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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 10-18-18


Wind kept striped bass fishing from sailing on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank said, and the next attempt will be on Friday. Charters and open-boat trips are eeling the fish in New York Harbor.

After being docked Monday and Tuesday, striped bass fishing was excellent, bombing only 20- to 25-pounders, Wednesday with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. The trips are swimming eels at New York Harbor to catch. Wind blew every day, and open-boat trips are slated for the angling daily. On Down Deep’s other boat, a special open trip will fish for sea bass Tuesday. Fishing for them and porgies has been fantastic aboard. These special trips will be scheduled on some days. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers. 

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

False albacore blitzed the surf at Sandy Hook Point, said Jay from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Like 300 anglers fished for them the other day, and epoxy jigs are stocked that are hot for the albies. Lots of 8- to 10-pound bluefish swarmed the bay at spots like Leonardo and Port Monmouth. Fishing for porgies and sea bass was good. Abundant blackfish bit, though water was warm. Baits stocked include green crabs for blackfishing and fresh clams that are scarce.

No trips fished since Sunday on the <b>Fishermen</b> because of wind, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. Weather’s been tough on the fishing industry this year. Looks like the angling, bottom-fishing, should resume Friday aboard. Light west wind should make the ocean calm through the weekend. The fishing, for catches like porgies, sea bass and a variety of other fish, has been excellent aboard. The trips are running 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>***Update, Friday, 10/19:***</b> Lot of albies, said Chris from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Lots of false albacore schooled at Sandy Hook Point and the ocean off Sandy Hook. Boaters and surf anglers fought them. Bigger bluefish 8 to 10 pounds showed up in the surf, like at Monmouth Beach and Long Branch. Some rambled Raritan Bay, too. Some small striped bass were in the bay. Many boaters headed to eel bigger stripers on Hudson River. That fishing was good. Sea bass, plenty, were tugged from the ocean. Porgies were bucketed on the ocean, too. Although one blackfish is the bag limit, numerous were biting. Five becomes the limit beginning Nov. 16.

The party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> fished yesterday for the first time since it fished Sunday, because of weather, Capt. Tom said. Wind and seas were rougher than in a while on the trip, and that was forecast to happen later in the day, but began earlier. A few porgies and sea bass were picked, but the angling wasn’t good. It was good previously on trips, and Tom hopes for a rebound in better weather. Forecasts look better for Friday. The trip first fished down the beach. The fishing wasn’t so good, so the trip pushed farther offshore. Seas were pretty darn rocky. On previous days, sometimes too few anglers showed up for a trip to sail, because of weather. Sometimes Tom canceled the fishing because of forecasts. Trips are fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Friday, 10/19:***</b> Today’s trip sailed, Tom said aboard at 11 a.m. in a phone call. Lots of throwback sea bass and some keepers were rounded up. Every place fished gave up a shot of sea bass. A few porgies were pasted, and the water temperature dropped. That might’ve been “a thing,” and he’d see how the fishing continued.

<b>Long Branch</b>

Striped bass mostly 24 to 26 inches were slid from the surf, said Mike from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b>. A couple of keepers were banked, too. Rubber shads, Daiwa SP Minnows and metal-lipped swimmers caught. Quite a few of the surf’s stripers were popper-plugged, too. Lots of bonito ripped into the surf. Shots of false albacore crashed into the water, definitely. More and more 2-pound bluefish tumbled the surf. A whole lot of rain bait schooled the water. Lots of adult bunker swam there, too. Mike saw no mullet in the surf in a few days, though mullet had been there. Gusting wind was stiff and roughed up the ocean. But a fall pattern of westerlies and northwesterlies seemed to begin. That’s traditionally good for fishing, and land can protect the surf from that wind. Mike surf fishes but also tuna fishes. He didn’t hear much about tuna lately, except about a few inshore. The fish sounded close in. TAK Waterman is a store for fishing, mostly surf-fishing, surfing and paddle-boarding. The company also makes the TAK Waterman line of clothing for watersports including these and beach-going.


