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Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Thursday, December 1.

| Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Point Pleasant Beach | Toms River | Seaside Heights | Barnegat | Absecon | Brigantine | Atlantic City | Egg Harbor Township | Longport | Ocean City | Sea Isle City | Cape May | Last Monday's Report |
For the Down Deep Fleet, blackfishing was good when conditions were, Capt. Mario said. When conditions weren’t, the angling slowed. The tautog to 10 pounds were slapped aboard, and open-boat trips are fishing for them daily. Weather kept trips docked the past few days, and before then, striped bass fishing was slow a couple of days. The angling should pick back up, now that the new moon is past. Open trips are fishing for stripers daily on Raritan Bay and the ocean. Charters are available, and join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about special open trips. The company runs two boats, both 40 feet. Each can accommodate up to 15 passengers and includes a heated cabin, a full galley and a large cockpit.

Blackfish, a good catch, to 7 pounds were cranked in Monday on the
Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank said. Weather kept fishing docked since, and striped bass seemed to migrate out of range for the boat for the season. Blackfishing will sail through the first two weeks of the month aboard. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will be scheduled last-minute, because of weather this time of year. The open trips will fish when wind blows west and not too strongly.

Atlantic Highlands
The party boat Atlantic Star fished a few drops on Monday’s daily trip for blackfish, Capt. Tom said. Some of the tautog were picked at every spot, and not all anglers bagged a keeper, but more did than didn’t. The high hook bagged five, and another customer tackled a 7-3/4-pounder. No trips fished since in the weather. Tom expected to shape up for today’s trip and see whether anglers showed up in forecasts. The Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Few fished in weather including rain the past few days, said Jay from
Julian’s Bait & Tackle. But catches are still being made, including striped bass from boats and the surf. From boats, the fish were found on the ocean, in New York Harbor toward the Statue of Liberty and at Raritan Bay toward Staten Island. The harbor and that part of the bay always hold the fish this time of year. Many boaters trolled Mojos, bunker spoons and umbrella rigs. They eeled for stripers at night, he guessed. In the surf, plenty of stripers, smaller fish, swam. Some were up to 35 or 38 inches, and none was huge. A wave of the fish seemed to migrate south toward Lavallette and Seaside recently. But stripers still remained in the surf locally. A second wave seemed to remain there well. Giant bluefish were around for boaters and surf-casters. There were tons, and bait schooled everywhere: bunker from peanuts to hand-sized. More boaters blackfished than sailed for other catches, including because of the six-blackfish bag limit. They were meat anglers. All baits are stocked, including green crabs and fresh bunker and clams. The bunker heads were most popular for stripers. White crabs can be ordered.

Bait schooled the surf everywhere Sunday and Monday from Sandy Hook to Long Branch, said Chris from Fisherman’s Den North. Striped bass weren’t on the bait throughout the stretch, but big areas gave up the bass for surf anglers there. The stripers weren’t huge, but some were decent-sized. Peanut bunker have been the bait in the surf. Previously, surf fishing was off the hook, some of the best he’s seen, from the Sunday before Thanksgiving through Thanksgiving. Mostly stripers, not a lot of bluefish, were beached. Nothing was heard about catches from Raritan Bay’s shore. Stripers were boated in the back of the bay, like toward the Amboys, the last Chris heard, about a week ago. Weather prevented fishing in past days. But stripers are probably still there, he thought. Blackfishing was good, still a pick but catching, when boats last sailed. Even party boats were docked in past days. The shop, new this year, is the sister store to Fisherman’s Den in Belmar. It’s located at Atlantic Highlands Municipal, down the dock from party, charter and private boats.

