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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-2-17

<b>Sewaren</b>

Striped bass fishing was hit and miss at the mouth of Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty, said Tim from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. That was on eels, and stripers began to be trolled at Reach Channel on Raritan Bay on Mojos and bunker spoons. Occasional keeper stripers were angled from the Carteret, Perth Amboy and Sewaren piers. Not often, but sometimes. Sizable bluefish were mixed in at all of these places. “Some are real cows,” he said about the blues. Stripers that were eeled from the Hudson included 10 of the fish to 22 pounds on Al Dudas’ trip. William Trenery eeled a 20-pounder on the Hudson, and Bill Sarano eeled a 36-incher there. Nothing was heard about sea bass, porgies or other catches. Customers were keyed in on stripers. Eels, fresh bunker, salted clams, sandworms and nightcrawlers are stocked. Fresh clams are scarce. All the trolling gear including Mojos, spoons and lures is stocked for stripers. 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>

Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing took off! Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. “What we have waited for is here,” he wrote, and the fish swam all over the bay, with birds feeding on bait above them. Smaller stripers are swimming higher in the water column, and larger are down below. Bonus-sized bass are all over the bay. The fall run is on, and anglers are having a blast. If you want stripers, go now. Bring your bonus tag. Charters are fishing, and a few spaces are available on open-boat trips Friday, Monday and Tuesday. A few are also available the following week. Two spots remain for an open blackfish trip Thursday, Nov. 16, when the bag limit will be lifted to six, from the current limit of one. A charter for stripers or blackfish is available Sunday, Nov. 19.

An email from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b> yesterday: “Total Striped Bass annihilation this week with sore arms and many keepers to 30 lbs released to fight another day. We’re on em in a big way. Don’t let them pass you by again, book now. Let our crews put you on your personal best!” Open-boat trips are fishing for stripers daily. Open trips are sailing for sea bass daily on Down Deep’s other boat. Charters are available for either 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.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Striped bass to 35 pounds were reportedly picked from Raritan Bay and between the channels on bunker spoons, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. Seemed that if boaters hit the right day, without too much boat traffic, they picked the fish. Trips are fishing for them aboard, and Sour Kraut is still up for bottom-fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish and even for tuna fishing. Tuna catches were heard about recently, and weather windows are short to reach that far from shore this time of year. But if anglers are flexible and can take advantage of windows that suddenly open, they can get after the fish.    

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Striper time! a report said on the party boat <b>Fishermen</b>’s website. Daily striped bass trips will begin Saturday aboard. The fish began to show in past days at a few areas the boat can pounce on them. Bring a medium to heavy rod for eeling and a medium spinning rod to cast jigs or rubber shads. Also bring top-water plugs with single hooks. More hooks are dangerous or difficult on the vessel. Water temperatures keep dropping, plenty of bait is schooling, and the hope is that the striper fishing will only get better. Bonus tags are aboard for anglers to bag an extra striper 24 inches to less than 28. Trips will keep fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish until then, and that angling’s been good. Trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

None of the daily trips for sea bass, porgies and blackfish sailed Sunday and Monday on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> because of weather, Capt. Tom said. But the angling resumed Tuesday and Wednesday, and was still good. Was amazing how the catches held up this season, because storms came through that usually push the fish out. Porgy fishing was good on the trips. On Wednesday’s trip, lots of small sea bass, including a half-inch under legal size, bit, but some keepers did, too. A few more blackfish were picked up than before on the trips. No crabs are carried aboard for blackfishing, because of the one-blackfish bag limit. Crabs will probably be supplied in a week or so. All customers were catching dinner and having a good time, he said. Wednesday was one of the better days of weather and seas in a while, and Tuesday was a little cranky. Weather was supposed to be good today and tomorrow, Friday. Rain was possibly forecast to fall at times, but no wind was forecast. Trips are fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. daily.