Forecasts look best for tomorrow for a sea bass trip, Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. An individual-reservation trip for sea bass is scheduled for then, and plenty of spaces are available. Another is set for Sunday, but if wind blows too strongly, he might sail for striped bass Saturday or Sunday. Wind is forecast to blow strongly west or northwest, and land can protect the ocean close to shore for striper fishing. His sea bass trips are fishing farther out, in 100 feet or deeper, where land won’t protect. He expects to give an update about the forecast after Friday’s trip. <b>***Update, Saturday, 10/20:***</b> Coolers full of sea bass, the boat’s limit of them, and porgies were cleaned up on Friday’s trip, and Sunday’s trip will be weathered out, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Individual-reservation trips for sea bass have been added for Tuesday and Friday.


Big schools of bunker schooled the ocean off Monmouth County, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email Wednesday. Whales and porpoises foraged on the baitfish, and the migrations of striped bass and bluefish can’t be far behind, he thought. Boaters trolled a few large stripers from the area. “… looks like things are about to break loose,” he said. Surf anglers beached stripers including some keepers at Spring Lake on Tuesday evening.

Large striped bass began coming in and going out, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> said in a phone call. He gave word about the season’s first few, 20- to 30-pounders, boated Sunday on the ocean nearby, in the last report here. Since then he headed to the water to look the last few afternoons. He saw bait and whales, he wrote on the boat’s Facebook page. Some boats caught, and some didn’t. But when they caught, the bass were big, up to 40 pounds. The fishing will break open any day, he expects. Conditions seemed primed for Wednesday’s full moon to pick up the angling, too. Plenty of dates remain for striper fishing on charters and for individual spaces with charters who want more anglers. They will fill. In other news, sea bass fishing was excellent. So was fishing for false albacore, bonito and blues.

Fishing for sea bass and porgies was great on the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b> on the ocean, Capt. Chris said. Very good, and the fish were hooked on jigs, too, not just bait. Other catches including winter flounder, a little of everything, were also swung aboard. The trips are fishing daily. When striped bass move in, the trips will get after them.

Wind is supposed to drop off, and the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b> will sail Friday for bluefish, an email said from the party boat. The trips have been weathered out and lately have hooked blues and other catches including false albacore and bonito. The trips, scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, will target striped bass when stripers show up.

All the blues the anglers could want were pounded Tuesday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Big porgies and some bonito and sea bass were also pitched aboard. The fishing was super, and on Monday’s trip, fishing was slower in honking wind. Each angler landed a few catches. Blues, sea bass and porgies hit, and trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays


Limits of sea bass and porgies – big porgies – and some triggerfish and bluefish were hammered on the party boat <b>Jamaica II</b>, excellent fishing, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. The triggerfish were big, too, up to 6 pounds, and the blues were also large. The blues sometimes bit 3-pound porgies in half. “(This) makes for some great excitement,” he wrote. Bluefin tuna were seen every day during the fishing. On most trips, a couple bit and broke off. Wind blew strongly this week. But trips still got out and caught lots. Customers and their catches included: Mac Dubois, Bristol, limit of sea bass and porgies; Ed Winston, Hackensack, limit of sea bass, limit of porgies and four triggerfish including a 6.1-pound pool-winner; and Carter Crane, Philly, limit of sea bass to 5 pounds, limit of porgies, four triggers and six blues. Fourteen-hour trips are sailing a 3 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Twelve-hour trips are running at 5 a.m. every Monday through Friday.  

