Sat., Dec. 15, 2018
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 9-24-18

<b>Belmar</b>

Seas were a little sporty, but a trip trolled a couple of 50-pound yellowfin tuna and a couple of gaffer mahi mahi mid-range Saturday on the <b>Katie H</b>, Capt. Mike said. A baby yellowfin and a small bluefin tuna were also released. Amazing that a small fish will attack such a large lure. The boat was the only one fishing there, and Mike told the charter that some seas were forecast, and nobody had fished the area in some time because of weather. The anglers still wanted to sail. The only problem was that 40 or 50 false albacore were hooked in the trolling spread. They were big, too. But the anglers seemed to have fun. The water was clean, beautiful and full of all of this life. A couple of whales were seen, and tons of squid were marked. Another one of these trips is slated for this weekend.

A 13-pound 3-ounce fluke was the biggest weighed this year at <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>, Bob wrote in an email. Fluke season closed beginning Sunday, and that whopper was taken from Shark River. The store’s rental boats are available to fish the river. Bob saw good-sized at the store. Party-boaters and private-boaters tied into some good catches of fluke on the ocean late in the season. Fluke season was good or bad, depending on whom you asked. What’s next? Mullet are migrating down the shore, and some striped bass and bluefish are chasing them. Small stripers are plentiful in the surf and rivers, hitting popper lures and swimming plugs. The blues are plentiful in the same waters, and also in the ocean away from the surf. False albacore are popping into the surf, burning drags on reels. Leslie Katonah from Hamilton landed a 4-pound 14-ounce weakfish from Shark River on a livelined peanut bunker. 

<b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> fished Friday and Saturday, on the ocean, Capt. Pete said. Friday’s trip began fishing for fluke and ran into porgies and weakfish. The anglers decided to hook fish for the cooler and began targeting the porgies. They slapped a good catch of big in the box, and also limited out on one weakfish apiece, sizable ones 20 or 21 inches. On Saturday’s trip, seas were somewhat rougher, and the fluking wasn’t as good as would be hoped for on these final two days of fluke season, because of the conditions. But a couple of large to 8 ½ or 9 pounds were iced on that trip. The anglers on that outing also took advantage of porgies, hooking some on the fluke bucktails. Trips now will get after porgies, blackfish and triggerfish. They could also fish for bluefish. Blues also began to be angled at night, if anglers want that. Trips for sea bass and striped bass are being booked for later this season. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual spot with a charter who wants more anglers.

The final days of fluke season were uneventful, said Capt. Mike from <br><b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>. Weather hampered much fishing. Lots of mahi mahi swam the Chicken Canyon, and the water reportedly looked beautiful. He looks forward to sea bass fishing once sea bass season opens starting Oct. 8, until striped bass fishing once the striper migration arrives.

Numerous anglers limited out on bluefish 2 to 4 pounds Sunday on the <br><b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. Some drifts produced lots of the fish, and some picked away slowly. Some anglers caught better than others. A few false albacore, bonito and Spanish mackerel were pulled in, and the trip fished at rocky bottom and rubble hills to the north, where lots of the blues schooled the past couple of weeks. Saturday’s trip fished well, excellent at times, for the same sizes of blues. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Great bluefishing for 2- to 5-pounders was crushed Saturday on the <br><b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Phenomenal bluefishing was lambasted on a trip that night aboard, even better than on the daytime trip. On Sunday’s trip, bluefishing wasn’t as good but was decent for 2- to 5-pounders. A few false albacore were also beaten on these trips. On the nighttime trip, so were a few bonito.  Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, except when tuna trips are running, and 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays.  See the <a href=" https://www.goldeneaglefishing.com/tunafish" target="_blank">tuna schedule</a> online.

<b>Brielle</b>

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> Good porgy fishing was pounded on the last trip on the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b>, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email yesterday. Porgies to 3 pounds, hefty triggerfish and a few good-sized blackfish were lit into. Trips are bottom-fishing 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Twelve-hour sea bass trips, sailing at 5 a.m., will begin Oct. 8, opening day of sea bass season. Big sea bass and jumbo porgies are expected to be whacked. Cod and winter flounder are also expected to be slapped aboard. Saturday, Oct. 13, is already sold out, “so don’t delay,” Ryan wrote. Reservations can be made by telephoning the boat. Or book on the <a href="http://www.jamaicaii.com" target="_blank"> Jamaica II’s website</a> and get a 5-percent discount. Fourteen-hour sea bass trips, sailing at 3 a.m., will run on Saturdays and Sundays beginning Oct. 20.

