Mon., June 18, 2018
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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 9-23-10

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Beach anglers sometimes banked striped bass, not just in low-light hours like morning or night, but sometimes in the middle of the day on certain tides, said Jimmy from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Clams and peanut bunker were baits to dunk, and one customer hit the beach three times, landing stripers, shorts and keepers, each time. Bluefish and false albacore also raced through the surf. On the boats stripers began to be eeled or wormed, the usual ways they’re caught early in the season. Jimmy wasn’t asked about the time of day, but night is usually when the bass feed until the weather’s cool. Trips on boats grabbed plenty of fluke when the vessels had the permit to fish for them during this closed season for the flatfish. Blues were fought practically everywhere, good fishing for them. Bottom-fishers cranked aboard porgies, sea bass and a few blackfish. Ling were decked at the Mudhole again after a lull. “It’s time to go fishing,” Jimmy said. “The weather’s gorgeous.”

It’s time! The party boat <b>Fishermen</b> will begin fishing for striped bass on daily trips on Saturday, Capt. Ron said in an e-mail. Anglers aboard will clam, jig or do whatever it takes to catch them. After 16 long days of hard work on the boat since trips stopped fishing for fluke when fluke season ended, he and the crew are ready to roll. Ron hopes to give great reports and links to videos on the boats’ striper catches this season. The Fisherman will begin striper fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily on Saturday.

None of the fluke trips fished Monday on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> because of 20- to 25-knot winds from the north, Capt. Tom said. On other winds trips can usually find a place on the ocean or bay to hide. But all trips fished Tuesday and Wednesday, all on the ocean, and the fluking wasn’t good. Winds and seas were riled up during the week, and improved on Wednesday, but waters were still dirty. Shorts bit, but fewer than before, and a few keepers were landed, including better-sized ones, including a 6-pounder and some 3- and 4-pounders. But just not enough of the fish responded. Wednesday was a gorgeous day on the waters, though. Trips will keep fluke fishing today and Friday, but Tom was getting close to making a decision about whether he’d switch to bottom fishing for porgies and sea bass. Those trips would continue to sail twice daily through Columbus Day, afterward sailing on one ¾-day trip daily. Anglers who plan to come down this weekend should call the boat to confirm the species targeted. Tom doesn’t want to give up on fluke if unnecessary, because many anglers want fluke. Fluking might straighten out after the effects of the weather. The fish could very well hold along the beach front, and waters were in the upper 60s. Fluking on trips was tough last week on Friday but became decent on Saturday, for example. The boat received a Fluke Research Set Aside Permit that’s allowing trips to fish for the summer flounder during the currently closed season for the fish. But the trips could switch to bottom fishing for porgies and sea bass starting this weekend, and anglers should call the vessel to confirm the species. <b>***Update, Friday, 9/24:***</b> Trips, running on the same schedule, will switch to bottom fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish starting on Saturday, Tom said. Fluke fishing only managed a handful of keepers per trip, sometimes two or three, sometimes up to five, and action with shorts was also slow. Bottom fishing should produce more catches for anglers to bring home to eat. Currents will be stronger sometimes during the bottom fishing, so patrons can bring two rods, a heavier one for weights up to 6 ounces when currents run, and a lighter one for slower currents and slack tides. Clams will be supplied for bait, and anglers might want to bring their own worms, because sometimes worms will draw more interest from porgies. Tom was unsure whether worms will be on sale on board. The Atlantic Star will now bottom fish on two trips daily 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. for sea bass, porgies and blackfish.


An encouraging sign was seen on a trip: striped bass boiling along the water surface during the middle of the day, said Capt. Bob from <b>Sandy Hook Fishing Adventures</b> in an e-mail. The fall migration of the fish should kick off soon. The trip, with Jason and Kristin Reifsnyder on Jason’s 31st birthday, boated a couple of stripers, including Jason’s first-ever, a great way to celebrate his birthday, and some sea bass, porgies and tog. Bob recently returned from working on the Louisiana oil spill. Charters are fishing for stripers, blues and bottom fish during the daytime. Trips will begin to fish for stripers at night on October 1 on the rivers, bay and ocean. Call to reserve or for info.

