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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-15-18


When striped bass trips could be squeezed in between weather, the fishing was good for up to 30-pounders on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The fish were jigged, and they were trolled on rubber shads, because sand eels schooled abundantly. Ava 47’s jigged off bottom were money. Shads that anglers fished from the rods, not shads that were trolled, also caught. When conditions were right, the fish could also be eeled. The fall run is on. That’s the bottom line. The weather’s been cruel: fishable on one day between weather or two consecutive days. If weather enabled more fishing, Frank could give excellent reports. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. The boat is full next week, but the angling should continue well into December. Blackfish charters are also available, now that the bag limit will be increased to five beginning Friday from the current limit of one. Keep up with photos and daily reports on <a href="" target="_blank">Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page</a>. <b>***Update, Monday, 11/19:***</b> Rain and wind kept the boat docked most of last week, Frank wrote in an email. The storm on Thursday caused the weekend’s striper fishing to be tough. The “aftermath,” he wrote. Plenty of fish and bait were marked, but few stripers would bite. There are stripers to be caught, but this season’s weather hasn’t been easy. You just have to work harder. The next available open-boat trips will fish for stripers Monday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 30. Telephone to reserve.

The boat limited out on striped bass Monday, and plenty of additional were released, <b>Manicsportfishing</b>’s Facebook page said. “Figured they had to be hungry (that day),” it said. A photo showed four anglers holding stripers from the trip. The trip’s stripers were a whole mix of sizes, and charters and open-boat trips are fishing every day, weather permitting.

Striped bass seemed to be biting better than before, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. Good catches were pounded Monday aboard, and the next days were weathered out. A trip was expected to head back out this morning. Open-boat trips are fishing for stripers at 6 a.m. daily. Blackfishing will began Friday on Down Deep’s other boat. That day is sold out, and the bag limit will be increased starting then. Follow <a href="" target="_blank">Down Deep on Facebook</a> or sign up for the <a href="" target="_blank">Short Notice List</a> to be kept informed about open blackfish trips. Charters are available for either fishing. <b>***Update, Monday, 11/19:***</b> Fishing for striped bass was tough Saturday and Sunday aboard, an email said from Down Deep this morning. But a load of stripers – throwbacks and slots – bit by 9 a.m. on today’s trip. A bonus tag is available for each angler aboard to bag a slot. The crew expected the fishing to pick up like this after a few tide changes.


Trolling for striped bass has been fairly steady between the channels for <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. Trips had to find the fish and hit the right tide. But a good mix of sizes from throwbacks to overs, not a lot of overs, mostly unders, bit, including many 34- to 36-inchers. Some began to be seen along the water surface, so casting to the fish might become an option. Most swam sub-surface, typical for the time of year. Striper catches were heard about to the south, like toward Belmar and Manasquan. But plenty of the bass remained locally, so there was no reason to fish elsewhere. A trip might blackfish Sunday or the anglers expressed interest potentially. The blackfish bag limit is going to be raised Friday, and Joe likes blackfishing, though he also likes stripers.  <b>***Update, Monday, 11/19:***</b> Plenty of throwback stripers were caught and released Sunday aboard, Joe wrote in an email. Lots of fun, and keepers are still holding to the north that will have to migrate south. Lots of bunker and sand eels are swimming locally, and the keepers should jump on them. Seems just a matter of time. Boats that blackfished found fishing slow Saturday. But some rounded up a good pick Sunday.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Boaters locked into striped bass well near the Statue of Liberty and Verrazano Bridge on trolled bunker spoons and Mojos, the spoons especially, said Jay from <b>Julian’s Bait & Tackle</b>. The fish were better-sized in New York waters there than in New Jersey waters. How big were the stripers? A 42-pounder and a 38-pounder were weighed-in. Throwback stripers were played from the surf, fewer than expected, but weather was a factor. Wind often prevented the fishing or roughed up the seas too much. Most of the fish were plugged, and anglers kept asking for Super Strike needlefish, but none was stocked. Green crabs are in supply for blackfish that seemed to be biting well. Anglers can order white crabs, and if the store orders them on a Tuesday, the whites come in on that Thursday. All baits, the full supply, are stocked when available, like fresh bunker that are carried when the bunker boats can sail. Weather is closing in. Snow was falling sideways when Jay gave this report this afternoon. A half-inch or an inch had fallen.

