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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-8-18

<b>Keyport</b>

Abundant striped bass were around, but fishing for them was up and down the past couple of days, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. When they were hooked aboard, they weighed up to 35 pounds and were landed on jigs, rubber shads, eels and a little on trolled Mojos. Open-boat trips are fishing for stripers at 6 a.m. daily, and charters are available. Follow <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/downdeepsportfishing/" target="_blank">Down Deep on Facebook page</a> or sign up for the <a href=" http://downdeepsportfishing.com/short-notice-list/" target="_blank">Short Notice List</a> to be kept informed about special blackfish trips that will begin once the bag limit is increased. Both of Down Deep’s boats feature heated cabins, full galleys with free coffee and plenty of room for comfort.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Limiting out on over striped bass on the ocean was the norm with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> when trips could fish between storms, Capt. Joe said. Unders began to mix in, and the fishing was a matter of getting out for a couple of hours when weather allowed, and looking around. The trips trolled Mojos and bunker spoons, and if weather prevents trips from reaching the ocean this weekend, Joe will try to fish Raritan Bay. Mostly throwbacks with a few keepers schooled the bay, he heard. Plenty of bunker were around. Sand eels schooled between the channels, pushing out toward the Scotland Grounds. In other news, Joe heard second-hand that 80-pound bluefin tuna were caught Sunday from the Mudhole to the Glory Hole. That was the only day with fishable weather around then.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Good blackfishing was whipped yesterday on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Not every angler landed a keeper, but all left with one. Other anglers gave those fish to them. Friday looks rough in rain and wind, and no trip will probably sail that day. The boat is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Sunday, 11/11:***</b> Monday looks like good weather with calm wind, and Tuesday looks like a storm, Tom said. If you want to fish aboard, Monday is the day. That’s a holiday, when Veterans’ Day is observed.

After Sunday’s trip clobbered big striped bass, Wednesday’s and today’s trips fished slowly for the bass on the <b>Fishermen</b>, reports said on the party boat’s website. Sunday’s trip was covered in the last report here. Monday’s and Tuesday’s trips were tied to the dock. Today’s trip pulled in one good-sized keeper to win the pool, a bunch of throwbacks and a couple of slots. Eels, jigs and rubber shads were fished. Friday’s trip is canceled because of forecasts for strong wind from east to southeast. The captain will see about fishing on Saturday or will sail if the wind doesn’t scream too badly. Sunday is chartered, so no open trip will fish that day. Trips are slated to fish for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

A couple of striped bass 42 and 38 pounds were weighed at <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b> during the weekend that were trolled near the Statue of Liberty on a Stretch 25 lure and a bunker spoon, Jay said. Stripers were also eeled there lately. Were stripers boated on the ocean? More toward Breezy Point and Rockaway, he said. On the bay, surf anglers released small, rat stripers at spots like Leonardo, Port Monmouth and Keansburg. In the ocean surf, a bunch of schoolie stripers were let go, mostly on lures including poppers, other top-waters, darters, Northbar deep-divers and the Sebile sinking bunker. Are those stocked? We got everything, he said. Bottom-fishing on the ocean pretty much landed blackfish. All baits are stocked including green crabs. Fresh clams were out of stock but Jay would see if they arrived today.

On the boats, striped bass fishing sounded slow today, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. The party boats didn’t fare well on the bass today but rocked them Sunday. Eeling for stripers seemed better, near the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge. Surf anglers rounded up schoolie stripers, lots, scoring alright. That seemed on metal and the new rubber shad that looks rippled on a jighead. Nobody was buying clams, so clams didn’t seem to catch much in the surf. Blackfish were biting for boaters, though one is the bag limit until five becomes the limit beginning Nov. 16. Nobody mentioned catching sea bass. Porgies migrated out, too. Baits stocked include eels, fresh clams and green crabs. White leggers will probably be stocked next week, because the blackfish limit will be increased, though Bob heard the whites weren’t potting.

