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Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Monday, August 31.

| Staten Island | Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Brielle | Barnegat Light | Mystic Island | Brigantine | Longport | Sea Isle City | Avalon | Wildwood | Cape May | Last Thursday's Report |
Staten Island
For Outcast Charters, sea bass fishing was off, was slow, on a trip Saturday, Capt. Joe said. He hopes that was just because of the full moon, and the angling was better previously aboard, covered in previous reports here. The catches previously included limits, and on this current trip, the anglers picked away, here and there, and at some places, not even throwbacks gave up action. Even the size of the fish was off on the trip, unlike the 3-pounders that previous trips reeled up. The fishing should become better again, he thinks. Outcast fishes from both Staten Island, N.Y., and Sewaren, N.J. Sea bass season is open in New York but closed in Jersey.

Fishing for fluke improved in past days, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. Trips averaged 12 to 16 keepers and many throwbacks apiece, keeping action constant. Fluke about 7 pounds were biggest on each trip. “I report it as it is, for better or worse,” he said. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips will fish Thursday through Sunday. Follow the Vitamin Sea on Facebook for daily reports. Also see photos of the fish on the page. All photos are from the actual trips. “We do not use the same fish and have six different people hold it,” he said. “… I never use deception to attract business. Fishermen beware!” Striped bass and blackfish trips are beginning to be booked for fall, and a good number are already taken. Book as soon as possible, especially weekends. For striper trips, all anglers should bring a bonus tag to bag an extra striper 24 to 28 inches, perfect eating size, he said.

Fluking picked up, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep Fleet. The fishing was good Friday through Sunday aboard, and tons of shorts bit, but so did a good number of keepers. High hooks landed seven or eight keepers apiece, and fluke weighed up to 8 pounds on the trips. Down Deep is fishing the ocean, including rough bottom, for the fish. Every trip for ling, cod and winter flounder was excellent aboard. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips are sailing daily for both fluke and ling, cod and flounder on the company’s two 40-foot boats. Some of the open trips are 12-hour marathons for both. Join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about special open trips. Also see the site’s open-trips page for available dates.

Atlantic Highlands
Action was good, and a few more keepers were in the mix than before, on some of the fluke trips in past days on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. When conditions were right, some fluke, including a few keepers, bit. On other trips, action wasn’t as good, or the angling was tough. There were keepers around, not a lot, but some. Trips fished Flynn’s Knoll and Chapel Hill Channel, and Sunday afternoon’s trip’s fishing was tough, for some reason. The morning trip turned up good action on throwbacks and a few keepers. Both trips fished the same place, and the boat didn’t drift as well on the slow trip. Tom didn’t know whether that was part of the reason for the tough trip. No exceptionally large fluke were landed aboard in past days. But trips are catching fluke, and fishing. Take the kids to catch, before school starts back up. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.

Another 10-pound fluke! Capt. Ron from the party boat Fishermen wrote about Friday’s trip, in a report on the vessel’s website. A 10.6-pounder and a 9.2-pounder were crushed aboard during the previous week. Friday’s trip was another good day to be a party boat captain, he said. The 10-pounder was creamed, and fluking was good from the afternoon’s change of tide until the end of the outing. Angelo Ramos bagged the 10-pounder, and bagged a 7-pounder five minutes later. Another angler limited out on fluke to an 8.2-pounder. Another limited on fluke including 5- and 6-pounders. Tom the Vet winged four great-sized fluke, including a 7.2-pounder, and a 19-pound bluefish. The trip’s catch also included another 8-pounder, another 7.2-pounder and three fluke weighing 6 ½, 6 and 5 ½ pounds. Good fluking was had at times during Saturday’s and Sunday’s trips. A good bite turned on at the start of Sunday’s. One angler was hot in the bow on that trip, coming up with four good-sized fluke, including the 5-pound pool-winner. “Just glad there’s more than one area of fish the past couple of days!” Ron said. On nighttime trips, striped bass fishing lit up Friday and Saturday. Good catches of the bass to 26 pounds were punched. The Fishermen is sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. However, a charter is booked this Saturday morning, so no open-boat trip will sail then. Trips are fishing for fluke, porgies, croakers or whatever bites 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays. See the news above about striper catches on those recent trips.

With Last Lady Fishing Charters, inshore wreck-fishing was good on two trips during the weekend, Capt. Ralph said. On the trip Sunday, 35 big winter flounder, a mess of cod and some pollock were smashed. On the trip Saturday, lots of ling, some cod and pollock and a few flounder were clobbered. On a fluke trip Friday afternoon on the ocean, the catch was halfway decent. Individual-reservation trips are fishing for fluke every Tuesday, and kids under 12 sail free, limited to two per adult host. ***Update, Tuesday, 9/1:*** The individual-reservation trips for fluke will fish on the Tuesdays of September 8 and 15 and on Thursday, September 25. Fluke season will be closed starting September 27. Individual-reservation trips will fish inshore wrecks October 4 and 18 and offshore for cod October 1 and 20. Charters are available daily.

Hefty fluke to 8 pounds were heaved aboard Sunday from the ocean with Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters, and the fishing was excellent, Capt. Pete said. Some of the anglers limited out, and all the keepers were sizable. Unusually, most of the fluke hooked were keepers. The fishing was still a grind, and one or two were bagged per drift of the boat. The angling was better than before, though. Maybe the full moon was a reason for the different fishing. The fish do “move” on full moons, he said. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway about individual spaces available on charters. Jump on Parker Pete’s website to subscribe to the email blast to be kept informed about the spaces. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page, where it says Join Our Newsletter.

