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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 6-5-17

<b>Keyport</b>

An excellent week of sea bass fishing was sacked with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. The fish weighed up to 5 ½ pounds, and big ling were mixed in. Don’t miss out on sea bass season that’s only open through June 18. “Lot of tasty bottom-dwellers,” he said. Open-boat trips are fishing for sea bass daily, and charters are available. That’s on the Down Deep, one of the company’s two boats, each accommodating up to 15 passengers. That vessel will fish for ling, cod and winter flounder on open trips daily, once sea bass season closes. The Down Deep Bull, the other boat, is fishing for fluke on open trips daily. That angling was up and down, and an 8-pound 10-ouncer was bagged the other day that was the largest so far this season aboard. Open trips are also fluking every Friday and Saturday afternoons, and fluke charters are also available. Join 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. Look for the link underneath the Contact link.

The anglers aboard the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> on Sunday, with Capt. T. J. at the helm, bagged 12 fluke including an 8-pounder, Capt. Frank wrote on the boat’s website. The fish kept were 19 inches and larger, and a bunch of 18-inchers were released. Maybe the trip fished in New York waters, where 19 is the legal minimum size, compared with 18 in New Jersey, though the page didn’t say. On Saturday aboard, a trip bunker-chunked striped bass and bluefish, an onslaught of the blues. A large black drum took off with a chunk but couldn’t be stopped. The fish wrapped the fishing line around the anchor line and broke off after a 20-minute flight. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips with spaces available will fluke Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Telephone to reserve.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Twice-daily fluke trips fished every day on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Waters including Sandy Hook Bay at the Navy Pier and Flynn’s Knoll were fished on the trips, and Thursday morning’s trip fished the best recently. The most keepers and throwbacks were tugged in. The angling hasn’t been great, and each trip has swung in a few keepers and some throwbacks. There was no consistency, and quite a few throwbacks bit on some days, and fewer did on others. Tom for this report was asked if the water was cold. The water was in the low 60 degrees, he said, and some of the fish felt cold to the touch, and some didn’t, depending on location. Forecasts were now calling for rain sometimes. But the trips fish so long as wind doesn’t blow too strongly. The boat is fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Monday, 6/5:***</b> Fluking was better on this morning’s trip, for some reason, Tom said. The afternoon’s trip didn’t sail, and too few anglers showed up at the port. Maybe that was because of weather forecasts. On the morning trip, more shorts gave up action than before, and some better-sized fluke showed up. One angler bagged a 7.14-pounder and a 4.8-pounder. Weather was calm with no wind or rain.

<b>Belmar</b>

Scott Heilos from Little Silver beaned a 6-pound 4-ounce fluke and a 4-pound 8-ouncer on Shark River on one of the rental boats from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>, Bob from the shop wrote in an email. That was on a Magic Tail bucktail with Gulp, and Cody Dzielinski on the river on a charter clubbed a 5-pound fluke, a 4-pound 8-ouncer and a 4-pounder.

Excellent bluefishing was clobbered most of the morning on Saturday’s trip on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email from the party boat said. The fishing lulled a moment in late morning. “We then got a report in the afternoon and finished the day with good fishing,” it said. The blues weighed 2 to 12 pounds on the trip and were hooked best on Ava 27 and 47 jigs. On Sunday’s trip, bluefishing began tough, picking the fish. Then shots of bluefish catches were had throughout the trip. On today’s trip, a few drifts “picked with some shots” at small blues among baitfish tight to shore south of the inlet. Saturday afternoon’s trip lit into great action with short and keeper sea bass. Not all anglers caught keepers, but all caught throwbacks at least, keeping busy with as many as they could handle. Sunday afternoon’s trip was weathered out. 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. “every weekend,” the email said.

A steady pick of bluefish 2 to 3 pounds was mugged near the inlet a while Friday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. On Saturday, a couple of shots of 2- to 6-pounders were whipped in the morning and afternoon aboard. On Sunday’s trip, 2- to 4-pound blues and a few 6- to 8-pounders gave up an early, decent bite. They’d pop up along the surface every so often and then disappear. The trips pasted the blues on Run Off hammered jigs and crocs, and the boat is fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Capt. Mike from the <b>Celtic Stoirm</b> did maintenance on the boat in past days but worked the deck on a friend’s boat on a charter Saturday, Mike said. The charter looked for striped bass in the morning on the ocean, and lots were marked, but none bit. So then the charter sea bass fished on the ocean, and that was okay. The boat had to be anchored because of wind. Weather was windy and cold, feeling like autumn. Wind was supposed to be calmer. A few stripers, not many, seemed caught among the fleet that morning. Few bunker are being seen along the water surface that usually attract stripers. Bunker are marked below the surface, though. Bunker reportedly schooled beyond 3 miles from shore, where striper fishing is closed. Celtic Storm also shark fishes, and not much was heard about sharks locally yet this season. A great white shark was supposedly seen from the party boat Dauntless from Point Pleasant Beach.

