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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-1-18

<b>Keyport</b>

Striped bass could be eeled at New York Harbor or jigged, caught on cast rubber shads or trolled on Raritan Bay, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. Great jigging was clobbered aboard Monday and Wednesday. But trolling is taking much larger stripers. “Action is good,” he wrote. “Come get some.” Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips with room will sail on Wednesday and on Nov. 14 and 15.  Telephone to reserve.

Stripers arrived in the ocean, everybody knows, said Capt. Greg from <b>Manicsportfishing</b>. Schoolies and some keepers are biting in Raritan Bay, and when stripers hit in New York Harbor, that fishing, on eels, is good, too. The fish are here – it’s confirmed, he said.  Plenty of 25- to 30-pounders are around. Stripers are also still being boated off Captree, Long Island, N.Y., so the migration’s still coming. Greg’s next open-boat trips and charters for stripers will run this weekend. He’s just returning from the Florida Keys, where he’ll run trips in winter. He was squaring away some arrangements, but did some fishing. This is a time of transition for the fishing in the Keys, like everywhere. But reef fishing was good. “The reef is the reef,” he said. Rough weather kept his Keys fishing inshore a couple of days. But barracudas were also reeled in, and sailfish tailed in the boat wake yesterday.

The <b>Down Deep Fleet</b> is “on some larger Stripers,” an email said from Down Deep! “Eeling (is) still producing,” it said. That obviously meant eeling for the fish at New York Harbor. Bonus tags are available aboard to bag an additional, smaller striper 24 inches to less than 28. The migration of stripers is about to bust open. Book now! the email said. Open-boat trips are fishing for stripers daily, and charters are available for up to 15 passengers.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> took a trip Sunday, the day after the nor’easter, and just searched for striped bass on Raritan Bay and a little on the ocean, he said. Seas were still bumpy, and on the ocean were rough in a big swell. He did no fishing, because he expected not much from the angling after the blow, and boaters he saw trying for the bass on the trip caught none. He marked fish, though. At the time, catches of big, migrating stripers were day to day. Anything could happen with the angling at that time of year. Joe hoped the storm forecast for tomorrow would only improve the migration to local waters. Friends of Joe’s were still catching migrating stripers to the north off Long Island. Those fish will have to swim south. Joe’s been bottom-fishing for porgies, sea bass and blackfish until now. That angling is tougher in a heave like the one from last weekend’s nor’easter that lingered for some days afterward.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Fishing for striped bass was picking up, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. The fish seemed basically trolled, he thought at the channels, maybe also at Reach Channel. He was unsure, but knew not in Raritan Bay, he said. A couple of customers bought eels to fish near the Statue of Liberty for stripers, but no results were heard. Plus, a private boater weighed-in a 50-pound striper that he bunker-chunked today. The angler didn’t say where, but chunks seemed to catch, too. Bob was hearing nothing about catches from the surf. Surf anglers might’ve beat stripers farther south in the Belmar area. Trollers seemed to rock stripers on the ocean near there on the ocean. Porgies seemed to depart since the weekend’s nor’easter. Customers stopped even targeting sea bass, because fishing slowed for them since the storm. The blackfish limit is only one, but blackfish were snapping. If white leggers were fished for the tautog, the anglers caught. The whites and green crabs are stocked for blackfishing. No fresh bunker were stocked currently, but the baitfish are carried when available. That depends on suppliers. Baits stocked also include fresh clams. Mojos and bunker spoons for striper fishing were the game now, were selling.

Surf casters still whacked false albacore at Sandy Hook Point, said Jay from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Someone showed a video from Friday, and the population was ridiculous. Boaters drilled the albies there still, too. Hogie epoxy jigs were popular for the albies and are stocked. Some throwback, rat striped bass were the only stripers heard about from the local surf. Boaters on the ocean trolled a couple of stripers at the Sticks on Mojos and bunker spoons. Nothing to write home about, he said, nothing substantial. He thought last weekend’s nor’easter would’ve pulled in more of the migration, but migrations seemed late this year. Eeling and clamming for stripers was kind of okay near the Statue of Liberty. Sea bass and porgies were still reported boated on the ocean. The porgy fishing slowed a lot. A couple of party boats were still sailing for them. All baits are stocked. Everything, he said, including fresh clams, fresh bunker, eels and green crabs.