<b>Highlands</b>

Richard Scherer trolled a 35-pound striped bass on the ocean off Sea Bright on Sunday on a Mojo on a trip from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>, 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 like live bunker and fresh clams are stocked when in demand.

<b>Long Branch</b>

A couple of customers bought Bass Assassins today and beached striped bass from the surf that were close to keeper-sized, said Nick from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b>. Ocean boaters sometimes locked into big stripers. He saw the vessels including party boats off Sea Bright this morning. Anglers hope cooler weather will trigger the big ones to move into the surf. Smaller stripers were played in Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers. Bait schooled Raritan Bay, and Nick heard nothing about striper fishing on the bay. Stripers could be there, but he just heard nothing about the fishing. TAK Waterman is a shop for fishing, especially 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>

<b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> did no fishing in past days but is slated to fish the next two weeks with only one day off, Capt. Ralph said. Most of the trips are supposed to fish for striped bass. Most of the past days had weather too rough to sail. A bottom-fishing trip Sunday aboard smashed sea bass and porgies, lots, covered in the last report here. That angling’s phenomenal. Individual-reservation trips will fish for blackfish Nov. 16 and for stripers and blackfish or whatever bites best on Nov. 20, 23, 24, 27 and 30. The blackfish bag limit will be raised to five beginning Nov. 16 from the current limit of one. Charters are available including offshore for big sea bass, large porgies, cod and pollock through the end of the year. <b>***Update, Thursday, 11/8:***</b> A charter today boated striped bass to 41 pounds aboard, Ralph wrote in an email. Photos included showed at least four of the big fish.

<b>Belmar</b>

Fishing for striped bass resumed Wednesday on the ocean after being weathered out Monday and Tuesday with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Pete said. The fishing was spotty at best, and the water was dirty from the stormy weather on the previous days. Sometimes the bass were trolled, jigged or caught on livelined bunker. Patchy catches were made everywhere, and anglers needed to be at the right place at the right time. But conditions after the storm and also the new moon just needed to come together. Everything was “broken up,” and plenty of stripers are swimming up and down the coast.

Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> hopes to fish for striped bass this weekend on the ocean but might get weathered out, he said. Striper charters are booking aboard.

Some good-sized striped bass have been socked on the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> on the ocean, Capt. Chris said. Some of the fish to 35 pounds were pumped in on yesterday’s trip. The angling’s been okay, and recently has caught on livelined bunker. Bring snagging hooks to catch the bunker. Also bring rubber shads and lead jigs in case those catch best on a trip. Bring a spinning rod, not a conventional, and the trips are departing at 5:30 a.m., and sailing with a limited number of passengers. Trips will fish for blackfish beginning Nov. 16, when the bag limit is increased to five from the current limit of one.

Phenomenal bluefishing was bombed Sunday on the ocean on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The blues were huge, and no trips apparently sailed Monday and Tuesday in the storm, because nothing was reported about those days. On Wednesday’s trip, a couple of sizable striped bass, a few blues and some sea bass were swung in. But the fishing was slower, probably because of the storm previously. Today’s trip decked a few keeper and throwback stripers, just not enough. But the fish are there, and the boat will get back after them. 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.

On the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, fishing was slow Wednesday and today, emails said from the party boat. This was after good fishing for jumbo blues Sunday and trips were weathered out Monday and Tuesday aboard. On Wednesday, a couple of boats that sailed early caught a handful of striped bass. On today’s trip, bunker schooled, but only a handful of stripers were bagged on boats. A 32-pounder won the pool on the Miss Belmar Princess today. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. On Veterans’ Day on Monday, veterans will receive trip fare and rod rental for $50, a $30 savings.

