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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 10-30-17

<b>Keyport</b>

Striped bass fishing broke wide open the past few days, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. Many of the fish to 25 pounds were hooked on eels and trolled Mojos. Some bluefish were mixed in, and stripers are here, so pick a good day and come down, he said. Open-boat trips are fishing for them daily. On Down Deep’s other boat, sea bass fishing was excellent during these first days of sea bass season. Open trips are running for them daily, and up to 4-pounders were creamed aboard. Big porgies and some triggerfish were in the mix. Charters are available for either of this fishing for up to 15 passengers. 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.

Fishing for striped bass kept improving, but boat traffic was challenging on some days, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. Some bigger bass, multiple 25- to 28-pounders, were slammed Friday aboard. On Saturday, finding stripers was no problem, but catching them was difficult. Trolling was the only way to fish, because of traffic, and trolling was like an obstacle course. Still, the fall fishing is finally developing, and will only become better. Come catch them. The fish will bite into December. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. Take note: <b>***<i>Spaces are available for an open trip Saturday</i>***</b> from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., because a charter just canceled. Space available on a Saturday is rare. Three spaces are available for an open trip Monday, Nov. 13. Spaces are available for open trips that Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, Nov. 14, 15 and 17.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Some limits of striped bass were trolled on Raritan Bay on bunker spoons Saturday with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. The catches were made early in the day, because of boat traffic. No bluefish were mixed in, and nobody might’ve boated Sunday for the bay’s stripers because of weather. Trips aboard are striper fishing or bottom-fishing for porgies, sea bass and blackfish, depending on angler preference. Trips might even sail for a mixed bag of both fishing.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

No trip was expected to sail today on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> in rough weather, and Sunday’s trip was docked in the storm, Capt. Tom said. He’d see if Tuesday’s trip would have the weather to sail, and forecasts looked rough when he gave this report. But that could change. Otherwise, trips fished every day on the boat, and caught well. Porgy fishing was good, and occasionally large sea bass, lots of small sea bass, and a few blackfish were cranked in. Trips are fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Wednesday, 11/1:***</b> Fishing was still good aboard, and this has been amazing how the angling’s held up, Tom said. Storms have come through that usually chase the fish out. Weather looks good for trips to sail the next couple of days. Showers might happen sometimes, but no rough wind is forecast.

<b>Neptune</b>

An individual-reservation trip for sea bass is rescheduled for Wednesday that was slated for Tuesday, because of weather, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. Space is available, and the trips are fishing farther from shore, so he wants fair weather. An annual charter Friday limited out on sea bass and big porgies and boated some bluefish. A charter Saturday smoked great fishing for sea bass to 5 pounds and giant porgies, and released large, out-of-season fluke. Only six of nine passengers fished, and the trip limited on sea bass, wrapping up fishing early, at 11 a.m. The sea bass and porgies bit so rapidly that getting a hook to cod was impossible. An individual-reservation trip for striped bass and sea bass is set for Nov. 10, and another was just added for Nov. 14. Stripers are in. An individual-reservation trip for blackfish will sail Nov. 16. The bag limit will be lifted to six of the tautog beginning that day, from the current limit of one. An individual-reservation trip for stripers and blackfish was just added for Nov. 21. A charter is available Sunday, Nov. 26, on Thanksgiving weekend. Dates are also available during Thanksgiving week.

<b>Belmar</b>

Capt. Bob from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> had reports about striped bass boated off Asbury Park on the ocean, he said. For a charter Friday aboard, one of the anglers showed up an hour late. A couple of stripers were decked there before Celtic arrived, but Celtic missed the bite. Then the trip bottom-fished, rounding up sea bass and porgies, because Mike wanted them to catch something. A charter aboard Saturday trolled off Asbury at first light, and nothing was doing. A friend called, saying stripers were biting at Shrewsbury Rocks. Celtic motored there and trolled one. The friend landed six. So, stripers are coming, Mike said. He heard about great striper fishing farther north on Raritan Bay and some of the fish caught at the channels outside the bay. A charter is booked Sunday, but a charter is available Saturday. If anybody’s interested, this is the time, he said. The water was 62.3 degrees at Shrewsbury Rocks. A ton of bunker were read but deep on the trips. Lots of whales swam at Shrewsbury Rocks.

