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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 9-7-17

<b>Staten Island</b>

The <b>Vitamin Sea</b> began fluke fishing from Staten Island on Wednesday on a trip, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The angling was decent, considering wind and rain. Two of the four anglers limited out, and the two others landed one less than a limit apiece. The fishing should be good in the next weeks, Frank said. The boat fishes from Keyport, N.J., the rest of the year. But New Jersey’s fluke season closed beginning that day, so trips will fluke from Staten Island through Sept. 21, New York’s final day of fluke season. The boat is docked at Tottenville Marina at the foot of Outerbridge Crossing, easy to reach. Charters are fishing, and two spots are available for an open-boat trip Friday. Spaces are also available for open trips Sunday and Monday. Telephone to reserve.


Not a lot was reported because fluke season closed, said Linda from <b>Dockside Bait & Tackle</b>. Anglers now waited for striped bass fishing to pick up. Customers talked about boating porgies last week, and that angling went fine. Dockside, located on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill, is accessible from the water at the fuel dock and from land. Linda wasn’t asked whether the fuel dock’s hours changed since fluke season ended, but the dock previously was open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. The shop carries a large supply of bait.


<b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> will probably key-in on false albacore, bonito and chub mackerel that are swimming the ocean, Capt. Joe said. But trips will also continue to porgy fish aboard, like they have been. That angling’s been strong, and trips could fish for porgies first, for catches to eat, and chase albies and the other fish afterward, if anglers want. Fluke were boated in the final days of fluke season this week. The angling was just becoming good. 

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Fishing for porgies was launched today on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, tying into good catches, Capt. Tom said at 10 a.m. aboard in a phone call. The angling was going to begin yesterday but was weathered out. On the trip this morning, all anglers were already bucketing good catches, sometimes double-headers. They were having a good time, he said, and he hopes the fishing holds up. The crew was doing a good job of filleting the fish, too, and removing all bones, he said. Trips are fishing for porgies 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. The trips fished for fluke until fluke season closed Wednesday.

Good porgy fishing was cracked, including on party boats, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Snapper blues schooled the harbor and waters like that. Striped bass could probably be angled from rivers like the Shrewsbury. Johnny knew about no false albacore fought from the surf. But albies should pop into the surf soon if they haven’t already. They were boated relatively close to shore.

The year’s final fluke trip sailed Tuesday on the <b>Fishermen</b>, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. That was the final day of fluke season, and a short window of weather opened to make the fishing, on the ocean, possible. A couple of anglers bagged two apiece off the bat, including the 5-pound pool-winner. Once the tide changed and ran against the wind, seas became ugly. A couple of more areas were fished, and two final drifts were made “on the stones in Swash,” he said. Some of the anglers limited out on three fluke. Killed Ron to see sea bass thrown back. They’ve been out-of-season since Sept. 1, several days before the trip. The sea bass would’ve made customers happy.  Ron congratulates customers who nailed double-digit fluke this year aboard, including June Benson for an 11.9-pounder, Ken Stark for an 11.3, Mike Nolan for a 10.6, Eddie Fernandes for a 10.4 and “Frank” for a 10.3. Trips will resume fishing Friday, for porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, until striped bass and blues show up. Weather looks great beginning Friday for trips.


On a trip from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Frank and Matt on the 2F’s limited out on fluke to 7 pounds at Sandy Hook Channel on Sunday, Marion wrote in an email. Tracy and Gina on the Par Tee II decked six fluke to 27 inches Monday. Fluke season closed Wednesday. 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 fluke fished aboard Tuesday, the final day of fluke season, on the ocean until wind blew up, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. The wind forced the fishing to end at 1 p.m. Good day until then, he said, and a few anglers limited out. Porgies are in, and a trip plowed a good catch of them Friday aboard. Rough weather prevented fishing in the next days. Charters are fishing, and an individual-reservation trip will sail for sea bass Oct. 24. Last Lady will follow the sea bass migration offshore, all the way, through the end of the year. When the fish push 30 miles and farther from shore, the price of the trips and the departing time will be adjusted. <b>***Update, Friday, 9/8:***</b> An individual-reservation trip for porgies has been added for 5 p.m. Sept. 20, and contact Last Lady to reserve.


