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Report from Monday, November 24.

| Staten Island | Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Brielle | Seaside Heights | Barnegat Light | Brigantine | Longport | Ocean City | Sea Isle City | Avalon | Cape May | Last Thursday's Report |
Staten Island
Blackfishing limited out early on Saturday with Outcast Charters, Capt. Joe said. The fish, weighing up to 7 pounds, were hooked in 40 to 70 feet. Both green crabs and white crabs were fished, and another one of the trips is set for Wednesday. Outcast specializes in in the tautog fishing, and offers charters from both Staten Island, N.Y., and Sewaren, N.J.

Great blackfishing was clobbered during the weekend on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The fish weighed up to 7 pounds, and on Saturday, the six anglers came a few short of limiting out. On Sunday, another six limited out and released more. The year’s first cod was tugged aboard Saturday. Charters and open-boat trips are sailing, and the Vitamin Sea will blackfish the rest of the year. Green crabs and white crabs will be carried for bait. Telephone for the schedule, and weather especially affects the schedule this time of year. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”

The Down Deep will now blackfish, Capt. Mario said. Striped bass fishing slowed, and blackfishing is good. The tautog to 7 pounds were clubbed aboard. Trips, including open-boat, will also sail for sea bass offshore, when weather is fair. Charters are being booked, and sign up for the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips.

The boat will be hauled from the water on Tuesday for the season, said Capt. Joe from Papa’s Angels Charters. The vessel had been striped bass fishing, and Joe thanks all who fished aboard this year, and appreciates them, he said. Trips will resume in mid-April with striped bass fishing, and Joe also wishes everybody happy and safe holidays.

Atlantic Highlands
Capt. Ron from the party boat Fishermen didn’t like the looks of conditions for striped bass fishing locally for Sunday’s trip, he wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. That included a tide that would be lost 2 hours into the trip. So he took the boat on one of its longest-ever rides for the fishing. Several patches of birds were found working the water when the trip arrived at the fishing grounds. Throwback stripers, a couple of keepers and some blues gave up action. If the boat had stayed locally, nothing would’ve been caught. A southerly roll made conditions cranky, but warmer weather and sunshine felt good. On Saturday’s trip, plenty of life filled the water in the morning, but the fish were tough to catch. A couple of throwback stripers were hooked. The trip took a ride down the beach, and nothing was doing. The trip ended up finding gannets crashing the water, and beating on bluefish for three drifts. When that dropped off, the trip moved, and throwback stripers bit on a couple of drifts. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. However, no trip will fish on Thanksgiving. Nighttime trips for stripers will no longer fish aboard until spring. Sharks circled the boat like Custard’s last stand, so the night captain cancelled the trips in the dark.

On the party boat Atlantic Star, blackfishing was decent on Sunday, Capt. Tom said. A couple of anglers limited out, and some bagged no keepers. But all left with fish, Tom thought, because some who limited gave away fish. A blackfish heavier than 8 pounds won the pool, and some 5- and 6-pounders were cracked. The number of keepers was about the same as on Saturday, and Saturday’s blackfishing was somewhat more consistent. Sunday’s fishing started off well, and then slowed. So the boat was moved to a couple of spots, and a few blackfish were axed at each, not the fishing like earlier in the trip. The angling didn’t hold up like on Saturday, but was still decent. Both green crags and white crabs caught on Sunday’s trip. Greens are supplied aboard, and whites are available for sale on trips. No trip was expected to sail today in forecasts for rough weather. The Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, including on Thanksgiving, if weather allows.

A group was new to blackfishing on a 6-hour trip Friday aboard, but some of them limited out and landed more, Capt. Ralph from Last Lady Fishing Charters wrote in an email. The angling was super, considering windy, cold weather. A charter Saturday landed a few striped bass, but the angling was tough. “Might be able to clam them – will let you know,” Ralph said. The anglers on a trip Sunday had stripers in mind, but hooked none. They jigged big blues farther from shore, thanks to the captain from the Miss Belmar Princess who called Ralph about the fish. Individual-reservation trips for blackfish are slated for this Sunday and, when no charter is booked, every Sunday, Tuesday and Friday in December and January. Charters are available daily, and Last Lady will sail throughout winter, “till there are no more fish to catch,” Ralph said.

A bunch of blackfish, a good catch, to 8 pounds were pumped in Sunday with XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott said. Then the trip jigged bluefish 6 to 14 pounds and a couple of striped bass to 22 pounds. A charter cancelled that was supposed to fish Saturday.

