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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 7-10-17

<b>Keyport</b>

Fluke fishing was a grind, and is usually good in July, but hasn’t been yet this year, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. The water surface is higher than 70 degrees temperature, but the bottom is cold. Trips aboard have fished Raritan Bay, inlets, the ocean, rough bottom and even rivers. Though the angling was a grind everywhere, some anglers limited out on every trip. The boat flukes this season, grind or no grind. But trips for porgies will also be mixed in, because porgies are in, they’re great-eating, action is non-stop and sea bass are also biting on the trips. A fluke trip Thursday also ran into non-stop porgies. Charters are fishing, and spaces are available for open-boat trips for a combo of fluke and porgies Tuesday and Sunday. Telephone to reserve.

Lots of big porgies were crushed on daily, open-boat, bottom-fishing trips with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b> on the ocean, Capt. Mario said. Ling and sea bass were also flung in on the outings, and open trips, on Down Deep’s other boat, are also fluking on the ocean. The fluking was so-so. “It’s tough,” he said, and a.m. and p.m. charters are also sailing for any of this fishing. 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. Up to 15 passengers can be accommodated on each boat.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Mostly throwbacks bit during fluke fishing, and keepers were a little tough to come by, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. He’s fished Raritan Bay and the ocean for them, but not farther “down the beach” yet at rough bottom on the ocean. He’ll probably do that this coming week, and sea bass can bite at that bottom, too.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Fishing for fluke improved a little during the weekend on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The fishing wasn’t good but improved, a little change, and Tom hoped the trend continued. The angling improved on Saturday morning’s trip. On the afternoon’s trip, conditions were lousy: strong wind drifted the boat too fast. On Sunday morning’s trip, the angling improved again. More shorts and keepers were hooked than before. On the afternoon’s trip, a strong tide messed up the fishing somewhat, but the catches still improved a little. On this morning’s trip, the boat hardly drifted, and the catch wasn’t like catches on the previous trips yet. But a few keepers and shorts were already pasted, he said aboard at 10:30 a.m., when he gave this report in a phone call. He waited for the tide to begin. When the angling improved on trips, some of the fish were light-colored or had light spots on them. That might’ve meant they entered the bay from the ocean or that a new body of fish was arriving, though that was impossible to say. The boat is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

For anglers on the <b>Fishermen</b>, fluke fishing on the ocean was good for the first couple of hours Sunday, a report said on the party boat’s website. Throwbacks, some very nice keepers and some sea bass were hung. A 6-1/2-pound fluke won the pool, and three anglers beat a 4- to 5-pounder apiece. Weather was some of the best of the year. Seas were calm, and a pleasant breeze blew. 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, the boat will be unavailable this Saturday and Sunday and July 19, 21, 22, 23 and 29.  No reason was given, but maybe charters were booked. That’s usually why.

<b>Neptune</b>

Plenty of good-sized sea bass were squashed on a 6-hour charter Saturday on the ocean with <b>Last lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. A 12-year-old won the pool with an 18-incher. A charter Sunday aboard bombed ling and big sea bass. Annual individual-reservation trips that fish every Tuesday for fluke and sea bass will begin this week. This Tuesday is full, and kids 12 and under sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. Individual-reservation trips will sail for cod Wednesday and inshore wreck-fishing next Monday. <b>***Update, Monday, 7/10:***</b> More than 100 ling and a limit of good-sized sea bass were pounded on the first drop on an individual-reservation trip today, Ralph wrote in an email. Only seven anglers fished aboard, and this was some of the best bottom-fishing of the year, and the same type of trip will sail 6 a.m. next Monday. A couple of spots are available for the individual-reservation trip for cod 2 a.m. Wednesday.

<b>Belmar</b>

Anglers bucketed sea bass and picked a couple of keeper fluke and some throwbacks on the ocean Thursday with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. A trip Sunday aboard mostly targeted sea bass on the ocean. The day was beautiful on the water, and the anglers had a nice day, he said. The water’s warming, and Mike hopes that will get fluke biting more. More of the trips will run Friday to Sunday.

On most fluke trips, on the ocean, with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, the anglers were grinding away, and they put together a catch of fluke and sea bass by the end, Capt. Pete said. The moon was just full, and the waning moon should help. The water should – should, he repeated – keep warming. Conditions should get to where they need to be. Anglers aboard landed one, two or three keepers apiece, sometimes four or five, depending on the day. Trips include On the Water Seminars that teach bucktailing for big fluke in a non-threatening environment. Experienced anglers hone the fishing, and newbies learn the skill. 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.

All anglers limited out on sea bass, and some ling and fluke were mixed in, Friday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email from the party boat said. Later that day, the afternoon trip lit up excellent angling from start to finish. Most anglers limited on sea bass, and a good number of ling were thrown in. All anglers caught. That was the most recent report at press time, and trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. The boat is also sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily, and the afternoon trips also watch whales and porpoises and catch the sunset on the ride home.

