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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 8-6-18

<b>Keyport</b>

Eleven keeper fluke, not big but up to 6 or 7 pounds, and countless throwbacks were tugged in yesterday with <b>Manicsportfishing</b>, Capt. Greg said. So were as many sea bass as the anglers could want, including good-sized, up to a 5-pounder. That’s a big sea bass. Ling were also reeled in, and the trip fished a little deeper water for the variety. A bagful of sea bass and a bagful of ling were docked, in addition to the fluke. This was a charter with six anglers that mostly fished Sandy Hook Reef. At one point, the anglers asked if they could fish elsewhere, because they became tired of snagging on the rough bottom. So the trip moved to open bottom and hooked throwback fluke. Then they asked to return to the reef. Bottom will be snagged on the rough bottom. So rigs will be lost. But that’s where the better-sized fluke are. A trip tomorrow is supposed to fish for porgies. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Quality fluke including 5-pounders and some 4’s, up to 6 pounds, were axed yesterday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. A few knucklehead sea bass were mixed in, and trips are fluking at rough bottom. Anglers who can fish jigs along the bottom and not get hung up all day can usually limit out. The fish are spread out, and anglers have to work for them, but they’re there. The potential for big is real. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing, and two spaces each are available for open trips Tuesday and Thursday. Spaces are available for open trips Friday through Sunday. Telephone to reserve. Saturday and Sunday are also available for charter. 

<b>Leonardo</b>

Porgies, triggerfish and limits of sea bass were plowed aboard throughout the weekend with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe wrote in an email. A small thresher shark even popped up near the boat. All anglers are leaving with plenty of fillets. Joe likes to note that porgies make great fish tacos. They’re tasty fish. So are triggers and sea bass.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

The <b>Fishermen</b> fished for fluke on the ocean throughout Saturday, and Friday, too, a report said on the party boat’s website. A swell since the previous two weeks was tough on the trip Saturday. But action was found, after some searching. The trip worked hard and slugged away at throwback fluke, some good-sized keepers and sea bass. The trip had to tough it out, but ended up with nice fishing, for those who didn’t puke! Weather looked better for the days ahead, and trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Twice-daily fluke trips fished the ocean a little, near the channels, recently on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Results were about the same as when the trips fished Raritan Bay. Plenty of fluke swam both places, and when conditions were right, they could be angled. Getting keepers was the key. Many of the fluke were a half-inch or inch under the 18-inch legal minimum size. Some were 13 inches or so, too. Yesterday morning’s trip fished the ocean, picking up a few more keepers than recently before. The afternoon’s trip began fishing on the ocean, but southeast wind built, so the trip moved to the bay and caught a few more fluke. The trip hooked lots of fluke, as many as you could want, including a few keepers. If you want to come down, enjoy the action and hopefully nail a keeper, the trips are fishing every day. They’re running 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.

<b>Highlands</b>

Every angler limited out on fluke and sea bass Sunday with <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Pete wrote in an email. That was the best fishing around the weekend aboard, and the trip fished offshore a little. Sometimes double-headers of fluke were reeled up. Bunker even schooled, breaking the water surface. Maybe striped bass were on them? Pete wondered. No trip fished on Saturday. Friday was one of those days when a good-sized fish, a fluke, was caught right away, and then fishing was a struggle in tough weather. Charters and open-trips are fishing. Openings are available late this week and next week. Give a call. 

<b>Neptune</b>

A mix of porgies, triggerfish and sea bass were eased aboard Friday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. On Saturday, the boat drifted too fast for fluke fishing. So the trip switched to sea bass and ling, and that angling caught great. A trip Sunday left ling and sea bass biting. Catches included double-headers, and the mate spent hours filleting. That was an individual-reservation trip that fished mid-range wrecks. Individual-reservation trips will fish for: porgies and triggerfish on Saturday and Aug. 19; and cod offshore at 2 a.m. Aug. 24. Individual-reservation trips are sailing for fluke and sea bass every Tuesday. Kids under 12 sail free on the Tuesday trips, limited to one per adult host. 

<b>Belmar</b>

A trip bagged two fluke and limited out on sea bass Sunday on the ocean on the <b>Katie H</b>, Capt. Mike said. At first on the trip, conditions failed to drift the boat, and mostly throwbacks bit. Then the drift picked up, and so did catches of keepers. The fishing took a little longer to limit on sea bass than usual, because of no drift at first. But the sea bassing ended up drop-and-reel. Kids were among the anglers, and they had blast with that. More inshore trips like this are slated for this week. A tuna trip is set for Saturday.