Catching large striped bass was tougher in past days, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. He’d like to start focusing more on blackfishing, and that angling’s been excellent. Plenty of dates remain for blackfish charters in December. But trips still boated stripers aboard. Throwbacks were hooked, and sometimes keepers were mixed in. Some days were better than others. On some days, the fish wanted jigs. On others, trolling caught best. If trips were fortunate to find bunker schooling, stripers were hooked on livelined bunker. What the stripers foraged on changed from day to day. Sometimes they foraged on rainfish. Small weakfish were even found in striper stomachs. Bluefish attacked on some days. They didn’t the last couple of days with Parker Pete’s, but lots previously did. Again, every day could be different. Striper trips sailed south on the ocean the last few days. But talk sounded like stripers were caught to the north in the ocean again now. That could change, and trips found stripers from tight to shore to a couple of miles from the coast, and that could also change. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Jump on Parker Pete’s website to subscribe to the emailed newsletter to be kept informed about last-minute, individual spaces available to fill in charters. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page.

Was a good weekend of blackfishing, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. “Blackfish madness,” he wrote, and plenty of anglers blackfished, and some tackled big ones. A blackfish heavier than 9-pounds was the largest checked-in. Striped bass were boated on the ocean off Ocean County, to the south. The fish were mostly throwbacks to stripers weighing in the teens that were trolled or jigged. Surf fishing for stripers was a little tough the last few days, and few of the stripers beached were keepers. The surf was loaded with spearing, but fewer stripers fed on them than Bob would expect. Mostly plugs and teasers hooked any stripers from the beach. In Shark River, fishing was good for winter flounder and sundials.

Fishing was slow Saturday on the ocean to the north on the party boat
Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the vessel said. Some throwback striped bass and a couple of blues were hooked. On Sunday’s trip, bluefish were Mohawked on the ocean to the north. A few keeper stripers and quite a few throwbacks were landed, and Derek Dearnley, Vernon, won the pool with a 25-pound striper. Today’s trip was weathered out. The Miss Belmar Princess is sailing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. A trip will fish 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving, and reservations are required for that outing.

Fishing was insane for bluefish and keeper striped bass and throwbacks during the first couple of hours of the trip Sunday on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. Clouds of birds worked the water everywhere, more birds than a trip aboard saw all season. Anglers hooked fish as fast as they could drop a line in the water. The fishing lulled 45 minutes, but became crazy again during the final 1 ½ hours of the trip. Gale wind was expected to keep today’s trip docked. The Golden Eagle is fishing for striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and on Striperthons 6 a.m. to 3:30 or 4 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Offshore wreck-fishing trips will sail every Friday night in December for giant sea bass, porgies and cod, and contact the boat to reserve.

A sharp roll, wicked southeast current and snotty wind met Saturday’s trip on the party boat Jamaica II, an email from the vessel said. The fishing conditions were much worse than on the previous weekend, and fishing wasn’t as good as last week aboard. But anglers still picked away at big porgies, sea bass and a few cod and pollock. “Also had some ling,” and dog sharks were “feisty,” it said. Most of the anglers left with fish, and Frank Pogue won the pool with a 19-pound cod. Ray Bryant just missed the pool with an 18-oound pollock. Lester Crane totaled 19 porgies, 14 sea bass and two pollock. That was a 14-hour trip, and Sunday’s 10-hour trip “saw decent coolers of big ling and porgies,” the email said. Fishing today will probably be weathered out because of wind. Trips will fish 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and Sunday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 3 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. No trip will sail on Thanksgiving.

Boating for striped bass gave up pretty darn good numbers, but not so good size, on the ocean, said Eric from The Reel Seat. The fish, mostly throwbacks, a few keepers, were also trolled and jigged on the back of Raritan Bay. On the ocean, lots of throwback stripers, some keepers mixed in, were decked from Sandy Hook to Monmouth Beach. On Saturday, the ocean held stripers from Mantoloking to Lavallette in 60 feet. Stripers in the ocean foraged on small bait like rainfish and spearing, instead of adult bunker like before. A few sand eels were heard about from toward the mouth of Raritan Bay. On the ocean, trolled bunker spoons caught some of the better-sized stripers to about 20 pounds. Closer to shore, like in 30 feet, a pile of throwbacks, occasionally a small keeper, were jigged. In the surf, stripers popped up anywhere from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park. Fishing for them was best at night on high tides. Sometimes late afternoons to dusk gave them up. Surf fishing for stripers was kind of hit or miss. Lots of spearing and sometimes peanut bunker showed up in the surf. A few peanuts showed up in the surf at Sea Girt on Saturday night, but not on Sunday morning. Eric surf fished for stripers from Belmar to Lavallette during nights with Yo-zuri Mag Darters and Daiwa SP Minnows. Sometimes he found the fish right away, and other times he fished a few spots before finding them. Blackfishing was great on the ocean at places including Sandy Hook, Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs, and Shrewsbury Rocks. The tautog gathered mostly in 30 to 50 feet, and some were sizable. At Manasquan Inlet, anglers picked away at blackfish, including some keepers. The inlet was loaded with windowpanes, and hickory shad swam the inlet. In Manasquan River, striper fishing was slow, but a few were around. Winter flounder bit in nearby northern Barnegat Bay toward Bay Avenue and Point Pleasant Canal. Flounder also bit in Manasquan River from Route 70 Bridge to the canal. Back on the ocean, wreck-fishing was good, was well worthwhile, when party boats could reach farther from shore. Sea bass and quite a few large porgies were pitched aboard. A few large, out-of-season fluke to 10 pounds were caught and released. Catch the shop’s big Black Friday sale from Friday through Sunday on items like lots of rods, tuna jigs, fluke and striper bucktails and more.