A few striped bass were trolled off Asbury Park and Long Branch the past couple of days in 50 to 60 feet of water on spoons on the ocean, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. A few there were livelined on bunker. Lots of bunker arrived during past days. A few of the bass, a similar catch, were boated off Seaside in those depths. Plenty of small stripers roamed the surf, getting hooked including on small bucktails, Daiwa SP Minnows and popper plugs. Tons and tons of bonito schooled from the surf to 60- or 70-foot depths. They also schooled from there to the Mudhole, but were really balled up from the wash to 60 or 70 feet. Plenty of small stripers bit in Manasquan River and Point Pleasant Canal. They gathered along Route 35 and the Railroad bridges in the river. The bigger stripers were eeled, and smaller were landed on rubber shads. Lots of small bluefish were in the mix. Abundant blackfish swam Manasquan Inlet. They included healthy-sized keepers, and lots of blues and some bonito skittered around the inlet. Abundant blackfish littered the canal, too. Fish green crabs or clams for the blackfish at either place. Back on the ocean, sea bass fishing was pretty darn good from 50 to 60 feet to the Mudhole. The sea bass pounced on clams or slow-pitched jigs. The jigs, reels, rods and lines are stocked for slow-pitching, and the shop’s crew can educate you about the sport.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

We got our butts handed to us, but trips fished on the party boat <b>Dauntless</b> and caught great, Capt. Butch said. Seas were rough, but the anglers piled up mostly porgies but also sea bass and a few blackfish, triggerfish and bluefish. Most customers were able to limit out on porgies. Quite a few limited on sea bass. Many sea bass swam, though many were throwbacks. Some of the blues began to be large, and that could be a nuisance, when they chomped the other fish in half that were reeled up. Trips fished in 100 to 120 feet of water, deeper water. The ocean surface there was 68 to 69 degrees, still warm for the time of year. It’s good fishing, so come on down, he said. The boat is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Toms River</b>

Small bluefish were beaned from the surf, and the number of small stripers began to increase from the surf, said Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. An angler who fished bait from the surf said he saw anglers catching one blue after another on small metal. The bait angler hooked none. Right place, right time, Mario said about the surf’s bluefishing. Maybe right thing fished sometimes, too. Mario saw reports about stripers boated to the north on the ocean, but knew about none locally. Barnegat Bay and the Toms River were lit up with small stripers. The fish were everywhere, and were hooked including on small popper lures like Smack-Its and small swimmers including Daiwa SP Minnows in size 13F and X-Raps. They bit at dusk, dawn and at night, and daytime even fished okay for them. But dusk was mostly best. Depended on the tide, he said.  A few weakfish were tied into at Ocean Gate at a couple of coves at dusk the past two evenings on pink Fin-S Fish. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Boaters to the north began reporting adult bunker schooling the ocean, <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ Facebook page said today. A few striped bass were bagged among the baitfish. Maybe those bunker will move into the local surf. Keep a bunker-snagging hook in your surf bag in case you can hook one of the baitfish and liveline it to big stripers or big bluefish that could forage on the schools of the bait. Previously, cooler weather caused rainfish, mullet and peanut bunker to migrate from bays to along the beach, the page said Tuesday. The bait causes the number of blues and stripers to increase in the surf, and bigger blues and stripers showed up there lately. Mid-sized blues and more keeper stripers than previously began to be reported. On Wednesday, the page said surf-fishing seemed in a holding pattern. It said mostly small to medium-sized blues were beached, but just when you least expected, a striper just-undersized grabbed the hook. When the fishing’s slow, fish bait. When catches heat up, throw artificials for enjoyment. 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, in season, boat and jet-ski rentals.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

A few striped bass, the season’s first, began to be boated on the ocean, said Vince Sr. from <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>. He knew no details like where or on what. Everybody seemed to score sea bass well on the ocean. The shop had been seeing mahi mahi docked, though wind lately kept trips from sailing that far from shore. Lots of keeper blackfish were seen at the shop. Green crabs and clams are stocked. Live spots will be carried beginning Friday or Saturday. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and, in season, boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure.