Johnny O. from <b>Fisherman’s Den North</b> had been away from the store a few days until today, he said. Today was stormy, causing no fishing reports. Previously, striped bass seemed boated in Raritan Bay and between the channels on the troll. Bunker spoons seemed to catch better than Mojos for a couple of trips known about. Stripers seemed to be eeled when they felt like biting eels, and customers still bought the bait. Surf anglers seemed to wax lots of schoolie stripers, scoring okay. Johnny was unsure what on.

Great striped bass fishing was smashed yesterday on the <b>Fishermen</b> – in the snot! a report said on the party boat’s website. Seas were rough, wind blew and current ran, but those babies were hungry! Excellent catches the whole trip: stripers that were all 30 to 44 inches, except three slots. Jigs caught best, because sand eels schooled. Sand eels are here. The fishing was expected to be nixed today and Friday because of weather. Saturday and Sunday look good. Come on down and give it hell with us! the report said. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. 

Trips for blackfish are supposed to get underway Friday, when the bag limit is hiked up, on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. That day will be weathered out, and Saturday might be the start. West wind is supposed to blow strongly Friday, but that could be good, knocking down seas that today’s nor’easter was going to build. Trips were bottom-fishing until now aboard, but blackfish were mainly what bit by this time of season on the outings. The fishing sailed Monday and was docked because of weather since. Monday was gorgeous, some of the best weather in some time aboard. Blackfish and a couple of sea bass were picked on the trip. Beginning Friday, trips are slated to blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Green crabs are supplied aboard. Some whites will be provided when whites start to pot. <b>***Update, Monday, 11/19:***</b> The boat blackfished Saturday through today after the storm, Tom said this morning on today’s trip in a phone call aboard. The angling was tough during the weekend, apparently because the water was still churned, though seas were calmed. The fish seemed to be biting a little better this morning.

<b>Long Branch</b>

The surf was often rough, but friends of Mike from <b>TAK Waterman Surf n Fish</b> picked striped bass from the water on bucktails and rubber shads, he said. Mike surf-fishes but also surfs. He was surfing, not fishing, while the seas were up. Interestingly, he and friends while surfing kept seeing stripers just out of casting range from shore. The fish milled around well on Tuesday in the evening before he gave this report on Wednesday. Boaters seemed to catch numbers of stripers on the ocean. Other friends of Mike’s tuna fished, plugging bluefins on Madd Mantis poppers among quite a few they found inshore on a trip. TAK Waterman is a store for fishing, especially surf-fishing, surfing and paddle-boarding. The shop also produces the TAK Waterman line of clothing for watersports including these and beach-going. The name is from Lake Takanasee.


Forecasts for wind have canceled an individual-reservation trip for striped bass Friday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph said. Openings remain for more of the trips on only Tuesday and Nov. 24, 27 and 30. Only two spaces remain for Nov. 24. He’ll schedule more of the fishing for December soon. <b>***Update, Friday, 11/16:***</b> Individual-reservation trips have been added that will fish for stripers and blackfish Dec. 4 and 8 and blackfish Dec. 7. The trip on Nov. 24 has been sold out.


Eight striped bass were bagged by 11:30 a.m. on a trip Monday with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. The fish, unders, were trolled, and so were additional afterward that were released, until the anglers had enough, and decided to return. Some boats in the area – this was close to Shark River Inlet on the ocean – hooked stripers on livelined bunker they snagged for bait. But the stripers this day were scattered, and Celtic just jumped in and trolled for them. The next striper trips are set for Friday and Sunday aboard. Weekdays and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are available. So are dates in December.   

Captains from Belmar put anglers on striped bass on the ocean yesterday, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. They found few bunker to snag and liveline to catch the bass. But the stripers, from 30 inches to heavier than 30 pounds, smacked jigs and spoons. That’s fun fishing, and gold Ava 47 and 67 jigs and gold crocodile spoons were what caught. Looks like weather will prevent the fishing today and Friday. But surely the angling will be back on afterward, Bob thinks. 

<b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> motored south on the ocean for striped bass yesterday, Capt. Pete said. Bunker couldn’t be found, but the trip did find a good number of stripers. Pete heard that boats jigged stripers well farther north that day. So jig stripers seemed to be moving in. A big spread of stripers from throwbacks to overs is schooling up and down the coast. Parker Pete’s has been seeing lots, and the bass have been different sizes each trip. Plenty of room is available on weekdays, and in December a couple of weekend dates are open. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual space with a charter who wants more anglers.

