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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 10-23-17


Striped bass were in, but the water was warm, so fishing for the bass was a little inconsistent, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. “So we’ll be catching bass to 25 pounds and big blues,” he said. Open-boat trips are striper fishing daily, currently with eels and bunker chunks. The season’s first sea bass trip sailed Sunday, opening day of sea bass season, on Down Deep’s other boat. The angling was super, nailing lots of big and big porgies and some triggerfish. Open trips are sailing daily for that on that vessel. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers for either 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.

Boat traffic hampered striped bass fishing the last few trips on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Some were landed on every trip, but the fish were spooked. More stripers are filtering into waters, so he’ll start looking at different areas for the catches. Raritan Bay is full of baitfish that will hold stripers for some time. Frank’s sure his trips will striper fish into late December. “Time will tell,” he said. Mostly bluefish were hooked on recent trips, when the outings left the striper grounds to chase birds and jig the blues for something to catch. Just so many boats on the weekend. Watch a video of the bluefishing. Charters are fishing, and one spot is available for an open-boat trip Wednesday.


<b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> is bottom-fishing until striped bass are pasted more consistently, Capt. Joe wrote in an email. A bottom trip Sunday shoveled aboard a decent pick of sea bass and a load of porgies. That was opening day of sea bass season. Fewer blackfish were clocked than previously aboard, but probably because the anglers, Don Smith’s group, mostly fished clams, not crabs. Sour Kraut fished Toms Canyon on Friday to Saturday. No tuna were caught, and only a few tuna – yellowfins – were managed on other boats there. “A few blue sharks and lots of mahi were boated,” he wrote. The water was 70 degrees, blue and beautiful.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

A great mixed bag of fish was clobbered Sunday on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Sea bass season opened that day, and some big sea bass were sacked. Several good-sized blackfish were axed, and porgies, winter flounder, blowfish and mackerel were tugged in. Great day on the water. Trips are fishing for sea bass and porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.


Twice-daily trips fished for the final time this season on Sunday, and one three-quarter-day trip began fishing daily today on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The trips fished for sea bass, porgies and blackfish, because sea bass season opened Sunday. The longer trips began sailing so there was time to reach fish that are migrating farther from shore. On the half-day trips Sunday, not as many sea bass were socked as Tom would like, and good-sized porgies were claimed. All anglers left with dinner, even if only porgies. The day’s trips fished between the channels, and current ran strongly. Ten- and 12-ounce weights needed to be fished. The three-quarter day trips should be able to avoid such strong current. On today’s three-quarter-day trip, fishing was very good, Tom said at noon on the outing in a phone call. Porgies were swung in non-stop, and not a lot of keeper sea bass were, but more were than on Sunday. Some anglers hung two or three keeper sea bass on the trip so far. Many of the throwback sea bass were 12 inches, a half-inch short. Some anglers tried for blackfish but hooked none so far on the outing. No trip was expected to sail tomorrow, Tuesday, in wind and rain. Trips are fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. daily.


Fishing knocked the daylights out of sea bass to 5 pounds Sunday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph said. That was opening day of sea bass season, and a few porgies were mixed in. A trip Saturday smashed big bluefish, like recent trips aboard. An individual-reservation trip for sea bass tomorrow was probably going to be rescheduled because of weather. Another is slated for Nov. 4. A few dates are available for sea bass charters. An individual-reservation trip for blackfish will run Nov. 16. The bag limit gets increased to six that day, from the current limit of one. A charter for cod wants a few more anglers Saturday. The trip will target cod, pollock, big sea bass, big porgies and white and red hake.


Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> did hear about a few striped bass boated on the ocean, and his season’s striper fishing will begin Thursday, he said. On some days, a few were bagged to the north, and on some, a few to the south. The fish were hooked off Mantoloking Sunday afternoon. The fishing is sporadic, and the water’s warm. But he’s hoping the bite kicks in. A sea bass trip fished the ocean aboard Sunday, opening day of sea bass season. Anglers had to fight through throwbacks, tons, including double-headers, and no jumbos were taken, for whatever reason. But a good catch was put together, and porgies and winter flounder were mixed in. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s about individual spaces with charters who want more anglers. Sign up for the email list on <a href=" http://www.parkerpetefishing.com/" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

The six anglers aboard limited out on sea bass Sunday, opening day of sea bass season, with <b>XTC Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Scott said. A dozen good-sized porgies, a few sizable winter flounder and some blues were also boxed. A trip Saturday sailed for bluefish and caught them, but ended up with a mess of porgies, some false albacore and even weakfish. The trip first ran north to the ocean off Asbury Park in 30 feet, where albies raced around. But a bunch of weakfish to 16 inches also began smacking the jigs fished. Fishing for them was very good, and Scott wondered why one is the bag limit. Then the trip moved to the reef and beat the blues and porgies. Scott hopes striped bass fishing takes off soon on the ocean, and thinks the water just needs to cool. A handful were picked off at dusk lately.