Daily trips for striped bass, sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., were going to begin today on the <b>Fishermen</b>, the party boat’s website said. That was covered in an update posted here yesterday. Jigs, rubber shads, top-water plugs or eels will be fished.

Weather was better Wednesday morning for bottom-fishing on the ocean for the first time since the weekend’s nor’easter, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>. Blackfishing was decent aboard that day. Crabs are now supplied for blackfishing on the boat, along with clams that were already supplied to fish for the other catches that bit. Also on the trip, a few sea bass, some shorts and a few keepers, and no porgies were pulled in. The fishing was no good on Monday’s trip in rough seas and wind, was a little better on Tuesday’s trip, and was good on Wednesday’s. Wind picked up in the afternoon on Wednesday’s, and trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Highlands</b>

Sailing from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, Roy Wurst and Frank Dapuzzo boated false albacore near Sea Bright on Friday, 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 live bunker when in demand.

<b>Long Branch</b>

Baitfish supposedly pushed into the surf this morning at Long Branch, said Nick from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b>. A couple of anglers telephoned the shop, talking about the bait, and then came to the store to buy waders. A few stripers seemed slid from the surf lately. Bucktails and rubber shads hooked them, and boaters reportedly ran into stripers off Spring Lake this morning. No bluefish were heard about recently. Stripers were heard about from Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers that swiped bucktails and rubber shads both during night and daytime. Lots of bunker reportedly schooled Raritan Bay. TAK Waterman is a shop for fishing, mostly surf-fishing, surfing and paddle-boarding. The store also produces the TAK Waterman line of clothing for watersports including these and beach-going. The name is from Lake Takanasee.

<b>Neptune</b>

A trip was going to depart especially early this morning to fish 30-mile wrecks for sea bass with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> to beat wind forecast later in the day, Capt. Ralph said. Weather wasn’t easy this season. Trips will target striped bass Saturday through Monday, weather permitting, on the ocean aboard, and the big migrators began to arrive. All anglers on one of Belmar’s party boats probably bagged one Tuesday, he thought. Another one of the head boats nailed a few Wednesday. That was all on livelined bunker, and the baitfish moved in. A few seemed trolled that day.  Individual-reservation trips were just scheduled that will split fishing for stripers and blackfish Nov. 20, 23, 24, 27 and 30. Or the trips will get after stripers, and if that angling’s slow, the trips will blackfish. The striper bag limit is one striper 28 inches or larger and one over 43 inches per angler, per day. Last Lady has bonus tags so anglers can bag an additional striper 24 to 28 inches apiece. A few weekdays are left for charters this month. In December, a few weekend dates are available along with weekdays.

<b>Belmar</b>

Some striped bass catches have been on, Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> said. Call out sick from work, and go for them. Go on a weekday, he suggested, and wasn’t asked why. But maybe he meant the fishing could be better then because of boat traffic. He heard about the fish trolled and jigged on the ocean. Good-sized? Yes, he said, and he saw photos from one of Belmar’s party boats, and knew about one of the charter boats from the docks that scored well.

<b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> is in full-blown striped bass mode now, Capt. Pete said. Fishing for stripers, big, migrating fish, was good on the ocean the past three days, after the weekend’s nor’easter. Some of the stripers weighed 30 to 40 pounds. Some were smaller, and Pete heard about ones weighing in the high 40s. Boats limited out, and at first, the trips trolled the bass. Then they hooked the stripers on jigs and rubber shads, when the trips got on schools of them. Yesterday the boaters caught some on livelined bunker. The fishing’s been typical of fall, including running and gunning, and coming across large schools. “(We’re catching) on the tides and all,” he said.

