Sun., May 29, 2016
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Great Kills Harbor
A.M.
P.M.
1:42
2:34
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A.M.
P.M.
1:43
2:25
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A.M.
P.M.
1:08
1:50
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1:31
2:13
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P.M.
1:15
2:02
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P.M.
1:49
2:36
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3:18
3:58

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New Jersey
Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Thursday, May 26.

| Sewaren | Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Brielle | Point Pleasant Beach | Toms River | Seaside Heights | Forked River | Barnegat Light | Barnegat | Mystic Island | Absecon | Brigantine | Atlantic City | Margate | Ocean City | Sea Isle City | Wildwood | Cape May | Last Monday's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED
EVERY MONDAY AND THURSDAY
Sewaren
Raritan Bay’s fluke fishing actually picked up pretty well, said Rich from Dockside Bait & Tackle. A boat from the docks sailed for them today and returned with a 6-1/2-pounder. Catches were reported from Chapel Hill Channel. Bluefish swarmed the Triangle on the bay off South Amboy. Shore anglers beat blues at Cliffwood Beach left and right. Striped bass were boated at Robbins Reef at Hudson River’s mouth. Trolling Mojos and Stretch plugs was key. Some were hooked on chunks of bunker or livelined bunker. But most, and the bigger, were trolled. Fishing in general picked up, actually. All baits mentioned and more, the complete supply, are stocked. That includes fluke baits like killies, spearing and mullet, and includes fresh bunker and fresh clams. Dockside, on Smith Creek, a tributary of the Arthur Kill just north of Outerbridge Crossing, is accessible from the water at the fuel dock and from land.

Keyport
Striped bass fishing was far from finished for the season, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. The fish seemed to spawn in rivers and arrive in local back waters. The boat will sail for them as long as anglers want. He didn’t mention specifically where trips fished for the bass, but said bluefish filled Raritan Bay. A fluke trip aboard Wednesday threw popper lures to the biggest kind of blues at the end of the outing. The slammers crashed the plugs on the water surface. Super-good action, fun, exciting. Anglers could sink the boat with blues. The fluking was great, totaling nine keepers and usual action with shorts. Not bad for May 25, and fluke seemed in. Time to become serious about fluking. Fluke charters and open-boat trips are running, and striper charters are available on weekdays. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”

Atlantic Highlands
An 11-1/4-pound fluke was heaved aboard Wednesday, said Capt. Tom from the party boat Atlantic Star. Dave McDermott from Long Branch caught the fish on a Spro. Interestingly, a 14-pounder was smashed last year on the same day, and a 10.9-pounder was whaled on the same day in 2012, aboard. Fluking aboard wasn’t good Wednesday and on the previous couple of days. Monday fished the best among those days. Mostly throwbacks, sometimes keepers, were reeled in on the trips, and the angling struggled Wednesday. All different spots were fished on Raritan Bay on the trips. Trips would work an area, try to land a few keepers, and move to another place. Many of the anglers fished spearing or killies, and neither seemed to fish best. When wind or tide failed to drift the boat, killies worked a little better. Spearing are provided on trips, and anglers bring their own killies. Tom reported all of this on Wednesday evening in a phone call. On this morning’s trip, a few keepers were boxed on the boat’s first drift, he said at 10 a.m. on the outing in a phone call. He thought the angling was going to be pretty handy, but the results couldn’t be duplicated on the second drift. The tide or something seemed to change the bite. But a few keepers were had, and the anglers picked at shorts, so far. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

At first, only a pick of blues was copped on Wednesday’s trip, but super jigging for them got whipped afterward on the Fishermen, a report said on the party boat’s website. When the pick happened, the trip fished a couple spots where a few striped bass were slugged aboard the previous night. No stripers bit on this trip. Then the trip took a ride, began jigging, and blues were belted non-stop the rest of the outing. Weather looks great for the next days. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, 6:30 to 11 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Bluefish swam everywhere, said Joe Sr. from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Big? he was asked. Pretty good-sized, he said. A couple of party boats fished for fluke in Sandy Hook Bay near the pier, catching pretty well. One of the charter boat captains said sea bass fishing was great yesterday aboard. Striped bass were boated near the Statue of Liberty. Stripers were trolled on bunker spoons on the ocean off the Red Church and at Shrewsbury Rocks. Surf anglers sometimes beached stripers. Sandworms caught the fish well, and clams worked, too. Stripers were angled in Navesink River from Oceanic Bridge to Red Bank Bridge. Blues and fluke also swam there. All baits, the full supply, are stocked.

One rental-boat trip from Fisherman’s Den North bagged eight fluke on Sandy Hook Bay, Chris said. An 11-pound fluke was weighed-in yesterday from a party boat at the marina, and the head boats caught the flatfish on Raritan Bay and Sandy Hook Bay pretty well. Bluefish schooled the bay, and Chris saw them blowing up in the bay near the shop yesterday while sailing to the ocean for striped bass fishing. Shore anglers wrestled the blues from the bay, too. The blues also swam rivers and everywhere. They jumped on top-water lures, metal, bunker and nearly anything. On Chris’s trip, a 39-pound striper was boated on the ocean on livelined bunker. Ocean boaters trolled stripers and sometimes took them on live bunker. Bunker schooled the water near shore. His trip also sea bassed on the ocean a moment, cranking in a few keepers and lots of throwbacks. Anglers pitched aboard sea bass from places like Sandy Hook Reef. No crazy reports were heard about sea bass. Baits stocked include fresh clams, fresh bunker, killies and all the frozen, including smelts and spearing. The rental boats are available, and rental kayaks will become available in probably a week or two. The shop is located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal Marina, near the party boats and charter boats. It’s a new shop this spring and the sister store to Fisherman’s Den at Belmar Marina.

Highlands
Lady M Charters began fishing for sea bass, and the angling was great, pounding lots, Capt. Steve said. The season for the fish was opened Monday, and the boat got after them every day since. A few ling and cod were mixed in, and open-boat trips and charters are available. A few spots are open for sea bass Sunday and Monday, during this Memorial Day weekend. Once sea bass season is closed, special, open marathon trips will bottom-fish at the Mudhole. Anglers love those outings, Steve said in a previous report. They never know what they’ll reel in next, like ling, cod or winter flounder. A few haddock came up last year, even. Telephone for those trips and for special, open fluke trips that will run.

Motoring out from Twin Lights Marina yesterday, Rich Scherer boated blues at Romer Shoal at Raritan Bay’s mouth, and Ed and Tony on the Hammerhead bagged six fluke on the bay on Gulps, Marion wrote in an email. Roy Wurst and Brian Whyard on Saturday limited out on striped bass, landed a 22-inch fluke and caught blues in New York Harbor on bunker chunks. Greg Hanna and Mike Murray on Friday on the Annie H bunker-chunked stripers to 39 inches and blues to 12 pounds on the bay. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips, dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card. Baits like live bunker are carried when in demand. All offshore baits are carried.

