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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-24-17

<b>Sewaren</b>

The biggest striped bass swam East River and the ocean, said Tim from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. Dave Fargas eeled a 40.2-pounder on the river. Al Dudas released stripers to 20 pounds and heavier the whole time he fished for them in New York Harbor on a trip. That was on eels, and eels were what caught in both the river and harbor. Bill Sarano trolled a 35-pound striper near Sandy Hook on a Mojo. Stripers also swam Raritan Bay. Eels, fresh bunker, salted clams, green crabs, sandworms, nightcrawlers and trout worms are stocked. 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 was awesome on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in a brief email this morning. After the angling was dismal Saturday and was weathered out Sunday and Monday, the catches were lights out Tuesday, the boat’s Facebook page said. Larger stripers, none less than 32 inches, were creamed aboard that day. The anglers kept seven and then released more. The fishing was also excellent Wednesday. Adult bunker had arrived in Raritan Bay on these two trips, and stripers chased them. No trip fished on Thursday, Thanksgiving, because Frank spent the day with family. Charters are fishing, and room is available for an open-boat trip for stripers Wednesday. Two spots are left for an open trip for blackfish Monday, Dec. 4.

Striped bass fishing became excellent again, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. Good-sized, up to 25 pounds, were pasted on jigs, rubber shads and livelined bunker on the ocean aboard, after small stripers bit during the weekend. Open-boat trips are fishing for stripers daily. Down Deep’s other boat finally had the weather to blackfish Wednesday, after those outings were weathered out since the bag limit was increased to six beginning Nov. 16, from the previous limit of one. The fishing was okay, good, he said. The blackfish chomped for 2 hours until weather deteriorated. Open trips are blackfishing daily on that vessel, and charters are available for stripers or blackfish for up to 15 passengers. Both boats feature heated cabins and 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 was slated to sail yesterday, today and Sunday with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. The trips were supposed to blackfish, but if striped bass popped up, the trips would go after them. Striper fishing seemed somewhat improved recently for local boaters. After the weekend, Joe will haul the boat out for the year.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Trips blackfished every day on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said Wednesday. Weather caused none of the trips to be docked. The fishing wasn’t great but caught on every trip. Nobody limited out, and some anglers only hooked throwbacks, but all at least hooked them. On Wednesday’s trip, two anglers bagged four keepers apiece. Trips had also been providing clams for bait for anglers who wanted to fish for porgies or sea bass. But only green crabs for blackfish bait were set out for customers recently, because dogfish that are attracted to clams were somewhat of a nuisance. Tom guessed white crabs will be available soon aboard for blackfishing. Trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. daily.

Mostly smaller striped bass were angled on the <b>Fishermen</b> on Monday through Wednesday, a report said on the party boat’s website. No trip fished Thursday because of Thanksgiving. On Monday’s trip, strong wind blew, and fishing was tough, even for blackfish boats. Lots of small stripers were released aboard at first, and no keeper was caught until 12:30 p.m. A few keepers were claimed toward the end of the trip. The trip fished in miles of bunker tight to shore without a bite. On Tuesday’s trip, the morning’s fishing was similar to the previous morning’s, landing smaller stripers. That was on rubber shads, the report said that day. The trip fished inshore, offshore and everywhere, looking for bigger. The trip took one last ride, and found a few bigger that smacked jigs and eels. A 20-pounder won the pool, a 19-pounder was second-biggest, and a 15-pounder was also done-in. Bunker schooled from Sandy Hook Point to Monmouth Beach that day, and none did on Wednesday’s trip, amazingly. A handful of throwbacks were eased in at first, and the bite didn’t turn on until the change of tide. Then plenty of throwbacks with keepers mixed in were hit on rubber shads and plain jigs. An angler won the pool with a 14-pounder and tossed back 25 throwbacks. Another angler was also a hot hand, totaling 20 throwbacks and a good-sized keeper. The trip covered many miles but got it done. Plenty of good striper fishing is left, the report said. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Reportedly striped bass were trolled in a little deeper water than before, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Surf-fishing for small stripers seemed to go better yesterday than previously. The fish are swiping rubber shads. Blackfishing sounded decent yesterday, and the boats were yet to return from the fishing today, when he gave this report. Green crabs are stocked, and white crabs are carried when available. They sold out today, and he’d see whether more could be stocked tonight. They’re potting slowly, but the shop’s usually had them.

Many striped bass, 12- to 15-pounders, swam south currently, holding around Lavallette, but stripers were still boated off Sandy Hook, said Jay from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Party boats jigged them, and smaller boats trolled them. Bluefish sometimes also worked the huge schools of bunker the stripers chased. Windy weather kept boaters from eeling for stripers at night. Surf anglers beached stripers, usually small rats, but that was action. White, 6-inch rubber shads, clams and worms tied into them. Boaters who blackfished didn’t limit out but caught. Baits stocked include green crabs and Asian crabs for blackfishing.

