Note: No fully updated report was posted on Monday, because most coastal fishing was weathered out in the storm since the previous report. But a few updates were posted Monday. The below report is that previous report, from Thursday, 10/1, with the updates from Monday, and updates from the ensuing days.
***Update, Monday, 10/5:*** Wind is forecast to blow from west on Wednesday, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. Outgoing tide in that wind direction should be a chance to sail. That’s after no trips fished aboard in the nor’easter. He’d like to fish for striped bass with eels and bunker, if the bait can be obtained, on an open-boat trip that day. Stripers, mixed sizes, were definitely around. “We will also jig under any bird life,” he said. A trip Tuesday aboard landed bluefish, mixed sizes, that fed on a good amount of bait. The east wind surely blew more bait into local waters. If anglers are looking to fish, Wednesday is the day. Telephone to reserve. Only a few weekend dates remain for striper fishing and blackfishing this fall aboard. The angler who books a striper charter will be able to use one of the boat’s bonus tags to bag an extra bass. Be sure to obtain a bonus tag and bring it on striper trips aboard, too.
***Update, Tuesday, 10/6:*** The party boat Fishermen last fished last week on Monday and Tuesday nights, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Both trips caught some good-sized striped bass to 30 pounds. A striper about 40 pounds was lost at the net, and the angler probably would’ve released the fish anyway. The northeast blow kept trips from sailing since then. But daytime trips will kick back off on Saturday, fishing for stripers and blues from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. They’ll fish with jigs and eels, for now, and mostly blues will probably be landed, until water becomes colder “and the fall migration actually starts,” he said. Stripers biting currently are resident fish. Bring a heavier rod and lots of weight for the eeling. Noodle rods won’t cut it this time of year, he said. Daytime trips had been on break since fluke season was closed starting September 27. But nighttime trips kept running, and still are. Those trips are sailing for stripers 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. every Monday through Saturday.
The party boat Atlantic Star fished for porgies Tuesday, Capt. Tom said. That was the most recent time weather was fishable, and the day’s trips fished Raritan Bay, instead of the ocean, because the ocean was rough. The morning trip picked at the fish, and all anglers bagged some. The afternoon trip’s catch was quite good. All anglers bagged some for dinner, some to freeze and some to give to neighbors, he said. On the previous day, Monday, the boat could’ve fished, and weather was gorgeous, but too few anglers showed up. Sunday’s trips sailed, covered in the last report here. The porgy fishing that day wasn’t great, but both of the day’s trips landed the fish. The trips fished the bay, because wind roughed up the ocean. Wind weathered out fishing on previous days. Strong easterly and northeasterly wind was supposed to begin again today, and the hurricane, or remnants, might smash the coast Sunday to Monday. The boat might not fish again until Monday, because of weather. Tom hopes forecasts change, and anglers can telephone the boat for updates. Or Tom expects to give an update or updates that will be posted here, when he knows when the boat might fish next. The Atlantic Star is fishing for porgies and blackfish 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily, and clams are supplied for bait. ***Update, Monday, 10/5:*** Fishing might resume Tuesday or Wednesday aboard, and anglers can telephone the boat the night before for an update, Tom said. The bay, not the ocean, will be fished, because the ocean will surely be rough. How the fishing will go, after strong, northeast wind blew for days, couldn’t be known. Maybe the fish will bite on the first trip, or maybe not. ***Another update, Monday, 10/5:*** Forecasts call for diminishing wind, and the boat is expected to resume fishing Tuesday, Tom said this morning in a phone call. ***Update, Tuesday, 10/6:*** This morning’s trip sailed, picking some porgies, so far, actually good-sized, Tom said in a phone call aboard the outing at 9 a.m. The angling was off to a slow start, but because the boat swung around on anchor. He hoped the fishing would build up, and thought it would, “once it settles up,” he said. The trip fished the bay, and the boat was yet to sail the ocean, since previous trips were weathered out. The vessel’s twice daily trips now resumed. ***Update, Wednesday, 10/6:*** Thursday looks like the best weather day, Tom said. If anglers want to sail, consider that day, and the days afterward might be rougher. The trip Tuesday morning began to catch porgies closer to port, reported above. But the angling fell apart afterward on the outing. The fishing was no good on the next two trips, that afternoon and this morning. All those trips fished closer to port, where porgies bit before the storm. This afternoon’s trip sailed farther than Tom would like, but that paid off. The angling wasn’t great, but pulled in a mix of keepers and throwbacks, worth the ride. The schedule might change to one ¾-day trip daily before long, from the current two ½-day trips daily, to allow for a longer ride. But if the fishing turns on closer to port, where the fish should bite this time of year, once the ocean settles, the ½-day trips will continue at least until two weekends from now. The change in schedule happens every year, as fish migrate farther from shore.
