday. The water was 68 degrees, still warm, down the beach. But chillier weather is forecast. The ocean was a little choppy.

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