<b>Neptune</b>

For <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, striped bass fishing was a little tougher Tuesday, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. At first, the trip slammed throwback stripers on cast rubber shads. The trip then went looking for larger, and two were clocked: one on a shad, and one on “a live bait,” he wrote. Then the trip found stripers to 38 inches in 50 feet of water, he wrote, and all anglers left with at least one striper. No trip was slated for Thanksgiving, and Ralph was staying home with family. Charters are available, and individual-reservation trips will fish for: stripers today, Wednesday and next Friday; blackfish Dec. 5, 8 and 12; 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 sail for blackfish or stripers.

<b>Belmar</b>

<b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> limited out on under striped bass by noon Wednesday on the ocean off Shark River Inlet on trolled, white Mojos, Capt. Mike said. Chartreuse and purple were also fished, but the fish pounced on white. Bunker spoons failed to catch in the morning. But boaters began to connect on spoons later in the day, Mike heard. Bunker schools swam too quickly to liveline bunker for the bass. So Celtic put the trolling spread out. More striper trips are supposed to sail today and Saturday aboard. Two anglers want to sail for stripers Sunday on the boat, so Mike’s looking for a couple of more.

<b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> crushed striped bass in past days on the ocean, Capt. Pete said. Trips Tuesday and Wednesday each landed more than 40. Wednesday’s trip reeled in overs, unders and shorts, and the fish were bigger that day, because the trip had the weather to fish farther from shore. The different sizes were mixed together on the trip. “It was weird,” he said. Stripers tight to shore were mostly slots and shorts. The trips caught on livelined bunker, cast jigs and rubber shads and trolled Mojos. Amazing fishing, he said, and Pete expects the angling to continue, including because stripers were still landed off New York.  They should migrate south to the local area. Trips aboard will liveline the bass as long as that lasts. The year’s final push of stripers is usually smaller ones that are jigged or hooked on shads. That angling will probably last until mid-December, Pete thinks. 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.

On the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b>, blackfishing’s been spotty, or good on some days and alright on others, and the ocean’s warm, Capt. Chris said. He’s telling anglers this is the top of the second inning, and the angling’s got a long ways to go. However, striped bass trips had been mixed in aboard, but only blackfishing is sailing now on the vessel. Had to blackfish, he said. Trips are sailing for the tautog 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Slow fishing for striped bass today on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b> on the ocean south of Shark River Inlet, an email said from the party boat. The fish were picked, half on Krocs and shads, half on livelined bunker. The fishing was tough on yesterday’s trip, too. A handful were managed, and the boat will fish for stripers 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The trips are usually running 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. The Royal Miss Belmar, the company’s other party boat, will fish for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

A handful of keeper striped bass and some slots were socked Thursday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. But stripers didn’t want to cooperate, it said. They were marked, and were also seen splashing around in bunker schools. On Wednesday’s trip, lots of small stripers gave up action early in the day, and a few 20- to 30-pounders were tackled later. On Tuesday’s trip, seas were nasty, and anglers who stayed home made a good decision. A few throwbacks were tugged in. 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 today through Sunday. Let’s get out early and get a shot at fish before boat traffic, the report said.

A good shot of big striped bass returned for ocean boaters the last few days, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Fishing for them was best south of Shark River Inlet, and the fish were trolled on Mojos and hooked on bunker snagged and dropped. Isaac Emberly from Ocean City’s 33-pounder was the biggest brought to the shop. Surf-fishing for stripers could be red hot or dead. It was dead today, and the fish are small, some as small as 15 inches. Bob suggests fishing light tackle, sometimes very light, and 6-inch Tsunami rubber eels worked well. Good numbers of sizable blackfish were boated on the ocean. Bob Vikse’s 14-pound 5-ouncer was the largest seen and was beaten on a party boat from Belmar.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Bottom-fishing scooped up good catches on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, Capt. Butch said. Porgies, sea bass, blackfish and occasional winter flounder and cod came in. Anglers totaled 20 to 40 fish apiece, a mix of the species. Some might bring in 50 apiece. Porgy fishing was only slow on a couple of days, when weather was especially rough. Trips sailed every day except one that was weathered out recently. When the ocean was rough, trips fished shallow in 60- to 80-foot depths. Otherwise, trips fished in 120 feet. The water was 56 to 57 degrees, not cooling quickly. The ocean is usually 49 to 50 degrees by Thanksgiving. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