A good number of sea bass and some fluke were cranked up Saturday from the ocean on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. That was during the second half of the trip, when the boat floated on nice, slow drifts. At first on the trip, the angling was slow in very rainy weather, but seas weren’t too rough. On Sunday aboard, weather was great, but fishing was slower than the past few weeks. Sea bass and fluke were hooked, and plenty of fish were marked, “(but) they just didn’t want to cooperate,” it said. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

A trip began in a monsoon Saturday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. But weather became beautiful, and plenty of fish, mostly sea bass and a few fluke and ling, were bagged. On a sunset and fishing cruise that afternoon, a terrific catch was nailed. The report didn’t say the species, but sea bass, fluke and ling have been common aboard. On a trip Sunday in gorgeous weather, fishing was slower but still produced a good catch of large sea bass, some ling, one big fluke and some smaller fluke. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Fishing was fair to good, depending on how much effort anglers made, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Belmar’s party boats reported good fishing for fluke and sea bass, and occasional blackfish mixed in. Anglers began targeting blackfish because the bag limit became one beginning Wednesday. Blackfish season was closed previously. A large number of fluke were brought in for the Jersey Coast Anglers Association’s fluke tournament Saturday. A 7.63-pounder was biggest at Belmar. The tournament is held from ports throughout New Jersey. Shark River’s been giving up many keeper fluke. Jerry Taylor from Belmar’s 8-pound 6-ouncer was the largest known about and was hooked on a livelined snapper blue. The store’s rental boats are available to fluke the river. Fishing for snappers was good on the river. Surf fishing slowed down for small striped bass that hit previously. But fluke were angled from the surf, “filling in the void,” Bob, a surf angler, said. Plenty of time remains before kids return to school. Come down and get in on the action, he said.

<b>Brielle</b>

Before wind kept boaters from fishing offshore, they tied into good catches of yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna at Hudson Canyon, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. They also decked good fishing for marlin and mahi mahi. Closer to shore, good numbers of yellowfins and bluefin tuna swam Chicken Canyon. Some of the bluefins measured up to 60 inches, if anglers got lucky and lit into one. Trolling usual tackle like spreader bars and daisy chains caught at the Chicken. Sometimes trips tripped on mahi mahi at the Chicken. Ling fishing was good at the Mudhole. Winter flounder were picked in that area. A healthy population of sea bass hovered at ocean wrecks, including at Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs. Ocean fluke fishing improved at little. It was fair to good at those reefs. Trips Saturday scored fairly well on the flatfish. Bucktails were key, and chartreuse seemed a good color. In Manasquan Inlet, a few keeper fluke remained among throwbacks. Plenty of striped bass, mostly undersized, remained in Manasquan River. They were mostly hooked at night on soft-plastic lures. A few were picked on eels at night. Surf-fishing dragged in a handful of small stripers in early mornings and evenings, but the fishing was kind of slow. Lots of snapper blues roamed the surf. Fluking picked up a touch in the surf.

Was a great week of fishing for fluke and sea bass on the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b> on the ocean, despite shaky weather, Capt. Joe wrote in an email. Catches were excellent on most trips. Lots of 4- to 6-pound fluke were clobbered, and sea bass to 4 ¾ pounds were socked. Mike Collins from Toms River is in the lead in the monthly pool with a 7-pound 8-ounce fluke, and several bigger were pasted, but the anglers weren’t in the pool. Bucktails like Spros caught best, tipped with a Gulp or a piece of squid or smelt. When the boat drifted well, deeper water was fished, around wrecks and rock piles. But when weather was windy, shallow water was fished, and lots of fish were hooked there, too. A few customers and their catches were: Bob Plasket from Medford, limits of fluke to 6 pounds and sea bass to 4 pounds; Eric Winters from Bristol, Pa., limit of fluke to 7 pounds, and sea bass to 4 pounds; Dave Tootchen from Philly, limit of fluke to 6 ½ pounds; and Pete Talevi from Trenton, limit of fluke to 6 pounds, ad sea bass to 4 ½ pounds. Trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>***Update, Tuesday, 8/7:***</b> Rough weather made fluke fishing on the ocean spotty most of the past week on the <b>Gambler</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Forecasts look better for this week. Some better-sized were clocked, but no great numbers. Sea bass that were bagged helped put together catches. A 7-pound fluke, caught Sunday, was in the lead for the monthly pool. An 8-3/4-pounder won last month’s pool. Chub mackerel were sometimes hooked during fluking aboard. Sometimes ling, sand sharks and sea robins hit.  Thursday night’s wreck-fishing trip was weathered out. The report mentioned nothing about fishing on Friday night. Saturday night’s wreck trip bailed small bluefish, big chub mackerel, ling and sea bass, lots of fish, in terrific weather. The wreck trips have been fishing well. Don’t let the season go by without trying one of the night trips, the report said. If you’re inexperienced, the crew is happy to instruct, and everything needed for the fishing is carried aboard. Or bring your own gear. Shark in the Dark Trips are newly scheduled for this Sunday and the following Sunday, Aug. 19. Reservations are required for the sharking, and can be made on <a href="http://www.gamblerfishing.net/tripinformation.php" target="_blank">Gambler’s website</a> or by calling the boat. The shark trips fished on Sundays in July. They’re back by popular demand! the report said.