False albacore fishing was good Sunday on the Golden Eagle, a report on the party boat’s website said. Anglers also picked at bluefish and hooked no chub mackerel that trips ran into before. On Saturday’s trip, some anglers limited out on blues, and some decked mackerel, albies or bonito. On Sunday’s, fishing was good for blues and mackerel. Blues on the trips were apparently small, because they have been lately. The report for Sunday mentioned that the blues were small that day. The Golden Eagle is fishing at 7:30 a.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are sailing at 4:30 p.m. daily, and reservations are required for those outings.

From the time the Miss Belmar Princess was anchored, until the time the trip sailed home, fishing was excellent Friday aboard, an email from the party boat said. That was the most recent email at press time, and on the trip, mackerel fishing was excellent, and blues were pasted, and bonito and false albacore were mixed in. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every Saturday. Family Fun Days are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday and Sunday for fluke, sea bass, blues or whatever bites. The trips enjoy a sunset cruise on the way home.

Plenty of big fluke were seen from the ocean this weekend at Fisherman’s Den, Bob wrote in an email. One angler weighed-in two fluke 8 pounds 6 ounces and 5 pounds 4 ounces from the ocean from a trip with Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Eight-year-old Mike Vogott had a 4-pound fluke, one of six keepers he and dad landed on a private boat from the ocean. An 11-pound fluke was docked from the ocean on a Belmar party boat. Farther from shore, plenty of ling and cod were boated. Two bigeye tuna were checked-in that weighed 175 pounds apiece. Surf anglers saw some action. Bill Massey from Wall beached two keeper fluke and a throwback striped bass. Surf casters sometimes clammed small stripers. Fishing was looking better, Bob said.

Fluke fishing, on the ocean, was good, most of the past week, on the party boat Jamaica II, “as long as conditions were reasonable,” Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Quite a few caught weighed 4 ½ to 6 pounds, and bucktailers nailed them best, fishing rigs with a teaser and Gulps on the hooks. Young Kim, Edison, limited out on the fish to 7 pounds. Edward Custer, Bordentown, limited on the summer flounder to 6 ½ pounds. Carter Mann, Atlantic Highlands, limited on them to 5 pounds. Half-day trips are fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Fluke Super Marathons will fish 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the next three Mondays, September 7, 14 and 21, before fluke season is closed starting September 27. Afterward, trips will include ones for: bluefin tuna, false albacore and bonito; 12-hour, deep-water wreck-fishing; and cod specials. Sea bass trips will begin when sea bass season is opened starting October 22.

John from The Reel Seat fluke fished on a party boat on the ocean Sunday, finally landing a keeper at 11 a.m., he said. It was a big fluke, though, weighing 7.7 pounds, and the trip hooked lots of throwbacks. Ocean fluking seemed sporadic. Mackerel were also caught on the trip. Party boats fishing for bluefish came up with mackerel and some blues. Fluking was great on Manasquan River, serving up lots of throwbacks, but anglers could bag keepers. Eric and Alex from the shop totaled five or six keepers on the river on a trip last week. Striped bass and blues were picked on the river. The stripers bit top-water lures and rubber shads. A couple of keeper stripers were heard about from Manasquan Inlet late last week, on clams and bunker. Ling fishing was pretty good on the ocean. For offshore boaters, bigeye tuna were found, usually in evenings into dark. John was unsure about location recently. Closer to shore, bluefin tuna, sometimes yellowfin tuna, mahi mahi, wahoos and white marlin were fought at the Texas Tower. Blue marlin were sometimes subdued at the offshore canyons. Tilefishing was good, the most consistent fishing at the canyons.

Barnegat Light
The Super Chic fluke fished on the ocean, Capt. Ted said. The angling was okay, pretty decent, and fluke swam north and south of Barnegat Inlet, but the boat fished south. The biggest fluke aboard weighed 6 pounds, and a couple were good-sized. Croakers schooled 30- and 40-foot depths, “so that helped in the mix,” he said. Ted hopes weather remains good and the fluking just keeps becoming better. The next tuna fishing is slated for late September on the boat, unless charters book before then. A few boats that caught tuna, yellowfins, offshore on Friday night were heard about, chunking the fish in the dark. Ted didn’t know whether the catches were made Saturday. Looking ahead, the boat will fish for sea bass, once sea bass season is opened starting October 22, and blackfish, once the blackfish bag limit is increased to six, starting November 16. November is a big month for striped bass fishing aboard, too.

Each drift of the party boat Miss Barnegat Light gave up a keeper fluke today, and the fishing, on the ocean, had its moments, the vessel’s Facebook page said. Some small blues were pitched aboard, and a bunch of good-sized, out-of-season sea bass were released. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Sunset cruises are sailing at 7 p.m. daily. Space is available for a cruise that will watch the Atlantic City air show Wednesday, and telephone to reserve. ***Tuna trips*** will fish the canyons overnight from 3 p.m. to 1 p.m. October 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 23, 30 and 31, limited to 26 passengers. The price is $400, and everybody gets a bunk. No food will be available, but coffee and two microwaves will be. Butterfish and sardines will be supplied. A two-day tuna trip will sail 3 p.m. October 17 to 1 p.m. October 19 for $600 per person. The trips can be canceled 72 hours in advance, no exceptions, and call 609-494-2094 to book.