A few keeper blackfish and some shorts were angled on the first drop Monday with Lady M Charters, Lady M’s Facebook page said. The trip moved to another drop, looking for faster action, but only a few more keepers and shorts came in, nothing special. Wind calmed, and that became difficult for keeping the boat still on anchor. Finally, south wind and incoming tide began, creating perfect conditions, and a good chew got going for an hour. The high hook landed 10 keepers. Another angler landed eight, and another landed six, a limit. The rest reeled in about four keepers apiece. A good number of shorts turned out action. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

With Last Lady Fishing Charters, a good catch of blackfish was pounded Monday from the ocean, Capt. Ralph said. Fishing was weathered out since. Charters are sailing, and an individual-reservation trip for blackfish is slated for Saturday. More are set for Dec. 12 and Christmas.

A trip today, trying hard, ended up with a few striped bass and a handful of bluefish in a big heave on the ocean on the Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the party boat said. The trip fished all over, but the rough weather in past days made the angling no good. Monday’s trip, in better weather, whacked a great catch of stripers and big blues. Forecasts called for better weather tomorrow. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for stripers and blues at 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. The trips will continue through the month, as long as the fish stick around.

The party boat Big Mohawk will resume blackfishing Friday, after the trips were weathered out Tuesday through today, Capt. Chris said. The fishing’s been alright, okay, a little picky, but okay. Anglers had to work for them, and the trips are fishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Green crabs are provided, and white crabs are sold aboard at a better price than at stores. Jigging for blackfish was a fad lately, and that might work on the bay, but doesn’t on the ocean.

Mostly striped bass and a few blues gave up good fishing Monday on the Golden Eagle on the ocean to the south, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fish bit early and afterward turned out a pick a few hours. “A lot of guys caught their limit,” it said. The report didn’t say whether that meant limits of unders or limits of all sizes. “We had a few (stripers) around 30 inches with others around 28-29 inches,” it said. Most were hooked on swim shads, and the boat is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Blackfishing was tough Monday on the ocean aboard, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. But striped bass fishing was excellent that day on the ocean, and was pretty darn good on most days previously. Trips are hooking them on cast rubber shads and on the troll, sometimes on livelined bunker in mornings. Dates remain for charters during the second half of the month for stripers, if they’re still around, and blackfish. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway about individual spaces available on charters. Sign up for the email blast on Parker Pete’s website to be kept informed about the spaces. One space is available Friday for stripers and another is available Dec. 8 for blackfish. Surely more will become available after mid-month.

Point Pleasant Beach
The Norma-K III was expected to resume blackfishing today on the ocean, after rough weather kept trips in port a few days, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. No much wind blew yesterday, and if wind went west today like forecast, that was expected to flatten the swell leftover. Trips are blackfishing 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. ***Update, Thursday, 12/1:*** The fishing resumed today with a light crowd aboard, Matt wrote on the site. A swell remained, but the west wind knocked it down as the day went on, and the trip did pick blackfish. Some were big, too. A few big were also lost, and Matt would’ve liked to have seen them. Back at it tomorrow, he said. See photos of the trip on the boat’s Facebook page.

Toms River
The surf became dirty the past couple of days because of the blow, said Virginia from Murphy’s Hook House in Toms River. So fishing for striped bass from the beach became slower than before. But surf casters began to pick up a few stripers on needlefish lures. Sand eels and herring reportedly began to appear in the water. One angler reported banking numerous stripers on a Boone needlefish. Many surf anglers switched to fishing bait in evenings, after plugging previously. Before the weather, boating for stripers was good on the ocean. Virginia sailed on a trip that boated three stripers 28 to 29 inches, a 44-incher and lots of throwbacks tight to shore off Mantoloking and Lavallette. The trip trolled a couple of blues on swim shads. Blackfishing was fairly good on the ocean. It produced well at Axel Carlson Reef. Also on the ocean, porgy fishing was great, and the trips still picked on sea bass. The party boat Jamaica II was fishing farther from shore, scooping up sea bass and porgies. The party boat Dauntless was fishing closer in, catching porgies and still some sea bass. Sizable winter flounder were sometimes bagged from the ocean still. Flounder migrate to bays and rivers beginning in autumn to spend winter. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Seaside Heights
Rain-gear day No. 2, a report said about surf fishing yesterday on The Dock Outfitters’ website. Striped bass fishing from the beach slowed considerably in past days. But some of the fish were dragged in. First light and dusk fished best, and mid-day was hit and miss. Swimming lures, popping plugs and metal grabbed the bass including keepers Tuesday at Island Beach State Park. None was huge, but some were respectable-sized. Sand eels began to be found in striper stomachs. So thin-profiled lures and teasers could work. Fishing a teaser with the lures was a good idea. “Not into plugging?” the report asked. Fresh bunker and clams are tried and true baits this time of year. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing and, in season, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals.

