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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 10-25-18


<b>***Update, Monday, 10/29:***</b> Eeling for striped bass was good at New York Harbor with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b> until Saturday’s nor’easter, Capt. Mario said. The fishing resumed Sunday aboard and was slow. But the crew expects the catches to pick back up. Stripers to 25 pounds bit previously. Open-boat trips are fishing for them daily. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers. Trips for blackfish will be mixed in beginning Nov. 16, when the bag limit is increased for the tautog. A few spots are available for an open trip that day for them. Both of Down Deep’s boats feature full galleys and roominess.

Every trip limited out on striped bass and released additional, including the most recent trips on Monday and Wednesday, on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Great fishing, with eels in New York Harbor, for 15- to 27-pounders. Stripers also began to appear that were jigged on Raritan Bay under birds. The fall run keeps shaping up and will become better and better. Water temperatures are dropping, and that helps, and plenty of bait is schooling. Striper charters are still available, and book them while they are. The next open-boat trips will fish for stripers at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday. Telephone to reserve. <b>***Update, Monday, 10/29:***</b> Trips were weathered out aboard, Frank wrote in an email. The next open-boat trips, for stripers, are set for Tuesday and Wednesday, and spaces are available. Most trips limited out on the bass at New York Harbor on eels on the boat. Some trips landed as many as 14 keepers to 28 pounds. The stripers in the bay that Frank mentioned in the last report above were mostly throwbacks that were jigged but some bigger that were trolled on Mojos. Trips now will catch stripers however is best. The bay is beginning to show life. Telephone to jump aboard.


Some of the season’s first striped bass began to be boated between the channels and down the beach on the ocean, said Capt. Joe from  <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. Boaters farther south tied into them at Shrewsbury Rocks one day early this week. This seemed a first shot or two of them, and he hoped to fish for them this coming weekend but might be weathered out in the nor’easter. Saturday doesn’t look good, but maybe Sunday will be fishable. The fish lingered off Long Island quite a while. Off Jersey, the bass seemed to be trolled on Mojos, bunker spoons and umbrella rigs.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

False albacore were drilled from the surf, said Jay from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Striped bass were wormed from Shrewsbury and Navesink Rivers. A few boaters eeled stripers at Flynn’s Knoll and near the Statue of Liberty, but wind often kept boats docked. A few boaters jigged stripers from Raritan Bay. Surf anglers banked a couple of stripers from the bay at Leonardo. Not much was heard about bluefish from anywhere. A mix of sea bass, porgies and blackfish were boated on bottom-fishing trips. All baits are stocked including green crabs and fresh clams. “I got everything,” he said.

Every daily bottom-fishing trip sailed since one was weathered out Sunday, and the fishing was good on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Even in weather and seas that weren’t so calm yesterday, the fish bit. The trips have been fishing offshore a bit. Plenty of porgies were clobbered. Most were keepers, and they included big. A few sea bass were bagged among many throwbacks. Anglers who brought crabs bagged a few blackfish on them. Triggerfish were still taken, but none was yesterday. The fishing’s the best this year. An angler and daughter yesterday rental-rodded two buckets of fish aboard. Trips are fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Clams are provided, and no crabs are, until the blackfish bag limit is increased. <b>***Update, Monday, 10/29:***</b> After Saturday’s trip was weathered out in the nor’easter, the boat resumed fishing Sunday, Tom said. But the angling was no good. The ocean held a swell, and the water was dirty. Silver eels were the trip’s first five catches, and when a number of eels grab the hooks first, that usually means sea bass, porgies and blackfish aren’t going to bite. And they didn’t, really. The trip searched around a lot. Todays’ trip also sailed, he said at 10:30 a.m. when he gave this update in a phone call aboard. Seas were still riled up in a swell, and wind was beginning to build but from west. Maybe that would be good and would knock down the swell. Only a few anglers joined the trip, but Tom and crew are trying to fish every day, and he expects to be at the dock tomorrow to sail. They’re trying, and if you want to fish, hop aboard.

