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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-26-18


The ocean harbored most striped bass, and fishable weather is especially important there, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. Trip after trip was weathered out aboard, and when weather was fishable, it was still borderline. A trip Saturday picked up more than 60 stripers, but all throwbacks. Jigging for stripers has been good on the ocean, mostly for throwbacks, but some keepers and bonus-sized mixed in. Fishing for stripers on Raritan Bay never developed this season, not yet, at least. Open-boat trips will fish for stripers whenever no charter is booked and wind is fishable. A gale warning is posted for today, and strong wind is forecast for the next days.

Different sizes of striped bass bit, and fishing for them was good, said Capt. Mario from <b>Down Deep Sportfishing</b>. Some were keepers and bonus stripers, and plenty were throwbacks that could keep anglers busy. The fish were jigged and hooked on rubber shads aboard, because sand eels schooled, tons. Open-boat trips are fishing for stripers at 6 a.m. daily.  Sign up for the <a href="" target="_blank">Short Notice List</a> on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open blackfish trips. The boat includes a heated cabin and full galley.

<b>Manicsportfishing</b> is headed to the Florida Keys to fish this winter, Capt. Greg said. He’s enroute, sailing the boat south to begin fishing in the first week of December from Marathon, and he wrapped up his New Jersey fishing until spring. From the Keys, the trips target catches from bottom-fish at reefs and wrecks to sailfish, swordfish, blackfin tuna and mahi mahi farther from shore. The swordfishing is during daytime in deep water, not at nighttime in shallower water that’s common.


The boat will be hauled out today for winter, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. He thanks anglers who fished this year aboard, and will resume charters probably in April, fishing first for striped bass, maybe also bottom-fish. Striper fishing was awesome last spring aboard, probably one of the best spring runs in 20 years. Fishing for stripers was also terrific this fall aboard, when the trips could sail between rough weather. Currently lots of small stripers and a couple of keepers swam locally, but all you’d want, lots of action. Stripers are still around up north, so the southern migration is still coming. A buddy boated a handful off Jones Inlet. Blackfishing locally is building. Some better-sized are mixed in, and Joe heard about some good catches. Speaking of spring stripers, the trips that season usually clam the bass at first, and soon troll them, like on Stretch lures that imitate migrating herring. Next, the stripers are hooked on chunks of bunker and livelined bunker.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

The anglers slugged away at smaller striped bass including some bonus ones right away, close to port, on Black Friday on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Later, the trip took a ride and had a couple of shots at bigger stripers. The hot hand eased in more than 15 stripers including three keepers and won the pool. Jigs caught the trip’s fish. Saturday’s trip lit into hot action from the start on jigs. Some of the bass were keepers, and most were throwbacks.  On Sunday, the water held a huge swell after the night’s blow. No bait schooled, and the seas became calmer and fishable after the change of tide. But only a few small stripers came in. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. But no trip was going to fish today in gusts to 30 and a rainstorm. See what happens Tuesday, the report said. Don’t wait long to fish for stripers. The bass are biting.

One angler on Black Friday’s trip mugged seven blackfish on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The angler kept no more than a limit of five, and another angler on the trip dialed up four keepers. Some cracked one or two, and some only caught throwbacks. But all caught at least them. All three of the trip’s drops produced blackfish. The morning began cold, and that seemed keep some anglers from joining the trip. Only a few jumped aboard, but the trip sailed. Thanksgiving’s trip was canceled because of forecasts for wind and record cold.  On Saturday’s trip, some anglers bagged one to three blackfish. Some hooked no keepers, but all swung in throwbacks, at least. All three drops produced the tautog. On Sunday’s trip, the ocean held a big swell, apparently leftover from Saturday night’s storm. Seas on Sunday weren’t rough, because the swells were spread out, but were 8 to 9 feet, and the water was dirty. Blackfishing was slow on the outing. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.