Mystic Island
The ocean reefs were the places to fish for summer flounder, a report on Scott’s Bait & Tackle’s website said. Snapper blues schooled the bay and lagoons. Throw any shiny lure or dunk frozen spearing or live minnows to them. Catching kingfish was possible, and croakers were mixed in, in the bay off the Fish Factory and at Grassy Channel. Fish bloodworms or clams for them, and chumming with clams helps. This was the time of year to nab kings and blowfish at the clam stakes in the bay, so trying for them might be worthwhile. Chum with clams for them, too. Blackfish hovered along ledges off the Coast Guard Station, and fish green crabs for them on slack tides. Once the tides move, bottom can’t be held. Creeks held lots of fish, including snappers, striped bass, sea bass, white perch and more. Fish small Gulps on small jigheads 1/8 to 1/16 ounce. A visitor to the shop’s website posted a report about trips that fished 28-Mile Wreck on Thursday and Lindenkohl Canyon on Friday. The trip at 28-Mile Wreck pumped in lots of ling, and a buddy in a nearby boat bagged two good-sized summer flounder, and a 4-pounder was smallest. At Lindenkohl Canyon, the trip fished overnight Friday to Saturday. Arriving at 4 p.m., the trip trolled the canyon until dark, catching one mahi mahi. At night, one fish bit the swordfish line, and not much else happened. On the troll in the morning, wind calmed, and seas flattened, and no tuna were found, but 11 mahi were clocked. The water was 80 degrees and the clearest the angler saw all season. “Not saying much,” the angler said, “as the water has been very green all year.” Catch Penn Day at the shop on Saturday, September 12. A Penn sales rep will showcase new Penn rods, reels, gear and shirts all day. The shop will feature sales, prizes and more.

Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle saw kingfish banked from the surf this weekend, he wrote in a report on the shop’s website. He posted a photo of one on the store’s Facebook page that was no bigger than 3 inches, he said. Fishbites artificial worms began to hook kings from the beach, but bloodworms seemed to catch more. He hopes spots start to move to the surf from the back waters, so he can fill the shop’s bait tanks with them. Bait pens are stocked for anglers to keep live spots. Tons of baitfish filled the back bay, including mullet and peanut bunker. So did “a plethora of tiny fish,” he said. Throw a castnet and see what’s caught. Nets 3 to 10 feet are stocked. The Riptide Fall Striper Derby will begin on September 9. Entry includes a permit that allows beach buggies to drive the entire Brigantine surf, when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit. Without the derby permit, not the whole beach can be driven. The town’s permits go on sale Labor Day weekend for the new season.

Trips for summer flounder whacked them, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat. The boat fished for the fluke at two different areas in 75 feet and 90 feet in the ocean. Rough seas forced a trip Thursday to pull back close to shore, off Ocean City, by 1 p.m. Flounder were hooked there, but the deeper water definitely attracted the big ones. Sunday’s trip, before moving close to shore, fished the shallower of the two deep spots. Mike had a valley of flounder there that snapped left and right. Many of the fish were throwbacks, and many, probably a couple of hundred, were hooked. A 5-hour trip today will head right back to that spot. Thursday and Sunday fished best in past days. Saturday’s and Sunday’s trips probably totaled eight or 10 keepers. Mike didn’t think flounder would bite so well, but they did. If anglers want a few fish for the freezer, this was the time to go. The ocean was 77 degrees, and bunker schooled everywhere. If anglers see bunker, stop on them, because flounder hold underneath. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will fish for flounder 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and on Labor Day. After the holiday, open trips will probably fish twice a week. Flounder trips tried to avoid out-of-season sea bass that were abundant. Mike looks forward to the opening of sea bass season starting October 22.

Sea Isle City
Joe Pewdo caught and released two sharks on a fly and eight or nine on bait Sunday aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The fish, spinners and duskies, mostly duskies, weighed up to 80 pounds, and this was one of the inshore sharking trips aboard. The trips fight and release sharks, usually within 10 miles from shore. On Saturday Sean Tice popper-plugged for striped bass on the back bay, landing a 24-incher, missing a couple of others, on Rapala Skitterpops. That was at the tail end of high tides coinciding with dusk, ideal conditions that come around every two weeks. A trip was headed back out for the stripers Sunday evening, when Joe gave this report in a phone call. Joe fished offshore Friday with Jay VonCzoernig and son Luke. Nine mahi mahi to 15 pounds were trolled on ballyhoos at the canyons. The water was 79 degrees everywhere, warm with no temperature breaks. The water wasn’t really good-looking, was kind of average, Joe said. Not as much life was seen as he would’ve liked. Watch this video of a leatherback turtle that Joe and crew found tangled in a sea bass pot line on a previous offshore trip. They untangled the turtle, several hundred pounds, and the turtle swam free. On Thursday a family aboard released 10 or 12 dusky and spinner sharks on bait on one of the inshore shark trips. In the morning, anglers aboard released throwback summer flounder and small sea bass on the back bay. The southern migration of striped bass and bluefish is impending in the ocean off New Jersey this fall, and Joe will meet the migration early, on annual traveling charters to Montauk, New York, the legendary fishing port. Those trips will launch on September 18, and also fish for false albacore that gather there then. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish from Christmas to New Year’s. Visit Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.

Capt. Jim from Fins and Feathers Outfitters will elk hunt for a moment currently, he said. When he returns, summer flounder fishing will remain available until flounder season is closed starting September 27. Striped bass trips are being booked for fall. Jim’s season’s first guests are booked to fish for salmon in early October on upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s nearby lodge. Salmon can begin to migrate to the river, from Lake Ontario, by Labor Day, and the fishing is usually good by early October. Fins and Feathers can book guides for the salmon fishing for guests. Or guests can fish on their own from the lodge. Or the crew from the lodge can show guests how to fish the run, and guests can fish on their own the rest of the time. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including saltwater fishing from Avalon from the back bay to the ocean to Delaware Bay, and duck and goose hunting on Delaware Bay and in nearby states, during the waterfowl seasons. Anglers can even enjoy a combo of striper fishing and duck hunting on Delaware Bay during a series of days in fall. Salmon and steelhead fishing on Salmon River, and snowmobiling, are available from the lodge. Fly-fishing for trout is offered on Pennsylvania’s trout streams like the Yellow Breeches.