Conditions were horrible for bottom-fishing on Wednesday’s trip on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Today’s trip was canceled, because the wind forecast looked the same, and the angling was expected to resume Friday. The weekend’s weather looks no good. On Monday’s trip, the ocean was calm, and fish were hungry. Big porgies, some sizable sea bass and a bunch of blackfish were angled, like usual lately. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. The trips will fish for striped bass when stripers move in. Maybe that will be after the weekend’s storm. The captain always likes the northwesterlies when they begin to blow. “Gets things moving!” <b>***Update, Monday, 10/29:***</b> Stripers were off Captree and getting closer, a report said on the boat’s website Friday. The captain hopes to switch to striper fishing by Friday. A couple of huge stripers were seen on a trip that bottom-fished last Friday aboard. One of the stripers – it must’ve weighed 35 pounds – grabbed a porgy three times that one of the anglers was reeling in. But the striper was never hooked. That trip put up a great catch of porgies, sea bass and blackfish. All anglers caught a bucket of fish. <b>***Update, Wednesday, 10/31:***</b> The trips aboard will switch to striped bass fishing beginning Thursday, a report said on the boat’s site. Water temps are right, and “life is starting to show more each day,” it said. Jigs, rubber shads, top-water plugs or eels will be fished. On yesterday’s trip, porgies seemed to migrate away after last weekend’s storm. But anglers slugged away at blackfish and sea bass, and all left with dinner.

Porgies were still boated, and were still sizable, said Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b>. Some anglers were concerned this weekend’s nor’easter might chase them away. Sea bass fishing was alright today. He returned to the shop today, after being away. Blackfishing was good today. Only one blackfish is the bag limit, but customers targeted them. Striped bass fishing generally began to improve, mostly on the ocean on trolled spoons. Some were boated on Raritan Bay, he thought. A few trips ran to New York Harbor to eel the bass. Okay fishing for stripers was beached from the surf yesterday, he thought. He heard nothing about false albacore from the surf, but again, only returned to the store today. Green crabs are stocked, and white leggers will probably be carried beginning at the first of the month. Limited supplies of fresh clams have been stocked. Spoons and Mojos began to sell to troll for stripers.

<b>Long Branch</b>

Surf-fishing slowed for striped bass in past days compared with before, but picked away, said Mike from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b>. The reason was unknown, like maybe the full moon. Some anglers caught, but some didn’t. Hit or miss for the bass to 30 inches, lots of small, but definitely some better-sized than before. Daiwa SP Minnows and rubber shads hooked up. False albacore shot into the surf at moments. Hogie sand eel jigs worked best on them. No bluefish seemed in the surf. TAK Waterman is a store for fishing, especially surf-fishing, surfing and paddle-boarding. The shop also makes the TAK Waterman line of clothing for watersports including these and beach-going. The name is from Lake Takanasee.


Weather’s going to be good, and an individual-reservation trip will sail Friday for sea bass and porgies with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. The angling’s been great, and wind is only supposed to blow 5 to 15 knots. Spaces are available.


<b>***Update, Monday, 10/29:***</b> After the storm, fishing for striped bass might be improved, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Anglers might find the population of false albacore thinned out after the nor’easter. Anglers will head out and see. A few winter flounder began to be reeled from Shark River on Sunday, when the weather began to improve. Lots bit previously that recently migrated into the river. The store’s rental boats are available to fish the river.

A wave of big striped bass to 30 and 40 pounds swam through Monday afternoon in the ocean, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. The ones caught were mostly trolled, and the fish traveled past quickly. On that morning, they were heard about from off Jones Inlet in Long Island. On that afternoon, the fish were found closer to Belmar. On the next morning, on Tuesday, they were reported from almost as far south as Atlantic City. Pete hoped to hook them Tuesday and Wednesday on trips, and the bass were gone. But he put his anglers into false albacore that they nailed. An insane number of albies and baitfish schooled Wednesday. Parker Pete’s is on the water every day waiting for the striper migration. When it arrives, “we’ll know,” Pete said. Everything seems aligned for the run to move in. Bait is thick, and October’s full moon was last night. Pete thinks the fish are going to be run into locally next week. The ocean’s been warm, in the low- to mid-60 degrees, sometimes slightly colder. That’s a little warm for stripers, and the big, migrating fish were still hooked off Massachusetts and Long Island. Off New Jersey, thresher sharks were still around. The water was yet to cool enough to chase them out. The nor’easter is forecast for this weekend. After the moon this week and that storm, anglers might discover the striper migration arrived next week. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual spot with a charter who wants more anglers. <b>***Update, Monday, 10/29:***</b> Pete heard about a few striped bass that trips from the Raritan Bay area boated Sunday on the ocean off the bay, he said. His trips were weathered out throughout the weekend. The storm probably helped the striper migration pull south. He and crew are excited to get back out and look for them.