Fishing for blackfish cleaned up on a good catch on Black Friday on a charter with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Keepers were hooked at every spot fished, and seas were calm. The anglers aboard were peeling off clothing by 9 a.m., after a cold start to the day.  “They were dressed right – all hunters and fisherman,” he wrote. A trip Saturday fished for stripers at first aboard, jigging only two slots or bonus-tag-sized and some throwbacks. At noon, the trip switched to blackfishing, and most of the anglers reeled in a keeper. One totaled three keepers and lots of throwbacks. A trip was supposed to fish Sunday, too, Ralph said before the outing. Individual-reservation trips will fish for blackfish and stripers Tuesday, Friday and Dec. 4, 7 and 8. <b>***Update, Monday, 11/26:***</b> A trip for stripers today was canceled because of wind and because the angling was slow yesterday, Ralph wrote in an email. Striper fishing was good on Black Friday on boats he knew about. Fishing aboard will also be weathered out Tuesday. Individual-reservation trips were just added for Dec. 14, 16, 21-24 and 28-31 that will target blackfish but fish for stripers if stripers are around. An individual-rez trip will run offshore Dec. 15 for sea bass, porgies, cod and pollock. If weather’s too rough, that trip will blackfish, and a blackfish trip aboard last year then limited out on the tautog with eight anglers.


Four under striped bass and about eight throwbacks were landed on Black Friday from the ocean with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. The unders were trolled, and the throwbacks were jigged, and the fishing was okay, not great. On a trip Saturday on the ocean, two slot stripers 25 and 26 inches were trolled, until weather deteriorated, and the trip called it a day. A couple of dates are left for striper charters, and the fish are still migrating to the local area.

On some days when the trips had the weather to sail, striped bass fishing was great on the ocean aboard, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. It was on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. On Saturday, the angling wasn’t so good. Lots of throwbacks and not many keepers bit. On Sunday, the ocean was a mess from a storm Saturday night. Only throwbacks hit on a trip Sunday, and a huge swell made trolling difficult, and baitfish and stripers were broken up. The striper fishing isn’t finished, and conditions just need to come together. Another storm was forecast for today. But the ocean is in the 50 degrees, still a good temperature for stripers. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual space with a charter who wants more anglers.

Decent striped bass fishing was clubbed on the <b>Golden Eagle</b> on Black Friday, a report said on the party boat’s website. Throwbacks, bonus-sized, keepers and a few bluefish were banged out. Saturday’s trip picked away at stripers, including some keepers, but the ratio of keepers to throwbacks wasn’t good. Sunday’s trip scored some throwbacks, but the water was dirty because of the storm the previous night, slowing striper fishing. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. We’re getting near the end, the report said, so go now.

Catches of striped bass were much better on Black Friday than in the previous week on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. Some keepers, including quite a few larger than 35 inches, and some bonus and throwback stripers were angled. A 32-pound striper won the pool. On Saturday’s trip, a couple of handfuls of keepers and more than 100 throwbacks were nabbed. On Sunday’s trip, the ocean was turned up from the previous night’s strong wind in heavy rain. The trip ended up fishing far north, 20 miles, to catch throwbacks, a couple of handfuls. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday. The trips are no longer sailing on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Wind kept boats docked on Thanksgiving, but they fished every day since, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. That was a record-setting cold day that only reached 30 degrees. The striped bass boated on the ocean were mostly smaller, with some bigger in the mix. Anglers used bonus tags to bag some meat. The tags allowed an angler to keep a striper 24 inches to less than 28, compared with the usual legal size of 28 inches or larger. Surf anglers banked small stripers and had difficulty finding a keeper. The fish fed on sand eels, so sand-eel imitations caught. Fish an Ava 17 or 27 jig with a red or green tail and a teaser. Better-sized stripers in the surf weren’t in that usually show up when sand eels are. Only two keepers were entered in the Shark River Surf Anglers’ tournament. One was a 12-pounder for the Asbury Park club, and the other was a 9-pound 4-ouncer for the host club. Five clubs competed in the five-day event. So that showed the number of better-sized stripers around. Some of the best surf anglers are from those clubs. You can’t catch what’s not there, Bob said. Blackfishing was good on the ocean, but lots of the tautog were throwbacks. Boaters had to work to put-together a catch of keepers. Shark River’s winter flounder fishing can be great when a few days in a row have no rain. But rain often muddied the water, slowing the fishing.


