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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 9-18-17


Looks like these last few days of New York’s fluke season will be weathered out, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. The boat’s been fishing for fluke from Staten Island since New Jersey’s fluke season closed earlier this month, because New York’s season is open through Thursday. But offshore Hurricane José is stirring up weather locally. So the boat will resume sailing from Keyport, first for porgies. Soon afterward, trips will eel for striped bass. Porgy fishing’s been excellent. Good numbers. Good-sized. Great-eating. Tough-fighting on light tackle. Catching porgies is relatively easy, so action is usually non-stop, currently. The fishing’s also great for children. Blackfishing’s terrific in shallow water. If anglers enjoy jigging for them, shallows are an opportunity. One is the bag limit, but trips could mix-in blackfishing, both for table fare and for practice for when the limit is increased to six beginning Nov. 16. Weakfish are around, but getting anglers interested is difficult, because one is the limit for weaks year-round. Charters are fishing, and because of the weather, the next open-boat trips will fish for porgies Saturday and Sunday. Telephone to reserve. Book fall striper and blackfish charters while dates remain. Striper charters will receive bonus tags to bag additional stripers, while the tags last.  


Porgy fishing was a little slow during the weekend, and blackfish seemed reluctant to bite, because of a swell, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. Now he’s waiting for the hurricane to pass. An inshore tuna trip is slated for this coming weekend.


<b>***Update, Tuesday, 9/19:***</b> A cod trip today and a porgy trip tomorrow were canceled aboard because of weather, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. Individual-reservation trips were just added to fish for: porgies, triggerfish and blackfish Sept. 23; bluefish, bonito, false albacore and winter flounder Sept. 30; cod offshore, 2 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10; sea bass Oct. 24; and blackfish Nov. 16. The blackfish bag limit will be increased to six that day from the current limit of one. Charters are available daily, and nighttime bluefish charters are available that sail 4 to 11 o’clock.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Another excellent weekend of porgy fishing, a report said on the party boat <b>Fishermen</b>’s website. The angling couldn’t be better. Non-stop action from start to finish from porgies to 2 ½ pounds. All anglers left with healthy-sized bags of fillets. Some kept the fish whole for the smoker or grill. The angling was like this in previous days, too. A few weakfish and blowfish were taken on the change of tide on Thursday’s trip. That was the most recent report previously. You know the fishing’s good when anglers throw in the towel early, the report said that day. Jump on porgies while the fishing’s best. One good storm could end it all. Trips are sailing for porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. However, Saturday is chartered, so no open-boat trip will fish that day. Tuesday and Wednesday might be a wash out because of weather.

Strong current ran, because the new moon was coming, and sometimes 12-ounce weights needed to be fished, said Capt. Tom from the party <b>Atlantic Star</b>. But customers on the boat’s porgy trips fished through the conditions. Catches were super on some trips and okay on others. Some of the porgies were bigger, and some were smaller, and a few triggerfish were bagged. Out-of-season sea bass, mostly throwback-sized, were sometimes a pain. Trips usually left and fished elsewhere if they showed up. Weather looked fine for today’s trip but looked like it would cancel Tuesday’s trip, because of the hurricane. Wednesday was questionable, and Tom hopes the weather clears Thursday. Is best to telephone and ask, if you want to confirm whether a trip has the weather to sail. If Tom’s not there, he’ll call back. Trips are sailing for porgies 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.


Bonito, scores of them, and a dozen false albacore were mugged on a trip for the fish Sunday with <b>XTC Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Scott said. Most were hooked on bait during chumming, and so were some bluefish. A trip Saturday sailed for tuna inshore, but tuna seemed to disappear there. Only albies were landed, and now the crew is waiting for the hurricane to depart.

Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> joined a trip for tuna on another boat on a day trip Saturday, he said. Mahi mahi to 20 pounds were decked, and the water held tons of life, but no tuna were caught. The trip fished the Bacardi wreck and then Hudson Canyon, and was supposed to fish the canyon overnight, but forecasts were rough. Weather ended up better than forecast. Charters are beginning to lock in dates on the Celtic Stoirm for fall fishing for sea bass, striped bass and blackfish. Book to ensure a trip.

Plenty of bunker are schooling, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. The baitfish are forage for striped bass, and resident stripers are around. He’s hoping that migrating stripers will begin arriving in the ocean on the next full moon, in early October. Parker Pete’s is all about stripers during the migration. The second half of October and much of November are becoming booked with striper charters. Plenty of dates remain in December for striper charters and blackfish charters. Currently, porgy fishing was great. Pete took a trip for them with friends. Bluefish, bonito and false albacore are in. Charters are available for either fishing.