<b>***Update, Friday, 10/19:***</b> An edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b>: “Heading out 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or later Sunday and Monday, open-boat or charter. Making a left out of Barnegat Inlet and cruising the shoreline until we find life. Birds, readings, breaking fish. Good chance we could run into albies, bonita or stripers. I’ll have spinning and jigging gear on board for anything that arises. I’ll also pack the trolling gear in case we have to. Snagging rods in case the bunker show. I have no limit as to how far north we’ll run. If we don't find them close, we could end up at the Shrewsbury Rocks, I get there at least a few times a season when I have to. Four people max. All fish are shared.”

<b>Forked River</b>

Blowfishing remained excellent on Barnegat Bay, said Johnel from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Bluefish 2 to 5 pounds schooled the bay and ocean. Some anglers talked about catching small striped bass on the bay or back waters. One clocked them at the power plant. Trips had no problem limiting out on sea bass on the ocean. All baits are stocked for inshore and offshore.


Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b> angled a couple of striped bass just past the shop’s dock this morning, he said. He ran none of his striped bass charters the past couple of days that are fishing for stripers on the back bay. But conditions are getting fired up for the fishing, and his trips were already catching. Weather looked like a fall pattern began. Plenty of dates are available for the charters, and will fill once the angling especially takes off. He caught this morning’s stripers on a 6-inch Gulp grub on a jig. If you’ve got the grubs leftover from summer flounder season, you could use them for stripers. Lots of small stripers seemed to show up in the bay recently, but he hadn’t fished the past couple of days to see what the striper fishing was like now. Mullica River’s white perch fishing was great “upstream.” Stripers were mixed with them “all the way up there.” A few boaters who managed to sail for sea bass on the ocean between weather caught alright. Blackfish and triggerfish held along ocean wrecks. Lots of blackfish including occasional keepers held along jetties. Fishing for schoolie stripers was good in the surf “over there.” Kingfish swam the surf, and the surf fishing’s been better than it is sometimes. Baits stocked include live spots, still some good-sized, live mullet and some live peanut bunker. Fresh clams in the shell were just stocked that are scarce. The shop is all baited and geared up.


A surf angler plugged a 10-pound striped bass near the Coast Guard Station on Monday, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Andy had been away and just returned to the store, but knew that bluefish were around in the surf. Blackfish snapped along Absecon Inlet’s jetties. The Riptide Fall Surf Fishing Derby is underway until Dec. 23, and awards $500, $300 and $150 for the three heaviest stripers and $300, $200 and $100 for the three heaviest blues. Entry is $25 and includes a permit that allows Brigantine’s entire front beach to be driven, if you also have a Brigantine permit. Without the tournament permit, not all the beach can be driven. The annual Brigantine Elks striper tournament for surf anglers and boaters, benefitting a veterans’ fund, will be held Nov. 16-18.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

Cocktail blues dashed all around, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. That was from the surf beside Absecon Inlet to along the inlet to the back bay behind the inlet. Customers fish all those places on foot. Dunk fresh mullet for the blues, and striped bass, mostly throwbacks, were hitting. The mullet migration remained heavy, and that had the stripers excited. The stripers were socked from the surf to back waters. One customer eeled a 30-inch keeper at the train trestle in Atlantic City. Good-sized kingfish came from the surf. One customer checked-in kings including a 16-1/2-inch 1.6-pounder and a couple of other sizable. Blackfish gave up a mess of action along the jetty-lined inlet. Noel could guarantee you’d hook 10 or 15, though only one or two might be a keeper. But the action was there, and more keepers were in than previously. Lots of throwback fish were around, but action was super. Plenty of fresh, shucked clams are stocked that are scarce. Fresh mullet, green crabs, bloodworms, eels and practically all baits are stocked. You name it, he said. A vending machine outside dispenses bait, a little of everything, round the clock.


