The below report was posted on Friday instead or the usual Thursday because of Thanksgiving.
Huge schools of mixed-sized striped bass swam local waters, and peanut bunker, large and small herring and sand eels attracted them to the area, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. Fishing for the stripers was insane Wednesday aboard, and no trip was slated for Thanksgiving. On Wednesday’s trip, casting rubber shads to the stripers was as good as it gets, and the bass could be seen boiling and busting on the bait for miles. A bunch of bonus tags are still available on the boat, in case anglers don’t have their own. A tag allows an angler to bag a striper 24 inches to less than 28, in addition to the usual bag limit. Two spaces were available for an open-boat trip this coming Sunday for stripers. “The action is just insane,” he said. The stripers will remain as long as the baitfish do. Blackfish are biting, though the full moon slowed fishing for them or made the angling more difficult than usual, at least.
Blackfishing was great the past few days with the Down Deep Fleet, Capt. Mario said Wednesday in a phone call. High hooks landed nine, keeping no more than a limit. Jigging for striped bass was a beat down, he said, on Raritan Bay and the ocean aboard. Loads of the fish were reeled in on Wednesday’s trip for them. Open-boat trips are available daily for either blackfish or stripers on the company’s two boats, both 40-footers. Charters are available for either species. Join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips. Also see the site’s open-trips page about the outings.
Striped bass fishing was good, and some were beached from the surf, and boaters trolled and jigged them, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Boating was excellent for the fish yesterday. Blackfishing’s also been great, and fishing’s been good all week for both species. Some boaters pushed farther from shore and boxed ling and cod.
For anglers on the Fishermen, striped bass bit the entire trip Wednesday, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. Many were 28 to 32 inches, so bonus tags didn’t need to be used to bag as many as sometimes previously. A tag allows an angler to bag a striper 24 inches to less than 28. A 21-pound striper won the pool, and the angler lost another at the boat that was every bit of 25 pounds. Rubber shads were the hot tackle, because peanut bunker schooled everywhere. Jigs with and without tails caught in deeper water when current ran strongly. No trip was slated for Thanksgiving. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. ***Update, Friday, 11/27:*** Some bigger stripers to 34 inches were pummeled today aboard, and a 23-pounder won the pool, Ron wrote in a report on the boat’s website. Only two bonus tags were used to bag stripers on the trip, and boat traffic was heavy, but the bite was on. Several areas gave up life, for a change, and the fishing doesn’t get better. Rubber shads caught best, until current ripped. The angling’s been excellent the past couple of days, and some bigger stripers to 23 to 24 pounds have been in the mix, Ron added, in an email he sent today.
Weather was beautiful, and just a light crowd showed up for Wednesday’s blackfish trip aboard, but the day was nice, said Capt. Tom from the party boat Atlantic Star. All anglers hooked keepers, except one, he thought. One limited out, and the rest bagged two to five. Dogfish were annoying, probably the worst this season. The Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
With Last Lady Fishing Charters, blackfishing was great on Thanksgiving, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. The anglers landed way more than their limit, keeping no more than their quota, and weather was beautiful. On a blackfish trip Wednesday, the fishing was also super, and the anglers landed twice their limit, keeping only their quota, and the fish weighed up to 8 pounds. Boaters who fished for striped bass that day tied into great catches. A striper trip fished the previous day, Tuesday, with Last Lady, catching a slow pick. But, again, the fish bit well on Wednesday. Space was available for an individual-reservation trip for blackfish tomorrow, Saturday. Individual-reservation trips will also blackfish December 6, 13, 20 and 27. Room is available for an individual-reservation trip next Friday for stripers. A cod trip will fish Monday.
One charter captain said a trip with him limited out on blackfish in the first hour, and released 10-pounders, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Blackfishing was off the charts for most boaters on the ocean. They began using white leggers for bait earlier in the year than usual, “and it seems to have paid off,” Bob said. Striped bass fishing was great on the ocean, though the fish caught were smaller than a few weeks ago. Jigging rubber shads or spoons hooked schoolies, and trolling bunker spoons and Mojos locked into bigger. Surf fishing for stripers was good, but surf casters needed to move around, because the fish might be in Belmar one day, Sea Girt the next, and so on. Daiwa SP Minnows, with or without a teaser, seemed the favorite lure. Several stripers were weighed from the surf this week, including Mark Manganaro’s 14-pounder from Asbury Park. Shark River’s winter flounder fishing was a good bet for anglers who wanted good-tasting fish. Chris Campi from Brick checked in a 3-pound 12-ounce flounder. “All in all, good fishing,” Bob said. “Get out before the snow flies.”