Bluefin tuna fishing pounded plenty of the fish southeast of the Virginia wreck before the rough seas, said Capt. Brian from <b>Jersey Devil Charters</b>. The fish were trolled, jigged and baited, were caught every way, and trips waited for conditions to calm to get back after them. Charters with Jersey Devil are fishing for the bluefins, and so are open-boat trips. Call if interested in the open trips, because the more who are interested, the easier to schedule. Brian sometimes heard about alright catches of yellowfin tuna at the canyons farther from shore, but canyon fishing was mostly tough. Closer to shore, bottom-fishing scarfed up lots of sea bass and porgies. Striped bass could be hooked on the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers, and Brian drifted a good catch on worms on Sunday. Charters are being booked for the fall migration of stripers, and Jersey Devil is big on that fishing, jigging and trolling the bass. Jersey Devil is a frequent competitor in the striper tournaments, winning and placing in many.

A 37-1/2-pound 49-7/8-inch striped bass was weighed in from the surf, said Wayne from <b>Twin Lights Marina</b>. Ce Marei plowed the fish at Sea Bright on Wednesday. Gene Graham, the striper sharpie at the marina, ran a trip that eeled 28 of the bass during the daytime, probably at Romer Shoal. He recently began fishing for the linesiders again, after summer temps kept the fish from biting. But the angling was starting back up. Lots of bluefish were fought at the Mud Buoy. Snapper blues schooled the Shrewsbury River around the marina. Wayne saw mullet in the waters, and also pinfish. Today was the week’s only window of calm weather for anglers to sail offshore for tuna. None of the boats from the docks took the trip, though they cancelled the trips earlier this week, first because of seas from Hurricane Igor, later because of winds. Crabbing was good, especially at the Oceanic Bridge. Offshore baits are fully available at the marina, and so are all different types of inshore baits. When fall fishing kicks in, they’ll include live baits including bunker. The shop stocks a large selection of baits.


Twelve striped bass were bagged on a trip Wednesday afternoon, and four were bagged on another that morning, with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> on the ocean, Capt. Ralph said. The anglers had to work for them, but the fishing was very good, and that was the only info Ralph was giving! he said. “All clean fish,” he said. An individual-reservation trip on Ralph’s other boat that day knocked down some of the biggest sea bass of the season, a fantastic trip. One more of the inshore bottom-fishing trips will run this coming Wednesday, and space is available. One spot is left on an offshore wreck-fishing trip on Monday for cod, pollock and ling. Five anglers expressed interest, and the first angler who books the trip can go.


On the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> sea bass, decent catches, were swung aboard, and the fishing was slower on Wednesday, and waters got a little dirty that day, Capt. Chris said. Why the ocean became dirty that day when the ocean held a ground swell a while was unknown. The swell failed to slow down catches except that day, though seas kept the boat docked a couple of times. But sea bass were there, and the angling was a matter of the lumpheads turning on again. No porgies bit that day, but lots, a whole lot, did before. Plenty of blackfish chomped at times. On Wednesday Chris dropped crab to the  bottom three times, coming up with a blackfish each time, keeping no more than his limit of one. Clams and green crabs are supplied for bait, and the Big Mohawk is bottom fishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Lots of bluefish, false albacore and occasional bonito and skipjacks were creamed on daytime trips on the party boat <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, Capt. Alan said. Nighttime trips on the vessel beat up lots of blues. The crew had been planning to run special trips for the pelagics like the albies, but currently there was no need, because the fish bit on the daytime bluefish trips. The Miss Belmar Princess is bluefishing twice daily 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. The party boat Tropical Adventure, Alan’s other vessel, ran no trips in the past week but is bottom fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays for sea bass, porgies and ling. In winter the Tropical Adventure fishes from Hollywood, Fla.