Neptune
Every trip smoked sea bass aboard, big fish, lots of small, but lots of action, from the ocean since sea bass season opened Monday, said Capt. Ralph from Last Lady Fishing Charters. Tuesday and June 8 are the only individual-reservation trips for sea bass with space available, before sea bass season is closed beginning June 20. Three dates are available for sea bass charters, he thought. Annual individual-reservation trips for fluke, sailing every Tuesday, will begin June 21. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. Individual-reservation trips for cod will sail July 13 and 27 and August 3, 17 and 31. Fish for cod in shorts! Those trips have been great. ***Update, Friday, 5/27:*** Yesterday’s charter was great sea bassing again aboard, Ralph wrote in an email. A 4-pounder won the pool, and cod and ling were also tugged in, and many out-of-season blackfish were released.

Belmar
Many large striped bass were boated from the ocean since the moon waned, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. A 42-pounder was biggest with Parker Pete’s this week, and more and more bunker schooled the water. He expects the striper fishing to keep improving this week, as stripers “catch up” with the bunker. The bass were kind of scattered currently. Trolling for them caught best, and sometimes livelined bunker hooked the fish in evenings, and some evenings fished better than others. Some striper trips fished better than others, for that matter, and some fished great. Some monster stripers were out there. A few individual spaces are available on a striper charter Friday. Dates remain for charters in June, and Pete expects stripers to keep biting into June. New this year, he’s also running trips on a party boat that are livelining bunker for stripers with limited numbers of passengers. Those trips are becoming pretty booked, and reserve to ensure a spot. See info on Parker Pete’s website. For Parker Pete’s, don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual space on a charter that needs anglers. Visit the website to subscribe to the email blast to be kept informed about the spaces. Also see a trip calendar, where available dates are posted, on the site.

The Katie H has been in the yard, and Capt. Mike hopes to splash the vessel after Memorial Day, he said. Trips will hit sea bass hard, he said. They’ll fish for striped bass, and he likes combo trips that fish for sea bass or fluke during the middle of the day, and work striped bass before or afterward, during morning or late in the day. This is all on the ocean, and sea bass are biting there, and fluke will chomp later this season in the ocean, when the water warms. The boat will compete in the Mako Mania tournament June 11. The 46-foot Katie H features speed and all the amenities.

Bluefish bonanza! an email said about Wednesday’s trip on the Miss Belmar Princess from the party boat. The trip sailed north, and that worked out great. Anglers hammered on jumbo blues to 15 pounds, sometimes on drifts that produced for an hour. Ava 47’s with and without tails caught well. On Tuesday’s trip, 8- to 16-pound blues were ransacked on anything cast to them. Sometimes all anglers were hooked up at once. On Monday’s trip, bluefishing was slow, and a few were picked per drift late on the outing. Ava 47’s worked best on the trip, and the Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 am. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Very good bluefishing was crushed Wednesday on the ocean on the
Golden Eagle, a report on the party boat’s website said. Run Off crocodiles and hammered jigs beaned the 6- to 15-pounders. If you want to catch fish, now’s the time, it said, and weather looks great for the next several days. On Tuesday’s trip, bluefishing was exceptional for 6- to 12-pounders on popper lures and Run Off crocs and hammered jigs. No report was posted for Monday, and Sunday’s bluefishing was a decent pick aboard. Lots of blues swam, but they didn’t bite like previously. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Brielle
Fishing should resume Saturday on the Jamaica II, “barring any unforeseen (circumstances),” the party boat’s Facebook page said. The vessel’s been in the yard, and the Coast Guard inspection is finished, and the crew was only finishing installing a new generator. Trips are supposed to sea bass fish on the ocean. Watch the Jamaica II’s Facebook page “just in case,” it said.

Ocean boaters sporadically caught striped bass, said John from The Reel Seat. The fish were trolled, except occasionally, not often, were livelined on bunker. Boating for bluefish was terrific on the ocean. John fished on a party-boat trip that whaled blues to 18 or 19 pounds tight to shore last week. Great catches of sea bass, including large fish, were heard about, since sea bass season was opened Monday. Where the catches were made was unknown, but they seemed to bite close to shore, like at Sea Girt or Axel Carlson reefs. One angler departed for sea bass at 5:45 a.m. and returned at 8:20 a.m. He couldn’t have sailed far. Fluke fishing was decent on Manasquan River, also on Shark River. John fluked behind Manasquan, and the Gulp baits had bite marks, maybe from blowfish. He couldn’t figure what else might’ve bitten like that and not have been felt. Some bluefish swam Manasquan River, and weren’t necessarily smaller than before. Smaller blues can hold in back waters after larger do earlier in the year. Blues occasionally popped up in Manasquan Inlet. Dave and Eric from the shop fluke fished on a party boat from Highlands, totaling five keepers, John thought. Dave won the pool with a 5-1/2-pounder. In the surf, a few stripers and blues were picked. Stripers were sizable from the surf on occasion, and most were throwbacks to keeper-sized. The blues were big, and both fish were mostly bunker-chunked. Bluefin tuna swam the ocean, not necessarily far from shore. The tuna occasionally spooled reels for customers who trolled for stripers. Bluefins seemed to roam from close to shore to 50 or 60 miles out. Nothing was heard about sharks yet. People were heard to say mako sharks were everywhere, but whether that was wild rumors was unknown.

Point Pleasant Beach
Good bottom-fishing was plumbed on the party boat Dauntless, Capt. Butch said. Sea bass catches were not disappointing on the trips since sea bass season was opened Monday. Many customers limited out on the lumpheads, and a sprinkling of ling bit at a few places, and a few winter flounder and cod were iced. Lots of out-of-season blackfish hit and were released. Trips fished shallow in 60- to 100-foot depths. The ocean surface there was 52 to 54 degrees, and the bottom was cold. The fish were ice cold, and Butch liked that, hoping the cold makes sea bass remain in the area longer. The Dauntless is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Bluefish trips will sail 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. every Friday and Saturday beginning this weekend. The bluefish trips will sail more frequently once schools let out for summer.

A few keeper fluke, not a lot, some shorts and a fairly good number of sea bass were swung from the ocean yesterday on the Gambler, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Rob Morris won the pool on the morning trip with a 3.4-pound fluke, and also bagged a few sea bass. Bill Byrne on the trip pulled in two keeper fluke, two keeper sea bass and a few throwbacks. The afternoon’s trip fished similar, and weather was beautiful throughout the day. “Looking forward to fishing this week,” the page said. “Weather looks great and the fishing is just going to keep getting better!” The Gambler is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and for striped bass 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. every Thursday through Friday.

“We do see an improvement in fluke fishing today,” a report said yesterday, Wednesday, on the party boat Norma-K III’s website. Keepers were bagged here and there, and some shorts were released. Nothing great, but better. Sea bass were also socked, and that helped, it said. The fishing should only improve, and weather looks beautiful through the weekend. Fluking was tough on previous trips this week aboard. Good-sized sea bass were picked, and the crew at the time believed fluke swam the water, and hoped they’d begin biting in the next days. The fish seemed to do that Wednesday. The Norma-K III is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Bluefishing trips will sail 7:30 p. to 1 a.m. Fridays through Sundays beginning this weekend.

