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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 9-25-17

<b>Keyport</b>

A good catch of 12-inch porgies and keeper-sized blackfish was belted Sunday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> with Capt. T.J. at the helm, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The trip also jigged cocktail blues. The boat is fishing for a mixed bag like this on open-boat trips and charters. The next open trips are on Wednesday and Friday through Sunday.

Porgy fishing’s been fantastic, and triggerfish and blackfish have been mixed in, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. The fishing sailed aboard this weekend after being weathered out. The Down Deep, one of the company’s two boats, is fishing for porgies and blackfish on open-boat trips daily. The Down Deep Bull, the other vessel, is fishing on open trips daily for porgies through Friday. Beginning Saturday, that boat will sail for striped bass on open trips daily. Charters are available for any of this fishing, and 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 open trips. Look for the link underneath “Contact.” Charters and open trips that will sail later this season are booking for stripers, sea bass and blackfish.

<b>Leonardo</b>

The best blackfishing in 10 years erupted Sunday with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> at Shrewsbury Rocks, Capt. Joe said. The trip limited out within 5 minutes of anchoring, and caught and released the tautog to 8 pounds the next 2 or 3 hours. Then the trip targeted porgies, piling up a bunch. The blackfish were hooked on bait and jigs. The jigging with light tackle is fun. False albacore broke the water surface during the trip, and Joe will troll the area and see what bites, depending on weather. Hurricane Maria’s course toward the Northeast was being determined. Hurricane José offshore last week failed to affect local fishing. Fish like porgies bit like previously. Nothing was heard about tuna, and trips might’ve slipped back out for tuna this weekend, after the weather. Joe was waiting for reports before he got back after tuna.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Anglers who fish once a year limited out on porgies or nearly limited Saturday on the <b>Fishermen</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. Excellent fishing, and porgy fishing’s been like that. Don’t wait long, or fish for them while they’re in. Blowfish and out-of-season sea bass and fluke also bit. The ocean had become much calmer that day after strong wind built seas previously. Trips are sailing for porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

The whole weekend fished great for porgies aboard, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>. This morning’s trip was off to a slower start, for some reason, he said at 10 a.m. on the trip in a phone call. But the fish were just beginning to bite. Current made anglers fish with a bit of weight on trips. Anglers sometimes seemed concerned about effects of the hurricanes offshore lately. But a small ground swell formed, and that’s about it. Trips are fishing for porgies 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Monday, 9/25:***</b> This morning’s trip was picking away at porgies, Tom said at 11 a.m. aboard in a phone call. The fishing had improved. Porgies caught on trips were mixed sizes, or some were smaller, and some were healthy-sized. A fair number of out-of-season sea bass hit and were released. Blackfish, not a lot, were occasionally tugged in. Mostly porgies were pasted.

<b>Neptune</b>

Terrific fishing for porgies was crushed during the weekend on the ocean with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Blackfish were also bagged, and out-of-season sea bass and fluke were released. Individual-reservation trips will fish for bluefish, bonito and false albacore 6 a.m. Saturday and for cod 2 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10.

<b>Belmar</b>

Chub mackerel, lots, and a few blues and bonito were axed Friday from the ocean on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Great catch, and on a trip Saturday, blues were beaten first, and then bonito and chub mackerel were whacked. On a trip Sunday, a very good catch of blues 3 to 6 pounds and several 12- to 15-pounders was waxed, and so were some big bonito. On the trips, sometimes Run Off hammered jigs caught, and sometimes bait did. A tuna trip is slated for today to tomorrow. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily when no tuna trip is sailing. Spaces are available for <a href=" https://www.goldeneaglefishing.com/tunafish" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> this month and in October. Reserve them.

Fishing was canceled Saturday because of the forecast but sailed Sunday on the ocean with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. A slow pick of porgies was eased in, and blackfish were mixed in. Out-of-season of sea bass, a bunch of beautiful, bit and were released. Sea bass season opens Oct. 22, and book now. Also book fall striped bass and blackfish charters. Grab dates while they’re available.

Dates are filling for striped bass fishing later this season with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Pete said. He expects the migration to begin in mid-October, and he’ll start trolling the ocean in the next week or two to keep an eye on the run. Trips will also be available for sea bass beginning Oct. 22, opening day of sea bass season, and blackfish beginning Nov. 16, when the blackfish bag limit is increased to six, from the current limit of one. Porgy fishing was good currently. Bluefishing seemed to be improving. Bonito and false albacore were probably around. This is all on the ocean.

<b>***Update, Tuesday, 9/26:***</b> The trip Monday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b> held bluefish 2 to 4 pounds and some bigger to 8 pounds the whole time, an email said from the party boat. Fishing for them was excellent, along the ocean bottom at hills and rock piles. Bluefishing was also excellent aboard Sunday. On Saturday’s trip, catches were much slower than previously. Blues were picked in the morning, and the boat was moved, and more blues and some false albacore were picked. Trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for blues, bonito, albies and chub mackerel. 

