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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 7-23-18


The <b>Down Deep Fleet</b> was weathered out Saturday and Sunday, after fishing Thursday and Friday, Capt. Mario said. Storms rolled in and wind blew throughout the weekend, and that weather was supposed to continue today. On the trips, porgy fishing could not have been better, and blowfish and sea bass were mixed in. Open-boat trips are sailing for porgies and a mix of other fish at 6 a.m. daily and 2 p.m. Saturdays. Down Deep’s other boat is fluke fishing, now on the ocean, after fluking on Raritan Bay previously. The fluking on the ocean was up and down and was all about conditions. When conditions were good, the angling was best. Open trips are fluking at 6 a.m. daily on that vessel. Every angler on fluke trips is eligible to win a custom rod, an annual award to the customer with the year’s biggest fluke aboard. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers for either of this fishing. Both boats feature lots of room and full galleys.

Fluking wasn’t so good but sea bass, triggerfish and porgies were scooped aboard Thursday with <b>Manicsportfishing</b>, Manic’s Facebook page said. Conditions were tough for the fluking at first, but when conditions improved, they still wouldn’t bite. So the trip switched to catching the other fish and made a day of it, having fun with light tackle. Weather didn’t look good for most of the weekend afterward. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Wasn’t much fishing to report because of weather, Capt. Frank from the <b>Vitamin Sea</b> wrote in an email. A trip fluked Saturday morning aboard, and strong wind limited where could be fished. Four keepers and some throwbacks were landed. That wasn’t good, and trips were canceled that afternoon and Sunday because of weather. Weather looks rough through the beginning of this week. Charters are fishing, and spaces are available on open-boat trips for fluke Thursday through Saturday. Telephone to reserve.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

The trip for fluke was kept in port Saturday afternoon on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b> because of forecasts for strong easterly wind, and the wind did blow, Capt. Tom said. But all other trips fished throughout the weekend for fluke aboard, and the trips almost always sail. The boat can usually be ducked out of wind in the bay. The fishing was about the same as recently. Saturday morning’s trip caught some. After the afternoon’s trip sat out the wind, the next morning’s trip, on Sunday, didn’t fish great, but angled a few keepers and quite a number of throwbacks. That afternoon’s trip axed a few more keepers than the morning’s trip. Rain sometimes fell on the afternoon’s trip, but wind wasn’t bad where the boat fished on the bay. Mostly throwbacks bit on trips, of course, but sometimes keepers came in. If anglers want to catch, enjoy the day and maybe score a keeper, come on down. The main thing is that the trips almost always sail, because they can fish the bay. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Wednesday, 7/25:***</b> This afternoon’s trip fished, and Tom will try to fish throughout tomorrow, he said. Weather’s supposed to straighten out a little tomorrow, and is supposed to be good Friday and during the weekend. This weather hasn’t mattered for the fluke fishing. The boat’s fluking the bay, and neither wind nor rain has prevented the angling. The southeast wind was actually good for the boat’s drifting for the fishing. The fluking’s been the same. Lots of action. All anglers are catching. Not all land a keeper, but some of the fish are keepers. The ocean doesn’t need to be fished for fluke. Just as many keepers seem to swim the bay, and the bay actually seems to hold more action. A few anglers showed up for this afternoon’s trip, so the boat headed out. Too few showed up for this morning’s trip to sail, because of weather forecasts. But weather was fine. Both daily trips fished the previous day. Neither of the trips sailed Monday.

Larger fluke turned on at the end of Friday’s trip on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Then one angler reeled in a double-header of keepers, among a limit of three keepers he took on the trip. Four other anglers limited out, and a 6-pound 7-ounce fluke won the pool. The trip fished overtime, like it did the previous day, because a bite erupted then. Earlier on Friday’s trip, the anglers banged away at fluke and sea bass, once the boat was moved to escape current that caused tangles in the morning. The captain had thought that area would fish well at the end of the tide. Trips are fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.


Fishing was great Thursday and Friday aboard, limiting out on fluke and bagging some jumbo sea bass on the ocean, Capt. Pete from <b>Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing</b> wrote in an email. A fluke a little heavier than 7 pounds was biggest. A trip Saturday competed in the Raritan Bay Anglers Fluke Tournament, and didn’t win, but placed in the Top 10. Weather was terrible, including gusts to 35 knots, forcing the trip to fish the bay. Forty-five fluke, including many throwbacks, were landed on the outing. Weather was a washout since, and will be throughout the next days. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. Dates are available next week and in August. Telephone if interested. All bait and tackle is provided, and your catch is filleted and iced.


No cod were decked but many big ling were boxed Friday with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. He’ll try for cod again next month. Weather was great that day, but rough weather canceled fishing aboard since and will do so through tomorrow. Tomorrow’s fishing would’ve been the individual-reservation trip for fluke that sails every Tuesday. Individual-reservation trips will fish for: porgies and triggerfish on Sunday and Aug. 19; and ling, sea bass, blackfish and possibly cod and pollock on Aug. 5. Charters in the near future are available on weekdays, Saturday, Aug. 11, and Sunday, Aug. 26. 


