Mon., July 16, 2018
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 6-18-18

<b>Keyport</b>

Catching keeper fluke was a little tough during the weekend on Raritan Bay, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. The water was dirty, and boat traffic overran areas that hold keepers. A handful were managed each trip aboard, and throwbacks gave up okay action. Trips aboard looked in many areas for big fluke. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips and spaces available include trips for: fluke on Wednesday, two spaces available; fluke on Saturday and Sunday, spaces available; and striped bass 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, spaces available. Telephone to reserve.

With the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, sea bass fishing was good on the ocean, Capt. Mario said. Lot of big, and large ling were mixed in. Fluke began to be mixed in, too. Open-boat trips are doing this fishing at 6 a.m. daily through Friday, the final day of sea bass season. Afterward, the trips will fish for porgies. On Down Deep’s other boat, some better catches of fluke to 5 pounds began to come in. The water was warming, making the fluke bite. The high hook landed four legal-sized, keeping no more than a limit of three. Open trips are fluking at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays on that vessel. The afternoon trips had been striped bass fishing, and Down Deep will resume striper fishing in October. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers for any of this fishing. Each boat is a Downeast-style, roomy, comfortable vessel with a large cockpit and full galley.

Capt. Greg from <b>Manicsportfishing</b> ran a shark trip that competed in Long Island’s Freeport Hudson Anglers shark tournament Saturday, he said. A 70-inch mako and six blue sharks to 150 pounds were released on the outing. The mako was obviously shorter than the 83-inch legal minimum size, and the tournament required blue sharks to weigh a minimum of 200 pounds to be entered. Eighty-three inches is the new minimum size for makos this year, compared with 54 inches previously. A 293.8-pound mako took first place, winning the anglers more than $73,000, according to the club’s website. The heaviest  thresher weighed 329.6 pounds, winning the anglers more than $52,000. Greg, who likes shark fishing, will run another shark trip this week. During the trip, bluefin tuna to 90 inches and larger were seen just out of casting range for popper plugs. Greg will probably fish for them this week, too. The trip fished at two drops, one inshore and one offshore, off Fire Island. The water was a decent color, not as blue as preferred, but full of life. Two-hundred humpback whales must’ve been seen. A whale shark swam past that was probably 20 feet long and 8 feet wide, the biggest that Greg’s seen swim past a boat he was aboard. The water held few temperature breaks, and seas were flat. About a 730-pound mako was reportedly entered in Saturday’s Jersey Coast Shark Anglers shark tournament Saturday. A trip was going to fish for sea bass and fluke today with Manic.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Striped bass were difficult to find this weekend, but don’t rule them out, said Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. More are still migrating from south, and he might fish for them before dark this week a few times. Because striper fishing was slow during the weekend, a charter Saturday opted to bottom-fish, tugging in sea bass including quite a few keepers. Out-of-season blackfish, some good-sized, were released. A short, four-hour trip Sunday nearly limited out on sea bass aboard, and a couple of porgies were mixed in.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

When conditions were right, fluke fishing was better on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. That was inconsistent, and conditions failed to drift the boat on this morning’s trip, he said at 10 a.m. in a phone call aboard. A few keepers and some throwbacks were angled so far.  Thursday in strong wind fished best recently. More keepers and shorts bit than usual. On trips, a couple of anglers would limit out, some would bag one less than a limit, and some would pick up no keepers. Trips fished on Raritan and Sandy Hook bays. Bait caught better than Spros or other jigs. Fluke were hooked on Spros or other jigs with Gulps or killies on the hooks. But that was when the Spros or other jigs were fished like a sinker, not worked like a jig. Trips are sailing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Awesome Fathers’ Day on the water! a report said about a fluke trip on the <b>Fishermen</b> on the party boat’s website. “Nice all day bite,” it said. Multiple keepers, including lots of good-sized, and plenty of shorts were hooked. A 6-pound 7-ounce fluke won the pool. Saturday’s fluking was also good aboard, one of the 10-best trips for the fish this season, a report said that day on the site. Many customers bagged two, and many landed no keepers. Several fluke weighed 3 to 4 pounds, and a fluke heavier than 6 won the pool at the end of the outing. Conditions weren’t the best, and bait out-fished jigs “once again,” it said. Yet some anglers will not switch from jigs. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Highlands</b>

Sea bass fishing was great, drop and reel, Capt. Pete from <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. Sea bass season will close beginning Saturday, and fluke fishing picked up aboard. More keepers were iced each trip. That was on spoons from M3Tackle, bucktails and bait. Striped bass fishing became tough. Very few bit. But if you know where to fish, some can be chunked. Catch them while you can. A charter is available Saturday, and two spaces are available for an open-boat trip Sunday afternoon.