<b>***Update, Tuesday, 9/26:***</b> Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>’s been keeping a low profile during rough weather, he wrote in an email. But Belmar’s party boats pounded good catches of porgies and blackfish when they had weather to sail. The ones that sailed for blues, bonito and chub mackerel also scored well. Anglers began to blackfish in back waters more often, since fluke and sea bass seasons were closed. Snapper blues attracted anglers in back waters and provided catches to eat. Small striped bass and some keepers in the mix bit more than before in back waters.

<b>Brielle</b>

Not a ton was reported because of last week’s weather, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Hurricane José passed offshore that week, keeping seas rough and boats docked. Most fishing was in Manasquan River, where small striped bass gathered along bridges. The stripers also held in Point Pleasant Canal, and many of the bass were jigged at both places. But bigger were eeled. Blackfish loitered in the canal and were mostly throwbacks but were abundant. The tautog also bit very well at Manasquan Inlet. A couple of striped bass from the surf were heard about from Manasquan and Point Pleasant Beach. The fish were hooked on small plugs in early mornings. When trips boated the ocean, they angled porgies. False albacore, bonito and bluefish were party-boated on the ocean at the same spots where they’ve been, at the Mudhole, Little Italy “and up into the reef and stuff,” he said. Some boats departed for offshore tuna fishing overnight Saturday to Sunday, after the angling was weathered out previously that week. Eric waited to hear results.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

The last few tuna trips offshore were weathered out with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. But the boat fished inshore, consistently trolling bonito at lumps and along the edge of the Mudhole on small spoons. He looked forward to weather clearing offshore, after Hurricane Maria this week, and to good tuna fishing through October.

Good porgy fishing continued on the <b>Norma-K III</b> on the ocean, a report said Sunday on the party boat’s website. On that day’s trip, lots of good-sized porgies and a few blackfish were creamed. On nighttime trips, big bluefish were in! the report said. On Saturday night’s trip, 4- to 15-pounders, a decent catch, were drilled, mostly on bait, a few 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>

A few small striped bass were plucked from the surf near Barnegat Inlet in Island Beach State Park on bait, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Small stripers began to bite in Barnegat Bay more than before, and several were hooked from the dock. Sizable bluefish roamed the bait, biting mostly cut bait. Crabbing trapped more keepers than before, “showing a swing in the right direction,” the report said. The hope is that crabbing will keep improving. Baits stocked include green crabs that will be carried “till the end of the season.” 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>Beach Haven</b>

Fishing on the <b>June Bug</b> trolled small bluefish to 10 inches on the ocean Sunday, mostly on Clark spoons, Capt. Lindsay said. The trip looked for bonito and false albacore, but none showed up. The water was 71 degrees, still warm, and weather and seas were beautiful, after last week’s rough weather. Lots of bait was marked deep throughout the trip. Whether the bait was bunker or something else was unknown. Striped bass fishing kicked in from mid-October through November last year aboard. Was a great season, and stripers used to show up during Labor Day weekend years ago in this area aboard.

<b>Longport</b>

The <b>Stray Cat</b> fished Friday and Saturday on the ocean, tackling lots of blues and releasing out-of-season sea bass, Capt. Mike said. Wrecks were loaded with sea bass, big, 80 percent keeper-sized, up to 3 pounds. Gannets dove into the water and surfaced with sea bass. Was crazy.  Open-boat trips will sail for sea bass beginning Oct. 22, opening day of sea bass season. The trips will run at 6 a.m. for 10 hours, because the fish will be farther from shore then.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

A dozen false albacore were spin- and fly-rodded on Long Island Sound on a traveling charter to Montauk on Sunday aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The fishing was good, and porgies and sea bass were also hooked. One of the trips was canceled Saturday because of rough forecasts, though weather ended up calmer, and the trip could’ve sailed. The albies were hooked on Deadly Dicks and Slug-Gos on the spinning rods and on Clouser Minnows on floating lines on the fly rods. The trips fish annually from the legendary port for about another three weeks for the migrations of striped bass, blues and albies. See the <a href=" http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.  In November, Joe will turn all attention to the migration of stripers and blues off Sea Isle City on the ocean. If anglers are interested in that fishing, they should be thinking about scheduling, before all dates are full. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Avalon</b>

Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> beached bluefish 10 or 11 inches from the surf this weekend, he said. For boating, he’s mostly waiting to fish the striped bass migration in November on the ocean and Delaware Bay. He expects to fish for salmon on upstate New York’s Salmon River this week from his nearby <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge</a>. The lodge was rented last weekend and is rented this weekend, and space is available afterward. A buddy landed king salmon at the Town Pool on the river, and said not a lot of pods migrated the river, but the run began. Jim expects the run to be full on in the next week or two. The buddy said the salmon were “hot” or aggressive when hooked, like they are when they first enter from Lake Ontario. A discount is available at the lodge until probably Thanksgiving, but only on Airbnb. Afterward, snowmobiling becomes popular for guests. Steelheading on the river is available all winter on the river. Jim’s also been guiding Canada goose hunts. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures from saltwater fishing to duck and goose hunting and more in New Jersey and surrounding states including Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York. 

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