Capt. Mike from the <b>Katie H</b> is probably going to wrap up tuna fishing for the year, he said. This was probably one of the worst seasons of tuna fishing in a long time at canyons offshore of New Jersey. The fishing turned on for a moment until hurricanes began sliding up the coast this summer. Once the first of the storms happened, the fishing slowed. A trip aboard Saturday to Sunday fished Hendrickson Canyon. A 200-pound-class swordfish, a 200-pound-class mako shark and some mahi mahi were pummeled, and no tuna were. The water was warm at 70 degrees and good-looking, and held lots of life, including bait, porpoises and whales. Boaters a little to the east reported 74-degree water. Just no tuna were really around, and Mike didn’t know where they were, he said. He heard about no tuna from Hudson Canyon, too. Swordfish caught seemed reported lately. He knew about another boat that landed two makos during the trip. But the trip on the Katie H was good, he said, and the anglers bagged those fish. Weather was also great, couldn’t be better for October. Now that sea bass season opened Sunday, trips will get after them aboard. The boat will fish for striped bass when that angling picks up and for blackfish later this fall. Mike heard about striper and bluefish catches toward Sandy Hook in New York waters.   

Sea bass season opened Sunday “with enthusiasm,” Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Anglers were raring to go, and the fishing was good, though porgies often jumped on hooks before sea bass could. Belmar’s party boats fished for sea bass, and some fished for bluefish 15 to 20 pounds. The blues also caused anglers to rail the boats. Striped bass were trolled on the ocean. “Reports are the small bass are being caught in the surf by light-tackle anglers or fly anglers,” Bob wrote.

Jumbo blues to 22 pounds were ransacked today at the edge of the Mudhole on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. The fishing began slowly, but once catches improved, most of the trip held two to six of the fish hooked at once. Big blues should be caught into December, and no striped bass showed up yet, but they should soon. Trips are fishing for blues and stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Big bluefish to 23 pounds, big sea bass and a few false albacore gave up super fishing today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. On Saturday’s trip, anglers had to work, but if they did, they whacked big blues to 21 pounds. The fishing was decent. On Saturday night’s trip,  big blues to 22 pounds bit as fast as bait hit the water, incredible fishing. On Sunday’s trip, anglers had to work, but a decent catch of big blues and lots of sea bass mixed in was made. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays.


Boating for striped bass began picking up on the ocean, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Quite a few, including a good number of 30-pounders mixed in, were decked off Lavallette on Saturday afternoon. That was in 60 feet of water on green Mojos and bunker spoons. The fishing seemed to begin picking up, and anglers will see how that goes. Surf-fishing for stripers was picky but nabbed a few. A few good-sized were slid from the surf at Seaside Park last week for a moment. Afterward, if anglers poked around, they should be able to find schoolies that bit small rubber shads or popper plugs. Canyon tuna fishing was tough. A few yellowfin and longfin tuna were chunked, but the angling was usually slow. A few swordfish were landed on the trips. Mahi mahi gathered at lobster-pot buoys in the area and seemed smaller than mahi hooked there before. Bluefin tuna just-keeper-sized held inshore from east of the Chicken Canyon to the Bacardi wreck and the Triple Wrecks. They were mostly chunked and jigged. Fishing for large bluefish was good at the Mudhole. False albacore were picked away there, and mostly party boats did this fishing. Sea bass season opened Sunday, and Eric was yet to hear about the angling, but assumed good catches were made. Clams were scarce for bait, but squid will catch sea bass fine. Plenty of sea bass could also be jigged this time of year on Ava 17’s and 27’s. Porgy fishing, including for sizable, was good on the ocean. Blackfishing was good at Manasquan Inlet’s jetties and nearly all rock piles like that. Fishing for the tautog was also good at Point Pleasant Canal. Stripers hit in the canal on rubber shads, bucktails and eels.   