<b>Neptune</b>

On an individual-reservation trip Sunday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, fishing was a good pull of sea bass and ling on the ocean, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Out-of-season blackfish were also released. On Saturday, a charter didn’t limit out on sea bass, but slapped aboard big ones and scores of ling. The ling made up for it. Individual-reservation trips will fish for sea bass Tuesday and Friday, the final day of sea bass season. Individual-rez trips sail every Tuesday each year, and that is the first this year. Kids under 12 sail free on the Tuesday trips, limited to one per adult host. Last Lady is one of the only boats that fishes for cod each summer from New Jersey. Individual-reservation trips for cod are slated for June 27 and July 11, the best months for the fishing last year aboard.

<b>Belmar</b>

Sea bass fishing seemed the only game inshore, said Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>. Fluke swam the water but were yet to bite much. Throwbacks hit, and the water needs to warm for bigger to feed more. Striped bass seemed to be departing for the season. Somebody returned with one at the docks yesterday, he thought. Farther from shore, tuna fishing was excellent. Yellowfins and bigeyes roamed canyons. Some bluefins held closer in. A few sharks were around inshore. 

For <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, striped bass fishing on the ocean was up and down, Capt. Pete said. On some mornings, a few were reeled in. On some afternoons, the bass were caught, and on some, they weren’t. The bass landed were 30, 40 pounds and larger. Just, the fishing was up and down and spotty at best. A thresher shark 350 to 400 pounds grabbed a trolled bunker spoon meant for stripers on a trip in the evening. All the anglers got to fight it, and the shark was landed in 3 ½ hours. Bottom-fishing aboard was excellent for sea bass and ling. Whether sea bass or ling bit depended on the area, but offered a nice variety. Fluke are beginning to bite during the bottom angling, and Parker Pete’s will begin fluking in June’s final week. Plenty of dates are available for trips in late June and in July. Sea bass season will close beginning Saturday for a moment. Afterward, two will become the bag limit, and then trips will fish for fluke and them. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual spot with a charter who wants more anglers. Sign up for the email blast on <a href=" http://www.parkerpetefishing.com/" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

Anglers sea bassed on the <b>Katie H</b> Saturday and Sunday on two trips, Capt. Mike said. He couldn’t believe how beautiful the weather was, and the boat drifted well, too. The fishing was good, and throwbacks, lots, had to be weeded through, but jumbos were also pumped in. Anglers had to work. Saturday’s trip didn’t quite limit out but caught well. Sunday’s trip was only four hours and limited. Ling were also cranked in. So that’s good, he said. The water was 66 degrees, a little cold for fluke. A few fluke are usually hooked during sea bass fishing, but weren’t. The sinkers felt cold to the touch when anglers changed bait. Sea bass season will close beginning Saturday, and the Katie H isn’t ready to fish for tuna offshore yet. Mike had planned to complete work on the boat for that once sea bass season closed. But offshore tuna fishing is good. Tuna at mid-range were also heard about, and trips are booked for Saturday and Sunday. Bluefish aren’t really around, and striped bass fishing’s tapering off. So Mike will offer the anglers fishing for the mid-range tuna. The boat is ready for that.

The year’s eighth striped bass heavier than 50 pounds was weighed at <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>, Bob wrote in an email. Jason Hadzimichalis checked-in the 54-pounder that he and his dad William trolled on Fathers’ Day off Asbury Park on the dad’s boat High Life. They were especially glad to catch the fish on that holiday. Sea bass season will close beginning on Saturday, but fishing was great for them. “Fluke fishing is waiting in the wings to fill the void,” Bob wrote.

