Trips limited out on sea bass Saturday and Sunday with Outcast Charters, Capt. Joe said. On Saturday’s trip, the sea bass weighed up to 4 pounds, and ling were also bagged. On Sunday’s, the sea bass weighed up to 3 pounds, and a good number of ling, a sizable cod and other cod were also landed. Sea bass season was closed beginning today, and two types of charters will now fish: trips for fluke and, farther from shore, trips for ling, winter flounder and cod. Outcast offers fishing from Sewaren, N.J., and Staten Island, N.Y.
Fluke fishing was good Thursday through Sunday, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. Don Smaligo cracked the biggest fluke aboard during those days, landing a couple of 6-pounders Saturday. Most of the boat’s trips landed 15 to 18 keepers and about three times as many throwbacks. Angler skill is key. “Those that listen end up fairly well,” Frank said. Regardless, trips have a great time and catch a fair number of fluke. The angling will keep becoming better as summer goes on. So come down “and let us show you how to do it,” he said. Open-boat trips and charters are fishing, and room is available Thursday through Saturday. Telephone to reserve. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”
Sea bass season ended with a bang, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep Fleet. The season closed beginning today, and the angling was great through the end aboard. Open-boat trips will now fish for fluke daily on the Down Deep Bull, one of the company’s two 40-foot boats. On the Down Deep, the other vessel, open trips will now fish daily for ling, winter flounder and cod. Open trips are fishing for striped bass on Wednesday through Saturday afternoons. Reserve all these trips ahead, and charters are also available for any of this fishing. Join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips. See available dates on the site’s calendar.
Tough fluke fishing today in unfavorable conditions on the Fishermen, a report said on the party boat’s website. Fishing on the bay, wind blew with the tide, and power-drifting “only moved us forward and back over the same spot,” it said. Fluke were picked, and the fishing would’ve been much better if the boat had drifted right. Bait remained in the water. The fish probably could’ve used a break after the beating they took during the weekend. No report was posted for the weekend at press time. What, no limits on the trip?! the report asked about today’s trip. Not this time, it said. Back at it tomorrow, it said. On Friday’s trip, fluking was awesome aboard, like on previous days, the best fluking in years. Two fluke heavier than 9 pounds and several limits were bagged on Friday’s outing. The Fishermen is sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for striped bass 6:30 to 11 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.
When conditions were good, fluke fishing picked right away at the catches on the party boat Atlantic Star, and all and all, the fluking was nice, much better than last year, Capt. Tom said. More keepers were bagged this year than last aboard, and he keeps track. Just more fluke were around, whether throwbacks or keepers. Trips fished the channels on Raritan Bay, except when ships passed, disturbing the water, slowing the angling. Then the boat was moved elsewhere. That happened on Sunday morning’s trip, so the boat was moved to Flynn’s Knoll and then to the bay. Trips had options to fish different places. Mostly throwbacks bit at those two places, but anglers kept busy catching. Sometimes anglers needed to fish heavier weight than others, sometimes up to 8 ounces, not terribly heavy. Spearing are provided for bait, and whether killies that anglers brought caught better was difficult to say. Some customers fished bucktails, and there was no set pattern for what caught best. If anglers want to bring an extra rod for bucktailing, they can. The Atlantic Star is fluke fishing 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily.
The season for sea bass closed today, but the eight anglers on a charter Saturday limited out on the fish in 3 hours with Lady M Charters, Capt. Steve said. A good mix of ling and winter flounder were also iced, and so were two cod that were just keeper-sized. Another charter Sunday returned to the same area, and the eight anglers also limited on sea bass in 3 hours and landed a bunch of ling and one keeper cod. Sea bass fishing was phenomenal during the season and included big. Open-boat trips and charters will now fish for fluke and, at the Mudhole, ling, flounder and cod.
Last Lady Fishing Charters finished sea bass season “in great fashion,” Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. A charter Sunday, the final day of the season, piled a box full of large sea bass and also ling and cod. A charter Saturday limited out on sea bass by 10:30 a.m. with 15 anglers. Don’t forget, Ralph said: sea bass season will reopen beginning October 22, and 15 will be the bag limit, instead of the 10 during the season that just closed. Book now, because the dates are filling. He’s got some individual-reservation trips for sea bass planned for then that he’ll announce. Annual individual-reservation trips for fluke, sailing every Tuesday, will be launched this week, and one space is available for the trip tomorrow. Only a few spots are left for mako shark charters that are only fishing on weekdays. This coming Wednesday and Monday and July 4 through 6 are available. Overnight tuna charters are booking. Individual-reservation trips for cod are set for July 13 and 27 and August 3, 17 and 31, and are filling. Two spots are left for July 27, and one spot remains for August 3.
