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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 7-16-18


Porgy fishing was incredible aboard, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. Sea bass and winter flounder were mixed in, and open-boat trips are fishing for porgies at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Saturdays. Down Deep’s other boat began fishing for fluke on the ocean, after fluking on Raritan Bay previously. The ocean fluking was up and down, inconsistent. Big sea bass were hung on those trips, too, and open trips are fluking at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Saturdays on that vessel. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers for either fishing. Both boats feature plenty of room and full galleys.   

Two trips competed in the Sandy Hook Bay Anglers Fluke Tournament on Friday and Saturday with <b>Manicsportfishing</b>, Capt. Greg said. The trips limited out on the fish to 5 pounds, released numerous throwbacks and clocked sea bass. A 7-pounder won the contest. A quick trip Thursday with Manic scooped up fluke, sea bass and porgies. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

No matter downpours, thunder and lightning, the anglers on a trip Sunday pounded good fluke fishing on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> with Capt. Craig at the helm, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. They beat 11 keepers to 4 pounds and three times as many shorts. They lost time avoiding lightning, or maybe would’ve limited out. On every trip, sharp anglers are limiting. Are you a sharpie? Come prove it, Frank said! Frank attended a wedding along Chesapeake Bay throughout the weekend, and couldn’t wait to get back to fluking today. A trip Wednesday with Capt. T.J. at the helm smoked great fluking including 10 keepers and terrific action with shorts. A trip Thursday fished for fluke and porgies, splitting the day, boxing seven good-sized, keeper fluke and a bunch of delicious porgies. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips with room are available Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and next Monday. Some of those depart in mornings, and some in afternoons. Telephone to reserve.


Good fishing for porgies and decent angling for fluke was tied into Saturday with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. The new moon’s strong tides affected fishing in past days, including causing porgies to bite when tides ran slowest. A crew trip Sunday also reeled up porgies and fluke. Fluking on trips has to work through lots of throwbacks to catch keepers. But trips are picking away. Joe knew about a couple of trips for tuna that canceled at the last moment because of weather. But when tuna trips are sailing, the fishing can be good. He expects to fish for tuna next when his schedule clears.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Action wasn’t so hot on incoming tide this morning on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fluke trip fished a couple of areas, but only a couple of keepers and some shorts were angled. So the trip searched and found beautiful sea bass, including a 4-1/2-pounder. Fishing was best on the change of tide toward the end of the outing. So the trip put in overtime. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. However, the vessel is chartered this Wednesday, so no open-boat trip will fish that day.

Fishing for fluke was pretty much the same as before, said Capt. Tom from the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>. Trips usually land throwbacks and a few keepers. Saturday was one of the better days of the fishing aboard. The boat fished the channels that day, and also at first on Sunday. But on Sunday, current ran too strongly to hold bottom. So the boat was pulled back into the bay for fluking. The current ran strongly because of lingering effects of last week’s new moon. Bait seemed to catch best. Anglers who consistently fished Spro or other bucktail jigs seemed to have no advantage. Anglers who fished jigs as a sinker, not as a lure, caught fluke, either on the jig or the trailer tied above. Don’t get caught up in media hype about seas that an offshore hurricane causes like news last week. The hurricane never affected where the boat fishes. Even if it did, the boat would fish the bay where there would be no effect. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.


A family aboard Saturday beaned lots of porgies and triggerfish, decided to target sea bass and limited out on them, and also decked two keeper fluke with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Great day on the water, he said, and the mate filleted fish for two hours.  A charter Friday smashed outstanding triggerfishing and some sizable porgies. That was on light tackle, fun fishing. Triggerfish are good-eating and freeze well. Fishing is great right now.  Charters are available, and individual-reservation trips include those for: fluke and sea bass every Tuesday; cod at 2 a.m. this Friday; big ling and big sea bass, this Sunday; and triggerfish and porgies, July 29. On the Tuesday trips, kids under 12 sail free, limited to one per adult host. Ralph will add more individual-reservation trips for August. <b>***Update, Tuesday, 7/17:***</b> A few spaces are open for the cod trip Friday, and weather looks great, Ralph wrote in an email. The original date was weathered out, and some of those original anglers couldn’t reschedule. Fish for cod in shorts! Last Lady is one of the only boats that fishes for cod each summer, and this time of year fished best for them last year aboard.