“Nice day on the blackfish grounds!” a report said about Thanksgiving aboard on the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>’s website. A few good-sized to 8 pounds were picked on the trip. Some anglers were locked in and decked three to five keepers apiece, and some only pulled in throwbacks. Lots of swinging and missing, the report said. Quite a few keepers were axed on Monday’s trip, great fishing. South wind hampered the angling on Tuesday’s trip. A few of the tog were picked up at each of the trip’s drops. But blackfish are there – not to worry! the report said. Nothing was mentioned about Wednesday in the report. The weekend’s weather looks great for the trips. The boat is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Green crabs and white crabs are carried aboard, and on these trips, sometimes both crabs caught equally, and sometimes green worked better. When that happened, whites still caught.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

The <b>Tin Knocker</b> was supposed to fish for striped bass on Thanksgiving, Capt. John said before the trip. He heard about the catches to the south on the ocean on the troll and livelined bunker.

<b>Toms River</b>

Schoolie striped bass and 2-pound bluefish were beaned from the surf on Wednesday and Thanksgiving, said Mario from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Some bigger stripers and bigger blues were dragged from the surf earlier in the week. First light, dusk and nighttime fished best in the surf, and the fishing was a pick during daytime. Lures like Daiwa SP Minnows and rubber shads caught. Moving was key when fishing those. For “baiters and waiters,” he said, clams and bunker beached the fish. Not much was heard about striper fishing in Barnegat Bay like along the sod banks near Barnegat Inlet. But throwback stripers bit in the bay toward the Toms River and in rivers like the Toms on small swimming lures. Point Pleasant Canal produced some good catches of blackfish and, at night, striped bass on eels. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

In the surf, striped bass were around, and anglers just had to “work a little harder” for them, a report said Wednesday on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. That was the most recent report at press time, and both lures and bait hooked “the elusive bass at present,” it said. The fishing was a matter of right place, right time, as always, it said. On the previous day, the report said first light, daytime and last light produced small stripers to keepers from the beach. That report said cut bunker and clams were the baits, and swimmers, rubber shads and poppers were the lures. That report noted that surf-fishing can change on a dime this time of year, or suddenly baitfish can school into the water, and catches can take off. So stay ready, 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>Barnegat Light</b>

Striped bass fishing was no good Monday through Wednesday on the ocean on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. Any stripers hooked were throwbacks. The angling was great previously, and if the catches pick back up, the next trips, slated for today through Sunday, will fish for them. Otherwise the trips might blackfish. However, Sunday’s trip seemed interested in blackfishing.

Striper fishing was great on the ocean today, said George from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. It was also great in Barnegat Inlet, and lots of boats were on the water. In the ocean, the fish were taken on bunker snagged and then livelined and trolled Mojos and bunker spoons. A few customers bought live spots from the shop today, and the baitfish are what to fish in the inlet. Blackfishing was also great today along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. In addition to the spots, baits stocked include green crabs for blackfish. 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.

Anglers picked at striped bass, mostly bigger but some throwbacks, yesterday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Too few fish for the big crowd aboard, “but we gave it our all,” it said. Arrive early for today’s trip, because a large crowd is expected, it said. Yesterday’s trip was a special one for Thanksgiving, and the boat is normally fishing for stripers and blues 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday through Sunday.

<b>Absecon</b>

Boaters finally whipped striped bass on the local ocean today off Atlantic City and Brigantine along the 3-mile line, said Jay from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. The fish were trolled on Mojos or bunker spoons and hooked on bunker snagged and then livelined. The fish were boated off the Red Towers on Long Beach Island farther north today, too, and Jay’s been catching them farther north, from the governor’s mansion at Island Beach State Park to Island Heights, for a month. A trip he fished on today trolled a dozen off the Seaside Ferris wheel on bunker spoons. Other boaters there trolled them on Mojos. Stripers still bit in local bays. Capt. Dave, the shop owner’s, charter had some keepers from the bay today on livelined spots. The spots are stocked, and so are eels and green crabs. Plenty of blackfish remained along bridges and jetties.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

All heck broke loose with striped bass off the Red Towers on the ocean today, said Brandon from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Fifteen- to 40-pounders were caught including on trolled Mojos and bunker spoons, and probably two-thirds of the boats caught that fished there today. Not many stripers were reported from the bay or “inside.” Some anglers fished for white perch on the bay. Blackfish still held in the bay, but seemed to be migrating to the ocean. They were boated on the ocean, and so were sea bass. Sea bassing was good but in 100 feet or deeper.