Tomorrow’s trip will shoot east on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, because of reports about bluefish schooling 20 to 30 miles from the coast, a report said on the party boat’s website. “… we are going to go out there and see …,” it said. Throughout the weekend, trips targeted sea bass, finding excellent fishing for them and some ling and fluke. Trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are running 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily. Those trips locked into plenty of sea bass, including keepers, recently.

<b>Brielle</b>

<b>***Update, Tuesday, 7/11:***</b> Decent fluke fishing most of the past week on the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b> on the ocean, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Plenty of big sea bass were mixed in on most days. Customers who bucktailed especially caught limits of fluke and also limits of sea bass. Larry Groh from Levittown took over the lead in the monthly pool with a 6-pound 10-ounce fluke on Sunday afternoon’s trip. Each monthly winner gets the cash but also a whopping one year of free fishing aboard. Unusually, a blueline tilefish was reeled up this past week on the boat. That was in 70 feet of water, and bluelines usually swim 400 feet down or deeper. Trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday and 8 a.m.to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday through Sunday.

Ocean fluke fishing seemed to finally “come together,” said Alex from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Some sizable were winged, including an 8-pounder in a tournament during the weekend. Five- and 6-pounders, a good number, were heard about from Sea Girt Reef. Anglers could also limit out on two sea bass apiece and hook ling at the reef. Manasquan River’s fluking was fairly good. Lots of throwbacks seemed to bite, but so did keepers. Alex would say from the Railroad Bridge to Point Pleasant Canal was mostly fished for them. Small striped bass were played at night on the river at the bridges and at the canal on small plugs and small Storm shads. Thresher sharks, a bunch, reportedly roamed 20 to 40 miles from shore. Bluefin tuna to 200 pounds were boated mid-range, like at the Chicken Canyon and the Triple Wrecks, and yellowfin tuna were sometimes mixed in. The bluefins were trolled on ballyhoos or were hooked on cast plugs like Shimano Orcas or on jigs like Shimano Waxwings. Nothing was really heard about tuna fishing farther from shore at local canyons like the Hudson. A few yellowfins could probably be found there, if a trip ran into them. The number of mahi mahi seemed to begin increasing for the season at places like that. 

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds were bagged with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, “with many more released,” Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Mako sharks, other sharks and golden and blueline tilefish were also reeled in. This was all on 30-hour, extended trips to Spencer to Poorman’s canyons on trips from Cape May, where Mushin is docked this month to take advantage of the southern tuna fishing. Bluefin tuna also began to bite at inshore lumps south of Cape May, another catch available on the trips. Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips are sailing. Room is available on a trip Saturday to Sunday, and telephone Mushin to climb aboard.

Fluking on the ocean was tough during the weekend on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, the party boat’s website said. The fish were picked here and there, but weren’t caught like they should be this time of year. Current ran strongly, and once that slows, the fishing should improve. Sea bass were also scattered around the boat. Nighttime trips picked 1-pound bluefish during the weekend. Quite a few were seen, but they were tough to catch. “It’s a start!” the report said. The hope is that the bluefishing will get going this coming weekend. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and are bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Trips are also ling fishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays, and the report was posted on the boat’s site before that trip this weekend.

The year’s first nighttime wreck-fishing sailed Thursday on the <b>Gambler</b>, scoring pretty well on 1- to 3-pound ling, a report said Friday on the party boat’s website. That was the most recent report at press time, and anglers who jigged for squid caught them pretty well. Squid schooled in the underwater hull lights. Thursday’s fluke fishing aboard was slower than the angling in previous days, for unknown reasons. But fluke are there, and the angling was very good previously. A good percentage of keepers bit previously. A few sea bass and other catches were mixed in on the fluke trips. The boat is fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Trips are bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and wreck-fishing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays. The wreck trips are shooting for ling, cod, winter flounder and whatever lurks around wrecks and rocks. A <a href="http://www.gamblerfishing.net/tripinformation.php" target="_blank">Shark in the Dark Trip</a> was sold out Sunday, and the next is set for 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. this coming Sunday. That’s limited to 25 anglers per trip, reservations required. Sign up soon.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

Fishing kept a bluefin tuna 63 inches, weighing 140 or 150 pounds, and released another that measured 58 inches, probably weighing 125 pounds, Sunday on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, Capt. John said. The fish were trolled 77 miles from Manasquan Inlet on ballyhoos in green, 72.6-degree water. Some porpoises were seen, about the only life spotted along the water on the trip.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Some big bluefish hit the surf just to the north, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Fluke and kingfish held in the surf, and whispers circulated about striped bass, keepers, yanked from the surf on bait, but no proof was in. On Barnegat Bay, bluefish were top-water plugged behind Island Beach State Park, and fluke were bagged behind Barnegat Inlet. Crabbing was decent. 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>

Some trips were up, and some were down this past week on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. A few keeper fluke and sea bass were angled on most trips, and more fluke are coming in, as the water warms. Plenty of bait-stealing sea robins also bit. The boat is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Sunset cruises are running at 5:30 p.m. daily, and moonlight cruises are steaming at 8:30 p.m. August 6, 7 and 8.