Striped bass catches were heard about sporadically, but the main body of stripers was yet to arrive, said Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>. Anglers are calling and booking striper trips. Getting the weather to sail and look for the fish was challenging, too. This weekend looks like a washout. The nor’easter is predicted for Saturday, and seas might remain big Sunday.

Bottom-fishing was terrific on the party boat <b>Big Mohawk</b>, when weather could be fished, Capt. Chris said. Porgies, sea bass, blackfish and a little of everything was caught. The fishing was actually kind of fun. Clams caught, jigs caught and practically whatever anglers wanted to fish caught. The trips are slated to run daily.

After tougher fishing Monday and Tuesday, the trip Wednesday smoked a good catch of false albacore “fairly close to the inlet” on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Today’s trip waxed albies, bonito and a few handfuls of blues, small ones. The albies broke water all around the boat, and jigs locked into them. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays. The trips will jump on striped bass when the fish show up. Stripers were caught 50 to 60 miles to the north. Wouldn’t be surprising if this weekend’s storm brings them near Belmar. Water temperature is dropping, “so everything’s beginning to look right,” the report said.

Great bluefishing was mugged Monday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. A decent catch of up to 5-pounders was clutched. A good number of big porgies and some seas bass were decked. On Tuesday’s trip, fishing was slow. Plenty of false albacore raced around but were difficult to hook. Some blues, sea bass and porgies were angled. Trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. They’ll fish for striped bass when that migration arrives.


<b>***Update, Monday, 10/29:***</b> Fishing for sea bass was drop-and-reel for 3 hours Friday on the <b>Jamaica II</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Many customers limited out on good-sized, and the trip took a ride and fished a new area for that. Next the trip fished the porgy grounds. The angling was similar: giving up porgies as quickly as anglers could nail them. Some of the anglers limited out on them. A bluefin tuna was also bagged. Weather looks good for Tuesday’s trip. Today’s trip was also expected to sail. Twelve-hour trips are running at 5 a.m. every Monday through Friday.  Fourteen-hour trips are sailing a 3 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

Maybe the nor’easter this weekend will draw in the striped bass migration, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. The stripers, and also big bluefish, were off Long Island currently. Both should be on the way. Currently, a few 30-pound stripers gave up a slow pick along the 3-mile line off Long Branch and Seaside. That could all change quickly. So could surf-fishing for stripers, because of the storm. That angling currently was sort of a pick, not fantastic, but a few caught. Weakfish 12 to 15 inches now schooled the ocean. When boaters found a school, plenty were there. Small bluefish schooled the ocean. Lots of false albacore schooled in 30 to 40 feet of water in the ocean and schooled at the Mudhole. Lots of bonito were mixed in. Sea bass fishing was fair at best on the ocean. Depths 100 to 150 feet fished best. Some keepers remained closer to shore, but many of the pieces were picked over there. Lots and lots of porgies schooled Sandy Hook Reef, Shark River Reef and the Shrewsbury Rocks area. The bigger held at Shark River Reef. Winter flounder bit on bottom-fishing trips like for porgies. Porgies and sea bass were hooked on clams and slow-pitch jigs. The shop carries the jigs, reels, rods and lines for the slow-pitching, and can educate anglers about this sport that began in Japan and was effective, so it spread. Fishing at offshore canyons was no good, including for tuna. A handful of mahi mahi and a couple of swordfish bit. Nothing was heard about bluefin tuna closer to shore, but only because weather discouraged trips from sailing for them. Manasquan River at the Route 35 Bridge and Point Pleasant Canal gave up stripers at night on rubber shads. The bigger were eeled. The striper fishing wasn’t fantastic. Blackfishing was good at the canal and Manasquan Inlet. Green crabs and jigs seemed to catch them better than bait. Plenty of blackfish swam the ocean off the Red Church in 30 to 40 feet and in the Shrewsbury Rocks area.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

On the party boat <b>Dauntless</b>, bottom-fishing sailed every day, Capt. Butch said. Seas whooped the trips, but the angling was very good, decent. Catches of porgies were super. Catches of sea bass were good – really good on some days, and on other days good, though lots of throwbacks had to be sorted through. A few blackfish, bluefish and winter flounder were pitched aboard. On yesterday’s trip, almost all anglers limited out on porgies, and the trip returned early because seas were stiff. Trips fished in 80 to 120 feet of water, and the ocean was 63 to 65 degrees on the fishing grounds, getting colder, but not quickly. Nights were cold, but the wind direction kept the water from chilling quicker. The fishing was very good, so grab a pole and come down, he said. The trips are running 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.