Rain poured torrentially Sunday, but some boats fished through squalls, said Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>. Some caught fluke on the ocean, and Mike wouldn’t say the ocean fluking’s been hot, but it’s been improving. Some of the trips only bagged sea bass. Tuna fishing seemed to catch on some trips and not on others. It seemed that anglers had to find or run into the fish.

Most anglers on Saturday afternoon’s trip limited out on sea bass and socked a few ling on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. The trip fished mussel beds “out east.” Even more sea bass, jumbos, were slugged on Sunday morning’s trip, no matter downpours. The anglers limited, excellent fishing. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Plenty of sea bass, some fluke and ling and a couple of mackerel were pasted Saturday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b> on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. The trip spent time trying to get after mackerel, but they wouldn’t bite much, so the fishing returned to sea bass. On Sunday’s trip, excellent sea bassing was crushed. The anglers limited out easily, and occasionally hooked small bluefish. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.


Anglers picked at fluke during most of today’s trip on the <b>Jamaica II</b> on the ocean, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Some limited out, and some landed more legal-sized than a limit, keeping no more than their quotas. Ed Nolan took the lead in the monthly pool with an 8.4-pounder on the trip. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays.

The ocean’s fluke fishing was picky in past days at usual local reefs and, farther north, Shrewsbury Rocks and the Rattlesnake, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Not a lot of big were pulled in, but some were around. Bait seemed to catch as well as bucktails with Gulps. Manasquan River’s fluking was fair. The river’s anglers had a shot at a keeper or two, and the fishing wasn’t as good as a couple of weeks ago, but the summer flounder swam the water. The river’s striped bass fishing was good, actually, at usual haunts like the Railroad and Route 35 bridges, mostly in early mornings or evenings and at night. Some of the bass were keepers, even. Fishing for small stripers was actually good in the surf at first light and dusk from Manasquan to farther north – Spring Lake and Asbury Park were the hot spots – on lures. But if anglers really wanted to catch, sand fleas worked best. For boaters on the ocean, ling fishing was fantastic at the Mudhole. Winter flounder were in the mix, and if anglers wanted meat, this was the fishing. Sea bass fishing was excellent at local reefs including Axel Carson and Sea Girt, though two is the bag limit. Jigs and bait both caught. The store stocks slow-pitch jigs and reels, rods and line, the whole system, to fish them, angling that’s becoming popular. Inshore lumps and bumps started to pile up with bluefin tuna from rats to 20- or 30-pounders, false albacore and skipjacks. Places like the Resor, Lillian and Atlantic Princess wrecks held some of the small bluefins. A couple of white marlin were even heard about from inshore. Fishing for bluefins from 30-pound schoolies to 64-inchers or 150-pounders sounded good Saturday just east of the Triple Wrecks on Joe Shutes and ballyhoos. Farther from shore, tuna fishing was fair during the weekend. It had been good during the week and became slower in boat traffic on the weekend. Good catches of yellowfin tuna from 20 to 60 or 70 pounds were trolled anywhere from Hudson to Lindenkohl canyons on spreader bars, splash bars and all the standard fare.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

A couple of day trips fished offshore canyons Friday and Saturday with <b>Mushin Sportfishing</b>, Mushin’s Facebook page said. Mushin is fishing canyons from Cape May through this month, like it does every June and July to best reach the southern ones that give up tuna and other catches then. Afterward, the boat is moved back to home port in Point Pleasant Beach to fish the northern canyons, when the fish usually arrive there. Friday’s trip bagged tuna to 55 pounds and some mahi mahi, and released a white marlin. Saturday’s trip trolled tuna to 65 pounds and limited out on blueline tilefish to 18 pounds and golden tiles to 12 pounds. Mushin often mixes in tilefishing on these trips, and sometimes mixes in sharking. Lots of bait schooled the canyons, looking like that would hold tuna a while. Charters and open-boat trips are sailing. 

