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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-20-17


Striped bass fishing was still good, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. Lots of throwbacks showed up, and keepers were mixed in. There was lots of action, and open-boat trips are fishing for stripers daily. Down Deep’s other boat was supposed to begin blackfishing on open trips daily beginning Thursday, but was weathered out because of wind. The blackfish bag limit was increased to six beginning that day, from the previous limit of one. Charters are available for either fishing for up to 15 passengers. Both boats have heated cabins and full galleys. Sign up for the Short Notice List on <a href="" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special open trips.

Wind forced trips to be canceled on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, and currently might cause a few more to be, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Striped bass fishing was excellent Thursday aboard, limiting out on unders, filling all bonus tags and releasing many additional stripers. On Friday, fishing was weathered out, and on Saturday morning, a trip striper fished aboard. But the angling was poor, and sounded poor on many other boats. Stripers were around but were mostly throwbacks, and bait seemed scattered. “I’m certain the new moon played a part …,” Frank said. Blackfishing will begin between striper trips on the boat. Charters are fishing, and one space is available for an open-boat trip Wednesday for stripers. Two spaces are available for one of the trips next Monday. Two spots are available for an open trip for blackfish Wednesday, Nov. 29, and blackfish charters are available on Dec. 2, 3 and 10. Those charters are on weekends. Telephone to reserve.  


Striped bass were boated between the channels, Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. Blackfishing was picky in rough seas but produced some.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Anglers slugged away at smaller striped bass and big bluefish most of Friday’s trip on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. A couple of the bass weighed in the teens, and the trip’s fish were hooked on jigs, because rubber shads “couldn't make it to the bottom,” the report said. Fishing was about the same on Saturday’s trip, except boat traffic was lots heavier. The pool-winner won with a 29-inch striper, and landed 15 stripers. Gannets crashed bunker a couple of times, so the captain thought the trip was “in” on big stripers that would be chasing the baitfish. But the bait and fish swam much too fast to stay on them. The boat did no fishing Sunday in forecasts for gusts to 40 knots. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

The daily blackfish trips sailed every day except Friday and Sunday, when the fishing was weathered out, on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. On Thursday’s trip, nobody limited out on blackfish, and a couple of anglers bagged three or four. Not all the anglers hooked keepers, but all hooked blackfish, Tom thought. The fishing seemed a good sign, and that was the year’s first trip for the tautog, because the bag limit was raised to six beginning that day, from the previous limit of one. Saturday’s trip didn’t fish as well as Thursday’s. A different area was fished Saturday, because Tom knew wind was going to blow up. Actually, the trips are targeting blackfish, but also fishing for porgies and sea bass. Saturday’s trip began catching porgies, and those who wanted to fish for them landed “dinner-plus.” A few keeper sea bass and some shorts also came in. Tom didn’t plan to fish for porgies, because fewer and fewer were showing up on the fishing grounds. Today’s trip fished with only a few anglers, and so far, one bagged four blackfish, another bagged two and others hooked no keepers, Tom said at 11 a.m. aboard in a phone call. More anglers had telephoned, saying they were going to fish on the trip, but several never showed up, maybe because of forecasts. Weather was cold and windy, but not bad. “It’s blackfishing, and it’s not a bad day,” he said. Two places had been fished so far on the outing. Tomorrow sounds like good weather, and Tom expects the day’s trip to fish. Trips are fishing for blackfish, porgies and sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. daily. The trip on Thanksgiving will finish early at about 1:30 p.m.


Fishing for striped bass is changing daily, but Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> expects to catch them well into December, he wrote in an email. A charter Saturday jigged stripers instead of livelining them on bunker like previous trips did. At first on the trip, slot stripers 24 inches to less than 28 were jigged. Then unders to 37 inches were jigged. Very good fishing, he wrote, and big bluefish were also lit into on the trip. Last Lady will have bonus tags to bag the slots aboard, and is getting more. A charter Friday livelined stripers, a good catch, on bunker, and also fought blues aboard. An individual-reservation trip blackfished Thursday, only picking the tautog. The angler who won the pool jigged the blackfish he won with. Individual-reservation trips with spaces available include those for: stripers Tuesday, Friday and Nov. 29 and Dec. 1; blackfish Dec. 2, 5 and 8; and offshore wreck-fishing Dec. 9 for cod, pollock, giant sea bass, giant porgies and white and red hake. If weather prevents fishing offshore, the trip will blackfish. White leggers are now carried aboard for blackfishing. Charters are available.