Striped bass fishing was up and down on the ocean, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. Consistent west wind was needed to blow bunker tight to shore and attract stripers. Easterly, southerly or a combo often blew. Lots of bunker schooled beyond 3 miles from shore, where striper fishing is closed. Finding bunker to catch to liveline for stripers was difficult. On one day recently bunker were nabbed, and trips picked at stripers to 45 pounds in the morning and afternoon on the livelined baitfish aboard. When stripers are being caught, they’re big. The fishing is a chance to hook a large one. When no bunker were in, trips trolled. A ton of stripers were marked, but not a lot bit. Pete noticed the fish went on a mad-dog bite on the changes of tides. That happened for trips aboard, but also for other boats. Pete would radio someone who’d say the same. The full moon is this week, and that could amp up striper fishing. Stripers are still being reported from farther south, so a good number are still migrating north to the local area. Pete’s not telling anglers not to come striper fishing, but the angling is great on some days, a pick on others. The stripers are aggressive when hooked. The fishing aboard includes Magic Hour Trips 3:30 to 9 p.m. every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Charters and space on the Magic Hour Trips is available. Sea bass fishing was similar: great on some days, tougher on others. 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=" http://www.parkerpetefishing.com/" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

<b>Brielle</b>

Manasquan River’s fluke catches included limits to 5- or 6-pounders, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. The fishing was fairly good, mostly in the back of the river from Route 70 Bridge to Point Pleasant Canal. Three-quarter- and 1-ounce jigheads with 4-inch Gulp swimming mullets connected fairly consistently. A few striped bass were landed from the canal and along Route 35 and the railroad bridges on eels and rubber shads. The ocean’s fluke fishing was mostly slow, and the water needed to warm. But a few were boated at Axel Carlson and Sea Girt reefs. Sea bass fishing was great in 80-foot depths, and limiting out was no problem often. If trips could find a spot not fished recently, the angling could catch better. Clams and diamond jigs hooked up. The ocean’s striped bass fishing was on the slow side, but the stripers reeled in were often 40 pounds or heavier. The fish were trolled in 60-foot depths on bunker spoons mostly to the south from Lavallette to Island Beach State Park. Anglers needed to be willing to go a couple of hours without a bite to pick a big striper. Not much was heard about shark fishing. A mako heavier than 400 pounds was nailed, and that was at Monster Ledge or somewhere in that area, Eric thought. Bluefin tuna 60 to 80 pounds were trolled at the 100 Square at Hudson Canyon on spreader bars and daisy chains or plastic, not usually on ballyhoos. A few were taken first thing in mornings, but afternoons really lit up for the fishing in past days. Surf fishing beached bluefish sometimes and a handful of stripers. No place seemed to turn out either consistently, and a pod of fish would come through.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

A 537-pound mako shark was smashed with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> on an overnight trip Saturday to Sunday at a southern canyon offshore, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. See photos of the monster on Mushin’s Facebook page. The fish was subdued when Mushin moved the boat to Cape May to fish for big game this month and in July, and overnighted on the way there. Mushin like last year will now sail for tuna, sharks and tilefish from Cape May during these months. The angling’s been good in recent years, and charters are being booked.  Mushin on Saturday, before moving the boat, tried for striped bass in the morning on a charter. After 2 hours, no stripers bit, and the trip switched to sea bass fishing, limiting out and releasing additional. The bottom-fishing’s been solid.

Gorgeous weekend on the ocean on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Fluke fishing improved Saturday aboard. Some decent-sized keepers came in, and there was more action with throwbacks than before. Two fluke 5 ½ pounds won the pools on each of the day’s trips. A few sea bass were mixed in. Fluking on Sunday’s trips was a little slower, claiming a keeper here and there, among a few throwbacks. Bluefishing was tough on the boat’s nighttime trips Friday and Saturday. Plenty of bait schooled, and the hope is that bluefishing will pick up as the ocean warms. The vessel is 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>

Blues and striped bass were picked from the surf, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. The stripers ranged from shorts to keepers, and fluke also bit in the surf. Bait was the “number one go to method,” it said, but popper lures, swimming lures, bucktails and metal banked some fish. Crabbing was slow but produced a few. 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>Barnegat Light</b>

The party boat <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> began fishing for fluke and sea bass Friday on the ocean, the party boat’s Facebook page said. A pick of keepers and throwbacks of both fish was angled. Trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday through Sunday. Daily trips will begin around the final weekend of the month.

Trips fished for sea bass during the weekend on the <b>Super Chic</b> on the ocean, and the angling was pretty good, Capt. Ted said. “We’re catching enough fish – I’ll put it that way,” he said. Some of the sea bass were big, too, probably 3 1/2 or 4 pounds. A few ling began to be mixed in. A little bluefishing was tried, and a few small swam around Barnegat Inlet, but that was all. The water on the sea bass grounds, 12 to 14 miles from shore, was a little cool. Sixty-three-degrees was the highest temperature seen, and the water should probably be 65. Even Barnegat Bay was taking somewhat longer to warm than usual. Striped bass fishing on the ocean sounded slow, according to talk on the radio. A few seemed trolled. No sharks caught locally were heard about from the ocean. Bluefin tuna seemed boated at offshore canyons. No yellowfin tuna were heard about, except from far south. They should be heard about from closer to the local area within a couple of weeks.