Fluke season that closed Wednesday produced “some decent fish … but overall … will not go down as a particularly good one,” Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. The fishing was poor in the early season, and was heating up when the season closed. Steve Germann from Freehold’s 9-pound 11-ouncer and Tim Hulsel from Middletown’s 7-pound 11-ouncer were the last couple of sizable weighed at the shop. Where do we go from here? That’s the big question, Bob said. He’d guess that some boats will bottom-fish for porgies, blackfish, ling, winter flounder and cod on the ocean. Some were already latching into good catches of chub mackerel, bonito and false albacore on the ocean. Plenty of small striped bass were rumored to bite in rivers. Surf fishing should pick up once baitfish migrate down the coast. Bob mentioned no fish that the surf angling might catch. But the fish could include stripers, bluefish and, in the early season, false albacore. Summer crowds are gone. Enjoy the solitude on local waters, he said. Hurricane season is here, he noted.

<b>XTC Sportfishing</b> fished for fluke, catching great, Monday for the final time this year, Capt. Scott wrote in a text. The fishing was on the ocean, and fluke season closed beginning Wednesday. That was a shame, he said, and now Scott waited to have the weather to return to fishing for tuna offshore. XTC’s already been doing that this season.

<b>***Update, Friday, 9/8:***</b> Bluefish! an email said from the party boat <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>. Blues 2 to 5 pounds were Mohawked on yesterday morning’s trip on the ocean. Most customers limited out and released additional, catching best on Ava 27 jigs with tails or without. At first on the trip, some false albacore, bonito and blues were pulled in. That slowed once the tide changed, but boy did the blues bite next! Today’s trip was beating the blues again, when the email was sent during the outing. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Weather looked great for trips to resume throughout this coming weekend on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website today. Trips are fishing for porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. The forecast also looked good for tonight’s bluefishing trip. Those trips are running 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursdays through Sundays.

<b>Toms River</b>

Bigger bluefish showed up, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>.  The fish to 8 and 10 pounds, many of them 3 to 4 pounds, bit in Barnegat Bay, including from docks, and in the Toms River, like at Island Heights and Huddy Park. They chomped chunk baits but also attacked popper lures and also bait for snapper blues, like spearing. Blowfish schooled the bay near the BI and BB markers, and a few were plucked from docks on the bay. Anchor and chum with clam for them for any substantial catches, and fish with clam. Now that fluke season closed Wednesday, any surf fishing would probably target bluefish. No stripers swam the surf yet, really. Small stripers were angled at places like along Route 35 Bridge on Manasquan River and in Barnegat Bay behind Island Beach State Park. In the river, a few keepers were hung on clam on floats. Otherwise, small surface lures were fished for the bass, like Smack-Its. On the ocean, porgy fishing was a little slow recently, and ling fishing improved a bit. How long the ling fishing will last will be seen. Boaters will home in on them, because fluke and sea bass seasons closed. Some party boats that had been fluking were switching to false albacore, bonito and bluefish. Virginia for this report was asked whether the boats ran north or south for those fish. One of the boats, a bigger one from Brielle, headed straight east for them, but farther from shore than some vessels. Another, from Point Pleasant Beach, sailed south but fished closer to shore. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Anglers are anticipating mullet and peanut bunker to pour out of back waters and migrate the ocean and surf, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b> website. Historically, large bluefish and next striped bass then begin to migrate the water, foraging on the baitfish. Large blues currently swam Barnegat Bay. Snapper blues schooled the bay. No crabs were trapped “to talk about.” 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>

Capt. Mike from <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b> did no fishing since the weekend, and thought not many boats sailed in the weather since, he said. During the weekend, he fished for tuna and scored well, covered in the last report here. He hopes to run for tuna Friday and Saturday, and the boat is concentrating on that angling.

