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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 8-28-17


Capt. T.J. ran the boat during the weekend, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. Fluke gave up lots of action, but fewer were keepers than before on the trips. Still, sharp anglers limited out. Plenty of bait remained in the bay to attract fluke. Frank was away on a cruise to Bermuda with family, and now returned. This will be the final weekend of fluke season, and open-boat trips will fish for them Friday through Monday, Labor Day. The 2018 fluke season is a long time from now! Frank reminded. Telephone to reserve. Now’s the time to book fall striped bass charters. Those who book early will receive bonus tags to bag additional stripers, while the tags last.

Catches of porgies were fantastic, swinging aboard big every trip with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. On Down Deep’s other boat, fluking was excellent on the ocean. A 12.6-pounder was hauled in this past week, and the angler took the lead in the contest that awards a custom rod for the year’s heaviest aboard. Many other 4- to 7-pounders were beaten aboard, and high hooks reeled in seven or eight legal-sized, keeping no more than a limit. Open-boat, marathon fluke trips, sailing 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., longer than usual, will fluke Friday through Monday. That enables trips to fish rocky bottom farther away that’s fishing well. Otherwise, open trips are fluking at 6 a.m. daily. Open trips are fishing for porgies at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers. Sign up for the Short Notice List on <a href="" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special trips. Look for the link underneath “Contact.” Book fall striped bass, sea bass and blackfish charters and open trips.


Porgy fishing was a little slower Sunday aboard for unknown reasons, maybe wind direction, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. But the fish were a little bigger than previously, up to 3 pounds. On Saturday on a trip, a good catch of fluke, almost the boat’s limit, was plundered. Joe heard nothing about tuna recently, he said when asked. Maybe anglers were mum because of the weekend’s Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Club’s Offshore Open, or maybe the northeast wind kept some trips from sailing.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Fishing for fluke seemed best at Shrewsbury Rocks, said Joe from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. A few sea bass bit there, and limits of one blackfish per angler were also copped there. Very good porgy fishing was smashed between the channels and at Sandy Hook Reef. Joe heard about no false albacore, but this is the time of year for them. Tuna were jigged toward Atlantic City. Crabbing was terrific on Navesink River. Crabs were everywhere, including at Atlantic Highlands along pilings. Fishing for snapper blues was super in back waters like these. Fish Snapper Poppers for them.

Every day fished differently for fluke recently, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>. On Saturday morning’s trip, fishing Raritan and Sandy Hook bays, the angling was no good, managing some shorts and not many keepers. That was disappointing, including because of good number of anglers fished the trip. The afternoon’s trip fished Flynn’s Knoll, rounding up lots of throwbacks and a few keepers. Sunday’s trips also fished at Flynn’s, and probably gave up some of the year’s best catches of keeper fluke, and the afternoon’s trip, Tom guessed, scored the best catch of them this year aboard. A couple of sea bass and a few porgies were also tugged in at Flynn’s. Tom thought today’s trips would fish, but was unsure about Tuesday’s. Strong wind but no rain was forecast, and he hopes the wind calms by Wednesday. Wind 15 or 20 knots isn’t bad on the bay. Twenty-five knots or more makes holding bottom difficult. After the wind, seas could be riled up, but in the bay, that won’t be bad. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Big fluke keep coming! a report said Sunday on the party boat <b>Fishermen</b>’s website. An 11.3-pound fluke got walloped on the day’s trip. The same angler eased in an 8-1/2-pounder on the outing. Other anglers did-in a 7.6-pounder and a 7.1-pounder, and several other great fluke were sacked on the trip. The angling took a moment to get going, in strong wind against current that took weight to hold bottom. But a new area of big fluke was found. Several anglers limited out, and big sea bass were sometimes iced. Some regular customers had no keepers who limited on Friday’s trip. Go figure, the report said. Saturday’s trip gave up “very nice fishing” for fluke, including a 10-pound 10-ouncer. Friday was also an awesome day of fishing for big fluke and big sea bass aboard, the report said. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.


Wind will weather out the weekly, individual-reservation trip for fluke Tuesday and an individual-rez trip for cod Wednesday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph  wrote in an email. Only one more of the fluke trips will sail, on Sept. 5, next week on Tuesday, the final day of fluke season. However, another has been added for Saturday, and space remains. The cod trip will be rescheduled. Very good fishing for fluke, porgies and large sea bass was crushed on a charter Sunday aboard. On Saturday, a charter with 10 people from Mercer County Anglers boated four fluke less than a limit and some sea bass. Some of the anglers landed more than a limit of fluke, keeping only their quotas. A 7-1/2-pound fluke won the pool. On Friday, a charter filled the cooler with fluke and sea bass, first fishing for fluke, then porgies. A couple of dates were still available for fluke charters. On the individual-reservation trips for fluke, kids under 12 sail free, limited to one per adult host. <b>***Update, Wednesday, 8/30:***</b> Another individual-reservation trip for fluke has been added for Sunday, Ralph wrote in an email. Saturday’s one of the trips has one space left, and Tuesday’s has five.


