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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 12-3-18


Trips blackfished Friday and Saturday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Smaller blackfish with bigger mixed in have been making for “a very nice day,” he wrote. Talent matters in blackfishing, but doing the fishing is the only way to become better. Jigging for the tautog’s been great when current hasn’t run too strongly. When current rips, fishing with a standard sinker rig is what to do. Weather kept the boat from fishing Sunday. Open-boat trips will sail for blackfish Wednesday through Friday and Sunday.

Fishing for striped bass was up and down, said Capt. Mario from <b>Down Deep Sportfishing</b>. “More shorts moved in,” he said, but slots and keepers were also angled aboard. That was on jigs and rubber shads, and open-boat trips will fish for stripers at 6 a.m. daily through Thursday. Beginning on Friday, the trips will sail for blackfish. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers, and the boat includes a heated cabin, a full galley and plenty of room.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Plenty of throwback blackfish and keepers mixed in bit for anglers on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> on the ocean, Capt. Tom said. The fishing wasn’t bad, not bad at all. The trips fished Friday, Saturday and today, and on Friday’s trip, the angling was good in some of the best weather recently. Saturday’s trip fished slower but caught. Tom opted not to run Sunday’s trip because of forecasts, and was glad he did, because trips that fished that day reported nasty seas. On today’s trip so far, the ocean held a ground swell, apparently from Sunday’s weather, and a similar mix of throwbacks but a few keepers were angled, Tom said at 11 a.m. on the outing in a phone call. All anglers caught by then on the trip, he believed. Calmer conditions are forecast for tomorrow, he thought. The weather’s supposed to be colder, but not bad. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Some keeper and bonus stripers were axed Saturday on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Many small stripers were also lit into, and the angling was great once the tide changed. The high hook landed more than 40 stripers. Weather was some of the best in weeks. Fridays’ trip was the first to sail since the previous Sunday because of weather. The ocean and weather “were perfect together” on the trip. Bonus stripers, lots of small and a couple of keepers were drilled, once the tide changed. The fishing took work, but high hooks landed more than 20 apiece. Those who listened to the crew and cranked the reel handle, caught. Those who became lazy and only bounced the jig did not. Jigs with and without tails caught. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.


Should’ve been on the boat Friday! Capt. Ralph from <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b> wrote in an email. Lots of good-sized blackfish to 8 pounds were creamed on an individual-reservation trip that day. Limits were nailed. Weather was calm, and seas were flat, too – a bonus. Weather was also great on a charter Saturday, and the grip was lots of fun with great people, but the blackfishing was slow. Fourteen keepers came in, and one angler picked up four. A couple of others landed two or three keepers, and plenty hooked no legal-sized. That’s blackfishing, Ralph said. Current also ran strongly where the trip fished. Individual-reservation trips will sail for blackfish Friday, Saturday and Dec. 14, 16, 21, 24 and 28 through 31. A few spaces are available for an individual-reservation trip for sea bass, porgies, cod and pollock offshore on Dec. 15.


Every day was different with striped bass fishing with <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Pete said. On some days, jigging for the bass was good. On others, the fish were smaller. But some were still migrating from up north. When jigging, smaller bass including some slots bit. If bigger were wanted, they seemed to have to be trolled. This was all on days when Parker Pete’s had the weather to sail. Lots were read recently, but were reluctant to chew, for some reason. The boat will begin blackfishing. It’s that time of year. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual spot with a charter who wants more anglers.

A striped bass trip was slated for Sunday but weathered out with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. He hopes more stripers migrate in, but this is the time of year when the fishing could be dropping off. Some blackfishing remains to be done aboard, and some dates are still available for fishing on the boat. 

The ocean was flat and weather was beautiful on Friday, but striped bass fishing was slow on the day’s trip on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. Stripers caught that day were all throwbacks from the ocean off Highlands to Barnegat Inlet. It looked like striper fishing could be ending for the season. The year’s final stripers caught are usually small. But on Saturday’s trip, lots of throwbacks and a few keepers were socked. One angler tugged in 22, and some totaled seven to eight apiece. Sunday’s trip was weathered out, and the crew will decide whether the trips will fish this coming weekend. The trips could be ended for the year. When the trips fish, they sail 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.

A few keeper and bonus stripers and lots of shorts gave up decent fishing Saturday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. Mackerel were also caught aboard, and Friday’s trip read lots of fish and saw bait with fish swirl on it. But only a dozen throwback stripers were eased in. Sunday’s trip was weathered out, and the boat will fish next on Friday. Trips are slated for 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. that day through Sunday.