A few tuna, a mix of yellowfins and bluefins, seemed to hold at the Triple Wrecks, by the sounds of reports, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. They seemed to be jigged and chunked, and not a lot of tuna seemed to swim the canyons offshore. Plenty of mahi mahi did. Plenty of mahi also held closer to shore. False albacore and bonito also swam those waters, like in the Little Italy area. Fluke season closed beginning Sunday. A good population of blackfish gathered in shallow water 30 or 40 feet deep, including at the rocks off Deal. So did triggerfish. Lots of 2- to 4-pound bluefish schooled at the Mudhole, close to shore and in Manasquan Inlet. Boaters on the ocean trolled the fish on small spoons, cast to the blues with diamond jigs or chunked the fish. Throwback striped bass swam all over the surf, jumping on Daiwa SP Minnows or small rubber shads on most mornings. Blues popped into the surf here and there. Fishing for small stripers was fairly consistent in Manasquan River and Inlet, especially along the Route 35 and Railroad bridges on the river, on lures like small, white shads. But the stripers were spread throughout the river. Stripers were also heard about from Point Pleasant Canal. 

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

The captain and crew from the <b>Gambler</b> thank customers for making fluke season great aboard, a report said on the party boat’s website. Tuna trips will sail the rest of this month through October, and see the <a href=" http://www.gamblerfishing.net/offshoretrips.php" target="_blank">tuna schedule</a> online. The tuna fishing is selling out. Striped bass trips kick off on Nov. 1 every year.

A few fluke were picked on the <b>Norma-K III</b> on the ocean on the final days of fluke season, a report said on the party boat’s website. The angling was slow, and an 8-pound 7-ouncer won the monthly pool. Bluefishing was great for 3- to 7-pounders on the ocean on Saturday night’s trip. Many customers limited out, and bluefishing was slower but good on Friday night’s trip. “Everyone went home with dinner!” it said. Now that fluke season ended, trips are fishing for porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Clams and crabs are provided. Trips are bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

Trips were weathered out on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, Capt. John said. Now that fluke season closed, he’ll be looking to fish for tuna between fall’s unsettled weather. Sea bass trips will begin when sea bass season starts on Oct. 8. The striped bass migration is a ways off. But striper charters begin as soon as the run shows in the local ocean.

<b>Toms River</b>

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> Bluefish were dragged from the surf in past days on chunks of mullet or bunker or on metal, shads or swimmers, <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>’s Facebook page said. Small striped bass were mixed in and pounced on shads. An angler reported non-stop action on the blues and stripers off the end of Barnegat Inlet’s north jetty on a trip yesterday. Keeper stripers were eeled at Point Pleasant Canal at night. Snapper bluefishing was good on both sides of the Toms River. Crabs were around. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Lots of throwback fluke and a few good-sized keepers were still biting in the surf through Saturday, the final day of fluke season, a report said on <br><b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Small to medium-sized bluefish and small striped bass chased baitfish including mullet “in close,” it said. On Barnegat Bay, a few keeper crabs were still picked. Eels and green crabs will be stocked soon, and killies are still on hand. 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>

Capt. Mike from <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b> hopes to fish for tuna later this week, he said. The trips were weathered out, and he knew about no charter boats that sailed for the fishing. Maybe party boats, larger vessels, got out in the seas.

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> Any customers who fished during the rough weather worked Barnegat Bay for blowfish, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. That angling was excellent on small pieces of clam or squid while boaters chummed with clam-chum logs. Or they fished for bluefish or small striped bass that bit along Barnegat Inlet. Good-sized snapper blues schooled the bay. Nobody seemed to boat the ocean because of seas. Crabbing remained good. All baits are stocked for inshore to offshore.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> Few anglers were around in the weather, so this report will be short! Vince Sr. from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b> said. But actually, blowfishing was good on Barnegat Bay. Clam-chum logs and, for bait, clams and squid were sold for that. A few anglers weakfished on the bay, catching okay. Anglers can order live grass shrimp for that. Blackfish could be found along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks, and green crabs were just re-stocked for them. Baits stocked also include minnows and occasionally fresh bunker. The bunker were difficult to obtain last weekend because weather kept bunker boats from sailing. All frozen baits are on hand. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure.

Fluking sailed Friday and Saturday, the final two days of fluke season, on the <b>Super Chic</b> on the ocean, Capt. Ted said. The fishing wasn’t that great, maybe including because on Friday, “weather was against us,” he said. Weather wasn’t bad in the morning Saturday, but progressively made the angling tougher. Some keepers were managed, but fewer than hoped. Tuna fishing will sail later this week, if weather allows. Sea bass fishing will run once sea bass season opens Oct. 8. Five tuna trips are slated before then. Ted knew about nobody locally who sailed for fish like false albacore, he said when this writer asked him. But he was sure a few swam locally, at least. He knew about albies that were party-boated farther north at reefs.

