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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 9-17-18


Wonder whether mahi mahi remained after the stormy weather? Twenty-eight of the fish, not big, were landed yesterday with <b>Manicsportfishing</b> in 100 to 200 feet of water, Capt. Greg said. That was on livelined peanut bunker and cast Tsunami swim shads. The ocean on the grounds was decent-looking, green and blue but not clear. The water was 78 degrees, still warm. The trip ran into no false albacore or bonito. Bigger mahi were heard about on the radio on a couple of trips that day but too far to the southeast for Manic’s trip to head there. A big hammerhead shark, probably 12 feet, was seen on the trip along the water surface but refused to bite. That was the first trip to fish with Manic in some time, because of weather. Greg knew not to fluke fish that day, he said, because of the swell and previous weather. But Manic will finish up fluking until fluke season closes beginning Sunday. Afterward, trips will run for sea bass, ling and winter flounder, and next striped bass. 

Fishing sailed for fluke Sunday for the first time in a week on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The angling was tough and put on miles, finding some of the fish, but not a good catch. The year’s final open-boat trip for fluke will sail Saturday, the final day of the season for the summer flounder. Call to reserve. Striped bass trips are filling up that will fish next. Book them, especially if you have a preferred date or want a trip on a weekend or holiday.

Porgy fishing was okay, not fantastic after the storm with the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>, Capt. Mario said. The crew hopes the angling picks up, and open-boat trips are sailing for porgies at 6 a.m. daily. On the company’s other boat, the crew will try to fish for fluke on a couple of open trips at 6 a.m. through Thursday, before fluke season closes starting Sunday. Beginning Monday on that vessel, open trips will run for striped bass at 6 a.m. daily. Charters are available for up to 15 passengers. Book striper or sea bass trips. Sea bassing will begin Oct. 8, opening day of sea bass season.


<b>***Update, Tuesday, 9/18:***</b> Twenty-five mahi mahi and a few false albacore and bonito were beaten yesterday at the middle grounds with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe wrote in an email. Seven almaco jacks, good-tasting, were also pumped in. The trip’s catches were made on the troll and on bait.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

An 11-pound 3-ounce fluke was crushed on Saturday morning’s trip on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said. Irwin Meyers from Fort Lee nailed the whopper, the biggest fluke this season aboard, and the largest Tom knew about from the fleet this year. A 10.9-pounder was the next biggest on the boat this year. Trips during the weekend picked throwback fluke and a few keepers aboard. Not good fishing, but Tom will try to stick with fluking through Saturday, the final day of fluke season. Some anglers want to sail for them. Trips fished from the channels on the ocean to Flynn’s Knoll to Raritan Bay. The ocean where the boat is fishing held a little roll Saturday and calmed quite a lot by Sunday. Trips are fishing for fluke 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Daily trips, previously fishing for fluke, will begin running for porgies today on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. Fluking, on the ocean, was no good Saturday and Sunday aboard. A trip two Fridays ago was the most recent that sailed for fluke previously, because of weather. That fluking was probably the best of the season aboard. Trips are fishing for porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 .m. daily.


An individual-reservation trip Saturday for fluke will be the only of the trips now with <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. He canceled more of the trips scheduled for this Tuesday and Thursday. Saturday’s trip will have no time limit on that final day of fluke season. “I plan on going a long distance for the fluke,” he wrote. Rough weather put a damper on the fishing closer to shore. “… Those that know me well know that I do not take people for boat rides if I can help it. I want to catch fish as much as you do.” No keepers were angled on a trip Saturday, and two keepers were managed on a trip Sunday. If fluking is slow on this coming Saturday’s trip, the outing will switch to ling, cod and winter flounder. On Sunday, Ralph will haul out the boat to be cleaned up, waxed and ready for the opening of sea bass season Oct. 8, and also ready to fish for striped bass, cod and blackfish coming up. Some choice dates remain for charters, but get yours now. They’re filling quickly. An individual-reservation trip will fish for sea bass Oct. 8. Ralph will schedule more of the sea bassing. <b>***Update, Tuesday, 9/18:***</b> A great catch of cod, pollock, winter flounder and ling was pounded yesterday on a charter aboard, Ralph wrote in an email. He decided to sail for this fishing instead of fluke. Radio personality Gott from WRAT, the rock station, was aboard and hung the biggest cod, a 27-incher. The trip also released throwback fluke and big, out-of-season sea bass.