Surf-fishing was terrific for mostly throwback striped bass 10 to 26 inches, but lots, said Jeff from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Small diamond or Ava jigs and teasers pretty much caught them, because the fish foraged on sand eels. The most recent larger stripers that were boated on the ocean that he heard about were 30- or 35-pounders early last week. In the past four or five days, some boaters trolled small stripers in 30 or 35 feet of water on umbrella rigs with sand eels or shads. Good-sized blackfish including in the double-digits were hung from the Shrewsbury Rocks. The fishing was good. A customer weighed-in a 5-pound sea bass he slow-pitch-jigged when he stopped at a reef after looking for bluefin tuna. Slow-pitch jigs and the reels, rods and lines to fish them are stocked, and the store’s crew can educate you about the relatively new fishing. A couple of boats looked for the bluefins, and Jeff heard about a couple of the tuna hooked on jigs, but none landed.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Capt. Alan from <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> hopes another push of bigger stripers drops to the local ocean from the north before striped bass fishing is finished for the season aboard, he wrote in an email. A handful of open-boat wreck-fishing trips will sail this month. More about that in a moment. First, a trip fished for stripers Saturday on the boat, trolling throwbacks and more throwbacks, Mushin’s Facebook page said. Doubles were not uncommon, and the fish and bait were read well at first. That broke up as the morning continued, but the fish were still picked until time to return to port. The wreck-fishing trips are available Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 22 and 23, and Saturday, Dec. 29. One is already full on Dec. 15, a Saturday. The trips, sailing 1 a.m. to 5 p.m., are a bottom-angler’s dream! The page said. Jumbo sea bass, large porgies, cod and pollock are targeted 50 to 70 miles from shore. Other boats doing that fishing are scoring well. Looking ahead, Mushin is already planning to fish for tuna from Cape May in June and July. The boat’s been moved there during those months in recent years, because that angling’s been lighting up at the southern canyons then. The boat is moved back to Point Pleasant Beach afterward to continue the big-game fishing.

On the <b>Norma-K III</b>, blackfishing was a little off Sunday, drawing fewer bites than the previous two days, a report said on the party boats’ website. The water had cooled during the previous night, apparently from a strong current that began. But the final drop fished best, turning up some good-sized ones, keepers, to 6 pounds. The trip’s high hook limited out on five, and some customers bagged one to four, “and some just had a rough day,” the report said. At the end of the trip, jigs caught well, the captain noticed.  Friday’s and Saturday’s trips ran into plenty of action, lots of throwbacks and some keepers. Every drop held good life. High hooks limited, and green crabs fished best on Friday’s outing, and green and white crabs both caught on Saturday’s. Both crabs are carried aboard, and trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Throwback striped bass and occasional keepers 28 to 32 inches were on a bite in the surf in past days from Manasquan Inlet to Barnegat Inlet, according to reports on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. So pick your favorite location. The number of keepers seemed to be increasing. The throwbacks hit today and chased sand eels. Ava jigs, Deadly Dicks, needlefish lures, teasers and nearly anything that imitated a sand eel drew the stripers’ attention. If you’re looking for late-season surf action, now’s the time. 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>

The <b>Tuna-Tic</b> has been winterized, Capt. Mike said. He thanks anglers who fished aboard for another good year, and wishes everybody Happy Holidays. Fishing will kick back off in April for striped bass on Raritan Bay aboard. He begins fishing there each year, and moves the boat back to home port at Forked River when the migration moves to the ocean. Then he targets stripers on the ocean from Barnegat Inlet, before shark fishing in late May to June. The boat sailed for stripers Saturday on the ocean. But only throwbacks hit. The trip jigged and trolled as many as anglers could want off Island Beach State Park. But because they were shorts, he didn’t bother fishing Sunday, and winterized the boat instead.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

A decent number of striped bass were rustled up Friday and Saturday on jigs and teasers on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. They were throwbacks, unfortunately, but fun. On Sunday’s trip, the ocean was stirred up, and only a few stripers were managed. The crew will see how striper fishing goes on charter boats early this week and then decide whether to sail this coming Saturday and Sunday, not on Friday. An update is expected to be posted on the site Wednesday.  Trips had also been fishing on Fridays.


Blackfish were giving up a pretty good bite in 70-foot depths on the ocean on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. Open-boat trips will fish for them today, Wednesday and Sunday. Limits were caught, and trips went through a bushel of crabs a day with seven or eight anglers. The boat will fish as long as possible, “until the ice,” he said.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Thirty throwback striped bass were jigged and released, and one or two were trolled and let go, on the ocean Saturday with three anglers aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Weather was gorgeous, and he canceled a trip Sunday because of forecasts. That day was rough, and he began to fish for the stripers on his own that day, but cut the trip short. Weather and seas weren’t pleasant. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>. Annual traveling charters will fish the Florida Keys from Christmas to Easter. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website.

A few customers fished for blackfish from boats on the ocean and from land, said Cameron from <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. They caught at both places, like on the local party boat that tied into the fish okay on a recent trip, apparently. Or like, for shore anglers, along rocks near the Coast Guard Station.  The last Cameron heard about striped bass was when a couple were seen from the ocean around the middle of last week. Not a lot of anglers stopped by at this time of year. Four to six did on Saturday morning, and about the same number did that afternoon, for instance. So not a lot of news rolled in about stripers. When the stripers were boated, that was often on white or green S&S or Rockfish Candy Mojos.

<b>Cape May</b>

A few striped bass trips fished the ocean with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, landing seven to 10 per outing, all on trolled Mojos, Capt. Tom said. The fishing was “not quite what we wanted,” he said, but caught. The next one of the outings was slated for today, and Fishin’ Fever is sailing from Atlantic City for this angling. That’s been closer to the best striper fishing in recent years, and when the striper fishing ends, the boat is moved back to Cape May for blackfishing. But a couple of blackfish trips already fished aboard. The first fished especially well, limiting out on the tautog to 12 pounds, and releasing additional keepers. The next of the trips pulled in 20 of the keeper tog to 7 pounds and a lobster.

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