<b>***Update, Tuesday, 8/7:***</b> Fluke fishing on the ocean was decent on most of the weekend’s trips on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fishing was good on Monday morning’s trip. The fish are finally beginning to bite well, and August usually fishes well for this angling aboard. Pool-winning fluke averaged 6 pounds, and the trips are fishing rough bottom, so bring plenty of tackle, because tackle will be snagged and lost. Plenty of sinkers and plain rigs are carried aboard. On Friday night’s trip, bluefishing was good for 1- to 3-pounders, and a few chub mackerel were pulled up. Saturday night’s trip picked blues and whacked great fishing for the mackerel. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Bluefish trips are running 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Moonlight and fireworks cruises are sailing at 8 p.m. Thursdays, returning when the fireworks end.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

In the surf, fluke fishing’s been hit or miss a while, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. The 16-inch minimum legal size at Island Beach State Park helps, compared with 18 inches in most of the rest of New Jersey. Boaters failed to report good fluking recently, too, but the hope is that all of this will pick up, including in September. Barnegat Bay was full of bait including peanut bunker and spearing for fish to forage on. Crabbing was good, not as good as in July, but decent nonetheless. Crabbers just had to work a little harder than before. 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>

<b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b> was cleaning tuna from a trip that just docked when Capt. Mike gave this report last evening, he said. Fishing for bluefin tuna inshore has been great aboard, and sometimes mahi mahi have been mixed in. Yesterday’s trip bagged both, and the bluefins weighed 50 to 80 pounds. He couldn’t give more details, because he had to square away the anglers for them to depart. Tuna-Tic is also fishing for tuna overnight all the way offshore, including on three-day trips. The boat begins doing that about now each year. The three-day trips can fish for all catches available: tuna, marlin, sharks, mahi and tilefish.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Some of the season’s best fishing lit up for fluke and sea bass on the ocean Friday on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The angling was slower at first last week and improved around the weekend. The crew is hopeful that the fishing will continue improving, like it has been. Trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Sunset cruises are running every evening.

Some fluking fished the ocean in past days on the <b>Super Chic</b>, and sometimes the trips fished for sea bass and ling, Capt. Ted said. Plus, after a trip sea bassed yesterday aboard, the outing trolled a good catch of bonito. The bonito were sizable, weighing 3 to 5 pounds, and the ocean where the bonito swam held life including bait and rays, and was green but clear, and that’s actually the color you want for bonito. The fluke fishing’s been working through throwbacks for keepers. The fishing for sea bass and ling has been good. Trips for tuna are also available. The next tuna fishing scheduled is an inshore trip in two Sundays. An offshore trip for tuna is slated for that week. Ted might schedule open-boat tuna trips for September.

<b>Brigantine</b>

Boaters sometimes reported good catches of sizable summer flounder from ocean reefs and wrecks,<b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>’s Facebook page said. The water was in the high 60 degrees, colder than usual. Sharks bit in the surf at night. The store last week here reported kingfish and rays sometimes landed in the surf. Check out these photos of a fight with one of the rays from the beach. The store is being readied for the surf’s migration of striped bass that should begin in a month or so. Stripers will slide down from up north, making their way south to warmer water in winter.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Look at this 11.78-pound summer flounder or fluke that was checked-in at <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b> and entered in the Jersey Coast Anglers Association’s fluke tournament Saturday. The angler won first place in the tournament’s Southern Region with weigh stations for Great Bay, Atlantic City, Ocean City, Cape May and Fortescue. A 12.4-pounder was the tournament’s only bigger and was entered in the Sandy Hook Region. The tournament awards prizes for the biggest in each of various regions throughout New Jersey. <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/JerseyCoastAnglersAssociation/posts/1430656330370926" target="_blank">Click here</a> for results from the event.

<b>Avalon</b>

<b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> is next supposed to fish today, Tuesday and Thursday, Capt. Jim said. The trips might fish for summer flounder at Wildwood and Cape May reefs. Some of the fishing might also work Delaware Bay, near Brandywine Lighthouse, for kingfish. A friend there recently boated kings and croakers, and returned and picked up more kings. Salmon fishing is impending on Salmon River from Jim’s nearby <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge</a>. The fishing usually begins during the weekend after Labor Day on the lower river and continues until about Oct. 10. By early October, the fish are usually spread throughout the river. Afterward, steelheads migrate in and spend winter in the river. A discount is available for the lodge, but only on Airbnb. The lodge is booked on weekends throughout August, but weekdays are available this month. Guests this month take advantage of various outdoor activities. Guests in mid-August are actually participants in the annual New York State Woodsmen’s Field Days in Boonville, a lumberjack festival.

<b>Cape May</b>

One space was available for an open-boat trip for summer flounder today with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Fishin’ Fever’s Facebook page said Friday. The trip filled up, the page said soon afterward that day. Charters and open trips are fishing for flounder on the ocean or tuna inshore or offshore, wherever’s best. The tuna fishing was good inshore or in 20 to 30 fathoms recently for bluefins and yellowfins, covered in previous reports here from Fishin’ Fever.

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