Seaside Heights
Click here for a report from The Dock Outfitters.

Barnegat Light
Throwback striped bass turned out good action in the morning on Sunday’s trip, a report on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light’s website said. Boat traffic scattered the fish afterward, and the trip did bag two keepers among the schoolies. On Saturday’s trip, one drift banged out three stripers. But stripers were never found again on the outing, a tough one. Wind blew a little more strongly than before, and schools of bunker were never seen along the surface. On Friday, the day’s trip worked hard, fishing schools of bunker, to come up with a handful of keeper stripers, including one especially large, and some throwbacks. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing and striped bass and bluefish 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday through Sunday. A trip will sail for them 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving.

Plenty of striped bass were boated on the ocean near Brigantine, Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle wrote in a report on the store’s website on Friday. One couple of anglers filled the cooler with the fish – the limit is two apiece – and released more afterward. Another angler sent a photo of three sizeable stripers bagged on his boat. One charter boat’s been on the stripers a couple of weeks. Boaters were into large stripers on the ocean all weekend, Andy wrote in a report Sunday on the site. Stripers were still caught farther north, so the local fishing should last a couple of more weeks. Andy wishes he could understand why stripers failed to push into Brigantine’s surf. He heard every theory, and most made sense. The store will be open 5 to 11 a.m. on Thanksgiving and at 5 a.m. on Black Friday. The annual Riptide Striper Bounty was up to $1,240 and growing. Sponsored by Hess Plumbing, the bounty awards the total entry fees to the angler who enters the season’s first striper 43 inches or larger from Brigantine’s surf. Entry is $5 and required before catching the fish. The annual Riptide Striper Derby is under way until December 23, awarding prizes, and allowing beach-buggy access to Brigantine’s entire length, when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit. Otherwise, not all the beach can be driven.

Blackfish, a great catch, were bombed Sunday on the Stray Cat, Capt. Mike said. Quite a few weighed more than 6 pounds, and an 8-pounder was largest. A striped bass run took off in the afternoon off Ocean City. Lots of big stripers to 20 and 25 pounds are migrating the ocean within 2 or 3 miles from shore this year. The ocean had dropped to 48 degrees on the trip, and the blackfish were beautiful: white on bottom, a brown/rust on the sides and clean-looking. The big blackfish are starting to show up, he said. Charters are sailing for blackfish or stripers, and space is available on open-boat trips for blackfish on Tuesday and Sunday. Space is also available on the trips next week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. An open trip for blackfish is sold out for Thanksgiving morning. That outing, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, was only $29.95. Dates are available for combo striper/blackfish charters on December 6, 13 and 20. Mike expects to shut down fishing during Christmas week aboard, and only 10 open trips have space available the rest of the year. Better jump on, if you want to fish, he said.

Ocean City
No trips fished on the party boat Miss Ocean City this weekend, but the boat is sailing for sea bass and blackfish, Capt. Victor said. Trips will also start doing some striped bass fishing this weekend.

Sea Isle City
Striped bass fishing seemed best from Sea Isle City now, this writer told Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. That’s good to hear, and the way it should be, he said. This is it, he said – Thanksgiving week is usually the peak of the migration at Sea Isle. Jim Campbell and son aboard Saturday ran into lots of stripers on the ocean, jigging the bass to 20 pounds along the surface. John Mattiaccio, his dad and a friend had a great day on the stripers Sunday aboard. All the trip’s bass were trolled, except one was jigged, and the catch included a 21-pounder and two 20-pounders. All the trip’s bass were keeper-sized. Umbrella rigs with chartreuse rubber shads and Stretch plugs in chartreuse were trolled. Both trips hooked lots of stripers, and both had to look around. But when stripers were found, the fishing was gangbusters. The fish fed on adult bunker. Many stripers schooled the ocean, and the fish were larger than last year. Last year, the stripers fed on sand eels, not bunker. Several of the anglers caught their first-ever stripers on the trips. No bluefish showed up on either trip. Jersey Cape will keep after stripers, and annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish from Christmas to Easter. See Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.