All the 3-pound blues anglers could want, lots, were plowed Saturday with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing at Cape May Channel, on a trip with a big group, Capt. Jim said. A couple of keeper summer flounder and some throwbacks were reeled up. Flounder fishing on the ocean is hit and miss or good on one day, and, on the next, only throwbacks bite. A few kingfish and croakers are swimming off Cape May Point. Sharks are hitting both inshore and offshore. Fins & Grins fishes for any species available. Trips fish every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability. Fins sails for any events passengers would like, too. Bachelor parties, for instance, sailed the last three weekends. Coming up, Fins will fish for weakfish, croakers and blues off the ocean beach. A good run of weaks with croakers mixed in usually swims off Hereford Inlet this coming season. Trips also try for porgies in fall, and fish like these flood down the coast that season. Trips might sail for bigger blues 20 miles from shore in fall, if anglers want. Mako sharks arrive, migrating south for the season, in late September and in October, and Fins fishes for them, too. Jim hopes for a good migration of striped bass to fish this fall. Sea bass will be able to be targeted starting October 22, opening day of sea bass season. Lots of sea bass covered ocean reefs currently and had to be thrown back. These are some of the catches Fins will fish for in the coming season.

Cape May
The Heavy Hitter fished for summer flounder Friday and Saturday on the ocean, Capt. George said. Lots were hooked, and a few were keepers, similar to flounder fishing all season, not great. The angling became slow on Saturday, so the trip stopped at a couple of buoys, reeling in a bunch of good-sized bar jacks. One triggerfish was also picked up. Trips will fish for flounder until flounder season is closed starting September 27. Bluefish could be trolled, and more schooled off Cape May Point than at ocean shoals like 5-Fathom Bank recently. Fall tuna trips will sail, if the fish show up. The boat will fish for sea bass, striped bass and blackfish this fall, if the fish are in. Telephone if interested in any of this fishing.

Last Thursday's Report

“On the water report,” Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email this morning aboard. The trip tried fishing an area for bigger fluke, and currently pasted six keepers 4 to 7 pounds, and throwbacks gave up action. “More later,” he said.

John Nichols was high hook with four keepers on fluke trips aboard this week, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep Fleet. A 6-1/2-pounder was biggest, caught by another angler. Fluking was hit and miss, and Mario hopes it picks up. That angling was on the Down Deep, and ling fishing was good on the Down Deep Bull, the company’s other boat, both 40 feet. Ling catches were consistent, unlike fluking, and cod and big winter flounder were also iced on the ling trips. Charters are fishing, and join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about special open trips. Also see the site’s open-trips page for available dates. Open trips include 12-hour marathons, both for fluke or ling and cod.

Atlantic Highlands

Fluke fishing was a little tough – lot of throwbacks, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Bluefish 2 to 4 pounds were jigged in the back of Raritan Bay. Snappers and crabs were snatched from back waters. Excellent ling fishing was pounded at the Mudhole, and a few cod and winter flounder were hooked among them. Nothing was heard about porgies, except porgies angled along the Earle Pier. All baits are stocked.

A few keeper fluke were put up on Monday’s trips, but the fishing wasn’t good, on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. Throwbacks gave up action, not well. Tuesday morning’s trip was slow, and the afternoon’s turned up a pick of the fish, actually a few more keepers than usual, and better action on throwbacks. On Wednesday morning’s trip, a few fluke were claimed, not as much as on the previous afternoon. Wednesday afternoon’s trip’s fishing was no good, for unknown reasons, though the same areas were fished: Reach Channel and Flynn’s Knoll. But the main thing was that all the boat’s fluke trips are sailing, he said, and the crew is trying to make a good time for anglers. Schools are almost back in session, so get the kids out, catch some fish, take photos. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.

All-day action on good-sized fluke Wednesday, and another big fluke, a 9.2-pounder, was heaved in, this one on Monday, on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in an email. That was after a 10.6-pounder was hauled aboard Friday, covered in the last report here. On Wednesday’s trip, was amazing what a decent drift of the boat will do. Throwbacks and keepers, really good-sized, were on a bite the whole trip. A 7-pounder won the pool, and six of the keepers weighed 5 to 6 pounds. The high hook bagged four fluke, and bluefish busted the water surface at quitting time. Some of the season’s biggest blues were tackled aboard, while the trip gave them a shot. On Monday’s trip, Bob Frade from Lake Hopatcong bagged the 9.2-pounder, his personal best. The trip’s fluking wasn’t so good. Capt. Ron Sr. slapped three keepers aboard, and some of the boat’s best jig anglers managed two. Tuesday’s fluking wasn’t easy either. Wind blew against tide, hampering the boat’s drift most of the trip, and no drift is never good for fluking. The anglers worked hard, and the high hook bagged three. Large fluke were targeted that day aboard, and some big were smacked, for the effort. It’s just a tough year, Ron said, after 37 seasons. Wind blew against tide all but two or three days a month. If 16 inches were the size limit, like in Delaware, instead of New Jersey’s 18 inches, Ron would need to build a bigger boat, he said. But that won’t happen in his lifetime, he said. He thanked his regs for hanging in. They were there for great fishing, and are here now, working hard. Salt of the earth, Ron said. We’ll give it hell again tomorrow, he said. The Fishermen is sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. However, this Saturday morning is chartered, so no open-boat trip will fish then. Trips are fishing for fluke, porgies, croakers or whatever bites 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.