<b>***Update, Saturday, 11/3:***</b> Belmar’s boats had some great fishing for striped bass that foraged on bunker in the ocean, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. The fish included big ones 35 pounds to heavier than 50. A 51-pounder was weighed at Fisherman’s Den North in Atlantic Highlands, the Belmar’s store’s sister shop. The stripers were boated on the troll and on jigs and livelined bunker.  Bob only heard one report about the big stripers pushing into the surf. That was at Spring Lake, and the angler pencil-poppered a 48-pounder there who reported that. At Shark River Inlet, a good number of blackfish, some of them keepers, swam. Shark River’s fishing was great for winter flounder on outgoing tides. Most customers who fished for them limited out on two. The store’s rental boats are available to fish the river. If you’re not already fishing, grab a rod and come down, Bob wrote.

Jumbo stripers! an email said from the party boat <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b> today. A 52-pounder was clobbered on the day’s trip. One customer landed three stripers heavier than 30 pounds on the outing, keeping no more than a limit. The trip had shots at stripers and picked away. At times, a couple would be hooked. Every striper caught weighed heavier than 30 pounds. The catch also included two over 40. The trip fished in bunker the whole time, and plenty of stripers chased the baitfish. Lots of big stripers are schooling from Fire Island to near Belmar, the email said. Yesterday’s trip bagged a couple of stripers, each heavier than 35 pounds, and lost a couple. Lots of fish were read, and bait schooled large areas. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

What great striped bass fishing today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>! a report said on the party boat’s website. The fish bit during the whole trip pretty much, with a couple of lulls when the boat had to take a ride to find bait. The fishing was “local,” so the trip had plenty of fishing time. A 43-pound striper won the pool, and the rest of the stripers were big, too. The trip’s bass were hooked on bunker snagged and then livelined, except one was on a swim shad. Bring a spinning rod, because they seemed to work better. Quite a few stripers were missed on the outing. Once you feel a striper pick up the bait, wait 8 to 10 seconds before setting the hook. Then the striper has a chance to swallow.  On the previous day’s trip, on Wednesday, anglers had to work to catch. But great, big stripers were smashed, including 50-pounders, 45-pounders and 37-pounders. Tuesday’s trip was the first to fish since the weekend’s storm. Breezy weather made fishing tough, but quite a few stripers were socked on the last couple of drifts. Two weighed more than 40 pounds, and two or three weighed more than 30. None weighed under 20. Stripers are here, so come on down. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. A trip is also slated for 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, according to the schedule on the boat’s website.

<b>Brielle</b>

What’s happening? Striper fishing, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Good fishing for striped bass was boated on the ocean from Manasquan Inlet to Sandy Hook, and actually south to the Mantoloking area, too.  Quite a number of bunker schooled from off Manasquan Inlet to Spring Lake, and anglers caught stripers to 40 pounds well there on the baitfish snagged and then livelined. Striper fishing was relatively consistent on the troll along the 3-mile line on white bunker spoons. That was the hot color. Lots of sand eels schooled to the north from the surf to farther off, like at Monmouth Beach. So surf anglers caught pretty well there, lots of smaller stripers, a few keepers, on Ava jigs, Daiwa SP Minnows and needlefish lures. A small handful of false albacore were heard about that were fought from the surf at Island Beach State Park. Surf-fishing for albies seemed to be tapering off for the season. Plenty of small stripers swam Manasquan River and along the inlet. The best way to hook better-sized stripers in this area was from land along Point Pleasant Canal on white, 4- or 6-inch, rubber shads. Blackfishing was really good at the canal, the Railroad Bridge on the river and the inlet. Back on the ocean, keeper sea bass could still be found inshore if boaters searched. The best fishing for sea bass was farther out in around 150 feet of water. Plenty of porgies remained from Shark River Reef to the Shrewsbury Rocks. Sea bass and porgies were caught on bait but also slow-pitch jigs. The jigs, reels, rods and the lines to fish them are stocked. If you want to learn about the sport, you can ask the shop. Blackfish hit well in 40, 50 or 60 feet of water in the ocean. They seemed to be starting to turn on at usual fall haunts. Crabs caught them best. Little was reported about tuna fishing at the offshore canyons. A handful of bluefin tuna were known about that were decked at the canyons the other day. Inshore spots held a few bluefins. If anglers are diehard about finding them, the Texas Tower area is a classic fall place for a few 100-pounders.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Quick report! Capt. Alan from <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. Striped bass fishing was outstanding on a short, 2-hour trip aboard early this morning for 30- to 45-pounders, all on bunker snagged and then livelined. See photos on Mushin’s Facebook page.