Sea bass and fluke made up a pretty good catch on the ocean Friday with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. Seas were somewhat rough in the morning then calmed. Fishing was similar Saturday aboard. Seas were rough in the morning and calmed afterward, and a catch of sea bass and fluke was put together. Mike’s looking forward to a strong finish for sea bass and fluke seasons, he said. Sea bass season will close beginning Friday, and fluke season will close starting Sept. 6. That’s next week on Wednesday.

Fluke just kept getting bigger, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Nathan Velahos from Sewell weighed-in a 12-pounder this weekend that was the store’s biggest this year. He slammed the fish on a Belmar party boat. “All the for-hire fleet reported a surge in big fluke, many in the 8- to 10-pound size,” Bob wrote. This is a good time if you want a shot at a trophy. The amount of baitfish in rivers was impressive, he said. When they pour into the ocean this fall, that could attract a good run of striped bass for surf anglers like Bob. “Hope all had a good summer,” he said.

Good fishing for fluke, really good, and sea bass was pounded Saturday on the ocean with <b>XTC Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Scott said. Seas were a little rough in the morning. The boat was supposed to fish for tuna from Atlantic City throughout last week, but the angler had to cancel. A trip ran from there anyway, fishing Wilmington Canyon aboard. About 60 tilefish to 22 pounds and a decent number of black belly rosefish were cranked in. At night, two mako sharks to 150 pounds were landed, and a hook was pulled on a small swordfish.

No trips fished in past days with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Pete said. Fluke fishing is supposed to sail this week aboard, but weather looks rough through about Wednesday. Weather was sometimes nasty in past days, like on Saturday morning. Fluking on the ocean pulled in lots of shorts with some keepers recently, according to reports Pete heard. Striped bass trips are booking up for November, but space remains in November and December. Space also remains for blackfishing during those months. 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 future spaces.

A trip searched for bluefish Sunday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. But only a few small were caught. So the trip switched to sea bass, plucking a decent catch of them: a bunch of throwbacks among lots of shorts. Some fluke were also bagged. Saturday’s trip was another good day of fishing aboard, the report said. Plenty of bonito, lots of chub mackerel, lots of sea bass, some fluke and a blackfish were creamed. Fish like these have made up catches aboard recently. 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 are available for 24- and 31-hour <a href="" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> in September and October. Reserve them.


A handful of mostly small yellowfin tuna were trolled at Hudson Canyon, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. A couple of reports said longfin tuna were trolled at the Hudson, the year’s first reports about longfins at the shop. A few white marlin were trolled at the Hudson. Closer to shore, yellowfins seemed to hold at the Resor wreck. Chunking for them caught much better than trolling did, and live bait fished best on the chunk. Even closer to shore, plenty of fish including mahi mahi, skipjacks, false albacore and Spanish mackerel were hooked at inshore lumps and along the Mudhole. Bluefish also schooled there. The fish were tied into during chumming or on trolled feathers and Clark spoons. Fluke fishing was good the past few days. The fish were landed at Axel Carlson Reef, and bigger came from Sea Girt Reef. A fairly good number came from the Farms, and many of the fish were sizable there. White or glow Gulps caught fluke well. At Manasquan Inlet, fluke fishing was okay, not fantastic, picking a few. For keepers, fish livelined snapper blues. Small striped bass bit along Manasquan River’s bridges and now hit in the inlet. A few keepers swam the inlet. Eels and small rubber shads and Fin-S Fish were fished. Not much was angled from the surf. Sometimes fluke were.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> boated various-sized yellowfin tuna and great tilefishing at offshore canyons early last week, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The crew spent much of the week prepping for the Manasquan River Marlin & Tuna Club Offshore Open, and on Saturday, the first day of the tournament, released a 300-pound blue marlin. Mushin was ready to compete Sunday in the event, if weather permitted, Alan said before the potential trip. The crew is itchy to fish for fall yellowfin and longfin tuna, and some dates are still available. Charters and a limited number of open-boat trips sail.

On the <b>Norma-K III</b>, good fluking continued, a report said Friday on the party boat’s website. A healthy number of keepers and throwbacks were pitched aboard consistently, and so were some sea bass. Some trips fished better than others, and 6- to 8-pound fluke won pools. Gulps, bucktails and bait all caught. On Thursday night’s trip, plenty of action was hammered. Lots of chub mackerel were clobbered, and some 2-pound blues were picked. A shot of big blues showed up at the end, and an 18-pounder won the pool. “So the big boys are getting closer!” the report said. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Thursday through Sunday.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

Bonito, a bunch, Spanish mackerel and blues were trolled Saturday afternoon on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, Capt. John said. At night, the trip bluefished, landing 20, small fish but providing lots of action for the anglers. Friday was the last time John heard about tuna fishing. The angling was good then. He knew nobody who tuna fished Saturday and Sunday.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Snapper blues swarmed all around the dock, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters’</b> website.  But, unusually for this time of year, slammer blues popped up occasionally. One heavier than 9 pounds was wrestled from the dock yesterday.  An 8.6-pounder was taken a couple of days before. Crabbing was slow from the dock. Fluke could be banked from the surf.  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>

