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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-16-17

<b>Sewaren</b>

Striped bass now schooled farther away, in the ocean at Ambrose Channel, said Tim from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. But they were still boated in New York Harbor. They were caught including on the troll at both places, and were also eeled in the harbor. A few keepers were reeled in from Sewaren Pier and Carteret Pier on bunker. The last Tim heard about porgies and sea bass was 1 ½ weeks ago when they were decked from places like Old Orchard and Shrewsbury Rocks. Bait stocked includes eels, green crabs, fresh bunker, salted clams, sandworms, nightcrawlers and trout worms. Bloodworms are no longer carried because demand dropped off. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, is accessible from land and water at the fuel dock. The fuel dock is open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

<b>Keyport</b>

Fishing for striped bass hasn’t been this good in many years, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. “The adult bunker have finally showed and the fishing is incredible,” he wrote. Truly as good as it gets, he added. The fish are big, and a 44-pounder was whacked aboard yesterday. The boat on trips usually limited out on unders in the first pass. Trips released additional stripers, and keeping count was difficult. Charters are fishing, and one space is available for an open-boat trip Wednesday. Three are available for the following Wednesday, Nov. 29. Nov. 27 and 28 are available for charter, or if no charter books, open trips will sail those days. Spaces fill fast, and Frank wants to apologize to all who tried to get aboard unsuccessfully. Book early. Keep up with photos on <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/vitaminseafishing/" target="_blank">Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page</a>.

For the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, striped bass fishing was super on the ocean, Capt. Mario said. The fish were mostly pasted on jigs and rubber shads, but were sometimes trolled on Mojos. Open-boat trips are fishing for them daily. Down Deep’s other boat will begin blackfishing today on open trips daily, because the bag limit was hiked to six of the tautog today, from the previous limit of one. Charters are available for either fishing for up to 15 passengers. Enjoy heated cabins and full galleys. 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.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Fishing pounded away at striped bass from between the channels to apparently a little south of Belmar on the ocean, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. Between the channels, the better-sized seemed to average 10 to 20 pounds. A few were bigger, and quite a few were smaller. Stripers seemed a little bigger to the south. Stripers were still caught on Raritan Bay, too. Now that the blackfish bag limit was raised today, Sour Kraut’s bottom-fishing can zero in on them more than before, and still fish for porgies and sea bass like previously. Blackfishing seemed best farther from shore, not in the shallows where the fish were active earlier this season. Porgies seemed to school farther from shore than before, like at 17 Fathoms, if anglers could fish through dogfish at 17, and the Mud Dump.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Not the wild bite of striped bass today like past days, but we still got it done, a report said about today on the <b>Fishermen</b> on the party boat’s website. The trip first fished where the boat fished the last several days, but stripers were small there today. The captain didn’t read the life he expected, so he wasted no time and went in search mode. Life was found, and several drifts produced bigger stripers “and action,” it said. Traffic didn’t help with that angling. The trip ended closer to home, and stripers stopped biting at the end of the tide, like on recent days. A 26-pound striper won the pool. Capt. Ron Sr., the current captain’s dad, landed the second-biggest, a 25-pounder. Previous trips all fished great for stripers aboard this week, like yesterday’s trip, when the fishing couldn’t get better, the report said. Rubber shads, jigs and Krocs have caught lately. Please use no treble hooks, the report said. The boat will be back at it tomorrow, and don’t let strong west to northwest wind scare you. That shouldn’t be a problem where the boat’s fishing. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Targeting blackfish began today on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The bag limit was increased today, and the first drop gave up some keepers, some shorts and a few dogfish. At the second drop, only a couple of keepers and some shorts hit. So Tom was pulling anchor and moving, when he gave this report at 11 a.m. in a phone call aboard. A few sea bass were also angled at the second spot. Blackfishing wasn’t great but grabbed some around the boat. This isn’t porgy fishing. “It’s blackfishing now, with the patience thing,” he said. The daily trips aboard previously homed in on porgies mostly, with a few sea bass and blackfish mixed in. No porgies were angled on today’s trip so far, when he gave the report. Trips are fishing for blackfish, porgies and sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. daily. Forecasts calling for gusts to 35 knots might cancel Friday’s trip. Tom will see if forecasts change by the morning. Wind 15 to 25 knots isn’t bad. Green crabs are provided, but clams are still supplied if anglers want to fish for porgies and sea bass. White crabs are yet to be available.