Big striped bass on ocean boats now, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. The Belmar party boat Big Mohawk brought in stripers heavier than 40 pounds every day. Those bass were mostly hooked on bunker snagged for bait and then livelined. The biggest striper weighed at the store today was a 43-pound 8-ouncer that 13-year-old Nicholas Vitolo, Howell, drilled. That fish should’ve weighed 50, because it was 52 inches long. Winter flounder were really active in Shark River today, and most anglers limited out who fished for them and were known about. Bob, a surf angler, is out of action a while. He hurt his arm when he slipped on leaves, and his other arm was already injured in a fall on a jetty in 1999. He hopes this doesn’t finish his season. This is the best time of year for fishing. Get out and catch them up, he wrote. 

<b>Brielle</b>

Ocean striped bass fishing was pretty tough today, said Dave from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. He spoke with someone who fished on a Belmar party boat today who said bunker were caught to liveline aboard, but the bunker were difficult to obtain, and just not a lot of stripers were around. He spoke with a captain from a Point Pleasant Beach party boat at lunchtime today who said bunker were difficult to find to liveline aboard, and plenty of fish became marked under the boat, but they couldn’t be hooked on jigs and shads and stuff. All boats seemed to pick up a couple of stripers, but the fishing wasn’t like the better catches before this last blow. A couple of reports came in about stripers beached from the surf today here and there. The locations where stripers were hooked from the surf was hit or miss lately. But lots of surf anglers fished to the north. Part of the problem to the south was degraded structure in the surf, like from beach replenishment at Mantoloking. When the replenishment pumps out sand, that eliminates structure like holes that stripers prefer. Stripers still swam Manasquan River and Point Pleasant Canal. Dave landed small ones on the river in the morning before sunup on 4-inch rubber shads on a trip. The stripers might bite at other times, but that’s when he could go. Blackfish were angled at the canal and Manasquan Inlet. At the canal, the fishing seemed to be becoming slower. Nothing was heard about bottom-fishing on the ocean in the weather in past days. A Point Pleasant Beach party boat was bottom-fishing when Dave gave this report today, so he’d hear results. A Brielle party boat left this morning to fish offshore canyons for tuna. That trip might score differently, but canyon tuna fishing was a disaster this season. Boaters are still spotting bluefin tuna inshore.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 11/9:***</b> Fishing resumed yesterday on the <b>Norma-K III</b> after the boat was in port for maintenance, a report said on the party boat’s website. A sea trial went great the previous day, it said. On the fishing trip, sailing for sea bass and porgies, getting back on the water was good. Plenty of the fish bit, but hooking a keeper was difficult. On the last drop, the fishing was best, scooping up some decent-sized porgies and keeper sea bass 13 to 14 inches. Trips will probably be weathered out Friday and Saturday, but the fishing is expected to sail Sunday.  Trips are fishing for sea bass and porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. The trips will sail for blackfish beginning Nov. 16, when the bag limit is jacked up to five from the current limit of one.

Striped bass trips fished yesterday and today on the <b>Gambler</b> on the ocean, a text said from the party boat. Some huge, “and wise,” it said, stripers are around. The ones landed on the boat are rarely less than 30 pounds. Anglers have to work at catching. Patience is a must. The fish aren’t easy to catch. If the bass aren’t biting, keep fishing, because you don’t know when they will, and you want your line in the water when they do. The ones hooked on livelined bunker aboard were taken on the baitfish free-lined out on a 2-ounce egg sinker. Fresh dead worked just as well. When a striper grabs the bait, let it run for a good 10-count. If the striper takes a lot of drag, don’t panic and try to stop the fish on the first run. Let the fish run. Big crocodile spoons have hooked as many as fresh bunker this season on the boat. The fishing was slow today, “but we were thankful for the few that we caught,” the text said. A couple of big were also lost “that we should not have, due to crossed lines,” it said. Friday looks like rough weather but the weekend looks good for trips. Hope you can make it aboard, it said! Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <a href="http://www.gamblerfishing.net/offshore-sea-bass.php" target="_blank">Offshore sea bass trips</a> will also fish in December.