Surf casters scored well on striped bass, and sometimes locked up on false albacore, said Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b>. Clams, plugs and teasers claimed the bass. Snapper blues occasionally swam the surf, but no large population of blues tread the suds. But party boaters fought lots of blues and albies. Anglers on the party boats that bottom-fished drilled many sea bass and blackfish. Kingfish and spots nibbled in Shark River, mostly on bloodworms, but also on sandworms. Practically all who fished caught well, and the angling was good, especially compared with previously.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

At <b>Canyon River Club Marina</b> none of the boats steamed offshore in the weather, Carl said. He last headed out last week on a trip that hauled in a 160-pound swordfish, a 45-pound longfin tuna, a 45-pound wahoo and 18 mahi mahi at a temperature break between South Toms and Carteret canyons. The sword swiped a bait at 2 a.m. and was landed after a 4-hour fight. Tom Fahey from Dallas and Lou DeRosa and Chat Bennet from Toms River were aboard. Slips are available, if boaters want an ideal spot to dock this season. Located along Manasquan River, the marina features all the amenities, including a locker with electric to fit a freezer, rods and tackle. The docks are only a half-mile from Manasquan Inlet with no bridges.

After the trip was blown out Monday on the party boat <b>Cock Robin</b> because of winds, anglers aboard on Tuesday whacked blues, false albacore, skipjacks and even mahi mahi the whole trip, an e-mail from the boat said. That was one of the boat’s daily bluefish trips, and a special trip for false albacore and bonito sailed Wednesday. Seas were lumpy, and winds cranked from the south, but the albie fishing “was all business,” the e-mail said. “Not the numbers we have enjoyed, but the alberts were big today!” it said. Small metal out-fished spearing and Tsunami soft-plastic lures. No bonito showed up, “but we were able to get blues to fill in,” the e-mail said. Seas and winds were supposed to calm today. The Cock Robin is fishing for bluefish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, except when special trips for false albacore and bonito run. The next of the special trips is set for next week on Wednesday, limited to 20 anglers, reservations required.

Sea bass, fairly good catches, were shoveled up on the party boat <b>Norma K</b>, Capt. Matt said. Anglers averaged 5 to 15 keepers apiece, and the pool-winners weighed 3 to 4 pounds. Porgies should stack up soon in the waters fished, arriving from up north. Nighttime trips for blues racked up a bunch of the fish, 7- to 15-pounders. Trips are bottom fishing twice daily 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and are bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. daily. The bluefish trips will probably only sail Fridays and Saturdays starting next week.

Mostly porgies and sea bass were bucketed on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, and the fishing slowed this week compared with last week, because of the ground swell, but the catches were still alright, Capt. Butch said. Anglers averaged 6 to 20 fish apiece, and a few blackfish, triggerfish and even amberjacks were mixed in. Some exotic species like triggers and amberjacks were around. Quite a few out-of-season fluke bit and were released. Trips fished in 55 to 60 feet, a little deeper than before, because the swell dirtied shallow waters. Water temps were 64 to 65 degrees on the fishing grounds. The Dauntless is bottom fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

The weather kept trips docked, said Capt. Fred from <b>Andrea’s Toy Charters</b>, and the crew was going to try to sail in the next days, but forecasts didn’t look so calm. When trips are sailing, they’re catching a combo of sea bass and blues on the inshore ocean. Limiting out on one blackfish per angler was easy when the trips mixed in that fishing. Midshore trips battled bluefin tuna, adding mahi mahi to the cooler from the same waters. Trips for yellowfin tuna farther offshore at the canyons stayed in port because of the weather, but also because of reports about slow fishing there. However, reports talked about somewhat better fishing at the canyons on the last trips that sailed before this week’s winds, so that angling might be perking back up.

<b>Toms River</b>

Beach anglers slung metal like Tsunami jigs, Deadly Dicks, Ava jigs or A.O.K. Tackle jigs to sometimes rap blues and striped bass, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b>. Any metal long and skinny worked, imitating lots of sand eels that filled the waters. Stripers were sometimes plugged from the shore. Pete Hullihan checked in a 12-pound 8-ounce striper from the surf at Ortley Beach on Wednesday. A few stripers were eeled at night along the sod banks of Barnegat Bay. The season was early for the fishing, but some began to be sacked. Blowfish collected in the bay around the BI and BB markers, and so did a few weakfish, kingfish and baby sea bass. Snapper blues, and 2-pound blues that were around for a week now, chased peanut bunker in the Toms River at Beachwood. A handful of small weakfish and small stripers were mixed in. Lots of bait and peanuts were around and should begin to migrate to the ocean in a week. Fresh bunker and fresh mullet are stocked.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Small blues, lots of them, sometimes popped in to the surf, chasing tons of spearing, from the Casino Pier in Seaside Heights to Ortley Beach and Lavallette, said Jimmy from <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>. Small weakfish swam among them, and out-of-season fluke bit like crazy along the beach. One or two striped bass were reported hung from the surf each morning. Anglers hooked all these fish on metal like Deadly Dicks or Ava jigs. Nothing was heard about false albacore in the surf in this area for a week or two. Loads of snapper blues schooled around the docks at the shop. Crabbing was good for customers, and mornings were absolutely best. Plenty of blackfish came from the Point Pleasant Canal. Lots of sea bass were lifted from the ocean wrecks. Fresh bunker, fresh clams, killies and the full supply of baits is stocked. Catch Wacky Wednesdays every week, when clams are $2 per dozen. The rental boats and jet skis are in the waters, ready to rent.