For boaters, striped bass swam everywhere, from Raritan Bay to the ocean, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. He wouldn’t say more held in the bay, but the fishing definitely improved in the ocean. Lots of bigger were banged out at Ambrose Channel in the ocean. Stripers in the bay and ocean were trolled on Mojos and bunker spoons and were jigged on Avas. Some customers bought Crippled Herring jigs for them today. Surf fishing for stripers was slow. All were throwbacks in the surf, and not many were beached. Many anglers thought beach replenishment kept stripers from swimming the surf that swam farther out for boaters. Boaters tackled 40-pounders. Bluefish sometimes seemed in the mix during striper fishing from boats and the surf. Ron dragged an 8-pounder from the surf. Blackfishing seemed to improve a lot when one was the bag limit through yesterday. Nothing was heard yet about blackfish trips today, when the limit was cranked up to six. Asian crabs and green crabs are stocked for blackfish. The shop will be open for extended hours from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during the next weeks, while fishing is peaking.

The fleet rocked striped bass yesterday, not so much today, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. The boats fished up and down the ocean coast lately. Most boaters bought Krocodile spoons and Ava jigs to fish for them. Some bought eels, and eels were sold in past days, but not like last week. Stripers were also trolled. Schoolie stripers were sometimes winged from the surf. The blackfish bag limit was raised today, and nothing was heard about the fishing yet. A decent number of white leggers were sold for bait for them, and the crabs are a little scarce, because water is warm. Wind was picking up, when Johnny gave this report at 3 p.m. today.

<b>Highlands</b>

Rich Scherer, boating from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b> yesterday, trolled one striper near Sandy Hook on a Mojo, Marion wrote in an email. Johnny Cuozzo on the Elsea Nora limited out on stripers to 30 pounds off Sandy Hook Point on Mojos on Sunday. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips, dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait-and-tackle shop and ship’s store. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card. Baits like live bunker are stocked when in demand.

<b>Neptune</b>

An individual-reservation trip whooped striped bass, a great catch, Tuesday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Book a charter or a space on an individual-reservation trip for the angling. No trip fished yesterday, Wednesday. The boat was going to blackfish today, because the bag limit was increased today. Individual-reservation trips will fish for: stripers Tuesday and Nov. 24 and 29; blackfish Dec. 2, 5 and 8; and giant sea bass, giant porgies, cod and pollock Dec. 9 at offshore wrecks.

<b>Belmar</b>

Blackfishing would begin today on daily trips on the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b>, Capt. Chris said. The bag limit was increased beginning today, and the boat is especially known for blackfishing. Trips aboard fished for striped bass in past days, and the angling was very good. Striper trips might still be mixed in with the schedule, but Chris will see how blackfishing goes. The ocean was a little warm. Trips are sailing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Striped bass fishing was amazing, some of the best in years, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. Trips only caught them on livelined bunker in the past week aboard. “It’s been nice,” he said. The fish schooled up and down the coast, in different areas, in a long stretch. So he hopes the angling lasts some time. The fish were jigged far north, off Sandy Hook. He knew that boats from Fire Island still caught. Some days produced a steady pick aboard. Some days were mayhem. Or some hours were. A trip yesterday aboard locked into a good, steady pick in the morning, and mayhem in the afternoon. Every day was different. The fish were different sizes, including the usual 35- or 36-inchers. Trips would limit out on unders – stripers 28 inches to less than 43 -- and bag one or two overs, or something like that. Overs are 43 inches or larger. Different sizes were mixed in the same area. 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.

Finally, a positive day of striped bass fishing, Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> said about fishing yesterday aboard. The weekend’s striper fishing was tougher. Not much boat traffic filled the water yesterday, and the trip departed at 6 a.m., caught bunker right off the inlet on the ocean to liveline for bait, and limited out by 10 a.m. At least eight more stripers were released afterward, until the trip called it a day. The anglers did a good job with the livelining, setting hooks at the right moments. If anglers are looking to striper fish on weekdays or during Thanksgiving weekend, dates are available. Trips are slated for this Saturday and Sunday, though forecasts look like the fishing could be weathered out.