Bluefish 2 to 7 pounds were picked away Sunday to the northeast on a few drifts on the <b>Miss Belmar Princess</b>, an email said from the party boat. A decent catch, on Ava jigs, both plain and with tails. Fishing resumed Saturday aboard, after rough weather. Blues about the same size were found but “didn’t want to cooperate.” Some were caught, fewer than wanted, but average fishing. That was also to the northeast, and the blues on these trips were a little bigger than previously. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

“Finally got out today,” Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b> wrote Sunday in a text. The fluke fishing wasn’t great on the ocean in a big swell that remained. But he hoped for better today. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual space with a charter who wants more anglers.

Capt. Mike from <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b> did no fishing during the weekend, he said, and forecasts had been rough. But some of the weather turned out better than predicted. Sunday was a beautiful day, but most of the fleet was docked. He heard about catches of porgies, triggerfish and blackfish made Saturday, a windier day.

<b>***Update, Tuesday, 9/18:***</b> Fluke fishing was “hanging in there,” Bob from <b>Fisherman’s Den</b> wrote in an email. Bob March from Mullica Hill checked-in a 9-pounder from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Eric Olsen from Spring Lake brought in a 6-pound 10-ouncer from a Belmar party boat. Rivers were full of baitfish, and small striped bass and small bluefish feasted on them. Cool weather is needed for the bait to shove out to the surf, where the bait could attract bigger stripers or blues. Bigger blues and some false albacore were fought aboard Belmar’s party boats on the ocean. “We are shaping up for a good fall run if the weather doesn’t throw a monkey wrench in the mix,” he wrote. Dust off the surf rods, change line on the reels, put new hooks on surf lures and get ready, he said.


After slow fishing for fluke on the <b>Jamaica II</b> on Saturday, customers picked at some Sunday morning, the party boat’s Facebook page said. “By no means good,” it said, but some of the anglers limited out. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily through Saturday, the final day of fluke season. Afterward, the boat will bottom-fish.

Almost no news was available, because wind blew the past 10 days, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. Fluking on the ocean picked lots of throwbacks for a keeper. Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs held the fish. If Eric were going to fluke fish, he’d work places like the Klondike and the Farms. Places like that were probably best for better-sized this time of year. Fairly good fluke catches, including a couple of keepers, came from Manasquan Inlet throughout the blow. Small bluefish swam the inlet, and hickory shad showed up there. The shad should stay around into fall. No news rolled in about fish like bonito and mahi mahi inshore. The water seemed dirty from the storm, and a couple of days of clear water might be needed to see what fishing for them is like. The storm stirred up water and “shuffled the deck.” Unconfirmed rumors said tuna held mid-range. Fish-holding water could be there, apparently, but nothing was confirmed yet. Farther from shore, not much was caught at Hudson Canyon on Saturday night. A few squid were jigged, and a couple of swordfish were landed. But this was right after rough weather, so anglers will see how tuna fishing goes at the canyons.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>***Update, Tuesday, 9/18:***</b> Angling for fluke was weathered out last week until the fishing, on the ocean, resumed Saturday on the <b>Gambler</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. The water was still dirty and churned, and a few fluke were reeled up on every trip Saturday and Sunday, but catches were slow. Good-sized, out-of-season sea bass were released. Is a shame that fisheries say the biomass is rebuilt 310 percent but they continue to cut the sea bass quota, the report said. The year’s first tuna trip was slated to depart last evening aboard. See the <a href="" target="_blank">tuna schedule</a> on Gambler’s website. The tuna fishing is selling out, but some spaces remain. An inshore exotics trip fished earlier in the day yesterday, pasting mahi mahi, false albacore, blues and mackerel 25 miles from shore. One angler caught well on an epoxy jig. Those trips are sold out for the rest of the year, and that can be seen on the tuna schedule. But a similar trip will sail 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday for bonito, albies and blues. No reservations are required, but reservations can be made online.

On the <b>Norma-K III</b>, fishing for fluke on the ocean was a little sluggish Saturday and Sunday, but should improve as the water settles, a report said on the party boat’s website. At nighttime, bluefishing improved aboard. First, the fluke trips. These were the first of the trips to resume after the weather. The crew will give fluking their best all week, the report said, and fluke season will close beginning Sunday. The bluefishing sailed Saturday night, and was a big improvement compared with previously this summer. When a blow happens this time of year like the one this past week, blues usually show up. Fishing was good for 2- to 6-pounders that night on the boat on both jigs and bait. All anglers left with blues, and a few bonito, good-sized, were taken. Trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily through Saturday, the final day of fluke season. Beginning Sunday, trips will fish for porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Mullet began migrating the surf, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. Small bluefish and small striped bass swam the surf near inlets, swiping swimming plugs or metal with profiles that could match mullet. Don’t fish lures? Dunk cut mullet on a high-low rig. Crabbing picked decent-sized keepers, just not a lot, from the dock and the store’s rental boats. 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>Barnegat Light</b>