Phenomenal blackfishing came from the Point Pleasant Canal, said Capt. Rich from <b>Jersey Hooker Outfitters Bait & Tackle</b>, located in Bricktown, and <b>Jersey Hooker Charters</b>, sailing from Point Pleasant’s Canyon River Club Marina. Striped bass were eeled from the canal at night on high tides. Kingfish and blowfish were rounded up from Dale’s Point on nearby Barnegat Bay. Cocktail blues ran in and out of Manasquan Inlet now and then. Seas were nasty for surf fishing most of the week. A few boaters began to eel striped bass along the ocean jetties at night at Spring Lake and Asbury Park. Good catches of sea bass were socked at Sea Girt Reef in around 65 feet. Nothing current was heard about offshore fishing for tuna, because seas prevented trips. But some boaters planned to head offshore today.

<b>Forked River</b>

Blowfish were boated around the 40, BI and BB markers on Barnegat Bay, and so were kingfish, spots and weakfish here and there, said Dave from <b>Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle</b>. He heard about good catches of kingfish and a few striped bass beached from the surf on Long Beach Island. Nobody mentioned landing stripers in Barnegat Bay so far this season. Bluefish sped around Barnegat Inlet. Rough seas kept reports from rolling in from the ocean. A customer plucked two dozen big crabs, and crabbing seemed productive.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Anglers in the surf seemed to score a huge day on kingfish, barreling up lots, today for the first time after the rough seas, said Nick from <b>Barnegat Light Bait & Tackle</b>. Waters remained a little dirty but were fishable. A few croakers were mixed in, and blues, maybe 2 to 5 pounds, were also beached. Schoolie striped bass began to be reported caught from the shore in the early mornings, ever since mullet began to school the ocean. Lures and popper plugs tied into the bass. A few stripers were put up from Barnegat Inlet and along Sedge Island in Barnegat Bay, usually when anglers fished with soft-plastic lures, trying for weakfish. Weakfish, not a lot, but some, were reported axed from the bay around the 42 marker. Blowfish and kingfish were mopped up from the bay while boaters anchored and chummed. Mullet and peanut bunker piled up thick in the bay, probably boding well for when they pour out to the ocean. Then migrating stripers and blues will jump all over them, kicking off fall fishing. Small blues ran the inlet, mixed in with sea herring. Blackfishing was good along the inlet rocks. Many of the ocean wrecks were reported to give up healthy-sized sea bass before rough seas kept boaters from sailing. But boaters at Barnegat Ridge today slammed gator blues to nearly 20 pounds. False albacore and bonito were fought at the ridge when seas were calm enough for boaters to fish. Spanish mackerel showed up last week from 2 miles from shore to the ridge.