“Dead,” Joe from Julian’s Bait & Tackle said. Wind blew strongly from northeast. “Big waves,” he said. But kingfish and croakers gave up pretty good catches in the river. Striped bass were eeled at Highlands and Sea Bright bridges. Stripers and blues, not a lot, had been eased from the surf. The stripers were small, but bigger will show up. “We got to get over this weather,” he said. Porgies had been around, here and there, like some in the surf that gave up good catches at Sandy Hook’s nude beach. Whether they’d be there after the current weather couldn’t be known.
Because of the possible hurricane, all trips are cancelled through October 8 with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. An individual-reservation trip on October 4, set to fish inshore wrecks, is rescheduled for October 11. Individual-reservation trips will fish for cod offshore on October 20, sea bass on October 27 and blackfish on November 16. “Be safe,” Ralph wrote. “Let’s hope we don’t get a direct hit from the hurricane.” ***Update, Monday, 10/5:*** A couple of spots each are available on the inshore-wreck trip October 11 and the cod trip October 20, Ralph wrote in an email. Nine spots remain for the sea bass trip October 27, and the blackfish trip November 16 should be booked now. The bag limit will be increased to six of the tautog that day, from the current limit of one. Charters are available daily.
***Update, Monday, 10/5:*** The sun finally came out Sunday, the party boat Big Mohawk’s Facebook page said. That was after the nor’easter for days, and the boat is expected to resume fishing Wednesday, for cod and winter flounder from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sea bass season will be opened starting October 22, and trips will fish for sea bass that day and the next day, October 23, aboard, by reservation only. Telephone the vessel to reserve.
***Update, Monday, 10/5:*** Hope you all got through the big nor’easter without damage, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. The hurricane is supposed to pass offshore next, and anglers will see how fishing goes after these two weather systems. Few anglers fished in the nor’easter, but one customer nailed a good number of striped bass in back waters, escaping the wind, on Bomber plugs. Good catches of kingfish were taken in back waters, before the weather. Spots and small porgies bit there then. Snapper blues foraged on peanut bunker in back waters then. Whether the kings, spots, porgies, blues and peanuts remained now was unknown. Fisherman’s Den is being moved to a trailer at the marina, near its current location, for a year or so, because a new building is being constructed. The store will be fully open, with all supplies, like usual. ***Update, Tuesday, 10/6:*** The season’s first winter flounder was tugged from Shark River today from the K Street Pier, Bob wrote in an email. The 15-incher was bloodwormed, and the catch was a “good sign,” he wrote. “Hope it keeps up.” One angler reported plugging 10 or more striped bass per trip from back waters in several outings this week on Bombers. Some anglers plugged stripers from the surf, and the surf’s seas began to calm and clean up. Blackfish and stripers were reported hooked from Point Pleasant Canal.
Tuna swam the fishing grounds offshore, and Capt. Mike from the Katie H hopes they’ll remain, after this weather, he said. The boat is mostly tuna fishing for now, and will fish for sea bass, once sea bass season is opened starting October 22. Trips will sail for striped bass and blackfish afterward. The weather was unreal. “How much more northeast wind can you have?!” Mike asked. The 46-foot Katie H features speed and all the amenities. Fish in comfort in the fall weather.
“As I sit here and write … the wind blows hard out of the northeast,” Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters wrote in an email during the weekend. “I know fall is upon us.” No trips fished aboard since then, because of weather, he said in a phone call Wednesday evening. He didn’t expect to sail again until the middle of next week, or end of that week, because of forecasts. Strong, northeast wind blew again today, and a hurricane or tropical storm might slam the coast at the beginning of next week. A couple of boats fished from Belmar on Tuesday, landing fish like ling and winter flounder, he thought. Pete blackfished at Point Pleasant Canal, and the tautog bit great. No keepers were hooked before bait ran out, but lots of throwbacks snapped. When trips start back up with Parker Pete’s, they’ll sail for bottom-fish including porgies. Pete hopes to see striped bass by mid-October. The crew is excited “to get the striped bass gear out,” he said, and prime dates are available for those trips into November, but don’t wait to book. They do fill up. Sea bass fishing will be launched aboard starting October 22, opening day of sea bass season. If sea bass fishing is like last spring, “go buy yourself a second freezer,” he said. Fish for sea bass earlier in the season, before sea bass migrate to the deep, farther from shore. When trips last fished, huge sea bass to 24 inches were hooked as a by-catch, and released. Blackfishing will begin aboard once the bag limit is increased to six of the tog starting on November 16, from the current limit of one. Good dates for that fishing are available, but again, don’t wait to book, because they fill up. Even if anglers don’t have a crew of six to fill a charter, contact Parker Pete’s anyway. Individual spaces are available on charters who need anglers. Simply call or contact the boat to book. 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. Hundreds of anglers are on the list, just waiting to fish with you, Pete wrote in the email. “Many fishing friendships have been made on the trips.”