Toms River
Surf fishing for striped bass picked up, Virginia from Murphy’s Hook House said Tuesday. Northeast wind in rough weather had slowed the bite somewhat on previous days. On Tuesday, wind switched to west, and the angling improved. Bunker-chunks, popper plugs and swimming plugs hooked them on the bottom of outgoing tides and the top of high tides to an hour afterward. She expected the angling to be good the rest of the week in better weather, and was heading out for the bass herself. Boaters trolled stripers on the ocean on bunker spoons and on Rock Fish Candy rigs. Sometimes the fish were sacked on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. Most of the bigger stripers were trolled. Lots of bunker pods schooled the water, and boaters needed to move from pod to pod to locate a pod that held stripers. She fished on a trip during the weekend that tried two pods with no stripers. At the third pod, stripers were clocked. Sea bass fishing turned out good catches, since sea bass season was opened Monday, because the fish weren’t picked over. Fluke season opened Saturday, and fishing for the flatfish was a little slow on the ocean. But fishing on Barnegat Bay picked away at some keepers. Lightweight Spros to 2 ounces caught. The big bluefish seemed to depart the bay that swam there before. The bay’s blues were smaller now or 3 to 5 pounds, fought on popper lures, swimmers and on the troll. Sometimes the blues spit up blowfish. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Seaside Heights
Surf fishing was so-so, said Phil Dirt from The Dock Outfitters. Striped bass were all the catches from the beach, and bluefish were nonexistent in the water locally. Surf anglers banked a couple of stripers on pencil poppers or regular poppers. They only shook the lures a little to catch, and the bass showed no interest when the poppers were reeled back in the usual way. That’s how experienced anglers connected. Boaters trolled good-sized stripers on the ocean on Mojos and spoons. A few canned the fish on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait off Barnegat Inlet on the ocean. Barnegat Bay’s catches were kind of dead near the store, but bluefishing was good on the bay on the mainland side toward the Toms River and Oyster Creek. But large blowfish, “moderate catches,” he said, were hung from the dock at night, not during daytime, on the bay. Nothing was heard about fluke fishing locally. Shark River’s fluking was on fire. 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, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals.

Forked River
All big striped bass, 45 to 50 inches, were decked with Tuna-Tic Sportfishing, and sea bass trips and shark trips are impending aboard, Capt. Mike said. The stripers were trolled or livelined on bunker on the ocean. Sea bass trips will only be available until sea bass season closes beginning June 20, after the season opened beginning Monday. For shark trips, Mike’s watching the ocean temperature, waiting for water in the 60 degrees to fish for makos, hoping that begins next week. Many spots were currently 55 degrees, and west wind was warming the ocean. If shark trips fished now, they’d land blue sharks. But the year’s first shark trip is slated for next week on Friday aboard. A couple of spots farther offshore at the canyon warmed to mako range. Anglers can book a trip to fish there, but that’s expensive. He’s waiting for inshore waters to harbor the shortfins. When sea bass or shark trips sail, they can stop on striped bass, if stripers are schooling, on the way to or from the grounds, until the striper migration departs north.

On Barnegat Bay, fluke were boated at Double Creek Channel, and a hefty one was weighed-in from between the BI and BB markers on the bay, said Bryan from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. A few bluefish were trolled on the bay. Someone supposedly plucked 40 blowfish from the bay off Waretown. Blowfish also showed up in crab traps, so the puffers seemed around. Striped bass, a few, were trolled from the ocean toward 60-foot depths on Mojos. A trip was headed for sharks early Tuesday morning. Results were waiting to be heard. A few bluefin tuna were reportedly seen at Barnegat Ridge. Killies, spearing, squid, shark bait and all bait is stocked. “We got it all,” he said.

Barnegat Light
On the ocean, good catches of blues were made, and fishing will be kicked off this weekend on the Miss Barnegat Light for the year, sailing for blues, the party boat’s website said. Stripers were sometimes mixed in, so they might be hooked, too. Bring snagging hooks to catch bunker to liveline for stripers, “just in case,” it said. The trips will sail 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday through Monday on this Memorial Day weekend. The trips will also run on the Fridays through Sundays of the next two weekends, June 3 to 5 and 10 to 12. Daily fluke trips will begin June 17. Looking ahead, tuna trips will steam in fall, like they did last year, after those trips hadn’t sailed for some years previously. They were a success last year, and the trips were a tradition in years in the past aboard.

Lots of striped bass were seen at Bobbie’s Boat Rentals, Vince Sr. Said. The fish were boated on the ocean, and none was known about from Barnegat Bay. On the ocean, the stripers were often trolled on bunker spoons, and some were hooked on live bunker snagged for bait on the trips or fresh bunker. A load of sea bass were rustled from the ocean. Fluke fishing gave up more keepers than Vince expected, or he was surprised. The flatfish were from the bay, and the season was probably early for fluke to bite in the ocean’s cool water. A fair number of blues were still battled from the bay and Barnegat Inlet. Blues swam everywhere, really. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure. The store is known for bait supply, including live bait in season. Plenty of minnows are stocked for fluke. Fresh bunker and fresh clams are on hand.

Barnegat
The following report was posted as an update Wednesday and is being re-posted in case anybody missed it. From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier: “Finally … made it outside the inlet Friday afternoon for our first ocean fishing this season. We didn’t throw the ropes until 2 p.m. Made it up to almost the Bathing Beach by 3 p.m., when we put the Maja bunker spoons out in 55 feet of water. Ocean was flat, light breeze, crystal-clear water. Set out two of the big, No. 4 Tony Maja spoons, one chartreuse and one white. Thirty minutes into our troll north, the white gets freight-trained. Ten minutes later, Gary Paulino from Absecon had his personal-best striper, a 38 pounder. We put the rods back out, and 15 minutes in, the white spoon goes off again. A 30-pounder hits the deck. This was like robbing a bank, so rather than hang out in the getaway car with the radio on, we trolled for another 20 minutes and headed into the bay for some blues on poppers. On Saturday, I returned and beat up the same area for 2 hours without a hit. I chalked it up to the impending massive storm system. Sometimes the front will make them eat their heads off, and sometimes it gives them lockjaw. Sunday was too rough for my boat to go outside, so we fished the bay. In the morning, I had Tom and Jenn Kopsie from Plymouth Meeting and Matt Polito from Philadelphia. They caught a bunch of big bluefish early in the trip, so we headed over to Oyster Creek Channel to soak the fresh clams I had on board in hopes of a striper. Nada. We did catch a few more big blues on the clam baits, but no bass. They jumped off the boat, and Gene Linder and son Aiden jumped on, along with friend Shawn Zacconi, all from Philadelphia, for the afternoon trip. These anglers have their own 35-foot catamaran sport-fishing boat out of Cape May, and all they wanted was to put 11-year-old Aiden into some gator blues, and go home with a bunch of mako shark bait for the tournaments coming up. ‘No problem,’ I said. ‘Sit back and enjoy the ride.’ Two hours into our trip, and I can’t find a fish. Sweating big bullets, I begin trying some different places. Nothing doing at the inlet. We set up a drift in Oyster Creek, and had our first few hook-ups (thank God). But nothing came to the net. We finally found them on the east side of the bay, and we had blitz fishing for more than 2 hours. We wore that kid out! We weighed one of Aiden’s fish on the Boga grip at 16 pounds. On Monday, I had Bob Danyluk and Roberto Calderon from Branchburg. We started out with red-hot bluefishing on the east side, and then it was time to catch the tide at Oyster Creek with the clams. We anchored up, and about an hour in, Bob hooks up on the weightless flatline he was working with a whole fresh clam bait. A little while later we netted his 20-pound striper. That was that. No more hits. One hit, one fish, but a worthwhile addition to the cooler, and a good-sized striper for the bay. That’s been the saving grace for all this clamming effort we’re doing: the size of the fish. They’re all between 15 and 25 pounds, averaging 17 or 18. That’s a healthy-sized run for May in the bay. We’re not catching big quantities, but I’ll keep fishing for that size. I (had) room on our open-boat Thursday afternoon for one more person. Depart at noon. The early marine forecast looks like a very good chance of getting out into the ocean to troll for the big stripers. If they change it, or they’re wrong, we’ll stay in the bay and target the big blues and stripers on clams. We’ll sail twice every day from Saturday through Tuesday. Departure times and decisions about ocean or bay will be dictated by weather and the tide. Five-hour bay trips or 6-hour ocean or ocean/bay combos. Three people max (flexible on charters). All fish are shared. Call to reserve a spot.”