From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier: “Just came off a few days of good striper fishing before all the rain and fog shut us down. Now we’re back in a W/NW wind pattern for as long as the forecast goes. That means calm seas and hot migration fishing. On the days I was not chartered this past week, I spent a few trips running offshore, looking for castable bluefin tuna, but never saw one. That’s what makes it a hard trip to offer for charter. Spending a full day hunting and not even getting to cast is probably for the minority. Though it hasn’t suppressed my desire to hunt for these elusive fish. In fact, it’s making me hungrier to find them. We finished off each day of tuna hunting with some really good surface striper action between Lavallette and Seaside Park at the 3-mile line. Tons of birds and swirling bass and gator blues. We threw swim shads on our 10-pound spinning outfits. We also trolled some heavier fish on full-sized spoons and Mojos in the same area. The striper migration is in full swing with an interesting mix of sizes. We’ll run open-boat or be available for charter 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday. Three people max on open-boats. All fish are shared. This is going to run into Christmas at least so get ready.”

After a couple of questionable days of weather, wind blew west this morning, and the sun was out, and Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center planned to hit the ocean for striped bass today, he said. Check the shop’s Facebook page for results. Good catches were boated during the weekend, before the weather, and all the ones he heard about came from the ocean. A tow boat captain reported seeing bunker schooling 2 miles off Absecon Inlet yesterday. Stripers have also swum along Absecon Inlet and behind the inlet, if not elsewhere in back waters. But the action Dave heard about was from the ocean. He expected to look for bunker to snag and liveline on the trip but also bring live spots to fish. Plenty of the spots are stocked at the store, and so are Mojos and Tony Maja bunker spoons for trolling, and everything needed for the stripers. Eels, fresh clams and fresh bunker are also carried. Dave expects to continue running charters for the fish through December. Blackfishing’s been good at Absecon Inlet and bridges. Many of the fish were just undersized, but there were also good-sized keepers. This week’s weather seemed to fail to dirty the water. Blackfish bite in clear water.

A couple of boats fished the ocean for striped bass today, the anglers saying seas were rough, but they caught, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. A local charter captain sent a photo of a couple. On Monday in better weather, the fishing was slow picking in the morning but suddenly blew up in the afternoon. Then practically all boaters caught the fish to 30 or 35 pounds. A trip that day with the same captain must’ve landed 14 to 18 of the fish, all of them unders, except one smaller. Boaters have been trolling Mojos and Stretch 30 lures for the bass, making some good catches. Fred from the shop boated a 28-pounder. Another angler, fishing the bite recently, boated his first-ever striper, a 35-pounder. Check the shop’s holiday gift sales that are beginning. Gift cards are available that are worth 10 percent more than the price.

Atlantic City
At jetty-lined Absecon Inlet, blackfish still bit along the rocks, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. Fish green crabs for them, and striped bass occasionally hit along the inlet. Dunk fresh bunker or clams or swim an eel for them, and two hours before and after high and low tides were times to try for them. Customers fish the nearby inlet on foot. Nothing was heard from boaters in wind and fog in past days. All baits, the full selection, are stocked, including green crabs, eels and fresh bunker and clams. ***Big Heads Up:*** Noel began a petition for anglers to protest the government’s planned closing of fishing the jetties along the inlet. Click the link to read and sign it. The government recently said access will be granted, after Noel began to spearhead the protest. But until the government makes that official, the protest needs to continue.

