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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 7-9-18


Strong easterly wind that was forecast caused <b>Manicsportfishing</b> to fish the bay, not the ocean, for fluke Saturday, Manic’s Facebook page said. Quality fluke were decked on almost every drift, among countless throwbacks. A trip’s fishing for fluke Sunday aboard began great, became slow during slack tide and turned back on afterward. “Left em biting minutes from the dock,” it said. The four anglers limited out on fluke that met New York’s minimum length: 19 inches. 

Tons of porgies were pitched aboard with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. Insane, he said, and sea bass were mixed in. Every trip’s anglers left loaded with fish, and open-boat trips are sailing for porgies at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Saturdays. On Down Deep’s other boat, fluke fishing, on Raritan Bay, was up and down and had its moments. High hooks caught five legal-sized to 6 pounds apiece the last few days, keeping no more than a limit of three apiece. Open trips are fluking at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Saturdays on that vessel. Charters are available for up to 15 anglers, and both boats include full galleys, air conditioning and large cockpits.

Sharp anglers easily limited out on fluke on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. “We are fishing close to home,” he said, and the angling was excellent. The fish weighed up to 7 pounds, and only fluke 19 inches or larger were kept, and many hooked were 20 to 22 inches. Gulps caught best, but bait also hooked fluke. Friday was rain-swept, but fluking was great on the day’s trip.  The fish weighed up to 7 pounds, and on Saturday, weather was perfect, and the six anglers aboard limited out. Four of their fluke weighed more than 5 pounds apiece. On Sunday’s trip, boat traffic increased, and the five anglers managed seven keepers, but each was 20 inches or larger, up to 4 pounds. Angler skill plays a part. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips are available on Thursday this week and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday next week, and that Sunday. Some of the trips available are departing in mornings, and others in afternoons. Telephone to reserve.


Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> was traveling in Gloucester, Mass., where boats were fishing for bluefin tuna, he said. Previously, Sour Kraut mostly tugged in porgies and fluke. Those were the mainstays. But he heard about schoolie striped bass chunked in evenings into dark, and unconfirmed reports about stripers trolled near the 3-mile line. He might check out the striper fishing.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Some keeper fluke were sacked and throwbacks were picked on every trip, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>. Or basically on every trip lots of throwbacks hit, sometimes more than others, and some keepers came in. The fishing was definitely better than last year. Pretty much all customers caught. They were having fun and might angle a keeper. Trips fished Raritan or Sandy Hook bays, depending on conditions, and the outings are sailing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. Forecasts are calling for dry weather and temperatures mostly in the 80s. A storm will pass offshore, but that won’t affect the bays.

Wind failed to keep the <b>Fishermen</b> from fluke fishing at the channels Saturday, a report said on the party boat’s website. Conditions weren’t the best, but the trip slugged away at fluke, once the tide changed after 1 ½ hours. Some good-sized were bagged, including the 5-pound 9-ounce pool-winner. Several anglers who worked boxed two keepers apiece, and too many throwbacks bit. Surely the roll from east slowed the angling, but good-quality fluke were pulled in. Sunday’s trip gave up a good bite in the morning and some beauties. The high hook landed four great fluke, keeping no more than a limit of three. Several other anglers also limited out, and several winged two keepers apiece. The catch included a 6.8-pounder, a 6-pounder and a 5-pounder. One angler waxed a 4-pounder and a 3-1/2-pounder. The fishing slowed after the tide changed. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.


Fishing was great for jumbo fluke, Capt. Pete from <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. It was also great for porgies and sea bass. He had been traveling, and when he returned, the fish had “moved a little.” But he and crew found them. A much larger body of fluke, with bigger mixed in, up to 7 and 8 pounds, seemed around. They attacked, too – were aggressive. The two anglers on a trip Sunday boated fluke including eight that weighed 3 to 7 pounds. About 40 throwbacks were landed, and among those, half were just under the 18-inch size limit. Gulps, killies, fresh squid and spearing are provided. So are spoons and “bottom bangers” from M3Tackle, jigs from KTS Customs and Geazers Teazers. “We want to give you every opportunity to make it a success,” he wrote. After you limit out on fluke, the crew is in no hurry to stop fishing. Porgies and sea bass are available to switch to. Openings are available this week on Wednesday and Thursday.


Here’s a chance to sail for cod. An individual-reservation trip for cod offshore will be canceled Wednesday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> because of weather, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Forecasts are too iffy, and the trip will be rescheduled for 2 a.m. Friday, July 20. Anglers who were scheduled to fish on the original will be given first shot at the new date. But some spaces are available. A bottom-fishing trip yesterday was some of the best fishing of the year aboard. Big ling and big sea bass were pounded from the ocean. Dates available for charters include some Sundays and weekdays this month and in August. <b>***Update, Tuesday, 7/10:***</b> Individual-reservation trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass every Tuesday, Ralph wrote in an email. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. An individual-reservation trip will run for big ling and big sea bass on Sunday, July 22. Ralph will announce individual-reservation trips for porgies soon. In addition to dates available for charters on certain Sundays and weekdays through August that are mentioned above, one Saturday is available that month. Certain weekdays and some Saturdays and Sundays are also available afterward.


