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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 9-21-17


Most anglers sailed for porgies at <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>, Rich said. They made good catches on Raritan Bay and the ocean. Most fished nearby in the bay off the Arthur Kill at rock piles. Not a lot of anglers fished in rough weather from Hurricane José offshore this week. Many anglers were also in limbo between fluke and sea bass seasons closing and the impending striped bass migration. But reports rolled in about stripers eeled on the East River between 59th and 125th streets. Those streets are along the Queensboro and Robert F. Kennedy bridges, respectively. Baits stocked include eels, green crabs, fresh bunker daily, fresh clams, bloodworms and sandworms. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, is accessible from land and water at the fuel dock. The fuel dock is open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. 


Weather kept trips from fishing Monday through today with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Previously, excellent porgy fishing was scooped aboard. So was blackfishing, though one is the blackfish bag limit. Open-boat trips will sail for: porgies; porgies and blackfish; ling, winter flounder and cod; and striped bass. The striper fishing will be the year’s first aboard. Specific days are: porgies, Monday through Wednesday; porgies and blackfish, the following Friday through Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 1; ling, flounder and cod, this Monday through Wednesday and the following Friday, Sept. 29; and striped bass, that Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. 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, like the trips for ling, flounder and cod. Look for the link underneath “Contact.” Book fall striped bass, sea bass and blackfish charters and open trips.

A big ocean and wind kept the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> from fishing, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Weather looks unsettled into next week. But one spot is available for an open-boat porgy trip Sunday, and telephone to reserve. Trips like these are also fishing for other catches sometimes. Blackfish are snapping well in shallow water, so they’re an option. So are cocktail bluefish that are schooling Raritan Bay, fun on popper lures and jigs. Once water cools, trips will focus on striped bass. Fall striper and blackfish charters are booking, and some weekend dates are left, but not many. On striper trips last year, life was abundant, like whales breaching on bunker. Frank looks forward to that. The blackfish bag limit will be increased beginning Nov. 16, so those trips become available then, though striper fishing will be a focus during that period, until stripers depart.


Weather knocked out fishing on the <b>Sour Kraut</b> in past days, Capt. Joe said. But he did a little fishing at the dock while keeping an eye on the boat in the blow. He and a friend were castnetting peanut bunker for tuna bait from the dock when they saw fish. So they began fishing, and caught and released small striped bass but also fluke to 4 pounds. The out-of-season fluke seemed to pull in to the harbor to escape the storm. Sour Kraut is fishing for porgies and tuna. Charters for striped bass will begin when the migration starts.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Porgy fishing resumed with this afternoon’s trip on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, and the fish are still biting, Capt. Tom said in a phone call aboard the outing. That’s the first report about saltwater fishing on a for-hire boat after the storm on this website. None of the Atlantic Highlands fleet fished Tuesday through this morning in the weather. A clammer Tom spoke with said seas were still rough this morning. On this afternoon’s trip, somewhat of a swell remained on the ocean, but it wasn’t bad. Tom and crew shaped up to sail on this morning’s trip, but too few anglers showed up at the port for trips to sail. Just a few hopped on this afternoon’s trip, but all were catching and would leave with fish. The trip fished for the porgies the same place it did before the weather. “So we’re back in action,” he said. Trips are fishing for porgies 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Friday, 9/22:***</b> The fishing was back out this morning aboard, and porgies were still biting, Tom said during the trip in a phone call aboard. A nice pick, picking away, he said. Weather was little windy, seas a little rocky, and fewer anglers showed up than sometimes. Each already bucketed dinner and were working on “dinner-plus.”

Party boats racked up good porgy catches, said Tom from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Boating for blackfish was productive, though one is the bag limit. Snapper blues and cocktail blues schooled all around. A trip on one of the store’s rental boats played the snappers off Atlantic Highlands. Weather kept anglers from fishing, but some good fishing was around.

Cocktail blues popped into the bay’s surf from Keyport to Sandy Hook, said Ron from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. He ran into them at every beach he hit this week. Small striped bass 12 or 15 inches were hooked here and there, not often, in the bay’s surf. The bay was full of bait including peanut bunker. Cocktails also made up most of the catch in the ocean surf. A couple of small stripers showed up there. A friend fishing the ocean surf found the blues, no stripers, on a trip from Sandy Hook to Monmouth Beach on Sunday. Boaters pounded porgies, good catches, in the bay off Sandy Hook, like off Officer’s Row at jetties and rock piles. The porgies were actually bigger than before, and a 2-1/2-pounder was weighed in. Boating for blackfish landed more and bigger than before. One is the bag limit, but some good fishing for 4- and 5-pound blackfish was scored. A 10-1/2-pounder was weighed-in. Boaters began to eel for striped bass in the river and at the channels. They knocked around small stripers and a few keepers. Some big, not a lot, were eeled near Verrazano Bridge. A couple of boaters located false albacore a couple of miles from shore. But there were none that the boaters could stay on. The fish popped up and disappeared.