Spectacular striped bass fishing was crushed yesterday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fish were jigged, “(and it) was all the stripers you wanted,” it said. The storm will weather-out trips today and Friday with wind 30 to 40 m.p.h. and lots of rain and snow. But the weekend looks great. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Fishing limited out on striped bass and left stripers biting yesterday on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. Sometimes six or seven were hooked at once, and a 41-pound striper won the pool. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Today’s trip was weathered out.


Relatively smaller striped bass to 34 and 36 inches showed up, and boaters to the north on the ocean clocked them on jigs yesterday, said Bob from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Anglers call that size “jig fish,” and the angling was good and hadn’t happened so much previously this season. They also trolled stripers and hooked them on livelined bunker they snagged for bait. Some also popper-plugged them. Small stripers were tackled from the surf lately on small plugs and 4-inch, white rubber shads at dawn and dusk. But the bass were also beached at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Blackfishing was good along Manasquan Inlet and became slower at Point Pleasant Canal. Manasquan River’s fishing was slowing because the water was becoming cold. 

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Striped bass were bombed, good fishing, on jigs yesterday on the <b>Gambler</b> on the ocean, a text said from the party boat. Some of the fish were huge, and some were slots. Even an 8-pound bluefish was reeled in. Ava jigs 4 and 6 ounces with red or green tails caught best. But the best lures changes. Bring a variety, or you can buy lures from an assortment carried aboard. The best lures this season have been Ava’s in those sizes, 4- to 6-ounce rubber shads and 5- to 7-ounce crocodile spoons. Let the lure drop to bottom and crank fast enough to create action. Reel the lure all the way to the boat, and repeat. Pay attention to the reel’s drag. A couple of big stripers have been lost aboard because drags were too tight and the anglers tried to stop the fish. Don’t set the drag too loose either. If you’re unsure, ask a deck hand to set the drag. Friday’s weather looks bad. If you plan to fish Saturday aboard, arrive extra early to ensure the boat isn’t full. The cabin is heated, and hot food is available in the galley. Hope to see you aboard, the text said. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <a href="" target="_blank">Offshore sea bass trips</a> will also fish in December.

Green crabs are in! a report said yesterday on the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>’s website. The crabs were supposed to be for the season’s first blackfish trip Friday aboard. But Friday will be weathered out, so the trips, slated for 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, are expected to kick off Saturday. The weekend’s weather’s looking great. The crew was waiting to see if white leggers will also be available aboard. Thanksgiving’s blackfish trip will sail 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  

<b>Toms River</b>

Some decent striped bass fishing actually erupted in the surf yesterday from right before dark into the dark on Daiwa SP Minnows and, believe it or not, Bombers, said Dennis from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b>. The SP’s have been favorites for some years, and Bombers used to be, but Bombers worked during this bite. That might’ve been an indication that a different population of baitfish tumbled in. The stripers, including 31- and 33-inchers, were bigger than previous stripers. So a different group seemed to shove in. Sand eels have been abundant in the surf, so Ava jigs with teasers have caught. Some Kettle Creek rubber shads have also worked. Bait anglers in the surf caught better on bunker than clams. But more anglers plugged than fished with bait lately. On the ocean, boaters picked striped bass off Island Beach State Park, catching on one day, not on the next. Bunker were scarce there, and that seemed why. Bunker were concentrated north of Manasquan Inlet, and boaters there trolled the stripers on Mojos and spoons. Mojos caught more. Green crabs and plenty of rigs and jigs are stocked for blackfishing. The blackfish bag limit gets hiked up beginning Friday. A few winter flounder were picked from Shark River, not setting the world on fire, but catching. Nobody seemed to try flounder fishing on the Toms River. Veterans’ Day used to be the traditional start of flounder fishing on the Toms. But water is warmer now, and not a lot of anglers flounder fished since the bag limit was decreased to two some years ago. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

When surf anglers are catching striped bass, that’s at night, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. The fish are a mix of throwbacks and keepers, not a ton, “but some nice fish nevertheless,” it said. Still, just because you fish at night doesn’t mean you’ll hook up. The right lure, presentation and location were also keys. Daiwa SP Minnows, thin metal and rubber paddletails with teasers mostly caught. No matter the lure, include a teaser. That increases catches. When bait was fished, cut bunker and clams were the right bait. Fishing the bait at the right location at the right time was still key. 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>