Mystic Island
A photo was seen of a 7-pound 12-ounce summer flounder bagged off the Fish Factory, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. Great striped bass fishing was underway on Mullica River just downstream from Chestnut Neck Marina and Garden State Parkway on small eels. The stripers were big, and Friday brought especially good weigh-ins and reports of stripers and bluefish taken. The stripers came from a mix of the river and the ocean. On the ocean the fish were trolled or were hooked on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. Lots of bunker schooled the ocean. Great Bay’s bluefishing was sporadic. Either the fish were there or weren’t. Crabbing seemed to begin improving, tossing up a few keepers here and there. All baits will be stocked for the weekend, including plenty of minnows, lots of live grass shrimp, fresh clams and fresh bunker.

Absecon
Finally, good weather, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. Inland waters reached 65 degrees and warmer, so he expects summer flounder fishing to amp up there. Flounder catches were heard about, not seen, from the water in past days. Wasn’t a lot of news, but the angling seemed on the upswing. The store’s Take It to the Limit Summer Flounder Tournament, benefitting the Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund, will be held Saturday, and weather looks good. The competition was postponed from last Saturday, opening day of flounder season, because of weather. Dave continued to run charters that eeled striped bass, good catches, at the mouth of Mullica River. The angling was a little slow today in boat traffic, but the day’s trip bagged one and pulled the hook on a couple. The trips jigged a few of the bass, good-sized, but most were eeled. Weather’s warming, and whether the fish will be there in a week was unknown. But they were there now. Bunker schooled just off the ocean beaches, and stripers were sometimes boated among them. Not a lot of anglers tried for them yet. Not a lot of anglers had boats in the water yet for the season. Anglers on foot nailed sizable stripers from Absecon Inlet’s jetties at night in Atlantic City. The inlet is lined with jetties, and if boaters try for the bass, they should catch. Sea bass fishing on the ocean wasn’t popular among customers this time of year, so no news was reported about the fish, since sea bass season was opened Monday. All baits, including minnows for flounder, are loaded up at the shop for this Memorial Day weekend.

Brigantine
Lot of action, Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle said about surf fishing. Not a ton of fish were eased from the surf, but catches were made all week, and were good-sized. One angler today pasted a 37-pound drum and a 16-pound striped bass from the surf. An 11-pound bluefish was weighed from the surf today. A showing of kingfish appeared in the surf now. Stripers were also boated from the ocean. Barry Voss bunker-chunked a 46-inch 45-pounder on the ocean on anchor. Will Spurling on a charter boated a 47-incher, almost 36 pounds, on the ocean. On the back bay, not a lot of summer flounder were boated, but keepers were. An angler reported the angler’s trip catching not a lot but some keepers today. The Riptide Summer Tournament got underway for flounder, blues and kingfish. Entry is $10 per species, and the cash is awarded for the heaviest of each species. Anglers can enter for one species, two or all three. The Riptide Striper Bounty is $5 to enter and awards the cash to the next angler to check-in a striper 43 inches or larger from the town’s surf. That’s the season’s second bounty for that, and a new one is begun each time the cash is won this season.

Atlantic City
Anglers on foot pumped in striped bass, including this 17-pounder, along the jetties lining Absecon Inlet, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. Mostly fresh clams clutched the fish, but fresh bunker axed them, and sometimes frozen mullet did. Check out this 47-1/2-inch 33.6-pound striper boated from the ocean. What a fish. Drum were banked from the surf from the T-jetty to the Vermont Avenue jetty. The T is at the ocean end of the inlet, and the Vermont Avenue jetty is the next one south. Kingfish were bloodwormed from the inlet and nearby surf. Weakfish were occasionally seen from the inlet. Bluefish began to depart that were fought from the inlet and nearby surf previously. None was weighed-in in a while. Fishing was pretty good. Lot of action. Lots of baitfish began to fill the water, including baby bunker and spearing. Lot of life. In the back bay, summer flounder were picked up from shallow water. Under the train trestle near Atlantic City Expressway dished up the fluke fairly well. All baits mentioned and more are stocked. That includes the biggest minnows Noel’s seen since he had the shop. Minnows are $6 a pint for customers who Check In to One Stop on Facebook when at the store. Eight dollars is the usual price. Fresh bunker are $2 apiece or three for $5. Bloodworms are on special on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for $20 for two dozen. Cash-in on your catch: sign up for the shop’s free tournament until Sunday that will award $250, $150 and $100 for first through third places, respectively, for the three heaviest stripers caught from land in Atlantic City. Registration is required before making the catch, and the fish must be weighed at the store.

Margate
Weather was no good for this past opening weekend of summer flounder season, said Capt. John from the party boat Keeper. Trips began sailing for them on the back bay aboard then, but Saturday’s and Sunday’s afternoon trips were both weathered out. The weekend’s two morning trips sailed, and water was cold and dirty in the weather, hampering the angling. Weather now warmed, and the water began to clear Wednesday. Conditions were improving, and he hoped today would be even better. The Keeper is fishing for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. daily. The trips are only $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $20 for kids, because fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel. Minnows and mackerel are currently supplied for bait. Anglers should bring Gulps, and Gulps caught pretty well.

Ocean City
Kind of a bit of everything bit, and not a ton of anything did, but fishing caught, and fish were around, said Bill from Fin-Atics. News was somewhat scarce during the week, and water had been dirty from rain, and was yet to clear completely. But a few summer flounder were yanked from the back bay, since flounder season opened Saturday. Striped bass mostly in the 20 pounds were weighed-in from the bay. A few blues 12 pounds were checked-in during the week, and flounder were yet to be brought to the shop this season. Stripers and blues were hooked at all different waters including the bay, inlets and surf. Corson’s Inlet produced on some days, not on others. Scattered kingfish appeared in the surf. No customers mentioned sailing for sea bass, since sea bass season opened Monday.