Egg Harbor Township
The store was closed the past three days because of weather, said John from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. The doors were back open today, and fishing was the same as before. Striped bass swam the ocean a little north. Few fished for them since the weather, but the bass previously were trolled on Mojos, bunker spoons and Stretch lures. Big, gator bluefish sometimes bit among them. Surf fishing was slow locally and okay up north. Good blackfishing was tied into along bridges on green crabs. The crabs, eels and live spots are stocked. Fresh bunker and clams are carried when suppliers have the weather to sail for them. The company also owns 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.

Fishing with anglers was weathered out aboard, but Capt. Mike from the
Stray Cat snuck out solo yesterday and crushed striped bass, he said. Nine were trolled just inshore of 3 miles from the coast in the fog on No. 5 Clark spoons on No. 5 planers, and he was eating striper soup when he gave this report last night in a phone call. The fishing was more fun than he had in 20 years, and he was landing a striper on one side while shaking off another on the other, he said. Open-boat trips will resume Friday through Sunday, fishing for blackfish, unless stripers pop up. But the trips, sailing daily when weather allows, are targeting blackfish. “Always go for the meat,” he said. One of the trips will run 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, a shorter trip than usual. No trips will fish on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Ocean City
Until weather prevented the trips, striped bass were boated on the ocean and beached from the surf through Monday, said Bill from Fin-Atics. Sizable stripers were seen at the shop from the boats, and so were big bluefish. A 19.8-pound blue was weighed-in, and quite a few boaters ran into blues. The stripers and blues were trolled near the 3-mile line. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from shore. In the surf, a small run of stripers showed up during the weekend. Any decent-sized? he was asked. Yes, he said, and three larger than 30-some inches were checked-in, and a 20-pounder was biggest. That was hooked on a Daiwa SP Minnow swimming plug, and mostly swimming lures caught from the beach. Smaller stripers bit along bridges at night. Most anglers tossed soft-plastic lures to land them, and a few used hard lures to connect. Blackfishing had begun to taper off in the back bay but turned back on because the water warmed. They were small but there, and bigger chewed at ocean reefs. Nothing was heard about sea bass, but when weather calms, and boaters resume fishing the ocean, maybe more will be reported.

Sea Isle City
A boater had just telephoned today and reported catching a few under stripers from the ocean, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The angler got his butt handed to him from the seas, but found the bass. Some good catches of the fish were reported Monday, the last time weather was better. But when weather calms, boaters will resume the fishing and probably locate the bass. Most were trolled, and nobody really fished the surf. People telephoned, asking if stripers bit in the surf. But reports were difficult to get. Blackfish still bit along structure like jetties. Blackfishing for boaters on the ocean was about fishing the right spot. Customers blackfished on two trips at Ocean City Reef on the same day, one landing four keepers, the other landing 11. The right spot. Nothing was heard about sea bass fishing on the ocean. Stripers were still angled on the back bay, slower fishing than two weeks ago, when the catches really went off. But the bass were still hooked on livelined eels or spots or on plugs.

Trips for striped bass last fished throughout the weekend on the ocean aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. But a buddy boated them well Monday where Jersey Cape’s been fishing, and Joe will get back after them this weekend on charters. The trips last weekend reeled in the fish, covered in the previous report here. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish this winter, and see the traveling charters’ page on Jersey Cape’s website.

Cape May
Brian Hill’s charter on Monday trolled seven striped bass, keeping three, releasing the rest on the Heavy Hitter on the ocean, Capt. George said. Another one of the trips was slated for Wednesday and was weathered out. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean. A buddy ran a trip for them, and many throwbacks, just undersized, bit, but so did plenty of keepers. A mess of big bluefish also hit during the trip.