<b>***Update, Friday, 9/24:***</b> From an edited e-mail from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “Clobbered the false albacore offshore (Thursday). Only had one fare on my open boat, so I got to do battle, as well. We ran to the Mud Hole in search of bluefin or mahi, but immediately hooked an albie on a squid bar (when) still setting up the spread. I was keeping the RPM's down for the ‘way back’ Ilander/ballyhoo we were dragging for tuna, so the action was scarce for that hour or so. So, instead of not catching tuna, we decided to change out the spread to smaller stuff, lighter gear and pick up the speed to 7 knots. All hell broke loose over the same waters we were just dragging. Albies and skipjacks non-stop. I had fresh spearing on board, so we put them out on the 10-pound spinning rods. You hook them with a small hook through both lips and skip them like a (Japanese) feather in the first or second wake, and the hits are violent. We're using a small swivel and 3 feet of 20-pound fluorocarbon just to beef up the business end. At the end of the day, there wasn't any bags of loin to unload like when we are on the bonito, but it's hard to beat for sport on light tackle that close to shore. Barnegat Ridge is all lit up with same action, and from the Mud Hole to the ridge is "canyon blue" water -- 69 to 70 degrees and beautiful. In (Barnegat Bay) we are catching weakfish on live grass shrimp and shedder crabs. Lots of blowfish, some really big ones for the table. The other species in the mix include: burrfish, kingfiish, small blues, sand sharks (and juvenile) porgies and sea bass. Anchoring up on the west side of the bay anywhere between the BB buoy all the way to the 42 buoy seems to be producing the same. The fleets are bigger here and there, but the action isn’t always best in those fleets. We are getting off to some quieter spots, 7 to 8 feet of water, loading the water with chum logs and fresh clams, and the fish are responding quite well. We are also taking our one per man tog limit off the inlet jetty as well as short stripers and small blues. We can either anchor up and shrimp the bass or throw lures. The bluefish seem to be in the mix every day, as well. Mostly 20- to 26-inch bass with a very occasional keeper, and the blues are 2- to 4-pound fish.  All good stuff on the spinning rods. Saturday and Sunday has potential for inshore, offshore, or our inshore/offshore combo trips. I will run charter or open boat each day depending on what the first people who call would like to do. Sounds fair.”

<b>Surf City</b>

News about catches came to a standstill in the weather, said Bob from <b>Surf City Bait & Tackle</b>. But fishing after the blow will probably remain similar to previously. Previously Bob reported catches of kingfish and blues in the surf, and snapper blues in the bay. Crabbing had been good the last time customers looked for the blueclaws.

<b>Mystic Island</b>

The ocean would normally be the place for most fishing this time of year, but the offshore hurricane at the end of last week and winds afterward kept boaters from sailing on the ocean, said Scott from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b>. If they could’ve sailed, they probably would’ve had good shots at sea bass, blues and croakers. So they fished the bay, wrangling up spots, blowfish and porgies, not so much kingfish. Most spots were collected from land from the lagoons or at the junctions of lagoons, where moving waters or a hole attracted them. Boaters mostly found them off the Graveling Point area. Anglers gathered the spots to keep in pens for live bait for the fall migration of striped bass. The spot population might’ve been declining, but plenty were around. Blowfish mostly hovered at the clam stakes on the Mystic Island side or the west side of the Fish Factory. Tog definitely held along the sod banks of the bay and also in Sheepshead Creek. Scott was unsure where customers located them on Sheepshead. Either they located the fish at ledges they found underwater while fishing from different places along the bank or hooked the fish along the bridge. Plenty of white perch seemed to be snatched from the brackish creeks, because bloodworms sales for bait were busy. No specifics were heard about locations, but Roundabout, Ballanger and Nacote creeks should produce. Fast, outgoing waters toward high tides are preferred. Bloodworms, fresh, shucked clams and green crabs are stocked. No grass shrimp are stocked, but Scott made the season’s first attempt to catch them. He found loads of them but small ones, and the waters were packed with bait. So the shrimp needed to grow a little.


Spots, kingfish, blues and occasional spike weakfish swam the surf and the back bay, said Curt from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>. Tons of bait and mullet crammed the surf and creeks. The mouth of the Mullica River also held spots, a few white perch, small weakfish and an occasional keeper weak. So, lots of little fish made up the angling in all those places, but anglers could put together a meal, and some of the fish were especially tasty, like the kings, weaks and perch. Curt reeled up a 10-pound drum from the mouth of the river, and a few puppy drum roamed the area. So did a few small striped bass. Curt, a perch angler, found fishing for the slabs big enough to eat inconsistent on the Mullica. Every place turned up a few that were big enough, but they were yet to gang up. Colder weather will make them school more. The shop is holding a Panfish Pandemonium Tournament through the month for the biggest white perch, kingfish and croakers, and registration is required 24 hours before entering a fish. So far, a 1.6-pound perch held first place, and a 1.55-pounder held second, and no kingfish or croakers were entered yet. First place and second place for each species wins a $50 gift certificate and a $25 certificate, respectively. Not much was heard about striped bass fishing on the bay. But maybe stripers could be landed in the waters at night on plugs, like along the sod banks, or on live bait along structure. High tides around dusk are ideal. Tog fishing improved a bit in the bay, and anglers need clear waters to catch them, and the waters are clearest on high tides. Tog and sea bass hovered along the ocean wrecks. Seas were rough for boating on the ocean most of the week, but croakers had been schooling near the coast when boaters last tried for them. Crabs continued to be nabbed in the back waters, as far as Curt knew. Live peanut bunker, mullet, spot, clams and green crabs are stocked.