Fluke fishing wrapped up Saturday, the final day of fluke season, on the <br><b>Miss Barnegat Light</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. Weather did a job on the fishing this month, though September should produce the best fluking of the season. A trip Sunday smashed 1- to 2-pound bluefish, lots, and Spanish mackerel on ocean. Blues and pelagics like the Spanish were the targets. <a href=" http://missbarnegatlight.com/offshore-tuna-trips/
" target="_blank">Tuna trips</a>, sailing 30 hours, will be launched on Saturday, fishing until striped bass trips begin on Nov. 2.

<b>Barnegat</b>

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> An email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “We are sailing Open Boat or Charter Sun, Sept 30 and Monday, Oct 1. Leaving at 7AM and returning anywhere from 5 to 8 hours later. Fishing for....???? These trips are a work in progress according to whatever everyone wants to do and what the sea condition will allow. We could fish the inlet jetty for bluefish, shrimp the bay for weakfish and the ultralite mixed bag, anchor up on the west side of the bay for blowfish, cruise the shoreline outside for migrating albacore, run to Barnegat Ridge for bonita and albacore either on the troll or chum, Whatever you guys want to do. We could also combine any of these species. Rates according to duration … from 5 to 8 hours. 4 people max on Open Boat trips. All fish are shared.”

<b>Absecon</b>

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b> was running a striped bass trip when he gave this report this morning on the telephone aboard, he said. One was hooked and got off while he spoke, and the fishing’s been good for lots of small on Mullica River. He’s got bonus tags to keep slots, and three slots were landed among shorts yesterday, and two were kept. A 34-inch keeper was socked last week, and that was the biggest so far. A discount is offered on the trips in the early season, but you have to book now. Dates are filling, and the fishing’s producing. The trips are fishing livelined mullet or Gulps, mostly Nemesis. White perch fishing was fantastic on brackish rivers including the Mullica. If anglers want dinner, go perching. Trips can fish for stripers, and if no slot or keeper is bagged, a bucket of perch can be, pretty easily. Today was the first day that felt like September on the trips. Long sleeves were worn, and the weather felt good, if you’re an angler. Summer flounder season closed Sunday, and flounder fishing was okay Saturday. A few were caught at the end of the season, but the season really ended two weeks before the closure, when the first storm came in that heralded the change of weather. When those storms begin each year, that keeps most anglers from fishing for flounder as much as before. Blackfish were around to catch. Baits stocked include live mullet and spots, and frozen mullet. The supply of shedder crabs is almost ended for the year.   

<b>Atlantic City</b>

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> Mullet ran strongly, the best in 10 years, in the surf, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. They migrated there from back waters, but also still schooled the back. Striped bass bit from the surf to up Absecon Inlet to the bay behind the inlet. They were resident fish, schoolies, but active because of the mullet. Weakfish were eased from the bay near Harrah’s, and anglers kept quiet about that. Tons of bluefish, cocktails, a little larger than snappers, schooled all these waters. Many blackfish nibbled along the inlet’s jetties, and most were throwbacks. But 10 or 15 were possible to land in a couple of hours. Kingfish, pompano and spots swam the surf. All fish were in, and September and October are some of the best months to fish here. If you’re not catching anything elsewhere, come and enjoy. All baits, the full supply, are stocked. They include fresh mullet, fresh clams, green crabs, minnows, you name it, he said. A vending machine also dispenses bait, a little of everything, round the clock.

<b>Longport</b>

Forecasts kept anglers from showing up to fish on the final days of summer flounder season on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. The season closed beginning Sunday, and sea bass trips, including open-boat, will begin Oct. 8, opening day of sea bass season. Open trips will run that day and every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Telephone to climb aboard.

<b>Ocean City</b>

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> Plenty of snapper blues, some of them a little bigger than before, weighing 1 ½ or 2 pounds, swarmed everywhere, mostly in inlets and the back bay, said Ed from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Mullet migrating to the surf from the back attracted them. The migration was on. The surf’s seas were smaller than before, but the surf remained dirty. Striped bass, mostly throwbacks, but a few keepers were heard about, were hooked at night, like along bridges, if anglers could fish through the blues. A few blackfish snapped along structure like bridges or jetties. A few spots swam the bay. Hardly anybody boated the ocean, because of seas. A few boaters reached ocean reefs and wrecks and turned up summer flounder before flounder season closed beginning Sunday. Sea bass season will open starting Oct. 8, so sea bass couldn’t be targeted at wrecks and reefs. Not a lot of seasons were open at the moment for fish that were in that could make up a fishery. Bluefish were the word, he said.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> The heart of the mullet migration seemed underway in the surf, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Lots of bluefish 1 to 2 pounds, but a fair number of 4-pounders, chased them. A striped bass or a weakfish were sometimes in the mix. Most anglers who fished the surf seemed happy with catches. Despite wind 20 knots or stronger, this closing weekend of summer flounder season fished well on the ocean. Boaters who got after them reported getting butts kicked by seas but the flounder biting well. Many 4-pounders and some 6-pounders were weighed-in. Striped bass chewed in the back bay at night. A couple of good-sized were seen from the angling. Most anglers fished for the bass with soft-plastic lures like Bass Assassins and Fin-S Fish on small, 3/8-ounce jigheads. Blackfish bit along jetties. At Townsend’s Inlet, the sea wall to the base of the bridge is closed for construction the rest of the season. That’s one of the most popular places locally for blackfishing.

