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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 12-10-18

<b>Keyport</b>

Blackfishing kicked off during the weekend with <b>Down Deep Sportfishing</b>, and a new body of striped bass arrived, so some striper trips will resume, Capt. Mario said. Open-boat trips for stripers will sail Wednesday and Friday. On all other days, open trips will run for blackfish daily. The first couple of blackfish trips fished well, he said, landing up to 7- and 8-pounders, losing a couple of bigger. The boat features a heated cabin and full galley and is roomy.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

When blackfishing had the weather to sail, it hooked the tautog on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. The anglers worked through throwbacks to axe keepers. Just about all caught, and Friday’s trip was docked because of weather. But Saturday’s and Sunday’s trips fished. Sunday’s fishing, making two or three drops, was a little better. Weather was a treat that day in no wind, though that made the boat flop around a little on anchor. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

See you in spring! a report said on the party boat <b>Fishermen</b>’s website. Fishing is finished for the year aboard, and had been sailing for striped bass. Striper trips will kick angling back off probably in the second week of April on the vessel. Capt. Ron and crew thank all who fished this year aboard, and wish everybody Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

<b>Neptune</b>

Seas were stiff, and blackfishing was a hack Friday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Lots of throwbacks bit, but only a few keepers did. But what a difference on Saturday. On a trip that day, Jeff W. limited out, his second trip in a row when he did aboard. Some of the anglers boxed three or four keepers apiece, and only two caught just one apiece. Lots of throwbacks gave up life, too. On a trip Sunday, the angling was much slower. One angler took four keepers, and a hefty 5-1/2-pound blackfish won the pool. An individual-reservation trip will sail for blackfish Tuesday, and room is available. The next one of the trips with spaces available will fish on Sunday. Charters are available, and if you only have a few anglers, Ralph can put together a trip for a day not chartered. An individual-reservation trip for sea bass offshore is full on Saturday.

<b>Belmar</b>

Striped bass fishing was good Sunday on the ocean, including for some larger stripers 30 to 35 inches, typical-sized unders,  said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. Definitely good, and stripers are around, if you want to fish for them. The angling is a matter of weather and water temperature drawing them in from farther from shore. The small ones are being jigged, and the larger are usually getting trolled on Mojos and spoons. Blackfishing on the ocean is up and down, and a few weekdays are still available to fish aboard. See <a href="http://www.parkerpetefishing.com/belmar-fishing-trips/trip-calendar" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s calendar</a> online or telephone Pete.

Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> is calling it a year, he said. He thanks anglers who fished aboard this year, and also thanks those who stood by while the boat was re-powered. He wishes everybody Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.

If mackerel show up, the <b>Golden Eagle</b> will fish for them, a report said on the party boat’s website. Striped bass fishing is finished aboard in weather turning colder and customers beginning to be busy with the holidays, the report said Saturday. If no mackerel appear, the boat will begin fishing again in spring.

On the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, striped bass fishing is ended for the year, an email said Friday from the party boat. Lack of fish and anglers was the reason. The stripers left were small throwbacks in water that was becoming cold. But if the mackerel migration swims in range in the next couple of weeks, the boat will go after them. If not, the vessel will be finished fishing until spring. 

<b>Brielle</b>

<b>***Update, Wednesday, 12/12:***</b> Great weekend of offshore wreck-fishing aboard, Capt. Ryan from the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b> wrote in an email. Jumbo sea bass to 6 ½ pounds, including limits of 15, were sacked. Porgies, ling and cod were swung in. Jim Madison from Eatontown won a pool with a 21-pound cod, and Ed Kurecki from Philly won the other with a 16-pounder. Larry Cowens from Newark limited out on sea bass and iced 12 porgies, 10 ling and two cod.  Twelve-hour trips are fishing for sea bass at 5 a.m. on Wednesdays through Fridays. Fourteen-hour trips are running offshore for sea bass, cod and ling at 3 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Trips are blackfishing 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays.

A little uptick happened in boating for striped bass on the ocean, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Some better-sized, in the mid-30 inches, showed up, among throwbacks that had already been around. The boaters pretty much concentrated off Spring Lake and from Lavallette to Island Beach State Park. Most keepers were found toward the 3-mile line. In the surf, anglers continued to pick away at mostly small stripers, but an occasional keeper. The fishing was slower in the past couple of days, but that was a matter of tides or conditions. The fish were mostly hooked during daytime, and Eric mentioned which tide, but this writer forgot! He said something about high tide, but this writer forgot whether he mentioned a certain stage of high, like high outgoing or anything. But sometimes an angler connected at night. All kinds of pockets of stripers swam the surf at Spring Lake and from Lavallette to Island Beach. Tsunami 6-inch sand eels and Ava-17 jigs with green or black tails with teasers whipped the fish. Definitely fish a teaser. Boating for blackfish was pretty darn good. Limits were often caught, and plenty of 8- to 10-pounders were pasted among small ones. Axel Carlson and Sea Girt reefs and 17 Fathoms gave up blackfish. Not only green crabs caught, but white crabs began to take the fish well. Some places were too deep to jig for blackfish. Then a rig had to be fished. But in conditions where jigs could be fished, they worked best. Offshore sea bass fishing was great. The best trips were just after rough weather. Wrecks that were fished seemed to become re-loaded with fish then. More 5- and 6-pounders showed up than before. A smattering of cod and pollock were hooked on the trips. Porgy fishing was on the downturn on the trips, giving up a few less than before. But big, dinner-plate-sized were cranked in. 