Customers smashed striped bass to 30 pounds Monday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat.  The striper fishing was the best of the season so far aboard. Each angler limited out, and many additional stripers were released. At first, a handful were quickly hooked right off Shark River Inlet. Then the trip fished to the north a couple of miles at a huge area of large stripers chasing bunker. Catches were non-stop the rest of the trip. On Tuesday’s trip, the fishing was even better. First, a handful of stripers were picked to the north. The boat moved farther north, and the angling became full-on. Once the trip got on lots more bunker and striper readings, the fishing just became better and better. The stripers bit everything: rubber shads, crocodiles, jigs and bunker. It didn’t matter. On Wednesday’s trip, striper fishing was decent, a little slower, maybe because of boat traffic. At times, the angling was super aboard. Stripers hooked were mostly keepers but ranged from slots to keepers. Plenty of stripers were read, and stripers were seen along the water surface. That was yesterday, and today’s striper fishing was also decent aboard. In the morning, three drifts gave them up excellent catches, as quickly as you could reel them in. At midday, on slack tide, the fish were marked but “didn’t want to bite.” Toward the end of the trip, stripers showed up along the surface, but were tough to catch.  Trips are fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. A trip will fish 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving for stripers, and the number of passengers will be limited, so reservations are required.

For anglers on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, striped bass fishing was very good Monday and even better, excellent, on Tuesday, a report said on the party boat’s website. All different sizes from small to big, fat stripers were smoked on the trips. All kinds of action. Lots of bird working baitfish. The stripers bit nearly anything cast to them, whether bait or lures. On Wednesday’s trip, yesterday’s. the fishing was slower but decent. If anglers worked, they caught. Plenty of stripers schooled and splashed around, and lots of birds worked. The fish were a little difficult to catch. On today’s trip, some drifts turned out terrific striper fishing, but not enough did. The catch was decent, and on some drifts, five to seven were hooked at once. On other drifts, the fishing was slow. A few 10-pound bluefish were mixed in. Trips are fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. On Thanksgiving, a trip will fish 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

On the party boat <b>Gambler</b>, striped bass fishing began a bit slow Tuesday but ended up with a good catch, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fish were mixed sizes from throwbacks to 20 pounds. “Bites were mostly on artificials …,” it said. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Toms River</b>

Some striped bass were eased from the surf, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. If anglers put in time, they’d catch. The fish, mostly throwbacks but some token just-keeper-sized, were plugged at night, early morning or dusk. That was on lures like Daiwa SP Minnows. Or the bass were hooked on rubber shads in early morning or dusk. Or they were taken during daytime on bunker or clams. Virtually no bluefish swam the water. The surf was 56 or 57 degrees, and the ocean was a little warmer farther out. Boaters trolled big stripers 2 miles from shore on bunker spoons. They also hooked stripers closer to shore on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. But the fish were bigger 2 miles out that were trolled. Boaters on Barnegat Bay eeled a few stripers at night, but not a lot of anglers did that fishing. Stripers could be played at night along Route 37 Bridge on small Rapala swimming lures or tiny shads. Dennis wouldn’t doubt if winter flounder swam along the bridge. Nobody seemed to try the fishing. Election Day used to be the traditional start of flounder fishing on the Toms River at Island Heights. Nobody seemed to try for them there either. Flounder fishing was popular before the two-flounder bag limit in recent years. A few flounder apparently swam Point Pleasant Canal. An angler hooked two there while blackfishing. Blackfish hit in the canal. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

A rep from Tony Maja’s products trolled a banner catch of striped bass – 20 of the fish 26 pounds to 46 pounds! – off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park yesterday on the ocean on Maja’s No. 4 spoons, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. “… before exhaustion set in,” the report added. Now that’s a dream day of fishing for any striper angler, it said. Local surf fishing for stripers seemed in a holding pattern. A few stripers 28 to 35 inches were beached. Catch them three ways: search for bunker to snag and liveline for bait during daytime; fish cut bunker or clams at usual good-looking places during daytime; or plug hard at night and keep moving. The better action seemed north of the local area, where schooling peanut bunker and adult bunker were more abundant. All we need is for the bait to slide south, the report said. Fresh clams were supposed to be stocked today. They’ve been scarce. 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>***Update, Friday, 11/17:***</b> Customers seemed to troll striped bass from the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park to Ortley Beach on the ocean in 50 to 60 feet of water on white Mojos in the past week, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Or they hooked the fish on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait, just looking for pods of the baitfish to locate stripers chasing them. A 45-pound striper weighed-in Sunday was the biggest at the store so far this season. The fish was trolled in 60 feet of water on a white Mojo. Sometimes boaters drifted eels and caught stripers along Barnegat Bay’s sod banks or Barnegat Inlet’s rocks, often at night. Bluefish fought were heard about now and then from Oyster Creek, the Forked River power plant discharge. But the fishing seemed nothing steady. A couple of customers blackfished yesterday on the ocean, because the bag limit was increased that day. They reported picking the tautog, saying the angling was a little slow. They only said they fished wrecks, not mentioning specific locations. Green crabs, eels, fresh bunker and salted clams are stocked. Fresh clams are carried when available, and are difficult to obtain. Telephone ahead to confirm.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