On the party boat Porgy IV, blackfishing was hit and miss, but a few days fished well for them, and some fished slow, Capt. Paul said. Weather was “shaky” lately, but wind was calm Friday. A few anglers limited out on the tautog on the day’s trip. They included Bob Millet from Broomall, who won the pool with a 7-pounder, Bob Key from Lancaster and Ken Minett from Mays Landing. On Saturday’s trip, blackfishing was bad, and wind blew strongly. “Or maybe I went the wrong way,” Paul said. On Sunday’s trip, a few blackfish were clubbed. On Monday’s, the catch wasn’t so good but included some sizable. Mike Jung from Cape May Court House on the trip bagged two blackfish: a 9.7-pounder and an 8.94-pounder. Trips were weathered out since, and Paul was unsure when trips will resume, because wind was forecast for the moment. But the Porgy IV is slated to blackfish at 8 a.m. daily.

Boaters seemed to begin trolling striped bass sometimes on the ocean from Avalon to the south in afternoons, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. On Delaware Bay they bunker-chunked resident stripers, a couple of keepers and some throwbacks. Surf fishing was slow. Blackfishing that had produced along jetties became slower. But the tautog seemed to bite at reefs in the ocean. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean. Green crabs and eels are stocked, and Nick expected to pick up fresh bunker and fresh clams this evening.

Last Monday's Report

Striped bass catches slowed on the last few trips on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The trips were “not that good,” he said, “and from what I can see, I think the bass have finally moved out of (the) area. That’s not to say there aren’t any around. Just not enough to put together a good day’s catch.” So the boat began blackfishing, starting with a trip Sunday. The fishing was okay. “We managed some nice fish along with shorts,” he said, and most of the anglers were new to the tautog fishing. “ … and they quickly learned there’s nothing easy about catching blackfish,” he said. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. An open trip might sail Sunday, depending on weather.

Atlantic Highlands

Blackfishing was tough Friday but seemed to improve, landing a few more keepers, each day afterward on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. One angler reeled in more than a limit Saturday, keeping no more than his quota. On Sunday’s trip, shorts gave up better action, and a few more keepers were boxed, than on Saturday’s. Some of Sunday’s anglers bagged two or three, and almost all bagged at least one. A few only caught shorts, and weather looked good for today’s trip. The Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. However, no trips will fish Tuesday and Wednesday, and the trips will resume Wednesday, weather permitting.

***Update, Tuesday, 11/29:*** The year’s final trips might’ve sailed on the Fishermen, a report said on the party boat’s website. But if striped bass appear for the weekend, the boat might keep fishing for them. Fishing on daily trips for stripers wasn’t “up to par” in past days aboard. Schools of bunker that attract the fish migrated south, out of range. Weather looks rough the next couple of days. Check the reports on the boat’s website toward the end of the week for an update on whether the vessel will fish this weekend.


With Lady M Charters, blackfishing began slowly on a charter Sunday, Capt. Steve said. Only a handful of keepers and not many throwbacks bit on a few drops. But the last drop gave up a good pick of the tautog to 6 pounds, bailing out the day. On Saturday on an open-boat trip, blackfishing was a big improvement over a charter Friday aboard. The trip Saturday picked and plucked the whole time, and the high-hook landed 10 keepers. “It helps when you sit tight on the anchors and can build up the life,” Lady M’s Facebook page said. On Friday’s trip, good-sized keepers were cranked up on the first two drops, but too many throwbacks bit. Current changed, and anchoring conditions became no good, “and it was all over,” the page said.