Few trips could fish because strong wind usually blew, and when wind switched to southerly, that seemed to pull striped bass south, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. They disappeared from the local area and appeared near Barnegat Inlet, farther south. Fishing for the bass had been phenomenal aboard, all on livelined bunker. Stripers were still boated farther north, so those should migrate south to the local ocean. 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="" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces. <b>***Update, Tuesday, 11/21:***</b> Striper fishing remains excellent, Parker Pete’s Facebook page said after a trip yesterday aboard. The trip hooked stripers on livelined bunker, and after the anglers became tired of that, the trip trolled more on Mojos.

On one day, better-sized striped bass were socked with <b>XTC Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Scott said. The next day, smaller were, and the next day, bigger were again. On Friday, smaller were. The fishing, all on livelined bunker, was pretty good. XTC will sail for them again today. No trips fished Saturday and Sunday.

Wind kept <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> from fishing for striped bass Sunday, Capt. Mike said. A trip Saturday was supposed to fish for blackfish. But blackfishing was reportedly not so great, so the trip was rescheduled. The next trip is supposed to sail for stripers Wednesday. This weekend is booked.

<b>***Update, Tuesday, 11/21:***</b> Many striped bass 40 pounds and heavier were boated last week on the ocean, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. The fishing was great, and surf anglers beached stripers to 40 pounds last week “in limited areas,” he said. On Monday, boaters hooked smaller stripers. Also on Monday, only small stripers were reported from the surf. Now was a waiting game to see if big stripers show up again, and where, Bob said. Bob, a surf angler, feels that surf fishing for stripers was disappointing this season. He’s hoping that better-sized show up sometime. Striper fishing potentially was slowing down for the season, so boaters showed increased interest in blackfishing. But Bob’s keeping the faith in striper fishing, because Thanksgiving week’s always been prime time. Have a great holiday, he said. 

From New York to Barnegat Light, striped bass fishing was tough Friday, an email said from the party boat <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>. The boat fished for them north of the inlet that day, picking a few per drift. Toward the end of the trip, the boat fished off the inlet in lots of bunker. Still, only a few stripers per drift were hooked. In previous days, striper fishing was decent aboard, covered in the previous report here. 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.

When the <b>Golden Eagle</b> broke the inlet Friday, striped bass rolled in bunker, birds worked the baitfish and readings were great, a report said on the party boat’s website. The crew thought this was going to be a good day. Some of the bass were decked on rubber shads, jigs and livelined bunker, but not enough. Some big blues were eased in. Saturday’s trip caught some stripers to 20 pounds, some shorts and more blues than in a while. By now, blues seemed to start swimming down the beach. The trip covered 18 miles, and lots of stripers seemed to be read. Sunday’s trip was weathered out, and trips are fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. However, Striperthons will sail 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. or so this Friday through Sunday. Let’s get out early and get a shot at fish before boat traffic, the report said. On Thanksgiving, a trip will fish 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Ocean striped bass fishing was great for boaters last week, said Alex from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. The fish were trolled from Long Branch to the Seaside Pier on Spoon Fed bunker spoons, Tony Maja’s bunker spoons and Mojos. They were also hooked on livelined bunker the anglers snagged for bait. Bluefish to 15 pounds were also hooked while boaters striper fished. Surf anglers wrestled some 15- to 30-pound stripers from the Seaside area last week on snagged bunker and pencil poppers. Point Pleasant Canal’s striper fishing was slower than before but produced on eels, bucktails and rubber shads. Less was heard about the canal’s blackfishing than before, and maybe the fishing slowed. But anglers seemed to chase stripers, not blackfish, maybe a reason for less news. Blackfishing on the ocean seemed slow, and maybe the water needed to become colder. Sea bass fishing seemed good if trips fished farther from shore. Good-sized porgies were out there, too.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Every trip tackled striped bass well until Saturday with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The bass weighed up to 40 pounds, and each trip limited out on unders. Overs were also reeled in. The trips concentrated on fishing for the bass at bunker schools near the beach, livelining the bunker for bait. Even novice anglers cracked the stripers during livelining. The crew coached them to catch. The water was in the high 50 degrees, so the crew hopes the stripers will stick around a while. Two spots are available for fishing at offshore wrecks for giant sea bass, jumbo porgies and cod with a charter who had two anglers drop out. The trip will sail 12 a.m. to 6 or 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Spaces are available for an open-boat trip for the same wreck-fishing during the same hours Sunday, Dec. 17. Fill the freezer with delicious fish, and stay warm and comfortable on the 44-foot Henriques.

