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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 9-28-17


Porgies, plenty, were boated including at the rocks off the Arthur Kill in Raritan Bay near <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>, Rich said. A few striped bass were eeled far up the East River. That fishing had been better, but warm weather slowed it. Weather’s supposed to become cooler, and was cool at 6 p.m. today, when Rich gave this report in a phone call. Bait stocked included eels, fresh bunker daily, sandworms and bloodworms. No fresh clams were available because rough weather kept clam boats from sailing. 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. 


Rough seas, a big roll, kept the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b> from fishing this week, Capt. Mario said. Daily, open-boat trips for porgies, blackfish and other bottom-fish will resume Friday. On Down Deep’s other boat, the season’s first trips for striped bass will be launched Saturday, fishing open daily. Charters are available for either fishing for up to 15 passengers. 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.

Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> hadn’t fished much after the weekend, he wrote in an email. But he blackfished Wednesday with two anglers. They landed 14 keepers, releasing all but a limit of one apiece, and 30 throwbacks. Cocktail bluefish schooled all over Raritan Bay, and chewed their way through peanut bunker on the trip, frothing up the water, “putting on a show.” The anglers hooked them on every cast. Porgy fishing remained good, and that’s the main target on trips aboard currently that sail for them and a mix of other catches like the blackfish and blues. Striped bass were around, but Frank will wait another week before fishing for them. Trips then will carry bait including green crabs for blackfish and a pail of eels for a striper drift or two. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips will fish Saturday and Sunday. Telephone to reserve. 


Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> is supposed to fish for tuna at Hudson Canyon on Sunday to Monday on a friend’s boat, he said. No fishing got out with Sour Kraut in the past days’ weather. But Joe heard that porgies and blackfish still bit strong, and that bonito were decked just offshore of the Farms.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

On the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, porgy fishing was the same as before: simply good, Capt. Tom said. And the ocean’s “not turning us over,” he said. Forecasts seemed to keep some anglers from joining trips. On yesterday’s trip, there was a little ground swell, but seas weren’t rough. All customers have been bagging porgies. The fishing will change eventually, but gee, Tom said, this is good fishing. Take advantage. Trips are sailing for porgies 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Eight- to 10-foot seas were forecast three days in a row, but where does the data come from? a report asked yesterday on the party boat <b>Fishermen</b>’s website. Offshore buoys? Someone in a kayak measuring swells? The ocean held maybe a 3- to 4-foot ground heave, but the trip was beautiful on the water. And fish bit once again. Big porgies, blowfish, small blackfish and Kill Me Toss Them Back Sea Bass! Sea bass season is closed. Fishing’s good, and trips are sailing for porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Tough weather, but awesome porgy fishing was cracked, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. That’s the game, until sea bass season opens Oct. 22. Boaters who tried for a limit of one blackfish caught them. Surf anglers dragged in blues from Sandy Hook Bay at Leonardo and from Sandy Hook Point at the confluence of the ocean and the bay. Striped bass, not big but 24- or 25-inch schoolies, were angled at bridges, and eels were sold for that. Snapper blues schooled back waters. Crabbing seemed to slow, and nothing good was heard. Customers stopped buying bait for crabbing.

Good fishing for porgies was boated, said Jay from <b>Julians’ Bait & Tackle</b>. One is the blackfish bag limit, but anglers were limiting on one. Lots of cocktail blues swarmed around. Fishing for them was good at Leonardo on Sandy Hook Bay. A couple of throwback striped bass were beached from the surf, but nothing to write home about was. Water was warm. False albacore were heard about from the surf off Sandy Hook Point two days ago. Eeling for stripers on boats should produce soon. Not a lot of people crabbed, but crabs could still be trapped, Jay knew. Bait is fully stocked including green crabs, eels and fresh clams.