On the <b>Norma-K III</b>, fluke fishing on the ocean was picky the previous few days but better today, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some good-sized to the 5-pound pool-winner were axed on this morning’s trip. Sea bass were mixed in. When the fishing was picky, a few fluke were nailed here and there, but the catches were slow. Good-sized sea bass helped anglers bring home fish. Fluking should keep getting better each day, the report said. The trips are fishing rough bottom, so bring plenty of tackle, because tackle will be broken off in the bottom. Plenty of sinkers and plain rigs are carried aboard. On a trip Saturday night, a few small bluefish were picked. Blues were seen swimming the chum slick but were difficult to hook. The small blues were fun on light tackle, and bluefishing at night should only improve. The trip also bottom-fished, catching ling and sea bass. Trips are fluking 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Bluefish trips are running 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Moonlight and fireworks cruises are sailing at 8 a.m. Thursdays, returning when the fireworks end.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Surf-fishing was in summer mode, definitely, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Fluke were the most abundant fish that surf anglers could find. Throwback striped bass and small bluefish occasionally popped up in the surf. Nighttime served up outstanding shark fishing from the beach. Sharks in the surf are often species required to be released. Big cownosed rays were in the mix during both day and night in the surf. Barnegat Bay was loaded with good-sized crabs that were nabbed both from the dock and the rental boats. One crabber whacked a 7-incher. Now that’s a keeper! the report said. Snapper blues were becoming more abundant and growing larger in the bay. Baits stocked include killies. 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.


The <b>Stray Cat</b> is targeting summer flounder and tuna, Capt. Mike said. The flounder are biting along with good-sized sea bass in 80 feet of water on the ocean. The tuna fishing is for bluefins holding along the 30-mile line, like at the Cigar, 28-Mile Wreck and Lemke’s Canyon. They’re hitting trolled Joe Shutes, cedar plugs and size-2 Clark spoons, and the Shutes are especially catching. The bluefin fishing isn’t hot, but the tuna are there. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will sail for flounder this Tuesday, the following Tuesday or July 24, and Sunday, July 29. The next open trip for tuna probably won’t sail until Aug. 25.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Three yellowfin tuna to 65 pounds and a white marlin were trolled at Spencer Canyon aboard Saturday, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The water was 74 to 75 degrees, good-looking and held lots of bait and squid. An angler aboard Thursday popper-plugged three striped bass on the back bay. That fishing, a specialty aboard, is good on high tides at dusk that happen every other week. Earlier that day, anglers on the boat fought and released several sharks -- a dusky, spinners and browns – on the ocean close to shore. Mike Spaeder and friend fished on one of the shark trips the next day, Friday, releasing eight browns and a spinner. Most of these sharks on the trips are required to be released. The sharking’s been good and is a chance to see large fish without the long sail offshore. Jersey Cape is also fishing for summer flounder on the back bay and mahi mahi close to shore. Flounder fishing is kind of in between being best on the bay or ocean. Sometimes the fishing amps up in the cooler ocean when the bay warms in summer. The ocean recently became warm enough to hold the mahi close to shore. Those are fun trips that fight the dolphin, good table fare, on cast jigs, live bait, on the troll or on flies. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


A family was going to fish today for summer flounder on the back bay and ocean on a charter with <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b>, Capt. Jim said. But forecasts called for a little wind, so they scrubbed the trip. Jim was probably going to visit his <a href="" target="_blank">lodge</a> in upstate New York in the next days. Anglers visit the lodge including for salmon fishing on nearby Salmon River that usually begins to pick up in mid to late September. A customer sent Jim photos of lake trout and salmon the customer trolled on Lake Ontario recently. A discount is available for the lodge but only on Airbnb.

<b>Cape May</b>

Some boats this weekend fished for tuna at Lindenkohl Canyon, and some at Wilmington Canyon, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>. Tuna fishing seemed to have to run over the fish while trolling. Some trips caught, some didn’t.  Some of the anglers canceled the fishing Sunday because of rough forecasts, but weather seemed not bad. George mated on a friend’s boat that day that trolled a mess of bluefish and a couple of bonito at 5-Fathom Bank, and seas were fine. Seas were a little up when the trip broke the inlet. A trip on the Heavy Hitter also trolled the blues and three bonito on Friday. George knew that weather was rough for tuna trips that sailed that day.  The bonito on these inshore trolling trips were small. Give a George a call if interested in this inshore trolling or tuna fishing.

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