Sea Isle City
Pretty good fishing picked up in past days in the warm weather, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Many fish swam the back bay, and sometimes healthy-sized summer flounder in the mid-20-inches were seen from there. Minnows and chartreuse Gulps seemed hot bait, like usual. But a good amount of mackerel were sold for the angling. Some roving schools of bluefish remained in the bay, and the blues were bucktailed. Some blues and large striped bass like 40 inches were plowed from the surf. The bait to fish in the surf was the question. That depended on whether anglers wanted blues or stripers, and clams, bunker and mullet were dunked. But one angler would talk about catching on one of the baits, and another would report catching on another. There seemed no consistency. Kingfish sometimes began to appear in the surf, and all the catches were on Fishbites artificial worms that were heard about. Anglers stopped by with a blue shark, the year’s first shark seen at the store. Blues aren’t known for table fare, but the anglers were pumped. A couple of reports were heard about mako sharks. Bluefin tuna were reported, too, and anglers hoped to hear more about sharks and tuna from this holiday weekend. Those who sailed for sea bass on the ocean reported awesome fishing, since sea bass season was opened Monday. All baits mentioned and more, the complete supply, are stocked.

Boat traffic will increase during the Memorial Day weekend, and mid-day tides won’t be the best for angling, but summer flounder chewed in the back bay in past days, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Plus, weather improved, and the season was early enough that the flatfish might bite in the traffic and tides. His trips will get after them, and bluefish could pop up in the bay, but wouldn’t be a catch to rely on. The bay was about 60 degrees this week, and the water wasn’t clean during the weekend’s rough weather, but Joe wouldn’t know if he’d say it was dirty. Flounder fishing was just beginning for the year, and can be best in South Jersey’s shallow, warm back bays in the early season. The bay’s angling seemed not even to have peaked for the fish yet, after the chilly spring. Some good fishing for them could be in store now, and weather was warming. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.

Wildwood
A trip was drum fishing on Delaware Bay aboard Wednesday evening when Capt. Jim from Fins & Grins Sport Fishing gave this report in a phone call on the outing, he said. The anglers waited for the trip’s first drum to bite, but one was seen landed on another boat off the bow, and one each was seen taken on boats to port and starboard. A few were biting, and drumming was heard aboard. Five drum were bagged from the bay on a trip Sunday with Fins. The four anglers on a trip Monday on the boat each decked a drum. A friend’s trip heaved in eight on Tuesday night. This was prime time for drum, and Jim will keep after them. Sea bass fishing was okay, not fantastic, on the ocean since sea bass season was opened Monday. Summer flounder fishing sounded a little slow on the back bay. Fins fishes for all species in season, and is slated to fish every day. Reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.

A few fished for summer flounder on the back bay last weekend, opening weekend of flounder season, said Mike from Canal Side Boat Rentals. But weather was terrible, and nothing serious was heard about the angling. More should be heard this weekend in better weather. The store was just opened for the season, and lots of bluefish had torn around the bay. The canal even held the biggest blues he ever knew about from there. A friend tackled a 32-1/2-incher at the end of the canal. Snapper blues usually swim the canal in summer. Sometimes striped bass were reported caught currently from the bay to the surf and ocean. Weakfish were around in the bay. Crabs were beginning to shed, so not many were trapped. They refuse to eat while shedding, but not all crabs shed at once, and the shed only lasts a few days. Commercial crabbers worked for a few crabs, so crabs were expensive. The store sells crabs for eating, cooked or live, beginning later in the season. They were too expensive currently. Commercial crabbers trapped a good run of the blueclaws earlier this season, and crabbing seemed to bode well for recreationals this year. Canal Side rents boats for fishing, crabbing and pleasure and kayaks. ***Get a $5 discount*** on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. A large supply of bait is carried in season, and plenty of tackle is stocked. When the crabs begin to be sold, customers enjoy eating them at tents and tables outside the shop. Or customers buy them to eat at home.

Cape May
Fishing for drum on Delaware Bay was slated for today on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. Drum trips are also set for Saturday through Monday aboard. He spoke with nobody who sailed for drum after the weekend, but knew someone who fished for them last night, and was waiting to hear results. He spoke with anglers who fished for sea bass yesterday on the ocean, and the trip bagged 50-some, not quite a limit. Many sea bass hooked were a quarter-inch to a half-inch undersized on the outing. Sea bass trips might fish aboard this weekend, too. A shark trip, the year’s first, is scheduled to fish soon aboard. Nothing was heard about sharks yet this season.

Sea bass fishing wasn’t so good Wednesday on the ocean on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. “I went the wrong way, I think,” he said. But a bunch of limits were bagged on Monday’s sea bass trip aboard. That was opening day of sea bass season, and the boat began fishing for sea bass daily then. No trip sailed Tuesday in a rainstorm that morning. On Wednesday’s trip, wind blew against tide, difficult for anchoring. Some spots gave up action during the fishing, and Ken Minett from Mays Landing on the trip limited out and won the pool. On Monday’s trip, anglers with limits included Karl Zeigler from Cape May, Bob Brett from Cape May Court House, Phil Barrett from Harleysville, Pa., and others. The Porgy IV is fishing for sea bass at 8 a.m. daily. When a few summer flounder begin to bite in the ocean, the trips will flounder fish.

What’s happening? Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle was asked. Anything and everything, he said, sounding rather pleased with fishing. Surf angling served up some good action on the ocean and on Delaware Bay. Adam McDraw Jr. weighed-in his first striped bass from the surf, a 22-pound 41-incher, today, and his dad beached one identical in weight and length on the trip. Good-sized stripers were dragged from the surf sometimes. A couple of big, larger than 40 inches, were heard about from last night. Clams seemed to snatch stripers from the ocean surf the most, and bunker seemed to do them in from the bay the most. A few blues showed in the surf at moments, and surf casters plugging for stripers picked one or two 10-pound blues on occasion. No bluefish blitzed the surf. A 6-1/2-pound weakfish was weighed from the surf along a local jetty at the store this afternoon. The trout was bloodwormed, and that was a bait to soak for them, and the weakies were also bucktailed from the beach. Kingfish were reportedly bloodwormed from the surf. Occasional drum were eased from the surf near Coxhall Creek and at Cape May Point. Drum were boated on Delaware Bay on the New Jersey side toward Coxhall and on the Delaware side off Slaughter Beach. Boaters picked summer flounder from the back bay along the Intracoastal Waterway from locally to Grassy Sound. No flounder were heard about from Delaware Bay, and the catches from the deeper, colder bay often begin later, when the water warms. Sea bass fishing sounded really good at Cape May Reef on the ocean.

