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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 10-9-17


An incredibly good catch of porgies, all larger than 12 inches, up to 16 ½ inches, non-stop catches was pounded Saturday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Blowfish were mixed in, and so were large, knucklehead sea bass that are out-of-season and were released. Wind honked Sunday on a charter with one angler. So the trip fished locally, putting together good fishing for porgies, blackfish and small striped bass. An open-boat trip will fish for stripers Wednesday, and a few spots remain. Telephone to reserve, and weather looks nasty the rest of the week.

Porgy fishing is getting better, and the fish are getting bigger, on every trip with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario wrote in an email Saturday. The fish were up to 18 inches, he said, and triggerfish, blowfish, blues and blackfish were also tied into aboard. So were huge, out-of-season sea bass that were released. Everybody leaves happy, he said. They also leave without waiting, he noted, because Down Deep has a fillet-at-sea permit on both of the company’s boats. Sea bass trips will begin Oct. 22, opening day of sea bass season. “… then we will load up and keep our allowable limits daily,” he wrote. Bonus striper tags are carried on each boat for anglers to keep an additional striper 24 inches to less than 28. Book trips for later this fall and in winter. Plan ahead. <b>***Update, Monday, 10/9:***</b> An email from Down Deep today: “The past week aboard the Down Deep saw continued excellent Porgy fishing along with Fish to 18” and other tasty edibles like Blowfish, Bluefish, Tog and Triggers mixed in. We carry crabs aboard for those who target their one Tog now. The Down Deep Bull will sail this week for Striped Bass, Bluefish & Weakfish. We provide 2017 Fall Bonus Tags to all aboard for your extra slot fish. Seabass season opens Oct. 22 and the Down Deep will begin sailing daily for those Jumbos that have been released on every trip. Also, Blackfish season opens to the bigger bag on Nov. 16.  Plan ahead and book now for all above charters and open boat fall & winter trips. Our two 40’ USCG Certified 1-15 passenger Downeasters are ready to put you right on your personal best.” 


Fishing whipped false albacore and bonito just inshore of the Mudhole on Saturday with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> on trolled feathers and squid spoons, Capt. Joe said. The angling was okay, and lots of boat traffic discouraged more of the fish from chewing. Fishing for porgies remained good, Joe heard, and so did angling for blackfish, when rough seas didn’t put down the tautog. Charters aboard will fish for sea bass starting Oct. 22, opening day of sea bass season. No striped bass were heard about yet, except stripers eeled and chunked from the Hudson and East rivers.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Porgy fishing remained good, including for some great-sized, but full-moon tides were strong, a report said Saturday on the party boat <b>Fishermen</b>’s website. Up to 12 ounces of lead had to be fished during a couple of hours of each tide. Weather looked like it would become rainy and windy today. The water was still warm at 68 to 69 degrees. That’s warm for the striped bass migration to arrive along the coast, but the boat will striper fish when it does. Tons of bait schooled Raritan Bay, not yet migrating to the ocean. Colder weather was needed to get migrations moving. Resident stripers were around, but not enough for the boat to target. Trips aboard tried to avoid out-of-season sea bass, but many were released daily aboard. Lots of small bluefish and false albacore were seen busting the water surface daily on trips. Trips are fishing for porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

All the twice-daily trips porgy trips fished on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> in past days, even on Sunday in rough forecasts, Capt. Tom said. He thought weather was going to be worse that day, but it wasn’t bad. Forecasts did cause only a few anglers to show up that day. Trips dealt with strong current because of the full moon, but a good population of porgies remained. The current caused anglers to fish heavy sinkers, making bites more difficult to feel. Anglers had to work at the angling. But all trips caught, some better than others, and some anglers caught better than others. Porgies usually migrate farther from shore by this time of year, but they remained close in. Tom expected this morning’s trip to fish, and would see whether this afternoon’s would get the weather to sail. Rain and wind was forecast to arrive sometime. Trips are sailing for porgies 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Wednesday, 10/11:***</b> No trips will fish Thursday in forecasts for gusts to 30 knots, Tom said. He’ll see whether Friday’s trips sail, and anglers can telephone the boat Thursday evening to confirm. Wind is supposed to diminish that day.


Big bluefish to 20 pounds were chummed Saturday afternoon on a charter aboard, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. If anglers want blues, he suggests a trip 3 to 9 p.m. or 4 to 10 p.m. Spaces are available for individual-reservation trips for cod at 2 a.m. Tuesday, sea bass Oct. 24 and Nov. 4 and blackfish Nov. 16. The bag limit will be increased to six blackfish beginning that day, from the current limit of one.