Striper fishing was terrific from Raritan Bay near Staten Island to up the rivers, said Joe from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish were trolled on bunker spoons on the bay. But they were also hooked on cast lures from the bay to the rivers, like at Highlands and Oceanic bridges. He also heard about stripers from the surf. Not much other fishing was heard about, and customers concentrated on this angling.

The bite’s on, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Striped bass were boated on Raritan Bay from Leonardo to Staten Island, mostly on the troll. All who fished for them seemed to paste them well. Eeling for stripers in New York Harbor no longer produced. In the surf, anglers could whack stripers alright on the bay, he thought. That was in mornings and at night, times typical for early in the surf season. Surf fishing for stripers in the ocean seemed slower. Nothing was heard about sea bass and porgies, but surely those fish kept chewing. All the bait needed for current fishing is stocked, except fresh clams are scarce. The store was lucky to get two bushels of the clams in a day.

<b>Highlands</b>

Sailing from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Rich Scherer limited out on striped bass to 35 pounds at Old Orchard Shoal yesterday, Marion wrote in an email. Also yesterday, a trip on the Scale and Tales limited on stripers to 30 pounds at Reach Channel on Tsunami shads with Jerry from Folsom Tackle and Erwin Heinrich, John DeBona, Jim Hutchinson and Al Ristori. Greg Hanna on the Annie H yesterday limited on stripers to 33 inches at Chapel Hill Channel on trolled Mojos. 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.

<b>Neptune</b>

Big sea bass, large porgies and a few bluefish were creamed on an individual-reservation trip for sea bass yesterday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> on the ocean, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. His granddaughter Kelsey won the pool with a 5-pound sea bass. One opening is available for another one of the trips Saturday. Individual-reservation trips will fish for: striped bass and sea bass Nov. 10 and 14; blackfish Nov. 16 and Dec. 2; and blackfish and stripers Nov. 21 and 29. The blackfish bag limit will be pulled up to six beginning Nov. 16, from the current limit of one.

<b>Belmar</b>

Charters from Belmar trolled striped bass 15 to 35 pounds yesterday morning on the ocean north of Shark River Inlet on Mojos, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Customers of the shop’s sister store Fisherman’s Den North in Atlantic Highlands also boated stripers. They trolled some, and customer Carl VanNess from Oceanport weighed a 45-pounder at that shop that he eeled. For anglers from the Belmar shop, surf fishing for stripers was slow, and more baitfish needed to enter the surf “for a more steady flow of fish,” Bob said. The water was clearing when he sent the report yesterday, after the storm early in the week, and the water was cooling. Laird Smith from Neptune boated a 15-pound 8-ounce blackfish on a charter with XTC Sportfishing from Belmar. Beatriz Soto decked a 4-pound 10-ounce sea bass on a charter on another boat. Two great fish, Bob said. Shark River’s winter flounder fishing was great, and up to 17-inchers were boated yesterday morning. The store’s rental boats are available to fish the river. 

A 15.8-pound blackfish was crushed yesterday with <b>XTC Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Scott said. A decent catch of good-sized sea bass, lots of small sea bass and a bunch of sizable porgies was cleaned up on the trip. The next trips will fish Friday, Saturday and maybe Sunday aboard. Scott hopes to striped bass fish, and hopes the bass are swimming the ocean locally, instead of only farther north in Raritan Bay.

A trip Saturday will look for striped bass on the ocean with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. Stripers are here, and Saturday is available for a charter.

Lots of big porgies and good-sized sea bass were scooped aboard the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> on the ocean, Capt. Chris said. Check out photos of the porgies on <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/BigMohawkPartyBoat/" target="_blank"> the boat’s Facebook page</a>, he said. Trips are sailing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. They’ll probably keep targeting sea bass and porgies until fishing for blackfish beginning Nov. 16, when the bag limit will be jacked up to six of the tog, from the current limit of one. That’s unless striped bass show up. Then some trips might striper fish.