Bluefish from 3 pounds to monsters 18 pounds were whipped today on jigs on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fish swarmed all around, and you’d throw a jig and catch. Good fishing. On yesterday’s trip, some bluefish were around in the morning, but too few. So the trip switched to sea bass. The sea bass were small, but some were keepers, and the anglers left happy, 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.

Jumbo bluefish to 15 pounds were tackled today on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. At first on the trip, 3- to 5-pound blues hit. Decent fishing. At mid-morning, the trip moved north and worked a big area of the large blues. Great fishing. On yesterday’s trip, a few blues were found swirling under birds, but couldn’t be gotten near the boat. So the trip moved farther from shore for bottom-fishing, scooping up plenty of sea bass, including a good number of keepers. The afternoon’s trip that day caught sea bass, a mix of keepers and throwbacks, non-stop, and some ling and throwback fluke. Trips are fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and fluke and sea bass 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Brielle</b>

The ocean’s striped bass fishing really slowed, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. A handful were still boated, and those who landed the fish trolled them near Sandy Hook. But the angling was slow. Sea bass fishing was the best inshore fishing, and sea bass season will close beginning Saturday. But the catches were good, including at Sea Girt Reef to Sandy Hook Reef, the Farms, wrecks along the edge of the Mudhole, and that whole area. Ling fishing was good at the Mudhole, and some winter flounder were hooked there. Fluke fishing was slow on the ocean. Eric wasn’t asked the reason, but the water temperature seemed to need to rise, and the season was early for the fishing. Axel Carlson Reef fished best for fluke on the ocean, if anglers wanted to fluke on the ocean. Offshore fishing for tuna was the big thing. Many tuna caught were reported from Toms Canyon this past week. Lots of yellowfin tuna 40 to 60 pounds were taken. Bluefin tuna 150 to 200 pounds came in, and so did bigeye tuna 100 to 200 pounds. A couple of mako sharks caught were reported from the area. The tuna were trolled on surface lures including spreader bars, Green Machines and bird chains.  Bluefish 4 to 6 pounds schooled from Manasquan Inlet to Manasquan River at Route 70 Bridge. The river’s fluking was fair. Plenty of throwbacks held in the river, and keepers were picked.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

On the <b>Norma-K III</b>, fluke fishing on the ocean is improving, when conditions are right, a report said on the party boat’s website. Saturday afternoon’s fluking was decent aboard. The angling was good on Sunday morning. In the afternoon, fewer keepers bit. But anglers who worked Spros or bucktails caught better on the outing. The water is up to 68 degrees, so the fishing should keep improving now. On nighttime trips, bluefishing was tough this weekend. A few small were nabbed, and the crew hopes that the small blues will school up by this weekend. This could be a start to the fishing. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and blues 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday. Moonlight cruises will sail at 8 p.m. every Thursday beginning June 28. Reservations are being taken for a Fourth of July cruise to watch fireworks.

Some decent success was scored on fluke trips on the ocean on the <b>Gambler</b> in past days, a report said on the party boat’s website. Sea bass also spiced up catches. Friday afternoon’s trip fished best, serving up a good number of limits of fluke. Quite a few keepers to 6 pounds were hung on that outing. A 7-1/2-pound fluke won the pool on Sunday morning. A 7.9-pounder was axed this morning. The fish was one of two keepers for the angler. Striped bass fishing was slow on nighttime trips that were sailing for them Fridays and Saturdays. So night trips will now fish for bluefish, ling, sea bass or whatever bites on those days. Wreck-fishing trips are sailing on Thursday nights. Last Friday and Saturday nights’ striper fishing was slow, so after the trips tried for them at first, the trips switched to bottom-fishing. The bottom-fishing was slow Friday night but lit up Saturday night for good catches of ling, medium-sized to big, and a few sea bass. Customers had a great time on the beautiful night. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Wreck trips are sailing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays, and trips for bluefish, sea bass, ling or whatever bites are running Fridays and Saturdays during those hours. Shark in the Dark Trips will begin July 1.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Medium-sized blues invaded the dock on Barnegat Bay Saturday night and Sunday morning, a report said Sunday on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Fluke from throwbacks to keepers were boated near the BB and BI markers on the bay. Surf fishing was slow, but persistent surf anglers caught striped bass and fluke. A 22-pound 41-inch striper was beached last week, seeming to prove that some were around. Sand sharks and skates were the challenge the other day in the surf. Crabbing was “slow getting started.” 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>Barnegat Light</b>

