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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 6-12-17


When conditions drift the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> naturally with the current, fluke fishing’s usually good aboard, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Even when wind gusts, the boat’s big keel grabs the current and can usually drift the boat naturally. The angling was good Sunday, with Capt. T.J. at the helm, bagging 11 fluke 19 inches and bigger, copping good action with shorts. Was a great trip, and T.J. also ran a great striped bass trip Saturday. Six stripers under 43 inches and one over 43 were nailed. The fish weighed up to 33 pounds, and bluefish also showed up, like always, biting off hooks, crashing tackle. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing, and T.J. will run another open-boat striper trip 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. One space is available for an open fluke trip Thursday. Spaces are also available for an open fluke trip Friday, and both fluke trips will depart at 6 a.m. Telephone to reserve. The boat is on fish, and come get yours, Frank said. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”

Super sea bass fishing was cracked on the ocean with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Open-boat trips are fishing for them daily through Sunday, the final day of sea bass season. Then the trips will fish for ling, cod and winter flounder. Charters are available, and that’s all on the Down Deep, one of the company’s two boats, each accommodating up to 15 passengers. The Down Deep Bull, the other vessel, is fishing for fluke on open trips daily and charters that are available. Fluking is improving and was okay on a trip Sunday. Join the Short Notice List on <a href="" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special open trips. Look for the link underneath the Contact link.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Fishing for fluke was about the same as in every report lately from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The fishing was best in the bay, and throwbacks seemed to gather at every place fished there, some areas holding more than others. Some trips found loads, and sometimes the ratio was 20 throwbacks for every keeper. Sometimes the ratio was 10 to 1 or 5 to 1. Sometimes a drift caught and the next drift couldn’t repeat, at the same place. Mornings produced more keepers than afternoons recently, for unknown reasons. Sometimes throwbacks didn’t even bite as well in afternoons. Bait seemed to catch better than bucktails. Sometimes whether bait worked better or the angler was better was difficult to tell. Sometimes spearing worked fine that are provided aboard. Sometimes killies that anglers brought worked better. Gulps that anglers brought helped, he guessed. Throwbacks were often just undersized, like 17 inches. Those were heavy fluke. Trips are fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Tuesday, 6/13:***</b> An 8-pound 8-ounce fluke was drilled on this morning’s trip and was the biggest this season, Tom said. An 8-pound 5-ouncer was biggest previously, and Sara Whiteford from Sacramento tugged in this latest one.

Another nice day on the water catching fluke, a report said about Saturday on the <b>Fishermen</b> on the party boat’s website. The first drift had the mates and even the captain running with the nets. The bite slowed after a couple of drifts, and the trip searched a few more areas, finding life at nearly all, not enough at some spots. Sharks took over in deep water. A handful of anglers limited out, and bait fished best like lately, but jigs began to connect better than before for the first time this season. The captain would like to think jigging will be game-on this coming week. The pool-winning fluke weighed just less than 7 pounds, and the second biggest weighed 5. Far too many fluke 17 ½ inches, a half-inch undersized, bit. Sunday’s trip was one of those where an angler either caught or didn’t. Four or five customers caught keepers for every one who landed none. A 7.2-pounder won the pool, and a 6-pound 7-ouncer was second-biggest. Bigger fluke were beginning to show every day.  Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 3:30 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Sunday, and for striped bass 3:30 to 9 p.m. every Monday. However, charters are booked Thursday and Saturday, so no open-boat trips will fish those mornings.


The boat was re-powered and passed the final Coast Guard inspection today with flying colors, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. The new engine is running great, and an individual-reservation trip for sea bass is full tomorrow. Space is available for another on Sunday, the final day of sea bass season. Individual-reservation trips are also slated for: July 10 and 17 for ling, blackfish, sea bass, cod, pollock and winter flounder; and every Tuesday beginning July 11 for fluke and sea bass. Two sea bass will be the bag limit then. Kids under 12 sail free on the Tuesday trips when accompanied by an adult. Charters are available daily, including on Saturday, July 24.