The best bonito fishing in 20 years was steamrolled this weekend on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. On Saturday’s trip, after only a couple of ladles of chum, chub mackerel flew over the rails, and plenty of bonito and mackerel did, too, a great day of fishing. On Sunday’s trip, bonito and mackerel were tackled right away, and the chubs and bluefish began chomping after a while, and continued throughout the angling. That was also a great day of fishing. On the trips, for bait anglers, spearing caught best, and for anglers who jigged, Ava 007’s and 17’s worked best. Today’s trip was weathered out, and trips are slated for 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Plenty of false albacore and some bluefish, bonito, chub mackerel and porgies were pancaked Sunday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Saturday’s trip picked blues, chubs and albies, plenty but fewer than before.  The trips caught on Run Off hammered jigs and bait. A trip Saturday night smoked good fishing for mostly 2- to 5-pound blues and some bonito and chubs, lots of fish, mostly on bait. Another trip will fish at night this coming Saturday, and make reservations. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily when no tuna trip is sailing. Today and tomorrow’s trips were expected to be weathered out. Spaces are available for <a href=" https://www.goldeneaglefishing.com/tunafish" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> this month and in October. Reserve them.


Tuna fishing went well at Hudson Canyon in past days for yellowfins to 75 or 80 pounds and longfins to 50 pounds, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Ninety-nine percent of the fish, good numbers, were trolled during daytime. Chunking at night was very slow. A handful of mahi mahi, not a ton, were landed, and tilefishing was good along the West Wall. Fishing for bonito and false albacore was fantastic from the Mudhole to Sea Girt Reef. Little Italy gave them up consistently. The fish were trolled on Clark spoons and feathers or were hooked on bait while trips chummed at lumps. Porgy fishing was super from about Shark River Reef to Shrewsbury Rocks, inshore and offshore. The angling was so good that boats could be drifted to catch, didn’t need to be anchored. Eric jigged porgies on the drift. Blackfish bit well, and anglers could ice a limit of one during a porgy trip. A couple of scattered reports said striped bass began to be trolled at Shrewsbury Rocks on bunker spoons. Surf-fishing picked bluefish here and there and sometimes stripers. False albacore shot into the surf near Manasquan Inlet an hour or two almost every day. Albies also raced into the surf and were picked from Monmouth Beach to Sandy Hook. A few weakfish were heard about from Manasquan River along Route 35 Bridge. Blues and schoolie stripers also hit in the river. Rubber shads hooked them all, but eels clocked somewhat bigger stripers in the river.   

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>***Update, Tuesday, 9/19:***</b> An overnight trip Saturday to Sunday trolled a pick of longfin tuna on the first afternoon with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Boats that had been there at mid-morning loaded up good catches of the tuna. At night with Mushin, a couple of blue sharks were pumped in, and giant squid, lots, schooled past, and some were jigged. Up on the troll in the morning, good-sized longfins 45 to 50 pounds were consistently caught, solid action. Multiple were often hooked at once, and the two fish boxes were soon full, and the four anglers were tired out from catching. Purple and black plastics caught best, like they’ve been doing for Mushin. 

Excellent fishing for porgies was plowed Saturday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some customers limited out, and some tried blackfishing with crabs supplied aboard for that. Only a few blackfish were pulled in. Clams are provided for porgy bait. On a trip Thursday night, a decent catch of bluefish 2 to 4 pounds got whacked, mostly on bait, some on jigs. Trips are fishing for porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Surf fishing was a little better Saturday than before, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Bluefish from snappers to slammers were banked more than before, mostly on cut bait. A few short striped bass were beached, and previously the shop reported slow surf fishing. A few mullet showed up in the surf here and there, but no real migration yet. On Barnegat Bay, large bluefish were wrestled from the dock last week. “There are still blues in the bay,” the report said yesterday. Crabbing was terrible. 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>

