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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 6-11-18

<b>Keyport</b>

Big striped bass, including four longer than 43 inches apiece, one of them weighing 43 pounds, were clobbered Friday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Capt. T.J. ran that trip, and striper fishing, with him and Capt. Craig at the helm, was no good the rest of the weekend. T.J. told Frank the water was like a “liquid desert.” A couple of stripers were missed, and too many dogfish and sometimes bluefish bit, after much traveling and effort. Striper fishing isn’t finished. But the angling can be a bust or bonanza this time of year. If stripers reappear, trips will be offered for them. Watch <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/vitaminseafishing/" target="_blank">Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page</a> for the trips.  Also watch for the latest reports. The focus will be on fluke this week, and Frank’s looking forward to that. Conditions and tides look good late in the week through the weekend. Open-boat trips and charters are sailing.

Just less than a six-angler limit of sea bass was tugged aboard Saturday, a report said on <b>Manicsportfishing</b>’s Facebook page. Bent rods all day, and ling were also bagged. Eels and dogfish were let go. Striped bass were boxed on a trip Thursday afternoon. Stiff southeast wind didn’t help, “(but) the guys got what they wanted,” the page said. Livelined bunker were also fished for stripers on the trip, scoring two runoffs.

Sea bass to 5 pounds, excellent catches, were sacked aboard, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. Ling and a few winter flounder were mixed in, and open-boat trips are sailing for this fishing at 6 a.m. daily on the Down Deep. The Down Deep Bull, the company’s other boat, beginning Tuesday will sail for fluke at 6 a.m. daily on open trips. Open trips will also fluke at 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays on that vessel. Fluking was just getting started, was up and down. Lots of throwbacks bit, and the crew looks forward to fluking on the ocean, when the ocean warms. Fluke currently bit in the warmer Raritan Bay. Striped bass fishing was slowing down, hit and miss. Both boats, 40-foot Downeasters, feature plenty of room and full galleys. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers.

<b>Leonardo</b>

After  fishing quickly limited out on over striped bass Thursday on a crew trip, the catches were also gangbusters Friday aboard, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>.  Thursday’s fishing was a trip to scope out the angling after rough weather kept the boat docked, covered in the last report here. Friday’s trip nailed the bass to 47 pounds. This was all on the troll off Sandy Hook Point on the ocean between the channels, just beyond the mouth of Raritan Bay. Joe did no fishing Saturday, and the angling was slow Sunday aboard, was off, maybe because the water temperature dropped suddenly to 64 to 65 degrees, from 68 previously. Two smaller stripers to 25 pounds were trolled on that outing. The trips trolled bunker spoons and Mojos. The spoons caught best on Sunday, and the spoons and Mojos caught equally on Friday. Joe expects these big stripers to keep biting. Some were still reported from farther south that should migrate north to local waters. Some stripers that were around still had spawn in their bellies. Plenty of bunker schooled for stripers to forage on. The bay was loaded with bunker.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Fluke fishing was pretty much the same as before on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. It’s fluking, and the trips aboard each caught. Mostly throwbacks bit, of course, and some trips fished better than others. The trips fished Raritan or Sandy Hook bays, depending on conditions, and an 8-pound 3-ouncer was pummeled Saturday on the boat. That’s the biggest this year aboard. Conditions sometimes mattered, or sometimes conditions drifted the boat well, and fluking was better. Sometimes the vessel drifted well, and the fishing was tougher. Bait seemed to out-fish Spros or other jigs, like before. The main thing is that the trips are fishing every day. Trips are sailing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Sure glad we didn’t listen to today’s forecast, Capt. Ron from the <b>Fishermen</b> wrote on the party boat’s website. So were the customers who came down, he added. Fluke fishing was good on the day’s trip, and a beauty, a 6-pound 7-ouncer, won the pool. A 7.2-pounder did on Friday. On today’s trip, lots of fluke were pasted around the boat. One angler limited out. An angler and daughter, on her first fluke trip, combined for five keepers and a sizable sea bass. A new area had to be fished because of wind against tide in the morning. Weather looks great the next couple of days. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Highlands</b>

Fishing for striped bass was sometimes spotty, Capt. Pete from <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. The fish were there, but getting them to bite was tough on some days. Early mornings and evenings seemed to fish best for them. But fishing for fluke and sea bass was great. Combo trips for fluke and sea bass can fish aboard. Those two catches have been hooked aboard on bait, Gulps and great rigs from M3Tackle with a spoon. Telephone to check availability.

<b>Neptune</b>

Big sea bass were socked Saturday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> in some of spring’s best weather, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Great day on the water, he said. Another charter on Sunday smoked stellar sea bassing aboard. Room is available on individual-reservation trips for sea bass Tuesday and June 19 and 22. The trip June 19 is the first of annual individual-rez trips that fish every Tuesday. That first trip will hunt sea bass. Kids under 12 sail free on the Tuesday outings, limited to one per adult host. Last Lady is one of the only boats that fishes for cod each summer from New Jersey, and individual-reservation trips for cod will sail at 2 a.m. June 27 and July 11. Spaces are available. Choice dates on weekends are available for charters beginning in July.