Fishing was good, if you could slip away from Thanksgiving’s family obligations, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Striped bass, feasting on peanut bunker, “not turkey,” he said, had given up good catches. The angling then became a little slow, because wind shifted, drawing the fish farther from shore. But blackfish were smashed. Jigs with white crabs lit up hot fishing for them. A new load of the jigs were stocked, and anglers bought a bunch. The good thing about jigging is that light spinning rods can be fished with them. Fish a 1-1/2- or 2-ounce jig with a piece of crab on braided line, and you’re in business. “Bass or blackfish – you got your choice,” he said. “Have fun before it gets tooooo cold.”

XTC Sportfishing’s been boating striped bass, blues and blackfish on the ocean, Capt. Scott said. Not a lot of blackfishing took place aboard, just a sprinkling, he said, but all the fishing was pretty good. The stripers weighed up to 42 inches and were hooked on cast rubber shads and on trolled Mojos, spoons and shad umbrella rigs. The blues were big, and the blackfish were “keeper-sized,” he said.

A couple of dozen striped bass were hammered in the first hour of today’s trip on the Miss Belmar Princess on the ocean, an email from the party boat said. Shots of five to eight were beaten at a time. Later in the trip, stripers showed up again, and the boat limited out on bonus-sized. More than three-quarters of the trip’s anglers also limited on unders, and jumbo blues were mixed in. The fishing was excellent. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for stripers and blues 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Anglers picked away at mostly striped bass and some blues Friday on the Golden Eagle, a report said on the party boat’s website. A blast of seven to 10 or more would be caught every so often, and the stripers included 35- to 39-inchers. Saturday’s trip picked at mostly stripers and some blues. Sunday’s picked at mostly blues 6 to 15 pounds and some stripers in the morning, and the angling tapered off toward the end of the outing. The trips mostly caught on swim shads, landing a few of the fish on jigs. Today’s trip was expected to fish to the south. Last year, some of the season’s best striper fishing was in December aboard. The number of stripers around currently suggests to the crew that the trips will have a strong finish. Trips are sailing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.


Both boaters and surf-casters found good striped bass fishing along the ocean from Sandy Hook to Barnegat Inlet, said Bob from The Reel Seat. Customers usually only fish as far south as the inlet. The boaters mostly trolled the fish on Mojos and bunker spoons. They didn’t usually liveline bunker, because bunker that schooled were peanuts – young, small ones – since bluefish showed up weeks ago close to shore. Boaters and surf anglers got into big blues yesterday at Long Branch. Blues showed up from Sandy Hook to the inlet off and on, like the stripers did, lately. One trip landed a 100-pound bluefin tuna on a bunker spoon while fishing for stripers Saturday. Bluefins supposedly appeared at wrecks farther out sometimes lately. They appeared and disappeared and appeared again. Surf-fishing for stripers was fantastic until slowing Saturday and Sunday. Blitzes popped up, foraging on peanuts, throughout the stretch, including at Normandy Beach, Lavallette and Island Beach State Park, “you name it,” he said. Sometimes only rubber shads caught at one place, or only popper plugs or swimming lures did. “It’s weird,” he said. But mostly only those three things caught. None landed on metal was heard about. A 27-pound striper was biggest in a tournament among five surf clubs in the area. Blackfishing was good on the ocean except the past couple of days, because of no wind for boaters to anchor. But most anglers got after stripers, and not much was heard about blackfishing or other angling. Fishing for sea bass and porgies seemed okay.

Point Pleasant Beach

Mushin Sportfishing’s been pounding striped bass, solid catches, the past few days from the ocean, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. On Friday, mostly rubber shads, plugs and popper lures caught. On Saturday, most of the fish were trolled. On Sunday, almost all the bass were hooked on bunker snagged then livelined, among bunker schools. The trips limited out and released more by early morning, and big blues were mixed in. Stripers swam in sizable schools, “so plenty of action to come,” he said. Mostly wreck-fishing trips are sailing, but striper trips will run when no wreck-fishing is on the water.

A good variety of different-sized striped bass and some blues were decked Sunday on the Gambler on the ocean, the party boat’s Facebook page said. The stripers were up to 36 inches, and most anglers bagged a slot and an under. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Offshore sea bass trips are scheduled for Dec. 17-30 and are filling up.