Sailing from Twin Lights Marina, Ed and Tony on the Hammerhead boated six keeper fluke at Chapel Hill Channel on Wednesday on Gulps and killies, Marion wrote in an email. Paul and Maddy Hess on the Boudicca on Tuesday boxed two 19-inch fluke at Flynn’s Knoll on Gulps and squid. Paul and Maddy on another trip Saturday, with Dom and Nick Ciccarelli, on the Boudicca docked another 19-incher from Sandy Hook Chanel on Gulp and squid. 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. Baits stocked include the full offshore selection. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.


For Last Lady Fishing Charters, fluke fishing on the ocean was only fair on the weekly individual-reservation trip for the fish Tuesday, Capt. Ralph said. Several keepers to 25 inches were waxed, and a bunch of shorts were released. Giant, out-of-season sea bass were let go the whole trip. Many kids were aboard the trip, so Ralph couldn’t fish where he’d prefer for better fluking. But the kids had a good time, and that was the important thing, he said. A trip today was supposed to fish for cod. Individual-reservation trips are fishing for fluke every Tuesday, and kids 12 and under sail free, limited to two per adult host. Two spaces remain for an individual-reservation trip for sea bass on October 22, opening day of sea bass season. Other individual-reservation trips are full, and Ralph will schedule more.


Fluke fishing on the ocean was pretty tough, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. The fish gathered in small patches. A drift of the boat would catch some, and the drift would be repeated, and none would be hooked. On a good day, anglers would bag two or three apiece. The fishing was a grind – that’s the best way to put it, he said. Lots of mackerel swam the water, and sometimes small blues did. Plenty of dates are available for trips in September, and Pete hopes fluking picks up. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway about individual spaces available on charters. Jump on Parker Pete’s website to subscribe to the email blast to be kept informed about the spaces. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page, where it says Join Our Newsletter.

Twenty yellowfin tuna and a 90-pound swordfish were landed on an overnight trip Monday to Tuesday with XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott said. A 200-pound bigeye tuna and a dozen yellowfins were taken on an overnighter Thursday to Friday. Most yellowfins on the trips were trolled during daytime inshore of the offshore canyons, except five that were chunked at night at the canyons on the trip with the sword. The bigeye was trolled, at the canyons, of course. Trips are supposed to fish for tuna inshore today and at the canyons Friday.

Shark River’s fluke fishing was good this week, and better numbers of keepers were plowed than before, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Three anglers on a trip landed more than 100 fluke, including six keepers, from the river. Two of them, regulars at the shop, last week landed 150, including no keepers, on a trip on the river. The store’s rental boats are available to fish the river. Lots of mullet and spearing schooled the back of the river. Sometimes small striped bass and snapper blues fed on them. Ocean fluking was fair, and fluke 8 pounds and heavier were docked from Belmar’s head boats this week. Charter boats scored some good numbers of the fish. Bluefishing was slow on the ocean. But mackerel fishing was hot on the trips. “Go figure – no blues, lots of mackerel,” he said. Surf fishing was slow, but should pick up, as baitfish migrate to the ocean from the river.

Small blues and plenty of mackerel were pitched aboard Tuesday, at a hill east of Shark River, an email from the Miss Belmar Princess said. The fishing began slowly but improved throughout the trip. Wednesday’s trip fished the same lump, and blues and mackerel were marked but took a while to get going. They began to be picked, and the angling turned out decent. On Monday’s trip, throwback fluke, two keepers and some blues, mackerel and false albacore were eased in. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every Saturday. Family Fun Days are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday and Sunday for fluke, sea bass, blues or whatever bites. The trips enjoy a sunset cruise on the way home.

On a beautiful ocean, fishing for blues and mackerel was good Monday on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. Tuesday’s trip took a chance and searched for larger blues. Three- to 7-pounders, a decent catch, were clocked, after searching quite a bit. On Wednesday, anglers picked at blues and mackerel aboard, and on today’s trip, blues, weakfish and shad were boated the first couple of hours, and that looked promising. Then blues and mackerel were cracked, until the fishing slowed in the afternoon. Looks like beautiful weather in the next days. The Golden Eagle is fishing at 7:30 a.m. daily. Fishing and sunset cruises are sailing at 4:30 p.m. daily, and reservations are required for those outings.

Point Pleasant Beach

On the party boat Gambler, fluke fishing on the ocean was pretty slow, but seemed to be picking up, Capt. Bob said at 9 a.m. today aboard in a phone call. One angler had already bagged two keepers, on the trip’s first drift of the boat. John Currier from Hoboken had sacked a 4- or 5-pounder already. The water gave up pretty good life, including throwbacks, sea robins, sand sharks “and all that good stuff,” he said, on the trip. Definitely looking better a bit, he said, and the trip fished in 45 feet, so far. Plus, fluke seemed to be migrating to the ocean from rivers. Bob heard the fish were yanked from Manasquan Inlet’s wall, for instance. This coming couple of weeks should be good, he thinks. The last nighttime bluefishing trip, on Saturday, was good, tugging in small blues to 2 pounds and mackerel, 15 miles from shore. The last nighttime ling trip caught well, too, tugging in mixed sizes of ling, from small to 3 pounds, and a few cod and big winter flounder. Those trips recently reeled in two to four lobsters apiece, too. The Gambler is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Trips are fishing for ling 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 .m. every Thursday and for blues every Friday and Saturday during those hours. Tuna trips will begin on September 21, and see the tuna schedule online.