Striped bass fishing was excellent Wednesday on the ocean with Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters, Capt. Pete said. Throwbacks and some keepers, mostly 22- to 30-inch fish, bit, but all that the anglers could want did, and the angling was good on rubber shads and jigs on light tackle. No monsters, but action-packed, he said. Tons of stripers were around currently, and the fish still swam farther north, so Pete still thinks striper fishing will last into a good part of December. “I’m still sticking to my guns,” he said. On Tuesday, the angling with Parker Pete’s was a pick in the morning a while, a tougher start, becoming great in the afternoon. Slot-sized and keeper stripers bit. On Monday aboard, the angling was excellent for different sizes of stripers. Blackfishing’s been excellent, and Parker Pete’s is also sailing for them. Plenty of dates are available for charters for either in December. Individual spaces are available Monday for a charter that needs anglers. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway, about individual spaces available on charters. Visit 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.
Good striped bass action was tackled Wednesday on the Golden Eagle, a report on the party boat’s website said. Keepers, lots of bonus stripers and lots of throwbacks were cracked. All were hooked on swim shads, Run Off hammered jigs and Run Off crocodiles. The shads worked best, and fishing was slow on Tuesday’s trip, managing a few stripers and blues. No trip was slated for Thanksgiving. The Golden Eagle is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. every Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday. Striperthons are sailing 6 a.m. to 3 or 3:30 p.m. every Monday and Friday.
Lots of action was smashed with striped bass Wednesday on the Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the party boat said. As many as seven to eight were hooked at once, and many keepers and throwbacks were landed, and a good number of bonus stripers were bagged. Healthy-sized blues were mixed in. Fishing was good, and weather was beautiful, “a great day all around,” it said. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
Point Pleasant Beach
Catches of blackfish were a little slower on Tuesday and Wednesday on the party boat Norma-K III, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. A half-day trip was supposed to blackfish on Thanksgiving, but no report was posted about the outing at press time. On Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s trips, blackfish were picked at every spot fished, but only at certain parts of the boat. Some anglers bagged the tautog, some only landed throwbacks “and some were scratching their heads, wondering what they were doing wrong,” he said. Plenty of blackfish are swimming the boat’s area, and were just reluctant to bite during the trips. Victor Ortiz won the pool with a 9-pound blackfish Wednesday, and some sizable hit late that afternoon, just not enough. The Norma-K III is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Plenty of green crabs are aboard. White leggers are expected to be re-stocked Saturday on the boat.
Surf fishing for striped bass slowed the past couple of days, but sometimes 22- to 25-inchers were banked, said Russ from Murphy’s Hook House. The fishing had been good at night on small, black Bombers or Daiwa SP Minnows in the Seaside Park area. Boaters hammered stripers on the ocean. One trip landed 20 of the fish to 20 pounds off Beach Haven on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. Boating for stripers slowed toward Seaside and Island Beach State Park recently.
In the surf, striped bass fishing slowed a lot and was pretty quiet, said George from The Dock Outfitters. A couple of anglers plugged stripers from the beach 5 to 8 p.m. yesterday on Daiwa SP Minnows with black teasers. Boaters reportedly plowed stripers from the ocean off Long Beach Island. Blackfishing was good at wrecks in 60-foot depths in the ocean. Fresh bunker, fresh clams, eels and green crabs are stocked. 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.
Ocean boaters this morning ran into good striped bass fishing south of Barnegat Inlet toward Harvey Cedars, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. Most of the fish were trolled on bunker spoons, and some were hit on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. But not much bunker was heard about. A neighbor’s trip this morning limited out on the bass with three anglers. In Barnegat Bay, eeling for stripers was decent at night. A customer’s trip eeled four keepers last night between Double Creek and Oyster Creek channels. Eels and green crabs are stocked.
On the Super Chic, striped bass fishing wasn’t so good last Friday, was pretty good Saturday, was okay Sunday and was very good Monday, Capt. Ted said. The trips fished at Barnegat Inlet and on the ocean to the north with livelined bunker, except Monday’s trip also fished livelined spots. The water temperature was dropping during the trips, and was 56 degrees on Friday and Saturday, 55 on Sunday and 54 on Monday. Ted didn’t know what the temperature was afterward. The season’s first blackfish trip is slated for Saturday aboard, and blackfishing’s been okay, Ted thought.
Fishing for striped bass began slowly on Thanksgiving aboard, but later on the trip, most drifts picked a few, a report said on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light’s website. At first on the trip, “it was tough to stay with the bunker,” it said. Later, the trip “zeroed in” on the stripers. More of the trips will sail 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily today through Sunday.
