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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 8-31-17


Few boats fished in past days in rough weather. But the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> did, and fluke fishing was excellent! Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The angling scored action the whole trip, and the fluke were big. They included two 8-pounders, two 7-pounders and some 4- and 5-pounders. “Looks like the fall run is on,” he said, and too bad fluke season closes beginning Wednesday. Now is when the season’s biggest show up. Space is available on open-boat trips Saturday and Sunday. Telephone to reserve. <b>***Update, Thursday, 8/31:***</b> Open-boat trips will fluke daily from Staten Island beginning next Thursday, Frank said. That’s because New York’s fluke season is open through Sept. 21. The trips will depart from Tottenville Marina at the foot of Outerbridge Crossing, easy to reach.

When the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b> last fished on Sunday, fluke fishing was great on trips on the ocean aboard, Capt. Mario said. Weather kept fishing docked since, and on Down Deep’s other boat, porgy fishing was excellent. Open-boat, marathon trips will sail for fluke 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Monday. Shorter, open fluke trips are running at 6 a.m. daily otherwise. Open trips are fishing for porgies at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. this Friday and Saturday on the other boat. Beginning Wednesday, fluke season will be closed, and open trips will bottom-fish daily for porgies and blackfish on both boats. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers on either vessel. 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, sea bass and blackfish charters and open trips.


No trips fished in the weather with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. Once fluke season closes beginning Wednesday, he hopes to do more porgy fishing. Fluking is available aboard until then. He’ll also fish for tuna like he’s been doing, and heard about better tuna catches made at Hudson Canyon before the storm. Previously, more tuna came from inshore than the canyon. Joe hopes a few striped bass catches begin increasing soon. He’ll jump on stripers as soon as that picks up. 

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

The first tough fluke fishing in some time happened today on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. That was apparently the first trip to sail since the weekend aboard, and, the report said, the tough fishing had to be expected after three days of brutal seas on the ocean. Only a couple of sizable fluke, a bunch of shorts and only a few sea bass were angled, on the change of tides. “Once the current got going it was wind against (the tide) the rest of the day!” it said. Fluke trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily through Tuesday, the final day of fluke season. Beginning Wednesday, the trips will switch to porgies, until fishing for striped bass, once stripers show up.

Fluke fishing never sailed Tuesday because of weather but ran Wednesday on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The boat was out today, too, when he gave this report in a phone call aboard this morning. Tom had told anglers who telephoned that no trips would fish Wednesday aboard, but weather turned out better than forecast, so the boat fished, with a few anglers. The morning’s trip picked shorts and hung some keepers, and the afternoon’s trip fished similar. The afternoon’s weather was beautiful on the bay, where the boat’s been fishing. Just a few keepers and lots of shorts were angled this morning so far, when he gave the report. The ocean surely held a swell this morning. Forecasts are calling for a chance of rain this weekend, but Tom plans to fish every day. The bay is comfortable, with no swell or rip currents. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily through Tuesday. That’s the last day of fluke season, and the trips will fish for porgies beginning Wednesday.

Two rental-boat trips from the shop limited out on fluke 19 inches and larger on Sandy Hook Bay today, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Anglers who fluked on the marina’s party boats this morning seemed happy with the fishing. Fluking was improving. Customers often bought Snapper Poppers and spearing to fish for snapper blues. They must’ve been catching. Kids who angled snappers from pier 9 at the marina nailed two 19-inch fluke. The store, the sister shop to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar, is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, down the dock from party, charter and private boats.

A couple of fluke were brought to the shop yesterday from Raritan Bay, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Customers began fishing again then, after the blow. Before the weather, most customers who fished for fluke fished the bay, boating a slow pick of shorts and keepers. Took all day to gather a catch of keepers. Lots of porgies were bagged. Cocktail blues schooled abundant from the surf to 2 miles out in the ocean. Someone reported not being able to escape them 2 miles out. Ron, a surf angler, ran into an acquaintance who said false albacore lit into the surf at Point Pleasant Beach. The albies quickly stormed in and disappeared. Snapper blues were in. So were crabs, and a tournament for snappers and crabs was held from Keyport for kids. Some participants filled 5-gallon buckets with keeper crabs, and the kid who won the snapper division, Ron thought, landed 22 of the baby bluefish. A customer today reported boating yellowfin tuna at the Resor wreck. Ron saw a photo of a buddy’s 60-pound bluefin tuna that the buddy’s trip trolled. The trip shark fished, hooked none, so began trolling, and came across bluefins.