Here we go – a striped bass report: Paul Presti and crew on the Second Home, sailing from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, boated a 36-inch striped bass, “fishing the Light House by Staten Island,” Marion wrote in an email. That’s one of the season’s first striper catches mentioned on this website. 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 party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> was in dry dock, and Capt. Chris hopes to resume fishing Saturday, he said. Trips will sail for porgies and blackfish 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Tuna bit for a good 3 hours on a trip Monday to Tuesday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. About 20 big yellowfin tuna to 100 pounds and a couple of longfin tuna were landed. So was a swordfish, and this was a very good tuna trip, it said. Some mahi mahi were pasted, but mahi fishing wasn’t so good. Lots more mahi were seen. Spaces are available for <a href=" https://www.goldeneaglefishing.com/tunafish" target="_blank">tuna trips</a> this month, including one on Sunday to Monday, and reserve them. When no tuna trip is sailing, the boat is fishing for bluefish, chub mackerel, bonito and false albacore 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

A tuna trip is supposed to fish the canyons overnight this weekend with <b>XTC Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Scott said. No trips fished in the weather recently, and the most recent trip sailed for bonito and false albacore, cleaning up on them two weekends ago. Striped bass fishing will begin with XTC whenever the migration starts. That’s usually during mid-October, and Scott tells customers that the bite usually begins after the first frost. Scott was in the Florida Keys helping a friend recover from Hurricane Irma, doing work like taking down sheetrock. Before the storm, Scott had been going to help the friend re-do a bathroom there. But the trip turned into hurricane recovery. Are you going to fish from the Keys? he was asked for this report. Not on this trip, he said, and the friend had found the friend’s boat lodged between something and another.

No fishing headed out in the rough weather with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. None is slated for this weekend. Charters are booking for sea bass beginning Oct. 22, opening day of sea bass season. Charters are being reserved for striped bass that will begin next or whenever the migration starts, and for blackfish beginning Nov. 16. The blackfish bag limit will be raised to six beginning that day, from the current limit of one. Book the trips before preferred dates are taken.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Was tough to get weather to sail lately, but an “exotics” trip fished 40 miles from shore Monday on the <b>Gambler</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Pretty good jigging for bluefin tuna 20 to 50 pounds and false albacore was run into. “Unfortunately, we had to release all but a couple of the bluefin …,” it said.  Mahi mahi to 8 pounds and chub mackerel were also caught. “Lots of life out there,” it said. Tuna fishing offshore was weathered out Wednesday but is expected to sail this weekend aboard. <a href=" http://www.gamblerfishing.net/offshoretrips.php" target="_blank">Tuna trips</a> are fishing into November. Reserve them, and they do fill.

The party boat <b>Dauntless</b> fished every day, bailing porgies, Capt. Butch said. Very good fishing, and a few blackfish were also bagged on yesterday’s outing. A few small blues were hooked on the trip. Good action, and some of the anglers limited out on porgies the past couple of days. Anglers on trips bagged 30 to 50 porgies. The boat fished 40- to 60-foot depths, a little deeper than before, because weather pushed porgies deeper. The ocean was just under 70 degrees, a little colder than before. Butch hopes the water cools a little more. That would be good for the angling. But he hopes the water doesn’t cool too quickly this season, causing the fish to depart. Seeing bait? Butch was asked. Yes, he said, bunker schooled, not as many as a couple of weeks ago, and currently the baitfish were spread out but there. Some would be seen, and then more would be seen up the coast a ways. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

No fishing sailed today and yesterday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. “Think the weatherman scared off a few anglers,” it said. But weather Friday through the weekend looks awesome, and fishing is good for porgies and blackfish aboard the ocean. Seas were flat Tuesday, when the boat last fished, though the forecast called for rougher. Porgies flew over the rail. “Everyone got more than enough!” it said. Then the trip pulled inshore and axed blackfish, a decent catch, a few keepers, lots of shorts. Monday was another gorgeous day of weather on the ocean, it said, and another excellent trip for porgy catches aboard. That trip also pulled inshore afterward, tying into decent blackfishing, a few keepers, lots of shorts. Trips are fishing for porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, and clams and crabs are provided. The boat is bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays through Sundays. 