Good striped bass catches were sometimes trolled south and north of Barnegat Inlet on the ocean, including off the Seaside Heights Ferris wheel, during the weekend on Mojos and bunker spoons, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. Afterward, weather mostly kept the trips in port. That was pretty much the news in the weather lately. Four bushels of green crabs just arrived for blackfishing, and the bag limit gets jacked up Friday. The weekend’s weather actually looks good for fishing.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

<b>***Update, Monday, 11/19:***</b> Weather finally calmed during the weekend after Thursday’s storm, and striped bass fishing was no good on Saturday on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted said. On a trip Sunday, four stripers in the 20 pounds were bagged aboard. One bluefish, 4 pounds, was also jigged on that outing. The trips fished to the north on the ocean, and the angling improved a little by Sunday, apparently because the water was beginning to clear. The water was cloudy close to shore on the striper grounds Saturday and was a little cleaner Sunday. The next striper trip was supposed to fish today, and Ted hoped the water would be even cleaner then. Maybe lighter boat traffic today would also help. The stripers bagged on the trip were hooked on livelined spots. No bunker were seen that could be snagged for bait and livelined, and the storm seemed to make them disappear during the weekend. Ted was glad he brought the spots. The water was in the low 50 degrees. “It’s hanging in there,” he said, not becoming too cold for stripers. Anglers hear about the stripers that reportedly are still holding off Long Island to the north. So anglers hope those stripers will migrate to the local fishing grounds. They could migrate beyond 3 miles from shore, where striper fishing is closed. But anglers hope not. Plenty of stripers are already schooling beyond 3 locally. 


Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b>’s charters caught striped bass well, pretty consistently, on the back bay, Curt from the shop said. The legal-sized on the last couple of trips were only slots, but that was something to eat. The trips fished with livelined spots and Gulp Nemesis. A striper in the 30 pounds was weighed the other day at the store that was eeled from Absecon Channel where it leads into Absecon Inlet. Some stripers, the big migrators, were boated on the nearby ocean, but lots more were taken farther north. Lots were still coming. The migration might become full-on locally after the current storm. Stripers in the bay tend to be younger fish that live there year-round, too young to migrate. Stripers were sometimes angled in the surf. Blackfishing was supposedly good at jetties and other inshore structure. The bag limit will be increased Friday. In the ocean, blackfish held closer to shore, and the best population of sea bass held farther out, like in 80 to 100 feet of water. Live spots, green crabs and eels are stocked. Fresh clams in the shell and shucked are usually carried. Anglers might want to telephone to confirm whether fresh bunker are in. 


A 25-pound 40-inch striped bass was weighed from Brigantine’s north-end surf on Sunday at <b>Ripdtide Bait & Tackle</b>, Capt. Andy said. Dave McGee tied into the fish on fresh clam from the store, winning the $25 gift card to the shop for bringing the season’s first keeper striper from the island’s surf to the store. He also took the lead in Riptide’s Fall Surf Derby with the fish. See more about the derby below. First, the season’s first big, migrating stripers, a few, were checked-in at the store from ocean boaters, covered in the last report here. Each boat heard about seemed to catch one big and that’s all, except one trip decked two. The fish at the shop included a 49-pounder from off Brigantine, a 46-pounder from between Wreck Inlet and Long Beach Island and two 29-pounders from one trip from off Brigantine. All of those fish were trolled on Monday on MagicTail Mojos. Weather deteriorated afterward. The back bay’s fishing was good for smaller stripers on eels or Gulp Nemesis. Eels and the Nemesis are stocked. Green crabs are on hand, and fresh, shucked clams will arrive Friday. Fresh bunker are expected on Friday night or Saturday morning. The time is here: The annual Brigantine Elks striper tournament for surf anglers and boaters, benefitting a veterans’ fund, will be held Friday through Sunday. 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.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

A mess of schoolie striped bass bit in the surf beside Absecon Inlet in town from 9 to 10 p.m. yesterday, said Noel from <b>One Stop Bait & Tackle</b>. Only a few anglers were out there, but some landed 20 to 25. Plugs, eels, clams and bloodworms caught. The plugs were jointed Bombers – “old school,” Noel said – and Daiwa SP Minnows. Joe Baggs Swarters will work well, too. That’s a terrific plug. Boaters began to stop in with a few big stripers from the ocean caught off Atlantic City this week, covered in the last report here. Those bass were trolled on M3Tackle bunker spoons and MagicTail Mojos. The spoons caught including in chartreuse-and-white, pink, a special John Deere green-and-yellow made for the store that was killer, and white shad. Blackfishing was phenomenal along the jetty-lined inlet. Many anglers were catching a limit of one. If the limit had been five like it will be beginning Friday, limits would have been made.  Catch a deal on green crabs: three dozen for $10. Plenty of green crabs and Asian crabs are stocked for blackfish bait. Baits stocked, the complete supply, also include eels, fresh clams in the shell and shucked, and bloodworms. Noel hopes to stock fresh bunker Friday. They’ve been scarce. A vending machine dispenses bait, a little of everything, round the clock, handy for afterhours.


