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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-29-18

<b>Keyport</b>

Fishing will next sail on Friday with <b>Down Deep Sportfishing</b>, for striped bass, Capt. Mario said. None of the trips fished this week in strong wind. But the angling was good previously aboard, and open-boat trips for the fishing are scheduled for 6 a.m. daily. Sign up for the <a href=" http://downdeepsportfishing.com/short-notice-list/" target="_blank">Short Notice List</a> on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open blackfish trips. Enjoy the heated cabin and full galley.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Nobody boated in past days in the wind, said Jay from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Some surf-fished, landing striped bass off Sandy Hook on diamond jigs. When boaters last striper fished, catches were fairly good. Boating for blackfish kept rolling, catching, before the weather. Green crabs are stocked, and whites will arrive Friday. Fresh clams, sandworms and bloodworms are on hand.

Daily trips for striped bass, sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., will resume Friday on the <b>Fishermen</b>, the party boat’s website said. Wind is supposed to calm and also looks good for the weekend.

The party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> was shaped up to fish today in improved weather, Capt. Tom said. But only five anglers showed up at the marina, and none of its head boats sailed. The current west wind should knock down seas that built previously in the east. Tomorrow’s trip should sail in good weather. The boat is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Friday, 11/30:***</b> Blackfishing launched back off today aboard, and the angling probably was somewhat slower than before the blow, but was good, Tom said at 11 a.m. on the trip in a phone call. Seas were calm, like he thought they’d be because of the west wind. Seas were flat as a lake, actually, and weather was beautiful, some of the best in a long time on the water. A couple of anglers had already bucketed three and four keepers apiece, and some totaled one or two per angler. Some landed no keepers, and throwbacks also gave up action. The fish were mixed sizes, and a couple would be caught, then anglers would wait, and a couple of more would be, and so on.

None of the boats fished since last week because of the weather, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Water was supposedly so dirty from wind now. Some throwback striped bass were eased from the surf at Fisherman’s Beach at Sandy Hook on metal. All baits are stocked that are available in the weather. They include green crabs, and suppliers will probably be able to harvest white crabs on Friday for the first time since the wind. If they get the crabs, they’ll be stocked.

<b>Long Branch</b>

In the surf, small striped bass, sand eels and shad popped up sporadically, said Mike from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b>. Diamond jigs, Hogie jigs and Tsunami sand eels with teasers hooked the bass. Mike heard about no boating in the weather. None of his friends boated. Many customers surfed instead of fished while seas were up. TAK Waterman is a store for fishing, especially surf-fishing, surfing and paddle-boarding.

<b>Neptune</b>

Wind was dropping off and switching to west, and fishing was going to kick back off today with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> with a trip for blackfish, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Wind is also supposed to be calmer Friday through Sunday, and spaces are available for an individual-reservation blackfish trip Friday. Individual-reservation trips will fish for blackfish, and stripers if stripers are around, on Sunday, Wednesday, next Thursday and Dec. 14, 16, 21, 24 and 28-31. One of the trips will push offshore Dec. 15 for giant sea bass, big porgies, cod and pollock, limited to eight passengers. A few spaces remain for that outing. <b>***Update, Thursday, 11/29:***</b> The trip today fished in rough conditions, boating only nine keeper blackfish, Ralph wrote in an email. More than 100 throwbacks were angled, and he’ll be able to fish where he wants tomorrow because of calm wind. Spots are still available for the trip, departing at 6 a.m. sharp, and just show up by 5:45 a.m. or telephone for a reservation.

<b>Belmar</b>

Striped bass fishing worked the ocean Monday with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, but the angling was tough, Capt. Pete said. He did know about one boat that fished yesterday for them in the wind, reeling in lots of small. The weather’s been keeping the trips tight to shore, so the trips couldn’t reach the grounds they wanted. The angling was nixed Tuesday and Wednesday because of weather with Parker Pete’s. Pete expected to get back out today for the fishing and hoped also on the next days in forecasts that looked better. Plenty of stripers are still around and are mostly being jigged. Some dates are still available for fishing aboard. Trips will keep after stripers as long as possible and then target blackfish. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual space with a charter who wants more anglers.

No fishing sailed in the weather with <b>Celtic Storm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. He’s looking to resume striped bass trips. 

On the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b>, blackfishing on the ocean was expected to resume today after being weathered out in past days, Capt. Chris said. When the trips could sail, the catches were good. Most were hooked on jigs, and getting the weather to sail was the only problem. It always is, this time of year. Trips are blackfishing daily, and green crabs are supplied. White crabs are available for sale aboard. <b>***Update, Thursday, 11/29:***</b> Decent fishing for the tautog was clocked today aboard, the boat’s Facebook page said. Friday’s trip will depart at 6:30 a.m.