After offshore trips to the canyons were weathered out two weeks, one of the trips had the weather to sail Friday to Saturday on the <b>Katie H</b>, Capt. Mike said. One yellowfin tuna 65 pounds was trolled, and some mahi mahi were chunked. The catch was alright, he said, and weather was good. At first, the trip fished at Hudson Canyon. But water was chilly at 64 degrees, and not much life was around. Not even mahi hit, when the trip trolled near lobster-pot buoys. So the trip headed south, finding water between 66 and 67 degrees, and the yellowfin was trolled. At night, the mahi were hooked, and plenty of tuna were read, but none bit. Lots of life filled the water, including squid. The anglers tried everything, including 30-pound, fluorocarbon leaders. Fishing sounded about the same on other boats. Fish-holding water looked to be far south, like around Baltimore and Poorman’s canyons. The next one of the trips is slated for Friday, and the trips are scheduled for every weekend this month. Hear about striped bass? Mike was asked. Only off New York, a few, from a friend from Brooklyn, Mike said. But the Katie H is concentrating on tuna the next weeks. Afterward, trips will target sea bass, stripers and blackfish. 

A terrific catch of bonito was mugged Thursday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. “Very, very good,” it said, and a 25- to 30-pound bluefin tuna, a couple of false albacore and a few big blues were also subdued. On Friday’s trip, fishing was good for albies and bonito. At 12:30 p.m., anglers had enough of them, and the boat took a ride to look for big blues. Some large blues to 20 pounds were cracked, a nice way to end the day, the report said. On Saturday’s trip, fishing was slow. Blues, bonito and albies came in, but not enough. On Sunday’s trip, weather was nasty in the morning, but a solid pick of 3- to 6-pound blues was axed. Weather was expected to cancel today’s trip but looked good to resume fishing Tuesday. The boat is fishing for bluefish, bonito and false albacore 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily when no <a href=" https://www.goldeneaglefishing.com/tunafish" target="_blank">tuna trip</a> is sailing. One more tuna trip is slated for this season, for next Sunday to Monday. More of the trips are slated for November during some years, so anglers will see if that happens this year.

Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> hoped to find migrating striped bass in the ocean after the full moon, he said. The moon just began to wane. Water and weather was warm for the fishing, but he hopes the run comes together soon. Parker Pete’s gets all over stripers during the migration. Currently, fish like blues and false albacore were around. Charters fish, and individual spaces are available throughout the year 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.

Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> said he sailed on the offshore trip on the Katie H written about above. A 70-pound yellowfin tuna and some mahi mahi were reeled in. Mike fished on another friend’s boat Wednesday that clocked porgies and released out-of-season sea bass. Mike heard about no striped bass boated yet. He saw trips trolling for them without catching. 


Tuna fishing was very sporadic at offshore canyons, said John from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Some boats caught decent, and some scored none. More of the fish seemed trolled than chunked, but some were jigged. No particular place seemed to produce best, or the catches seemed spread out. Anglers fishing mid-shore for bonito and false albacore that bit sometimes saw tuna, and sometimes had tuna spool reels intended for the bonito and albies. Fishing for mahi mahi was pretty darn good from the Mudhole to all the way offshore. Porgy fishing was great. Plenty of blackfish hit, though one is the bag limit. Ling and sometimes winter flounder mixed in were cranked up at times. Striped bass from throwbacks to keepers and bluefish from snappers to 10- or 12-pounders sporadically showed up close to shore. No particular place served them up consistently. A few of the stripers bit in the surf, too, mostly in early mornings or at dusk or night. Again, no particular place seemed to hold them. “Just got to fish,” John said. A buddy plugged a 32-incher at Island Beach State Park on a swimming lure. A few mullet migrated the surf or ocean, and some still swam Manasquan River, yet to migrate out. Stripers and blues and out-of-season fluke swam Manasquan River. The stripers were hooked on rubber baits, plugs, eels and chunks of mullet or bunker. Stripers were eeled in Point Pleasant Canal at night. Blackfishing was super in the canal.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