Much better life on Saturday’s blackfishing trip than on Friday’s on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. On Saturday, some keepers and lots more throwbacks were angled, keeping anglers busy. Anglers who cast around and worked for the catches scored best, and a 5-pound blackfish won the pool. Friday’s blackfishing was tough aboard, “and I do not think the conditions helped,” he wrote. Thursday’s trip picked at the tautog, some anglers catching better than others. Casting around and working grabbed bites, and a 6-pounder won the pool. That was the season’s first blackfish trip on the boat, because the bag limit was increased to six that day, from the previous limit of one. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 .m. daily. The trip on Thanksgiving will sail 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Green and white crabs are carried aboard.  On one of these trips, greens caught best. On the others, greens and whites seemed to catch equally. The year’s final nighttime bluefishing trips were supposed to sail last weekend aboard, but were apparently weathered out. Saturday’s was, the report said, and the report mentioned no results for Friday. The trips were running on those two days each week.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Surf anglers got a taste of boat action Friday, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Whales pushed bunker toward the beach, within casting range of surf anglers, and big stripers were hooked that chased the baitfish. This was from Brick Beach to Ortley Beach, and a 34.9-pound 45-incher was the biggest weighed-in. That was banked at Brick Beach, and a 20-1/2-pound 38-incher was checked-in from Ortley. Previously, striper fishing remained a pick for small to keeper-sized in the surf on cut bunker, clams, swimming plugs, popper lures and metal. Patience was a virtue, or good things came to those who waited and put in time, the report said. Friday’s surf fishing was the last mentioned in the report at press time. But the report suggested that strong south wind that was forecast could shut down the angling a moment last weekend. Fresh bunker, fresh clams, salted clams, eels and green crabs 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.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

The best striped bass fishing in a few years was crushed Sunday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fish to 35 pounds were hauled in, and forecasts called for strong west wind, and were right. A trip aboard always fishes for stripers in strong westerlies, because the bass love that. At first, the boat rode around a few hours, seeing no stripers. Then the sky filled with diving gannets and gulls, feeding on baitfish that large stripers foraged on. It was like Discovery Channel. Saturday’s trip picked at stripers, a few here and there in the morning, and locked into much better catches of blues and stripers in the afternoon, when weather became rougher. In the morning, the fish were hooked on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait, and in the afternoon, the trip caught on jigs. Friday’s trip picked away at good-sizes stripers, mostly on snagged bunker. Watch a videoAnd another. Now is the time to striper fish, and trips are sailing for stripers and blues 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday through Sunday. A trip will also fish for them 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving.

Striped bass fishing’s been good on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. Some days fished better than others for them aboard, but all trips caught. This was all on the ocean, except one trip, on Saturday, made a half-dozen drifts in Barnegat Inlet, landing a couple of slots and a couple of shorts. “(But there) wasn’t much to it,” he said. All trips caught on livelined spots or bunker, but Saturday’s trip jigged some of the bass on the ocean. Big bluefish 8 to 12 or 14 pounds also smashed the jigs. “So that was pretty good,” he said. Trips are supposed to fish for stripers today through Wednesday, if weather allows. This darn wind! Ted said.


