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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 7-17-17

<b>Keyport</b>

Big porgies to 3 ½ pounds and sea bass mixed in were shoveled up with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. The porgy fishing was fantastic, and open-boat trips are sailing daily for the bottom-fishing on the Down Deep, one of the company’s two boats. The other boat, the Down Deep Bull, also porgy fished this weekend, because of demand, but will resume open trips daily for fluke today. Charters are available for either 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 “Contact.”

Fishing for fluke seemed to pick up and fishing for porgies caught non-stop on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Fluking was no good on a trip Saturday. None of the anglers fished Gulps, and bait got harassed by sharks and sea robins. On a trip Sunday, a couple of anglers fished Gulps, and a bunch of others wanted porgies, “and none of them was disappointed,” he wrote. Two of the anglers who fluked limited out, weeding through throwbacks, and a couple of their keepers weighed 5 pounds. The porgy anglers only kept the choice-sized, and filled a bushel for delicious eating. The areas the boat’s been fishing hold both fish, so anglers have the option to fish for either or both. Peanut bunker are now around, and that usually means more fluke will move in to feed on them. Fluking might’ve turned a corner, and good fishing for them is about to begin, Frank thinks. Charters are fishing, and spaces available on open-boat trips include two on Wednesday and a few apiece on Friday and Sunday. Telephone to reserve.

<b>Leondardo</b>

A trip looked for bluefin tuna Sunday morning with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. That was slow for the fleet and produced none aboard. But the trip did wallop 25 good-sized mahi mahi at the tip of Hudson Canyon while pitching bait to lobster-pot buoys.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

The afternoon’s fluke trip stayed docked Friday because of weather on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Saturday morning’s trip had some action with fluke, including a few keepers. The afternoon’s trip fished terrible in lousy conditions. Not even shorts bit much. Sunday morning’s trip picked short fluke and a few keepers. The afternoon’s trip only totaled a few keepers, but short fluke gave up probably some of the most action this season. The fishing wasn’t good, but one angler limited out. Conditions drifted the boat well. All the trips fished Sandy Hook Bay and Flynn’s Knoll. Sometimes bait on a plain rig fished better than Spros or bucktails. One or two spearing, not more, were fished on the rigs. Spearing are provided aboard. Sometimes the Spros or bucktails fished better. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

A couple of charters fished during the weekend on the party boat <b>Fishermen</b>, Capt. Ron said. Fluke, sea bass and porgies were cranked in, but the angling was tough. Fishing seems best at sticky bottom so bring extra rigs and sinkers. The boat is 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 this Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings, so no open-boat trips will fish then.

<b>Neptune</b>

Sea bass and fluke were swung aboard a trip Saturday on the ocean with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. But the fishing, with the Harpoon Fishing Club, was slow. An angler with a 22-1/2-inch fluke won the pool. An individual-reservation trip was full today that was supposed to fish inshore wrecks. More will sail July 26 and Aug. 21. Individual-reservation trips for cod will run at 2 a.m. Aug. 9 and 30, and the last one of the trips, on Wednesday, pounded big cod and pollock, covered in the previous report here. Individual-reservation trips are fluke fishing every Tuesday, and kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. Charters are available.

<b>Belmar</b>

Bluefish 6- to 17 pounds tore up the water during Saturday’s trip on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, and up to a dozen were hooked at a time, an email said from the party boat. The fishing, on the ocean to the north, was excellent, like the good old days. Readings were super from top to bottom. The fish white-water blitzed along the surface and were mostly jigged. The boat is bluefishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are also fishing for fluke and other bottom-fish 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily. The afternoon trips also watch whales and porpoises and catch the sunset on the ride home.

Four- to 15-pound blues were shellacked on the ocean Saturday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website.  When an angler cast a line, the angler hooked the fish. The blues, taken on Run Off hammered jigs and crocs, broke the water surface, and birds worked. On Sunday, the fish were read, and birds worked, but the blues were reluctant to bite. A few were landed, but not enough. On the afternoon trips, very good sea bass fishing was plowed. Trips are bluefishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are running 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Anglers were picking away at sea bass with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> on the ocean last evening when Capt. Mike gave this report in a phone call aboard, he said. Fluke fishing began to improve on the ocean. A trip Saturday bagged a couple and a pretty good catch of sea bass. Take advantage of a discount for ½-day trips with kids on Tuesdays through Thursdays. Weather’s beautiful, and take the kids out, he said.