Sailing from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Roy Wurst and Louie Bothe bagged a 9-pound blackfish apiece, limiting out, at Shrewsbury Rocks on green crabs on a trip, Marion wrote in an email. 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 those like live bunker when in demand.


The following was posted Tuesday as an update to the last report here is being re-posted in case anybody missed it:  A cod trip Tuesday and a porgy trip Wednesday were canceled aboard because of weather, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. Here’s an upcoming schedule. Individual-reservation trips will 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.


Big blues to 20 pounds were picked today on the ocean on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some were hooked on Run Off hammered jigs, and some were caught on bait. “We lost quite a few fish but hopefully this body of fish stays around …” it said. The boat was weathered out in previous days. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily when no tuna trip is sailing. Spaces are available for <a href="" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> this month and in October. Reserve them.

Two trips this weekend are supposed to fish for porgies and other bottom-fish on the ocean with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. He’ll see if the trips get the weather to sail. Fall striped bass charters are booking. If anglers want stripers, they better lock in dates. Don’t hesitate to reserve fall blackfishing, too, he said. Fishing for the tautog will begin after striper fishing does this fall.

The party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> will fish this weekend for porgies and blackfish on the ocean, Capt. Chris said. The angling’s been great, and a charter is booked Saturday, but an open-boat trip will fish 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Afterward, the vessel will be in dry dock a few days.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Excellent porgy fishing today! a report said on the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>’s website Good to be back on the water after a few days of being docked because of weather, it said. Lots of good-sized porgies and a few blackfish were smashed, and all customers departed with plenty of fish. Back at it tomorrow! it said. 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 on the ocean.

<b>Toms River</b>

Small striped bass began to give up good angling along Route 37 Bridge on Barnegat Bay, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. That was on rubber shads and small Rapala lures. A few blowfish were eased from the bay near the research buoy and the BB marker. The research is between the BB and BI markers, and the fishing wasn’t great. A few would bite on one day, and none would the next. A few out-of-season fluke still bit in the bay. Bluefish swam in and out of Barnegat Inlet. They were large snappers to sometimes 5- and 6-pounders. A few blues the same size were picked from the surf, not great, but some. Anglers needed the surf to cool to trigger more catches. The water was 69 to 71 degrees, not budging, and it needed to drop into the 60s. Very few mullet schooled the surf. The mullet run just seemed scarce this year. The baitfish weren’t even really seen in Barnegat Bay and lagoons. Crabbing was good. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Rough seas made surf-fishing difficult if not impossible in past days, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Barnegat Bay held good-sized bluefish and a few throwback striped bass at some of the “usual spots.” Blackfishing was good in Point Pleasant Canal. Baits stocked include green crabs and, when available, fresh bunker. 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>

Some customers headed for blackfish along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks, fishing green crabs, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. Sizable bluefish swam Barnegat Bay and the mouth of Oyster Creek, biting bunker chunks. One report came in about weakfish taken at the mouth of the creek on Fin-S Fish. Blowfish were sometimes angled near the research buoy, between the BI and BB markers, on the bay, and also off Waretown in 3 feet of water in the bay. Crabbing slowed. Died out, he said, according to reports he heard. Baits stocked include green crabs, killies, all the frozen for saltwater, and nightcrawlers for fresh. 

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

A couple of anglers departed today to fish for blackfish along Barnegat Inlet on foot, said George from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. Customers were landing the tautog before this week’s weather kept them from going. Tides were super high in the weather and the new moon. The surf was all riled up from the storm. Green crabs are stocked, and live spots will probably be carried after a week or two. 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.

Tuna fishing improved a bit, a report said Sunday on the <b>Super Chic</b>’s Facebook page. After tuna fishing was slow the previous week, a trip Saturday to Sunday aboard trolled two yellowfin tuna 70 to 75 pounds in the morning. “There was some good trolling at other canyons,” it said. The crew hoped tuna fishing would keep improving after last weekend’s new moon. Space is available on another overnighter this coming Saturday to Sunday for tuna aboard. Good mahi mahi catches were also bombed aboard last week on tuna trips, when angling mixed in fishing for mahi.