Jay, Tracy and Gina, departing from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, boated seven fluke Friday near Sandy Hook, Marion wrote in an email. On Saturday, Paul Presti and Lloyd Storm on the Second Home decked five fluke near the 4S buoy. On a trip Monday on the Second Home, Presti, Mike Tepedino and Robert Harmer Sr. and Jr. returned with fluke 25 and 18 ½ inches from off Sandy Hook Point. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips, dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait-and-tackle shop and ship’s store. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card. Baits stocked include all for offshore.


An individual-reservation trip for cod was rescheduled for 2 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, that was weathered out Wednesday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Last Lady is one of the few boats that target cod in summer from New Jersey. Fish for cod in shorts! That’s if weather’s still warm enough during the trip. An individual-reservation trip for fluke was also canceled Tuesday because of weather. One of those trips is full Saturday, but space is available for more Sunday and Tuesday. Tuesday is the final day of fluke season. Kids under 12 sail free on the fluke trips, limited to one per adult host.


Great fishing today! an email said from the party boat <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>. Good catches of chub mackerel were pounded the whole trip, and bonito and false albacore were mixed in. Customers who bottom-fished stayed busy with jumbo sea bass! That was the boat’s first trip since the storm. 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.

The <b>Golden Eagle</b> today slammed false albacore, bonito, chub mackerel, blues, ling and sea bass, a very good catch, on the ocean, the party boat’s website said. “We had it all,” it said, and that was the first trip in a few days aboard, because of wind. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Purchase tickets online and save 10 percent. Fishing and sunset cruises are running 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily. Spaces are available for 24- and 31-hour <a href=" https://www.goldeneaglefishing.com/tunafish" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> in September and October. Reserve them.

<b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> cancelled fluke fishing today, Capt. Pete said. He anticipated a leftover heave on the ocean that would probably slow the angling, and will watch to decide when to resume. Belmar’s party boats were expected to begin fishing again today. Once fluke season closes starting Wednesday, Parker Pete’s might fish for blues, bonito and false albacore, or wreck-fish for ling and cod. Porgy fishing’s an option, though that angling’s not in much demand locally. Pete might search for striped bass to fish for with eels or something in the third week of September. 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.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

The party boat <b>Dauntless</b> last fished Sunday, before the weather, Capt. Butch said. Good porgy fishing was slugged during the weekend and most of last week on the trips. Last week, the angling was good on some days and slower on a couple. But anglers on trips mostly averaged 20 to 40 porgies apiece. Quite a few limited out on 50 on a couple of days. On a couple of days, most customers limited on two sea bass. Sea bass, triggerfish and fluke were mixed in on trips. A few small bluefish and a few chub mackerel were landed sometimes. A nice variety of other fish was taken with porgies. Trips fished in 20 to 50 feet of water, where porgies swam. The ocean might be riled up for a couple of days after the rough weather that just ended. But porgies will probably bite just as much where they were found aboard previously, once that clears. The ocean on the fishing grounds was 71 or 72 degrees Sunday, on the most recent trip. That temperature’s normal for the time of year, and trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Toms River</b>

Barnegat Bay’s fluke began to pull out to the ocean, and in the bay mostly hovered near the BI marker and toward Barnegat Inlet, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Nothing was heard about fluking on the ocean in the weather. Previously, fluke were boated at Axel Carlson Reef and Manasquan Ridge in the ocean fairly consistently. A few boaters expected to resume fishing the ocean today. Bunker also began to pull out from lagoons and ball up in the bay. Lots of baitfish including them will probably stage in the bay in the next week or two. All the fish were getting ready to migrate to the ocean. In the Toms River, snapper blues 10 to 12 inches swarmed everywhere. A few bigger – 3 to 4 pounds – showed up sporadically everywhere, including off Huddy Park and Island Heights in the river and in Silver Bay. They were unusual this time of year. Crabbing in the river was okay on one day, slow on another, but in full swing. This is a time of year for crabbing. In the surf, many snappers 6 to 10 inches and a few larger blues swam. So did a few fluke, occasional kingfish and token striped bass. This was usual summer surf fishing. Mullet will probably migrate to the surf from back waters in two weeks. A few are usually seen in the surf in late August. But the second week of September is usually when the run picks up. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.  

