Sat., Oct. 20, 2018
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 9-4-18

<b>Keyport</b>

Fluke trips fished deep holes, channels, mussel bottom, small wrecks and sometimes sandy bottom on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Plenty bit, or action was good, but the keeper ratio wasn’t as good as wanted. Most keepers were 20 inches or larger. Most throwbacks were 17 inches, an inch shorter than legal size. Trips worked hard and burned fuel. Less than 20 days are left in fluke season. The fish will continue to fill Ambrose Channel, migrating out of bays to offshore. Trips aboard will keep working those grounds, grinding every time to put together the best catch possible, he said. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will sail for fluke Thursday through Sunday. Telephone to reserve. Book fall striped bass charters now. Each angler will receive a bonus tag to bag an extra striper while the supply lasts. Those who book first will receive the tags.

Angling for mahi mahi was going to sail the next few days aboard, <b>Manic Sportfishing</b>’s Facebook page said. Contact the boat to join the trips. A trip yesterday boxed two fluke less than a limit for the three anglers. Bluefish and a bonito were also reeled in. The anglers had to work for fluke. They had a great time, it said, and the water looked great.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Capt. Joe from <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b> was in Prince Edward Island fishing for giant bluefin tuna, he wrote in an email. On Sunday, he fished on a commercial trip that bagged a 500-pounder. On Saturday, Joe fished on a charter that released three including a 700-pounder. If anglers are interested in the fishing, they can reach out to him for first-hand info.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

“Made our way out into the (ocean Saturday),” a report said on the party boat <b>Fishermen</b>’s website. Weather was rough Friday and might’ve prevented the fishing that day, and no report was posted for Friday on the site. On Saturday’s trip, the ride to the fishing grounds was nasty, but the water was fishable. Shorts and some good-sized keepers gave up catches right away. One angler landed four good-sized. Several pitched aboard two keepers apiece, and a 6.9-pound fluke won the pool. Beautiful sea bass had to be released, because sea bass season closed beginning that day. On Sunday’s trip, weather was beautiful on the water, and a 9-pound fluke won the pool. A 6-1/2-pounder came in, and one angler took a 5-pounder and a 4-pounder. One angler picked up five legal-sized and a ton of throwbacks, keeping no more than a limit of three. Several anglers beaned two keepers apiece. On Monday’s trip, a couple of anglers limited out, some caught two keepers apiece and some only hooked short fluke and out-of-season sea bass. Gulp or bait caught more than jigs did this day. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. However, the boat is chartered this Saturday and Monday, so no open-boat trips will fish those days. Trips are fishing the ocean, not the bay.

Fluking was pretty much the same the past couple of days as before, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>. In easterly weather late in the week, the boat’s trips fished the bay. Action with throwbacks was good, and a few keepers were rustled up. Sunday morning’s trip fished the channels, picking up throwbacks and a couple of keepers until current ran too strongly. The afternoon’s trip returned to the channels, but south wind blew too strongly. Lines wouldn’t fish right, and the trip moved to the bay, picking throwbacks and a couple of keepers. Fluke – throwbacks and a couple of keepers – are swimming no matter where. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

<b>Neptune</b>

With <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, a trip sailed two miles from shore Saturday and turned around because of rough seas, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. But on a trip Sunday, conditions were beautiful on the water. Sometimes the weather was too calm that day, and then the boat failed to drift because of no wind. That’s never good for fluke fishing, but if anglers knew what they were doing, they caught. The high hook landed four legal-sized fluke, keeping no more than a limit of three, and won the pool with a 6-1/2-pounder. Individual-reservation trips are fishing for fluke every Tuesday, the next two Sundays, Sept. 9 and 16, and Saturday, Sept. 22, the final day of fluke season. On the Tuesday trips, kids under 12 sail free, limited to one per adult host. Charters are available, and Last Lady fishes year-round. Sea bass season will open beginning October 8 with a 10-fish bag limit, and 15 will become the limit beginning Nov. 1. Individual-reservation trips for sea bass will be announced soon.

<b>Belmar</b>

Two yellowfin tuna were trolled on one trip that Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> fished on, he said. Water was beautiful and held lots of life. Another trip boxed several fluke and limited out on sea bass on the ocean and returned early. Sea bass season closed beginning Saturday, so trips will concentrate on fluke or mix in fishing for porgies with fluking.