Blowfish were hooked from Barnegat Bay near the research buoy, said Kyle from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. That’s between the BI and BB markers. Big bluefish to 10 or 15 pounds were battled in Oyster Creek, mostly on bunker chunks. Weakfish were plucked from the bay off the creek on pink Fin-S Fish. Kyle heard about anglers fishing for them before dark. This writer asked Kyle whether the weaks also bit in early mornings, another low-light time. No customers mentioned fishing for them then. Snapper blues schooled lagoons.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Most customers fished for blues or blackfish since fluke season closed, said Vince from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. They fished for the blues in Barnegat Bay and Barnegat Inlet and for the blackfish along the inlet’s rocks. Green crabs are stocked for blackfish bait. Nobody reported fishing for tuna in rough weather. 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.


Plenty of white perch and small striped bass, occasionally keeper stripers, are getting reeled from rivers, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. He fishes for the bass on Mullica River. Lots of baitfish filled the water. The water was lively. The stripers also chased bait along the bay’s sod banks. They could be hooked at night or early in mornings. Night was best, if anglers really wanted to catch. Not much was heard about weakfish from anywhere, except about boaters who ran into a couple of schools of spike weaks in the ocean near shore. If weather lets up, maybe anglers will jump on the weaks. Weather’s been too rough for tuna fishing. A good number of soft-shell crabs for eating are stocked. The shop raises them, and 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>. That might be the year’s final substantial amount of the crabs, because the blueclaws stop shedding when weather cools. The full moon currently had the crabs shedding, and plenty of shedder crabs are in supply for bait, also because of that. The shedders are best bait for the perch and stripers in the rivers. They’re best for weakfish in the rivers or back bay if they show up, too.


The surf harbored kingfish and spots that hit bloodworms, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Plenty of bloods are stocked. Small bluefish were around in the surf. Throw mullet or mackerel for them, but the blues will smack nearly anything.  Minnows are still carried, if anglers want to catch and release summer flounder that became out-of-season Wednesday. The annual Fall Riptide Striper and Bluefish Derby kicked off Tuesday and runs until 12 noon 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. 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.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Lots of blackfish including keepers were cranked from Absecon Inlet on green crabs, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Customers fish the jetty-lined inlet on foot. Tons of bluefish – cocktails, no longer snappers – ran the inlet. Kingfish and spots nibbled in the inlet on bloodworms, and occasionally stripers were pulled from the inlet or nearby bay on clams or bloods. All baits mentioned and more, the full supply, are stocked.


Weather’s been tough, and no fishing sailed on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. A trip is supposed to fish Saturday, and the boat’s been trolling bluefish and Spanish mackerel on the ocean. Because summer flounder season this year closed early, a discount is available for tuna trips to the offshore canyons, until fall sea bass season opens. Sea bass season is yet to be announced. Anglers should telephone, because of the substantial savings for tuna. The trips will also deep-drop for tilefish, depending on the tide. The discount is for open-boat trips and charters, and spaces are available for open trips Sept. 16 and 24.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Small bluefish schooled just about everywhere including from the back bay and along bridges to the surf, said Justin from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Cast spearing, cut bait or soft-plastic lures to them. Striped bass 18 to 24 inches were winged along bridges at night, mostly on soft-plastic lures. One or two keepers were reported. Top-water lures were fished for the stripers along sod banks. Bait landed stripers once in a while. Baby sea bass filled the bay. Few fished for blackfish, probably because of the bag limit of one, but blackfish hugged bridges and piers. They were keepers and were there. Occasional triggerfish and sheepshead were hooked along the Longport Pier. Surf-fishing for kingfish became spotty, only because so many spots moved into the surf. Small croakers and small weakfish were mixed in. Fish bloodworms or Fishbites artificial worms. Nobody mentioned fishing for tuna offshore. Weather was good for that like a half-day sometimes.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Annual traveling charters to Montauk will be launched in two weekends aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The trips fish the migrations of striped bass, blues and false albacore, and see the <a href=" http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters page</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. The start of the trips depends on what the hurricane does that’s headed this way, of course. Joe fished for summer flounder on the ocean Monday with Doug Gillespie, Joe’s dad and Joe’s son Ryan. They boated two keepers to 6 pounds and released probably more than 100 throwbacks. The trip probably could’ve moved and landed a couple of more keepers. But the catches of throwbacks were fast and furious, so the anglers kept doing that. The throwbacks were decent-sized, and out-of-season sea bass also bit. Flounder season closed beginning Wednesday. A trip fought sharks inshore Sunday aboard, covered in the last report here. After the Montauk trips, Joe will concentrate on the migration of stripers off Sea Isle City in November and December in the ocean. Anglers interested in that angling need to think about booking now, while preferred dates are available. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