“Weekend schedule update,” a post said today on the party boat <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>’s Facebook page. A trip will sail for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, the final day of fluke season. On Sunday, a trip will steam for bluefish, bonito and false albacore 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nothing was written about whether trips will fish on other days this week. Trips had been fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. <a href="
" target="_blank">Tuna trips</a>, sailing 30 hours, will be launched soon for the season.


Capt. Mike on the <b>Stray Cat</b> will run open-boat trips for summer flounder on the ocean on every day that’s fit from Tuesday through Saturday, the final day of the  season for the fluke, he said. The boat’s been docked in the weather. Looking ahead, sea bass fishing will sail beginning Oct. 8, opening day of sea bass season, fishing deep water farther from shore. Trips are beginning to book for fall striped bass fishing. Blackfishing will begin on Nov. 16, when the bag limit is increased to five, from the current limit of one. Black Friday is still available for a charter. A 4-hour, open-boat trip will blackfish on Thanksgiving.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

Annual traveling trips to Montauk kicked off this weekend aboard, fishing well, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b> and <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. Saturday’s trip reeled in 10 striped bass, a variety of sizes including two 44-inchers, sea bass to 19 inches, porgies and a bluefish. That was all on jigs on light tackle. Sunday’s trip tackled more fish, probably 20 stripers, not as big as on Saturday, a bunch of 3- to 6-pound bluefish and some sea bass to 19 inches and porgies, lots of action. That was also on jigs on light tackle, except some of the blues were fly-rodded. The trips fish the migrations of stripers, blues and false albacore through mid-October from the legendary port. Afterward, Joe focuses on the migrations of stripers and blues from Sea Isle. Fishing on the weekend’s trips was a steady, relaxed, good pick. Joe didn’t need to run the boat like crazy to chase fish, like sometimes happens during the migration. Weather was as good as it gets. The water held a little swell. See the <a href="" target="_blank">traveling charters webpage</a> on Jersey Cape’s website. At Sea Isle currently, Joe’s fishing for striped bass should be good on the back bay. That’s for smaller, resident stripers with popper lures and popper flies, good sport. That angling’s been good and should only get better in cooling water. Fishing for flounder on the ocean from Sea Isle should be fine aboard in this final week of flounder season, once the swell calms from the hurricane to the south. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on <a href="" target="_blank">Jersey Cape’s Blog</a>.


Summer flounder bit at the Old Grounds in the ocean before this weather, said Capt. Jim from <b>Fins and Feathers Outfitter</b>. But the angling last had the seas to sail the week before last. A friend drilled two 30-inchers there that week. Fishing for small striped bass seemed to pick up in the back bay. An angler at Jim’s camp in Avalon was reportedly into better catches of them than before. Fishing for the migration of large stripers will sail with Jim in November and December on the ocean. So will sea duck hunting. Fins and Feathers guides fishing and hunting, and he guided dove-hunting in Pennsylvania two Saturdays ago. Corn was yet to be harvested, because of rain, and that made the hunting difficult. But the hunters had fun and shot a couple of boxes of shells. Canada geese seasons are open currently in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. Jim guides for them, too. Salmon fishing should pick up soon in upstate New York’s Salmon River from his nearby <a href="" target="_blank">lodge</a>. A discount is available for the lodge, but only on Airbnb. He’ll visit this week. The lodge is booked for the first weekend of October, but openings are available otherwise. Bookings get busy starting in October for snowmobile season. Guests snowmobile on trails on the property and nearby throughout winter. Guests also fish the winter run of steelheads on Salmon River. The river’s fishing is world-class. Many salmon currently seemed staged in Lake Ontario to shoot into the river. Jim’s daughter and son-in-law just boated good fishing for king salmon on the lake 3 miles from shore.

<b>Cape May</b>

None of the charter fleet fished in a long time because of the weather, said Capt. George from the <b>Heavy Hitter</b>. He did no fishing then, including throughout the weekend. Saturday was windy, and a little breeze blew Sunday that dropped out later in the day. The full effects of the remnants of the hurricane are supposed to hit now. Coming up, trips could include tuna fishing aboard, if tuna are biting. Sea bass trips will begin Oct. 8, opening day of sea bass season.

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