Bottom-fishing plugged away at ling and decked winter flounder and a few cod on the party boat Dauntless, Capt. Butch said. Anglers averaged 10 to 25 fish apiece, still decent fishing. The size of the ling and cod began to be a little small. But some of the cod were still keepers – ling have no size limit – and the flounder were big. A few mackerel and small blues were in the mix, and the trips fished in 120 to 220 feet. The ocean everywhere, from shore to the fishing grounds, was 75 degrees along the surface. The water was a dirty green, like before, so the bottom was probably chilly. Chillier water below causes plankton or algae to gather along the surface, turning the water green there, Butch thought. No porgies were hooked, and a few were nabbed when the boat fished for sea bass closer to shore, until sea bass season was closed. Porgies were currently boated off New York, farther north, but as soon as they migrate south, the Dauntless will target them. Nighttime trips are fishing on Fridays and Saturdays through Labor Day weekend, at least. Those trips usually sail for bluefish, but few blues were around for the trips this summer. So the trips recently fished for ling and cod. The Dauntless is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Trips are bluefishing or bottom-fishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday through Labor Day, if not longer.

Toms River

At Murphy’s Hook House, Richie Mast today weighed a 5.8-pound fluke, the biggest of six he boated off Manasquan on the ocean, Mario said. Ocean fluking seemed alright, nothing great. Barnegat Bay’s fluking was sporadic, near the BI and BB markers, and off Barnegat Lighthouse. Plenty of snapper blues roamed the Toms River. Lots of small, throwback black drum filled the river. Drum must be 16 inches or larger to keep. Bait was balled up in the river, including mullet, spearing and peanut bunker. Crabs were trapped from the river. The surf doled out scattered blues and sometimes fluke. Surf casters took advantage of Island Beach State Park’s 16-inch fluke size limit, compared with 18 inches in the rest of the state. Two fluke is the limit in the park, compared with five in the rest of the state. Murphy’s, located on Rouge 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Seaside Heights

Along the dock, many blowfish hovered, said George from The Dock Outfitters. Lots of small black drum and sometimes spots gathered there. Snapper blues schooled the water. Crabbing improved a little from the dock and rental boats. The surf harbored lots of small fluke and a couple of 12-inch bluefish. No blackfish were mentioned, except some speared along Barnegat Inlet. From the ocean, fluke that kept being reported came from off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park in 35 to 40 feet. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, boat and jet ski rentals, a café and a dock for fishing and crabbing. Baits stocked currently include killies and fresh bunker and clams.

Forked River

Barnegat Bay shoveled up good blowfishing, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked Bait & Tackle. That was at the mouth of Oyster Creek and south of the 40 marker, on clams or squid on the hook in clam chum. Fluking was okay, mustering lots of shorts, sometimes a keeper. In the ocean, they were located off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park, in 60 feet, and the Tires. Those were the spots reported, and from the bay, the cut from Oyster Creek Channel to Barnegat Inlet was the place talked about. A few reports about weakfish boated on the bay rolled in. Sandworms will be stocked next week for them, and anglers asked for them. Otherwise, pink Fin-S Fish were jigged for the trout. Crabbing sounded alright, not as good as previously. Crabbers complained about the blueclaws dying in overnight pots, because of warm water. Minnows are stocked, and fresh spearing should be carried for the weekend. All frozen baits are in supply.

Barnegat Light

Fishing was up and down on the fluke trips on the ocean on the Miss Barnegat Light, a report on the party boat’s website said. On some days, conditions drifted the boat well, and some good-sized were swung up. When the boat failed to drift, the angling was slow. Croakers began to show up the last few days, helping keep action around the boat. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. ***Tuna trips*** will fish the canyons overnight from 3 p.m. to 1 p.m. October 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 23, 30 and 31, limited to 26 passengers. The price is $400, and everybody gets a bunk. No food will be available, but coffee and two microwaves will be. Butterfish and sardines will be supplied. A two-day tuna trip will sail 3 p.m. October 17 to 1 p.m. October 19 for $600 per person. The trips can be canceled 72 hours in advance, no exceptions, and call 609-494-2094 to book.

A couple of keeper fluke, lots of shorts, were boated, said Kevin from Bobbie’s Boat Rentals. The fish seemed to gather more around Barnegat Inlet than before, like they were staging to migrate to the ocean. From the ocean, a couple of keepers from the Tires were heard about. A few bluefish were landed from the inlet, but weren’t schooled. Customers ordered live grass shrimp for weakfishing on Barnegat Bay, but those who fished for them last week caught none. Blackfish were reeled from along the inlet’s rocks and ocean wrecks, though the fishing wasn’t good. Crabbing had become pretty good and became slower currently. Clamming was good on the bay. 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 baits in season. Baits stocked currently include minnows and green crabs. Customers can order live grass shrimp a couple of days ahead. Live spots are yet to be carried.