<b>Toms River</b>

Few fished in the weather in past days, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. But from some who did, a few throwback striped bass and a few shorts were heard about from the surf. Sand eels were reported swimming the water, so fish thin metal. Popular ones include Jetty Ghost Slims, Jetty Ghost Keeled Sand Eels, Deadly Dicks, Ava’s and A.O.K. T-Hexes. Use a teaser, too. Throwback stripers held along both sides of the Toms River. Anglers on the Ocean Gate side played some the other night who fished small popper lures and small swimmers while keeping on the move. Big stripers were boated to the north on the ocean on trolled Mojos and on bunker snagged and then livelined. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Not every surf angler hooked up yesterday, but several were in the right spots at the right time, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. They eased in stripers from shorts to keepers, spread from Lavallette to Island Beach State Park. More and more reports talked about sand eels in the surf, so keep thin metals, Tsunami rubber eels and needlefish plugs in the surf bag. Also fish teasers. West wind finally created better conditions for surf fishing on Wednesday, after stormy weather the previous couple of days. On the stormy days, a few dedicated surf anglers fished, banking a bunch of throwback stripers and several good-sized keepers. The fishing around then was best after dark and at first light. Both lures and bait caught. Why wait for Black Friday? Catch the big sale right now at the store featuring: 20 percent off all conventional reels in stock and Penn Spinfisher V and Conflict spinning reels; 15 percent off all Tsunami and D-Blue rods in stock; three Daiwa SP Minnows in sizes 13 and 15 for $25; 15 percent off all other SP’s; and 20 percent off Tsunami swim baits and sand eels. 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>

A 36-pound striped bass and a 35-pounder were weighed Saturday at <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>, Mike said. Some good reports were heard about striper fishing on Sunday, too. The migration was arriving in the ocean, and customers hope more of the fish pull farther south to the local area in the next days. Most of the bass seemed trolled on Mojos or bunker spoons. Weather was terrible after Sunday this week. A couple of customers left to fish for blowfish on Barnegat Bay, and none came back and gave results yet. News about blowfish was scarce because few fished in the weather. People who crabbed off their docks still trapped the blueclaws. All baits are stocked including eels.  

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Big striped bass were coming in from the ocean to the north, said George from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. The fish were boated including off the Seaside Heights pipe and Ferris wheel. Boaters passing the shop today hand-signed to him that they caught a 55-pounder and a 46-pounder. That was almost the only fishing heard about. Boaters just kept running north for stripers. Nothing was heard about stripers from Barnegat Inlet or Barnegat Bay. But boaters kept running north to try for the ocean stripers. One boat headed to fish for blowfish on the bay today and was still out there when George gave this report. Blackfish could certainly be angled along the inlet’s rocks. Triggerfish and sheepshead, warm-water fish, good-sized, too, were still reeled up from along the inlet. Sea bass bit off the statue, and George didn’t know the size or if they were all babies. No sea bass fishing was heard about from the ocean. Weather seemed to keep the trips from sailing. Baits stocked include live spots and green crabs and fresh bunker. 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>

<b>***Update, Saturday, 11/10:***</b> An email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “That hard west wind is doing its job today. Leveling out the seas that the hard easterly brought the last few days. More westerly tomorrow (Sunday) at a nice, moderate velocity means a flat ocean and stripers on the feed.  Open-boat or charter 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Four people max, all fish are shared. This is our last available November date. Starting to book December, Saturdays through Mondays only.”