The season’s striped bass trips began Thursday on the ocean with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Pete said. The fishing began to catch aboard Friday. On Saturday’s trip, the stripers had disappeared from where they were Friday, maybe because of wind direction. The trip would’ve shot north to Raritan Bay, because stripers were being hooked far back in the bay. But seas and wind were too rough. The next days were weathered out, and Pete hopes to get the weather to resume Wednesday. The ocean fishing needs the water to cool a little, he thinks. Catches are fickle or sporadic, like biting only very early in morning, or the fish disappearing from a location the next day. Plenty of great readings were marked. Birds worked the water, and plenty of whales breached. 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.

All big bluefish were smashed Thursday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, very good fishing, a report said on the party boat’s website. Fishing for them was also good on Friday’s trip, and big sea bass and some false albacore were also hooked on the outing. Saturday’s trip picked big blues, and weather become rough sooner than forecast, probably the reason the angling was slower than it has been. Trips were weathered out Saturday night through today.  The boat is 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.

Monster blues were bombed Saturday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, like they have been lately, an email from the party boat said. On Saturday’s trip, the catches took a little while to get going. Then the trip picked blues in shots the whole time. Bait caught best that day, but some of the 12- to 20-pounders were jigged. The fishing was canceled Sunday and today because of weather. Trips are fishing for blues and striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Looks like things will pop after this storm, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. He expects great fishing then. The charter fleet reported some good catches of striped bass on the ocean, including seven of the fish to 36 pounds trolled on one trip on Mojos. A couple of other charters reported trolling big. The surf sometimes gave up stripers including Monica Paluliz from Bradley Beach’s 16-pounder, Anthony Peligrino from Point Pleasant’s 15-pound 9-ouncer and Howard Tobias’s 11-pounder. A good number of smaller stripers 25 to 28 inches were banked from the surf on plugs and Deadly Dicks. Small sand eels appeared in the surf. For a change of pace, fish Shark River for winter flounder or blackfish. That’s been good, and the shop’s rental boats are available to fish the rivers.

<b>Brielle</b>

Spectacular sea bass fishing this past week, Capt. Ryan from the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b> wrote in an email. Weather left a bit to be desired, though. A good-sized crowd fished aboard a marathon trip Saturday, and the boat totally limited out on sea bass. That happened on another trip last week aboard, too. Jumbo sea bass are the “mainstay” on trips, but big porgies and beautiful winter flounder are also getting slapped aboard. Twelve-hour sea bass trips are sailing at 5 a.m. daily through Friday this week. Fourteen-hour, marathon sea bass trips are running at 3 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Nine-hour sea bass trips are slated for 6 a.m. Nov. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28. A few of the regulars who fished aboard this past week were: Mack Dubois, Bristol; Dave Thomas, Philly; Dave Tootchen, Philly; Jake Coniglio, Toms River; Bob Plasket, Medford; and Wes Shourt, Manahawkin.