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

The surf was unfishable in seas that strong east wind built, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. The wind was expected to begin calming late yesterday. Good-sized bluefish were fought from Barnegat Bay sometimes. Crabbing was slow from the dock, and wasn’t much better from the rental boats. But some better crabbing was reported from north of Route 37 Bridge on the bay. 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>

Reports were yet to roll in since the weather, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. But blowfish hovered near the BI marker and the research buoy, between the BI and the BB marker, in Barnegat Bay. Fluke were boated from the channel like near the 33 can toward Barnegat Inlet. A 9.79-pounder was weighed from there at the shop during the weekend and was hooked on a livelined peanut bunker. The same angler whacked a 9-pounder there the previous Monday. Nobody was heard about who fished the ocean since the weather. Crabbing was good. The shop will try to stock fresh, local spearing for the weekend. Baits carried include frozen local and Canadian spearing, chum for blowfishing and, for freshwater, nightcrawlers.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

The fleet would fish today for the first time since the weather in past days, Capt. Ted from the <b>Super Chic</b> said. Wind was calming. Plenty of fluke were hooked from the ocean, but not many were keepers, on a trip Saturday on the Super Chic. A trip Sunday trolled for tuna all the way offshore aboard, but that angling was also not good. None bit, and then the trip pulled inshore, 50 miles from the coast. Decent-looking water was found there, and a couple of bites knocked down lines. But no tuna were landed on the trip. Wind and seas were somewhat rough during the beginning of the trip, and weather was becoming pretty windy during the inshore fishing. Space is available for open-boat, overnight tuna trips Sept. 8-9, 15-16, 16-17 and 23-24. The first two are 30-hour trips, and the second two are 24 hours, and each is limited to 10 passengers. Fluke charters are slated for Saturday and Tuesday, the final day of fluke season.

At <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>, anglers began fishing today, a little yesterday, Ashley said. But the fishing was slow, catching nothing, practically. That was because of the storm previously, she guessed. One customer said the water was dirty. Previously, fluke were boated right in Barnegat Inlet and at the Tires, in the ocean off the inlet. Snapper blues were around in Barnegat Bay. Nothing was heard about weakfish, blackfish or other catches. Crabbing trapped lots of pregnant, and clamming was good. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure. Killies and green crabs are stocked.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

Before the weather, the ocean’s fishing was terrific for summer flounder, said Scott from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. The weekend’s weather looks rough, and trips might not return to the ocean until Monday or Tuesday. Seas were 5 feet on the ocean today and 6 to 13 feet yesterday. No customers seemed interested in fishing the bay for flounder, so nothing was heard about that angling. They were interested in the ocean. So far, the small fish like kingfish, sea bass and porgies never substantially showed up that make up a fishery in the bay in some summers. Lots of crabs skittered around, but not many were big.


The weather held things off, said Jay from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. White perch and striped bass were played in Mullica River during that. Anglers on foot seemed to catch summer flounder from Absecon Inlet in Atlantic City no matter the weather, according to online postings. A few green crabs were sold for blackfishing, but not much was heard about the angling. Before the weather, good summer flounder catches were walloped from ocean reefs including Great Egg and Atlantic City. Tuna fishing slowed before the weather. Two Sundays ago, a trip Jay joined trolled yellowfin tuna between Lemke’s Canyon and the Lobster Claw and chunked them at Lemke’s. Plenty of peanut bunker schooled local back waters. So did snapper blues. A few spots were reeled from the dock. Live spots from Maryland and live peanuts from local waters are stocked. Shedder crabs are in good supply. So are soft-shell crabs for eating, and this is probably one of the last times they will be this year. The shop raises them, and crabs stop shedding when weather cools. Keep up with the supply on <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/SoftshellCrabs/" target="_blank">Absecon Bay Sportsman’s Soft Shell Crabs Facebook Page</a>.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Customers still drilled big summer flounder from Absecon Inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Sign up for the free 5-Day Super Fluke Finale Tournament from Friday through Tuesday, the final days of fluke or flounder season. First place will win $200 for the heaviest flounder. Second will win a Tsunami rod, and third will win a Fluke Candy tackle package. Customers fish the nearby, jetty-lined inlet on foot. Lots of snapper bluefish schooled the water. Bigger blackfish than before came from the inlet. Plenty of baitfish schooled the inlet. All baits, a large supply, are stocked.