Good reports about striped bass, occasional weakfish, and panfish dropped in from the mouth of Mullica River, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Most of the stripers were throwbacks, but some were keepers, and if anglers could fish at night for the river’s stripers, that was best. They bit usual tackle, including popper lures and other surface lures. Tackle and bait he mentioned in previous reports included soft-plastic lures, especially Gulp Nemesis, bloodworms and shedder crabs. Fishing was about the same at the mouth of Great Egg Harbor River. Stripers bit similarly under lights. A bunch of green crabs were sold during the weekend to anglers going for blackfish that bit. One is the bag limit, but they’re a fish that can be bagged, unlike fish that are out-of-season. Crabbing was good, and commercial crabbers were removing pots for the year. That should leave more crabs for recreationals to trap. Baits stocked include green crabs. A few shedder crabs for bait and soft-shell crabs for eating remain, and might remain for the weekend. But the supply is at the end. Crabs stop shedding this time of year through the cold months. Dave netted a few mullet in the bay to stock live before the hurricane, and saw none since. Live peanut bunker are stocked, and plenty are schooling. He’ll see if they last for the fall striper migration. The shop is loaded with live spots, ready for the stripers. 

<b>Mystic Island</b>

José, José, José, said Scott from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Maria, Maria, he said. Actually, he repeated each of the hurricanes names – one that just passed, and one that’s coming next – more times. That’s it – that’s the report, he said. But fish were around. Not a lot could be bagged, but lots were around that could provide fun, if that’s what anglers wanted. All kinds of stuff, he said. Many blackfish, not many keepers, hovered along Great Bay’s banks. Some would fish all day and reel up eight throwbacks. Triggerfish were sometimes angled from the bay. A 7-pound sheepshead was zapped in Tuckerton Bay. Blowfish were definitely around, but held 7 miles to the north, behind Long Beach Island, if boaters wanted to make the run. Usual places for them in Great Bay hadn’t produced. Then again, wind blew for days, and tides were extreme because of the wind and the new moon, and nobody tried for blowfish in Great Bay for days. Some said weakfish could be found, and didn’t reveal location. But Scott guessed anglers should look in usual spots, like near the 120 and in Sheepshead Creek. Still, most weaks were definitely Tuckerton Bay-related. Two anglers might crack two 22-inch weakfish apiece, because one per angler is the bag limit. Customers bought everything pink for weaks, but not Gulps. That included rubber worms like Mister Twisters. It also included Haw River Tackle or HR Tackle worms that are back in stock. Pink Fin-S Fish were also bought.  Nobody was filling a cooler with fish. But lots of fun fishing was on tap. Some fisheries were happening.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

<b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b> held a one-day striped bass tournament today commemorating the 78-pound 8-ounce striped bass that is the former world record and was heaved from Atlantic City’s surf on this day in 1982, Noel said. Al McReynolds walloped the fish at a jetty in town during a storm not much different from the storm earlier this week. The free tournament offered $100 for the heaviest striper, and also offered second- and third-place prizes. Occasional stripers were currently caught from the area, and Noel hoped a good-sized would win. Lots of blackfish, many of them just undersized, but some sizable keepers were claimed from Absecon Inlet, mostly on green crabs. Customers fish the nearby, jetty-lined inlet on foot. Snapper blues were yanked from the inlet on spearing. Kingfish and spots were bloodwormed from the inlet. All baits are stocked, including green crabs, and bloodworms. 


Six or eight customers bought bait to fish the surf today, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Results were yet to roll in, so Andy couldn’t tell whether the surf was still churned after the storm or calmed. Previously, kingfish, spots and snapper blues were dragged from the surf. Fewer kingfish seemed hooked than before. But when spots show up, they often seem to jump on hooks before kingfish can get to the bait. Bloodworms were fished for the kings and spots, and chunks of mullet, mackerel or any bait like that were fished for the snappers. Bloodworms are stocked, and fresh mullet are carried daily, though they were out of stock today. The annual Fall Riptide Striper and Bluefish Derby is underway until Christmas Eve. 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. Anglers must have the Brigantine permit to be able to drive on the beach with the tournament permit. Catches entered must be made from Absecon Inlet in Brigantine to Wreck Inlet from the beach, sod banks or jetties. Prizes will be $500, $300 and $150 for the three heaviest fish. Additionally, prizes for the three heaviest bluefish will be $300, $200 and $100. Anglers must enter 24 hours before catching. The annual Elks Tournament will be held Nov. 10 to 12 in Brigantine for surf and boating anglers for the heaviest stripers. Cash will be awarded for first through third places in each of the two categories. Half the entry fees will reportedly benefit the Elks veterans’ committee, and the other half will reportedly be awarded.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Good blackfishing was lit into at bridges and pilings, said Will from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Small striped bass hit along bridges and docks on fresh mullet, soft-plastic lures and bucktails. The surf became fishable today, after being rough previously. Snapper blues, not big at all, swam the bay and inlet. A few kingfish, not many, not as many as earlier this season, and some spots nibbled there. Nothing special, he said. He heard nothing about offshore fishing, including before the weather.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Small bluefish, lots, swam all around, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. They seemed bigger than blues before, and probably averaged 1 pound, but some probably weighed 2 and 3 pounds. They swam from the bay to inlets to the surf, tearing up the inlet one day, the surf another, and so on. Mullet was the preferred bait. Current ran strongly for fishing the surf the past couple of days, but kingfish have still been around in the water. Loads of blackfish hugged bridges, piers, docks and structure like that. Not many were keepers, but some were. Green crabs were the choice of bait for them, and the crabs sold steadily at the store. During the weekend, a couple of customers trolled mahi mahi and a few bonito 30 miles from shore. Troll lures like spoons, feathers and cedar plugs. Inshore of there, a few Spanish mackerel lingered, and one king mackerel was boated that was known about. A couple of customers sailed offshore for tuna before the storm this week, and seas were still rough, but they caught tuna. Previously, when seas were calmer, the fishing was slow. Crabbing remained good.