The ocean’s striped bass were smaller than stripers there before, currently ranging from numerous throwbacks to 12- or 14-pound keepers, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. The fish were mostly trolled on shad or tube umbrella rigs. Jigging for them was also good on Ava’s and Bill Hurley sand eels. The bass were angled off Monmouth Beach, at the Shrewsbury Rocks, inshore of Axel Carlson Reef and to the south off Lavallette and Seaside. The fishing in that southern area was better. A handful were boated on trolled Mojos and bunker spoons, if anglers wanted to do that. But the rigs and jigs were better. The fishing was slow Sunday in bad conditions after Saturday night’s storm, but was good during the week. A few small bluefish, not many, were mixed with the stripers. The best reports about surf-fishing for stripers came from Lavallette and to the south. The fishing, on Ava jigs and needlefish with teasers, was hit or miss but picked a few. The angling seemed about tide, and high tide sounded best. Blackfishing improved on the ocean compared with the previous couple of weeks. Really good catches including limits were made at Shrewsbury Rocks, off the Red Church and at the Axel Carlson. Blackfish were also still hooked at Manasquan Inlet and Point Pleasant Canal. Sea bass were migrating offshore. Some were heard about from Mudhole wrecks, but most held even farther out, at places like the Texas Tower, a winter haunt. Those who sailed the distance caught well. Porgies also pushed east. So blackfishing was the only bottom-fishing inshore.  

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Good blackfishing! a report said about Sunday on the <b>Norma-K III</b> on the party boat’s website. The good catches were despite a big swell, and strong current also flowed, but the tautog chewed.  They were a good number of keepers and throwbacks that weighed up to 7 pounds. Blackfish 6 to 8 pounds have been winning pools. White crabs caught best that day, and green crabs and white are carried aboard. Both rigs and jigs have been catching on the boat. Black Friday’s and Saturdays’ trips picked away at some blackfish, slow fishing, but “high hook … had their limit,” the report said, and some anglers socked one to three keepers. Some only pumped in a few throwbacks. The fish should become more aggressive as the water cools, and trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Trips for striped bass fished slowly the past few days on the <b>Gambler</b>, a report said Sunday on the party boat’s website. The fish-finder marked the fish well, but they didn’t want to bite. The anglers worked hard. But the water temperature is good. “Just need them to get back on the feed,” the report said. Don’t let strong wind keep you home if it blows from west. That direction, even up to 40 knots, usually fishes well on the boat’s striper trips.  Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <a href="" target="_blank">Offshore sea bass trips</a> will also fish in December.


Trolling seems to sock bigger striped bass, and jigging for stripers is super sometimes, though lots of throwbacks and slots bite then, Capt. Alan said from <b>Mushin’ Sportfishing</b> said. Green or white Mojos and Tony Maja bunker spoons were trolled. On a trip Friday, the first splash over the bow turned into ice, <a href="" target="_blank">Mushin’s Facebook page</a> said. The morning began cold at 16 degrees, and the trip first jigged throwback stripers at birds working the water and readings. Next, the trip moved and trolled to try to hook bigger. Under stripers to 42 ½ inches were consistently picked, including a number of doubles and a triple. The trip apparently limited out on them and released the rest. On a trip Saturday, striper fishing was a .little tougher, taking a while to troll the group’s limit of stripers to a 35-pounder. A trip Sunday was canceled because of the strength of the east wind forecast for Saturday night. Dates will be posted soon on the Facebook page for open-boat trips that will fish offshore wrecks beginning in December for jumbo sea bass, huge porgies, cod and pollock. Mushin means a relaxed state of readiness.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