<b>***Update, Friday, 9/24:***</b> From the surf kingfish, spots and blues began being pumped in again after the weather settled this week, and bloodworms were best bait for the kings and spots, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>.  Blue runners, a southern species, showed up in the wash. Spots filled the back bay.  The 5th annual Riptide Striped Bass Derby kicked off on Monday, lasting until the end of the year. Entrants will win cash awards for the biggest stripers caught from the surf along Brigantine’s front beach. First place will win $750, and 2nd will cop $400, and 3rd will earn $150. The entrant with the biggest bass each month will win $25. The rest of the proceeds will be donated to charity, and the event donated more than $13,000 to charity since the tournament began, Andy said. The entry fee is $20, and entry must be accompanied by a Brigantine beach buggy permit. That way all entrants get to drive the beach to fish.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Spots and kingfish were bloodwormed from the surf to the back bay, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Lots of tog were clocked from along the jetties, and an occasional striped bass was scared up from the surf on spots, clams or bloods. Lots of porgies and blues held in the bay, and the blues were growing bigger than the snappers they previously were. Mullet schooled abundant in the bay. Fresh clams, fresh bunker, fresh mullet, bloodworms, green crabs, minnows and the full supply of baits is stocked.

Back-bay angling for striped bass really picked up, said Curt from <b>Offshore Enterprises Bait & Tackle</b>. Plugs and live bait like spots, stocked at the shop, hooked the fish at night, like along the bridges. The surf was rough most of the week, but spots and kingfish were beached, and one customer banked at least one striper every day lately on peanut bunker. Another hooked a striper in the suds while trying for tog. But tog fishing sounded spotty along the wash. When boaters could sail the ocean, they supposedly made off with croakers. Blues and false albacore could be trolled around the ocean humps and ridges. Few boaters reached the offshore grounds in the weather. But the few who did picked at tuna and big game, didn’t shellack the fish, but caught.


Summer flounder trips fished a few times on the back bay between the weather on the party boat <b>Keeper</b>, Capt. John said. The fish were still around, and so were lots of tog and some blues. Sometimes trips fished for tog at the end of the day. John heard that striped bass fishing began to pick up in the bay and surf, and the catches should keep improving.  The boat obtained a Summer Flounder Research Set Aside Permit that allows trips to keep fishing for the flatties during the currently closed season for them. The Keeper is fishing for the flounder once daily on Thursdays and Fridays, twice daily on Saturdays and once daily on Sundays and Mondays.