Last Monday's Report
Keyport

Fishing for striped bass was up and down, and plenty swam, but didn’t always want to bite, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep Fleet. Trips fished for them on the river, mostly with bunker chunks, sometimes with livelined bunker. Bluefishing was excellent, and fluke fishing tied into a handful of keepers and good action with shorts on opening day of fluke season Saturday aboard. Sea bass season opened today, and daily, open-boat trips will run for them, and telephone to reserve. That’s on the Down Deep, one of the company’s two boats, both 40 feet. Open trips are fishing for stripers daily on the Down Deep Bull, the other vessel, and also telephone to reserve. Charters are available for any of this fishing. Join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips. See available dates on the site’s calendar, including for open marathon trips that sail 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., including for fluke. ***Update, Monday, 5/23:*** Sea bass fishing was super on the trip aboard today, opening day of sea bass season, Mario said.

Mostly blues were pounded aboard, and a few good-sized striped bass were socked each day, and some were missed, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. But blues filled the water nearly everywhere. Striped bass fishing wasn’t finished, but stripers might be beyond reasonable distance for trips soon aboard. Trips will continue striper fishing, but fluke angling will be mixed in more and more in the next week or two. Afterward, fluke will be the focus, and reports about fluking were mixed during this opening weekend of fluke season. Some anglers found good fluking or many keepers, and others mostly locked into throwbacks. Sounded like typical early-season fluking. An open-boat fluke trip will fish 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and telephone to reserve. Trips earlier in the day are full with charters this Memorial Day weekend. Bring Gulps on fluke trips, and Frank recommends Gulp 6-inch grubs.

Atlantic Highlands

Fluke fishing was much better on this morning’s trip than on the weekend’s trips, Capt. Tom from the party boat Atlantic Star said at 10 .m. on this morning’s outing in a phone call. This morning’s high hook landed three keepers, so far, and the day was beautiful. Whether the sun made a difference was unknown, after the weekend’s clouds and sometimes rough weather. The water was 59 degrees on this morning’s trip, and was cold during the weekend, in the 50 degrees. The water was yet to reach 60 this season. Tom wasn’t asked where this morning’s trip fished, but the weekend’s trips fished all over Sandy Hook Bay and at Flynn’s Knoll. The weekend’s trips hooked fluke every place fished, but too few keepers. A handful of keepers were boated, and some of the anglers would catch four, five or six throwbacks and no keepers, or one or two throwbacks and no keepers, during the weekend. Morning trips fished better than afternoon trips during the weekend, for unknown reasons. But this morning’s trip fished better, so far, and Tom would see how that went. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.

Fishing slugged away at blues on jigs, a few on bait, on Saturday’s trip at first on the Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. That was while the boat drifted, during the wait for the tide to change. On the change, sharks took over. When current began, the boat was anchored, and blues were nailed the rest of the trip. One angler brought his two young sons for their first bluefish trip, and the catching tired them. On Sunday’s trip, at first, the tide was ending, and a huge heave came from the ocean. No fish bit in that. Current seemed to take forever to begin, and the angling took off at the change the past couple of days. Not this day. The fish took time to bite, then some nice shots would kick in, and back off. A good hour of the angling made some anglers, not all, happy. Anglers had to work at the fishing, using fresh bait and tossing the bait away from the boat. Was difficult getting anglers “back into it” after the slower fishing. But those who listened and worked caught some. A 15-pound blue won the pool. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, 6:30 to 11 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Highlands

A bunch of blues were tackled quickly on a charter Sunday with Lady M Charters, Capt. Steve said. When the anglers had enough, the trip searched for striped bass, bagging three on bunker chunks. That was on the river on “the Jersey flats,” he said. Sea bass season opened today, and trips aboard will sea bass beginning today for the next days. Once sea bass season is closed beginning June 20, marathon trips will bottom-fish at the Mudhole. “People love that stuff,” he said. Anglers never know what they’ll reel in, like ling, cod and winter flounder. Haddock, not a lot, but a handful, were cranked in last year, even. Charters and open-boat trips are available. Telephone the boat for dates.

Neptune

With Last Lady Fishing Charters, a trip Friday arrived too late for striped bass fishing, but loaded up on bluefish to 14 pounds on jigs, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email that day. He expected a trip Saturday to arrive early on the striper grounds, he said in the email. But the angling was slow, he said in a phone call afterward. No stripers were landed. A sea bass trip was headed out today, opening day of sea bass season. All sea bass trips are full this week, and June 8 is the only individual-reservation sea bass trip with space available (note: see the update below about a trip added). Charters are available, and sea bass season is less than a month, closing beginning June 20. Annual individual-reservation trips for fluke, sailing every Tuesday, will begin June 21. Kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to one per adult host. Individual-reservation trips for cod will sail July 13 and 27 and August 3, 17 and 31. Fish for cod in shorts! Those trips have been great. ***Update, Monday, 5/23:*** Today’s trip limited out on sea bass by 11 a.m., and boated cod and ling afterward, Ralph wrote in an email. He added another individual-reservation trip for sea bass on Tuesday, May 31. “Book now, while we can catch them,” he said. ***Update, Tuesday, 5/24:*** With a full boat of anglers, a trip today nearly limited out on sea bass aboard, Ralph wrote in an email. The catch was 11 fish fewer than a limit, and a good-sized striped bass, a couple of cod and one or two big ling were also cranked in. Lots of small sea bass bit. May 31 and June 8 are the only individual-reservation trips for sea bass with openings. Sea bass charters are sailing Wednesday and Friday. “Hope to limit out early,” he said.

Belmar

***Update, Tuesday, 5/24:*** Many striped bass to 50 pounds were reported boated on the ocean on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait and on the troll, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. “Big bass on the move,” he said, and Steve Germann from Freehold trolled a 46-pound striper off Long Branch. Fluke fishing was good on Shark River today, and the river’s fluking was better than the ocean’s. Fluke to 4 pounds were checked-in, and sea bass fishing was off to a good start for the fleet, since sea bass season opened Monday. The angling was a little slower than expected, but should improve as weather does. Anglers have many choices for fishing currently, “so suggest you get in on the action,” Bob wrote. ***Update, Wednesday, 5/25:*** “Sea bass fishing off the charts yesterday!” Bob wrote in an email today. “Blowfish in Shark River in good numbers!”

On the ocean, striped bass mostly bit in afternoons to evenings, and bluefish chomped throughout daytime, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. He ran his season’s first party boat trip for stripers Thursday, trips that he’s newly running on another vessel this year, and stripers to 40 pounds were beaten, all on livelined bunker. That’s the goal -- to liveline bunker for the bass – and the trips sail with a limited number of anglers. Book to ensure a date, and see info on Parker Pete’s website. The party boat trips are in addition to charters on Parker Pete’s boat. Striper fishing on the ocean was during the full moon this weekend, and Pete expects the angling to pick up after the moon. The bluefishing was good on the ocean, plenty of action. For Parker Pete’s, don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Book an individual space on a charter that needs anglers. Visit the website to subscribe to the email blast to be kept informed about the spaces. Also see a trip calendar, where available dates are posted, on the site. Individual spaces are available for striped bass fishing this coming Tuesday morning, Friday afternoon and Memorial Day morning and afternoon.