People were grumpy about the closing of summer flounder and sea bass seasons, but fishing wasn’t bad, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Lots of bluefish from snappers to a pound swarmed the back bay and surf. Kingfish nipped in the surf, and sometimes spots and blues were mixed in. A customer fished the surf at the 8th Street jetty and hooked a blue on every other cast. Surf anglers landed flounder and had to release them. Fishing for small striped bass was alright on the back bay, mostly at dusk or at night under lights. Nothing to write home about, he said, but better than say in July or early August. Not many keeper blackfish were around. But a ton of green crabs were sold for blackfishing, and anglers caught and released throwbacks, trying for a keeper. A couple of kids released 16 throwbacks for fun. Inshore sharks like duskies, browns and spinners still haunted the ocean 3 to 6 miles from shore in numbers. Some of the species including duskies and browns are required to be released. None of the sharks was heard about from the surf in a week or two, but Mike also heard about nobody trying for them. Crabbing was good. Not a lot of customers crabbed in past days. But an employee crabbed during the weekend with family, saying catches were the best in a month. They filled a half-bucket with keepers in a half-hour.


Wasn’t a lot of business in wind and sometimes rain during the week, said Mike from <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>. Summer flounder fishing had picked up on the back bay, becoming pretty good. But flounder season closed Wednesday. Baby sea bass swam the bay. Crabbing was decent on the bay. 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 might’ve fished in past days, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>. He did no fishing then or during the weekend, and weather wasn’t the best. George knew about a few trips that fished for summer flounder on the ocean, but the anglers said seas were still sloppy Monday morning, and the fishing was nothing notable or was even slow. Or catching keepers wasn’t easy. Tuesday was the final day of flounder season. The Heavy Hitter had been trolling bluefish and Spanish mackerel at 5-Fathom Bank. George hopes tuna fishing picks up locally. 

The party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> will fish for porgies, bluefish, triggerfish or whatever can be bagged at 8 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday beginning this weekend, Capt. Paul said. Trips were fishing daily for summer flounder until flounder season closed Wednesday. The flounder trips caught Sunday and Monday, and Paul couldn’t remember Saturday. Maybe no trip sailed in weather Saturday, he thought. On Tuesday, the final day of flounder season, wind screamed from south, drifting the boat fast at 2 knots, difficult for the angling. A few anglers wanted to fish that day, but not many flounder were hooked in that.

From the surf, 1-pound bluefish and maybe some bigger to 3 pounds were dragged in, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. So were good catches of kingfish. Blackfish snapped along surf jetties. From Delaware Bay’s surf, croakers and spots were banked, like at Higbee’s Beach and the ferry jetty. Fish bloodworms for them and also the kings. Sheepshead were sometimes angled in the back bay along structure like bridges and pilings. They were mostly reported from the bay, but probably hung along surf jetties, too. Mullet schooled the back bay, and anglers reported none in the surf. Anglers wait for them to migrate the surf this month, because that can attract fish. Peanut bunker and spearing also schooled the bay. The bay was full of life, and Nick there saw all of those and also blues and striped bass last night. Crabbing was excellent. Baits stocked include bloodworms, eels and shedder crabs.

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