<b>Beach Haven</b>

It’s June, and the <b>June Bug</b> is back in Beach Haven, Capt. Lindsay said. The boat is always spends winter until now in North Carolina, and now fishes from Beach Haven through fall. One trip fished from Beach Haven so far this season, sailing for sea bass. A couple of charters in the next week or so wanted to sail offshore for tuna. Some are usually around by now, but not much was heard about tuna locally yet.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Big weakfish were bombed mostly from Absecon Inlet but also from the surf near the inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. “Triple banging!” he said, and weaks seemed to be making a comeback. “They’re here,” he said, and an 8-pound 30-1/2-incher was weighed-in yesterday. Bloodworms under a float and pink soft-plastic lures like Zooms, Slug-Gos, Hogys and Bass Assassins beat the weaks. Summer flounder were tapped into from the same waters, mostly the inlet but also the surf, especially on minnows and squid. “Peanut butter and jelly,” he said. Although the inlet held more of both fish, the surf near the inlet is a very fishy place. Customers fish the jetty-lined inlet and surf on foot. Striped bass, sizable, sometimes came from the same waters, and a good-sized was checked-in the day before yesterday. Bluefish still swam the same waters. Anglers were tired of them and moved on to the other fish, and not as many blues were seen as previously. Enter your flounder caught in Atlantic City in the free One Stop Fluke Candy Tournament that began Saturday and lasts until June 23. Prizes will be $300 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third. First through third will also win a custom tournament T-shirt apiece. Fourth through sixth will win a Tsunami rod apiece. Entrants will also receive a free One Stop Fluke Candy Rig.    

<b>Longport</b>

Some good-sized sea bass were pitched aboard Friday on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, fishing 12 to 15 miles from shore, Capt. Mike said. The fish weighed up to a 4-pounder that a veteran angler clocked toward the end of the trip. Ling and throwback fluke were also swung in. The water surface was holding steady at 60 or 61 degrees. The bottom was cold, and fluke were there but reluctant to bite. Another one of the trips was probably going to sail today, before weather was forecast to deteriorate. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. A few 12-hour charters for tuna and mahi mahi are beginning to book.

<b>Avalon</b>

Had a great weekend, Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> said. On a trip Friday evening on Delaware Bay aboard, a 14-year-old girl reeled in her first black drum, a 33-pounder. The anglers wanted to do it again, so they headed back out Saturday evening, and the girl pumped in a 22-pounder. Dogfish and big rays also bit, and the bay’s drum fishing might be winding down, Jim guessed. Not a lot of drum were seen caught on other vessels during the trips. Friends ran trips on the bay during the same evenings on two boats, and the one friend’s trip totaled one drum and the other totaled two on Friday, and both were skunked Saturday. On a half-day charter Sunday on the back bay with Jim, six summer flounder, including two keepers 21 and 22 inches, were cranked in. All were hooked in shallow water 8 to 10 feet deep. Nothing was hooked when deeper water 20 to 25 feet was fished, and no flounder were seen caught on other boats fishing the deep. Maybe flounder were boated from the deep early that morning. The trip fished the end of outgoing tide into slack. The trip’s flounder were landed on minnows on plain hooks on top-and-bottom rigs. Gulps were also fished, and so were clams leftover from drum fishing. But only minnows scored. The boat was power-drifted in no wind and flat seas on the flounder trip Sunday. Seas were a little choppy on Friday’s trip. Jim’s <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" 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. Guests rented the lodge this past week.

<b>Cape May</b>

Four black drum were decked and four were lost on Delaware Bay on Saturday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> on Dave Titus’s charter, Capt. George said. The biggest probably weighed 60 pounds, and David Fitzgerald from Fitzgerald Electric’s charter sailed for sea bass Sunday aboard, far offshore. Lots of big ling 4 and 5 pounds were boxed, but sea bass fishing was tough. About 15 keeper sea bass to 20, 22 inches, big fish, were totaled. A wreck was fished where someone George knew fished the previous day and loaded up on 40 jumbos. From what George heard about Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Cape May’s annual shark tournament that was held this weekend, lots of blue sharks were landed, one mako was brought in but didn’t qualify, and a thresher shark, not big, won. That was all unconfirmed.

Sea bass fishing on the ocean’s been limiting out early on every trip aboard, said Capt. Tom from <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>. Black drum trips sometimes ran on Delaware Bay on the boat, beating them up pretty well, seven to 10 of the fish per trip. The drum weighed up to 80 pounds. The bay’s not been warming, and drum should remain there some time. They should bite all the way through this week’s full moon. In other news, a few thresher sharks and mako sharks have been landed. Tom heard reports about yellowfin tuna boated at local canyons.

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