<b>Absecon</b>

Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>’s charters angled medium-sized to keeper striped bass, mostly on the back bay, Curt from the store said. They hooked them on livelined spots and Gulp Nemesis. Three stripers heavier than 30 pounds apiece were weighed from the ocean during the weekend, but from Shrewsbury Rocks, a distance north. Now a few of the migrators were reported from closer to Manasquan Inlet. That’s south of the Rocks but still a distance north from the store. But the southern migration was coming. It should arrive unless bad storms or severe weather causes the fish to shoot past quickly. That has happened in past years, but is unusual. The ocean was stuck at about 60 to 62 degrees and wasn’t cooling. When the temperature fails to budge like that, the striper fishing is finicky, giving up catches like only early in morning, at dusk or on certain tides. Shore anglers tackled smaller stripers along Absecon Inlet’s jetties in Atlantic City. Curt didn’t know how many and thought not a ton. But the fish were caught, he knew. Plenty of blackfish, including keepers, were plucked from along the inlet’s rocks. Because the water is warm, maybe plenty will bite when the bag limit is lifted to five next week on Friday from the current limit of one. Usually when the limit is increased, cold water has shut down blackfishing from shore. Usually they only get caught from the ocean on boats then. Fishing for good-sized and plentiful sea bass on the ocean was best in 90 to 100 feet of water. A few keepers could be found closer to shore, and blackfish could be picked up there. Curt, a white perch angler, heard that some decent-sized perch swam the creeks along mid Mullica River, and that smaller held in creeks toward the mouth of the river. So the fishing was kind of shut down toward the mouth. But in his experience, the bigger will move to around the mouth soon. When the water drops to the mid to upper 50 degrees, they show up there, and the smaller move upriver. The bigger seem to tolerate colder water better. Weakfish and stripers could still be swimming the mouth of the river. He’s caught weaks there until Nov. 9 when the water was colder than it is this year. Baits stocked include live spots, eels and fresh bunker. Call ahead to confirm whether fresh clams are stocked. Fresh, shucked but not in the shell were currently carried.

<b>Brigantine</b>

Two 27-inch striped bass were slid from the surf near Absecon Inlet’s north jetty yesterday, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. He assumed they were clammed, and a 36-inch striper was eeled in the inlet on a boat the other day. A $25 gift card to the store will be awarded to the angler who brings in the season’s first keeper striper from Brigantine’s surf. Fresh bunker, eels and green crabs are stocked. Andy thinks fresh clams will be stocked Friday, but he’ll see whether the suppliers caught them. A fresh batch of MagicTail Mojos were just stocked that are popular for trolling big stripers on the ocean when the migration arrives locally. The Riptide Fall Surf Fishing Derby is underway until Dec. 23, awarding $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>

Shore anglers tugged in schoolie striped bass, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. That was from the surf to along Absecon Inlet to the back bay, but mostly from the bay off Harrah’s. The fish weren’t big, but some were caught. Fresh clams and fresh bunker can hook them. Blackfish including keepers, not a lot of keepers, were nabbed along the inlet on green crabs. Triggerfish, the warm-water species, still bit along the inlet. All baits, the full supply, are stocked, including the fresh clams and bunker and the green crabs. A vending machine dispenses bait, a little of everything, round the clock, handy for afterhours.  

<b>Longport</b>

A trip for sea bass fished closer to shore than usual, in 80 to 90 feet of water, yesterday on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. The fuel pump was out of service at the fuel dock, so Mike told the anglers the trip would fish closer because the fuel tank couldn’t be filled more because of that. But the angling was slower than it’s been farther off on the boat. It’s been gangbusters in 100 feet to 125. Each of the trip’s angler managed two or three keeper sea bass among lots of dogfish and lots of throwback sea bass. Bluefish and porgies that bit farther out never showed up. Maybe the dogs beat them to the hook. Open-boat trips will fish for sea bass Sunday and Tuesday through next Thursday. The trips will resume fishing farther out. A trip for blackfish is sold out on Nov. 16, when the bag limit will be lifted to five from the current limit of one. Trips will blackfish from then until open trips for stripers on Nov. 27, 29 and 30. Open trips will also fish for stripers Dec. 4 and 6. Any other open trips around this time will blackfish. A trip is sold out on Thanksgiving morning. Black Friday is available for a charter, and if nobody books the date, an open trip will blackfish then. So there’s a real possibility. Four or five people called about that date, but nobody committed.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Plenty of striped bass are milling around the back bay, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. He’s fishing for them, and would like to sail for false albacore and sea bass on the ocean. But weather kept canceling that. He was going to try to head for them now in this window of better weather.