On the Golden Eagle, bluefish 10 to 21 pounds, a good catch, were plowed Tuesday, a report on the party boat’s website said. A tuna trip sailed Sunday to Monday aboard, but no results were posted on the site at press time. Those were the only trips that fished recently aboard, between the weather, and the boat’s fishing will be weathered out today through Sunday, because of forecasts for wind and, later in the weekend, the potential hurricane or tropical storm. Bluefish trips are slated for 7:30 a.m. daily. See the tuna schedule online.
A great catch of bluefish to 20 pounds was whacked Tuesday on the Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the party boat said. The trip fished on the west side of the Mudhole, along hills and rubble, and the slammers were mostly jigged on Ava 47’s and Krocodiles. A few were caught on bait. No trips will fish today through Monday, because of weather forecasts. The boat is expected to resume fishing Tuesday. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
***Update, Monday, 10/5:*** A few striped bass and bluefish managed to be beached from the surf during the weather, said Vinny from The Reel Seat. Both fish also swam Manasquan River. Blackfish were cranked from Point Pleasant Canal. A few stripers, not a lot, were hooked from the canal. No boats fished in the weather.
Point Pleasant Beach
***Update, Tuesday, 10/6:*** Finally, fishing is expected to kick back off Wednesday on the Norma-K III, after recent weather, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. Trips are fishing for ling and cod 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for blues 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.
A few anglers tried surf fishing Wednesday, but the fishing was practically impossible, said Dennis from Murphy’s Hook House. Wind calmed Tuesday, and surf casters beached a few bluefish. Not much fishing was possible in the wind lately, but crabs, blowfish and baby black drum scurried around the Toms River at Island Heights and in Barnegat Bay behind Seaside Heights or Seaside Park. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.
Wind blew too hard to hear about surf fishing this week, but blowfish and kingfish were still angled from the dock, said George from The Dock Outfitters. Crabbing was actually good, too. The store is expected to be open daily through the weekend, no matter the weather. Baits stocked include eels, sandworms and fresh clams and mullet. 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.
Boaters had popper-plugged bluefish at Barnegat Inlet, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. They had boated blowfish on Barnegat Bay. That was all before the wind. Crabbing was alright, the last time he heard.
***Update, Monday, 10/5:*** Tuna trips are hoped to be launched Friday on the Miss Barnegat Light, the party boat’s Facebook page said. The season’s first tuna trips were weathered out Friday and Saturday aboard. See the tuna schedule online.
Yellowfin tuna had begun to show up, finally, before the wind began last week, said Capt. Lindsay from the June Bug. Not just onesies or twosies, he said. He knew about a couple of trips that landed 15 and 20 apiece. Weather like this is not unusual in fall. The current blow was further evidence that anglers should set aside a four-day window for tuna charters in autumn, like Lindsay always suggests. Then the chances of getting two days for an overnighter are better. Doctorate student meteorologists he knew said the weather coming this weekend could become another perfect storm, and they would know more today.
Stan Gola, owner of S&S Bucktails, will be on hand at Scott’s Bait & Tackle 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Brian from the shop said. Stop by, including for education, discounts and giveaways. For every $20 a customer spends on S&S products, the customer will be given an S&S sticker. Customers who spend more than $30 will be given a sticker and a package of Gulps. Though weather mostly nixed fishing, striped bass were reported eeled from Mullica River. Bluefish were also hooked from the river. White perch had been angled from the river, but nothing was heard recently. The northeast wind shoved saltwater into the river.
At Absecon Bay Sportsman Center, the crew was sort of battening down the hatches, Capt. Dave said. He took advantage and pulled his boat to clean the vessel and make it completely ready for striped bass fishing. He’ll begin striper charters as soon as the weather passes. A few stripers had begun to bite, before this weather. Some were definitely around. The shop’s bait supply is in good shape for stripers. Plenty of live spots are on hand, and some live mullet are in stock. Some mullet escaped. Plenty of eels are in supply. Anglers couldn’t know what would happen with the small fish, like croakers, that had been around. Dave’s got a feeling fishing will be all about stripers after the weather.
Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle was helping people batten down the hatches, he said, but the shop was open. If anglers need anything during the weather, telephone, and if nobody answers, leave a message, and Andy will get back to you. He’s checking the messages. Nobody was really looking for fishing reports in the impending storm, but small striped bass were sometimes plugged form the surf. Small blues were nabbed from the beach. Mike Amici came in first place for the kingfish category, with a 12.6-ouncer, winning $330, in Riptide’s summer fishing tournament that was wrapped up Saturday. Linda Davoli came in first for both the bluefish category, with a 9-pounder, and the summer flounder category, with a 3-pounder. She won $100 for each. All entry fees were awarded, and anglers could enter one, two or all three categories. The Cook Plumbing Riptide Striper Bounty was up to $350 and will be awarded to the angler who weighs-in the season’s first striper 43 inches or larger from Brigantine’s surf. All entry fees will be awarded, so the bounty will grow, and anglers must enter 24 hours before the catch. The Fall Riptide Striper Derby is under way, and includes a new category for bluefish, awarding cash for the three heaviest. The contest is for stripers and blues caught from Brigantine’s surf. Entry includes a permit that allows beach buggies to drive the entire Brigantine front beach, when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit. Without the tournament’s permit, not all the beach can be driven. The Brigantine Elks Fall Fishing Classic will take place November 13 to 15. Click the link for more info.
Anglers banked striped bass, good-sized, off the Steel Pier and along the T-jetty, mostly on plugs, but also on bait, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. “But this wind picked up for real,” he said. Tides were especially high, too. Blackfish, a couple of 19-inchers, were bagged at Absecon Inlet off Caspian Avenue. Anglers had to work to hook keeper blackfish, and that’s toward the back of the inlet. Customers fished all these areas on foot. They also plucked blowfish and blues from the inlet toward the back. 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.
Egg Harbor Township
The rental boats were being removed from the water today, said John from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. The shop will be closed for the weekend, but the crew will stop in every couple of hours, in case anglers need bait or supplies. The company also own 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.
***Update, Monday, 10/5:*** The Stray Cat will resume fishing on the next possible day, Capt. Mike said. He expects to poke out to the ocean before then, checking out conditions including water temperature and clarity, and scoping out where fish might be, like cod, weakfish and blackfish. Charters will fish, and he hopes to resume open-boat trips next week. The boat will concentrate on sea bass starting October 22, opening day of sea bass season, sailing to deep water, not messing around inshore, on 10- and 12-hour trips. Striped bass fishing usually becomes good around November 10 on the ocean locally. Trips will get after them aboard. December 5 will be the final trip from New Jersey this year aboard, before Mike takes the boat to Florida for winter. He’ll fish there for fun, like for sailfish, wahoos and swordfish, but also with customers, when they want.
Some bigger blues to 16 or 18 inches had been heard about from the surf, said Justin from Fin-Atics. Blackfish, including keepers, were reeled from along the Longport Bridge, near Great Egg Harbor Inlet. Out-of-season summer flounder were hooked and released along 9th Street Bridge on the back bay the past two days. Baby, out-of-season sea bass remained along the bridge, and some were actually keeper-sized or 13 inches recently, though that was unusual. The juvenile sea bass swim the bay in summer. White perch schooled Great Egg Harbor River.
Sea Isle City
Striped bass were angled in evenings in the back bay and at night under lights in the bay, before the weather, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. A few bluefish were plucked from the inlet during brief stages of the tide when the current didn’t scream. Nobody really crabbed in the weather. Baits stocked include live spots, green crabs and bloodworms, and eels would arrive soon.