Was a good week of tuna fishing from the Chicken Canyon to the Fingers with <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Mike said. The angling, on the chunk with light leaders, tapered off at the end of the week in boat traffic. “A million boats kind of found us,” he said. A day trip on Thursday nailed six yellowfin tuna aboard. A trip Friday to Saturday also reeled in six. Mike actually bought light rods to fish the light leaders. Just as many tuna were lost as were landed, because of the leaders. Heavier, 50-pound leaders were able to be fished Friday. The trips chummed with spearing. A trip fluked early last week aboard the ocean, but seas were rough, and the angling was no good.  But fishing for sea bass and fluke was very good Sunday aboard.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

A few keeper fish and some throwbacks were angled Saturday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s Facebook page. A photo of a fluke and a photo of a sea bass were posted with the report. That was the most recent report at press time, and fishing was a grind on the previous two days. Some keepers would be clocked on a drift, and the results couldn’t be repeated. 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. Trips will fish for blues, bonito and false albacore 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 9-10. Reserve <a href="" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> for September and October.


Croakers showed up, Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b> said. Fishing aboard pasted a load near the beach. That’s the big news, he said, and rough weather in the next days should help pull them in, and also small weakfish and snapper blues that usually swim the area this time of season. Trolling 12 miles from shore hit decent catches of snappers, lots of Spanish mackerel and some false albacore and bonito on the boat. The ocean was 76 degrees. The season for summer flounder will close beginning Sept. 6, and this wasn’t much of a season for the angling locally. Lots of throwbacks bit. Because the season this year closes early, a discount will be offered for tuna trips to the offshore canyons starting in September, until fall sea bass season opens. The sea bass season is yet to be announced. Anglers should telephone, because of the substantial savings for tuna. The trips will also deep-drop for tilefish, depending on the tide. The discount is for open-boat trips and charters. For open trips, four spots are left for Sept. 16, and two remain for Sept. 18. Only a couple of weekend dates are left for charters in September. Weekdays are available. In November, only two Sundays are left for striped bass or blackfish charters. Black Friday is still available for either.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Jay Vonzoernig and friends fished Lindenkohl Canyon aboard Saturday, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. A hook was pulled on a white marlin, and three mahi mahi were landed. The trip fished in 1,000 fathoms, where the water temperature varied from 75 to 80 degrees. Charters aboard Wednesday and Thursday each bagged two or three summer flounder and three or four sea bass and released throwbacks of each on the ocean. Lots of small sea bass bit with flounder mixed in, and the flounder fishing’s been very consistent. Joe would like to fish again for inshore sharks that his charters have been doing this season. The angling usually ends around this time of year and has been awesome. Annual traveling charters will fish the migrations of striped bass, blues and false albacore from mid-September to October. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.  Ever want to fish the runs from the legendary port? Joe’s going! Keep up with is fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


Twenty keeper fluke were plastered at Reef 11 last Monday with <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>, Capt. Jim said. The fishing was great, and three times as many throwbacks were landed. This weekend, Jim donated a trip that fished with Purple Heart veterans from the Freedom Hunters. He wanted to fish local reefs for flounder on the ocean, but strong wind and rough seas forced the trip to retreat to the Intracoastal Waterway. Bluefish, throwback flounder, throwback sea bass and sea robins, 40 or 50 fish, were pumped in. They had a great time, Jim said. The Intracoastal is full of fish. Tons of peanut bunker schooled, and Jim netted some for bait. Recently, Cape May and Wildwood reefs fished best for flounder locally, he heard. Labor Day weekend is traditionally when anglers begin trying for salmon on upstate New York’s Salmon River. Anglers fish for the salmon from Jim’s nearby <a href="" target="_blank">lodge</a>, but Jim prefers to begin looking for the fish during September’s final week and October’s first week. The fishing is usually better then. He’s been offering a discount for the lodge during summer, but only on Airbnb. He booked a good number of guests through Airbnb this season, including ladies who held a Tupperware event this weekend at the place. Guests in summer drive quadrunners and go bicycling, among other activities. In fall they fish for salmon, and in winter they fish for steelheads on the river and they snowmobile and cross-country ski.  

<b>Cape May</b>

Summer flounder fishing at Reef 11 was nothing great, nothing spectacular Friday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. Many of the flounder were throwbacks that were hooked. A charter Saturday also wanted to flounder fish, but wind blew 20 m.p.h. from northeast. Calmer was forecast, and a couple of flounder anglers George spoke with said very heavy weight wouldn’t hold bottom. So the charter on the Heavy Hitter trolled bluefish and Spanish mackerel at 5-Fathom Bank instead. Marine forecasts this week look rough until Thursday.

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