No charter boats, only party boats, fished Saturday in northeast wind that honked, said Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>. On Sunday, fluke fishing on the ocean was slow in seas leftover from the wind. Everybody seemed happy with sea bass biting lately. Two sea bass per angler can be bagged that can spice up fluke catches. Tuna fishing’s been good for weeks.

One of the evening trips for striped bass fished Thursday on the ocean with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Pete said. The season was late for stripers, and seas were rough, but the trip nailed big ones. Pete might do more of the fishing. It’s a long sail: 1 ½ hours to the grounds. Fluke fishing on the ocean was weathered out Friday and Saturday aboard. Fluking resumed Sunday on the boat, but a heave was leftover on the ocean, and the angling was no good. Surely the fishing will bounce back to what it was once seas settle. Previously, trips aboard landed some sizable fluke, and sometimes bucktailers limited out. Some weekdays and Sunday afternoons are available for charters this month. More dates are available in August. 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="" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

A nasty ocean in strong wind on Saturday morning caused the crew to decide to bottom-fish and not search for bluefish on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Sea bass, ling, fluke and even a pollock were swung in, terrific catches. Weather became beautiful, with a little breeze and temperatures in the mid-70s. Sunday was another excellent day of sea bassing aboard. “There were limit catches all the way around with lots of action,” it said. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Reserve online and save 10 percent. Fishing and sunset cruises are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes those trips sell out, so reserve ahead.

Bad weather kept Friday afternoon’s trip from fishing on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. On Saturday morning’s trip, no bluefish were around, like recently, but bottom-fishing was great for sea bass and some ling. Mackerel were also hooked, and the report didn’t say the type, but Boston’s seemed likely. All anglers caught some fish. On the afternoon’s trip, sea bassing was super. All anglers limited out on them, and ling, a few fluke and a handful of Bostons were also axed. Action was non-stop. The report specified Bostons this time. Sunday also fished great aboard, pummeling sea bass with ling mixed. Almost all anglers who stayed at the rail limited on sea bass, and the boat fished at rocks, rubble and mussel beds. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Fluke fishing is better this year, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. More keepers are being caught, especially in rivers. Shane Mahler from Croydon, Pa., limited out on fluke to 7 pounds in Shark River. Brenda Kreitz from Gilbertsville, Pa., limited on the fish to a fluke heavier than 7 pounds. The shop’s rental boats are available to fluke the Shark. On Manasquan River, Ben Green from Ocean Township limited on the summer flounder to a 22-incher. Surf anglers picked sizable fluke sometimes. Some were up to 24 inches. Surf fishing for mostly small striped bass was hot on flies and small plugs with a teaser. Bring light tackle, have fun and see you on the beach at sunrise, Bob wrote. Bluefish swam into inlets the last few days, and any small metal clocked them. On the ocean, catches of fluke included limits of the fish to 9 pounds on party boats that targeted them from Belmar. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean, and almost all who tried for them limited on two.  Big cownosed rays bit and surprised anglers. Marty Westerfield and Jesse Thomas locked into a huge one on Shark River on Jesse’s boat, releasing the ray after a long fight.


<b>***Update, Tuesday, 7/10:***</b> Fishing for fluke was dull yesterday on the <b>Jamaica II</b> on the ocean, the party boat’s Facebook page said. At first, a couple of the fish were bagged at every stop, and some places looked like catches were going to get going. But they never did, and south wind killed the fishing by 2 p.m. Two 6-pound 7-ounce fluke tied for the pool. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Strong northeast wind forced offshore fishing to be canceled during the weekend with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. But previously, the angling was good for tuna and tilefish. More and more marlin and mahi mahi showed up, too. Open-boat trips and charters are fishing. Mushin is sailing from Cape May on these trips, like it does every June and July, taking advantage of the angling in the southern canyons offshore.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

On the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, fluke fishing on the ocean Thursday cranked in four keepers, two keeper sea bass, a bunch of throwbacks and some sea robins and skates, Capt. John said. The fishing on Sunday hung three keepers, a bunch of throwbacks “and all of that” on a trip. He hopes to next fish for tuna this weekend, but the storm that’s passing off the coast might make seas too rough offshore for that angling to sail. Tuna fishing’s good, and plenty of dates are available for charters.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Fluking or crabbing was the choice, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Island Beach State Park was the most popular place to surf-fish for fluke, “due to its many unguarded fishing areas,” it said. Crabbing was best on the mainland side of Barnegat Bay, and also produced from the dock at the shop, just not as many as the mainland side. The shop is located on the barrier island. On the mainland side, boating for crabs was best, but crabs could also be plucked from land there. The store’s rental boats are available to boat for the crabs. 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>