The following was posted Sunday as an update and is being re-posted in case anybody missed it: An email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “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.” An open trip was sailing today, and more will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Sunday and next Monday, Nov. 27. Four people max. All fish are shared. These dates are also available for charter.

<b>Beach Haven</b>

For the <b>June Bug</b>, striped bass fishing was weathered out this weekend in fierce wind, Capt. Lindsay said. That wrapped up the fishing season from New Jersey aboard, and the boat will now be moved to its winter home in North Carolina. The boat like every year will be returned to Jersey in – when else? – June! Trips fish from Beach Haven from then until about now each year.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

The season’s first striped bass trip sailed Friday with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. The trip fished north on the ocean, limiting out on unders. A bunch of additional stripers were released, and the trip also landed a load of 12- to 15-pound bluefish. A 33-pounder was the biggest striper, and all the fish were trolled near Barnegat Inlet on Mojos and bunker spoons. Striper fishing was good there Sunday, too, Tom knew. Another striper trip will fish today. A trip blackfished aboard in past days, cranking up 31 keepers to 7 pounds and four times as many throwbacks. Lots of life, Tom said. A few trips might blackfish, but most trips will striper fish in the next weeks. Tom moved the boat to Atlantic City to fish for stripers. The vessel will be returned to Cape May, home port, to concentrate on blackfishing beginning Dec. 15.


The <b>Stray Cat</b> began blackfishing, Capt. Mike said in a phone call. The fishing was the best in years, he wrote in an email when he sent photos of the catches. A really good bite was going, he said in the call. Trips fished for them in shallow water 30 to 60 feet deep on the ocean because of wind the past couple of days. But the tautog are biting in 30 to 80 feet, and ones that swam back waters seemed to migrate to the ocean. The water on the fishing grounds was 51 degrees. An open-boat trip is slated to striped bass fish Tuesday that will “run up the beach,” he said. Spaces are available for open blackfish trips Wednesday and Sunday, and more of those trips are sold out on Black Friday and Saturday. Spaces are available for an open trip for stripers and/or blackfish 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

The two anglers aboard Saturday landed 10 striped bass, half on jigs, half on livelined spots, on the back bay, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Good fishing, and the trip was able to sail before wind picked up that afternoon. Sunday’s wind was horrendous, preventing fishing. The bay’s stripers are smaller, and Joe needs the weather to be able to sail the ocean and begin searching for the migration of larger stripers that’s impending locally. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>. Joe will run annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys from Christmas to Easter. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.


<b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> will probably begin striped bass fishing next week, Capt. Jim said. Trips fish for them from the ocean to the Cape May Rips. The boat used to fish for them on Delaware Bay in autumn, too, but that angling’s been slow in recent years. A buddy was going to sail for stripers on the ocean this weekend, but wind nixed that. Jim guided Canada goose hunting in Maryland during the weekend. Tons of the birds were there, and that season lasts until Friday. Jim guides hunting for geese and ducks in New Jersey later this fall and in winter. A discount is being offered on Jim’s <a href="" target="_blank">lodge</a> in upstate New York until mid-December. Anglers steelhead fish on nearby Salmon River from there from fall through winter. Snowmobiling is popular from the lodge in winter. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures including these and more.

<b>Cape May</b>

Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> knew about nobody from the fleet who fished from Cape May this weekend, because of weather, he said. Weather might’ve been windier in Cape May than farther north in the state. George joined a trip that fished for striped bass from Belmar or Shark River Inlet, farther north, on Saturday on a friend’s trailered boat on the ocean. A couple of stripers were hooked on livelined bunker but got off, and bluefish were trolled while the trip looked for stripers. Stripers were found close to the beach among a pile of bunker. That’s where the stripers got off. Wind and seas were calm in the morning. But wind began to pick up and seas began to build in the afternoon.

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