Fins and Feathers Outfitters duck hunted in the Delaware Bay area on Friday and Saturday, Capt. Jim said. The hunting was great, and quite a few striped bass were seen rolling among the decoys on Maurice River. Duck trips will hunt the area again this coming Friday and Saturday, and Jim hopes to fish for stripers on Sunday. Fins is fishing for stripers from Delaware Bay to the ocean, wherever the angling’s best, and offers a variety of outdoor adventures. That includes fishing on the bay and ocean, duck and goose hunting on Delaware Bay and in surrounding states in fall and winter, and more. Anglers can even enjoy a combo striper fishing and waterfowl hunting on Delaware Bay over a couple of days or more.

Cape May
Five striped bass were trolled, and a bunch were lost on the troll, on the ocean Saturday with Kevin Driscoll’s charter on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. Two stripers were trolled, and several were lost on the troll, on the ocean Sunday with Anthony Mergliano’s charter. Trips were catching the bass, not great, but catching, on the ocean. The stripers were large, and were landed toward Corson’s Inlet on the Heavy Hitter. Lots of stripers turned on, with large bird plays, off Atlantic City, 30 miles from Cape May, on Saturday. A couple of boats from Cape May made the trip, limiting out. About five Cape May boats sailed to Atlantic City on Sunday, catching a few stripers. No big bird plays were there like on the previous day. The Heavy Hitter trolled Stretch 25 plugs, and when the stripers were lost, the pole would get banged and bend over, and scales would be seen on the hooks, when the lure was reeled in. Seven or eight were lost on Saturday, and three or four were on Sunday. Bait swam the water, and George guessed that was bunker. The man who cleaned the fish said a few bunker were in each stomach on Saturday, and George hadn’t talked to the man yet about whether the baitfish were in the stomachs on Sunday. Striper fishing sounded dead on Delaware Bay. More striper trips are slated to sail starting Wednesday. The boat might blackfish later in the week, and George heard blackfishing was good. A friend reported a good catch.

Striped bass schooled the ocean close to 3 miles from shore, said Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters. Fishing for them is open within 3 miles from the coast, and Melanie Anne scored a good catch of the bass to 40 inches and larger Sunday. Striper fishing was dead on Delaware Bay and in the Cape May Rips. The water was full of mud. Sea bass fishing was good, and sea bass close to shore started to be small, so trips had to sail farther from the coast for good-sized ones. But the fish were there. Plenty of blackfish are biting. ***Update, Tuesday, 11/25:*** A sea bass trip was cancelled aboard Monday, because of forecasts for wind. Trips will fish for stripers on Thanksgiving and for a combo of sea bass, blackfish and stripers on Friday. That trip will fish wrecks at first for sea bass and blackfish, and then for stripers closer to shore. Anglers booked for a trip Sunday want to fish for whatever bites. So the trip will head out for whatever fishing’s best at the time.

Last Thursday's Report

The anglers limited out on blackfish by 9:30 a.m. on Sunday on the Down Deep, Capt. Mario said. The fish weighed up to multiple 7-pounders, and the catch was super, he said. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. Open trips include ones for striped bass, and an open trip will fish for sea bass and cod at the first window of weather. See open trips listed on the vessel’s website. Sign up for the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips.

Atlantic Highlands

Wind fail to blow a gale forecast for today, Capt. Ron from the party boat Fishermen wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Only a handful of anglers showed up at the harbor, and the Fishermen was one of two of the head boats that fished from the marina. Plenty of life – birds working the water, and fish on top – was around at several areas. Some of the fish wanted to bite, and some didn’t, and the trip kept fishing different patches, looking for the ones that wanted to feed. A couple of keeper striped bass and mostly smaller ones were hooked, but action was good for anglers who worked at the catches. White rubber shads caught best, like recently. The shads were reeled slowly along bottom. Northwest wind will be fishable on Friday, for sure, with an outgoing tide most of the day. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for stripers 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

