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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 8-14-17

<b>Keyport</b>

Fluke, good catches, were scooped from the ocean with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, especially on marathon trips, Capt. Mario said. The next marathons, open-boat trips that fish longer than usual, will sail 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Saturday. On Down Deep’s other boat, bottom-fishing plowed many big porgies to 2 ½ pounds and big sea bass mixed in. Excellent, fantastic catches, he said. Open trips are sailing for each type of fishing 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers on either boat.  Sign up for the Short Notice List on <a href="http://downdeepsportfishing.com" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special trips. Look for the link underneath “Contact.” Book fall striped bass and sea bass charters and open trips.

Pretty good fluke fishing Friday through Sunday aboard, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. Sharp anglers limited out or landed more, keeping only their quotas. Gulps are usually king, but livelined peanut bunker got the job done on these outings. “No jumbos but very nice quality fish to around 5 pounds,” he wrote. “… the fish are certainly thickening up providing excellent quality fillets.” Only a few weeks are left before fluke season is closed. That’s too bad, because the season will close during the best time for big fluke. Jump aboard for a chance at a jumbo and a “dose of Vitamin Sea!” Charters are fishing, and one space is available for an open-boat trip Wednesday. Four spaces are left for an open trip Saturday. Telephone to reserve. <b>***Update, Monday, 8/14:***</b> The six anglers already limited out on a trip today, Frank wrote at 11 a.m. in an email. Very good fluking, he said, and one space is still available for Wednesday’s trip, and spaces are open for the weekend.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Yellowfin tuna to 70 pounds, including small, were trolled at Toms Canyon on an overnight trip Thursday to Friday with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. The angling wasn’t great but put together a catch on the 73-degree, clear, blue, beautiful-looking water. Nothing bit at night, though the anglers chunked the whole night. Lots of squid schooled at night. Not a lot of life was seen during daytime, except a few whales and porpoises. Joe heard about a few tuna, not many, chunked at night so far this season, and chunking will probably improve in the next weeks. On a trip Sunday aboard, loads of porgies and actually good fishing for fluke was belted. Conditions including wind were right for fluking.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Improved action with throwback fluke was scored the last few days, and better numbers of keepers were bagged the past couple of trips on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Definitely better than a week ago or so. The trips were on Raritan Bay, and he hopes the improvement continues. The bait or tackle that fished best was difficult to say. Some fished spearing supplied aboard, and some fished killies or Spros they brought. Tom told anglers fishing with Spros not to hesitate to fish with spearing if rental-rodders, who fished spearing, caught better. The boat is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

An 11-pound 9-ounce 31-inch fluke, a fluke of a lifetime, was crushed Sunday on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. That was after a 10.4-pounder, the season’s first double-digit fluke aboard, was heaved in last week, covered in the last report here. On Sunday’s trip, fishing the ocean, a huge swell and strong current was difficult for fishing at first. The trip bounced around, waiting for the change of tide, slugging away at sea bass, during the wait. Then conditions improved, and so did fluking. June Benson from Hazlet nailed the 11-pound 9-ouncer. Several anglers limited out on three fluke on the trip, and some bagged two. A bunch of sea bass were in the mix. Fluke aboard in previous days included an 8-1/2-pounder Friday and a 7.7-pounder Saturday. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Neptune</b>

Fishing loaded up with porgies, hung some sizable sea bass and returned early on a charter aboard Saturday, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. A charter Sunday also returned early with porgies and sea bass. An individual-reservation trip for porgies, sea bass and triggerfish will sail next Monday. Only four individual-reservation trips for fluke are left that fish every Tuesday, before fluke season is closed beginning Sept. 6. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. 

<b>Belmar</b>

<b>XTC Sportfishing</b> fished for tuna throughout the past days, catching a few, mostly yellowfins, except a couple of bluefins Saturday, Capt. Scott said. That was all inshore, except an overnight trip fished Toms Canyon Thursday to Friday. That angling wasn’t so good but landed a couple of yellowfins. Sharks were reeled in at night on the outing. All tuna were trolled on trips, except yellowfins were popper-plugged and jigged inshore Wednesday aboard, covered in the previous report here. On that trip, no tuna were hooked when the boat trolled. 

Trips fluked Thursday and Friday on the <b>Celtic Stoirm</b> on the ocean, and the angling has improved, Capt. Mike said. Plenty of sea bass are also biting. Mike worked on the Ol’ Salty II on a fluke trip Saturday on the ocean, and the fishing was pretty good. Some good-sized were taken, and fluke gave up plenty of action. Space is available for a day-troll for tuna Aug. 26. Dates also remain for tuna charters in September.

With <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, fluke fishing on the ocean remained good on most days, Capt. Pete wrote in a text. Bucktails with Gulps hooked the better-sized, and fluking aboard includes On the Water Seminars that teach the bucktailing in a non-threatening environment. When he last gave a report on the phone last week, he said space was available on one of the seminars this week on Tuesday, and only one more of the seminars will fish afterward, before fluke season is closed beginning Sept. 6.  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 future spaces.