The surf just began to be fishable after rough seas, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. A couple of customers fished the water while he gave this report this afternoon, and no results were heard yet. Before the seas, the surf tossed up all usual fish this time of year: kingfish, snapper blues, spots and brown sharks. Browns must be released by law. The annual Fall Riptide Striper and Bluefish Derby will be held this year from Tuesday until 12 noon Christmas Eve, Dec. 24. The $25 entry fee includes a permit to drive Brigantine’s entire front beach, when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit. Without the tournament permit, not all the beach can be driven. In September, the beach is closed to beach buggies from 4th Street North to 28th Street South 9 a.m. Saturdays to 6 p.m. Sundays. Catches entered must be made from Absecon Inlet in Brigantine, not Atlantic City, to Wreck Inlet from the beach, sod banks or jetties. Prizes will be $500, $300 and $150 for the three heaviest fish, respectively. Additionally, prizes for the three heaviest bluefish will be $300, $200 and $100, respectively. Anglers must enter 24 hours before catching. Raising money for local charities and opening the beach to anglers in beach buggies are purposes of the contest.


The party boat <b>Keeper</b> fished Wednesday morning for summer flounder on the back bay, Capt. John said. But the angling was slow after rain dirtied the water. He hopes the bay clears now. Quite a few of the fish remain in the bay, and some good catches of them were nabbed aboard earlier in the week and before the storm. Bluefish, baby sea bass and sea robins were mixed in. Minnows and mackerel are provided for bait, and John encourages anglers to bring Gulps that work well. The mackerel this time of year can draw too many of the sea bass to bite. They beat flounder to the hook then. Minnows caught flounder, but Gulps can work better. Trips are sailing for flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. daily through Tuesday, the final day of flounder season. The rate is only $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $20 for kids, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel. Plus, rental rods are free. John will determine whether the boat will fish for something else after flounder season.

<b>Ocean City</b>

The weather began to lay down, said John from <b>Fin-Atics</b>, and kingfish and spots seemed to begin being plucked from the surf again. Brown sharks, required to be released, seemed to start returning to the surf. A few boaters got back on the bay today, fishing for summer flounder. Results were yet to be heard. No customers seemed to boat the ocean yet, after the weather. Snapper blues swam all over the bay and Corson’s and Townsend’s inlets. A few blackfish were talked about from along bridges and inlet rocks, but not many keepers were. Before the storm, the only reports from customers who fish offshore mostly came from them competing two weeks ago in the White Marlin Open from Ocean City, Md. Tuna fishing seemed better far south like that recently. 

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>, was back on the water today, he said in early afternoon aboard in a phone call. No trips fished with him from Monday until today because of the blow. Summer flounder are biting in the ocean. High tides at dusk are ideal for striped bass fishing this weekend on the back bay. That angling’s been good and should improve, because this last weather lowered the water temperature. His trips throw popper lures and popper flies to them in summer, fun fishing, drawing explosive, visual attacks. Those tides happen every two weeks. Joe’s finished inshore shark fishing for the year. He wasn’t saying that a few didn’t remain, but the sharks usually depart in late August, and weather like this week’s usually encourages them to leave. Annual traveling charters to Montauk will be launched in mid-September and fish into October for the migrations of stripers, blues and false albacore. That’s a chance to experience the run from the legendary port. See the <a href=" http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

Wind blew since Saturday, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. But some striped bass were tugged from the back bay under lights at night in the weather. Peanut bunker schooled that the bass foraged on. For the bass, toss lures like small Yo-Zuri Pins Minnows, small Rapala plugs or twitch baits or small soft-plastics like Fin-S Fish, even if that’s a 4-incher that you cut in half. The size of the lures to fish depends on the baitfish, like peanuts. But usually the smaller, the better. Tons of bluefish tumbled around the bay from snappers to ¾-pounders. Mike knew nobody who fished the ocean since the wind. Crabbing was excellent.