In the surf, decent striped bass fishing was honked on Black Friday at Island Beach State Park, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Conditions were good, and birds worked bait in the water, making the stripers easy to find. The stripers were 24 to 26 inches, and some were up to 38 inches. Lures caught best, but bait worked on some. 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>Barnegat Light</b>

The <b>Miss  Barnegat Light</b>’s striped bass fishing on the ocean finished strongly on Saturday after a slow start, a report said on the party boat’s Facebook page. A good number of keepers, slots and throwbacks were jigged, because the bass fed on sand eels. On Sunday’s trip, the fishing was a bust, catching only two throwbacks after looking all over. “Makes the good days that much better,” the page said. The trips also fished on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Thanksgiving was a cold day, and the trip picked one keeper, a handful of slots, some throwbacks and some bluefish. Fish were seen chasing sand eels along the water surface in a large area, and fish were read well, though the fishing only picked. Anglers on Black Friday’s trip braved cold in the morning. They caught a few slots, a couple of dozen throwbacks and a couple of blues. Fish were seen schooled up at times, but few bit. Trips will fish 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and the crew will decide the future schedule after seeing the results.


Blackfishing whacked the catches Sunday on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. At first, the trip sat at a piece but the fishing was slow, and the water was dirty and weedy from the previous night’s storm. So the trip pushed 6 miles farther from shore to clearer water, and the bite turned on. Phenomenal. The tautog, good-sized, chewed their heads off. Trips aboard are usually finding blackfish in 65 feet of water. This trip, after that first drop, moved to 6 miles beyond. Although the previous night was stormy, weather was fantastic on the trip. T-shirts were worn by mid-morning, and the weather was 60 degrees with no wind. Spaces are available on open-boat trips for blackfish Wednesday and Sunday and open trips for striped bass Tuesday and Thursday. Striper trips decked onesies and twosies, and the full migration was yet to swim down to the local ocean. Trips aboard fish for whatever’s best. If striper fishing isn’t the best option, the trips fish for blackfish. The boat’s got a great record of catching, Mike said. Open trips will sail for blackfish every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and stripers every Tuesday and Thursday. Telephone to confirm the schedule.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

A dozen striped bass to 45 inches were jigged from the ocean on a trip last week with Doug Gillespie aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. On a trip on Black Friday with Chip Wheatley and friends, 15 stripers to 35 inches were jigged. On a trip Saturday with several anglers, the ocean was rough, and no stripers were reeled in. One might’ve been hooked but got off. A trip Sunday with three other anglers trolled six or seven stripers to 29 inches on 9er umbrella rigs. Those bass were smaller, but a big probably should’ve been caught, Joe said, because big are still being hooked on the troll. Two out-of-season summer flounder were also hooked and released on the trip, interestingly. All of this angling was on the ocean, and the striper fishing’s been good. The bass have been different sizes from 20 inches to big. That’s unusual but seems good for the population. All different baitfish have been schooling including bunker, herring and smaller bait like bay anchovies and sand eels. That seems healthy, too. No bluefish were seen, though blues have traditionally been in the mix in past years.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>. Annual traveling charters will fish the Florida Keys from Christmas to Easter. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.

<b>Cape May</b>

A good catch of striped bass 34 to 38 inches and one 44-incher was nailed from the ocean on Black Friday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. A charter Saturday walloped a similar catch of the bass to a 40-incher by 9 a.m. with George. Both trips trolled the bass on Mojos, and he’s running the trips from Atlantic City, because that’s been closer to the best striper fishing in recent years. George knew that the fleet struggled at the striper fishing on Sunday. That was maybe because anglers said the water was dirty and rough, probably from Saturday night’s storm.

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