Wreck-fishing had already been excellent on the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b>, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Now that sea bass season opened Sunday, catches were even better. Customers left with hefty bags of fillets: sea bass, large porgies, triggerfish and even an occasional cod. Twelve-hour trips are sea bassing daily this week. Fourteen-hour trips are sea bassing every Saturday and Sunday. Beginning next week, 9-hour sea bass trips will sail every Monday and Tuesday, and 12-hour ones will run every Wednesday through Friday. Anglers and their catches Sunday included: Wes Shourt, Manahawkin, limit of 15 sea bass to 4 pounds, 47 porgies, three triggerfish and a cod; Everett Williams, Bristol, Pa., limit of sea bass, 50 porgies and a cod ; Sam McGowan, Linden, limit of sea bass and 45 porgies; and Cornelius Weems, Philly, 13 sea bass and 47 porgies. See photos from trips on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/J2fishing/" target="_blank">Jamaica II’s Facebook page</a>.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Offshore fishing finally had the weather to sail Saturday to Sunday with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Alan wrote in an email when the trip was still on the water. On Saturday, the trip scored good fishing for bluefin tuna on jigs and chunks. At night, sharks and mahi mahi were cranked in. On Sunday, the anglers were putting together a good catch of tilefish, when Alan wrote the email. That angling tried Mushin’s new Shimano BeastMaster 9000 electric reels. Alan ran the Mini-Mushin, his smaller boat, on the ocean south of Manasquan Inlet on Saturday morning, tackling false albacore that bit well on small metal. Lots of fun on light spinning rods. The albies blew up here and there.

On the <b>Norma-K III</b> today, sea bass and jumbo porgies mixed in gave up lots of action, a report said on the party boat’s website. Quite a few throwback sea bass were worked through to bag keepers. On a trip on opening day of sea bass season yesterday, sea bass, keepers and shorts, were picked, and big porgies bit well. On Saturday night’s bluefish trip, big ones, lots, were cracked, like they have been recently. Trips are fishing for sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

No big blitzes in the surf yet, but the pick goes on! a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. A few small striped bass and blues were beached on bait or swimming plugs with teasers. The fish swam right against the beach, so fish your hooks “till they are high and dry,” it said. A few large stripers were plugged at night on swimmers. These are all early-season catches, “the tip of the iceberg,” it said, “and due diligence should be given by all serious surf anglers.” The fishing can turn on and off like a light switch this time of year, so stay ready! it said. 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>

A few striped bass began to be boated on the ocean toward Seaside Heights and Lavallette, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. The water cooled enough but not enough to be ideal yet. <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/120299077818/photos/pb.120299077818.-2207520000.1508773854./10155537759747819/?type=3&theater" target="_blank">Check out this 40-pounder</a> from 2 miles off the Seaside Pipe. Surf anglers beached a few stripers, not often keepers yet. Blowfish were still boated on Barnegat Bay. Bluefish caught were heard about from Oyster Creek now and then. Sea bass season opened Sunday, and catches of them were talked about from Garden State Reef North on the radio. A few people crabbed, trapping some, not as many as earlier this season.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

A tuna trip fished pretty well that sailed Saturday to Sunday on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. Four yellowfin tuna, two bluefin tuna, a swordfish and 32 mahi mahi were landed. The bluefins were hooked Saturday on the way to farther offshore, but still 60 miles out, behind scallop boats. Then the boat pushed farther from shore, not even to one of the canyons, but to 250 fathoms to fish at night, at a piece of water longliners had been fishing some time. The sword was nailed at 4 a.m., and the yellowfins hit after sunrise. The trip’s tuna and the sword were all chunked. The trip’s mahi were pasted both at lobster-pot buoys on the way out and the way in, and at night, when a shot of them showed up, and nine were boated.  When the pots were fished, plenty of mahi hovered around the buoys. But fishing for them was tougher than usual, because seas were so calm. Seas were especially calm Sunday. The water on the way out and back, at the pots, was 64 ½ to 65 degrees. The water all the way offshore, where the yellowfins and sword were, was 69 to 71 degrees. Boats farther south in those depths reported 73-degree water. A sea bass trip was booked for today, and the next tuna trip is set for Sunday. That was the final tuna trip scheduled for this year aboard. A few striped bass were boated on the ocean on bunker snagged for bait and then livelined. An angler from the dock’s trip had a few. A few stripers were trolled on the ocean early last week. The ocean was warm for stripers, and was 64 degrees near Barnegat Inlet. False albacore were still around – the water was warm enough. But Ted hopes striper fishing is coming together. 