<b>***Update, Monday, 10/29:***</b> Striped bass trips will be launched Thursday on the <b>Gambler</b>, sailing daily except on Nov. 7, a report said on the party boat’s website. That’s because a tuna trip is slated for the night of Nov. 6 to Nov. 7. A tuna trip is also scheduled for this Tuesday to Wednesday. See the <a href="" target="_blank">tuna page</a> on the boat’s website for info.  A 36-hour tuna trip sailed Wednesday morning to Thursday. Forecasts called for wind and seas to diminish somewhat, but still predicted 25-knot wind and 7-foot seas. The trip dealt with wind and seas, including wind cranking up to 35 knots before sundown on Wednesday, when the boat was anchored along a canyon wall. On the way to that location, the trip fished at a buoy and pots. Life was sparse, and jacks were landed. At night, the strong wind kept blowing until 3 a.m. At daybreak, a couple of small bluefin tuna were released, and a few mahi mahi were bagged. Seas were still big, and the trip next sailed to a wreck in the deep a couple of hours away. The trip hoped to catch pollock there, but only a few large sea bass were angled. Conditions weren’t the best for fishing the wreck. Strong current flowed against the wind, and lines ran to the bow. The crew will do its best on the next tuna trips, and hopes longfin tuna will set up along the Continental Edge. <a href="" target="_blank">Offshore sea bass trips</a> will fish in December.

<b>Toms River</b>

A report could be gotten from the shop’s Facebook page that Mario from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> had just posted, he said. That report said a few more striped bass began to be clocked from the surf than before on lures. Keeping on the move and fishing in early mornings, at dusk and at night worked in past days. Small stripers were played from Barnegat Bay and the Toms River at Ocean Gate at night. A couple of anglers were known to beat them on Smack-It Jr.’s and small swimmers. False albacore were sometimes wrestled from the surf. That was one thing Mario didn’t include in that report, he said. Someone stopped in with a 3.05-pound winter flounder that was spear-fished from Shark River. Nothing was heard about flounder from the Toms River. Nobody seemed to fish for flounder there.  Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Dedicated, hard-working surf anglers dragged  in some better-sized striped bass 26 to 29 inches at night, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. The majority of the anglers fished Daiwa SP Minnows, but surely a few fished bait. Bluefish and false albacore were pulled from the surf during daytime. Never caught an albie from the shore? Maybe now’s the time to try. Lavallette through Island Beach State Park was a good stretch of surf to look for them. Look for birds working, and cast any thin metal or epoxy jig to the birds. Mix up the speed and action. Like in any fishing, patience and persistence pays off. Boaters who trolled for stripers on the ocean reported no fish yet locally. 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>Forked River</b>

Blowfishing slowed a little on Barnegat Bay, but nobody who fished for them complained, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Throwback striped bass were heard about from the bay. Anglers bought lots of eels to fish for stripers on the bay. A few keeper stripers were reported from the ocean. Plenty of bluefish and false albacore could be found on the ocean. Bonito had been caught on the ocean last week. Sea bass fishing sounded excellent on the ocean. A few customers still crabbed, and little detail was heard about catches, but they seemed to trap some. Nobody complained. All baits are stocked for inshore and offshore. Nobody reported fishing offshore for tuna.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

<b>***Update, Monday, 10/29:***</b> Striped bass trips will begin this week on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, sailing 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays through Sundays, the schedule said on the party boat’s website.

Good blowfish catches were docked from Barnegat Bay at <b>Bobbie’s Boat Rentals</b>, Vince Sr. said. Some weakfish came from the bay. Striped bass catches were just beginning, and just smaller ones were seen, mostly from Barnegat Inlet. Livelined spots socked them and are now stocked. Green crabs are on hand for blackfishing that’s good. Most of the tautog were seen from the inlet. Sea bass fishing was productive on the ocean. 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.