Sea bass, fluke and a sprinkling of chub mackerel served up great action on Sunday morning’s trip on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email from the party boat said. On the afternoon’s trip, jumbo sea bass, some sizable fluke and occasional ling gave up great angling. This morning’s trip whipped good results on sea bass and fluke, and picked away at chub mackerel.  Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are also fishing 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. Fireworks are watched on Thursdays’ afternoon trips.

On the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, bluefish 2 to 5 pounds, chub mackerel and bonito were tackled Sunday, a report said on the party boat’s website. “We went to the East to find them and we did!” it said. On Saturday aboard, very good fishing for sea bass and fluke was clubbed, and a few ling and chub mackerel were axed. On Friday’s trip, fishing was similar. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are running 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily. Spaces remain for 24- and 31-hour <a href=" https://www.goldeneaglefishing.com/tunafish" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> in September and October. Reserve them.

Strong fluke fishing was socked from the ocean and Shark River, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. The store’s rental boats are available to fluke the river. Belmar’s party and charter boats limited out on fluke regularly on the ocean, and some of the fish topped 10 pounds. Scott Box from Edison whacked a 25-inch fluke, short striped bass and a bluefish from the river. Surf anglers are waiting for bunker, mullet and spearing to pour from rivers and bays into the ocean on the fall migration. That attracts striped bass and blues. Let’s hope for an early appearance, he said.

<b>Brielle</b>

Ocean fluking was pretty good, actually, said Alex from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. A few tournaments were held Saturday, and about a 9-pound fluke was entered in each. Most locals fishing for fluke on the ocean worked Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs. If anglers fluked at rough bottom like that, they could often limit out on two sea bass. Bucktails with Gulps caught the fluke well, and Manasquan River’s fluking was pretty good, too. Small bucktails seemed the ticket there, and a youngster weighed-in a 5-1/2-pounder from Manasquan Inlet who checked-in a 9-1/2-pounder from the inlet a few weeks ago. Striped bass 20 inches to keeper-sized were played at Point Pleasant Canal at night on Fin-S Fish on bucktails. If anglers wanted action, the fishing could be good. Sizable bluefish bit the bucktails meant for stripers occasionally in the canal. Small stripers and good-sized fluke hit at the mouth of the canal at the river. Unconfirmed reports said blowfish were sometimes plucked from northern Barnegat Bay, near this area. The same-sized bluefish were fought from the surf on occasion, one here or there. Back on the ocean, sometimes bonito or false albacore were heard about from places like reefs. If they popped up, anglers could toss a diamond jig to catch them. Tuna 40 to 60 pounds showed up at spots like the Resor wreck, Triple Wrecks and Chicken Canyon, after they appeared farther south at the Cole wreck previously. They were yellowfins, Alex said, and the fishing seemed hit or miss, or one trip might land five or six, and another might hook none. The fish were trolled on daisy chains including The Reel Seat’s Flock of Birds Chain. A few white and blue marlin were landed at Hudson Canyon this past week. More should appear as the water warms, anglers think. 

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Tuna fishing began trolling at 5:30 a.m. Sunday with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. “We played the weather forecast right and the ocean settled in time for our start,” he wrote. The trip picked away at a variety of yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna and false albacore throughout the morning and into the afternoon. Multiple hook-ups were frequent – no shortage of action – because the fish foraged on sand eels. The fishing was wrapped up at 2 p.m., and the anglers bagged two yellowfins and two bluefins, all fat fish. The albies were fat on the trip, too. A bunch of rat yellowfins and bluefins were also tugged in. Purple and black plastics fished best, like they have. Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips are fishing. Mushin’s been focusing on tuna since June, fishing for them from Cape May at first.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Fishing wasn’t bad, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. “Nice fluke in the surf,” it said, and fishing for the fluke got better, the closer to Barnegat Inlet. More and more kingfish were reported plucked from the surf at Island Beach State Park. Large snapper blues popped in and out of the surf. Brown sharks, required to be released, and rays were fought from the surf at night. Some of the sharks began to be landed during daytime at Island Beach. In Barnegat Bay, plenty of snappers, mixed sizes, schooled, and crabbing was a chore of weeding through throwbacks for keepers. 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>

A day-trip trolled six yellowfin tuna, a 125-pound bigeye tuna and more Wednesday with <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Mike said. The trip also raised six white marlin, catching and releasing one, and a dozen mahi mahi. The yellowfins weighed 60 pounds, except two were small. The fishing was good for Tuna-Tic, but not for everybody in the area that day. Tuna fishing was weathered out Saturday aboard, and more of the trips are set for mid-week and late in the week. A couple of tuna trips are available that need more anglers, so if you don’t have enough people for a charter, jump on them.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

The <b>Super Chic</b> fluked on the ocean, and that’s been going well when trips have had the conditions, Capt. Ted said. The angling went well Saturday aboard. On two trips that fished Sunday, the fishing was just okay, and conditions hardly drifted the boat. That’s tough for fluking. Quite a few sea bass were socked on the afternoon’s trip. But fluke are definitely there. “No doubt about that,” he said. Trips fished mostly in 50 to 60 feet of water. When deeper was fished, that didn’t help. Tuna trips are slated to fish inshore Wednesday and Sunday. Tuna are biting there, and the catches were made Thursday, Ted knew. He was yet to hear about Sunday’s fishing when he gave this report that day. Saturday’s weather was rough. Fishing for tuna offshore at the canyons is scheduled for later this month. A fair number of those trips are set for September and October.