The <b>Super Chic</b> fished for striped bass on the ocean and in Barnegat Inlet, and the angling was pretty good, Capt. Ted said. The fishing was very good yesterday, Wednesday, on a trip that fished both the ocean and inlet aboard. Monday’s trip caught on the ocean. Tuesday’s did in the inlet, and Wednesday’s did at both places. On the ocean, trips hooked the bass on bunker that were snagged for bait and then livelined. At the inlet, trips picked up the bass on livelined spots. How big were the stripers? On Wednesday’s trip, a couple weighed in the 30 pounds. A 35-pound 42-incher was biggest on the outing. Stripers in the ocean probably averaged 36 to 40 inches. The stripers in the inlet included slots and keepers. The boat would be back at the fishing today.

Local charter boats reported good catches of mostly large striped bass the last few days on the ocean, a report said on the party boat <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>’s website. Striper fishing scored well last weekend on the Miss Barn, covered in the last report here. Trips are fishing for stripers and blues 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday through Sunday. One of the trips will also sail 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving.

At <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>, many striped bass were docked every day for about the past week, Vince Sr. said. The fish came from Barnegat Bay, and bigger were brought from the ocean. A 41-pounder was weighed at the shop this morning that was boated on the ocean to the north. On the ocean, boaters found the fish to the north, like toward Seaside, but the stripers seemed to keep migrating closer to the store to the south. Plenty of blackfish bit along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks and at ocean wrecks. Many blackfish were being cleaned at the shop, and many anglers headed for blackfish at the inlet today, because the bag limit increased today. Customers fish the inlet on foot for them. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean, and a few ling, cod and porgies were mixed in. Live spots that are nailing the stripers are stocked. Green crabs and salted clams are on hand.  Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and, in season, boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure.

<b>Barnegat</b>

This was posted Tuesday as an update and is being re-posted in case anybody missed it: “They're Here!” Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b> wrote in an email Tuesday. “Awesome Striper Fishing,” he wrote. “This is the run we’ve been waiting for. Thirty- to 40-pound stripers on bunker pods up and down the coast from Island Beach to Long Branch. Some of the best fishing is in 10 to 20 feet of water. Finback whales, bunker and bass made for some exciting visual fishing the last few days. If the wind blows and the ocean gets uncomfortable, we have live bait to catch 22- to 36-inch stripers in Barnegat Inlet. Your choice: stripers or stripers. Either way, fish for dinner. Wednesday and Saturday are booked. But I’ll be running open-boat or charter 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday and Monday. The weather will dictate if we run outside or fish the inlet, so only people who are flexible should reserve. For the most part the wind has some velocity through the weekend, but mostly W/NW, which makes for a flat ocean in tight to the beach, where the action’s been. Four people max on the open-boat trips. All fish are shared. You can call right up until go time because we might have a spot. It happens all the time.” <b>***Update, Sunday, 11/19:***</b> An email from Dave today: “Crazy striper fishing going on up and down the coast. Bunker snagging, casting lures and trolling are all working. Inside Barnegat Inlet we’re connecting with live spots. The range of size varies from place to place, hour by hour. There are still some 20- to 40-pound fish on the bunker pods, 6- to 15-pound in the inlet and every size on the troll. The migration fish have arrived and are colliding with the bigger bunker pod fish. It's a great time to go striper fishing. The water temp is 53 to 54 degrees, so we should be looking at a nice long run, hopefully until Christmas! Sailing open-boat and charter every day. We have one open-boat spot for tomorrow, Monday, 5:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. We’ll sail Wednesday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, this coming Sunday, Nov. 26, and that Monday, Nov. 27. Four people max on open-boat trips. All fish are shared. These dates are also available for your own private charter.”