Tons of striped bass were docked at Bobbie’s Boat Rentals, Vince Sr. said. Boaters pasted them on the ocean to the north and south on bunker snagged and then livelined and on trolled bunker spoons. They also decked the bass in Barnegat Inlet on livelined pinfish. The pinfish also hooked plenty in Barnegat Bay. Lots of blackfish were boated at ocean wrecks and along the inlet’s rocks on green crabs and white leggers. Both crabs are stocked, and so are the pinfish and fresh bunker. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and, in season, 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.
We’ve got striped bass here, said Scott from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. Boating for stripers was super Wednesday on the ocean right off Little Egg Inlet in 35 to 45 feet, a little closer to shore than previously. The fish could be hooked on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait, and could be trolled on Tony Maja bunker spoons or on umbrella rigs. The fishing wasn’t as good this morning, but the bass were picked steadily. Striper fishing’s been dead in the bay, and Little Egg Inlet’s refused to produce the fish. One boater tried to catch them in the inlet, could see stripers just off in the ocean, like surf fishers do. So the boater moved to the ocean and landed two. A blackfish trip on Thanksgiving hooked a hundred, including nine keepers. Plenty of blackfish were around lately, giving up good action, but catching keepers was the thing. White perch bit in waters like Mullica River, though bait was scarce for them. Bloodworms were difficult to obtain, and Scott netted no grass shrimp to stock for the angling, was preoccupied. Baits stocked include fresh, shucked clams and green crabs.
Whenever boaters had the weather to sail, they picked at big striped bass on the ocean, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. There were no big blitzes, but anybody who worked, caught, and the angling was good. The fish were trolled from Brigantine and Atlantic City to Longport and Ocean City on Mojos and bunker spoons. Another load of Mojos was just stocked, and all trolling gear is in supply. The back bay held stripers, and fishing for them was still a little tough, but he’s been catching them on his charters. Inlets were yet to really produce stripers, but some schoolies seemed to be moving into these back-water areas. Plenty of eels are stocked, including because Dave expects stripers to show up at inlets still, and eels catch them. Good blackfishing was clocked at times at the Brigantine Bridge, jetties and the ocean. A swell made the fishing tough today on the ocean, but the water temperature’s been good for blackfishing, and plenty of the tautog are around. In addition to eels, baits stocked include fresh clams, and Dave was waiting for a load of fresh bunker.
Anthony Diversa eased a 16-pound striped bass from the surf today, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. He hooked the fish on a bunker chunk, Andy thought, and also beached another striper the other day, that one on a chunk of bunker days old. Victor Richardson bought bunker from the shop and banked a 17-pound striper recently. Five or six other stripers were heard about from the surf the past couple of days. So some of the catches began to be seen again, so that was good. Boaters whacked plenty of stripers from the ocean on trolled Mojos, Stretch lures and bunker spoons. Mojos are stocked, and the store is like Mojo central. People kept calling about Mojos, and maybe the price was too low. Fresh bunker, fresh clams and green crabs are on hand. The Expert Fireplace Riptide Striper Bounty was up to $120, and will be awarded for the next striper 43 inches or larger weighed-in from Brigantine’s surf. The last bounty reached $870 and was awarded earlier this month. Entry is $5, and all the cash is awarded, so the bounty will grow. The Riptide Striper Derby, a striper and bluefish contest, is underway until December 23.
Customers fishing on foot picked up ling, blackfish and sometimes striped bass, said Jeremy from One Stop Bait & Tackle. They fished along nearby, jetty-lined Absecon Inlet, from the T-jetty, on the ocean end, to the sea wall, on the bay end. For the ling, they dunked bloodworms and any cut bait. For the blackfish, they soaked green crabs, and for the stripers, they cast bunker, clams or eels. All these baits and more, a large supply, are stocked.
Egg Harbor Township
***Updated, Saturday, 11/28:*** Blitzes of striped bass blew up in the ocean beginning Tuesday, said John from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. The fish were trolled at the Cuma Lumps on Mojos and umbrella rigs. He sailed on a trip Friday that went 6 for 7 on the fish. Blackfishing was decent, not great, definitely better on the ocean than along the coast, like at jetties and in back waters. The tautog bit at places like the jetties but were small there. Baits stocked include fresh bunker, fresh clams, eels and green crabs. During the warmer seasons, rental boats are available to fish and crab on Patcong Creek, where the boats are docked, running past the shop, and on Great Egg Harbor River, the bay and surrounding waters. Patcong is one of the best places for crabbing. The company also owns 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.