Fluke fishing resumed Sunday on the ocean with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, after the trips were docked Friday and Saturday because of weather, and the fish bit, Capt. Pete said. The weather failed to slow the catches, and each angler landed a couple of keepers, he thought.  The keepers didn’t need to be measured, and some of the fish were sizable. Throwbacks also gave up action, and Pete expects the fishing to stay the same, so long as weather remains okay. Bring bucktails and Gulps, and be ready for big fluke, he tells anglers. Spaces are available on Sunday with a charter who wants more anglers. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual space with a charter who wants more anglers. Spaces are also available for fluke seminars aboard with the tackle company KTS Customs on Sept. 12, 16 and 19. All anglers will receive two bucktails and three ball jigs from KTS and a bag of Gulps.

A great catch of bluefish, bonito and Spanish mackerel was jigged Sunday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. A good number of anglers limited out on blues, and some great bluefishing was pounded aboard recently. Saturday afternoon’s trip picked at fluke. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

All the bluefish the anglers could want were smashed today on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The blues weighed up to 4 pounds, and a few bonito, keeper fluke and throwback fluke were also winged. Bluefishing’s been good on the boat in past days.  Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Good-sized fluke were weighed daily at <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>, Bob wrote in an email. Nine-year-old Noah Pokojni brought in a 10-pound 1-ouncer. Ryan Sherwood stopped by with a 9-pound 12-ouncer from the party boat Big Mohawk. Myra and Harris Reevey fluked Shark River, clocking a 5-pound 12-ouncer and a 5-pound 8-ouncer. The store’s rental boats are available to fish for fluke on the river. Small blues invaded the Shark and surrounding beaches. Surf anglers hope that all the bait in the rivers pours into the surf and attracts migrating striped bass. “The only fear we have is tropical storms moving through at the same time,” he wrote. Come on down, Bob said. Fishing’s good, and crowds thinned out.

<b>Brielle</b>

The <b>Jamaica II</b>’s fishing got off to a great start on a Super Fluke Marathon, a longer trip than usual, yesterday, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Afterward, the angling was a steady pick. Not all anglers limited out, but the boat’s limit was drilled, because some anglers caught more than a limit, keeping no more than their quotas. An 8.5-pound fluke won the pool, just beating an 8.2-pouneer. Lots of 3- to 6-pounders were iced, and couple of big were lost early in the trip. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. More of the Super Fluke Marathons will sail 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the next two Mondays, Sept. 10 and 17.

Limits of fluke to 8 and 9 pounds were heard about from the ocean, said Alex from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. The fishing was fairly good at Axel Carlson and Sea Girt reefs on bucktails with Gulps. Mahi mahi 2 to 5 pounds were also hooked at the reefs. Mahi 5 to 10 pounds swam places like the Mudhole and the Glory Hole. Manasquan River’s fluking went fairly well. The bigger fluke in the river jumped on livelined mullet or livelined peanut bunker. Bonito and Spanish mackerel returned to the ocean close to shore that had disappeared a moment in rougher weather. Currently they were found from 100 yards from the beach to miles off, depending on the day. Tuna fishing was slow. A bluefin tuna or a yellowfin tuna was caught here and there at the Chicken Canyon. Farther from shore, white marlin fishing was the best in a decade. In a tournament during the weekend, catches of the marlin included more than 20 in a trip.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>***Update, Wednesday, 9/5:***</b> An open-boat trip crushed yellowfin tuna, including on popper lures and jigs, Sunday with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Mushin’s Facebook page said. The trip was scheduled to fish overnight. But so many tuna were caught – “filled the boxes,” the page said – that the trip headed home in late afternoon. At first, in the morning, the tuna were trolled. But they were so abundant, so the boat was stopped on them, and more were clobbered on Madd Mantis poppers, Sting-O jigs and chunks of bait. The trip limited out, and the anglers grew tired of catching and releasing more. “Nice quality Yellowfin to 80#!” the page said. The trip also nailed some “beautiful mahi off a piece of flotsam,” it said. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips have been added for Sept. 22 to 23 and 29 to 30.

On the <b>Norma-K III</b> on the ocean, fluke fishing is good now, a report said on the party boat’s website. Today was gorgeous aboard, and anglers “bouncing around bucktails” caught well. Calm weather and flat seas failed to drift the boat well, so casting around was an advantage. A 7-pound 12-ounce fluke won the pool. Trips are fishing rough bottom, so bring extra tackle for snags. Sinkers and plain rigs are carried aboard. Fluking aboard was slow during the weekend but bounced back Monday. On nighttime trips, bluefishing was slow during the weekend. 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.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

A trip rustled up four keeper fluke and eight keeper sea bass among a bunch of throwbacks in 60 feet of water on the ocean on the <b>Tin Knocker</b> last week, Capt. John said. Bucktails caught best, but charters are also given rigs to fish with bait. A trip two Saturdays ago bagged six yellowfin tuna aboard. That was covered in a previous report, but John told a few more details now. The tuna were trolled mid-shore, 70 miles from port, on side-winders and spreader bars.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