Sea bass fishing sailed Saturday and Sunday on the ocean on the <b>Celtic Stoirm</b>, Capt. Mike said. Lots of the fish are snapping, and anglers just need to work through throwbacks for keepers. Saturday’s charter with three anglers limited out. Sunday’s anglers were inexperienced, could’ve hooked more keepers. But they had a good time, he said. An open-boat trip will sea bass Saturday, and contact the boat to jump aboard. Ling and small fluke were mixed in during the fishing. The ocean was probably cool for the best fluking, in the low 60 degrees.

The <b>Katie H</b> sea bassed Saturday and Sunday, and the number of the fish schooling was incredible, Capt. Mike said. The fish-finder was constantly lit up, and the angling was drop-and-reel. The anglers had to weed through throwbacks but ended up with lots of good-sized keepers, including a couple of whoppers Sunday. A few ling were mixed in at one area, and trips will sea bass again this Saturday and Sunday. The Katie H is supposed to compete in the Mako Mania tournament the following weekend, June 24 and 25.

Two- to 4-pounders gave up another good day of bluefishing Sunday on the ocean on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. More good weather is forecast, so plan to climb aboard. Blues 1 to 3 pounds turned out good catches on Saturday’s trip. On Friday’s, 1- to 2-pounders made good fishing while it lasted, in the morning. On Thursday’s, bluefishing was excellent for 2- to 4-pounders. The boat is fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Blues 2 to 5 pounds, a good catch, and a couple of stripers were pitched aboard Saturday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email from the party boat said. The blues fed on sand eels, so Ava 27 and 47 jigs caught great, with and without tails. On Sunday, a decent catch of 1- to 5-pound blues was smoked on the same jigs. On Friday afternoon’s trip, short and keeper sea bass were hooked non-stop, and a keeper fluke and some whiting were also winged. Saturday afternoon’s trip had to anchor or couldn’t drift because of rough seas. Some keeper and throwback sea bass, whiting and ling were scooped up. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for fluke and sea bass 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily. The afternoon trips also watch whales and porpoises and catch the sunset on the ride home. Bring family, friends and children.

The season’s first striped bass heavier than 50 pounds was weighed at <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>, Bob wrote in an email. Stephen Germann from Freehold trolled the 51-pounder on a Mojo. Thirteen stripers heavier than 50 were weighed at the shop last spring, “so we have a long way to go,” Bob said. “The Sea Bass have more (than) made up for a little slower (striper) season.” Fluke fishing was a little slow, maybe because water was a little cool, but that should change soon. Bob mentioned no location, but seemed to mean ocean fluking. He talked about good fluking on Shark River in previous reports. The store’s rental boats are available for fluking on the river.

Striped bass fishing was very good on the ocean in afternoons the past few days, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. A trip on Saturday evening limited out on overs and released additional. The fishing was excellent on the outing, and tough in mornings. Some trips hooked the bass on livelined bunker, and some pasted them on popper lures, rubber shads or on the troll. It varied, and all different ways worked at times. Stripers were still around in force, and catching them was a matter of the right conditions for them to eat. The year’s first fluke trip fished Sunday aboard, and that was very slow, because the water needs to warm. But a couple of keepers and a few shorts were plucked, and the trip ended up sea bass fishing. Striper fishing aboard includes Magic Hour Trips 3:30 to 9 p.m. every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s about individual spaces available with charters who want more anglers. Sign up for the email blast on <a href="" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.


<b>***Update, Wednesday, 6/14:***</b> Anglers averaged four to 10 keeper sea bass apiece on yesterday afternoon’s trip on the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b>, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Very good fishing, he said, and some of the sea bass have weighed 4 pounds. Monday’s fluke trip tapped into decent catches, including a good number of 4-pounders, though the boat drifted little in flat-calm seas. Some anglers limited out, and some bagged one or two fluke. Those with limits included Skip Reese, Dave Nelson, Ralph Molinaro and Ray Bryant. Trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and sea bass 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily through Sunday, the final day of sea bass season. Afterward, trips will fluke during the same times every Tuesday through Sunday and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday.