<b>Toms River</b>

Back waters including Barnegat Bay were the best option in the weather, said Mario from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. The surf was rough for fishing, and maybe a few bluefish and a couple of throwback stripers were beached. But blues and throwback stripers could be found in the bay at night if anglers moved around and fished small swimming plugs. Eeling locked into a couple of keeper stripers at Point Pleasant Canal at night. The canal tossed up good bluefishing and the one-blackfish bag limit. Crabbers who put in time trapped the blueclaws on both sides of the Toms River, and plenty of snapper blues schooled the river “to keep you busy,” the shop’s Facebook page said. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Maybe cooler nights that are forecast will jump start fall fishing, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Fishing was similar to before. Not much fishing happened in the surf. But small blues and occasionally throwback striped bass were beached. The report didn’t mention whether the surf was rough. Most fishing was on Barnegat Bay. Larger blues and better numbers of throwback stripers were tugged from the bay, equally on bait and lures. Crabbing seemed to improve slightly, after crabbing was slow previously. Dyed-in-the-wool crabbers trapped a few. 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>

Big bluefish swam Oyster Creek, the Toms River at Island Heights, Barnegat Bay and Barnegat Inlet, said Grizz at <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. The bay’s blowfishing seemed to slow somewhat, but some good catches of them were made. Five-foot depths seemed key, and the fish nibbled off Waretown. On Sunday they were reported from Meyer’s Hole. That’s toward the inlet, and the water was warm, so Grizz would be surprised if the fish were departing. But that’s where blowfish congregate when they begin to head out. Although one is the blackfish bag limit, lots seemed to gather along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. Anglers said the fishing was unbelievable. Green crabs were preferred bait and are stocked. The ocean was rough, and nobody reported fishing there.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

The <b>Super Chic</b>’s been docked because of weather for almost two weeks, Capt. Ted said. But an open-boat, overnight, 30-hour tuna trip is slated for Saturday, departing at 8 a.m., to Sunday. Some spaces are available, and charters fill the schedule afterward. Striped bass charters will begin during the first week of November or after Halloween. Some weekdays are available for those trips.

The <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> is supposed to fish for tuna at offshore canyons on a trip Saturday to Sunday, a report said on the party boat’s website. Two trips for that were weathered out last Friday and Saturday. <a href="http://www.missbarnegatlight.com/TunaFishing.html" target="_blank">Tuna trips</a>, limited to 25 passengers, are fishing throughout the month, and telephone to reserve.

Nobody really fished in the blow, but good blackfishing was socked along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks during the weekend, said Vince Sr. from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. A few blowfish were plucked from Meyer’s Hole, and Vince thought a couple of weakfish were hung from the area. He mentioned no bluefish, but the store in previous weeks reported sizable blues snapping in the inlet and Barnegat Bay. That might’ve continued now. Green crabs are stocked for the blackfising. Live spots will be carried probably beginning in mid-October for striped bass fishing. 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.


<b>***Update, Sunday, 10/1:***</b>: An email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “Looks like a break in the weather and sea condition is forecasted for this Monday, Oct. 2. We are planning an Open Boat trip to Barnegat Ridge for bonita and albacore. Trolling and bait fishing with the light rods. We will also be prepared to cast any surface albies on our way out and back. Depending on sea condition and our success we could also mix in some bay fishing for weakfish. 7AM to 2PM. A full day to allow us some time to hunt them and then catch them. The boat is also available to charter this day and then you could dictate the hours and agenda. Some folks prefer the bay, and that's fine with me. Four people max. All fish are shared. Also mixed bag bay fishing this Wed, Thurs, and Fri afternoons, Oct 4, 5, and 6. Depart at 11AM and return at 4PM.”

<b>Mystic Island</b>

The area was like a ghost town in the weather, said Scott from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. But the fish that were in previously probably remained. Those included blowfish, small ones, blackfish and weakfish in the bay. Plenty of snapper blues schooled lagoons, and some bigger or 12 inches or a bit larger were seen. People played with fish from docks on lagoons more than usual. So that was neat, he said. Current ran strongly, so blackfish that hug sod banks in the bay were hooked on slack tides. Crabbing was good, not everywhere, but good crabbing could be located. That should continue until the second week of October like usual.