Striped bass began to show up, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. A buddy clammed a 30-incher from the surf on a simple slider rig yesterday. The shop sells a simple slider that works well. False albacore sometimes shot into the surf. In the back bay, lots of snapper blues and small, out-of-season sea bass schooled. The blues were fun, and boaters kept busy with them. A youngster with a group who ate crabs at the store that the shop sells wanted to fish. So Mike rigged the youngster up with a Snapper Popper rig, and the angler landed about 15 snappers. Weakfish were apparently around. Carl Botzenhardt brought in a 3-pound 13-ounce weak and lost another while fishing for snappers in West Wildwood today off his dock on the bay. He hooked the fish with shiners on a rig under a float that had two small, tandem hooks to impale the shiner head on one and the tail on the other, perfect for snappers. The tandem hooks were on a short, 4- or 5-inch leader. A few crabs were trapped from the bay. A trip on one of the store’s rental boats last week trapped three-dozen keepers. The shop will be open through the weekend of Sept. 30-Oct. 1. Afterward, Mike will often work at the store, stowing everything away for a winter break. But he’ll sell bait and tackle while he’s there, until he closes, until reopening in spring. 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. Minnows are no longer stocked, now that flounder season closed. The year’s final supply of live crabs for eating was carried last weekend. The shop in-season sells live and cooked crabs and other seafood that customers enjoy at tented tables along the water at the store, or enjoy them at home. They also enjoy wine from Natali Vineyards in Cape May Court House that the state recently approved the shop to sell. Or they bring their own adult beverages if they want.

<b>Cape May</b>

Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> knew about nobody in the fleet who fished in the weather in past days, he said. Before the weather, tuna fishing seemed to be picking up within range. George during the weekend joined a trip that boated triggerfish. All of that was covered in the last report here. Whether he’d be able to fish this weekend was questionable. Stiff weather and seas were forecast through Friday, and 15- to 20-knot winds were predicted for the weekend. That could change.

Trips fished Saturday and Sunday on the ocean on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. A few porgies, a bunch of bluefish and some triggerfish were swung in, and lots of out-of-season sea bass were released. Lot of bites, lot of action at a few spots. Trips had been fishing for summer flounder daily. But flounder season closed earlier this month. The boat will fish for sea bass and blackfish when those seasons open. In the meantime, if anglers want to wet a line, Paul will try to run trips again at 8 a.m. this Saturday and Sunday.

In the surf, bluefish from snappers to 2 or 3 pounds shoveled up pretty good catches, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Cut bait, mostly mullet, banked most, and mullet remained in the back bay, and he thought they might’ve begun migrating the surf. Fishing should pick up as the baitfish migrate out. A few weakfish seemed around, and one angler beached a 28-incher on fresh mullet. Delaware Bay’s surf usually tosses up a good mixed bag of fish at times including weaks at Sunset Beach and the concrete ship. An angler and daughter nipped three kingfish there on bloodworms on a brief trip. Blackfish were grabbed at surf jetties on green crabs and clams. A few throwback striped bass, a couple of keepers, were pulled from the back bay and creeks while boaters chummed with clams or bunker and fished with those hook-baits. The stripers were also pasted along sod banks on cast soft-plastic and hard lures. When offshore fishing was last heard about, before rough weather, good white marlin fishing and a few tuna and mahi mahi were axed at local canyons. Crabbing seemed to begin picking up, after slowing somewhat last week for unknown reasons, maybe the moon. Fresh mullet are stocked when available. So are green crabs, and Nick lost one day of the bait supplier recently because of weather. So whether the crabs will be available this weekend was uncertain. Bloodworms have been stocked. Eels are on hand.

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