Ocean striped bass fishing was sporadic, and John from <b>The Reel Seat</b> knew the fish were boated Friday near Asbury Park, he said. Stripers were also trolled at Shrewsbury Rocks on the ocean lately. Ocean fluke fishing was mostly slowly because of cool water, and fluking was good on Manasquan River. Good sea bass fishing was shoveled from the ocean. Bluefish were around, mostly at inlets, and were different sizes like 3 to 4 pounds or 10 to 12 pounds, depending on the school. A 454-pound thresher shark was landed that was known about. Little was heard about sharks, but a few were brought in. Bluefin tuna were boated both inshore and offshore. A few bigeye tuna were heard about from canyons to the south in deep water. Surf anglers beached bluefish, fluke and an occasional striper but had to put time in. 

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> this past weekend set up in Cape May to target tuna, sharks and tilefish into July, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The fishing’s been great in recent years, and looks promising. Solid catches are sliding north along the 100-fathom line. Charters are booking for the angling, and some open-boat trips will run. The boat competed in the South Jersey Shark Tournament during the weekend and hung no makos but had good action on a variety of other sharks. The fishing aboard took place 50 to 60 miles southeast in clean, green, 63- to 64-degree water. On the previous weekend, Mushin walloped a 537-pound mako that made all the news and was covered in the last report here. The fish was landed at a southern canyon on an overnight trip when Mushin was moving the boat to Cape May.

Fluking’s improving, a report said about this weekend on the <b>Norma-K III</b> on the party boat’s website. More keepers and throwbacks are getting swung aboard every day, from the ocean. Morning trips fished better during the weekend, but afternoon trips also picked a few. The water seems to be warming, so the angling should keep picking up this week. Bluefishing was slow on Saturday night aboard. One- to 2-pounders began to be hooked this time of year on the trips. So the crew looks forward to this weekend on the outings. Saturday night’s trip ended up bottom-fishing at rough bottom, picking ling, decent-sized, and a few sea bass. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and for bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Fishing had been sluggish this spring, but warmer weather has sparked better angling in the surf and Barnegat Bay, a report said today on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. “(Striped) bass, blues and some nice size fluke have been taken …,” it said. Crabbing keeps improving, too. A report Saturday on the site said all sizes of blues bit in the surf and bay, and stripers were in the mix, but weren’t nearly as abundant. That report said fluking was improving in the surf, and crabbing was slowly improving, and the warmer weather could kick in crabbing. 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 jet-ski rentals. 

<b>Forked River</b>

After postponing shark fishing throughout last week because of weather and cold water, a trip sharked Friday and scored with <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Mike said. The trip bagged a 75- or 76-inch mako, estimated to weigh 175 to 200 pounds, and returned early, because the anglers were ready, after nailing the shark. A trip Saturday released 36 blue and brown sharks aboard, and the water on Friday’s trip was 57.5 degrees when the mako bit. The water was 60 or 61 degrees by the end of Saturday’s trip. The temperature depends on wind, and if weather is windier, the temperature drops 2 or 3 degrees. About 1 ½ weeks is left of ideal sharking. This is the week, he said, and dates are available for sharking on the boat.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

On the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> Sunday, fluke fishing on the ocean improved somewhat, landing a handful of keepers among throwbacks, a report said on the party boat’s website. The angling should keep improving as the ocean warms. Friday’s trip loaded up on bluefish 1 to 3 pounds that were jigged before the trip headed off for fluke and sea bass. Trips will take advantage of blues like that if the opportunity pops up. The next day’s trip, on Saturday, picked up blues, fluke and sea bass, not the number of blues like the day before, but some action. Trips have been fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Fridays through Sundays. The trips will run daily beginning Friday.

Barnegat Bay’s fluke fishing was okay, catching some, mostly 17 to 19 inches, said Rob from <b>Van’s Boat Rentals</b>. Most seen at the shop came from Oyster and Double Creek channels. A few striped bass were trolled on the ocean. Here and there, he said, and bunker pods schooled the water, but not a lot of stripers chased them. More stripers were reported from the surf than anywhere. Bluefish could be angled nearly anywhere, depending on the day. Anglers just needed to find them. Crabbing begins locally in July, usually. Boat and kayak rentals are available on weekends and will be available daily in about two weeks, after schools let out. Van’s rents boats from 9 h.p. to 50 h.p. for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and rents kayaks. Facilities include a bait and tackle shop and a marina with slips, gas and full boat servicing. Baits stocked currently include minnows, fresh clams and all the frozen.