<b>Longport</b>

Gobs of sea bass and lots of ling were shoveled from the ocean on the <b>Stray Cat</b> on Saturday, Capt. Mike said. Lots of sea bass were waded through to cull keepers. The water was 72 degrees, up from 68 to 69 previously. Open-boat trips will sail for the fishing Tuesday and Thursday, and those look like the days when open trips will sail each week. Offshore fishing picked away at yellowfin tuna at canyons on the troll. The fish were nailed Wednesday at Wilmington Canyon aboard, covered in the last report here.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

The three anglers aboard Thursday morning tied into lots of summer flounder, including a 7-pound 27-incher, on the back bay, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Tom Shallow’s family aboard Saturday morning pulled in a bunch of flounder including a 4-pounder and a 5-pounder from the bay. The flounder fishing’s been good. Many throwbacks are biting, like usual, but so are keepers that are large. Shallow’s family Tuesday on the boat landed 25 throwbacks, no keepers, in 4 hours. Kevin McCarthy and son jumped aboard Thursday evening for striped bass fishing with popper lures on the bay. They totaled seven of the fish to 26 inches on Skitter Pops. Another angler fly-rodded for the bass on Saturday evening with Joe, tackling his first-ever striper on a fly and missing a couple of others. The angler fished a Crease fly that Joe ties with a larger cup than usual to throw more water. High tides in evenings are ideal for the striper fishing, and those aren’t the tides currently, but the tides come back every two weeks, and the angling’s been good. Most of the bass are throwbacks, and the popper fishing is a specialty aboard and draws explosive, visual attacks. Joe poles a flats boat in the shallows during the fishing, and the anglers often sight-cast to the stripers. An angler and friends on Friday morning hopped on one of the inshore shark trips aboard, releasing six brown and spinner sharks. Mike Spaeder and friends took one of the shark trips Sunday, releasing a spinner and a brown, and jumping off an especially big shark. The trips usually fish within 10 miles from shore and are a chance to fight big fish without the long sail offshore. The sharking is catch-and-release, and some of the species, including browns, are required to be let go. None of the shark trips have had ideal conditions yet this season. Either too much wind or too little blew. But the sharks are there. Tuna fishing seemed to slow down but still produce in past days, and Joe was supposed to sail for tuna today. The number of mahi mahi caught was increasing for the season on the trips.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Avalon</b>

Water warmed, said Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>.  At the beginning of last week, he hunted 72-degree water in the back of the bay at ditches to find summer flounder that would bite. Southerly wind had made the ocean cold then, and that had cooled the front of the bay, the bay near the ocean. But this weekend, all of the bay was 75 or 76 degrees because of recent easterly wind. Southerly wind cools the ocean in the Northeast, because it causes upwelling near shore. Jim this weekend helped a surf angler release a butterfly ray with a 4-1/2-foot wingspan. Other surf anglers beached small kingfish. Guests are booked to stay at Jim’s <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge near Salmon River</a> in upstate New York this weekend. A discount is offered for the lodge in summer, but only on Airbnb. Fishing is available, including on Lake Ontario, with local guides. Guests often drive quadrunners this season locally. In late summer into fall, they fish the river for salmon. In winter, they fish the river for steelheads and they snowmobile.

<b>Cape May</b>

On the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, fishing went 1 for 2 on bluefin tuna on Dave Titus’s charter Saturday inshore, Capt. George said.  The one landed was 50 inches, and both were jigged that were hooked. The trip had anchored and had begun chunking at 5 a.m. when the fish hit 5 minutes later at a spot someone had told George about. Then other boats came piling in, catching none. Heavy Hitter was the first there. The water was bluish-green and 74 degrees, and tuna were marked well. Anglers who fished the spot since went 1 for 2 on the fish whom George knew about. Heavy Hitter’s trip also trolled from Massey’s Canyon to the Hot Dog. Tuna fishing might’ve been somewhat slow, maybe because of the full moon. Anglers who fished Wilmington Canyon complained about catches and also rough seas. George never likes fishing during the full moon, whether for tuna, striped bass or anything else. He thinks the waning moon by tomorrow might help tuna fishing. How long tuna will keep biting in the area can’t be known. George would like to see them bite all summer. But they’re biting now. Telephone if interested.

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