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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 5-29-18


Fishing for striped bass was good on most days and really good on others on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The bass weighed up to 31 pounds, and fluke trips were supposed to begin on Memorial Day aboard, Frank said before then. Fluke season opened beginning on Friday, and he heard the fishing was pretty good, and heard about some big caught. Morning trips will now fish for fluke, but striper trips will sail in afternoons, because plenty of stripers are still in. Some especially big stripers are in, actually, so if you want to try for a trophy, join an afternoon trip. The striper trips will continue about two weeks or until stripers are out of range. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. Open trips for fluke will sail on every morning when no charter is booked. Good dates are still available for fluke charters.

Excellent striped bass fishing was pounded Friday with <b>Manicsportfishing</b>, the boat’s Facebook page said. A trip Saturday began fishing for stripers where the previous day’s trip left off. Just a few were mugged, but they were “special.” The biggest weighed just under 40 pounds. A trip on Monday, Memorial Day, worked hard for stripers, covered ground and had “two takers,” the page said, on the troll. Stripers and bait were read but were deep. A fluke trip was supposed to fish this morning. Plenty of stripers and fluke are minutes from the dock. Sea bass fishing is also available somewhat farther away.


<a href="" target="_blank">A 53-pound striped bass and a 51-pounder
</a> were crushed on Memorial Day with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>. Click the link to see a photo, and Capt. Joe, not shown in the shot, gave no fishing report yet for that day. But he gave a report for Saturday aboard. Saturday’s trip slammed big stripers, and big stripers are here, Joe said for that report. The fish Saturday were trolled on the ocean on Mojos and spoons. Charters all wanted to fish for stripers currently. But fluke and sea bass are available. Fluke season opened this weekend, and Joe knew anglers from the marina who scored well on fluke on Raritan Bay once the season opened. They had to sort through maybe five or six throwbacks for each keeper. <b>***Update, Wednesday, 5/30:***</b> The trip on Memorial Day fished the ocean and trolled the two stripers in the 50 pounds, a 36-pounder and a 30-pounder, Joe said. A trip today trolled stripers in the 40 pounds on the ocean, and both trips caught on Mojos and spoons. Mojos worked best, and bunker schooled. It’s big striper time, Joe said!

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Conditions drifted the <b>Fishermen</b> perfectly for fluke fishing the first hour of the angling Friday, and didn’t take long, and the first few keepers were swung in, a report said on the party boat’s website. That was opening day of fluke season, when the boat began sailing for them, and was a good day of the fishing aboard. A husband and wife were high hook, totaling five keepers. A couple of customers limited out on three apiece, and a 6.3-pounder won the pool. Conditions were similar on Saturday’s trip, but the fluking was slower, nothing like on the previous day. One angler limited, and some good-sized keepers were had around the boat, just not enough. No report was posted for Sunday, so maybe weather canceled that day’s trip. Monday’s trip, on Memorial Day, fished a new area, and some sizable fluke were beaten. Several weighed 3 to 5 pounds, and the pool-winner weighed more than 6. A couple of anglers limited, and some bagged one or two. Some hooked no keepers. Another area was checked out at the end of the trip, and a good line of fluke was found. Anglers had to work for them because conditions failed to drift the boat. Trips are sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Fluke fishing was off to a better start than last year on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> on Raritan Bay, Capt. Tom said. The fishing was no good in miserable weather on Sunday morning’s trip. No trip sailed that afternoon in rough forecasts. The angling bounced back on Monday morning’s trip that angled some keepers and a pretty good number of shorts. The afternoon’s trip was just about to sail when he gave this report. A 7-pounder was nailed Saturday aboard, and trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.


An individual-reservation trip was going to fish for striped bass today with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Fishing for sea bass aboard was a slow pick Friday on a trip. That was the season’s first trip for sea bass that didn’t limit out. The next trip for sea bass was going to fish a different location. An individual-reservation trip will run for sea bass June 17. Annual individual-rez trips that fish every Tuesday will begin on June 19, and at first will fish for fluke and sea bass. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. Individual-reservation trips will fish for cod offshore June 27 and July 11. Last year, June and July fished best for cod aboard. Some choice dates are left for charters.


Striped bass were pummeled on the ocean off Shark River Inlet, Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> said Sunday. They were trolled on Mojos and spoons and hooked on top-water plugs. They were also caught on livelined bunker. Sea bass, good catches, were smashed in about 100 feet of water. Fishing was good.

Stripers crashed bunker on Friday’s trip on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The trip hung in and tried to catch them until 12:30 p.m. But they wouldn’t bite, so the trip switched to sea bass fishing. The anglers banged away at sea bass and a few ling. “All in all we did okay,” the report said. Saturday’s trip socked a 40-pound striper and some sea bass. A rainstorm kept Sunday’s trip from fishing. On Monday’s trip, the water was dirty from the storm, and one striper and few blues were brought in. Trips are fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises were supposed to begin last weekend that sail 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. One of those trips Saturday made off with good angling for sea bass and ling. Plenty of keeper sea bass were hooked as soon as a line hit bottom. A special striper trip will sail at 3:30 p.m. today, limited to 20 anglers, reservations required.