Bluefish to 22 pounds were whaled the whole trip today on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. They swam 30 to 40 feet thick under the boat the entire time, and the fish attacked any lure fished. The best bluefishing of the season is now. Yesterday’s trip also slammed blues 18 to 22 pounds, and trips were weathered out the previous few days. The boat is sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily for striped bass and blues. <b>***Update, Saturday, 11/4***</b> Stripers are here! Karin from the Miss Belmar Fleet said. So beginning Monday, the <b>Royal Miss Belmar</b> will fish for stripers 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily in addition to the daily trips for stripers and blues on the Miss Belmar Princess. 

The season’s best fishing for large, monster bluefish was smashed Wednesday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. The catch was outstanding, as many as anglers wanted, “or as many as you could handle,” it said. “The fish are big, they are hungry and they fight.” If anglers dropped bait in the water, they hooked up. Catching on Run Off hammered jigs was also easy. The fishing was fantastic on today’s trip, too. If you want big blues, now’s the time. 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.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Excellent fishing today! a report said on the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>’s website. Great fishing from start to finish for sea bass and big porgies aboard the day’s trip. To bag keeper sea bass, anglers had to pick through quite a few shorts. But all customers left with plenty of fish. 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.

The following report was posted as an update here Tuesday and is being re-posted in case anybody missed it: Better late than never, a report said on the party boat <b>Gambler</b>’s website. More than 30 tuna were bagged on the most recent trip for them aboard. That was apparently a trip Saturday to Sunday. The tuna were good-sized 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. The boat was supposed to begin daily striped bass trips yesterday. Of course, no striper trips will sail when a tuna trip is fishing.

Terrific bottom-fishing was pounded on the ocean on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. Lots of sea bass were hooked, and anglers had to weed through throwbacks. A good number were keepers on yesterday’s trip. Porgy catches were phenomenal, and the porgies included big. Most anglers on yesterday’s trip bucketed 25 to 40 porgies and two to 10 sea bass apiece. Been good fishing, and trips worked 100- to 130-foot depths. The water was 60 to 62 degrees, Butch thought. His temperature gauge wasn’t working, but bluefish boats nearby reported those temps. Trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Toms River</b>

A few striped bass were plugged from the surf last night, Mario from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> said Wednesday. He heard about a couple beached during daytime that day on bait and plugs. The fish were all small and throwbacks, and anglers who kept moving, looking for the catches, caught them. Very small bluefish came from the surf at times. A customer Wednesday said the blues were a little bigger than the Daiwa SP Minnow lure he fished. Throwback stripers were also hooked from Barnegat Bay and the Toms River, “if you’re moving,” on swim shads or swimming plugs. Rapala X-Raps worked well. SP’s in model 13F, the small size, caught. Blackfishing was good at Barnegat Inlet’s north jetty and Point Pleasant Canal. Crabs were still trapped, even if that’s surprising this late in the year. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River. <b>***Update, Thursday, 11/2:***</b> Looks like surf fishing might be picking up, Murphy’s Facebook page said today. Throwback striped bass and a few keepers were dragged from the water yesterday on plugs and bait. The overnight bite improved a little for a few anglers who threw plugs with teasers and kept moving. Get out there, it said.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

As weather and conditions improved, so did striped bass fishing in the surf! a report said today on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. A report yesterday on the site said there was no real bite yet, but the surf’s conditions kept improving, winds were “cooperating … (and) rumblings from up north (sounded) promising.” But today’s report said more and more shorts and keepers were beached, on lures and bait equally, both at night and during daytime. Clams and fresh bunker were best baits, and salted clams and fresh bunker were stocked. The bunker worked best. “No blitz yet, but things are going in the right direction,” 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>

