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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 2-6-17

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Boats fished this weekend for the first time in a while, said Roger from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. The boats included one of the party boats from the marina that blackfished Saturday, and that trip was on the water when Roger gave this report in a phone call. That was the only party boat that fished from the marina that day, and trips on boats lately reeled in a few blackfish from the ocean. They also caught occasional cod, because the trips fished a little deeper than before. Green crabs and white leggers were stocked, and the store, the sister shop to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina.

<b>Belmar</b>

On the <b>Big Mohawk</b> on Saturday, throwback blackfish turned out action, keepers were difficult to come by and some cod were mixed in, the party boat’s Facebook page said. No trip fished Saturday, and the crew was going to shape up to sail Sunday, but nothing was posted about that day on the page at press time. Trips are slated to blackfish 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

<b>Brielle</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 2/10:***</b> The <b>Jamaica II</b> will sail 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for ling, cod and blackfish, the party boat’s Facebook page said.

Blackfishing was slow on the ocean, said Amanda from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. The trips fished in 80 feet of water and also hooked a few cod, not many. No other fishing was heard about. The store will exhibit at Surf Day on Saturday at Brookdale Community College.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Blackfishing was tough during the weekend on the <b>Norma-K III</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. On Saturday’s trip, “we did see some short life along with a couple of keeper blackfish,” it said. But the angling was slower than the captain had hoped. On Sunday’s trip, the fishing was a struggle, not producing many bites. Strong wind in the morning, from southwest, didn’t help. “It’s not over yet!” the report said, and trips will blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Green crabs and white crabs are carried aboard.

<b>Longport</b>

Open-boat trips will fish for cod and pollock this Saturday and on the Saturday and Sunday of Presidents’ Day weekend, Feb. 18 and 19, on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. Telephone to climb aboard, and the trips will fish wrecks in 200 to 240 feet of water on the ocean. This winter’s been mild, and the ocean’s been 42 degrees 3 miles from the coast. So the trips will shoot out to the deeper water, where the ocean might be warmer. Mike had said earlier this season that his trips might do fishing like this.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Some of the traveling trips to the Florida Keys fished this weekend aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The trips, with Dan Rath and Dusty Laricks, landed three tarpon, including an 80-pounder and two smaller. The trips also caught four snook to 10 pounds, several barracudas, lots of jack crevalles and some yellow jacks, mutton snappers, mangrove snappers, ladyfish and, on the flats while sight-fishing, lemon sharks and bonnethead sharks. Quite a few fish were pumped in, very good angling. The trips fished in the back country and in the bay around Islamorada. All the fish except the sharks were hooked on jigs with live shrimp or gulps. The sharks were fought on strips of bait on circle hooks with no weight. Weather was beautiful and in the 80 degrees. The fishing’s been good this year so far, and should continue. Jersey Cape offers charters to the Florida Keys each winter until Easter, mostly on weekends. The trips can be a mini-vacation targeting a large variety of catches. Joe can book flights and accommodations for anglers, if they want. See the <a href=" http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters’ page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.  Fishing in New Jersey resumes in March around Sea Isle. Striped bass season opens on March 1 in bays and rivers, and the bass can bite in the bay in March for Joe. But fishing becomes all-out for him in April from Sea Isle. The stripers should bite even better then, and big bluefish invaded the bay in early April last year, and Joe hopes that happens again. Summer flounder, out-of-season in April, and weakfish can also bite in the bay on the trips that month. The flounder are released, and anglers can sometimes score a grand-slam in the bay that time of year, landing all four of the fish. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

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