After shaky fishing for sea bass during the weekend aboard, the fish bit well again Monday and today on the <b>Jamaica II</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Lots of beauties were angled on Monday’s trip, and most anglers limited out and released additional.  A few ling and winter flounder were mixed in. On today’s trip, most anglers limited and released additional. The fishing was good in the morning and picked some afterward. A few ling and flounder were cranked up on this trip, too. Weather looks good for tomorrow’s trip, and sea bass are biting, the page said. The boat is fishing for sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily through Friday. Beginning Saturday, two half-day trips will fish daily for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and sea bass 2 to 6:30 p.m.

Good striped bass fishing was boated on the ocean off Asbury Park to Long Branch on Sunday morning, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. The fish were sort of scattered but were trolled along the 3-mile line and included some big. In the afternoon, the fish pulled into 40- to 55-foot depths and were hooked well on plugs like poppers or Zara Spook-style. Quite a few weighed in the 40 and 50 pounds in the afternoon. Stripers were also taken on livelined bunker during this fishing on the ocean that day, mostly in the afternoon. Fluke fishing was good on this opening weekend of fluke season. Limits were often bagged on Manasquan River. More fluke than usual were boated on the ocean for the time of year. Sometimes that doesn’t happen until later in the year. The fish were decked at Axel Carlson Reef. Good catches of fluke also came from Raritan Bay. Sea bass fishing was fairly solid, and jigs caught better, and clocked the bigger sea bass. The shop is fully stocked with jigs, line, rods and reels, the whole system, for slow-pitch jigging that’s becoming popular, and is effective, for catches including sea bass and cod. More details were written about in previous reports here from the shop. A substantial number of cod swam the reefs. Bluefish 10 and 12 pounds schooled Manasquan Inlet. Fluke and blues could be angled at the inlet, a good way to spend a day. In the surf, bait picked away at stripers and blues. Plugs seemed to tie into a few more. Any usual spots from Island Beach State Park to Sandy Hook produced.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

Was a beautiful opening day of fluke fishing on the ocean Friday on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, the party boat’s Facebook page said. “Good to see some life, too,” it said. Throwbacks and a few keepers bit, and the fishing was considerably better than the captain expected. A few sea bass chomped along rough bottom, too. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday through Sunday.

The crew was fairly happy with this opening weekend of fluke season, a report said on the party boat <b>Gambler</b>’s website. They were happy with the angling on Friday morning’s trip. That was opening day of the season, and a fair number of keeper fluke and sea bass were eased in. On the afternoon’s trip, a stiff southerly breeze made the angling tough, but a few fluke and sea bass were picked up. A 5.6-pound fluke was grabbed, and sea robins, smooth dogfish, sundials and skates were also hooked. Saturday morning’s trip fished decent for fluke. John from The Reel Seat in Brielle limited out on the trip, and fished with Gulps. But others caught on spearing and squid combos. The afternoon’s trip failed to fish as well in a fast drift of the boat that made holding bottom difficult. Sunday’s trips were weathered out, and both of Monday’s trips fished. The angling was slower than on Friday and Saturday morning. A trip for striped bass was disappointing Saturday night, but the crew will give that angling their all on the next trips for the bass. The striper fishing is only expected to become better as the ocean warms. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Trips for striped bass are running 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

Striped bass fishing was slow on the ocean but bagged two per trip on two outings Friday and Saturday on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, Capt. John said. The fish weighed up to a 45-pounder Friday and a 35-pounder Saturday and were trolled on Mojos. He’s looking for charters who want to compete in the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers or the Mako Mania shark tournaments in June.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Not a bad Memorial Day weekend of surf fishing, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. A few really sizable striped bass were beached, and bluefish that weighed in the double-digits were banked. A 39-pound 48-inch striper was weighed Saturday at the shop that was trolled on the ocean on a bunker spoon. Cocktail bluefish invaded Barnegat Bay behind the store. Crabbing was slow, and the shop’s crew wishes they could say when crabbing will kick off. 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 boat and jet-ski rentals.

<b>Forked River</b>

<b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b> fished for striped bass on the ocean throughout the past week, pretty much, Capt. Mike said. Big stripers roamed the water, just not a lot. By the weekend, the water temperature had dropped 6 degrees in southerly wind, slowing the angling. The water would take a few days to warm, and Mike expected to resume the angling today or tomorrow, after a break to let the temperature change. Southerly wind cools the ocean close to shore because of upwelling. Plenty of stripers were reported from south, so these big stripers should keep migrating north to the local area. Shark trips will kick off this weekend aboard. If anglers want sharks, this is the time to go.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Fishing picked away at fluke and sea bass Friday morning on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. On Saturday’s trip, wind picked up, creating tough conditions. A few keeper fluke were tossed aboard, but fewer throwbacks and sea bass hit.   Trips will fish for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays through Sundays the next two weekends and daily beginning June 15. Sunset cruises will sail every Saturday and Sunday the next two weekends and daily beginning June 15.