The party boat Atlantic Star fished on no trips Monday through today, in the weather, Capt. Tom said. But the crew shaped up to sail every day, and he’ll see whether Friday’s trip will sail. Weather sounds okay for the weekend. The Atlantic Star is focusing on blackfish, but also sailing for porgies and sea bass, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. ***Update, Saturday, 11/22:*** Blackfishing was a nice pick aboard today, Tom said. It wasn’t great, but was good enough to stick with. Anglers with patience were able to feel the tautog scratch and hit, so that when the fish bit, the anglers caught. The trip fished several spots, and a couple of customers bagged four or five, and one or two anglers landed no keepers. But some of the anglers who bagged more than they needed gave away the fish, so that all customers left with fish. Action with throwbacks kept all anglers alert, and the trip’s fishing wasn’t fast and furious, but was somewhat steady, and much better than on Friday. Friday was cranky in wind, and today’s weather was calmer. Sunday might be the day to jump aboard, because Monday sounds like a blow out. Wind is supposed to build and gust from Sunday afternoon to Monday.

Blackfishing was good, when boaters got the weather to sail, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. A friend on Sunday, when the bag limit was hiked to six of the tautog, from one previously, nailed a 16-pounder, a 9-pounder and an 8-pounder. Boating for striped bass was good when trips could sail. Surf fishing for stripers picked up. One angler beached a 20-pounder and four throwbacks in only an hour. Jimmy would fish plugs in the surf but bring bunker and clams, definitely, in case bait needed to be fished. The bunker and clams, if not used, could be frozen to use afterward. If clams are salted a little before freezing, they’ll catch stripers. The clams will need to be tied to the hook then. Many anglers prefer tying anyway, because they think that prevents dog sharks and skates from being hooked. But nothing stops dogs and skates! Jimmy said. Nobody really sailed for sea bass and porgies, because they switched to blackfish. The crabs, hard bait, for blackfishing, instead of clams, soft bait, helped avoid dogs from “eating anglers alive.”


With Last Lady Fishing Charters, blackfishing was fantastic today, Capt. Ralph said. Some of the anglers limited out, and all landed some blackfish. Space is available on individual-reservation trips for blackfish on Monday and on Sunday, November 30. The trips will also sail every Sunday, Tuesday and Friday, when no charter is booked. Charters are available daily.


The party boat Big Mohawk fished Wednesday, clobbering blackfish, a great catch, Capt. Chris said. That was after the week’s worst weather kept the fishing docked. The trip’s catches included limits, and the tautog weighed up to 8 pounds. Previously, the boat last sailed on Sunday, before the weather. Catches that day included limits, and the fishing wasn’t as fast as on Wednesday. The fish on Sunday weighed up to 5 pounds, and the Big Mohawk is blackfishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Green crabs are supplied, and white leggers can be purchased aboard.

Fishing for striped bass and blues was tough during the weekend on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the vessel said. But blues to 12 pounds were caught. No trips sailed since, because of weather, and the crew expected to shape up for a trip today, but 25- to 30-knot wind, from northwest, was forecast. “We will see what happens,” it said. Trips are expected to fish Saturday and Sunday, because forecasts look good. The Miss Belmar Princess is sailing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. A special trip will fish 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving, and reservations are required for that outing.

Weather kept the party boat Golden Eagle docked, but wind and cold is supposed to ease up a few days now, and the boat will be ready to sail today, a report on the vessel’s website said. The Golden Eagle is fishing for striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and on Striperthons 6 a.m. to 3:30 or 4 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Offshore wreck-fishing trips will sail every Friday night in December for giant sea bass, porgies and cod, and contact the boat to reserve.

Lots of bluefish and a couple of striped bass were pounded Wednesday on the ocean with Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters, Capt. Pete said. A few stripers were lost, and a few were seen, “but bluefish crushed us,” he said. The blues were trolled, and the stripers were taken on livelined bunker. Bunker schooled, but not as many as before, and they swam deeper than previously. Snagging-hooks had to be sunk to catch the baitfish. Seas weren’t rough close to shore in the west wind, and weather was frigid. The trip fished to the south, and the angling was a little tough, he said, and the water temperature dropped somewhat. But striper fishing will bounce back, he thinks. No trips fished aboard in Monday’s storm and Tuesday’s wind. Blackfishing’s been good, and plenty of dates are available for blackfish charters in December. Blackfishing was good aboard Sunday, covered in the last report. On the trip, Ken Russell’s 8.9-pound blackfish won second place in the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers blackfish tournament. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Jump on Parker Pete’s website to subscribe to the emailed newsletter to be kept informed about last-minute, individual spaces available to fill in charters. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page.