Fishing for fluke on the ocean was kind of the same as before, but the catches improved a little, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. Anglers had to grind out catches, but picked up better results, and also sea bass. A couple of spots are available Tuesday for one of the On the Water Seminars aboard that teach bucktailing for big fluke on the ocean. 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.

The <b>Katie H</b> ran for fluke and sea bass Saturday and Sunday on the ocean, Capt. Mike said. An unbelievable number of sea bass schooled during long drifts of the boat, and the trip limited out easily. The fluking was tougher, bagging some, but many bit that were an inch or ½ inch undersized. That’s a 17- or 17-1/2-inch fluke, sizable. Trips are slated to sail for bluefin tuna inshore aboard this month. Chatter said the fishing wasn’t great recently, but maybe that will change. Charters are slated to begin fishing overnight for yellowfin tuna beginning August 1 at the offshore canyons. That’s a usual time to begin aboard, and the boat specializes in the fishing. The 46-foot Katie H features speed, comfort and all the amenities.

<b>Brielle</b>

Fluke fishing on the ocean was slow overall, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Up on some days, down on others. On some days, some anglers limited out. No place was a hot spot, because of the slow angling. Fluke seemed to bite scattered everywhere. Wherever an angler usually liked to fluke, some were around. Manasquan River’s fluking was probably best locally. Catches included 4- and 5-pounders, and light tackle with Gulps on jigheads worked well. From Treasure Island to Route 35 Bridge fished best. A few small striped bass seemed to be picked from Point Pleasant Canal at night on outgoing tides on Fin-S Fish on ¾- or 1-ounce jigheads. Ling fishing was pretty good on the ocean. Ling and winter flounder could be hooked at the Mudhole in 150 to 250 feet of water on clams. Sea bass schooled at practically any usual wrecks in the ocean. Anglers could limit on two with no problem. Lots of small chub mackerel and 2- to 3-pound bluefish schooled the ocean. Farther from shore, fishing for bluefin tuna 50 to 250 pounds was pretty good at the Triple Wrecks, the Texas Tower and the Bacardi. Trolled ballyhoos caught best, but the fish were often hooked on popper lures and Ronz jigs.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Much better fluke fishing was blasted today on the ocean on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some good-sized fluke and sea bass were drilled, and a few anglers limited out. “It is nice to see them starting to bite,” it said. Trips are fishing rocks and rubble, so bring extra tackle. Plenty of rigs and sinkers are available aboard. Saturday night’s trip picked away at small bluefish and chub mackerel on jigs with teasers. Sunday night’s trip eased in ling and sea bass on clams. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily, bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays and ling 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays.

<b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> was fishing for tuna from Cape May when Capt. Alan sent this report in an email on land Saturday afternoon, the email said. The boat like last year is fishing from Cape May this month to take advantage of the southern tuna fishing that’s been good in recent years. Saturday’s trip was fishing lumps mid-range, and Alan had no live report when he emailed. But the angling was hot earlier that week for yellowfin tuna 40 to 55 pounds that were chunked in that area. Boats that trolled also caught. The mid-range fishing, 40 to 50 miles south of Cape May, seemed better than canyon fishing along 100 fathoms. But Mushin picked a few yellowfins early last week at those offshore canyons. That was on the troll, and black and purple lures seem favorite this year. Mushin also mixes in shark fishing and tilefishing when possible. Mako sharking remained strong in 40 to 60 fathoms, and four makos were hooked and three were landed on one trip aboard last week. The makos weighed up to 200 pounds. The tilefishing’s been filling coolers with bluelines and goldens, good-sized. Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips are fishing. An overnighter Thursday to Friday is available because a charter had to change schedule.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Fluke and small blues should be able to be found in the surf during daytime, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Sharks can be angled at night from the beach. Died-in-the-wool striped bass anglers usually manage a few large from the surf at night this month into early August on cut bunker. On Barnegat Bay, crabbing was good and more and more snapper blues were seen. 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>

Beautiful day on the water with some keepers to boot, a report said about Sunday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> on the party boat’s website. Trips are sailing 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. Watch the Atlantic City Air Show on August 23 on the water aboard, lunch included.