None of the annual, traveling charters to Montauk, N.Y., fished last weekend aboard, and the trips were canceled for this coming weekend, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Weather was rough last weekend, and is supposed to be this weekend. “If I’m not even thinking about it, that’s telling you something,” he said. The Montauk trips fish the fall migration of striped bass, blues and false albacore through October. Anglers can meet the migration at the legendary port, before the run slides south to New Jersey. Annual traveling charters also fish the Florida Keys from Christmas to Easter. Visit Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. The migration of stripers and blues usually arrives off Sea Isle City in November, and Joe will jump all over them. Currently, his trips from Sea Isle are fishing for stripers on the back bay with popper-plugs and -flies. Those are younger bass, yet to migrate, that live in the bay year-round. The fishing is great sport, drawing explosive, visual attacks along the water surface. Trips will fish for sea bass aboard, once sea bass season is opened starting October 22, until the migration of stripers and blues arrives. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog. ***Update, Monday, 10/5:*** More of the traveling trips to Montauk will fish this weekend, if weather is fishable, Joe said. The local area flooded in the storm, but seemed to make out fine. All boats were removed from the water beforehand. When boats next fish from Sea Isle, “everything will be a do-over,” he said. What fishing was like before the weather doesn’t mean it’ll be like that afterward. Joe might not have remembered a stretch of sustained wind that prevented fishing this long.
***Update, Monday, 10/5:*** If the fall migration of striped bass arrives, the week before Thanksgiving usually offers some of the best angling for them with Fins & Feathers Outfitters, Capt. Jim said. His trips fish for them from the ocean to Delaware Bay, wherever the angling’s best. Charters aboard then include Cast and Blast Trips, a combo of striper fishing and duck hunting. Those trips usually fish for stripers a day and hunt ducks another day. A buddy had been scoring well on stripers along the back-bay’s sod banks at Sea Isle City or nearby on lures like Fin-S Fish and top-waters. Sounded like he didn’t catch well recently, but that could’ve been because of the weather. Those stripers are younger, juvenile ones that swim the bay year-round, are yet to migrate. The fall migration of stripers brings large, mature ones that are headed south for winter. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including fishing and waterfowl hunting. The waterfowling includes duck and goose hunting, for both Canadian geese and snow geese, from late summer until April, during the waterfowl seasons, along Delaware Bay and in nearby states. The trips follow the migrations. Anglers are supposed to fish for salmon on upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s nearby lodge starting in mid-October. The migration of salmon into the river, from Lake Ontario, usually peaks then. Soon afterward, the river’s migration of steelheads, from the lake, usually begins. Fishing for both is great, and guests at the lodge also enjoy snowmobiling throughout winter. A friend fished the river for salmon Thursday to Saturday. The river was low, running less than 200 cubic feet per second, but coho salmon migrated the water. The friend caught them at the Town Pool, and that’s located downstream. Rain fell along the river, muddying the water, but that failed to affect the river’s level much. But water was potentially going to be released into the river from the reservoir, and when that happens, the river usually raises to 750 CFS. Big schools of salmon, mostly kings or Chinooks, usually push into the river then. Fins and Feathers also offers fly-fishing for trout on Pennsylvania’s streams like the Yellow Breeches. Jim hunted deer in Pennsylvania on Saturday evening, seeing three deer, including a 5-point buck that he let go. Then a big black bear showed up, and seemed to scare away any deer. Bears were out-of-season currently, and the bears commonly kill deer to eat. Black bears, animals that can sprint short distances quickly, sometimes wander within range of deer, Jim explained. If a deer, like a young one, allows the bear close enough, the bear then sprints and attacks.
Fins & Grins Sport Fishing was docked in the weather, Capt. Jim said, and he knew about no boats that fished. But a trip is scheduled aboard for the weekend, and if the hurricane passes east, the outing might sail. Forecasts showed a possible window of calm wind, if that happened. The anglers didn’t mind rain. If the trip sailed, it would fish for croakers, weakfish and blues along the ocean front. That angling should be good. When the weather breaks, Jim will also begin trips that light-tackle striped bass on the back bay with top-water lures. Those trips are for one or two anglers, and fish during right conditions, including tops of tides. Trips are being booked that will fish the fall migration of the big stripers in the ocean or Delaware Bay that will arrive this season. Trips are also being booked for sea bass fishing that will begin once sea bass season is opened starting October 22, and for blackfishing that will begin once the bag limit is hiked up to six of the tautog starting November 16. One is the current limit. Fins and Grins fishes every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.
No trips fished this weekend on the party boat Porgy IV, because of wind, Capt. Paul said. A couple of boats fished off Cape May Point for small blues, escaping wind. Anglers wanted to sail toward the end of the week on the boat’s summer flounder trips, before flounder season was closed starting Sunday. But weather was rough. None of the vessel’s daily trips sailed last week, if he remembered, because of wind. “The fish won,” he said! Few flounder were bagged in the final week of the season. The boat will probably be tied to the dock until daily trips resume, fishing for sea bass, starting October 22, opening day of sea bass season. The crew is doing painting and maintenance to the boat that can’t be done in the cold of January.