<b>Beach Haven</b>

The last cold snap seemed to pull the striped bass migration 30 miles south in the ocean to the Barnegat Inlet area, said Capt. Lindsay from the <b>June Bug</b>. The boat is supposed to fish for them this weekend if weather doesn’t nix that.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

Striped bass, no big numbers, but some began to be boated off Long Beach Island on the ocean, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Plus, a couple of 40-pounders were weighed from the bay locally. Some sizable were caught there – some –  while boaters anchored, chummed and fished with clams, but not many were. Still, fishing for the run of big stripers was beginning. A million anglers fished for them, and only a handful of the fish were landed. But when a 45-pounder could be reeled in, that seemed worthwhile. Business would be quiet at the shop on weekdays, and then a mad rush would tumble in for the weekend. Stripers could be eeled well in Mullica River still. White perch could be swung from the river. Blackfishing seemed good, and the bag limit increased today. The tautog snapped along sod banks locally, and at ocean wrecks. Blackfishing could be good along Barnegat Inlet’s jetties. Brandon sent kids there who’d never fished for them before. They caught well on every trip, and seemed to find a pocket of the fish nobody else pressured. Fishing for a mix of catches like sea bass, porgies and blackfish on the ocean seemed not to produce so much at pieces closer to shore, like Garden State Reef, but farther out, like at Atlantic City Reef or in 100 feet. Green crabs, eels and salted clams are stocked. Fresh bunker were out at the moment.   

<b>Absecon</b>

Some striped bass were there to be caught in the back bay, said Curt from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Probably 40 percent were slots or keepers, and charters with the shop’s owner, Capt. Dave, caught the bass pretty well. The trips fished livelined spots or eels and Gulp Nemesis. The southern migration of stripers in the ocean seemed a little north. “(But) they’re getting here,” he said. Blackfishing was reportedly okay at ocean wrecks. This was before the blackfish bag limit was increased today. Curt heard about a few keepers from places like inlet jetties. Most of the better sized hugged the wrecks, but keepers came from back waters, too. The main angler Curt fishes with for white perch on Mullica River was having difficulty finding them somewhat, since weather first became cold. But the perch were there, so catching was a matter of finding them. Plenty of live spots are stocked. Eels and all baits are carried, except fresh clams are difficult to obtain and expensive. He’d stick with bunker or live bait.

<b>Brigantine</b>

A 33-pound 3-ounce striped bass was weighed from Brigantine’s surf last Thursday at <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b> that’s in first place in the shop’s fall fishing derby, Capt. Andy said. Since then, about nine stripers were checked-in from the town’s surf. They included a 20-pounder the next day.  The fishing wasn’t great yet, but there was some action. Most of the striper action seemed to remain farther north, and anglers waited for them to arrive south. Three kids Andy calls “the 12th Street Gang” fished the surf Friday in wind and cold with mom and dad and banked no stripers. They fished the next day with an uncle and socked about a 20-pounder. The annual Elks Tournament was held this weekend. The first-place surf angler won with two stripers 16 and 9 pounds for a combined weight of 25 pounds. Capt. Danny Ponzio’s crew on his War Dance won first in the boat division with 66 pounds. That seemed to be for three stripers, because photos of the crew seemed to be posted with three on Riptide’s Facebook page during the event.  Boaters, including Ponzio, all sailed north to the Seaside area to catch during the contest. Striper fishing was steady on the back bay on eels or Gulp Nemesis. One angler pulled in several slot stripers and two stripers in the 30-inch class on a trip, and other trips made similar catches on the bay. Eels are stocked, and fresh bunker are supposed to arrive tonight. Clams in the shell are supposed to arrive Friday. They’ve been difficult to get. The Fall Riptide Striper and Bluefish Derby is underway until Christmas Eve for surf fishing in the town. The $25 entry fee includes a permit to drive Brigantine’s entire front beach, when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit. Without the tournament permit, not all the beach can be driven. Anglers must have the Brigantine permit to be able to drive on the beach with the tournament permit. Cash prizes will be awarded. The Riptide 43-Inch Striper Bounty is up for grabs for the next entrant who checks-in a striper 43 inches or larger from Brigantine’s surf. The 33-pound 3-ouncer won the last bounty, and a new bounty is begun each time someone wins. Entry is $5, and all the cash is awarded. Anglers must sign up before fishing.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