<b>Longport</b>

On the <b>Stray Cat</b>, bluefish, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel and mahi mahi were crushed on the troll Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, Capt. Mike said. Non-stop. Two to three at a time. That’s called inshore trolling, taking place on the ocean relatively close to shore, and the fishing began to kick in. Water became warm enough. Triggerfish were also hung along buoys on cast bait on the trips. That’s another species that moves in because of warmth. Charters and open-boat trips are now splitting the day: doing the trolling first, then bottom-fishing for sea bass, putting a lot of fish in the boat. The sea bassing is averaging eight to 16 keepers among shorts thrown back.  Looking ahead, because summer flounder season this year closes early beginning Sept. 6, a discount will be offered for tuna trips to the offshore canyons in September, until the sea bass bag limit increases. Anglers should telephone, because of the substantial savings for tuna. Also bring a rod and reel to deep-drop for tilefish with braided line. A couple of the trips will also sail at 3 a.m. Aug. 12 and 26.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Fifteen sharks were released Sunday on one of the inshore shark trips aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. A 125-pound dusky was biggest and was fly-rodded. The catches were duskies, browns and spinners, and the two anglers, a father and son, landed the sharks on bait and flies. One of the trips Friday with a group of anglers let go nine aboard. Those were browns and spinners on bait. The sharking, usually within 10 miles of shore, fishes with bait, usually a mackerel fillet, or chum flies. The big, bad-looking fish are surprisingly skittish, and the fly presentation needs to look natural. Some of the species are required to be released. Another father and son sharked Wednesday aboard, letting go a dozen spinners, browns and duskies to more than 100 pounds on bait. Jersey Cape is also fishing for summer flounder on the back bay. The angling is good, catching a bunch, including a few keepers, not limiting out. No keepers and a bunch of shorts were picked up Thursday on a trip. Fishing for cobia and small mahi mahi should heat up soon close to shore. Jersey Cape had a stellar season of the mahi fishing last year. Joe heard nothing first-hand about tuna fishing offshore in past days, but is sure the angling’s still good. His last trip offshore trolled four yellowfin tuna and three mahi last week, covered in the previous report here. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Avalon</b>

Probably 30 summer flounder, throwbacks, but lots of fish, were angled Sunday on the back bay aboard, said Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>. Was a great, good day, he said, and the trip sailed from Avalon all the way to Cape May Canal, and no matter where was fished, the fluke bit. Then the trip sailed from the Canal to the ocean to return home, moving fast, not fishing. Gulls and terns worked small bait – spearing or something – on the ocean.  Small blues might’ve been on the bait, Jim guessed. He might soon fish ocean buoys for catches like mahi mahi. The ocean was a beautiful blue color lately. Jim’s dad and brother were down and fished the back bay all week around Avalon in a flat-bottomed boat. Jim didn’t know how many flounder they caught, but they got some keepers to 24 inches and a bunch of throwbacks. Guests this weekend stayed 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. He was unsure what the guests did, but knew they had kayaks for kayaking the reservoir, and lots of activities are available. Fishing is, including on Lake Ontario, with local guides. Guests often drive quadrunners this season locally at snowmobile trails on the property and quad trails running past the place. Guests also bicycle. 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>

A good catch of yellowfin tuna was chunked and jigged inshore on a trip that Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> joined on a friend’s boat yesterday, George said. Tuna fishing’s been picking catches, and he saw quite a few reeled aboard other boats on the trip. He hopes the fish stick around this season and is supposed to tuna fish again Wednesday and Thursday inshore. Tuna were pasted at canyons farther offshore, too. George spoke with someone who nailed them there yesterday. But George had no reason to sail to the canyons when the fish could be found closer in.

The <b>Prime Time II</b> sailed for summer flounder Friday and Sunday on the ocean, Capt. Steve said. The fishing is a consistent pick, mostly on throwbacks, of course. But a few keepers, not a lot, are coming in. Sea bass are hooked and bagged once in a while during the pick. Trips lately mostly fished Cape May Reef. Steve fished the Old Grounds and Reef 11 off Delaware a couple of times. But the flounder angling didn’t seem much better there. Trips might also begin inshore trolling now for catches like blues and mahi mahi. The ocean should be warming enough to draw pelagics like the mahi.

Three trips fished for summer flounder the last three days on the ocean with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. Eight keepers per trip were bagged. “We were consistent,” he said! The angling was okay, spotty. The fluke bit decent at some areas, and the boat was run around a lot to check different areas. The trip Saturday competed in the Duke o’ Fluke tournament, just missing third place for a five-fish stringer. Fishin’ Fever’s five weighed 17.26 pounds, and the first-place stringer weighed 23 pounds. The tournament’s biggest fluke weighed a little more than 6 pounds. Fishin’ Fever is also tuna fishing, and yellowfin tuna with bluefin tuna mixed in were angled inshore recently, mostly on the chunk, but some on the troll. Yellowfins were also trolled farther offshore at canyons. A fair number of tuna seemed around but were scattered.

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