Barnegat Bay’s boaters began to report catching striped bass, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish were mostly clammed on anchor, but some were eeled at night on a drift. Kyle was hearing that stripers from the ocean were boated 2 miles off Seaside on bunker snagged for bait and livelined or on trolled Mojos or spoons. Nobody or few chased the big bluefish that anglers did previously on Oyster Creek and the bay. But some of the blues were around. Schoolie stripers swam the creek. Nobody reported blowfishing on the bay anymore. Plenty of sea bass seemed to gather at the Tires on the ocean off Barnegat Inlet. Lots were small, and lots of porgies and some triggerfish also hovered there. Fresh bunker will be stocked this afternoon. Eels, green crabs, salted clams and killies are carried.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Trips were supposed to striped bass fish today, Saturday and Sunday on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. A trip Friday is slated to sea bass fish. Stripers swam Barnegat Inlet and Barnegat Bay, and Ted would fish livelined spots for them. He heard about no stripers in the local ocean recently.

We’ve got striped bass, blackfish, bluefish and sea bass, said Vince Sr. at <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. In dribs and drabs, he added. Where are the stripers? In Barnegat Inlet, hooked on livelined spots? Yes, he said. But sometimes they’re in the ocean. Friday gave up good catches of stripers that were reported from both places. A couple of stripers were seen this week at the shop. Water’s becoming a little cold, and that’s good for striper fishing. Where are the blues? People would just come in with them, like a couple of charters who did, he said. Live spots, green crabs, fresh bunker and salted clams are stocked. No store really has fresh clams that are scarce. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

<b>***Updated, Friday, 11/3:***</b> Small striped bass and blues were boated around Little Egg Inlet, said Steve from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Anglers mostly cast metal to them, finding birds working bait to locate the fish. The migration of large stripers remained to the north, yet to slide south to the local area. Customers on two trips last weekend sailed north to near Barnegat Inlet on the ocean, drumming up good-sized stripers. Blackfishing was fairly good locally along the bay’s sod banks on green crabs. A few people still crabbed at lagoons, still trapping a few. Baits stocked include green crabs, eels and live grass shrimp. Fresh bunker is usually carried, and fresh clams are scarce but occasionally stocked on Friday mornings.

<b>Absecon</b>

Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>’s charters racked up good fishing for striped bass from the back bay, Curt from the shop said. The trips axed slots and shorts but also keepers, none really larger than 32 inches. The fishing was “a good sign,” he said, and lots of stripers swam the bay. Livelined spots and eels and Gulp Nemesis hooked them. A few bigger stripers swam the ocean farther north in New Jersey. Some trips tried to snag bunker to liveline and catch them. But more of the bass were landed on the troll. Jay from the shop sailed a long ways north on the ocean and bagged a 40-pounder. How far? Say Belmar, Curt said. That’s far! But Curt also heard about a few closer, like off Long Beach Island. Locals near the shop could sail from Little Egg Inlet and reach those fish like maybe 5 miles north sometimes. Plenty of stripers, mostly small but some keepers, swam Mullica River. Curt is a white perch angler, and said the river’s perch fishing slowed a bit. But the perch were around. Blackfish mostly seemed small at bridges and jetties locally, though inlets and bridges elsewhere seemed to give up bigger. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean, and great in 80-foot depths or deeper. Baits stocked include live spots, eels and green crabs.