An angler and son fished Saturday and Sunday on some of the annual traveling charters to Montauk aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. On Saturday, they walloped false albacore, tons, numbering in the high 20s, and a few striped bass and bluefish mixed in. On Sunday, they made a similar catch of those three species, and also some sea bass. Albie Snax hooked all the trips’ catches. Was great fishing, and Joe continues the trips until mid-October. See the <a href="http://www.captainjoehughes.com/page3.html" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. Traveling charters to the Florida Keys fish every winter. From Sea Isle, Joe is currently fishing for small stripers and small bluefish on the back bay or, for the blues, also at Townsend’s Inlet. He’ll probably fish for albies and sea bass in early November from Sea Isle on the ocean. His fishing for large stripers and blues on the ocean from Sea Isle lasts from later in November into December. Book those trips now, and the dates fill when the fish arrive. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Avalon</b>

Fishing the migration of large striped bass will sail in November and December on the ocean with <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>, Capt. Jim said. He saw a flock of scoters yesterday, and trips will hunt sea ducks aboard this season. Fins offers a variety of fishing and hunting from Maryland to upstate New York. Salmon fishing is underway in upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s nearby <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge</a>. That migration is heavy throughout the lower half of the river. A buddy banked four yesterday, and the river was 65 degrees and running at 375 cubic feet per second. Dates are available for the lodge for salmon fishing. A discount is available to stay at the lodge, but only on Airbnb.

<b>Cape May</b>

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> Fishing for summer flounder on the ocean aboard kind of fizzled out until flounder season closed beginning Sunday, said Capt. Paul from the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>. Not many of the trips, scheduled to run once daily, had the weather to sail in the final two weeks of the season. When they did sail, throwbacks and not many keepers were angled. The boat probably could fish this weekend in forecasts for better weather. But Paul will keep fishing docked aboard until beginning trips for sea bass at 8 a.m. daily beginning Oct. 8, opening day of sea bass season.

Summer flounder season that closed Sunday was wrapped up with a trip Friday with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b> on the ocean, Capt. Tom said. The fishing was a little slow, cranking in seven keepers and probably more than 200 throwbacks. Lots of out-of-season sea bass were also released. Dates are available for sea bass fishing beginning Oct. 8, opening day of sea bass season. Daytime swordfishing should begin aboard in the next days. Around September’s full moon is when that starts, and Tom is pioneering that fishing locally. Fishing for swords during daytime has already become popular to the south, like in Florida. The trips fish for the light-sensitive swords along bottom in deep water. Fishin’ Fever is also tilefishing offshore. Offshore waters also held a few yellowfin tuna, many gaffer mahi mahi and still a few white marlin.

Striped bass trips  are beginning to book for later this fall on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, and the boat will be docked in Atlantic City for the fishing, Capt. George said. That’s been closer to the fish in recent years. The boat did no fishing in past days in rough weather. Small-craft warnings were posted almost every day for a long time. George knew about a few tuna and white marlin caught at Poorman’s Canyon in past days. Sea bass trips will begin aboard when sea bass season opens Oct. 8.

<b>***Update, Thursday, 9/27:***</b> Lots of baitfish including mullet schooled the surf, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. A good number of bluefish and a few striped bass, including sometimes a keeper, chased them. Fish mullet or, if birds are working, metal like a Kastmaster or a Krocodile, matching the mullet. This was from the ocean to Delaware Bay, and Cape May is at the confluence. On the Delaware Bay side, spots, kings and croakers were plucked from the surf near the concrete ship. For them, fish bloodworms or cut bait like squid or clams. Boaters could probably also find the spots, kings and croakers at Cape May Channel. Summer flounder season closed beginning Sunday, so fishing for flounder at ocean reefs was finished. But triggerfish could still be hit at the reefs. Blackfish probably also swam the reefs. Blackfish bit along jetties. The back bay held pretty good fishing for small striped bass, including because peanut bunker, not so many mullet, schooled. For the stripers, chuck top-water or soft-plastic lures or chum and fish with small pieces of bait, like at creek mouths. News about tuna was scarce in rough weather and seas. This weekend looks like a shot of better weather for that fishing.

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