Bluefish 10 to 15 inches tumbled the surf, said Capt. Andy from <b>Riptide Bait & Tackle</b>. Striped bass fishing was good in the back bay, and every color of Gulp Nemesis was carried that were the ticket to cast to them. Fresh bunker were stocked. Eels will arrive Friday, Andy thought. Twenty-thousand dollars of new reels arrived, including the Penn Spinfisher VI and the Penn Conflict Long Cast. The Riptide Fall Surf Fishing Derby is underway until Dec. 23, awarding $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>

Schoolie striped bass, lots, swam everywhere from the surf beside Absecon Inlet to the back bay near the inlet, and in back waters, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Customers fish all of these places on foot. Plugs, bunker, clams, bloodworms and eels were fished for the stripers. Off the Revel was a good place for the fishing. Abundant baitfish schooled, attracting fish including the stripers. The bait included tons of spearing, herring, rainfish, peanut bunker and a few mullet. Many blackfish, now including keepers, hugged the inlet’s jetties. Fishing for them was pretty good. Kingfish were still angled from the surf. A few bluefish, not many, were around. Shrimp, the kind you eat, 4 or 5 inches, were caught at bridges along Routes 30 and 40 on dead-low tides with castnets with small mesh. See a <a href="" target="_blank">photo</a> and a  <a href="" target="_blank">video</a> from the store’s Facebook page. All baits are stocked including fresh clams, fresh bunker and bloodworms. Whatever you need, Noel said. A vending machine dispenses bait round the clock, convenient for afterhours.


Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsmen Center</b>’s charters lit into lots of striped bass from the back bay, he said. He was running one of the charters this morning when he gave this report in a phone call. Each of the charter’s anglers bagged a slot striper with a bonus tag, and now they were looking for keepers. They also released a few throwbacks. A keeper or two was boated on nearly every trip. Yesterday’s charter bagged a healthy-sized, 28-inch keeper and lost a keeper at the boat. His trips were hooking the fish on livelined spots and mullet and Gulp Nemesis. If interested in a charter, dates are filling. Next week is pretty much full. Dave wasn’t seeing a lot of boaters fishing for the bass, and wasn’t hearing about many. But the ones who fished were catching. Things look good for the angling, like lots of baitfish swam the water, so long as no terrible storm hits the area. This weekend’s nor’easter should do nothing to slow the catches. Dave heard about no stripers from the ocean yet, except some beached along jetties. Sea bass fishing was reportedly good on the ocean. A few keeper blackfish among throwbacks were cranked in from along Absecon Inlet’s jetties. Baits stocked include live spots and still some live mullet. Fresh clams were currently carried that have been scarce. Saturday’s nor’easter will keep clam boats from sailing. Forecasts look like anglers can resume fishing Sunday.


Capt. Mike from the <b>Stray Cat</b> almost couldn’t remember the last time a trip fished aboard, because wind kept preventing fishing. But a trip whacked sea bass, crushed them, Monday aboard, he remembered. A 5-1/2-pounder won the pool, and porgies, bluefish and chub mackerel were also swung in. It’s idiot fishing, he said. Drop a line to bottom, and two or three fish are hooked at once. He actually caught a double-header of a keeper sea bass and a throwback on bare hooks, when he was undoing a tangle on the reel. Every trip’s been like this, and every trip has limited out early on sea bass. One trip limited by 10:30 a.m., and two spaces are left for an open-boat trip Friday for sea bass. Another of the open trips will fish Monday, and the weekend looks like a blow-out. The water was 66 degrees on the fishing grounds. Lots of bluefin tuna were seen crushing bait right on the 15-mile line on the trips. <b>***Update, Monday, 10/29:***</b> Whacked them again, Mike said about a trip Friday. Blues, porgies and sea bass, he said, and open-boat trips will fish on every day the weather’s fit this week. He’ll try to fish next on Wednesday and Friday. Wind blew again today, 25 to 30 knots.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Abundant false albacore and bonito schooled close to shore, within casting range of the beach, for some time now,  said Justin from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. That was unusual, and metal hooked them, like Deadly Dicks or spoons. Color didn’t seem to matter. Just cast and reel like crazy. The fish weren’t sizable but were abundant. When birds were seen working baitfish on the water, either the albies and bonito or bluefish usually were on the bait. If anglers could fish through all those fish, they caught striped bass, occasionally a keeper, underneath along bottom. Any stripers were usually hooked on bait. Nobody really boated the ocean because of weather. Customers who planned to boat the ocean tomorrow were the first heard about in some time. Lots of small stripers were played along bridges at night on soft-plastic lures and along sod banks at dawn and dusk on popper plugs. Lures, not bait, caught the stripers. Pier anglers sometimes plucked the stripers from the water, also on lures, not bait. Blackfish gathered along piers, and the number of better-sized increased in cooling water.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