The back bay’s summer flounder fishing picked up, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. A few were brought in, and crabbing became better on the bay. “So we’re doing pretty good here,” he said. Things were quiet in the weather this week, but that was some good news. Saturday might be a wash out in rain. Cape May Reef in the ocean reportedly gave up good flounder catches in the past week, maybe two weeks, when boaters could last reach the area. Small sea bass filled the bay. A friend landed a striped bass from the bay. Nobody targeted stripers, but trips ran into them while flounder fishing at times. Someone stopped in with a triggerfish. Canal Side rents boats for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and kayaks. <b>***<i>Get a $5 discount</i>***</b> on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. A large supply of bait is stocked. So is fishing and crabbing tackle and gear. Live crabs for eating are sold. The price depends on the market and is currently: $20, $25, $30 and $35 per dozen for four different sizes, from small to large, respectively. Cooked crabs are $5 per dozen additional. Live and steamed clams and cooked and uncooked shrimp are available. Customers enjoy the food at tented picnic tables on the water at the store, or enjoy them at their own location. Wine from Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House is sold at the store. The state recently approved that.

<b>Cape May</b>

None of the fleet fished in the weather, Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> thought. This weekend’s weather also looks questionable or mediocre. The bluefish and Spanish mackerel that were trolled aboard before at 5-Fathom Bank will probably take a moment to bite again or return to the area after the rough seas. Who knows how the weather will have affected summer flounder that were getting boated on the ocean? Maybe the blow will have pulled tuna into local waters.

<b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> would resume fishing today for summer flounder on the ocean, after trips were docked in the weather, Capt. Tom said. Once flounder season closes beginning Wednesday, trips will fish for tuna. Marlin will be targeted, and trips will also deep-drop for tilefish. The boat will also fish for swordfish during daytime, something new aboard. Light-sensitive swords are often hunted at night. But they can also be fished for during daytime at deep water. A buddy went 2 for 6 on swords on a daytime trip the other day. The trip made six drops and had a swordfish bite at each. Charters and open-boat trips will sail.

A bunch of summer flounder were cranked from the ocean Saturday and Sunday, despite wind, on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. The angling was alright, and would resume today, after weather kept the boat in port since. Lots of anglers telephoned to go today, and whether trips will catch beginning today will be seen. Paul couldn’t know whether the seas and wind scattered flounder. When the boat fished most recently, catches aboard included Carl Keehfuss from the Villas’s limit of flounder to an 8-1/2-pounder. Several anglers limited on Sunday’s trip, and a 5-1/2-pounder won the pool that day. Trips are fishing for flounder at 8 a.m. daily through Tuesday, the final day of flounder season. Afterward, trips might only fish on Saturdays and Sunday, for whatever can be bagged, like bluefish, triggerfish and porgies. If weather’s fair and anglers want to go, the boat will fish.

Mullet began to migrate the surf, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. They ranged from peanuts to 8 or 9 inches and attracted bluefish. Surf casters hope southern species like red drum and jacks move in on the baitfish like those fish do sometimes this time of year, including after storms like this week’s. Sometimes kingfish were bloodwormed in the surf. Summer flounder were eased from the surf at times. Weakfish were sporadically banked from the surf at Cape May Point. Croakers maybe 10 to 12 inches were nipped from Delaware Bay’s surf in town. When boaters last had the weather to sail, they scooped good catches of flounder from ocean reefs. Flounder, lots of shorts, but a few keepers were still boated from the back bay along the Intracoastal Waterway and in Cape May Harbor. Delaware Bay’s flounder fishing seemed hit or miss, but boaters working depth changes caught them decently. Ledges near Miah Maull seemed to give up some. Good-sized sheepshead were angled in the back bay along structure like old bridges and old pilings. They might’ve also been picked along surf jetties but more so from the bay. Blackfish snapped along jetties and wrecks. Not much was heard about tuna. Crabbing was good, slowing around the new moon recently, but apparently starting to turn back on.  

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