No trips fished in the weather on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. But an open-boat trip is a go Friday for sea bass offshore, and two spaces are available. Five spaces are available Monday for another one of the trips. Open trips are sea bass fishing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

<b>Ocean City</b>

There are fish around, said Bill from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. False albacore were boated a couple of miles off the beach today. They usually aren’t seen often like that locally, maybe a couple of times in autumn, but you never know if they’ll show up more frequently. Some striped bass were reeled from the surf and back bay. Bluefish 1 or 2 pounds schooled everywhere, though mostly in inlets. Blackfish hugged bridges and other structure in the bay. Sheepshead, a warm-water fish, swam along structure like that still. The mullet migration still poured of bays and into the ocean. Bill saw more this year than ever. People probably still crabbed, and crabs are usually trapped until water drops to 50 degrees.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

<b>***Update, Friday, 10/19:***</b> Some kind of baitfish schooled the surf yesterday, said Bud from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Many gulls worked the water, and he didn’t know whether fish were hooked that chased the bait. Bluefish could’ve likely fed on the bait, because they’ve been around. If you go surf fishing, look for birds. They’ve been all over. Blues from small to 16 or 18 inches swam the surf from inlets to the ocean. Most were hooked on mullet, and lots of baitfish were around, including abundant mullet. Mullet were still migrating locally. Small sea bass were found schooling the back bay near inlets. Inlets were too rough in strong wind for boaters to fish them and see what fish bit. Many small striped bass were active in the bay, getting popper-plugged at dusk and dawn off the mud banks. A few blowfish were actually seen from the bay. A load of snapper blues ran the bay, and one angler reported reeling up 40 in a trip. Many blackfish hugged bridges or structure nearby around Sea Isle. Anglers will go through crabs like crazy for bait for them. They might pick up four or six blackfish in a trip, though mostly throwbacks. Nothing was heard about fishing the ocean from boats. Bud had only been at the store today in past days. That cut down on the news, but seas might’ve been too rough for the boating in past days. Many boaters headed to the ocean early today. They intended to fish before rough seas forecast for later in the day.  

This cooler weather should amp up fishing, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. He wrapped up annual traveling charters to Montauk last weekend, covered in the previous report here. Angling was super on the trips this year like usual, and he left the catches biting. His next traveling charters will fish the Florida Keys from Christmas to Easter, like every year. From Sea Isle, striped bass and bluefish are hitting in the back bay. He’ll jump after them and will also fish the ocean for sea bass and false albacore. Albies here swim farther from shore, and catching them takes know-how. But if you know what you’re doing, fishing for them can be as good as anywhere or better. See photos of some of the Montauk fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>. Check out the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.

<b>Cape May</b>

The party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> last sailed for sea bass Saturday and Sunday and was weathered out since, Capt. Paul said. Forecasts looked like the trips, slated to fish daily, might next run on Friday. Not a lot of anglers fished on the weekend’s trips, but many of them limited out on sea bass. All nailed good fishing for sea bass. A bunch of triggerfish were also pasted on Sunday’s trip. The water remained warm enough for them. The trips didn’t sail far from shore, didn’t need to. Most of the bigger pieces were picked over that attract more anglers than smaller pieces do. Trips are slated to sail for sea bass at 8 a.m. daily.  

Surf fishing was pretty good, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. He fished the ocean surf yesterday, tackling bluefish. Popper lures with a teaser worked well, and he tried the new Ocean Born poppers that Patrick Sebile made. They were the easiest to use that Nick ever fished, had a good design that floated high in the water. Throwback striped bass swam the surf. Surf anglers fished a lot of lures and fresh mullet. The mullet migration remained thick, and until the run departs, surf anglers who fish bait for blues or stripers should probably fish mullet. Blackfishing was slow along surf jetties. In Delaware Bay’s surf, a few kingfish and weakfish could be nabbed, along with the same blues and stripers as in the ocean. Cape May is located at the confluence of the ocean and the bay. In the back bay, fishing for small stripers was good in early mornings and in evenings on top-water lures along the sod banks or on soft-plastic lures around bridges. Boating for sea bass was productive on the ocean, and 100 feet of water or deeper seemed best. But closer to shore, a few sea bass and some triggerfish could be bagged. Fresh mullet were in good supply at the store usually. Green crabs, bloodworms and eels were carried.

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