<b>Brigantine</b>

The season’s second and third striped bass were checked-in from Brigantine’s surf yesterday and this morning, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Stripers had been reported from farther north from the surf. But now he was starting to have some news from locally.  Gary Hill took the second, a 14-pounder, on bunker yesterday. That pushed him into second place in Riptide’s Fall Fishing Derby. Linda Davoli this morning stopped in with the third, a 12-1/2-pounder, placing her in third place in the contest. The season’s first, George Wood’s 15-pounder, was brought in last week on Wednesday. He eased-in the fish just south of the Brigantine Hotel on a salted clam from the shop. Anglers hope this is the start of something. Plenty of stripers were hooked from the back bay. Anglers could beat 28- and 30-inchers on live bait, plugs or Gulp Nemesis. Carl Pouls who fishes from his dock that others call his “office” stopped by with a 12-pounder from the bay this morning. Andy’s buddy boated eight stripers to 28 inches in 1 ½ hours on the bay on a trip. Eels are stocked, and fresh bunker will arrive tonight. Plenty of salted clams are in. 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 annual Elks Tournament will be held Nov. 10 to 12 in Brigantine for surf and boating anglers for the heaviest stripers. Cash will be awarded for first through third places in each of the two categories. Half the entry fees will reportedly benefit the Elks veterans’ committee, and the other half will reportedly be awarded.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Plenty of fish, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Lots of blackfish, lots more better-sized than usual, hugged nearby, jetty-lined Absecon Inlet’s rocks. He genuinely thinks anglers will be able to limit out when the bag limit is jumped up to six beginning Nov. 16, from the current limit of one. Fish green crabs for the tautog. Cocktail blues swam the inlet, and dunk mullet, spearing or fresh bunker for them. Striped bass were socked from the inlet from Melrose Avenue to the T-jetty. The T is at the ocean end of the inlet. Ten of the bass, including one keeper, 12 pounds, were known to be caught last night and early this morning. Soak clams, fresh bunker or eels for them. Someone today said a big striper was tackled from shore off Harrah’s. That’s on the bay near the inlet. Fishing is hot and heavy. “Bangin’ in AC!” Noel said. It’s producing some serious fish, he said. Almost all baits, a large supply, are stocked. Fresh clams are scarce, and plenty of quarts and pints of salted are carried. Those are high quality clams, because they’re meant for eating. Surf clams used for bait are the scarce ones.

<b>Longport</b.

Wreck-fishing was pretty ridiculous, drop-and-reel, said Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b>. He couldn’t figure why more boats didn’t take advantage. A trip yesterday aboard only sailed 9 miles from shore, began fishing, and stayed there the whole 6 hours. One and done. Drop-and-reel the whole time. Sea bass, big triggerfish, porgies, spots, blues, chub mackerel and all kinds of fish chomped. The water was 64 degrees and gin clear. An open-boat trip is just about sold out Friday. A few spots remain for Saturday, and Sunday looks weathered-out. The next open-boat trip for this fishing is set for Wednesday. Mike’s new, additional boat, a 50-foot Ocean Yachts named the Adventure, will begin striped bass fishing next week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays on the ocean. He thinks the striper migration will begin to arrive. He began to see bird play, not big, but some gannets yesterday. Whales, porpoises and sunfish swam. Sea ducks were seen migrating. The season’s first brants arrived yesterday afternoon. They weren’t there in the morning.  

<b>Ocean City</b>

A few striped bass were picked from the surf, mostly on bunker or clams, said Bill from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. A few kingfish nibbled in the surf. A few stripers were boated from the inlet on clams and bunker, sometimes on eels. Twenty-nine or 30-inchers were probably the biggest heard about from the surf and inlet. Most of the bass in the surf and inlet seemed to come from the back bay and weren’t stripers migrating south to the local area yet. Lots of stripers were played in the bay at night, mostly on lures, mostly soft-plastics or poppers. Bluefish caught were reported on Saturday, but Bill didn’t know whether they were still around. Weather was rough since, quieting news. If blues are still around, they’re probably bigger than ones previously. Ones previously were 12 to 15 inches. Bill wasn’t asked where the blues were located Saturday. Justin from the shop in last week’s report said small blues swam the surf, and were pushing out of back waters for the season. Blackfish remained in the bay. A few sea bass were hooked in the bay. Those were leftover from the small that fill the bay in summer. A couple of customers were sailing for larger sea bass at ocean reefs today. So Bill would find out how they fared. He’d think the sea bassing is half-decent. Weather kept most trips from sailing the ocean previously this week.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