The next available spaces for an open-boat trip for blackfish are on Monday on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. Friday through Sunday, the first days of the five-blackfish bag limit, are sold out. One is the limit through today. A trip last Monday whacked sea bass aboard. All anglers limited out, and the fish weren’t big, but the angling was steady pulling. Porgies and blues also came in. Spaces are also available for open blackfishing Tuesday and Wednesday. More of the trips are sold out on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. But spaces are also available on Nov. 26 and 28. Room is available for open striped bass trips Nov. 27 and 29 and Dec. 4 and 6. All other dates through then are either sold out or chartered. Migrating stripers are here, Mike said. They bit at Brigantine Shoal, and a few hit off Atlantic City. Tons of baitfish moved in from the Ventnor Pier to the north in the ocean. The ocean was 57 degrees along the beach, the striper grounds. If trolled Mojos aren’t catching stripers for you, downsize. Fish lures like 4-inch Rapalas. Some anglers are dragging Mojos without catching.  

<b>Ocean City</b>

A 47.2-pound striped bass was weighed Monday at <b>Fin-Atics</b> that was boated on the ocean, Justin from the shop said. The angler said he jigged the fish at Sea Isle Lump. That was within 3 miles from shore, where fishing for stripers is legal. But other than that angler saying he caught the fish there, Justin heard about no stripers except ones that swam beyond 3 miles, where striper fishing is closed, though some South Jersey tackle shops posted photos of a few big stripers boated from the ocean beginning this week. Water was dirty at most places because of rough weather. Great Egg Harbor Inlet was inundated with dogfish. A few stripers, not big, were hooked at night at all the bridges to Ocean City on soft-plastic lures. Night was the only time they bit, and when they bit, they bit. Anglers had to be there. Surf-fishing for stripers was so hit and miss, and was also affected by dirty water. But sometimes small stripers were landed along surf jetties on soft-plastic lures. Sometimes they were beaned on bait, mostly clams. No keepers were heard about from the surf. The biggest reported were just-undersized. Blackfishing was good at structure like bridges when water was clear. Tons of the fish were there, and many were small, but keepers 5 and 6 pounds were mixed in. Little was heard about sea bass fishing on the ocean. Wind constantly blew, and the trips only had the chance to sail every few days. The only sea bass trip reported was to 28-Mile Wreck, and the trip only caught one.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Doug Gillespie and Dusty Laricks made a run at sea bass Monday with Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>, in deeper water farther from shore, Joe said. Was beautiful weather, and they bagged a bunch to 18 inches, good fishing. Pro tip: clams catch sea bass great. But jigs with Gulps will up the keeper ratio. Fish the jigs on very light line. Joe saw no striped bass, including beyond 3 miles from shore, where striper fishing is closed, and heard about none yet from the ocean. If he had seen signs, he would have stopped on them in legal waters. Those fish are impending, though, and his charters will be all over them. If you want to do that fishing, you better book, or no space will be left. Fishing for smaller, resident stripers, not the migration of big ones in the ocean, was good on the back bay on livelined spots. Joe’s doing that fishing, too. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish from Christmas to Easter. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>. <b>***Update, Monday, 11/19:***</b> Several stripers to 28 pounds were jigged Sunday on the ocean with two anglers aboard, Jersey Cape’s blog said. The fish could be seen, and well-placed casts hooked them. The fish were picky. Pro tip, the blog said: The types of birds feeding indicate the size of baitfish. If terns are feeding, for instance, small bait like bay anchovies are schooling. If gannets are feeding, large bait like bunker are running. A trip Saturday fished the back bay for stripers with livelined spots with a number of anglers aboard. But none of the fish was landed. One might’ve been hooked briefly. Pro tip: The bite can be brief in the bay. The fishing was good earlier that week on certain parts of the tide.