Weather’s finally changing, and this might change fishing, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. This will be the big “kick off,” he thinks. Weather’s becoming cooler, and the series of hurricanes offshore seemed to be ending for now, at least. Small striped bass were around in back waters, but were scattered, and bait was also scattered in the strong east wind. Lots of panfish including a few kingfish, spots and blowfish, and a bunch of snapper blues swam back waters. The blues ranged from miniature to close to a pound. Fishing for the panfish including the blues is sort of interesting. Many tog swam along structure like bridges and jetties. Anglers might work through lots of crabs for bait, landing small blackfish until a bigger is hooked, but blackfish were there. White perch fishing gave up very good catches at the mouths of rivers like the Mullica and Great Egg Harbor. Nobody really fished the ocean in the weather. Plenty of bait is stocked including green crabs, live spots and eels. A handful of live mullet are carried, and Dave heard about no mullet schooling. If none pop up in the next days around the full moon, none might the rest of the season. But that remains to be seen. The supply of shedder crabs for bait and soft-shell crabs for eating might be finished for the year. The shop raises them, and no crabbers showed up with a new supply in past days.


Weather was pretty crazy, Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b> wrote on the shop’s Facebook page yesterday. A little rain fell that day, and a little haze set in, and a little sunshine appeared. But wind blew constantly. He was thinking the wind was from Hurricane Maria, he wrote. But spots, kingfish and small blues hit in the surf lately, like previously, he said in a phone call today. Fishing hadn’t really changed. Fish bloodworms for the spots and kings. Dunk mullet for the blues, and mullet rigs didn’t really catch, because the hooks were too large for the size of blues. The fish chewed the bait off the hook. Use a rig like a Fireball instead. The Association of Surf Fishing Clubs will hold a tournament in town Saturday. If you want fresh bait for the competition, telephone ahead and reserve. Fresh mullet have been difficult to obtain, and the first on the list will be the first who receive the bait. The bait supplier was headed to search for mullet and bunker today for the shop to stock fresh tomorrow. Andy will see whether the supplier’s successful. Bloodworms are stocked. So is plenty of frozen mullet and bunker. The annual Fall Riptide Striper and Bluefish Derby is underway until Christmas Eve for surf fishing in the town. 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. Cash prizes will be awarded. 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>Atlantic City</b>

Many blackfish – “super plentiful” – hugged Absecon Inlet’s jetties, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Customers fish the nearby, jetty-lined inlet on foot, and Noel could almost guarantee that an angler would hook the tautog. Anglers usually pulled in not one or two but 10 to 15, including one or two keepers. One is the bag limit. Snapper blues schooled the inlet. Occasional striped bass, sometimes including keepers, were plugged from the inlet and adjacent surf at night. One Stop will participate in a Plugging for Puerto Rico Striper Tournament for surf fishing Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 and 8, to benefit the hurricane victims. Entry will probably be $20, and hot dogs and hamburgers will be served at the shop one of those days. Reportedly Tsunami will be the main sponsor, and sponsors also currently included ESPN, Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon, Ray Scott’s Dock in Margate and City Wide Towing. Participants can donate non-perishable food like canned goods and dried noodles.


Wind blew, including 25 knots yesterday, and no fishing sailed in past days on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. He worked on his newly acquired, additional boat, a 50-foot Ocean Yachts named the Adventure. The vessel will fish for striped bass beginning Nov. 1 with up to six passengers. The 53-foot Stray Cat can sail with up to 22 passengers and will mostly bottom-fish for sea bass and blackfish. That vessel will run a few striper trips. Weather looked good for fishing this weekend, and charters are booked for Friday evening and Saturday, and an open-boat trip will fish Sunday on the Stray Cat, if anglers are interested. Bluefish will be targeted to the north, like at Atlantic City Ridge. During bluefishing last weekend on the Cat, lots of out-of-season sea bass, good-sized, 80-percent keepers, chomped and were released. That was covered in the last report here. Open-boat trips on Stray Cat will sea bass beginning Oct. 22. Blackfishing will begin on the vessel Nov. 16, when the bag limit is increased to six of the tautog, from the current limit of one. A special, 4-hour, open trip will fish on Thanksgiving, likely for striped bass, if that angling’s best. An open trip will blackfish on New Year’s Eve day for 6 hours, returning at 1 p.m.