Bottom-fishing was tougher Saturday and Sunday on the ocean, said Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b>. The angling was terrible Saturday aboard, but Sunday’s trip picked the fish a little: sea bass, snapper blues that chased the sea bass bait, ling, fluke and dogfish. There was lots of action, and the anglers went through 30 pounds of bait. Some good-sized, keeper sea bass were in the mix, and a young girl won the pool. The water surface was 65 degrees and an ugly, green color on the fishing grounds, 20 miles from shore. But Sunday’s trip got on a better patch. The water was cold on bottom, and that was apparent because a few windowpanes and skates bit. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips will sea bass Wednesday and Friday. Sea bass season will close beginning next Monday. Twelve-hour tuna charters are beginning to book up, and anglers must’ve gotten word about tuna beginning to bite. If enough anglers want, an open trip will fish for tuna at inshore places like Massey’s Canyon and the Lobster Claw.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Jim Kerr and son pummeled bluefish to 6 pounds on jigs and flies on the back bay aboard Sunday,  said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. They also pancaked four small striped bass including two on flies, three keeper summer flounder, a bunch of shorts and some dogfish on the bay on the trip. They landed fish the whole time, and on Saturday, Kevin McCarthy’s charter began to flounder fish aboard. But the water was filthy, so they switched gears and wanted to catch big sandsharks. So they did, releasing the sharks to over 20 or 25 pounds. That’s a big sandshark. Flounder fishing seemed to catch on trips if clear water was found, and didn’t if the water was dirty. Joe knew about nobody who fished offshore for tuna, and seas were bumpy for that. His inshore shark trips, usually fishing within 10 miles from the coast, will begin soon. He’ll probably test the fishing this weekend, and is sure the sharks are in. He usually catches when he first fishes for them. The trips, catch and release, land sharks like blacktips and browns. Some of the species are required to be let go, and the fishing is a chance to pull on big fish without the long run offshore. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


Fishing this weekend sailed the ocean and back bay aboard but seemed off, said Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>. The angling looked for summer flounder and sea bass at Wildwood Reef, but that was no good. Something big was hooked, probably a shark, and got off. A party boat was seen arriving at the reef when Fins was departing. The trip with Fins on the way back tested the ocean off the Ferris Wheel for flounder, but nothing was doing. The Intracoastal Waterway was also fished for flounder from Hereford to Townsend’s inlets on the way back, but that was also slow. Jim saw two flounder landed on other boats there on the trip. Jim on Friday night also tossed plugs for striped bass along the sod banks until 10 p.m., but none bit. Fins already had good flounder fishing on the bay this season, covered in previous reports here. The angling seemed shut down this weekend for unknown reasons, like the moon or the wind direction. Jim’s <a href="" target="_blank">lodge near Salmon River</a> in upstate New York is offering a discount in summer, but only on Airbnb. Fishing is available, including on Lake Ontario, with local guides. Guests often drive quadrunners that season in the local area.

<b>Cape May</b>

<b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>’s been fishing on a couple of sea bass trips on the ocean, Capt. Tom said. The angling’s been lock and load, every trip limiting out early. Sea bass season will close beginning next Monday. A shark trip fished aboard in past days, bagging a 125-pound mako and releasing a 160-pounder and a blue shark, some brown sharks and a tiger shark. Sharking will remain good to the Fourth of July, Tom thinks, and the water temperature was rising slowly. A few bluefin and yellowfin tuna are around or that angling is beginning to improve. Bluefins were rumored to be found both offshore and inshore, and the yellowfins were located offshore. Delaware Bay’s black drum fishing was nothing to talk about and was no good Saturday night. Tom thinks they were spawning. Friends from private boats began to give a couple of decent reports about summer flounder fishing on the ocean the past few days.

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