On the Norma-K III, blackfishing kept improving throughout the weekend, a report said on the party boat’s website. John Faulhaber from Point Pleasant heaved in a 15-pound 8-ounce whopper he released. “Fishing has been picky at points,” it said, but pool-winning blackfish averaged 7 to 9 pounds, and blackfishing can only improve as the ocean cools. Both green crabs and white crabs caught and are carried aboard. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Seaside Heights

Friday was another good day of striped bass fishing in the surf, a report said on The Dock Outfitters’ website. That was the most recent report posted at press time, and the fish including keepers were beached from Lavallette to Island Beach State Park. Schools of peanut bunker were on the move that attracted stripers. For anglers fishing artificials, rubber swim baits and hard swimming lures like Daiwa SP Minnows worked best. Popping plugs, metal-lipped swimmers, darters and wide-profiled metal were also good choices. For bait anglers, cut bunker and clams caught. “We have some nice live eels just to switch things up,” it said. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing and, in season, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals.

Barnegat Light

Charters scored good striped bass fishing the past three days on the Super Chic, Capt. Ted said. The fish, unders and slots, no overs 43 inches or larger, were jigged, and bluefish also bit each day. A couple of the blues were big Friday or Saturday, and on Sunday the blues weighed 5 to 10 or 11 pounds. Lately, blues mostly weren’t the huge that were in before. A fairly wide spread of stripers held in the ocean, and two or three fleets were on them. Ted hopes the bass stick around another couple of weeks. Blackfishing seemed yet to be very good locally this season.

Great day of jigging Sunday on the Miss Barnegat Light, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Almost the entire trip picked at bonus stripers, unders and blues. Many anglers limited out on bonus and under stripers. “Lots of fish spread over a large area point towards good fishing over the next few weeks,” it said. Saturday’s trip tackled a few blues and bonus stripers on the first few drifts, then the angling slowed, but a few bigger stripers were nailed later in the morning. Fish were read but didn’t bite, and even boats that trolled weren’t catching. Maybe stripers were full, and one aboard had a large bunker hanging out of its mouth. On Friday’s trip, anglers had to work for stripers, and some boated none, and some picked up multiple fish apiece. Bonus stripers bit early in the day, and better-sized were picked during the second half of the trip. Those included the 38-pound pool-winner, a 33-pounder and a 32-pounder. The boat will next fish at 7 a.m. Friday through Sunday.

Beach Haven

Good striped bass fishing was trolled Saturday on the ocean on the June Bug, Capt. Lindsay said. Decent day, he said, and six of the fish 34 to 40 inches were bagged off Peahala Park on Long Beach Island just inshore of 3 miles from the coast. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3. An especially big striper was lost at the boat. Huge pods of bunker had disappeared that schooled the water previously. But the stripers were hooked where nothing was marked on the fish-finder. The number of bunker snagged during trolling was considerably fewer than during the previous week. This trip, with the Moore charter, trolled two 24-ounce Mojos, one in white and one in red and white, and two No. 2 and 3 Tony Maja spoons, one in white and one in green and yellow. No bluefish were seen on the outing. Weather was forecast to be rough Sunday but turned out calm. A mate from Saturday’s trip sailed for stripers Sunday on the ocean. The trip landed seven in an hour and returned to port. Lindsay that day took a look at the ocean from the dunes, seeing birds work the water just beyond the surf. Bluefish at least schooled there, he figured. The water near port was 48 degrees, considerably colder than during the previous week, when June Bug’s trip departed. The ocean was 51 degrees, a degree lower than during the previous week, during the fishing that day.


Action’s getting good, a report said Friday on Riptide Bait & Tackle’s website. That was the most recent report on the site at press time, and boaters pulled in striped bass from the ocean. Surf fishing for stripers was tough, but surf anglers hoped the bass will push into the beach. The surf was very clean, the report said that day. To keep up with the latest, see Riptide’s Facebook page.