On the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>, anglers picked away at porgies Saturday on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. “We read a lot of them but just picked away,” it said. “It had its moments,” it said, when the fishing looked like it would become good. Then the fishing would back off. Still, the trip made a decent catch of porgies, and a few blackfish were mixed in. On Friday night’s trip, jumbo blues 8 to 20 pounds were decked. Nothing fast and furious, but the crew thinks the angling will pick up during the waning moon. The moon was full. No report was posted about Saturday night, so maybe that bluefish trip was weathered out. One of the trips was weathered out Sunday night, the report said. The boat is usually fishing for blues 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday, but was also scheduled to do that on Sunday, because of Columbus Day the next day, today. Trips are fishing for porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Do you prefer warm weather or good fishing? a report asked on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. “My vote is for the latter!” it said. Water temperature needs to drop to cause baitfish to school the surf and draw striped bass and blues. Small stripers – resident fish too young to migrate – bit at first light, last light and at night in the surf on small swimming plugs or during daytime on clams. Cocktail bluefish jumped on small metal and cut bait in the surf. Good-sized blues and small stripers were angled from Barnegat Bay. Blackfish were hung along Barnegat Inlet’s jetty and Point Pleasant Canal. Fresh clams, eels, green crabs and sandworms were stocked. 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. The café had been closed a moment and is now reopened.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

An overnight tuna trip was weathered out that was supposed to fish yesterday to today on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. The next is slated to sail this coming Saturday. An inshore charter bailed that was supposed to fish this past Saturday for catches like bluefish and bonito.

Two shots of tuna showed up at night on a trip Friday to Saturday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. The first tumbled in a 2 a.m. “Had a few fish on,” the page said, and a good-sized yellowfin tuna and a 100-pound bigeye tuna were landed. Three more yellowfins were bagged at first light. That was all on a drift in 4,000 feet of water offshore of the Continental Shelf. Then the trip pot-hopped for mahi mahi, tackling plenty, before heading home. On a trip Saturday to Sunday, no tuna bit. A few sharks chomped off lines at night. Lots of squid schooled the water early in the night. In the morning, the trip pot-hopped and “put a catch of mahi together … .”  <a href="http://www.missbarnegatlight.com/TunaFishing.html" target="_blank">Tuna trips</a> are fishing throughout the month, and telephone to reserve.


False albacore, bluefish, blowfish, kingfish and out-of-season sea bass were cranked up Saturday on the <b>Stray Cat</b> on the ocean, Capt. Mike said. Pretty decent fishing, and catches were hooked non-stop, once the trip fished in 60- to 80-foot depths. At first, a wreck was fished in deeper water, but more fish bit when the trip pulled in shallower. Only a few small sea bass chomped at the wreck, though one would think deeper would fish better. Open-boat trips and charters are sailing for this angling. An open sea bass trip has sold out on Oct. 22, opening day of sea bass season. More of the trips will fish that Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Oct. 23, 25 and 27. Another will run Saturday, Oct. 28. Contact the boat to jump aboard any of the trips. Special, open trips will fish a half-day on Thanksgiving and a full day on New Year’s Eve. Reserve them.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

A couple aboard Saturday spin- and fly-rodded 15 false albacore on one of the traveling charters to Montauk aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. They also fished from the port Sunday on the boat. Wind and seas were much sportier, but they spin- and fly-rodded 12 albies. They mostly fished Albie Snax and Clouser Minnows on the trips, and Joe will run charters to Montauk through next weekend. He could probably run them later, but that’s how long he planned the trips. The fishing each year targets the migrations of striped bass, blues and albies from the legendary port aboard. See the <a href=" http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. The next traveling charters will be to the Florida Keys that he runs from Christmas to Easter each year. Back at Sea Isle City, schoolie stripers were becoming more active in the back bay in cooling waters.  Joe took a brief trip last week on the bay with his wife, and his wife popper-plugged a 27-incher. Jersey Cape will target the migration of large stripers and blues in November off Sea Isle on the ocean. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


Few seemed to fish locally, said Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>. He saw no boats fishing the Intracoastal Waterway on the back bay when he looked this weekend. But someone at his camp was landing small bluefish, not a lot, from the Intracoastal. Jim’s mostly waiting for the striped bass migration, and trips are booked to fish for the bass in November. Duck hunts are booking for Thanksgiving to February in New Jersey. Canada goose hunts are booking that will hunt in New York beginning March 10. The salmon migration seems to be peaking in upstate New York’s Salmon River. Jim owns a nearby <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge</a>, and recommends that anglers fish for the salmon within the next two weeks, before the migration’s finished. Anglers rent the lodge, and a discount is available until Thanksgiving, but only on Airbnb. Snowmobiling becomes popular afterward from the lodge. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including all of these. Jim’s also guiding elk hunting in Colorado soon.

<b>Cape May</b>

An offshore trip Friday to Saturday plowed 54 tilefish, 18 mahi mahi, a 68-inch white marlin and a small swordfish that was released aboard, said Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>. Open-boat trips and charters for tiles are sailing until sea bass trips begin Oct. 22, opening day of sea bass season.

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