All kinds of catches were happening, actually, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The biggest thing was striped bass, lots, biting in the back bay. Some anglers reported double-digit catches including occasional keepers. The largest were hooked on livelined spots or eels, mostly at dusk and dawn. They were landed during daytime, too, but tides were best at dusk and dawn recently. Smaller stripers were axed from the bay on lures including soft-plastics. Some anglers popper-plugged stripers on the bay, crushing them that way at dusk this week. Fewer of those stripers were keepers, but the fishing was fun. A couple of customers snuck around and smashed weakfish to 8 pounds at night on the bay on soft-plastic lures. Boaters nabbed blowfish and kingfish, mostly at sandbars near the inlets, while chumming and fishing with small bits of baits like clams or shrimp on small hooks. A good number of bluefish, mostly 1-1/2- to 3-pounders, schooled mostly inlets and the surf. Mullet was best bait for them, and Mike saw few mullet anymore, but some probably remained. He had customers try for false albacore on the ocean, not finding many but some. But they located 14- to 24-inch weakfish in big schools with a few croakers mixed in when they marked fish off Avalon on the ocean along bottom. Sea bass and blackfish bit in the ocean. Anglers were pleased with sea bass catches along the 30-mile line, where the best fishing for sea bass is common this time of year. Nothing was heard about tuna fishing. Fishing was phenomenal, really, though fewer anglers fished this time of year.

Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>, would like to have calmer weather to sail for false albacore on the ocean, he said. Weather was rough in past days, and albies are found farther from shore in this area. Not everybody finds them, and that takes know-how. But he catches them this time of year, and that fishing can be as good or better than elsewhere. He’s also fishing for striped bass on the back bay. The last trip walloped them, covered in the previous report here. Charters aboard will nail the migration of big stripers and large bluefish on the ocean when they arrive sometime in November. Book those trips while you’ve got the chance. The schedule fills when the fish are here. Afterward, Joe runs annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys from Christmas to New Year’s. It’s not too early to reserve those. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.

<b>Cape May</b>

Trips are supposed to target sea bass this weekend on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> but will apparently be canceled in forecasts for rough weather, Capt. George said. The boat will be moved to a slip in Atlantic City to fish for the migration of striped bass. It’ll probably be moved on November’s first weekend. Better fishing for the bass has been closer to there in recent years.

Only a couple of the sea bass trips fished on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b> this past week because of weather, but the trips are catching, Capt. Paul said. One of the trips fished Friday with a good-sized crowd, and lots of sea bass were socked. Some anglers limited out, and some didn’t land a lot of keepers but had action with throwbacks. That trip fished farther from shore in deeper water, because the larger crowd made that profitable. The other trip headed out Monday with a small crowd, and several of the anglers limited. That outing fished closer in, because of the smaller crowd, and the trips can bag some sea bass closer to shore if only a small crowd is fishing. The bigger, more popular pieces are picked over in the waters closer to shore. Friday’s trip should fish in forecasts for calmer wind. Saturday will be a rain- and blow-out. Paul should’ve ran a trip today, because weather turned out calmer than forecast. But he had already called off the fishing. The crew is shaping up to sail on the trips for sea bass that are slated to depart at 8 a.m. daily. If enough anglers want to go, the trips run.

<b>***Update, Friday, 10/26:***</b> Striped bass fishing began to be pretty good in the surf and inlets, and was still good in the back bay, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. Bigger stripers began to be landed  than before. Most stripers caught were 20 inches to a few that made the 28-inch keeper size. In the surf, Daiwa SP Minnows, Yo-Zuri Mag Darters and popper lures caught. Those also worked in inlets, and so did soft-plastic lures. In the bay, the plastics and the swimming lures were popular. Bluefish remained in the surf like before, but were smaller than previously, closer to a snapper-size. Customers fish the surf from the ocean to Delaware Bay, and Cape May is located at the confluence. From Delaware Bay’s surf, not much was heard about catches like kingfish that bit previously. A couple of reports talked about blackfish angled along Delaware Bay’s jetties. Weakfish seemed to remain in the bay’s surf, and one angler brought in a 5-pounder. On the ocean, sea bass fishing was decent. Sea bass could be boated not only farther from shore, but a few could still be bagged closer in, like at Cape May and Wildwood reefs. Triggerfish still bit closer in like there. Crabbing seemed to slow down.

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