Point Pleasant Beach

A few anglers limited out on blackfish, and most others bagged two to four apiece, on the party boat Norma-K III on Wednesday, Capt. Matt wrote in an email. “The blackfish were hungry …!” he wrote, and all anglers left with the fish. A few of the tautog were picked at the first two drops, “and our third made the day,” he said. The Norma-K III is blackfishing 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. A trip will fish for the tautog 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and a Striper Special Trip will sail 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Black Friday. Magic Hour Ling and Cod Trips are fishing 3 to 9 p.m. every Saturday.

Seaside Heights

Surf anglers banked some striped bass this morning, said Kevin from The Dock Outfitters. “They’re liking the low-light bite,” he said, and lures like Bombers and Daiwa SP Minnows were cast to the fish. The catches he heard about were from Island Beach State Park and Seaside. Sand eels showed up along the coast, but were “spotty.” The west wind probably shoved them away from the surf. Boaters nailed stripers well on the ocean the past couple of days, fishing bunker schools, snagging the baitfish and then livelining them. Blackfish snapped along Manasquan and Barnegat inlets’ jetties. A buddy just put together a good catch of them on green crabs. Baits stocked include green crabs, eels, fresh bunker, fresh clams and sandworms. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, boat and jet ski rentals in season, a café and a dock for fishing and crabbing.

Toms River

For those braving the cold, striped bass gave up a night bite, said Mario from Murphy’s Hook House. Daiwa SP Minnows lit into them well, and Hank Pryor beached a 30-incher last might on a dark-colored Mambo Minnow. Rumors said sand eels began to appear in the water, and if sand eels are around, metal jigs like Jetty Ghosts and A.O.K.’s with teasers will be tackle to toss to the bass during daytime. Abigail Murphy, no relation to the shop, boated an 18-1/2-pound striper and two blues 8 and 9 ½ pounds on the ocean Sunday. A customer was stopping by for green crabs for blackfishing, and Mario knew that the tautog bit along Barnegat Inlet’s north jetty, but didn’t know how large they were. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, bought Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River this year, and is running both shops now.

Forked River

The radio was dead this week, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. He keeps the radio on in the shop to listen to boaters, and they almost said nothing in the weather. One today on the radio said one of the party boats from Barnegat Light moved all around the ocean, looking for striped bass, but found none. But the shop last week reported stripers boated on livelined bunker and trolled umbrella rigs on the ocean, and stripers eeled on Barnegat Bay at Oyster Creek and Double Creek channels.

Barnegat Light

Space is available for a charter Sunday on the Super Chic, because of a cancellation, Capt. Ted said. Striped bass fishing was great on the ocean Friday aboard. Lots of boat traffic sailed the water Saturday and Sunday, but trips aboard put together catches of the bass those two days. All three trips livelined bunker for bait. Weather was rough, but Ted heard stripers were boated from the ocean Monday and Wednesday. Tuesday’s wind blew fiercely. He knew the stripers were trolled on Wednesday, but didn’t know if any were caught on bunker.

There weren’t really customers in the weather in the last days at Bobbie’s Boat Rentals, Vince Sr. said. But when customers fished, they caught. Nothing was different about what and where. In the shop’s previous report here a week ago, Vince said lots and lots of striped bass were docked from everywhere from the ocean to Barnegat Inlet to Barnegat Bay, and livelined spots seemed to catch them best, and plenty of blackfish were snatched from along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. 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. Baits stocked currently include live spots and green crabs.

Surf City

One angler stopped in with a 19-pound striper beached from the surf Monday in the storm, said Joe from Surf City Bait & Tackle. Not much news rolled in since, and few anglers fished in the cold. Besides stripers from the surf, anglers hooked blackfish along jetties, when they fished in better weather. Sixty pounds of fresh bunker arrived, after the baitfish was unavailable, because of weather. Fresh clams and green crabs are on hand. Like Surf City Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page.

Mystic Island

Was nothing to report about past days because of the weather, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. But striped bass, many, were sacked during the weekend from the ocean. The fish were weighed-in every day through then, and were trolled from the red tower on Long Beach Island to the north. Tony Maja’s bunker spoons caught them best, and umbrella rigs with rubber shads caught second best. Nothing was reported about blackfish in the weather, including on Sunday, when the bag limit was pulled up to six of the tautog, from the previous limit of one. Seas were still rough then. White perch fishing was good on Mullica River. Green crabs, fresh, shucked clams, live grass shrimp, and bloodworms are stocked. Fresh bunker will be on hand for the weekend. Catch the store’s Black Friday sale, its biggest yet, and Cyber Monday sale. Click here to visit the store’s Web page about the event. Watch the video on the page for details. Also see this video about the Avet reels sale under way, offering a 10-percent discount, though December 31.