The back bay’s striped bass fishing was a little slower this week than last week, but probably because of dirty water from stormy weather early in the week, Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b> said. The fishing began to pick up last night after better weather and clearer water. That was the case for fishing for them with soft-plastic lures, mostly Bass Assassins, like along bridges and on livelined spots and eels. Bass Assassin Sea Shads in Albino with a Fire Tail and Glow with a Chartreuse Tail were hot sellers and had to be re-ordered. When conditions are good, the striper fishing seems good for the fish in the teens and a couple in the 30 inches. Nothing was heard about bluefish, but maybe nobody tried for blues in the weather. Blackfishing seemed super for shore anglers when water was clear. A 5-pounder was weighed today at the store that was hooked along a private dock near Townsend’s Inlet. The angler said blackfish kept biting on the trip. Five blackfish will become the bag limit beginning Nov. 16, from the current limit of one, and Mike thinks fishing for them hasn’t even peaked yet from shore. Water was slow to cool this season, and during many years, cold water causes blackfishing to slow along shore by the time the bag limit is increased. Not much was heard about surf-fishing. No sea bass fishing was reported from the ocean during weekdays this week. No customers seemed to head out for them. But the local party boat sailed for sea bass Sunday, and anglers seemed happy with the trip’s catches of sea bass and porgies. The trip had to sail farther from shore, but the fishing’s seemed good. A couple of trips reportedly sailed to offshore canyons yesterday, and the canyon fishing has seemed good for bigeye tuna and swordfish when the trips have had the weather to sail. A customer today bought a dozen frozen bunker to hand-line for crabs, saying crabbing was awesome, and nobody was doing it. He had the water to himself. He also crabbed from two overnight pots and nailed 26 keepers in one night. Baits stocked include plenty of live spots, eels and green crabs.

<b>Cape May</b>

Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> moved the boat to Atlantic City to begin fishing for striped bass soon on the ocean, he said. The boat will sail from a slip from there during the striper migration, and the first of the angling is slated for the weekend of Nov. 17. But George will see if the fish are in then. The best striper fishing’s been closer to Atlantic City than Cape May in recent autumns. He was supposed to fish for stripers from Belmar farther north today on a friend’s boat. George hoped to sea bass fish on the Heavy Hitter this weekend. But weather might cancel that.

The party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> fished for sea bass Wednesday after not sailing much because of weather, Capt. Paul said. But the fishing was slow, and the trip stayed closer to shore, because a small crowd jumped aboard. Previously, the angling produced closer to shore when a small crowd was aboard. So Paul now hopes to push farther off and find better angling. The trip bounced around to a few spots, but they turned out to be the wrong ones. It’s fishing. The bottom line was that the sea bass fishing was no good, but every day’s different. Like any party boat, the vessel tends to fish closer in if fewer anglers are aboard because of profitability. That worked on sea bass trips until now, but maybe the fish migrated farther from the coast. Anglers on private boats are catching 30 miles from shore. A few anglers who brought crabs for bait bagged a few blackfish on the Porgy IV’s trip. The water was warm at 59 degrees, and some triggerfish, a southern species, were still caught. Trips are bottom-fishing at 8 a.m. daily. The trips will fish for blackfish beginning Nov. 16, when the bag limit is increased to five from the current limit of one.

Local anglers waited for the striped bass migration, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Fishing for stripers slowed somewhat in the surf. Plenty of the bass bit in the back bay on popper lures in mornings and soft-plastic lures on bucktails during daytime. Anglers fished the poppers and plastics along the surf jetties for stripers, too. Hands did have customers trying to eel stripers at the Cape May Rips and bunker-chunk them on Delaware Bay from boats. Some keepers 29 or 30 inches did seem around in the bay to chunk. Blackfishing was pretty good along local inlets. Fifty-percent seemed keepers. When trips caught the weather to sail for sea bass on the ocean, good catches seemed made in 100-foot depths or so. Fresh bunker began being stocked when available and should arrive Friday. Eels, green crabs and jumbo bloodworms are on hand.

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