<b>Belmar</b>

Two trips tried trolling for striped bass a couple of hours at first Friday and Saturday on the <b>Katie H</b> on the ocean, Capt. Mike said. Some trips caught, but these on the Katie H didn’t, and the striper fishing was kind of slow. Each trip opted to fish for sea bass afterward, and that was great. Throwbacks had to be weeded through, but quite a few good-sized keepers were clocked. Lot of fun, and beautiful weather. The sea bassing fished in 70-foot-depths, and the water was 63 degrees. That’s cold for fluke fishing, but Mike hopes the ocean warms for fluking soon.

Sea bass carried the day, said Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>. Trips had to work through throwbacks, but the fishing went well. Striped bass were being boated on the ocean, but anglers had to put in time. If they were unwilling, they wouldn’t catch. The fishing was hit or miss. The ocean was too cold for fluke to bite much, and that happens every year, until the ocean warms. Warmer Raritan Bay gave up fluke.

Good fishing for sea bass was tied into Saturday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The trip at first fished for blues, but none was found. So the trip switched to sea bass. Then the crew heard about big blues biting. That was an hour away, but the trip made the move, and jigged 5- to 10-pounders the rest of the time, a good pick. The trip returned a little late, but that was worth it. Excellent sea bass fishing was crushed on Saturday evening’s fishing and sunset cruise. Many anglers limited out, and the sunset was absolutely gorgeous. Sunday’s trip hammered a few blues 7 to 14 pounds, just not enough. Twice as many were probably lost, “so there are a lot … out there,” the report said. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Sometimes the trips target sea bass. Purchase tickets online for a 10-percent discount.  Fishing and sunset cruises are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes those trips sell out, so reserve ahead.

The <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>’s customers picked away at shots of 6- to 8-pound bluefish to the north on Saturday’s trip, an email said from the party boat. A report about the fish came in early to the crew, so the trip got on the blues. Big blues are beginning to show up. An evening trip that day scooped up a steady pick of sea bass. Fishing for blues was slower on Sunday’s trip. A few were tackled, and trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are sailing for fluke and sea bass 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

What happened to summer? Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> asked in an email. Fishing was good, and anglers made the best of weather. Fluke fishing was steady in rivers, and many keepers were hung. The store’s rental boats are available to fluke Shark River. Belmar’s party boats “are sticking with sea bass,” he wrote. The fishing was that good. If ocean fluking picks up, they could switch to that. Substantial numbers of blues were fought aboard the port’s party boats Miss Belmar Princess and Golden Eagle. Big striped bass were still weighed-in from the ocean. Ray Soyka from Lincroft brought a beautiful 52-pounder to the store from his boat. Brett Thibodeau from Belmar carried in a 48-pounder from a trip with his dad that also waxed a 40-plus-pounder. Surf-fishing for stripers was good, but throwbacks dominated. Clams caught best. Put on a raincoat and come down, Bob said.

<b>Brielle</b>

Striped bass fishing was slowing down on the ocean, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Big were picked to the south, from Lavallette to Seaside Heights or Seaside Park, along the 3-mile line. Some of those stripers weighed between 50 and 60 pounds, but only a few were caught. A trip would score only a few bites, if lucky. Most of the stripers migrated north to like off Fire Island. That was too far for most local boaters to sail. Surf fishing was mostly slow, picking a few stripers and fluke. No great reports were heard. Sea bass in the ocean were the “hot ticket.” The Farms and Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs held plenty. Jigging boated sea bass much better than bait did. Bait hooked throwbacks and junk fish. Fishing with jigs seemed able to limit out. Limiting was difficult on bait. Slow-pitch jigging was popular, and the shop carries jigs, rods, reels and line for that. Not all stores do yet. That’s a relatively new technique here. Previously, that tackle was only available in Japan. Fluke fishing was slow on the ocean because of cool water. If Eric was going to fluke on the ocean, he’d probably fish Axel Carlson. Fluking was fairly good on Manasquan River. Abundant bluefish 3 to 5 pounds swam Manasquan Inlet to Route 70 Bridge in Manasquan River. Lots of small stripers held in the river, biting lures and poppers, like along the bridges, in early mornings and evenings. But offshore fishing was the big news. Fishing for yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna was very good at Spencer to Wilmington canyons offshore. Tremendous catches were trolled on spreader bars and ballyhoos. Reports about bluefin tuna 150 to 200 pounds rolled in from the Texas Tower in past days. Those were all trolled on ballys.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

An open-boat trip Saturday returned early because the anglers were tired after fighting more than two dozen yellowfin tuna to 65 pounds with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. They were too tired to fish for tilefish afterward. Mushin, whose home port is in Point Pleasant Beach, is sailing for tuna, sharks and tilefish from Cape May this month and in July, like it does every year. The tuna fishing off Cape May to Maryland is hot! he wrote. The tilefishing’s also good. That trip trolled the yellowfins all morning, and left them biting. An open trip the previous day trolled the year’s first bigeye tuna aboard, a 110-pounder. That outing also trolled bluefin tuna to 45 pounds and yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds, good action, including many multiple hook-ups. All of these tuna were hooked in the same area on the trip. Then the anglers tilefished, limiting out on bluelines to 18 pounds and cranking in some goldens. Time to go! Alan wrote. Charters are fishing, and new open trips were just added for June 24, 28 to 29 and July 8.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