The back bay’s striped bass fishing was very good, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Much of the fishing was on livelined spots, but lures, mostly jigs, but also poppers, also caught. If conditions and the tide were right, his trips threw popper lures for explosive, visual attacks along the water surface. Charters aboard also fish popper flies. He did no fishing for sea bass on the ocean, because of conditions, he said. But he was sure sea bassing was on fire. Likewise, he did no fishing for false albacore on the ocean, because of conditions. But surely albies were around somewhere there. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

In the back bay, striped bass, a bunch, milled around, said Cameron from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Most were throwbacks, and a few keepers. Popper lures and live spots and eels nabbed them, and the store’s supply of spots ran out, but more should be stocked soon. Cameron heard about no bluefish.  Blackfish gathered along bridges and jetties. Many more were shorts than keepers, but one hooked was a keeper now and then. Maybe 1 in 10 was. A slew of customers headed out for blackfish today, and wind and sometimes rain kept many from fishing before.  Few fished for sea bass on the ocean, because of weather. So no news rolled in about them.

<b>Cape May</b>

Not all of the daily trips for sea bass sailed on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, because of weather, Capt. Paul said. But Friday’s and Saturday’s trips sailed, scooping up limits for a few anglers. On Friday’s trip, Bob Brett from Whitesboro was among several who limited. On Saturday’s trip, Tony Bianco, who’s from Delaware County, Paul thought, limited on the fish to a 4-pounder. He was among several who limited on the trip, and the anglers next to him were “shaking their heads,” Paul said. Tony seemed either in the right spot or somehow dialed into the catches. Trips were weathered out in Sunday’s storm and on Monday and Tuesday in wind and seas. Wednesday’s trip sailed, though seas were sloppy, and wind blew 20 knots, from southeast. Anchoring was difficult, but some anglers landed a few keepers. None limited, but keepers did get nailed. A few triggerfish and blues were hooked, and all anglers boxed a few fish for dinner. The sea bassing aboard’s been better than on opening day of sea bass season that was covered in a previous report here. Boat traffic was heavy on the opener. The Porgy IV is sailing for sea bass at 8 a.m. daily. That will probably continue until the trips switch to blackfish beginning Nov. 16, when the bag limit is raised to six of the tautog, from the current limit of one. That’s unless striped bass show up that the boat could potentially target.

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> is supposed to run for sea bass this weekend, but weather looks rough, Capt. George said. A friend was going to fish for sea bass far from shore today, so George would see how the trip scored.

Small bluefish and short striped bass were sometimes banked from the surf from the ocean to Delaware Bay, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. So were weakfish from Cape May Point and near the concrete ship. Cape May is at the confluence of the ocean and bay. The back bay seemed the only place giving up keeper stripers locally. But striper fishing there was good, at first light on lures along the sod banks, or during daytime while boaters chummed and fished with clams or bunker. The water was warm, 65 degrees, for the migration of big stripers to reach the surf and elsewhere in South Jersey yet. Someone reported seeing schooling stripers at 5-Fathom Bank on the ocean, though. That’s beyond 3 miles from shore, and striper fishing is closed beyond 3. Some time will likely pass before the migration kicks in, but the stripers at the Bank suggest that maybe the run is at least beginning to trickle past. Blackfish snapped along jetties and bridges well. Lot of action, Nick said. Blackfish didn’t seem to bite at ocean wrecks yet, at least where sea bass trips fished. Sea bassing was pretty good in deeper water. The ocean in 120 feet seemed the sweet spot to limit out. Some big sea bass to 5 pounds hit in 200 feet or deeper. Nick was able to obtain fresh clams last weekend that are scarce. He salted them and is stocking the salted. The salted catch just as well, he thinks, and he even prefers them, because they stay on the hook better. A customer reported fishing with fresh one day and salted the next, and said the bait made no difference. Eels and green crabs are carried, and fresh bunker will be on hand for the weekend.

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