Striped bass gave up a little bite off Asbury Park, along the 3-mile line, for boaters on the ocean this past week, said Alex from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Trolling white spoons and Mojos seemed to catch best. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from shore. A 40.8-pound striper was weighed-in from the surf. Dan Russo from the Asbury Park Fishing Club beached the fish Saturday before first light, probably on a plastic plug, Alex guessed, because Dan is a plugger. Surf fishing for stripers seemed a little slow locally. False albacore popped into the surf at Sea Bright. The storm yesterday to today might pick up the striper fishing. Stripers 24 to 32 inches bit in Point Pleasant Canal at night on rubber shads, bucktails, plugs and eels. Blackfishing was awesome in the canal, and they’ll probably bite another couple of weeks. Back on the ocean, boaters could find albies close to shore from off Manasquan Inlet to Sandy Hook. They could cruise, look for the fish or birds, and cast metal like Deadly Dicks, diamond jigs or S&S Bucktails Slimfish. For sea bass, those who fished the right pieces on the ocean caught well, say from the Elberon rocks to Shark River Reef. Those who anchored and fished bait maximized the catches. Those who drifted and jigged caught slower. Blackfish hit at the same places on green crabs. Not much was heard about tuna catches from the offshore canyons. Mako sharks were landed from the Monster Ledge to Hudson Canyon. Bluefin tuna fishing was pretty good at scallop boats like at the Bacardi wreck and the Triple Wrecks on scallop guts or jigs. One customer’s trip went 8 for 10 on bluefins.  

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Sizable sea bass were iced at mid-range wrecks on an open-boat trip Saturday with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Cod and porgies were also clocked. The trip moved a couple of times “for best results.” But when better were found, the fishing was game on. The boat limited out on sea bass, and double-headers were swung in, left and right. Seas were a little sporty, even making anchoring difficult. But the fish didn’t seem to mind. Keep an eye out for more open trips and dates for charters to be part of this great fishery! he said.

The mighty <b>Gambler</b> is being geared up to begin striped bass fishing daily on Wednesday, a report said on the party boat’s website. The trips start every year on Nov. 1, and will sail 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Gear will be ready to fish lures or livelined bunker. Everything needed to catch stripers or blues will be aboard. The galley will be open for hot breakfast sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, coffee and other refreshments. “The Gambler is the fastest party boat with the widest decks – and most experienced crew – for the best striped bass fishing experience,” the report said. “Come and join us soon!” it said. However, the year’s final two trips for tuna are scheduled for Nov. 7 to 8 and 14 to 15. Room is available, and no striper trips are slated for those days. <b>***Updated, Tuesday, 10/31:***</b> Better late than never, a report said on the boat’s website. More than 30 tuna were bagged on the most recent trip. That was apparently a trip Saturday to Sunday. The tuna were yellowfins and a few longfins, and a handful of anglers limited out on three yellowfins apiece. The tuna gave up a steady pick from 4:30 to 9:30 a.m. Room remains on the trips Nov. 7 and 14, and reserve to jump aboard.

Excellent sea bass fishing was crushed Friday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some anglers limited out, a few bagged fewer, and all left with plenty for dinner. A handful of porgies were copped, and the day was beautiful. On a trip that night, excellent bluefishing, the best so far this season aboard, was nailed. All the blues 12 to 18 pounds that anglers wanted. Many limited. On Saturday’s trip, sea bass gave up good action. Lots more just missed keeper size than before, but some were keepers. Some anglers caught better than others, “but it was a great day on the water,” the report said. Trips were weathered out since. The boat is 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>

Boaters trolled a few large striped bass, not a lot, but pushing 50 pounds, if not heavier, on the ocean Saturday “just off our beaches,” a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. A few keepers, small, were dragged from the surf that day at Island Beach State Park on bait. Fishing was surely washed out Sunday in the storm, though the report mentioned nothing about Sunday. A report on the site Friday said the surf was slow to clean up and calm down. That was after Tuesday’s storm and windy weather that followed. The surf could be fished, but anglers needed to adjust lure or rod selection or fish heavier weights. Anglers mostly waited for the striper migration. Each year about this time, surf and boat anglers become impatient. “.. we start (asking) ourselves maybe this is the fall run with no fish …?” the report said. But the fish will show up, like always. When, where, how many and how large are the unknowns. Baitfish schooled the ocean, and if you doubted, whales that breached off Island Beach last week should change your mind, 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>