None of the fleet fished in the weekend’s weather, said Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>. The crews all seemed to do boat maintenance. Fluke fishing had been relatively slow on the ocean. Saying how the angling was currently could be difficult because weather kept trips in port. Previously, some days fished better than others. If the tide and wind combined to drift the boat well for the fishing, catches were better. Limits of two sea bass per angler could usually be reeled in to add to catches. A few boats were returning with yellowfin tuna from the offshore canyons, when they had the weather to sail.

The ocean was fairly calm at first on Saturday morning’s trip on the <b>Golden Eagle</b> but quickly became cranky, a report said on the party boat’s website. Still, quite a few sea bass, some ling and a 5-pound fluke gave up super fishing. Sunday’s fishing was canceled aboard because of weather. A trip Friday fished well for plenty of sea bass, a good number of ling, a couple of dozen fluke that were mostly throwbacks and a few bluefish and mackerel. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Plenty of keeper sea bass were swung from the ocean on Friday afternoon’s trip on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, great fishing, an email said from the party boat. Action all around the boat. Saturday morning’s trip shoveled up a great catch of sea bass, ling and a few mackerel. Seas and weather became rough on the trip, and Sunday’s fishing was canceled aboard because of weather. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily.

Rain fell and wind blew, Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Mostly fluke were targeted. Belmar’s party boats on the ocean also caught sea bass to supplement fluke catches. Aiden Mulred from Wall’s 5-pound 4-ounce fluke was the biggest weighed from Shark River in past days at the store. The shop’s rental boats are available to fluke the river. Snapper bluefish were becoming more abundant in the river. Surf fishing tied into good numbers of small striped bass for anglers who put in time. That was on small plugs with teasers or, for bait anglers, clams or sand fleas.


On the ocean, fishing picked away at fluke and sea bass, and the fluking might’ve been a little late to begin picking up, said Alex from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. But maybe the fishing will still come on, and limits of both species were sometimes bagged. Bucktails with Gulps hooked both. Manasquan River gave up more action with fluke. That angling could be pretty good, and was a chance at limiting. Bucktails with Gulps also worked well there. Plenty of throwbacks bit. Fishing for small striped bass was good at night on the river, including along Route 35 Bridge, and at Manasquan Inlet on bucktails with rubber shads. Nothing was heard about fishing for tuna because of weather. News about all fishing was scarce because of weather.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> was docked in the weather, like most boats, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Forecasts look like it’ll blow for the next days. But as soon as weather clears, Mushin will be right back to fishing for tuna at the offshore canyons. That angling went extremely well before the weather. Charters are fishing, and some open-boat dates were announced on <a href="" target="_blank">Mushin’s Facebook page</a>.

Fluke chewed on Thursday morning’s trip, like they did on the previous morning’s, on the <b>Norma-K III</b>, a report said Friday on the party boat’s website. The fishing was a little slower on Thursday afternoon’s trip. On Thursday night’s trip, a few small bluefish were picked, and a good number of squid were jigged. Fishing was expected to be weathered out beginning last Friday aboard for some days. 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 p.m. Thursdays, returning when the fireworks end.

Trips for fluke fished shallower in past days and scored good action on the <b>Gambler</b> on the ocean, a report said Thursday on the party boat’s website. Throwbacks bit, but so did sizable keepers to 5 pounds. Sea bass were also bagged, among mixed sizes that hit. Nighttime trips fished well for ling. Sharpies landed 30 to more than 40 apiece. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Wreck-fishing trips are sailing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday. Trips are also fishing every Friday and Saturday nights during those hours, for whatever’s best. Currently, that was ling. The crew would love if bluefishing turn on for those trips. A Shark in the Dark Trip will sail 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday.  Reservations are required for the sharking.

<b>Point Pleasant</b>

A trip began to fluke fish Saturday on the ocean on the <b>Tin Knocker</b>, Capt. John said. But weather became too windy, and 12 ounces wouldn’t hold bottom, so the boat was returned to port early. Keeper sea bass, no keeper fluke, were reeled in during the short time. Tin Knocker is also tuna fishing.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Throwback striped bass, good catches, were beached from the surf in mornings on thin metal, a report said Friday on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. That was the most recent report at press time, maybe because of rough weather during the weekend. Good fluke fishing was nabbed from the surf. Cownosed rays swam abundant in the surf and sometimes bit when anglers fluked. Crabbing was hot, and customers crab from the dock and rental boats. Fishing for snapper blues was good from the dock. 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>

The most recent trip, before this weather prevented sailing, ended up taking a long ride, 118 miles, to fish offshore, said Capt. Mike from <b>Tuna-Tic Sportfishing</b>. One yellowfin tuna was brought in, before the trip had to head back because rough weather was coming. Bigeye tuna had bitten before the trip reached the grounds, and yellowfins that bit while the trip was still on the grounds weighed 50 to 60 pounds. The previous trip aboard rounded up a good catch of yellowfins, though smaller. Tuna fishing will be weathered out in the next days. The season’s first three-day trip offshore is supposed to fish this weekend aboard. Those trips fish for a variety of catches that can include tuna, tilefish, billfish, sharks, mahi mahi and wahoos.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Better action on fluke Friday, the party boat <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>’s Facebook page said. Sea bass were also socked, and trips are fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Sunset cruises are running every evening.