<b>Ocean City</b>

The surf was unfishable for weeks, said Justin from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. When the surf was occasionally less than 5 feet, it was still filthy or weedy. But inlets, mostly Great Egg Harbor Inlet, not so much Corson’s, produced lots of bluefish and small sea bass from shore. Blackfish and small sea bass bit along the Ocean City/Longport Pier. Lots of the blackfish were small, but if anglers weeded through, some were very good-sized. Striped bass, no keepers, really, but 18- or 20-inchers were hooked along bridges at night and along sod banks or under lights, mostly on soft-plastic lures. Stripers in rivers like the Great Egg Harbor were small like 8 to 12 inches but abundant, and fun to play. Most were bloodwormed while anglers white-perch fished. The perching was great, if anglers could find them. The perch included lots of big, and held in deep holes. Mullet had schooled before the first hurricane. A supplier stopped in on about the first day of the storms with 130 pounds of mullet, and was never seen since. Justin’s also been looking for the baitfish, but either current’s been too strong or the water too dirty. If mullet are yet to migrate away, they’ll probably pop up this weekend in better weather. Time will tell, Justin said. Mullet are one of the first baitfish to migrate to the ocean and surf from bays in fall. Anglers look forward to the mullet run, because that’s a sign that the fall migration is beginning, and can also pick up fishing, especially in the surf. Fish including stripers and blues can home in on them, and that can draw the feeding fish in for anglers. A couple of people actually reported good crabbing.


Three of the boats were rented Saturday at <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b >, Mike said. Lots of snapper blues were run into on the back bay. One of the boats trapped three dozen keeper crabs that were all good-sized males. None of the boats headed out Sunday, and business was quiet for shops all around. So not a lot of news was available, but baby sea bass probably schooled the bay like before. Mike in the last report here talked about an angler who nailed a 3-pound weakfish and lost another weak while hooking snappers from the bay at his dock. Weaks seemed around. The shop will be open through the weekend, and afterward will often be open, but for no set hours. The doors will be open whenever Mike works to prep the shop for a winter break, and he’ll be busy doing that a while. That’s the usual schedule this time of year. Usual bait is stocked like all the different types of frozen squid and frozen mullet, mackerel, herring and clams. Spearing are probably the only frozen bait no longer stocked this season. Minnows stopped being stocked after summer flounder season closed earlier this month. 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 in-season. So is fishing and crabbing tackle and gear. The shop in-season, not currently, 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>

Seas were a little rough, or the ocean held a little swell, but a trip fished Saturday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. Lots of bluefish, a few triggerfish and a couple of blackfish were boxed, and a bunch of out-of-season sea bass were released. No trip fished Sunday, because too few anglers were interested. Strong, easterly wind’s been tough. But Paul guessed the effects of Hurricane Maria would be gone soon, and maybe seas and weather will settle. He’ll try to run another one of the trips at 8 a.m. Saturday. No trip will be slated for Sunday, because Paul will attend a family event.

Surf fishing went pretty well, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Bluefish were beached, and a couple of small striped were mixed in. That was from Poverty Beach on the ocean to the concrete ship on Delaware Bay. Cape May is at the confluence of the ocean and the bay. Frozen mullet, or fresh if available, seemed the preferred bait. Kingfish and small porgies hit in the ocean surf on bloodworms. Blackfish were hooked along jetties. In the back bay, resident stripers were played. Lots of baitfish schooled the bay, so the stripers were fairly active. To catch them, boaters anchored and fished and chummed with either clam or bunker. Anglers also beat the bass on soft-plastic lures or top-water plugs along sod banks in early morning or bridges in evening. Baits stocked include green crabs and bloodworms. No fresh mullet were carried recently. They seem to lie low during rough weather like this week. When mullet migrate the surf, for instance, they seem to pull out to deeper water during weather. Before this week’s weather, mullet seemed to remain in back waters and might’ve begun migrating to the surf. Anglers will see whether the baitfish are still swimming locally, once seas and weather calm.

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