Some boats stayed docked because of forecasts for winds and a ground swell. But the <b>Stray Cat</b> bottom fished on the ocean the last three days, Capt. Mike said. Anglers had to leave the dock to catch, he said, and seas weren’t that bad. Winds this weekend are also supposed to blow, but Mike expects trips on the vessel to fish the inshore wrecks those days. The trips this week plowed super-sized sea bass and quality-sized ling. The trip on Tuesday fished 15 miles from shore, and the outing on Wednesday sailed 6 miles from the coast. Croakers were far and few between, unlike previously, when gobs of the hardheads swarmed the waters. Currents screamed, because of Wednesday’s full moon, the harvest moon. But currents will back off since the moon has passed. Waters were 68 degrees 10 miles from shore. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trip, a bottom-fishing outing, is slated for Sunday. Open bottom trips will probably run next week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and one will definitely sail next week on Saturday. Annual Cast and Blast Trips, charters that fish for striped bass, blues and blackfish and gun for ducks in the same trip, will begin around mid October.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Fishing just started back up around today after rough seas and winds, said Ed from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Waters began to calm Wednesday, and surf casters today began angling up a few kingfish and spots again. Small blues began to show again from the surf to the back bay. Striper catches were heard about farther north in the surf at Long Beach Island and Island Beach State Park. A few stripers were yanked from the bay around Ocean City at night. A few tog were tugged from along the bridges, though not a lot of anglers fished for them in the one-fish bag limit. Ed heard about nobody fishing offshore because of the weather. Today was beautiful, so maybe they sailed today.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Spots swarmed all over the surf, chomping on bloodworms, said Wes from <b>Gibson’s Tackle</b>. Only a few kingfish were beached from the surf, and getting bait through the spots to the kings was difficult. Blues sometimes hit the surf, and striped bass were only sporadically lifted from the wash so far this season. If anglers try for stripers from the beach, they can dunk fresh clam or fresh bunker or, if they can catch peanut bunker or mullet for bait, they could fish with them. The best striper fishing was along the bridges at night with soft-plastic lures. Tog chomped anywhere from the bridges to the jetties to the ocean wrecks. The ocean was rough for boating. But when anglers could reach the ocean, croakers bit, and blues could be found along the surface. If boaters trolled the ocean, they could probably locate false albacore or bonito. Sea bass bit at the wrecks and reefs. Winds and seas were too rough for offshore boating for tuna and big game. Crabbing remained good. Baits stocked at the shop include bloodworms, fresh bunker, fresh mullet when Wes can catch them, green crabs, eels and all the frozen baits.

A trip with Ted Webster, son Mike and Mike’s father-in-law Dan landed one striped bass on a popper lure on the flats of the back bay on Tuesday, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Gibson’s Tackle</b>. Popper fishing, both with spinning and fly rods, on the bay is a specialty on the boat, and is a focus with Jersey Cape right now. The fall blitz of stripers and blues on the ocean in recent years has started during the last couple of weeks of October, and was excellent in November. Some dates are available for the trips in November, and anglers will want to take advantage. Joe toward the end of this month and beginning of October will run annual charters to Montauk, N.Y., to fish the migration of stripers, blues and false albacore, usually epic action then. He’ll offer annual charters to Woods Hole, Mass., for stripers on Columbus Day weekend. Blues and albies sometimes pop up. See <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Traveling Fisherman Web Page</a>. Keep up with Joe’s fishing, photos and videos on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s blog</a>.


Crabbing on the back bay was a top choice for customers at <b>Canal Side Boat Rentals</b>, Josh said. They nabbed decent catches of the blueclaws so long as they tried for them through a good portion of incoming tide. Customers can call the shop to find out the best hours to take a trip. If people crabbed on outgoing, they might pick up some during the first couple of hours. Summer flounder were out of season the last couple of weeks, could no longer be bagged on the bay. Bluefish swam the bay, and striped bass began to bite during low-light hours or at night in the waters. Peanut bunker schooled everywhere, attracting the bass. Small sea bass, small croakers and sea robins roamed the bay. Nothing much was dragged from the surf so far this season. Canal Side will probably stay open this season through the first two weeks of October. The shop rents canopy boats and kayaks for fishing, crabbing and sightseeing. Baits currently stocked include frozen mullet, mackerel fillets, clam strips, packaged clams, spearing, squid strips and whole squid.

<b>Cape May</b>

None of the fleet seemed to sail in the weather, and the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> stayed docked in the conditions, Capt. George said. Winds were forecast to blow on Friday and maybe Saturday, too. But the Heavy Hitter is bottom fishing for sea bass and triggerfish at the ocean wrecks, and is trolling for blues at places like 5-Fathom Bank. Offshore trips for tuna and big game are running, if anyone’s interested in a late-season trip. Fall striped bass charters are booking up.

Croakers and a few kingfish were beached in the surf near Cape May Point along the Delaware Bay side at places like the  Concrete Ship and near the Cape May ferry, said Dan from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Lots of blues were dragged from the ocean surf. A few small striped bass were pulled from the surf, and clams for bait was the best bet. Reports said tog were taken from along the jetties at Stone Harbor, and Dan heard nothing about tog along the Cape May jetties, but that wasn’t to say they weren’t there. Not much was heard about weakfish, and news was scarce from boaters, because of rough weather, typical for the time of year.

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