The Stray Cat was busy fishing for blackfish and striped bass in past days, Capt. Mike said. Good blackfish or tautog catches were pasted on three of the days. “Tog are here,” he said, and quite a few of the anglers limited out on them. The tog were sizable and included 4- to 8-pounders, and trips fished for them 7 or 8 miles from shore. A couple of striper trips also fished pretty well aboard, off Brigantine. The ocean held a temperature break there toward Absecon Inlet from 52 degrees to 47 or 48. The stripers held in the colder water, not the warmer, and the colder was to the south. Bait only swam there and farther north in the state. None schooled south of Brigantine, except farther from shore. Bird play worked bait over stripers and blues 6 to 8 miles from shore, sporadically, but the fish were abundant. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from shore. The next trip with space available is on Friday. Rough weather will keep trips from sailing beginning tomorrow for some days. Open-boat trips will now fish daily, whenever weather is fishable. Open trips had been fishing several times a week. But the trips will be slated for every fishable day now, because weather’s closing in for the season.

Sea Isle City

Five striped bass mostly 25 to 31 pounds, except one 27-incher, were trolled Sunday with Mike O’Hara and friends aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. One 22-pounder was trolled Saturday with Jim Campbell and crew aboard. On Friday, one 22-pounder was also trolled on David White and friends’ trip on the boat. All the fish on the trips were hooked from the ocean on Mojos and umbrella rigs. No large numbers of stripers swam the local ocean yet. But most were big that bit. Most weighed more than 20 pounds that were boated this month aboard. No bluefish were seen. Lots of bunker and whales were seen on Sunday’s trip. Lots of bait schooled during the trips, but no stripers were on the bait. The bass were hooked when no bait was seen. Whenever the trips fished among bait, no stripers showed up. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish beginning at Christmas. See the traveling charters’ page on Jersey Cape’s website. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.


Six striped bass to 33 pounds were bagged from the ocean Sunday on trolled Mojos and Stretch plugs with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing, Capt. Jim said. They were “strays” or not hooked all at once. Not much bait swam the water. Where bait was, no stripers bit. The fish bit where no bait was. No bluefish were seen. Fins fishes every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability. The boat did no blackfishing in past days, but a few blackfish are around, Jim heard. He’d imagine they’re beginning to slide farther from shore to wrecks.

Cape May

***Update, Tuesday, 11/29:*** “Good reports of stripers on the troll,” Hands Too Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page said Monday. “Red and white mojo’s were the ticket (that day),” it said.

Caveman Sportfishing ran for striped bass Friday on the ocean, but the fishing was no good, Capt. John said. Lots of bait schooled, and whales were seen. He canceled striper fishing aboard this week, because the fish were mostly yet to migrate south to local waters for the season. He didn’t know how the fishing went locally Saturday and Sunday. But as of Friday, a few stripers were boated off Brigantine recently, but very early in the morning. Lots of bird play held 8 to 10 miles from shore, probably with stripers underneath. But striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from the coast. Within 3 miles, stripers remained farther north in the state, were yet to migrate down, for the most part. They should come down. Some Cape May boats were sailed 65 miles north to the ocean off Long Beach Island, and the trips caught stripers well. Some of John’s friends’ trips landed many there. Any substantial population of stripers, within 3 miles of the coast, seemed no farther south than off the southern end of Long Beach Island during the beginning of the weekend.

Trips fished for striped bass Thursday through Sunday, catching some, not great fishing, on the ocean on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. Thursday’s and Friday’s trips hooked none. Saturday’s trip, the John Jones charter, trolled five stripers 36 to 38 inches. Sunday’s trip, the Tony Lafferty charter, trolled two: a 40-incher and a 32-incher. Another trip was supposed to sail for stripers today.