A trip at the southern canyons trolled four bluefin tuna, four yellowfin tuna and a longfin tuna Saturday on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, Capt. John said. All the fish weighed 30 pounds and were hooked on plastics. The ocean on the fishing grounds was 63 degrees on the cool side of a temperature break, and 67 to 68 on the warm side. Seas were flat and beautiful, couldn’t be nicer. Tuna are in, and telephone to get after them while they are. A trip Sunday trolled a 30-pound striped bass and lost a striper on spoons on the ocean aboard.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Keeper crabs were finally trapped from the dock, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. The crabs, not a ton, were caught Saturday. Surf anglers banked occasional striped bass, bluefish and fluke. Big stripers were still sometimes beached, mostly on cut bunker or clams.  Big, slammer blues were wrestled from Barnegat Bay, if anglers knew where to fish. One of the store’s rental-boaters returned with several and was tight-lipped about location. But the location was within range, obviously. 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 boat and jet-ski rentals.

<b>Forked River</b>

The year’s first fishing offshore sailed Friday with <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Mike said. The fishing was great, spending half the day on tuna, the other half on sharks. The tuna fishing limited out on bluefins to 62 inches and released additional. That was on the troll, and a half-dozen yellowfin tuna and some skipjacks were also trolled. The sharking fished at the same spot and released three throwback makos and two big tiger sharks. One of the tigers was huge, probably 16 feet, and took time to land. This was a day trip, not an overnighter, but the trip was back in port in the wee hours of Saturday. Fighting the big tiger delayed the return. The sharking was during daytime, not nighttime. The fishing grounds looked like National Geographic, with life like whale sharks and sunfish swimming. The water was a beautiful color with a temperature that varied lots. The fish were hooked in 68-degree water, and a 10-degree temperature break was located a little ways away. Weather will prevent more of the fishing currently. The bluefin fishing should be consistent in the next weeks, Mike thinks.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Anglers picked at fluke and sea bass throughout the weekend on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. More sea bass were definitely coming in each day. Beginning Friday, trips will sail for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily through summer. The trips fished on weekends until now. Sunset cruises will sail daily beginning Friday, too.

On the <b>Super Chic</b>, two trips put together decent catches of sea bass from the ocean Saturday and Sunday, Capt. Ted said. The fishing was okay, and lots of throwbacks hit. A few ling, not many, were pulled in. The water was chilly, in the low 60 degrees. East wind that was currently forecast could warm it. “I hope,” he said. The fishing seemed a little better Saturday, tapering off some Sunday. Striped bass fishing seemed dead on the ocean for local boaters during the weekend. Ted heard about no bluefish around. Tuna fishing was good for bluefins, yellowfins and bigeyes – all the main species. Open-boat trips might fish for tuna on some weekends in July. Ted will decide and set dates soon, if he decides the trips are a go.

<b>Longport</b>

Sea bass fishing began to slow down, and summer flounder fishing started to pick up, said Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b>. “On to the next thing,” he said, and trips had been focusing on sea bass on the ocean aboard. The trips began to reel in flounder, and an open-boat trip will fish for flounder and sea bass Friday, if anglers are interested. A few spaces are left for an open tuna trip on June 24. Tuna were whacked at southern canyons.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b> did no fishing this weekend, because he was involved in a kids’ baseball tournament, he said. Weather didn’t seem great anyway. But trips aboard will continue fishing for summer flounder on the back bay. The most recent trip for that fished well. Trips will also keep after striped bass on the bay, and soon will fish for sharks on the ocean. Those are shark trips inshore, usually within 10 miles of the coast, that release the fish. The trips are a chance to fight big catches without the long run offshore. The ocean is usually warm enough to do that soon.

<b>Avalon</b>

<b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> will fish for summer flounder on the back bay this weekend, Capt. Jim said. Weather forecasts weren’t the best last weekend. The flounder fishing’s been good. Buddies picked the fish, occasional 4-pounders among throwbacks.

<b>Cape May</b>

Blue sharks were released on a trip Saturday in the South Jersey Shark Tournament on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. The ocean was cold, 59 degrees, where the trip fished between 19-Fathom Lump and the Elephant Trunk. Many who competed that day complained about cold water. Trips had to sail all the way offshore for warmer water. Cold water close to shore seemed to cause bluefin tuna to move to offshore canyons. But they were there. If anglers are interested in tuna, jump aboard soon, because the fish will disappear before long. The bluefins last week held inshore, because the water was 68 degrees then. The temperature dropped 10 degrees since. At the canyons in past days, some anglers scored better than others on tuna. A friend got into them well Friday. Another friend headed to the same spot the next day, and the water had become cold. That friend then trolled south and caught. George mated on a friend’s boat that sailed for sea bass Sunday. The fishing was okay.  Seas weren’t bad, but wind began to build from northeast on the way back. Northeast wind was now supposed to blow a couple of days. Maybe that would warm the water.

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