Anglers will need to make their own reports, because few fished in the weather, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. But one trip returned with a 35-pound striped bass boated on the ocean Wednesday on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. The trip’s bunker were snagged deep, and none of the menhaden showed along the surface. The trip fished to the north, but probably not far, because of the cold. A few stripers were reported banked from the surf that day, and the week’s weather might amp up local striper fishing. Dave’s been fishing the back bay for stripers, before the weather, and anglers will see how that fishing goes when the weather straightens out. Winds were calm this morning, though forecasts called for strong winds, and Dave wished he had headed out to fish in the morning. A few blackfish caught were heard about on Sunday, when the bag limit was lifted to six of the tautog, from the previous limit of one. Then the weather turned, and nobody mentioned blackfishing. Baits stocked include live spots and green crabs, and fresh bunker will arrive this afternoon. Weather was much warmer, of course, in Guatemala, where Dave is a partner in a charter operation. This was a time when anglers begin thinking about trips there for winter. Sailfish and dorado will bite, and do year-round. But many anglers look to Guatemala to escape the cold season. Click here for info about the trips.


Boating for striped bass turned up good catches Sunday on the ocean, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. The Elks striper tournament was held during the weekend, and a 31-pounder won, covered in the last report. In the surf Wednesday, despite cold, Linda Davoli bagged two stripers 29 and 30 inches on plugs, and another angler landed three throwbacks on bunker. But surf fishing was slow. Fresh clams are stocked, and fresh bunker will arrive Friday. The annual Riptide Striper Bounty was up to $1,220. Sponsored by Hess Plumbing, the bounty awards the total entry fees to the angler who enters the season’s first striper 43 inches or larger from Brigantine’s surf. Entry is $5 and required before catching the fish. The annual Riptide Striper Derby is under way until December 23, awarding prizes, and allowing beach-buggy access to Brigantine’s entire length, when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit. Otherwise, not all the beach can be driven.

Atlantic City

A 57-pound striped bass was weighed-in that was smashed at Harrah’s Casino from the dock this week, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. The fish was hooked on cut bait, and Noel was unsure what kind, like herring, bunker or mullet. A 32-inch 14-1/2-pounder was checked-in that was bagged from the T-jetty on fresh bunker during the week. Stripers were eased in from shore at Absecon Inlet and the surf, “but you know,” he said. Sunrise, sunset and nighttime were the times to try for them, and fresh clams, fresh bunker and eels were baits to fish. Blackfishing was good along the inlet for shore anglers, but wasn’t phenomenal. Seemed like the tautog knew when the bag limit was raised. The limit was increased to six on Sunday, from the previous limit of one. Mostly green crabs clocked them, and sometimes clams did. The inlet, located near the shop, is lined with fish-attracting jetties. Green crabs are $4 per dozen or three dozen for $10, and eels are $1.50 apiece or $15 per dozen. Baits stocked, a large supply, also include fresh bunker and clams. Enter the ***48 Hour Striper Happy Hour*** for free at the shop. The striper tournament, to be held Friday through Sunday, is for Atlantic City’s beaches only, and will offer a $400 purse. That’s a $300 cash winner and a $50 gift certificate apiece to One Stop and Ducktown Tavern in Atlantic City. Get a 10-percent discount just for registering at the store. About 90 anglers registered in the past two days. Friend One Stop on Facebook.


Twelve striped bass, including two 33-pounders, were trolled from the ocean Wednesday on the Stray Cat on 9er rigs, Capt. Mike said. “Got to have 9ers,” he said. So the fishing, with a group from Harrah’s Casino, was great, and all the stripers were keepers that bit. Seas weren’t bad close to shore in the west wind, but the day was bitter cold. Cleaning the fish was the toughest part of the day, he said. Blackfish remain on the ocean wrecks. “Just sitting there waiting on me,” he said. Charters are fishing, and space is available on open-boat trips Friday and Sunday. A few spots remain for an open trip for blackfish 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving, and the fare is only $29.95. More open trips will be scheduled for next week.

Ocean City

No trips fished in the weather in past days on the party boat Miss Ocean City, Capt. Victor said. But the vessel is sailing for blackfish and sea bass 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Wednesday and every Friday through Sunday, and reservations are required. The trips are available for groups on any other day by reservation.