<b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b> wrapped up tuna fishing for the year, Capt. Mike said. Striped bass trips will begin this coming Monday aboard. Striper trips will sail a very limited time this month, so grab dates now if you want stripers. About half the dates are full, and Mike’s going to end fishing early for the year. Fishing for tuna was great for bluefins on a trip Friday.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Sea bass fishing was pretty good on a trip Saturday and another earlier in the week on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. Some of the anglers, the better anglers, limited out. Porgies, blues and triggerfish were also pumped in, and the trips mostly fished 75-foot depths. No sea bass were found closer to shore. The ocean was in the low to mid 60 degrees. Southerly wind in the storm that ended today would drop the temperature a couple of degrees. The season’s striped bass fishing aboard will begin with a trip Thursday. Currently, all trips are scheduled to striper fish starting then through November. But bottom-fishing trips for sea bass or blackfish could be booked. Weekends are full, but weekdays are available. A few stripers, nothing great, were hooked from the ocean on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. Stripers were also landed from Barnegat Inlet. Ted wouldn’t be surprised if the snag-and-drop catches began to improve this week.

Trips for striped bass will kick off Friday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The trips will sail 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday through Sunday, and one of the trips will run 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving. Stripers but no great number yet are swimming the area. The trips will pursue them, but if the fishing is slow, the trips will target blues. Tuna fishing was wrapped up for the year aboard on a trip during the weekend. This was one of the toughest tuna seasons the crew has seen. One yellowfin tuna, one longfin tuna and a good number of mahi mahi were bagged on the trip.

<b>Longport</b>

Excellent fishing, really good, said Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b>. Catches Friday and Saturday aboard included limits of sea bass and some triggerfish, bonito, blues and chub mackerel. Some of the sea bass weighed 4 and 5 pounds. The trips fished in 120 feet of water, and he had three pieces that were absolutely full of fish. That’s deeper than previously, and the bite pushed farther from shore in the middle of the week. Water was clearer farther out, and the ocean on the fishing grounds was very clear and 67 degrees. Open-boat trips will sail Wednesday and Friday through Sunday, departing at 7 a.m. That’s an hour earlier than previously, so the trips have time to sail farther from shore. Spaces are available for a blackfish trip Nov. 16, the day the bag limit will be increased to six, from the current limit of one. Room is available for a striped bass trip 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving.  

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Striped bass bit well in the back bay, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. They were hooked this weekend aboard on livelined spots. The fish are also swiping lures, and conditions were tough for that this weekend. Fishing for false albacore slowed on the ocean locally in past days. But conditions weren’t the best, and the fishing could kick back in. Surely sea bass fishing is good on the ocean, and Joe hasn’t sailed for them yet, since sea bass season opened. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Avalon</b>

Charters for striped bass usually begin during Thanksgiving week with <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>, Capt. Jim said. Trips target them from the ocean to Delaware Bay, and the ocean fished best in recent years. Jim was away elk hunting in Colorado the past couple of weeks. He guided the hunting one week for two outfitters from the town of Craig, and hunted the other week. The hunting went well, and the sixty hunters shot 40 elk the one week, and the 30 shot 22 the other. He also guided the hunters for trout fishing, and they angled brook trout on spinners. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including saltwater fishing, duck and goose hunting, deer hunting and more. Jim’s <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge</a> in upstate New York hosts anglers who fish nearby Salmon River for salmon and steelheads. The steelheading is beginning, and a discount is offered until Thanksgiving, but only on Airbnb. Guests snowmobile and do other winter sports after Thanksgiving through the cold months, and that’s popular. Duck and goose hunts should be booked now that hunt in New Jersey and surrounding states, following the migrations, in fall and winter. 

<b>Cape May</b>

A sea bass charter canceled that was supposed to fish Saturday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. The charter needed calmer seas, and rougher were forecast. A friend of George’s sailed for the angling Saturday and reported rough seas. Nobody likely sailed Sunday in the storm.

<b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> sea bassed a few days, limiting out the boat early on up to 4-pounders, Capt. Tom said. A few triggerfish, bonito and mackerel were mixed in. So were lots of out-of-season summer flounder released. Charters and open-boat trips are sea bassing, and seats are open Wednesday and Thursday.

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