On the Golden Eagle, bluefishing was super-excellent Thursday, good Friday, outstanding Saturday, and a decent pick Sunday, a report on the party boat’s website said. The angling was absolute chaos Saturday. On Sunday’s trip, when the fishing was a decent pick, lots of blues schooled, but they “didn’t bite like they have been the past week or so,” it said. The trips caught on Run Off hammered jigs and crocodiles, and the Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Excellent bluefishing for 8- to 16-pounders was plowed Saturday on the Miss Belmar Princess, north of Shark River Inlet, an email from the party boat said. The angling slowed at midday, when breeze came on, but blues were still picked then. Crocs and diamond jigs caught best, and watch a video of the trip’s fishing. On Sunday’s trip, bluefishing began with a slow pick, and a couple of good shots at catches were scored later … “however, we did not catch them like we saw them,” it said. Still, a good catch was clocked, and Ava 47 jigs caught best. Today’s bluefishing was slow aboard, giving up none until late on the outing, when a few blues were picked per drift. Ava 47’s worked best, and the Miss Belmar Princess is sailing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Brielle

Ocean striped bass fishing sounded like it improved a little, said Eric from The Reel Seat. Quite a few 50-pound-class stripers were boated on the ocean in the past week, and most ocean stripers were trolled on Mojos and bunker spoons. A few boaters persevered at livelining bunker and caught the fish. Most stripers were boated from Seaside Park to Bay Head, but sometimes the fish came from farther north, like off Spring Lake and at Shrewsbury Rocks. Shark River was the place to be for fluke, during this opening weekend of fluke season. Fluke 8 and 9 pounds were sometimes reported from there, and some limits were reported. Small, 4-inch, chartreuse and white swimming mullets on jigheads were key. Fluking was fair on Manasquan River, giving up some. Toward Route 70 Bridge and Osborn Island seemed to hold the most. The angling was “kind of slow” at Manasquan Inlet, because water was colder. Bluefish still swam back in the Manasquan, and were smaller than before or 3 to 5 pounds. Large blues were still fought in the surf, and more about that is written below. First, a handful of fluke were boated at Sea Girt Reef on the ocean. Sea bass were released there, and sea bass season opened today. So the fish seemed to swim inshore. Bluefin tuna were sighted at Sea Girt Reef, and 100-pound bluefins were reported trolled at Little Italy last week. Mako sharks were sometimes subdued at Hudson Canyon, and bluefins were trolled there, too. Fish-holding water seemed to begin pushing into the canyon, and tilefishing was also good in the area. In the surf, Island Beach State Park was the place to be, for bluefish. Bluefishing was insane at Barnegat Inlet, at the southern end of the park. The blues were big, up to 15 and 20 pounds, there still. In the local surf, shots of the big blues popped into Bay Head. Many were popper-plugged, and stripers were occasionally slid from the surf. That was nothing consistent, but they were taken, including 20- and 25-pounders. When bunker showed up in the surf at a location, that was a chance at the large stripers.

Point Pleasant Beach

Fluke fishing was launched Saturday, opening day of fluke season, on the Norma-K III, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. A few fluke were picked at each place fished, not good fishing yet, but life, and it can only get better, he said. Fluke trips are sailing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Beginning Friday, bluefish trips will sail 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays through Sundays. Later this season, bluefish trips will fish every night.

A charter Friday morning sailed to the ocean for striped bass, catching plenty of bunker for bait from the water first, Capt. Alan from Mushin Sportfishing wrote in an email. But stripers failed to “cooperate,” so the trip ran north for bluefishing. That angling was off the charts, and big slammers, feeding on rainfish, smashed jigs, popper lures and anything thrown at them, along the water surface. In the afternoon, a quick trip pushed to the ocean for stripers, finding abundant bunker schooling, with stripers feeding on them. The baitfish were snagged and then livelined for bait, and big stripers were quickly boated. Afterward, the trip trolled bunker spoons, catching more stripers. The trip limited out on the bass to 35 pounds. A charter the next morning, on Saturday, limited out on stripers to 35 pounds on the ocean, mostly on livelined bunker that were snagged. On Sunday morning, an ocean heave was forecast, because of wind Saturday might. So a trip slated for then rescheduled for Sunday afternoon. “There were no bass under the bunker schools, so we made bait and drifted the deep …,” Alan wrote. Stripers to 40 pounds were decked.

Seaside Heights

Large blues and some striped bass chased schools of bunker in the surf from Ortley Beach to Island Beach State Park, a report said on The Dock Outfitters’ website. Cut bunker was best bait, and clams and mullet also worked. But the blues bit nearly anything,. Crabbing was a slow pick from the dock, but good-sized keepers were nabbed. 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, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals.

Forked River

The Tuna-Tic was moved to Forked River to fish for striped bass on the ocean from Barnegat Inlet, after fishing for stripers on Raritan Bay this season, Capt. Mike said. That’s an annual move, and the striper fishing was good, pretty consistent for big ones, on livelined bunker and on the troll, from Barnegat. The angling was phenomenal last year, and most of that fishing will probably last another week aboard, so telephone if you want to get after the catches. Trips will still chase the bass afterward on the boat, if the fish remain, but Tuna Tic is also moved to Barnegat for shark fishing each spring now. Charters for sharks or sea bass will be available the next few weeks.

Barnegat

***Update, Wednesday, 5/24:*** From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier: “Finally … made it outside the inlet Friday afternoon for our first ocean fishing this season. We didn’t throw the ropes until 2 p.m. Made it up to almost the Bathing Beach by 3 p.m., when we put the Maja bunker spoons out in 55 feet of water. Ocean was flat, light breeze, crystal-clear water. Set out two of the big, No. 4 Tony Maja spoons, one chartreuse and one white. Thirty minutes into our troll north, the white gets freight-trained. Ten minutes later, Gary Paulino from Absecon had his personal-best striper, a 38 pounder: Watch a video. We put the rods back out, and 15 minutes in, the white spoon goes off again. A 30-pounder hits the deck. This was like robbing a bank, so rather than hang out in the getaway car with the radio on, we trolled for another 20 minutes and headed into the bay for some blues on poppers. On Saturday, I returned and beat up the same area for 2 hours without a hit. I chalked it up to the impending massive storm system. Sometimes the front will make them eat their heads off, and sometimes it gives them lockjaw. Sunday was too rough for my boat to go outside, so we fished the bay. In the morning, I had Tom and Jenn Kopsie from Plymouth Meeting and Matt Polito from Philadelphia. They caught a bunch of big bluefish early in the trip, so we headed over to Oyster Creek Channel to soak the fresh clams I had on board in hopes of a striper. Nada. We did catch a few more big blues on the clam baits, but no bass. They jumped off the boat, and Gene Linder and son Aiden jumped on, along with friend Shawn Zacconi, all from Philadelphia, for the afternoon trip. These anglers have their own 35-foot catamaran sport-fishing boat out of Cape May, and all they wanted was to put 11-year-old Aiden into some gator blues, and go home with a bunch of mako shark bait for the tournaments coming up. ‘No problem,’ I said. ‘Sit back and enjoy the ride.’ Two hours into our trip, and I can’t find a fish. Sweating big bullets, I begin trying some different places. Nothing doing at the inlet. We set up a drift in Oyster Creek, and had our first few hook-ups (thank God). But nothing came to the net. We finally found them on the east side of the bay, and we had blitz fishing for more than 2 hours. We wore that kid out! We weighed one of Aiden’s fish on the Boga grip at 16 pounds. On Monday, I had Bob Danyluk and Roberto Calderon from Branchburg. We started out with red-hot bluefishing on the east side, and then it was time to catch the tide at Oyster Creek with the clams. We anchored up, and about an hour in, Bob hooks up on the weightless flatline he was working with a whole fresh clam bait. A little while later we netted his 20-pound striper. That was that. No more hits. One hit, one fish, but a worthwhile addition to the cooler, and a good-sized striper for the bay. That’s been the saving grace for all this clamming effort we’re doing: the size of the fish. They’re all between 15 and 25 pounds, averaging 17 or 18. That’s a healthy-sized run for May in the bay. We’re not catching big quantities, but I’ll keep fishing for that size. I have room on our open-boat Thursday afternoon for one more person. Depart at noon. The early marine forecast looks like a very good chance of getting out into the ocean to troll for the big stripers. If they change it, or they’re wrong, we’ll stay in the bay and target the big blues and stripers on clams. We’ll sail twice every day from Saturday through Tuesday. Departure times and decisions about ocean or bay will be dictated by weather and the tide. Five-hour bay trips or 6-hour ocean or ocean/bay combos. Three people max (flexible on charters). All fish are shared. Call to reserve a spot.”