Mystic Island

The ocean off the Red Tower, in 55 or 60 feet, seemed the place for summer flounder fishing, said Scott from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. The angling was fair and better than at places like Garden State Reef South and Little Egg Reef. High hooks landed 100, including four keepers, off the tower. Lots of action, difficult to hook a keeper. In the bay, a fishery for blowfish and kingfish almost developed. Catches of them were heard about once in a while, and lots were small, and occasionally the fish were large enough to keep. Scott heard about croakers this week for the first time this season. A few swam the mouth of Mullica River. Rumors about weakfish began to circulate from the bay, and whether they were true was unknown. Maybe the shop will report weaks next week, he said. Surely blackfishing should be good along the bay’s banks, because it always is in September, and this was almost that month. Nobody mentioned trying for them in the one-blackfish bag limit. But if anglers wanted to fish for them, the tautog were probably there. So a smorgasbord of fish, he said, swam the bay. Lots of crabs skittered around, and crabbing was like much fishing. Many of the blueclaws were small, but enough were sizable to keep crabbing interesting. Minnows, bloodworms, green crabs and fresh, shucked clams are stocked. No live grass shrimp are stocked in the heat that would kill them.


Summer flounder are here, hard to say more, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. Full-moon tides started to arrive, and striped bass, mostly throwbacks, began to be popper-plugged and hooked on soft-plastic lures in the back bay. High tides at dusk and dawn and nighttime fished best for them. Most were played along sod banks, especially because of abundant mullet. But some were caught along jetties and Brigantine Bridge. This was a great time to take kids panfishing in the bay. Croakers and kingfish swam along the ocean beach but began to push into the bay. The bay was mobbed with baby black drum 5 inches. Keeper size is 16, but the drum gave up action by the dozens on worms and clams on small hooks. Dave hopes some grow to keeper, puppy size next year to be caught, and they grow quickly, he said. Stories began to be heard about weakfish, small, including from the mouth of Mullica River. But the mouth of Great Egg Harbor River seemed best. A few were heard about from along the Intracoastal Waterway between both rivers. This was still August, and weaks could be found another couple of months. There was still a chance for weakfishing. Crabbing was as good as in a long time, and seemed to keep becoming better. More crabbing supplies were just ordered, and crabbing’s been the hot thing. Crabs are shedding, and shedder crabs are stocked for bait. So are beautiful soft-shell crabs for eating, and the shop raises the crabs. Keep up on availability on the shop’s soft-shell crabs Facebook page. Lots of baitfish schooled, including mullet and peanut bunker in the bay, and spots, both in Absecon Creek, running past the shop, and in the surf. Live peanuts and spots are stocked. Mullet are stocked off and on. Mullet schooled thick, but in open water in the bay, where Dave couldn’t always castnet them, before they got spooked and swam away. The shop carries one of the largest selections of bait including live and fresh.


The surf began to hold somewhat more kingfish than before, said Justin from Riptide Bait & Tackle. They began to bite Fishbites artificial worms, not just real bloodworms that they already nibbled. Both are stocked, and sharks mostly no longer haunted the surf that did previously. Summer flounder were mostly reported from the ocean, deep water.

Atlantic City

Mostly croakers were lit into, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. But lots of blowfish were hooked, and so were kingfish. Summer flounder were still caught, and sometimes blackfish were hit along the rocks. All these fish were found along the Vermont Avenue jetty, the T-jetty and off Melrose Avenue. Bloodworms, clams, mullet and minnows were fished. Green crabs were dunked for the blackfish. All these baits and more, a large supply, are stocked. Bloodworms are two dozen for $20 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Minnows are only $8 a pint or $15 a quart. Catch the special on bucktails at $1.79 for 1/8 ounce, $1.85 for ¼ ounce, $1.89 for 3/8 ounce, $2 for either ½ or 5/8 ounce, $2.20 for 1 ounce, $2.29 for 1 ½ ounce, $2.99 for 2 ounce and $3.49 for 3 ounce. The bucktails come in white, pink-and-white, yellow-and-white, chartreuse-and-white and red-and-white. One Stop also has a shop at Gardner’s Basin.

Egg Harbor Township

Ocean City Reef was mainly where summer flounder were boated, said Austin from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. Few were reported from the bay, except sometimes small. Weakfish, lots of small, were mostly reported, from the surf and sometimes docks. Crabbing was great, including in Patcong Creek, running past the shop. Lots of the blueclaws were sizable, and one crabber reported trapping nearly a bushel of keepers in a short time. The store’s rental boats are docked on the creek, available for fishing and crabbing there and nearby, including on Great Egg Harbor River and the bay. Baits stocked include live spots, minnows and green crabs. Fresh bunker is on hand. No fresh clams are carried, until probably next month sometime. All the offshore baits are stocked, and nothing was heard about offshore fishing for tuna and big game. The company also own 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.


Back-bay fishing for summer flounder was slow, but improved, and was lots better this week than last on the party boat Keeper, Capt. John said. The water cleaned up somewhat, and was dirty previously, for unknown reasons. Wednesday morning’s trip fished better than before, though the afternoon’s was no good. Lots of fish bit on trips, including throwback flounder, a gazillion baby sea bass and tons of sea robins. The fishing was fun, and all customers seemed to enjoy. Minnows caught best, and the sea bass bit the tails off Gulps, and mackerel attracted many sea bass to hit. Minnows and mackerel are provided aboard. Baitfish schooled all over the bay in mornings. Big schools of mullet moved around. Peanut bunker moved, too. Mullet will migrate to the ocean soon, because that’s what happens when John sees the bait in the bay like this. They’ll push to the ocean next week, he guessed. The Keeper is fishing for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. daily. The trips are only $28, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel. Rental rods are free, too.


The Stray Cat worked the ocean for summer flounder, Capt. Mike said. Ninety feet held the keepers, and nine spots are available for an open-boat trip for flounder Saturday. Croakers showed up 5 ½ miles from shore Wednesday. They weren’t great-sized, but there were plenty. Mike saw no weakfish yet this season in the ocean. The ocean was 77 degrees, and out to 20 miles was cloudy or smoky, holding plankton. Lots of pollen covered the water Wednesday. Two spaces remain for an open, overnight trip for tuna September 5 to 6.