On the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, porgies and sea bass were shoveled up, pretty good fishing, decent, not as good as last week, and the weekend’s storm affected that, Capt. Butch said. Yesterday’s fishing aboard was okay for sea bass and fair for porgies. Most anglers bagged 15 to 25 fish. Lots of sea bass chomped, and many were throwbacks. The storm seemed to “do a lot” to porgies. But fishing for them would probably pick back up after another day or two of calmer weather, he thought. Trips fished in 80- to 120-foot depths. The ocean on the fishing grounds was just dropping to 60 degrees, was 62 at some places, 58 at others. That was warm for the time of year, and the ocean along the beach was 59 ½ degrees. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

Fishing for striped bass was going to kick off today on the <b>Gambler</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The trips, slated for 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., will fish daily except for next Wednesday, because a tuna trip is set for Tuesday to Wednesday. See the <a href="http://www.gamblerfishing.net/offshoretrips.php" target="_blank">tuna page</a> on the boat’s website for info.  <a href="http://www.gamblerfishing.net/offshore-sea-bass.php" target="_blank">Offshore sea bass trips</a> will fish in December.

<b>Toms River</b>

A few better-sized striped bass showed up in the surf since the weekend’s nor’easter at a few spots like Island Beach State Park and Seaside, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. Not a strong showing, but more keepers than before. A decent number of big, migrating stripers seemed reported from the north from boaters. So anglers waited for the run to arrive locally. A good number of stripers, not a lot, but certainly some, were reported from the surf from say Lavallette and Ortley Beach to Island Beach. Bluefish weren’t heard about from the surf after the storm. Mostly stripers seemed the fish there now. If fishing bait for the stripers from shore, dunk chunks of bunker or clams. If fishing lures, throw bucktails, swim shads, Daiwa SP Minnows or metal, especially on low tides, so the lures could be cast beyond the bar. Throwback stripers were played on both sides of the Toms River in early mornings and at dusk and night, mostly on small swimmers or popper lures. Eeling for stripers was decent at Point Pleasant Canal at night. Lots of customers bought eels for the fishing. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Surf-fishing for striped bass was mostly a nighttime game, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Swimming plugs and rubber shads seemed to catch best. During daytime, a much slower pick was reported, and that was mostly on bunker and clams. Bunker schooled to the north, and big stripers were landed among them on several party boats and private boats. The bunker probably needed to arrive south to draw larger stripers to the local area. Stripers dragged from the surf included increased numbers of better-sized than previously in past days. 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, and, in season, boat and jet-ski rentals.

<b>Forked River</b>

Capt. Mike from the <b>Tuna-Tic</b> hopes tuna fishing will still turn on at the offshore canyons, he said. He’s got a couple of charters on standby who’ll jump aboard if it does. Mike heard about a few tuna caught but thinks they were bluefins. Swordfish are biting at the offshore canyons, but nobody wants to take a trip just for swords. Striped bass fishing should begin soon aboard. The migration usually kicks in by mid-November near Barnegat Inlet locally. Mike heard about a few stripers boated off Seaside locally the other day.

Good reports about striped bass rolled in here and there, mostly from the ocean on the troll, but some from the surf, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Big ones were mentioned from the ocean, and lots seemed to school to the north. Customers left to boat for blowfish this morning on Barnegat Bay. Results were yet to come in, and none reported sailing for them in previous days in windy weather. This morning was beautiful. Blackfish were cranked in along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. Crabbing was decent still. Baits stocked include eels and green crabs. Mike’s working on stocking live spots. Killies are carried for freshwater.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Trips for striped bass will sail 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays through Sundays beginning this week on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, the party boat’s website said.

Lots of blowfish scurried around Barnegat Bay, said Vince Sr. from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. Striped bass were axed at Double Creek Channel at Meyer’s Hole yesterday on livelined spots on the bay. The spots and green crabs are stocked. Use the crabs for blackfish that kept biting along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. Some big stripers began to be boated on the ocean. Fishing was going well. Was a good day of angling yesterday. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and, in season, boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure.