On an offshore trip Friday to Saturday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, two small swordfish, “not much other action,” were caught at night, and mahi mahi were angled after sunup at lobster-pot buoys, a report said on the party boat’s website. The trip first fished on a drift offshore of the Continental Edge, where the swords were caught. Next the trip anchored along the edge, but not much was doing. The trip then moved north a canyon or two, and made a drift offshore of the edge, but nothing was happening. On a trip Saturday to Sunday, a few tuna hit but broke off at 5 a.m., when big schools of tuna were marked, and mahi were drilled at pots to finish up. The trip fished on a drift offshore of the edge, at a great-looking temperature break that went from 69 to 73 degrees in a half-mile. “Weird stuff” showed up at the boat, including pilot whales “communicating with each other off one side of the boat,” it said. “Saw some nautilus and some very interesting types of jellyfish…,” it said. “Did have a few mahi come around,” and two blue marlin “fly-bys” were seen, including a 500-pounder. That fish was scared off when a butterfish was pitched toward it. The year’s final <a href="http://www.missbarnegatlight.com/TunaFishing.html" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> will fish this weekend, and a few spaces are available. “Never know what you could catch or see,” the report said.

<b>Beach Haven</b>

Sort of a scouting trip searched for striped bass and bluefish Saturday on the ocean on the <b>June Bug</b>, Capt. Lindsay said. The water was warm for stripers at 64 degrees. But that was better than the 70-degree water a week previously, and Lindsay had reports about bunker and other baitfish schooling. No stripers turned up, but the trip was a start. No blues showed up either. The trip had one knock down, and, unusually, that was a 15-inch barred rudderfish. Lindsay ate some of the fish, and it was excellent – he was surprised. Lindsay walked up onto the dunes Sunday toward dusk to look for any fleet fishing for stripers on the ocean, but only saw one set of navigation lights, probably a sailboat.   


Fishing was drop-and-reel, excellent, Saturday and Sunday on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. Before the anglers’ sinkers reached bottom, they hooked fish. Saturday’s trip fished for a mix of bottom-fish, and Sunday’s trip targeted bottom-fish including sea bass, because that was opening day of sea bass season. On the first trip, porgies, blues 2 and 3 pounds – gobs of them – blowfish and triggerfish were iced. On the second, sea bass to 4 pounds were also lit into. Chub mackerel and out-of-season summer flounder, including a 24-incher, also bit on the trips. False albacore also swam all over the ocean in the area.  Sunday’s trip, looking for sea bass, first fished 20 miles from shore in 100 to 120 feet of water. Then the trip pulled closer to shore, because sea bass fishing was actually better 15 miles out, in 70 and 80 feet of water. Fishing for sea bass will last some time, because the fish were yet to migrate farther from shore. The ocean surface was 67 degrees. No blackfish showed up in the past several trips aboard. Plenty of blackfish still hung in bays, or colder water was yet to make them stop biting there. Baby sea bass still swam bays that live there in summer. Sheepshead, the southern species, still swam local bays. More triggerfish, also a southern species, were hooked now than earlier this year on the boat. About eight were on Sunday and four on Saturday. Open-boat trips will fish 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. The trips won’t depart later, because sea bass remain close to shore. The time isn’t needed to sail farther. When the boat begins targeting blackfish, once the bag limit is increased, a $500 bounty will be awarded to anybody who heaves in one of the fish heavier than 18 pounds aboard. The limit will be hiked to six beginning Nov. 16, from the current limit of one.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Lots of false albacore raced around the local ocean, so trips aboard will jump on them, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. They were here this time last year. Trips aboard will also sea bass on the ocean, now that sea bass season opened Saturday, and will fish for striped bass biting in the back bay. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Cape May</b>

Sea bass fishing wasn’t bad, nearly limited out, on Sunday, opening day of sea bass season, with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. The angling was a little tough, running around, trying to figure it out, because that was the first day. Charters and open-boat trips are now sea bassing. That’ll probably be most of the fishing aboard until the boat is moved to Atlantic City in November for striped bass fishing. A trip aboard tried daytime swordfishing the other day. The trip did score a sword bite that was missed, and bagged a 125-pound bigeye tuna while swordfishing.

Brian Dillworth’s charter sea bassed Sunday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. That was opening day of sea bass season, and the six anglers didn’t limit but bagged 60-some. A half-dozen bluefish and a dozen small porgies, the size of sunnies, were also pumped in. Lots of throwback sea bass bit, including double-headers. Plenty of action. Many of the throwbacks were 12 inches and fat. That’s a half-inch undersized. A 3-1/2- to 4-pounder was the trip’s biggest sea bass. 

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