Before the rough weather, a good number of striped bass, 36 to 40 inches, 20 pounds and larger, showed up in the ocean, within 2 miles from shore, said Justin from Fin-Atics. The fish were mostly trolled on umbrella rigs and Stretch lures. The fish schooled Saturday and Sunday, and heavily on Monday, during the rainstorm. Strong wind and cold arrived during the next days. But a few trips sailed on Wednesday, and caught the fish. Nothing was really heard about blackfish. The blackfish bag limit was increased to six starting Sunday, and anglers had planned to fish for them on the ocean, but sailed for the stripers instead. Whether blackfish still bit in the back bay was a question, because the bay’s temperature dropped. The bay was 40 degrees the other night. A few stripers, not many, were beached from the surf. Sometimes small ones, occasionally a keeper, were hooked along the surf jetties. But keepers were rare. Small stripers bit along the 9th Street Bridge, especially at night, on lures like soft-plastics or Diawa SP Minnows, sometimes on clams or bunker. A few were angled during daytime on the bait. But nothing was reported about the fishing in the weather the past days.

Sea Isle City

When boaters sailed between the weather, they caught striped bass well on the ocean on a couple of days this week, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The fish were mostly trolled on the ocean on shad umbrella rigs. The stripers fed on bunker, and had bunker in their stomachs, and the shads imitated the baitfish. Nothing was heard about fishing the back bay for stripers in the weather. When trips could sail for blackfish, they caught fairly well, not furious, but if anglers put in the time, they limited out. Blackfishing from land slowed somewhat, but still produced catches.

Trips were docked in the weather aboard, but striped bass were jigged and trolled on the ocean Monday, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. His trips Mohawked them, big bass, Saturday and Sunday, and also large blues in the mix Saturday, covered in the last report. The migration had arrived, and usually remains locally well into December. But the fish are here now, so go for them. Joe heard about no bluefish since Saturday, but wouldn’t be surprised if they showed up again, and he was sure they were around. Coming up, annual traveling charters will fish the Florida Keys from Christmas to Easter, and this is the time to book, while dates are available. See Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.

Cape May

The Heavy Hitter will fish this weekend, Capt. George said. He knew about good catches of striped bass boated from the ocean and Delaware Bay this week. The angling was so-so on Sunday. On Monday, it was good, both in the ocean and bay. On Tuesday, a friend scored well on stripers on the ocean.

Fishing for striped bass was off the hook on the ocean, said Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters. No trip sailed aboard today, but Frank got a call that said the fishing was slow today. But a trip with Melanie Anne on Wednesday sailed at 6:30 a.m., and was back at the dock at 10:30 a.m., limited out with stripers. The trip trolled umbrella rigs with rubber shads, and Stretch plugs. But whatever was fished, anglers couldn’t really miss. Stripers in Delaware Bay bit at the mouth, right off the Cape May Rips, but deep, almost in the ocean. Windy weather wasn’t so conducive to fishing there. Frank would like to try for stripers on the Delaware side of the bay, but wind prevented that. Small stripers were sometimes found farther up the bay. A sea bass trip aboard was postponed until Monday to fish the ocean, because of wind. Wind also looks questionable for that day. Blackfishing’s been good, and trips for them didn’t need to sail offshore, but still needed to fish 18 miles off. But the catches were good.

Daily blackfishing trips were kicked off Sunday on the party boat Porgy IV, and some of the tautog were cranked up, Capt. Paul said. Most were swung in toward the end of the trip, and some of the anglers limited out. Carl Keehfuss from Villas won the pool with a 6-1/2-pounder, bagging six of the fish. Small boats like outboards 20 or 25 feet long covered most of the larger wrecks, and the bag limit was increased to six blackfish that day, from the previous limit of one. After that day, no trips fished on the Porgy IV, in the rainstorm Monday, and wind on Tuesday and Wednesday. Wind was supposed to blow today, but a trip might sail, because anglers called who wanted to. The Porgy IV is blackfishing at 8 a.m. daily.

Boaters trolled striped bass, good catches, on the ocean, within 3 miles from shore, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Nothing was heard about striper fishing on Delaware Bay since Sunday, the last day when weather was really boatable. But boaters there got into good striper fishing early in the day then, and had slow fishing for them later in the day. A few boaters eeled stripers at the Cape May Rips during the weekend. One of them was known about who heaved in a 42-incher. Trips boated for blackfish on the ocean before the weather, axing some good catches. Nick would say fish for blackfish within 10 miles from shore, and for sea bass 25 or 30 miles from the coast. Blackfish were tugged in from along Cape May Inlet’s jetty. Seemed the fishing was good, if anglers got a spot to fish for them. Anglers were reportedly elbow to elbow there on Sunday. Fewer probably fished in the middle of the week. Shore anglers fished one jetty, and boaters fished the other, at the inlet. Live spots, eels and green crabs are stocked. Fresh bunker will arrive Saturday morning.