The <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> hardly drifted on Saturday’s trip for fluke and sea bass on the ocean, the party boat’s Facebook page said. The drift was better on Sunday’s trip, so the fishing was better, picking the catches. The angling should continue to improve as the ocean warms, and trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Sunset cruises are departing at 7 p.m. daily, returning a little after sunset, approximately at 8:40 p.m.

Trips sea bassed this weekend on the <b>Super Chic</b> on the ocean, Capt. Ted said. The fishing was okay, hooking lots of shorts, but enough keepers to make the angling worthwhile. One of the two trips bluefished half the time, near port, jigging the blues. That angling was good. The water on the sea bass grounds was in the mid-60 degrees to, at most places, warmer. Weather was so calm throughout the weekend, and the sun warmed the ocean. Ted is probably going to schedule two open-boat trips for tuna on July 4 and the following weekend. Those will be announced on the boat’s Facebook page and website. Tuna fishing was super in the past week to 10 days. Hopefully it’ll just get better. Yellowfin tuna, some bigeye tuna and large bluefin tuna scattered in were hooked all the way offshore. Boaters sharking closer to shore also saw bluefins. That was 40 miles out.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Two trips mugged a bunch of summer flounder from the back bay Sunday aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Plenty of throwbacks have to be worked through for keepers, of course. Doug Gillespie popper-plugged 12 to 15 striped bass to 26 ½ inches on the bay Wednesday aboard.  That was great, and is a specialty aboard with lures or popper flies this time of year. This trip fished with lures. High tides that coincide with evenings fish best for this angling, and happen every other week. The tide was perfect on the trip. Joe fishes Skitter Pops on spinning rods or crease flies on fly rods. He ties the crease flies with a bigger cup to throw more water. Joe will make his year’s first trip for inshore sharking this week. The water is warm enough, and the trips release sharks usually within 10 miles from shore. The outings are a chance to fight big catches without a long sail offshore. Customers enjoy those trips. Joe, John Martin, Jay Von Czoernig and friends fished for tuna Saturday at an offshore canyon, trolling three yellowfins to 35 pounds, not big. That was at a temperature break from 67 to 71 degrees. The water was blue on one side and not a good color on the other, and held good life and scattered weeds. Some trips seemed to catch in the area, and some didn’t. Joe’s trip caught only toward the end, and he’d like to know what percentage of trips connected. He ventured that 30 percent did. But some trips caught great.  Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Avalon</b>

Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> and wife boated and released throwback summer flounder, no keepers, on the back bay along the Intracoastal Waterway yesterday, he said. The trip wasn’t a charter, so he only fished Gulps on the top hook on a top-and-bottom rig with a bucktail on bottom with no bait. He didn’t bother with other bait, and usually catches the flatfish best on minnows. A buddy decked four keeper flounder on the bay that day. He hooked no other flounder, only those keepers, saying the fishing was hard-picking. Every time the buddy was about to give up, he locked into another keeper. Although Jim and wife managed no keepers, Jim didn’t try as seriously, and said the keeper ratio seems a little better this year. The bay as 74 degrees.

<b>Cape May</b>

Two short, 4-hour trips fished Saturday and Sunday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. Saturday’s trip attempted bluefishing, because George was told blues were there. But they weren’t. Only chub mackerel were trolled, and three thresher sharks were seen. Maybe the sharks scared away the blues. Sunday’s trip bailed sea bass, a bunch, including a dozen keepers. Drop and reel. That was with a grandfather and grandson. Four-hour trips are limited about where the trips can travel. Tuna fishing is available, and anglers reported good catches last week. Boat traffic was busy on Saturday on the grounds. Anglers had to expect that in good weather. George spoke with some who fared better on Sunday. The tuna fishing seemed better that day. Telephone if interested in tuna.

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