Back-bay anglers picked at lots of striped bass this week, said Mike from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Conditions weren’t ideal, but they caught. Live spots hooked the fish best during daytime, and eels hit them best at night, for unknown reasons. Under lights at bridges and docks at night, plenty of small stripers jumped on soft-plastic lures like Fin-S Fish and Bass Assassins. No big, migrating stripers from the ocean were weighed at the shop yet this season. But Mike heard about a few boated off South Jersey beginning this week, until weather kept trips from sailing. Anglers hope the weather straightens out this weekend to go. The fish seemed mostly trolled, but a couple were heard about that were socked on livelined bunker that were snagged for bait. Nothing was heard about stripers from the surf. A couple of customers fished for blackfish at docks and rocks in the weather. Probably 1 in 10 was a keeper, but keepers were there, and Mike thinks the fishing will become a little better before it drops off. The blackfish bag limit will be increased Friday, and this was good that shore anglers could still catch the tautog. The tog often stop biting along shore because of cold water by the time the limit increases. The shop is loaded up with green crabs for bait for them. When white leggers become available, they’ll be stocked, too. The whites seemed not to pot yet. On the ocean, Capt. Joe Hughes ran a trip that sacked a bunch of sea bass Monday. That was at the Deep Water Reef, Mike thought. Mike’s buddy fished for sea bass and walloped good-sized when he stopped at a rock pile after wanting to fish for tuna but deciding seas were too rough. Some awesome crabbing was reported during the weekend, though the season was getting late. One crabber trapped a half-bushel of good-sized in six pots.

<b>Cape May</b>

The season’s first striped bass fishing will head out, sailing from Atlantic City, on Saturday with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. The boat is docked there for the fall run and is docked in Cape May the rest of the year. Trips for sea bass were a focus until now aboard and drilled the fish, including limits. Porgies and bluefish were mixed in. A tilefish trip sailed Monday on the boat that cranked in 33 goldens including a couple of 25-pounders and a handful of 12- to 20-pounders. The rest were smaller. That was the year’s final tilefish trip, and that fishing will resume on May 1. Striped bass trips will continue until at least Dec. 20. Afterward, blackfishing will kick off with Fishin’ Fever.

Autumn’s first striped bass fishing is supposed to set out this weekend on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, and weather looks fine, Capt. George said. The boat is docked at Atlantic City for striper charters this season, because that’s been closer to the best fishing for them in recent years. <b>***Update, Monday, 11/19:***</b> Striper fishing was no good on a trip Saturday aboard, George said. None of the fish was around. So a trip Sunday on the boat fished for sea bass instead. That was pretty good, and also scooped up pretty good numbers of porgies and bluefish. A load of fish was piled up. That was in 130 feet of water. The ocean there was 55 degrees, and close to shore was 52.  Boats that fished for stripers on Sunday landed a few. The ocean was cloudy during the weekend on the striper grounds after a northeast blow four or five days. Bait was scattered, apparently because of the rough weather. George saw plenty of stripers 10 to 12 miles from shore on Sunday. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from the coast.

Blackfishing is supposed to sail at 8 a.m. daily beginning Friday on the party boat <b>Porgy IV</b>, Capt. Paul said. That day looks weathered out, so the trips will probably launch on Saturday. The bag limit will be raised starting on Friday. Until now, the trips have been scheduled to fish for sea bass, though weather forced most of those outings not to sail. When the trips fished recently, only a few anglers climbed aboard, because of weather. The trips fished closer to shore, because of the number of fares. Not a lot of keeper sea bass bit there. Some blackfish were hung at those spots. Not many migrating striped bass seemed to arrive locally in the ocean. In recent years, few showed up within 3 miles from shore. Fishing for stripers is prohibited beyond 3.

Blackfish snapped along jetties, said Nick from <b>Hands Too Bait & Tackle</b>. The bag limit increases on Friday, and green crabs are stocked for them. Blackfish also chewed along inshore wrecks, and sea bass hit at wrecks 30 miles off. The striped bass migration was a little north. A few seemed to begin being boated toward Atlantic City on the ocean. Not much was heard about fishing for stripers on Delaware Bay or the Cape May Rips. Surf fishing for stripers was a little tough. But stripers, mostly throwbacks, a few keepers, were angled along inlet rocks on lures. Some anglers eeled for them. The back bay’s striper fishing became somewhat slower, because baitfish were departing, but still produced. Eels are also stocked, and fresh bunker and fresh clams will be carried as soon as this weather calms and suppliers can sail.

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