<b>Barnegat</b>

An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “The stripers are finally within striking distance. (The boats yesterday caught 15- to 30-pounders really well 30 miles to the north from tight to shore to 3 miles out.)  Casting, trolling and bunker snagging are all putting fish in the boat. They could be closer by the time we set sail this weekend, but even if they're not, we're headed to wherever the bite is. Sailing open-boat or charter 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday and Monday.  Careful: The end of daylight savings time will turn the clocks back an hour at midnight Saturday night – that's why our sailing time is different from Saturday to Sunday. Four people max, all fish are shared. Nov. 10, 11 and 20 are the only other dates I have left this month. December is wide open and should have awesome striper fishing.”

<b>Absecon</b>

Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b> was running a striped bass charter at 9 a.m. today on the back bay when he gave this report in a phone call, he said. The three anglers had each bagged a slot with a bonus tag so far. The fishing seemed better before last weekend’s nor’easter than in past days. He saw none larger than 28 inches this week. But lots of throwbacks and some slots were there. Plenty of action, if you looked for it. He didn’t know if everybody was catching, but he was. Good tides, high tides, didn’t coincide with his trips during these days. So he fished sloughs. He didn’t fish shallows, because of low tides. The fishing will definitely be better when the tides change this coming week. The trip this morning fished live spots so far. The baitfish caught the bigger bass in past days. But his trips also fished Gulp Nemesis. The Gulps provided lots of action. Sunday and Monday are available for charters, and dates are pretty full afterward, in case somebody wants to grab those two dates. Plenty of live spots are stocked. The year’s final load probably arrived, but they should last the rest of the season. A few live mullet are still stocked. Water temperatures were probably the “maximum,” he said, for mullet last week. Plenty of eels are carried, and if anglers want to fish for stripers at night, eels are probably best bait. Blackfishing was good, and the shop had customers who were reeling in their limits of one per day at places like bridges and Absecon Inlet’s jetties. Windy weather mostly kept anybody from sea bass fishing on the ocean. That made news scarce about them. Weather was calmer this morning, and is expected to be a blowout in a storm Friday. But the weekend looks calmer.

<b>Brigantine</b>

A 25-inch striped bass did get snatched from the surf, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Bluefish moved on that swam the surf previously. All bait was coming in. Fresh bunker and frozen mullet arrived. Eels and green crabs were in. Fresh clams will arrive Friday. The Riptide Fall Surf Fishing Derby is underway until Dec. 23, and will award $500, $300 and $150 for the three heaviest stripers and $300, $200 and $100 for the three heaviest blues. Entry is $25 and includes a permit that allows Brigantine’s entire front beach to be driven, if you also have a Brigantine permit. Without the tournament permit, not all the beach can be driven. The annual Brigantine Elks striper tournament for surf anglers and boaters, benefitting a veterans’ fund, will be held Nov. 16-18.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Anglers on shore bailed schoolie striped bass like crazy on the back bay near Absecon Inlet and from the inlet’s jetties, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. They whipped one after another from the bay, and corn cob mullet 8 to 12 inches schooled the water. Clams and bloodworms will hook the stripers. Eels can also catch. The inlet is lined with numerous jetties, and blackfishing picked back up along them today and yesterday. That’s because the water cleared, after dirty water from last weekend’s nor’easter. Kingfish were sometimes landed from the surf beside the inlet in town on bloodworms. All these baits and more, the full supply, are stocked. A vending machine dispenses bait, a little of everything, round the clock, convenient for afterhours.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Not a lot of anglers blackfished on the back bay at bridges and structure like that, but the catches were fairly good, said Ed from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Plenty of throwbacks were sorted through, but there were keepers. Not a lot did the fishing because of the one-blackfish bag limit. Small bluefish were scattered around the bay. A few striped bass, mostly throwbacks but a few keepers, were nabbed from the bay and inlets. Usual clams and bunker caught them. So did small soft-plastic and small hard-plastic lures. But a few began to be eeled. The surf produced stripers similarly: a few keepers, mostly throwbacks. That was on bait, a few on lures. No trips for sea bass were known about from the ocean, because of weather. No crabbing was reported, probably because of weather. But commercial crabbing pots could be seen in the water.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

On the back bay, striped bass fishing was pretty good, mostly for throwbacks but a couple of keepers, said Cameron from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Soft-plastic and hard-plastic lures caught. But on some evenings, only livelined spots or eels did. A few small bluefish remained in the surf and inlet, and the population was becoming fewer and fewer. No stripers were heard about from the surf, except from the inlet. A few decent-sized blackfish were clocked off 8th Street and the Coast Guard Station. Nothing was heard about sea bass from the ocean, and wind prevented boaters from sailing for them. Nobody mentioned crabbing, and wind probably prevented that, too.