<b>Brigantine</b>

Whales and bunker swam the ocean locally the past two or three days, and today boaters began to lock into striped bass among them, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. He was getting phone calls about them and being texted photos. A local charter boat sent the first shots of a couple, and since tackled four or five. The charter nailed the fish on Mojos from Riptide with BKD’s. Another boat sent a photo of one that looked 40-some inches and was trolled on a Stretch 30 lure. A 12-year-old reeled in another in the 40 inches, and Andy assumed that was boated on a Mojo, but was unsure. Nothing was heard about stripers from the surf today until someone said a buddy had just beached one. That was unconfirmed. Linda Davoli checked-in a 12-pounder from the surf Wednesday and reportedly beached several that day. She’s been fishing triple-jointed Sebile lures. Boating for stripers on the back bay was good or okay on eels, spots or Gulp Nemesis. One of the crew from the store and his dad eeled a 32- or 33-incher on the bay. 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. Entry is $5, and all the cash is awarded. A 33-pound 3-ouncer won the last bounty the other week.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Boaters began to land striped bass on the ocean 2 miles off the local area today, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Twenty-five or 30 boats could be seen sailing for them. Plenty of smaller stripers, schoolies, bit in Absecon Inlet off Caspian and Melrose avenues, the nearby surf and the bay off Harrah’s on clams and eels. Lots of blackfish snapped along Absecon Inlet. Dunk green crabs for them, and anglers fish on foot at the nearby, jetty-lined inlet. The shop’s free AC Tog Master Tournament is underway through the end of the month for blackfish hooked in Atlantic City. Entry is free, and $100 will be awarded for the heaviest, and $50 apiece will be awarded for the second and third heaviest. Good-sized ling nibbled in the inlet, and one angler swung in 30 from the sea wall. Anglers mostly fished clams for them, and bunker could also be cast to the ling, but bunker were scarce in past days, because wind kept bunker boats docked. Still, bunker, all these baits mentioned and more, the full supply, are stocked.

<b>Longport</b>

The <b>Stray Cat</b> blackfished Wednesday, Capt. Mike said that evening. Catches, at Ocean City Reef, were slow, a pick, in very dirty water after Tuesday’s blow. A dozen keepers and lots of throwbacks chewed. Only blackfish, except one dogfish, were hooked. The water was 54 degrees, and no bait was marked, and no birds were seen working bait, on the way in and out. Nothing but water, he said. Blackfishing previously was the best in years aboard. A trip attempted to blackfish Tuesday but returned to port because of weather. Blackfish trips were sold out today and Sunday. Spaces are available for open-boat trips Monday and Tuesday.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

<b>***Update, Saturday, 11/25:***</b> Striped bass to 50 pounds were boated yesterday on the ocean aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The migration arrived, a little later than usual. A dozen of the fish, maybe more, were reeled in on the boat. Those included a 48-incher that weighed about 50, a 44-incher and a 43-incher. A quarter of the stripers were trolled, and the rest were jigged, including the 50-pounder on 15-pound line. That was awesome, he said. Bunker schooled the water, and Joe saw no whales, but maybe whales were around that can be. No bluefish were in the mix that can be. The catches began slowly this morning and then picked up.

Some good catches of striped bass were made on the back bay, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Livelined spots and eels probably smashed most, but soft-plastic lures also cracked them steadily at docks and bridges at night and sod banks in mornings and evenings. The number of stripers yanked from the surf increased somewhat. None was of any size, but a few more bit than before. Boaters set out to troll for stripers on the ocean today, but no catches were reported yet this season. Plenty of blackfish hit, though lots of small had to be weeded through, for boaters on the ocean and anglers on foot at structure like jetties. Nobody mentioned fishing for sea bass on the ocean in a week. 

<b>Cape May</b>

The party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> blackfished last week on Thursday and not since, “because it has been some wind here,” Capt. Paul said Wednesday. No trip was scheduled for yesterday, Thanksgiving. The boat was scheduled to begin blackfishing daily on that Thursday of last week, because the bag limit was increased to six starting that day, from the previous limit of one. On the trip, weather was also windy, and only a dozen anglers climbed aboard. Not many keepers, about 15, were reeled in. Throwbacks gave up plenty of action at some spots. Triggerfish were also landed, so the water was warm. Blackfishing will improve as water cools, Paul is sure. He hopes wind will calm so the trips can sail more than once a week. Lots of anglers telephoned to join today’s trip. Trips are blackfishing at 8 a.m. daily. 

The Cape May Rips began to turn on for striped bass catches on eels for boaters, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. A few stripers were also boated on Delaware Bay on bunker chunks. Dogfish filled the deep water of the bay’s sloughs, so fish tighter to shore for the stripers. Stripers were sometimes banked from the surf at Cape May Point on lures. Not much was heard about stripers from the ocean surf. The point is at the confluence of the ocean and the bay. The back bay gave up good striper fishing for mostly throwbacks, a couple of keepers, in early mornings and evenings.  Blackfishing seemed pretty good at inshore wrecks. Eels, fresh bunker and green crabs are stocked. 

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