The blackfish bag limit was increased today, and the fish have been hooked like crazy along Absecon Inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. He launched the shop’s Tog Master Tournament today that lasts through the end of the month, and probably nine of the fish were entered so far today, when he gave this report this afternoon. Entry is free, and $100 will be awarded for the heaviest, and $50 apiece will be awarded for the second and third heaviest. First through third places this afternoon weighed 5.8, 3.9 and 3.6 pounds.  Dunk green crabs to catch, and customers fish the nearby, jetty-lined inlet on foot. Blackfish gather along jetties. A striped bass was checked-in today, and lots of schoolie stripers swam the bay near the inlet, and now also swam the surf beside the inlet. Though they were schoolies, the size was bigger than before. Fishing’s on fire, definitely, Noel said. All baits, the full supply, are stocked, including green crabs and fresh clams in the shell. The clams have been difficult to locate from suppliers.

<b>Longport</b>

Blackfishing was going to kick off today on the <b>Stray Cat</b> on the ocean on a sold-out, open-boat trip, Capt. Mike said. The bag limit was increased today, and some spaces are available Friday and Monday for the fishing. Saturday and Sunday are sold out. Spaces are available for an open trip 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving. Mike hopes to fish for striped bass then. But if the striper migration is yet to arrive, the trip will blackfish. <b>***Update, Friday, 11/17:***</b> Best fishing in years, an email from Stray Cat said about yesterday’s blackfish trip! Lots of blackfish bagged.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Loads of striped bass 18 to 24 inches schooled back waters, said Justin from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. They swam along bridges, elsewhere in the bay and in rivers. During daytime, clams, bunker or eels hooked most. At night, mostly soft-plastic lures did. Great Egg Harbor Inlet gave up good fishing for stripers in the mid-20 pounds on livelined spots or eels or chunked bunker for boaters. Not much was heard from Corson’s Inlet. The surf tossed up stripers in dribs and drabs, but there have been stripers. Up to 30-pounders were heard about. An angler would report banking 10 stripers from the surf, and the next day, nobody would report any. Mostly bait caught in the surf. Blackfish, lots of small, but bigger mixed in, remained along piers. Cold water will eventually chase them away. Sea bass fishing was incredible at wrecks and reefs. Catches of them were reported from Great Egg and Atlantic City reefs, and lots of porgies, big ones, too, actually bit there. They can be uncommon there.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

A few striped bass were tugged from the back bay, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Livelined spots really drew them to strike, and if anglers fished for the bass without spots, Mike didn’t understand. Blackfishing was good, and the Avalon side of Townsend’s Inlet Bridge probably fished best or them in back waters. The local party boat sailed for the tautog today on the ocean, because the bag limit was raised today, though seas were rough in wind. He’d see how the trip fared. Live spots, eels and green crabs are stocked. Fresh bait is carried when available.

The back bay’s striped bass fishing’s been pretty good aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Jigs and livelined spots hooked them. He’s looking forward to the migration of stripers in the ocean. His schedule’s quite booked for those trips until Christmas, and he’s had to turn people away. Don’t delay to schedule. Beginning at Christmas, he starts annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys that fish until Easter. See the <a href=" http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</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>Cape May</b>

Daily trips for blackfish were going to be launched today on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. That’s because the bag limit jumped to six today, from the previous limit of one. Forecasts for wind looked tough for today and the next days, though. The trips until now sailed for sea bass, catching farther from shore. A bunch of throwbacks bit, but some keepers munched. Blackfish trips won’t need to ride 25 or 30 miles from shore like sea bass trips did. The boat departs at 8 a.m. No trip will fish on Thanksgiving.

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> was going to begin striped bass fishing this weekend, but will likely be weathered out, Capt. George said.

Reports about boating for striped bass finally rolled in, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. A couple of trips headed to eel for stripers at the Cape May Rips, and one returned with a 38-pound striper and landed a couple of others. Surf fishing was slow, banking a couple of throwback stripers. Not much to speak of, he said. The blackfish bag limit was increased today, and plenty of green crabs were stocked for them. Eels were carried, and no fresh bunker were on hand. They were difficult to obtain but are carried when available. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean when boaters had the weather. A trip last weekend limited out in 3 hours, drop-and-reel fishing for big sea bass 30 miles from shore in 120 feet of water. That distance and depth seemed the ticket.

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