Fishing will definitely sail Friday through Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., for striped bass and blues on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat.

A trip Monday had action on throwback striped bass on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The water was muddy from the weekend’s storm, and trips are slated to fish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

This is a weather report more than a fishing one, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Wind and cold cut down on the number of surf anglers, but the hardy who fished drilled lots of small to medium-sized striped bass 20 to 32 inches. Reports put the bass at Belmar to Point Pleasant Beach, smacking Ava 17 and 27 jigs with green, red or orange tails and a teaser. But Deadly Dicks 2 or 3 ounces and 6-inch Tsunami sand eels also worked well. Seven o’clock in the morning was early enough to fish. No need to lose sleep. The fish bit again at 2 to 5 p.m. Every year, the stripers seem to show up later. December seems the best month now. Boaters should get back out for stripers tomorrow on the ocean. Anglers will see how that goes. Hope you can get out, he said. Dress warm, and you should have fun.

<b>Brielle</b>

When boats could fish, the anglers jigged mostly small striped bass, sometimes bigger, on the ocean, said Bob from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. They jigged because sand eels schooled, and most bunker departed. Surf anglers caught stripers 14 to 25 or 26 inches, mostly on metal and teasers, because of the sand eels. Weather kept most boating for blackfish docked.

A 12-hour trip on the <b>Jamaica II</b> will fish for sea bass at 5 a.m. Friday, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Fourteen-hour trips will run for sea bass and cod at 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Looks like wind will calm, and blackfishing is a go Friday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Weather looks good through the weekend, and the trips run 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Green crabs and white crabs are carried aboard.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

The <b>Tin Knocker</b> was hauled out for winter, Capt. John said. He thanks those who fished aboard for another great season, and wishes everybody Happy Holidays.

<b>Toms River</b>

The few who fished the surf yesterday scored pretty well on striped bass, mostly throwbacks, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. No particular spot seemed best, and if the anglers kept on the move, they found baitfish with the bass feeding on them. Jetty Ghost Slims, Jetty Ghost Keeled Sand Eels, Ava jigs and A.O.K. T-Hexes with a teaser caught. If bait was fished in the surf, that was clams or bunker chunks. A few throwback stripers were heard about that were played on the Toms River before dark yesterday on lures. No boating was heard about in days. Neither was blackfishing. Previously blackfish were still grabbed at Point Pleasant Canal. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Sand eels don’t school away quickly, so once the bait is located in the surf, it should stay there a while, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Striped bass 18 to 26 inches bit Wednesday for beach anglers. Metal with a teaser smoked them, because of the sand eels. Completely black or completely green teasers were the go-to’s. Stripers also remained north, so they should slide down and keep the catches going locally well into December. On Tuesday, stripers were difficult to find in the local surf. Moving around was the ticket. The water was dirty, and no birds really worked the water, and that didn’t help. But when you happened to place a cast to the right spot, bingo! On Monday, some good fishing for stripers was tapped into from shore at Seaside Park through Island Beach State Park. Blow-out sales are being held for the holidays at the store. Buy a gift card and get an additional 25-percent value. 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>

Boaters trolled striped bass to the north on the ocean along the 2-mile mark during the weekend, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. None of the fishing was reported since because of weather. Blackfishing was good on the ocean when the trips had the weather. A friend who fished for them Saturday said wrecks in 80 feet harbored the good-sized. Baits stocked include green crabs and eels.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

The most recent trip attempted to fish Sunday for striped bass on the <b>Super Chic</b> on the ocean, Capt. Ted said. But the water was churned and dirty from the storm the previous night, so much so that he ended the charter early and returned to port. Weather was rough since, and Friday might be the next weather-window for boats to sail. The next trip aboard is slated for Saturday for blackfish. Blackfishing was good on the ocean before this latest blow. A trip also fished for stripers last Saturday on the boat, jigging throwbacks, okay action.

Lots of striped bass were boated on the ocean through Saturday, and hardly anybody fished since in the wind, said Vince Sr. from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. He fished on a trip Saturday that bailed stripers, a great catch, on the ocean to the south. First the trip caught on livelined spots. Seas became rough, and the trip switched to trolling bunker spoons and Mojos and caught. Few fished for blackfish on the ocean recently because of weather. Some of the tautog could probably still be angled along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. Baits stocked include live spots and green crabs. 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>Brigantine</b>

Six customers headed to fish the surf yesterday, and two beached a 21-inch striped bass apiece, despite fierce northwest wind, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. That was on fresh, shucked clams. No boaters fished in two or three days because of weather. Fresh clams are in. Eels and fresh bunker should be stocked Friday. The Riptide Fall Surf Fishing Derby is underway until Dec. 23, awarding cash for the heaviest stripers and 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, like the contest does every year. Without the tournament permit, not all the beach can be driven.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Blackfish were beaned along Absecon Inlet, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. No numbers, but catching, on green crabs. Fishing for schoolie striped bass was actually pretty good from the T-jetty on the ocean end of the inlet to Melrose Avenue toward the back of the inlet at night and in early morning. Plugs, clams, eels and bloodworms pasted them. Customers fish this whole area on foot. Boaters planned to resume fishing tomorrow. All the baits mentioned and more, a large supply, are stocked. A vending machine dispenses bait, a little of everything, round the clock, handy for afterhours.