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

The year’s last scheduled striped bass trip fished yesterday on the ocean and limited out on the fish to 36 inches with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Mushin’s Facebook page said. Offshore wreck-fishing is scheduled the rest of the month on charters and open-boat trips. The striper trip trolled a good pick of keepers, all on Tony Maja spoons, though Mojos were also trolled on the outing, and nearby boats only caught on Mojos. Go figure! the page said. The trip caught on white Majas, and the nearby trips caught on white Mojos. A good number of keeper stripers remain, so don’t stop fishing for them! the page said.

The <b>Norma-K</b>’s blackfishing got back on the catches Sunday, after a tough trip of the angling Saturday, a report said on the party boat’s website. Sunday’s catches weren’t great, but a few anglers limited out, were locked in. A few bagged fewer keepers, “and some had a tough day,” it said. An 8-pounder won the pool, and the fish weighed up to 6 to 8 pounds on the previous day. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, and green crabs and white crabs are carried aboard.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

No great numbers of striped bass were slid from the surf, but the pick goes on, a report said Friday on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Ava jigs with teasers socked them when fished painfully slowly, “right until it’s high and dry,” the report said. At that time, the bite had shifted to just before first light to sunup. Previously, the catches were made in the p.m. Keep on the move, and dress warmly. 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>

Fishing is shut down for winter on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Striped bass catches were slow on a trip Saturday. A good number of stripers were read at times, “but (were) just not feeding,” it said. The boat was slated to fish for them again the next day, Sunday, but no report was posted for that day. The Larson family, Capt. Lenny, Capt. Lou and crew thank anglers for sailing this year on the boat, and wish everybody Happy Holidays and a happy, healthy New Year. The 2019 schedule will be posted on the boat’s website in early spring.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

No fish were bailed, but were hung here and there, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish were blackfish nabbed along jetty-lined Absecon Inlet in town, striped bass beaten from the T-jetty at the ocean end of the inlet, and sometimes ling that were a by-catch during the striper fishing. The stripers bit on low incoming tides on plugs, clams, bloodworms and eels. Green crabs, the bloods and frozen baits are stocked, including clams, bunker and a little of everything.

<b>Longport</b>

For boaters on the ocean, striped bass made a showing Friday and disappeared Saturday and Sunday, Capt.  Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b> said. An open-boat trip for stripers will sail Tuesday, and telephone to jump aboard. The ocean is 48 degrees, not bad for fishing. The ocean is chock full of sand eels close to shore. Open trips will fish for blackfish Friday through Sunday. That angling was tough in past days, no matter the depth. Inshore was dirty, and farther out, in deeper water, was clear, but that didn’t seem to matter. The trips fished in 55- to 80-foot depths.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

About 14 striped bass, including two keepers, the rest throwbacks, were jigged and trolled from the ocean Saturday with two anglers aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The fishing seemed tougher Sunday in a little rougher seas, choppy. The water’s becoming pretty cold. Trips will fish for stripers through next weekend aboard. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish 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. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

Boating for striped bass was decent Saturday on the ocean, said Cameron from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. A couple of trips caught the fish that were known about. Boats also departed for the fishing Sunday morning, Cameron said that day when he gave this report and the vessels were still fishing. Friday also seemed good for the angling. One angler reported his trip that day trolling nine of the stripers, all of them throwbacks except one keeper. Blackfish boats also sailed Saturday and Sunday. He thought they caught Saturday and was yet to hear Sunday’s results. Green crabs and white leggers are stocked.

<b>Avalon</b>

A combo duck-hunting and striped bass fishing trip will head to the ocean tomorrow with <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>, Capt. Jim said. A waterfowl trip was strictly going to hunt today aboard. Jim’s buddies reported pretty good striper fishing. One of the buddy’s trips clocked two 40-pounders last Tuesday. Stripers are reportedly hovering right along the 3-mile line. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from shore. Buddies said they marked all kinds of stripers beyond 3. The waterfowling with Fins is hunting sea ducks and brant now. In other news, Jim saw a photo of a friend’s 20-pound steelhead from upstate New York’s Salmon River. Anglers fish for the steelheads straight through winter to early spring from Jim’s nearby <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge</a>.  More of the lodge’s guests visit for snowmobiling in winter, and not a lot of vacancy is left for January and February, but some is. If interested, you probably better hit the dates quickly. A discount is available for the lodge, but only on Airbnb.

<b>Cape May</b>

The <b>Heavy Hitter</b> is finished fishing for the year, Capt. George said. But he’ll probably continue fishing on friends’ boats, and did on a friend’s on Sunday for striped bass on the ocean. None was hooked on the trip, and the fleet grabbed a few of the bass, not many, that day. George knew about trips on Saturday that reeled in four or five apiece, or two, and others that picked up none. On George’s trip, lots of bait schooled, and birds worked the bait. Weather was cold, and seas weren’t rough but held a little chop in northeast wind. A few stripers are swimming within 3 miles from shore, where fishing for them is legal. The angling is closed beyond 3.

Not a lot of news rolled in, but blackfishing was good at reefs like Wildwood when the trips had the weather, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Striped bass were trolled from the ocean toward the 3-mile line from Sea Isle City to Cape May. Little was heard about surf fishing. The store will probably be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Green crabs and eels are stocked.

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