The year’s first tuna trip sailed Saturday to Sunday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, reports said on the party boat’s Facebook page and website. Three good-sized yellowfin tuna, two small swordfish and some mahi mahi were landed, and two large fish, apparently swords, were lost. The crew hopes the hurricane mixes up the water and draws in more tuna. The trip departed Saturday morning and headed for southern canyons. First, mahi mahi were fished for at lobster pot buoys, and a few were reeled in. Some pots held mahi, and some didn’t. Then the boat was set up in 7,000-foot depths, offshore of the Continental Shelf, where water temperature looked good. A small sword was released, and a large fish, apparently a sword, was lost. Mahi mahi and squid were caught, including squid that the crew never saw before: large ones colored deep purple. “So cool seeing something new,” the report said. At midnight, the boat was moved to the Continental Shelf. Mahi sometimes swam around the boat, chasing baitfish and squid, and were caught. At 6 a.m. another small sword was released, and apparently another large was lost. Then four tuna bit, and three were landed. One was jigged, and the rest were hooked on bait. Nothing else bit, and the trip headed home at 9 a.m.  <a href="http://www.missbarnegatlight.com/TunaFishing.html" target="_blank">Tuna trips</a>, limited to 25 passengers, are fishing through October. Telephone to reserve. Bluefish trips might sail sometimes when no tuna trips are running.


Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b> mostly worked on his new, additional boat, a 50-footer that he’ll use for striped bass fishing for up to six anglers per trip in fall, he said. The Stray Cat, a 53-footer for up to 22 passengers, will bottom-fish for sea bass and blackfish, while the new boat striper fishes. Trips will begin sea bass fishing when sea bass season opens Oct. 22 and will start fishing for stripers and blackfish afterward.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

The year’s first annual traveling charters to Montauk sailed aboard this weekend, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Fishing was great. The anglers, Dusty Laricks and John and Luke Martin, fought aboard 30 false albacore on Saturday’s trip. Fishing was more challenging on Sunday’s trip but nailed about the same number of albies. A few small bluefish were mixed in on the trips, and the trips fished Long Island Sound, with fly rods and spinning rounds. See the <a href=" http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. The trips fish the migrations of striped bass, blues and albies into October. In November, Joe turns all attention to the migrations of stripers and blues off Sea Isle City on the ocean. Anglers interested in that fishing should be thinking about reserving dates.   Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> spent three days at his <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge</a> near upstate New York’s Salmon River this past week, he said. A run of coho salmon piled up the river Wednesday, and he just heard that a good run of king salmon shoved into the river Friday and Saturday. So salmon began to migrate from Lake Ontario. They’re swimming into the river in mornings and holding in holes in the middle of the day. Keep an eye on weather, because rain raises the river and encourages salmon to migrate in. Cloudy skies can also encourage the fish to migrate the river throughout the day. Or if authorities raise the river, that can also encourage the migration. The salmon fishing lasts into early October, and steelheads migrate in afterward, spending fall to early spring in the river. Guests rent the lodge for the angling on the river. A 30-percent discount is available this time of year, but only on Airbnb. That will probably be offered until about Thanksgiving, and then the full rate is charged. Snowmobiling becomes popular from the lodge then. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures, and is also currently hunting Canada geese. The goose hunting was tough this weekend, and will become better once corn is harvested from fields. Then the geese are attracted to the fields. The geese currently are attracted to grass in public places like parks, where hunting is prohibited. Fins fishes saltwater from Avalon, and will sail for striped bass on the ocean and Delaware Bay, wherever the angling’s best, once that migration begins this fall.

<b>Cape May</b>

The boat’s limit of golden tilefish to 20 pounds and 30 blueline tiles to 19 pounds were racked up on a tilefish trip offshore Saturday with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. Open-boat trips and charters are tilefishing until sea bass season opens Oct. 22. A tuna bite erupted just within range of Cape May in past days, and Tom expects the fish to bite “in front of us,” he said, after the offshore hurricane in the next days. Open trips and charters will also sail for them. The bite gave up good-sized yellowfin tuna 60 to 80 pounds. Almost all the yellowfins Tom heard about were trolled, and a few were chunked. Some space is available for the trips for sea bass and, afterward, striped bass. For stripers, the boat will be moved to Atlantic City to fish for a month beginning on Nov. 13 or 14.

Some tuna were caught, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>. He hopes they stick around after the hurricane, and a friend’s trip went 4 for 4 on good-sized, 50-inch yellowfin tuna at Lindenkohl Canyon on Saturday on the troll. George also heard tuna were boated at Hudson Canyon, out of range of Cape May. He fished on a friend’s boat on a trip that cranked in a bunch of triggerfish Saturday. Small bluefish and a gazillion small sea bass also bit. Striped bass fishing last year began aboard in November. The boat will fish for stripers whenever they show up this year.

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