The back bay’s striped bass fishing was really good, mostly for throwbacks, but a few keepers, and the action was good, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish pounced on everything usual, including live spots and jigs, and popper-plugging them was possible, too. Joe had nothing to report from the ocean because of rough weather and he was also away at moment. But he’s supposed to sail for sea bass and false albacore on the ocean this weekend, and expects to catch them, if weather enables him to get out. Albies in this area are farther from shore, and finding them takes know-how. But the angling can be as good as anywhere or better. Joe’s trips are impending for the migrations of large stripers and bluefish on the ocean. He was unsure how many dates are left for charters for them. In other words, book to ensure a date. Those trips can fill up. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish from Christmas to Easter. It’s not too early to lock in those dates. See the <a href="http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.

<b>Cape May</b>

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> will be moved to Atlantic City this weekend to fish the striped bass migration, Capt. George said. That’s been closer to the best fishing for them in recent autumns. Sea bass fishing was weathered out last weekend aboard. Another trip is supposed to sea bass this Saturday on the boat. The first striper charter is penciled in for Nov. 17. If the run tumbles in earlier, George has anglers who will want to jump aboard.

Sea bass trips, slated to fish daily, had the weather and sailed Friday and Tuesday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> in the last week, Capt. Paul said. Friday’s trip fished decent. On Tuesday’s trip, wind blew strongly from northwest, and the anglers, just a few climbed aboard, picked the fish, not that great fishing, but each bagged a few. Maybe the slower catch was because the water was shaken up from the weekend’s nor’easter, or maybe Paul went to the wrong place, he said. He stayed at one place and fished because the wind blew so strongly. This weekend’s weather looks like it might be decent. The trips are departing at 8 a.m., and the sea bass bag limit today changed to 15 fish with a minimum size of 13 inches. Previously it was 10 fish at 12 ½ inches. In other news, Paul heard about no striped bass migrating the local ocean yet. The season was early for that. The ocean cooled on the sea bass grounds and was 58 degrees on Tuesday’s trip, compared with the mid-60s last week aboard. The 50s are conducive to stripers. But the migration yesterday seemed to just be arriving off North Jersey. At that time, some anglers might’ve posted a photo of a 40-pounder like the run was full-on, though maybe the trip didn’t catch so well. That might’ve changed since.

Sounds like things are starting to happen, and the southern migration of striped bass began arriving in the northern state, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. At Cape May, small bluefish were nabbed from the surf. A few throwback stripers and a couple of keepers were banked along surf jetties locally. If fishing bait for the blues or stripers, Nick would still recommend mullet. The mullet migration was gone or thinning out – he wasn’t asked for this report whether any remained, but the baitfish seemed gone or thinned out at some places in New Jersey – but the bait still caught. Fresh bunker that will be stocked this weekend will also work. Frozen, salted clams will always bean the throwback stripers, too. Fresh bunker should be stocked the rest of the season at the shop whenever available from suppliers. Fresh, shucked clams will also be carried this weekend. If fishing lures for the blues, metal was productive. Top-water lures hit them at first light or when the fish were feeding heavily. For the stripers along the jetties, Daiwa SP Minnows and Yo-Zuri Mag Darters were top lures. Tsunami swim shads also caught. These lures replicated the baitfish. The back bay was on fire with baitfish and 18- to 24-inch stripers, a few bigger that were keepers. Lures to hook them were slimmer, like Bass Assassins or others that weren’t paddle-tails, because spearing schooled. Getting reports about sea bass fishing on the ocean was tough, because weather kept canceling trips, or anglers still struggled to get out because of a little rough weather. But ocean wrecks should be prime for sea bass.   

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