Tuna fishing was weathered out last weekend with <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Mike said. So he pulled the boat and did some painting, including painting the bottom. The vessel will be ready to fish later this week, and he hopes for the weather to resume the angling.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Fishing for tuna was weathered out offshore this weekend on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. Reserve spaces for open-boat trips for tuna offshore July 20 to 21 and inshore July 22. The boat’s been doing a little fishing for fluke and sea bass on the ocean, and more of that is scheduled for this week. When conditions are right, a few keeper fluke can be angled among throwbacks. Anglers aboard can limit out on two sea bass apiece, among plenty of shorts let go. Jigging for bluefish is good in Barnegat Inlet aboard.

Rough weather toughened fishing for fluke and sea bass Friday and Saturday on the ocean on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. No news was posted for Sunday, but a heave remained that day, other boats reported. The fishing should get back on track when things settle, the page said Saturday. During the days before Friday, fluke and sea bass turned out lots of action for all customers. Conditions failed to drift the boat Wednesday, the Fourth of July, and that never helps. But that was better Thursday. Trips are sailing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Sunset cruises are running every evening.


An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “Not sure if there is anything happening at Barnegat Ridge, but it's time to go find out. I passed through there the other day on the way home from an offshore trip, and the water was 78 degrees, blue-ish green, and there were slicks and flying fish. We only had 30 minutes to try, because my group needed to be back at the dock. We didn't catch anything, but it sure looked good. Now with a few days of NE we just had, it can only have gotten better. Bonito and albacore are always the target, but sometimes we find school bluefin tuna there, as well.” Open-boat trips and charters are sailing. For open trips, reservations are required, and all fish are shared.


The ocean’s temperature dropped to 76 degrees, said Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b>. That was good for summer flounder fishing. The temperature had been up to 80, causing flounder to pull farther from shore. Sea bass fishing is also picking up aboard. Trips are concentrating on flounder and tuna on the boat. Sea bass can also be hooked on the flounder trips. So those are inshore trips, and the tuna fishing is offshore. But inshore trips recently did lots of trolling on the vessel, catching tailor bluefish, bonito, little tunny and mahi mahi. Spanish mackerel and king mackerel were yet to arrive, Mike noted.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Charters fished for summer flounder or fluke on the back bay aboard, including two trips on Thursday and one trip apiece on Friday through Sunday, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. A bunch of the fish were landed on each trip, good fishing, and the challenge was to catch a keeper. Sometimes a keeper was reeled in. Inshore shark fishing has been phenomenal aboard. A charter last did that on Wednesday, covered in the last report here. Later this week, high tides will coincide with dusk on the bay, ideal for fishing for striped bass with popper plugs and popper flies. That angling’s been good aboard, too, and those tides happen every other week. Joe will soon look for mahi mahi close to shore. The ocean’s warming enough, and he knows anglers who saw mahi while flounder fishing on the ocean.  Keep up with his fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


Two to three keeper summer flounder were pasted per trip this past week on the back bay along the Intracoastal Waterway with <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>, Capt. Jim said. Probably 15 to 25 flounder were angled per trip, including throwbacks. Quite a bit of the fishing happened aboard, and was a great week in perfect weather. The fish were all caught in deeper water, never shallower than 10 feet. The water was 76 degrees. A variety of tackle was fished, including top-and-bottom rigs, sometimes with two hooks, sometimes with a bucktail on bottom and one hook on a trailer above, and other rigs. Different baits were fished from Gulps to squid, but a minnow was usually involved, like a minnow combined with a Gulp on the hook.

<b>Cape May</b>

Strong northeast wind canceled fishing throughout the weekend on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. A tuna trip was scheduled for Saturday, and a 4-hour trip was slated for Sunday. Four-hour trips can troll for bluefish. Spanish mackerel could also be trolled that began to show up. Those trips can also fish for triggerfish or sea bass. Tuna are hanging in. They’re all at the offshore canyons and are being trolled. Some trips land six or seven, and some catch two or three. Anglers just have fish and run across them. No tuna are swimming inshore at places like Massey’s Canyon and the Ham Bone. If anybody’s interested, dates are available, and give a call.

Wind that blew strongly from northeast canceled fishing for tuna, other big game and tilefish offshore last weekend with Mushin Sportfishing, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. See a few more details in a report under Point Pleasant Beach above from Mushin. That’s home port for Mushin, but the boat sails from Cape May each June and July for this angling.

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