None of the anglers limited out, but sea bass fishing was okay Saturday on the ocean on the <b>Super Chic</b>, Capt. Ted say. The fish were good-sized, including a few 3- and 4-pounders. Enough were keepers to keep everybody interested, and a few ling were mixed in. The water was mostly 58 degrees, not bad for sea bass, though Ted would like 62 degrees. The water was 60 degrees at some spots, and the trip sailed a distance south. Another sea bass trip was slated for today, and Ted hopes to report good fishing from that outing. Boat traffic was heavy Saturday, but Ted guessed boaters caught striped bass on the ocean that day. Nobody probably boated for them Sunday because of weather. Lots of throwback stripers hovered along Barnegat Inlet’s south jetty and the surf. Bluefish showed up in the inlet.


This weather was the worst, Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b> wrote in an email Sunday. Here’s the edited email: “We caught a 36-pound striped bass Friday afternoon on a Tony Maja No. 4 white bunker spoon, and then took it on the chin for the 11-mile ride back to the inlet. That was in 3 to 4's and a cranking SSE wind. The marine forecast was for a heavy SSW wind Saturday morning, so I cancelled, and it turned out to be not bad at all. I kept my Sunday people coming in spite of the forecast storms, and this time they were right. So once again (the boat’s in port). You ever been zigging when you should be zagging? Then you know what I mean. That brings us to tomorrow, Monday, Memorial Day, the last day of the holiday weekend to make things right.” Reminder: He wrote this on Sunday. “Once again, the forecast (for Memorial Day) is on the edge,” he wrote. “Right now Buoyweather has it as NE 11 to 15 knots subsiding to 5 to 7 knots. I'm going to take a shot at it. Leaving at 6 a.m. returning at 1 p.m. If the ocean or inlet looks bad, we’ll fish the bay. This is a call I’ll make. It has nothing to do with the big stripers that are waiting for us out there. It’s only about whether we can come and go through the inlet safely, and not look over our shoulder for the next cresting wave while fishing. The crew that jumps on this trip has to be okay with Plan B, which would be casting top-waters or trolling plugs for the back-bay blues, drift-jigging for fluke, and at 10:30 a.m., anchoring up in my favorite Oyster Creek Channel spot for stripers. I don't have any first-hand or even second-hand reports from that fishing, but it's the right time, water temperature and tide to be there. Usually 10- to 15-pound fish if we could get them going. I have a bucket of beautiful shucked and salted big surf clams to feed them. My highest priority is to get out and hunt those big bass, but I just want anyone to know what our Plan B is if I don't like the way the inlet/ocean looks. For those of you who haven't fished with me before, I make very conservative decisions when it comes to weather and sea conditions.” Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.


Trips whacked sea bass, really good fishing, on the <b>Stray Cat</b> on the ocean, Capt. Mike said. There was no slow fishing in two weeks aboard. The sea bass were sizable. Many of the keepers never needed to measured, were clearly legal-sized. The water was 65 degrees, and charters and open-boat trips are fishing. Open trips are running every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The fare for open trips is $90, and that’s $20 more than before. The rate was raised. The boat will be hauled for minor maintenance Wednesday and will be back in the water to fish Thursday.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

This opening weekend of summer flounder season, Memorial Day weekend, fished well on the back bay aboard, all things considered, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Rough weather sometimes happened, and boat traffic is always heavy on the holiday weekend. Three charters fished for them Saturday through Monday aboard, reeling in a few keepers among throwbacks. Joe fished for flounder on Friday, opening day of the season, with his dad and uncle. They totaled four keepers to 5 pounds. The trips fished a rig with a bucktail with a Gulp on bottom and a minnow on a red hook on a trailer above. The bucktail and minnow caught equal numbers, but the bucktail clocked bigger. Before the opener, on Thursday, two anglers tackled striped bass and bluefish and released a flounder on the bay aboard on jigs. The trip fished no popper lures, but stripers and blues could be popper-plugged now on the bay, Joe was sure. The water became warm enough – was in the upper 60 degrees this weekend – and trips fish popper plugs and popper flies for them when anglers want. That draws visual, explosive hits along the water surface. So, plenty of flounder are swimming the bay. Stripers and blues are also on tap in the bay. The blues are smaller than earlier this season, but good numbers remain. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


Summer flounder chewed heavily in the back bay currently, said Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>. A buddy lit into them well, and Jim saw 4- and 5-pounders checked in at the local tackle shop. The fishing looked good, and Jim’s trips will get after them. He ran no charters this weekend, avoiding the water because of holiday boat traffic. Weather was rough, too. Another buddy’s trip hauled in five black drum from Delaware Bay, and Fins and Feathers is also fishing for them. 

<b>Cape May</b>

The Mattia charter Sunday on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> boxed three black drum from Delaware Bay then returned to port because of weather, Capt. George said. Northeast wind came up, and seas became somewhat sloppy, though better weather was forecast. The Capella charter the previous day aboard bagged three drum and lost three.

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