Ocean City

Trips fished for summer flounder aboard every day, and actually produced some keepers, said Capt. Victor from the party boats Miss Ocean City and Captain Robbins. That was among throwbacks released, and quite a few of the trips seemed to give up keepers, he said. Trips are fishing for summer flounder on the back bay 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. daily and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday. After Labor Day, trips will fish the ocean for flounder and croakers 6 hours daily.

Sometimes kingfish, small, now and again better-sized, floated the surf, said Will from Fin-Atics. Brown sharks, required to be released, began to be fought from the surf again, after fishing for them slowed previously. Warmer water seemed the reason. Ocean summer flounder fishing was good at reefs, he heard, and big ones were in the mix. Inlets held croakers, occasional spots, and small sea bass. Little was reported about offshore fishing, and the angling was slow, and the water was dirty. But bigeye tuna were sometimes nailed at Wilmington Canyon. Crabbing was good.

Sea Isle City

Popper-plugging for striped bass lit up, was good, in the back bay the past couple of evenings, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. High tides in evenings are ideal, coming around every couple of weeks. A couple of anglers even said some of the bass appeared to be migrators, because the fish were shiny or silvery and had sea lice. Those are usually considered signs that stripers are migrators from the ocean, and this was very early for the migration. Summer flounder fishing was okay, and some of the best flounder reports came from deeper water in the ocean than usual. The reports came from water like 100 to 130 feet, up to 10 miles from shore, from coral or stone bottom. If anglers look for areas like that on a chart, maybe they’ll get into the fish. Plenty of kingfish swam the surf, and were small, but caught. Offshore fishing sounded tough. Lots of mahi mahi and some bigeyes were found. Crabbing was excellent, and those who hadn’t crabbed in years trapped them, and old timers said crabbing was the best in a long time.

Two small mahi mahi and two gigantic false albacore were fought from the ocean on live bait including peanut bunker Wednesday with Dusty Laricks and Dan Roth aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. A leatherback turtle was found tangled in a pot line, and they released it, and a whale was seen on the way back to port, and that’s unusual this time of year. Was like Sea World, Joe said, and Jamie Smith’s family aboard the previous day, on Tuesday morning, boated two keeper fluke, a bunch of throwbacks and baby sea bass from the back bay. Dick Linus and friend aboard that afternoon released a bunch of throwback fluke on the ocean. On Monday, an angler and son took one of the inshore shark trips on the boat. They fly-rodded two, broke off two on flies and landed three to five on bait. So the angling was good, and the sharks weighed up to 100 pounds. The trips fight and release sharks, usually within 10 miles from shore. Eager for the fall migration of fish? Joe meets the run early each year, on traveling charters to Montauk, New York, the legendary port. The trips this year, for striped bass, blues and false albacore, will be launched on September 18. Hit the migration before your friends do in New Jersey. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish from Christmas to Easter. Visit Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.


The next trip was supposed to fish today, trolling for blues, with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing, Capt. Jim said. Blues 2 ½ to 3 pounds, good-sized for eating and fun on light tackle, have schooled the ocean off Cape May Inlet for 1 ½ months now. They also gathered at 5-Fathom Bank and ocean reefs. A trip Sunday crushed the blues aboard. Summer flounder held in the ocean at Cape May and Wildwood reefs. Croakers, weakfish and kingfish swam many places, including in the ocean off Wildwood, and sometimes off Cape May Point. Fins fishes for any species available. Trips fish every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.

Cape May

Bluefish were trolled Wednesday on the Heavy Hitter on an annual trip for ARC, Capt. George said. The fleet hosts anglers from there each year, and summer flounder trips are slated for Friday and Saturday on the Heavy Hitter. Offshore fishing was the same as previously: Bigeye tuna were trolled at Wilmington and Washington canyons, late in the day. If the fish show up, they show up. Marlin and mahi mahi were heard about from the 50-fathom line between Baltimore and Poorman’s canyons.

Summer flounder fishing, on the ocean, was inconsistent on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. On some days, the angling was better, but no consecutive days gave up the same results. Not many keepers, and lots of shorts, bit on Wednesday’s trip. On one day, Saturday or Sunday, Paul thought, Gary Drumheller from Broomall, Pa., bagged three keepers to 8 pounds. On the next day, Bill Effing from Bensalem, Pa., bagged four. Ed Bednarik from Philadelphia nailed the week’s biggest flounder: an 8.33-pounder. For August, flounder fishing should be better. Not a lot of the fish were around, “at least not for me,” Paul said. Even boats from Delaware, where 16 inches is the flounder size limit, compared with 18 in New Jersey, struggled. Weather played a part, and wind was brutal on Saturday, and the ocean held a big swell Sunday. But some anglers aboard are boating a few, and some want to try, and the Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

The keeper summer flounder seemed to come from the ocean’s artificial reefs and the Old Grounds, said Joe from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. A few flounder, mostly small, were known about from the back bay. Lots of bait filled the bay and creeks, including peanut bunker, spearing and mullet. Nothing was heard about Delaware Bay, and customers mostly fish there for striped bass in fall. Currently, they mostly fish the ocean and back bay. Snapper blues schooled off Cape May Inlet. From the surf, sometimes kingfish and small bluefish were beached. A few spots reportedly appeared in the surf. A few croakers, not lots, but big, were scattered around jetties and bridges. Sharpies landed a few striped bass, sometimes keepers, along jetties at night on Mag Darters.