Okay fluking Sunday, a report said on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>’s Facebook page. A 6-1/2-pound fluke won the pool, and no report was posted for Saturday. Maybe the trip was weathered out. 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. Watch the Atlantic City Air Show on August 23 on the water aboard, lunch included.  Now’s the time to reserve <a href="http://www.missbarnegatlight.com/TunaFishing.html" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> for September and October.

<b>Beach Haven</b>

A half-day trip with a family played throwback sea bass and fluke at Little Egg Reef on the <b>June Bug</b>, Capt. Lindsay said. That was too little time to search for keepers elsewhere. The sea bass were a quarter of an inch undersized, and the fluke were 10 inches. Three or four tuna trips are scheduled in the next weeks. 

<b>Longport</b>

Bluefish were trolled 9 to 10 miles from shore on the ocean the past couple of days on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. No Spanish mackerel were hooked during the fishing, but they’re in the mix at times this season, sometimes abundantly. During bottom-fishing aboard, keeper sea bass and throwback summer flounder were cranked in. The ocean was dirty on the fishing grounds because of runoff from rain, and was even dirtier within 5 miles from the coast. The water was 74 to 75 degrees on the fishing grounds and 76 within 5 miles. The water had been 80 degrees this season, but the rain cooled the ocean. Four spaces are available for an open-boat trip Thursday, and a few open trips will probably sail next week. Open trips fish for whatever’s best, including sometimes a combo of fish. Because flounder season this year closes early beginning Sept. 6, a discount will be offered for tuna trips to the offshore canyons starting in September, until fall sea bass season opens. Anglers should telephone, because of the substantial savings for tuna. The trips will also deep-drop for tilefish, depending on the tide.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Several shark trips fished aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. One sailed Thursday, releasing 15 sharks: spinners, sandbars, browns and duskies. That charter stopped sharking early, then fished for summer flounder on the ocean, bagging a 6-pounder and a 4-pounder. Throwbacks and a few sea bass were also toggled in. The flounder fishing’s been good. The next trip, on Friday with Mike Roth and son, fly-rodded and released eight spinner and dusky sharks. That was a very good catch on flies, and the previous trip only sharked with bait. No trip fished Saturday because of weather. On Sunday, a charter released 18 sharks – spinners, sandbars and duskies – on bait. The sharks on each trip weighed up to 70 pounds. These were inshore shark trips that catch and release the fish, usually within 10 miles from shore. Some of the species are required to be let go. The trips fish with bait, usually mackerel fillets, or chum flies. The mean-looking sharks are surprisingly cautious about grabbing a fly. The presentation needs to look natural. Joe sets up a chum slick while drifting the boat over structure like hills and holes where he knows the sharks haunt. Inshore mahi mahi fishing was slow currently, maybe because of dirty water. Joe’s doing no fishing for them right now, but does when the angling’s on. The fishing was terrific last year aboard. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Avalon</b>

A trip targeted sharks Thursday with <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>, Capt. Jim said. But first, the trip fished at Townsend’s Inlet Reef, pulling in probably 30 summer flounder including a 23-incher and a bunch of sea bass. Then the trip sharked just off Avalon Shoals, hooking six, catching and releasing four. Good trip and fantastic weather, he said. The water, probably 76 degrees, was green, probably because of rain and wind direction. Salmon fishing usually begins late this month and in early September on upstate New York’s Salmon River, though Jim mostly fishes the run in late September and early October, usually the peak . Anglers stay at his nearby <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge</a> for the fishing. Anglers can hire a guide or fish on their own, or Jim can show them how to fish for the salmon, and then the anglers can fish on their own. But guests stay at the lodge throughout the year, including currently. Guests are booked for the next two weekends. A discount is offered on Airbnb, but only in summer. Guests often drive quadrunners this season at the place. They also bicycle and kayak. This weekend, they’ll enjoy the Woodsman’s Festival that features logging and cutting demos and more. In winter, guests fish the river for steelheads and they snowmobile.

<b>Cape May</b>

With <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, summer flounder fishing was very good on the ocean, Capt. Tom said. The only time the fishing struggled a little was when conditions were poor. The angling Mohawked the fish when conditions were decent. The boat limited out the last several trips. Thursday might’ve been the most recent time tuna fishing was good for the local fleet. A tuna trip was headed out at 2 a.m. today with Fishin’ Fever, so the trip would see how the fishing went now.

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