<b>Absecon</b>

The ocean’s striped bass fishing had been good a moment when the angling began locally this season, said Curt from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Once the first storm rolled in after that, the bass became more scattered, and trips picked one or two apiece on the troll. Curt heard from some who said more stripers are schooling beyond 3 miles from shore. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3. A few of the big, migrating stripers seemed to pull into back waters, too. A few 30-pounders were eeled in the back since the run began. The ocean temperature seemed not to plummet quickly, causing the migration not to swim quickly south like in some years. Bait should probably be fished in the back for stripers. On the ocean, anglers should probably troll Mojos and bunker spoons, covering ground, if the bass are foraging on bunker. If small bait like sand eels are the baitfish, the fishing should probably jig. When the stripers are keyed in on a bait, they often bite nothing except something that looks like the bait. Blackfish definitely hovered along ocean wrecks. Anglers whom Curt asked about blackfishing at Brigantine Bridge said none bit. But some blackfish still chomped along jetties. If you want to limit out on five, you probably have to fish a wreck, unless you know a honey hole. Curt, a white perch angler, last fished for perch a few weeks ago on Mullica River. He thought the perch would school the river closer to Great Bay, and they did. At the first spot, 80 throwbacks and one keeper bit downriver from the Parkway Bridge. The trip moved, still fishing below the bridge, and began hooking keepers, even double-headers. The fishing can take work to find the perch or the better-sized when you haven’t gone. A lot can change in a week. Scattered schools of different-sized perch seemed to swim, and fishing needed to find the larger. A keeper ratio of 1 in 75 isn’t good, of course. But 1 in 5 is. Live spots, green crabs and eels are stocked. Fresh clams are in, or they’re as fresh as possible. Nobody probably had fresh clams, because weather probably kept clam boats from sailing. The clams stocked came from a few days ago, before the weather. Telephone to confirm whether fresh bunker are on hand. That depends on the weather, too.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

The next trips aboard are supposed to fish for striped bass on the ocean this weekend, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The angling’s been good for him, covered in previous reports here. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>. Annual traveling charters will fish the Florida Keys from Christmas to Easter. See the <a href="http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.

<b>Ocean City</b>

On the ocean, boaters picked striped bass a little, not a lot, before the wind, said Bill from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. The fish seemed mostly trolled on Mojos because bunker had been schooling. Seas weren’t bad in the surf currently, because the wind became west. A few stripers were plucked from the beach around Thanksgiving. Blackfish were heard about from Ocean City and Great Egg reefs when the trips last sailed. None was heard about from the bay.

<b>Cape May</b>

Blackfishing sailed Sunday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> in a big swell on the ocean, and not Saturday in rough weather, Capt. Paul said. The fishing was slow, though one angler bagged three. However, the angling was decent aboard Friday, the most recent day with fair weather. Tony Guerrien from Alloway on that trip nailed a 10-1/2-pounder. Even bigger should pop up as the water becomes colder. Double-digit blackfish usually aren’t landed in November aboard, but you never know.  December and January are usually when some that size bite. Weather will probably let the next trip fish on Friday, and weather was too rough to go Monday through today. But strong west wind now should knock down seas from the previous easterly. Weather’s been tough not only this season but all year, though it has been brutal this fall. It’s been unusual. Trips are slated to blackfish at 8 a.m. daily.

When the fishing was heard about last, striped bass seemed to be trolled on the ocean from Great Egg Harbor Inlet to south of Corson’s Inlet or that area, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Pods of scattered bait swam with the bass on them. But the stripers were sizable. One customer hit the surf for stripers yesterday, seeing birds working baitfish all over, bait getting pushed onto the beach, and no other anglers. He said the baitfish were bunker, and Nick would imagine the bait would be a mix like spearing, bay anchovies and a few bunker, because small bait like the spearing and anchovies were around recently. But the angler said the birds included gannets, and gannets usually forage on large baitfish like bunker. When blackfishing was last reported from the ocean, catches sounded decent at spots like Cape May and Wildwood Reefs and larger wrecks. Green crabs are stocked, and Nick is trying to stock fresh bunker when weather lets bunker boats sail. 

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