The <b>Super Chic</b> sailed for fluke on the ocean during the week, Capt. Ted said. Tuna fishing was weathered out this weekend aboard. The fluking was okay, working through throwbacks to grab keepers. Those trips could also box sea bass or ling. The ling were farther from shore, if anglers wanted them. The tuna fishing last weekend was supposed to be open-boat. Ted will probably schedule more of that fishing.


One trip trolled a bunch of snapper bluefish, bonito and little tunny, non-stop, on the ocean on the <b>Stray Cat</b>, Capt. Mike said. That angling, on cedar plugs and Clark spoons, has been good. Four fish at once have been biting, and the water’s been gin clear. Another trip clocked good sea bass fishing at wrecks in 65 to 70 feet of water. Now Mike was waiting for the weather to clear. The schedule’s pretty full. Dates for charters are even beginning to fill for September and October, including for sea bass when the sea bass bag limit increases. Lots of striped bass fishing will sail beginning in November.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Seas were rough, but the two anglers wanted to fish, so a trip sharked yesterday on the ocean aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. They released five sandbars to heavier than 150 pounds, a spinner and three browns. That was one of the inshore sharking trips aboard, and some of those species are required to be let go. Mike Roth fly-fished for sharks on one of the trips Thursday, and only hooked bluefish. It’s important to note that sharks would’ve been hooked on bait, Joe said. The fly-fishing is challenging, and Mike has fly-rodded them previously aboard. Another one of the trips fished Wednesday with bait with one angler. Four or five sharks were landed, if Joe remembered. Joe fished offshore with friends and family Friday on a trip that trolled a yellowfin tuna. A mako shark was also trolled and released. That was a cool catch, and the sharks do bite on the troll occasionally. The trip also hooked three white marlin that got off. Hooking marlin is arguably the most difficult aspect of fishing for them. Marlin swim into the trolling spread and take swings at the trolled lures with their hard bills. Anglers watch the spread carefully, and when they spot a marlin chasing, they release line from the reel to drop the lure back to the fish’s mouth, and set the hook at just the right moment. A solid hook set can also be part of the challenge. That bill is hard. High tides at dusk will be ideal for striped bass fishing with popper lures and popper flies on the back bay in the next days. That’s a specialty aboard in summer, and has been good. Those tides happen every two weeks. Mahi mahi are swimming the ocean close to shore, and Jersey Cape is also fishing for them on the troll or cast jigs, bait or flies. Mahi only swim those grounds for a limited time, when water’s warmest. Fishing for summer flounder is also good aboard. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> visited his <a href="" target="_blank">lodge</a> in upstate New York from Wednesday through the weekend, he said. That was including while most of New Jersey’s coastal fishing sat out rough weather during the weekend. He saw photos of king salmon and lake trout that were trolled on Lake Ontario near the lodge. Some of his guests do that fishing every year and showed shots. The catches came from deeper water farther from shore. The salmon will pull closer to shore in August, until they migrate into Salmon River beginning late that month for spawning. Anglers stay at the lodge to fish the river’s salmon run into October. A discount is available for the lodge, but only on Airbnb. Rivers and creeks ran low near the lodge, but rain was supposed to fall in the next days that might replenish them. Jim hopes to resume fishing for summer flounder from Avalon later this week, when weather calms. Those charters have been fishing the back bay, and will fish for them at ocean reefs when that becomes best this season.

<b>Cape May</b>

Fishing was weathered out throughout the weekend on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>, Capt. George said. During the week, plenty of bluefish 1 to 3 pounds and some bonito were trolled at 5-Fathom Bank on 4-hour trips. That angling’s pretty reliable, and tuna trips are also sailing. Tuna fishing has to fish the right place to catch, and the right place keeps changing. Telephone if interested in either of this fishing. 

Three bluefin tuna 43 to 46 inches were bagged, six were released and three were missed Friday on a trip with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. So that was a limit of unders, and all the tuna were about that size. The fish were hooked on the troll, on chunks and on jigs. Trips aboard also fished for summer flounder lately on the ocean. The trips bagged five to 10 apiece, and released many throwbacks, 100 to 125 per outing. Lots of the fluke swam the water, and anglers just had to weed through the undersized.

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