Blackfishing’s been great, the best in 3 years, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat. A trip Wednesday tried to mix in striped bass fishing, but none showed up. So the trip moved on, sat on a wreck, cranking up blackfish, including 4- and 6-pounders, nice fish, he said. The ocean was 53 degrees, and trips are sold out through Sunday. But space is available on open-boat trips Monday through the following Sunday. After that Sunday, December 6, Mike will bring the boat to the Florida Keys for winter, maybe offering a few trips there for anglers. Striper fishing up to Wednesday’s trip landed onesies or twosies, or three here, two there or one there.
Sea Isle City
A trip was trolling for striped bass aboard the ocean at 7:45 a.m. today when Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle, gave this report in a phone call on the outing, he said. One bit and got off, so far, and a trip yesterday trolled a 15-pound 37-incher aboard. Most of the fishing’s been on the troll, and has been sporadically good. Joe knew about a handful of trips yesterday that cleaned up well on the bass, and lots that didn’t catch that day. When trips got into stripers, they seemed to get into them all at once, like landing four or five in a short time. One day could be great, and the next could be slower. The ocean held a swell today, but wind was calm. So rougher weather farther offshore must’ve caused the heave. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish from Christmas to Easter. See Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page.
Terrific catches of striped bass were boated on the ocean, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The fish, in the 30-pound range in past days, were trolled on a variety of tackle including umbrella rigs, Mojos and Stretch lures. The fish were bagged from ½ mile from shore to just inshore of 3 miles. One of the trips today reported coming one striper short of a limit. Surf fishing for stripers was slow. A few anglers eeled stripers from the back bay. Live spots, scarce in the state this time of year, will be re-stocked by the end of the weekend at the shop. The local party boat is blackfishing, and full-moon currents were tough to fish in past days, but the angling’s been fairly good. That company just bought another party boat that will begin fishing for sea bass in deep water, farther from shore, this coming week. Baits stocked include fresh bunker, fresh clams, eels and green crabs. Again, live spots will be carried by the end of the weekend. Many stores begin stocking a limited supply of baits this time of year, but Sea Isle Bait & Tackle is going to do just the opposite.
The Heavy Hitter was supposed to fish for striped bass on Thanksgiving and today and probably on Saturday and Sunday, Capt. George said before the trips. Someone who fished for them on the ocean Wednesday said the angling was mediocre and then suddenly blew up and was great off Sea Isle City. The angling in the previous days seemed sluggish and then would suddenly erupt or become good. The stripers were mostly trolled but were bucktailed or jigged when blitzes blew up. Another angler knew about a trip that beat the bass, a bunch, on bunker snagged for bait and then livelined on a trip. That’s a common way to catch them farther north in the state but not popular off South Jersey. Most trips locally sailed for stripers, but a friend’s been blackfishing, scoring well at Wildwood Reef.
On the blackfish trips on the party boat Porgy IV, some anglers lit into the fish well, but some didn’t, Capt. Paul said. Not a lot of the fish were around, but enough were around to get by. A small crowd joined Wednesday’s trip, and some nice fish, Paul said, were hung. But, again, some anglers on trips would connect well, and some wouldn’t. No trip was slated for Thanksgiving, and the fishing would resume today aboard. Some anglers limited out on trips, and some landed one keeper or none. Alex Levantovsky from Philly on Wednesday bagged no blackfish until 1 p.m., and then limited out on the tautog to a 7-pounder. No especially large tog were taken on trips. Anglers who limited aboard recently also included Mark Grimm from Swainton, Bob Key from Pennsylvania and John Riccardi from Williamstown. The Porgy IV is blackfishing at 8 a.m. daily.
Striped bass, good catches, were boated on the ocean on the troll and on jigs or bunker snagged and then livelined, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. They seemed to be located from Atlantic City to all the way south off the state in 35-foot depths or deeper. Stripers, good-sized to 40 pounds and heavier, that boaters bunker-chunked on Delaware Bay began to be heard about. One boater reported eeling a good catch of stripers at Cape May Rips. Not much was heard about stripers from the surf, except a couple of throwbacks and keepers landed here and there. The fish stubbornly remained out of range from the beach, chasing bunker schools. But stripers from the surf began to be heard about from Brigantine, farther north, today, so they could arrive in the local surf any day, it seemed. Blackfish were tugged from Cape May Reef and other local reefs and were still hooked “inside,” including along jetties. Sea bass catches sounded good from the ocean in 120-foot depths.