A few false albacore shot into the surf, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Fluke fishing was good in the surf. Sometimes small bluefish and small striped bass were beached from the surf. “There are some mackerel showing up in Barnegat Inlet,” the report said. The report mentioned no species. In Barnegat Bay, blowfish were boated, and sometimes kingfish bit, near the BB and BI markers. Crabbing was a slow pick from the dock and the store’s rental boats. Keeper crabs were sacked, but crabbers just worked for them. Snapper blues and a few blowfish big enough to eat were angled from the dock. 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>Super Chic</b>’s been fluke fishing, and the angling was good Sunday in 50 to 65 feet of water on a trip, Capt. Ted said. A good catch of keepers to 5 pounds was made, and plenty of throwbacks bit. A few small bluefish and not many trash fish were tackled. Bucktails and bait caught the fluke equally. A trip was going to sail offshore Sunday night aboard, trying to get into good white marlin fishing that happened recently. More fluke trips are slated for this week.

On every day when conditions were good, fluke fishing was good on the ocean on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Good conditions are when wind and seas drift the boat not too fast and not too slow. Then lots of fluke are being hooked, and varying amounts are keepers each trip. On some days, bait catches best. On others, different colors of Gulps do. Chub mackerel and more porgies each day were also swung in. The fluking usually keeps improving in September, and crowds are lighter this month. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

<b>Longport</b>

Fishing was pretty much the same, said Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b>. Trips aboard pasted good numbers of mahi mahi at Atlantic City Ridge. Trips were also trolling similar fish like bonito. Lots of fish. Open-boat trips will run today, Friday, Sunday, Monday and next week on Wednesday. Telephone to reserve.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Fishing for mahi mahi was going to sail Monday aboard, Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b> said before the trip. One of the trips ran Thursday, tugging in two, jumping off a big, missing some bites and also pasting false albacore. The trip did some fly-fishing, and that can be a more challenging way to catch. Fishing was weathered out in the next days.  High tides at dusk will be ideal for striped bass fishing this week on the back bay with popper-lures and popper-flies, a specialty aboard. Joe did no fishing for summer flounder recently, but would like to fish for the fluke on the ocean soon. Annual traveling charters to Montauk will fish the migrations of striped bass, bluefish and false albacore from mid-month to 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, and this isn’t too early to book preferred dates. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="http://captainjoehughes.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.

<b>Avalon</b>

<b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> was going to fish for summer flounder at the Old Grounds but was weathered out Saturday and Sunday, Capt. Jim said. That’s on the ocean off Delaware, and weather was rough throughout Saturday and on Sunday morning. A buddy fished the Old Grounds from Lewes, Del., and so could fish according to Delaware’s smaller size limit. The trip boated 50, including 30 keepers. Another buddy caught mahi mahi 20 miles from shore last week. The salmon migration is impending in upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s nearby <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge</a>. The run usually begins after Labor Day and builds until the first weeks of October. A discount is available for the lodge, but only on Airbnb. Jim will also begin to guide bird hunting now. A Canadian goose season began Saturday in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He’ll also guide dove hunting in Pennsylvania on Saturday with a group.

<b>Cape May</b>

Fishing was cancelled Saturday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> because of weather, Capt. George said. Some of the fleet fished. A cruise sailed Sunday aboard, and a charter on Monday was supposed to troll for mahi mahi inshore, he said before the trip. A boater from the docks trolled bluefish, bonito and chub mackerel at 5-Fathom Bank during the weekend. The angler said fewer blues bit than previously, but more bonito did than before. Heavy Hitter is doing that fishing, too.

Fishing for summer flounder limited out the boat, went well, on the ocean Friday with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. Then the trip fished for triggerfish and sea bass, pumping in 31 triggers and seven keeper sea bass. Good fishing. Flounder fishing on Sunday was slower on the ocean aboard. The anglers had difficulty fishing the sticky bottom. A couple of keepers were landed, and then the trip trolled. A couple of mahi mahi, a bar jack, a false albacore and, out of nowhere, a yellowfin tuna were caught. Coming up this week, more flounder fishing will sail, and at least one trip will sail offshore for big game. A few tuna are around, and more than before seemed to be arriving. That angling seemed to be looking up. Lots of white marlin were in. Offshore fishing is also tilefishing aboard. Tom when he gave this report was spooling reels for daytime tilefishing that will sail soon on the vessel. Fishing for swords during daytime is popular in the South, like in Florida, and Tom is pioneering the fishing here. Deep water is fished along bottom for the light-sensitive swords during daylight. Swordfishing is more common at night, of course.

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