Mystic Island

Ocean striped bass fishing was on the upswing, a report said Wednesday on Scott’s Bait & Tackle’s website. That was the most recent report at press time, and the stripers were migrating north along the coast. Boaters could search for birds working pods of bunker to locate the stripers. Then the anglers could troll along the edges of the pods. Or they could drift the boat toward the bunker, snag the baitfish and liveline it for bait, or jig the stripers. Bluefish 8 to 20 pounds schooled Great Bay, biting almost anything. Use wire leaders for the toothy fish. The report was posted before Saturday’s opening of summer flounder season, and the shop’s crew were gearing up for a busy weekend for the opener. All flounder supplies were stocked.

Brigantine

Surf fishing was on fire at Brigantine, a report said Friday on Riptide Bait & Tackle’s website. The angling was also great Saturday, the shop’s Facebook page said. Drum 30 to 40 pounds were dragged in, and 40-inch striped bass and some blues were picked off. A good showing of kingfish were plucked from the surf this weekend. Today in the surf, strong current was tough to fish, and weeds were brutal. A charter boat trolled a 35.6-pound striper from the ocean on a Mojo, and had another knock down. Bunker were marked deep during the trip. The Riptide Spring Striper and Bluefish Derby was wrapped up Sunday. Winners and prizes for the striper division were: first place, Gary Hill, 33-pound 3-ouncer, $500; second place, Phil Moses, 32-pound 4-ouncer, $300; and third place, “Reds” Wilborn, 31-pound 14-ouncer, $150. Winners for bluefish were: first place, Rodney Wert, 15-pound 14-ouncer, $300; second place, Ron Alia, $200; and third place, Keith Marnell, 13 pounds, $100. Entry was $25 and, like every year, included a permit to drive Brigantine’s front beach, when accompanied by a Brigantine Beach buggy permit. Without the Brigantine permit, not the entire beach can be driven.

Atlantic City

Anglers on foot plucked kingfish from Absecon Inlet and the nearby surf on bloodworms, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. The T-jetty, at the ocean end of the inlet, and the Pacific Avenue jetty fished best for them, though the Pacific Avenue jetty is difficult to reach, and anglers need to crawl around rocks and so on. Off Atlantic Avenue also produced some. The shore anglers still caught some striped bass from the inlet and nearby surf, two hours before and after tides, on fresh bunker and fresh clams. A couple of bluefish were still angled in the same areas on fresh bunker. Photos posted on the shop’s Facebook page included 45-inch and 32-inch stripers, this 44-1/2-inch 27.8-pound striper, this big striper, this blue, this 22-inch 4.1-pound weakfish and more. A few summer flounder, not many, but some, were bagged from the surf at the T and from the inlet off the Flagship on this opening weekend of flounder season. Minnows, favorite flounder bait, are $6 a pint if you Check In to One Stop on Facebook when at the store. Eight dollars is the usual price. Baits stocked include all those mentioned and more, a large supply. Fresh bunker are $2 apiece or three for $5. Bloodworms are on special on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for $20 for two dozen. Cash-in on your catch: sign up for the shop’s free tournament until Sunday that will award $250, $150 and $100 for first through third places, respectively, for the three heaviest stripers caught from land in Atlantic City. Registration is required before making the catch, and the fish must be weighed at the store.

Sea Isle City

Summer flounder or fluke season opened this weekend, but weather was rough both days, so a trip slated for Saturday fished Friday instead aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. A few flounder to 4 ½ pounds were released on the back bay on the trip, on Gulp shrimp bounced along bottom on lead jigheads. Flounder anglers reeled in some of the fish during the weekend on the bay, not great fishing, mostly because of the conditions. Joe will keep after flounder on the bay, and bluefish swam the bay sporadically. They were smaller than the bay’s blues previously, typical for the time of year. Currently they weighed 2 to 4 pounds, sometimes 5. Striped bass fishing, on popper plugs and popper-flies, should only improve on the bay this fishing season for Joe. Water was just warming enough for the bass to smash poppers. The angling, drawing explosive, visual bites along the water surface, is a specialty aboard. So is the flounder fishing, and flounder catches can be best in the state in the early season in South Jersey’s shallow, warm back bays. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.

Wildwood

“Drum are biting,” Capt. Jim from Fins & Grins Sport Fishing wrote in a text during a trip Sunday evening aboard, and included several photos of the fish. He telephoned minutes afterward, saying the trip was fishing Delaware Bay, and catching. Two of the fish in the photos were from that day, and one was from the previous day, aboard. He couldn’t speak long, but trips are drumming on the bay. Summer flounder fishing was a little slow on the back bay on this opening weekend of flounder fishing, in cool water. Sea bass season opened today, and Fins fishes for all species available. Trips are slated to fish daily, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.

Cape May

Two drum were boated already, and another was landed, when Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter gave this report on a trip Sunday evening in a phone call on Delaware Bay. The third was hooked, fought and gaffed aboard, as he spoke. The first two weighed 20 and 40 pounds, and the third weighed 40. That was with Ray DeCrane’s charter, and lots of sharks and skates bit. The angling was mostly slow for the fleet, fishing on the New Jersey side of the bay, 1 ½ miles north of Cape May Canal. On boats that fished for them Friday, some trips heaved in a good catch, like seven or eight, and the rest caught one or two. George wasn’t asked whether a trip fished Saturday aboard, and he didn’t mention Saturday. Weather was rough that day, and maybe no trip sailed because of that. On Sunday’s trip, a light breeze blew, but seas were a 1-foot roll, calm, not bad. A little drizzle fell. A couple of boats during the trip heard the fish drumming, and George heard none so far on the outing. Whenever he hears drumming, he seems not to catch. Sea bass season opened today, and trips for them are available on the ocean.