***Update, Tuesday, 6/21:*** Big striped bass continued to be weighed-in from the ocean, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. A charter with XTC Sportfishing from Belmar docked a 50-pounder and two heavier than 40 pounds apiece Monday. The 50-pounder was the year’s eighth that weighed 50 pounds or more this year at the store, the most ever. The striper run showed no signs of easing up, and maybe a 60-pounder will be seen at the shop, before the migration moves on. Big fluke also kept being checked-in. Tony Saunders from Toms River stopped by with a fluke heavier than 10 pounds bagged on the party boat Big Mohawk from Belmar.
Epic fishing today! an email said from the party boat Miss Belmar Princess. Bluefish 12- to 15 pounds and a 42-pound striped bass were clobbered on today’s trip aboard. Sunday’s trip fished slow, mostly, except a school of bigger blues was found late on the outing, and a few were caught. Saturday’s trip played blues 2 to 4 pounds, until that dropped off at mid-day. All the trips caught “north of Shark River Inlet,” it said, and the Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Family fishing and sunset cruises are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday through Sunday.
Super fishing for large blues and some striped bass mixed in was crushed today on the Golden Eagle, a report on the party boat’s website said. Anglers jigged all the 8- to 14-pound blues they could want, and the angling was “relatively close to the inlet,” it said. On Sunday’s trip, bluefishing was good for 3- to 5-pounders early in the day and 8- to 12-pounders later. On Saturday’s trip, bluefishing was great for 3- to 6-pounders. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Afternoon fishing and sunset cruise trips are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 Fridays through Saturdays, reservations required.
In the full moon, striped bass fishing was picky at best on the ocean, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. But the angling was “periodic,” sometimes producing catches at first light, sometimes before dark. Anglers had to work for them, but those who stuck with it, caught. Certain pods of bunker held stripers. Pete’s also running party-boat trips on another vessel that are livelining bunker for stripers with a limited number of passengers. See info on Parker Pete’s website.Fluke fishing’s been picking up on the ocean, though southerly wind chilled the water somewhat in past days, and that can slow the angling. The fluking will be fully underway in the next weeks, he thinks. Sea bass fishing went out with a bang, until sea bass season closed beginning today. A 24-inch sea bass, huge, was biggest with Parker Pete’s Sunday. Fluke trips this season will include On the Water Seminars that Parker Pete’s began last year that teach bucktailing for the big ones in a non-threatening environment. Experienced anglers can hone the skill, and inexperienced can learn the fishing. Parker Pete’s this season will run family fishing and cruising trips that fish and enjoy sunset. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway about individual spaces on charters. Sign up for the email blast on the boat’s website to be kept informed about the spaces.
Ocean fluke fishing was reportedly good throughout the weekend, said John from The Reel Seat. He wasn’t at the shop a lot then, but heard from the store owner. The fish bit tight to shore, from what John heard. Manasquan River’s fluking’s been okay, and weekends were tough, because of boat traffic. But fluke are getting reeled from the river, and so are small blues and, in early mornings and evenings, small striped bass. Large striped bass, plenty, still bit for ocean boaters, on the usual trolled Mojos and spoons. Some anglers snagged bunker and then livelined them to catch, and some tossed plugs and popper lures for the bass. Stripers pushing 60 pounds were heard about. A local party boat docked a 57-pounder. Not much was doing in the surf, except sometimes fluke were beached, and an occasional bluefish or striper was banked. Nothing was heard about sharks or tuna. One shark tournament was held, and one was postponed, in rough weather forecasts.
Point Pleasant Beach
Angling for fluke was a little tough the past few days on the Norma-K III, Capt. Matt wrote Sunday in a report on the party boat’s website. Throwbacks and a few keepers were picked, but catches weren’t like the few days previously. Strong south current might’ve slowed the angling, and he hoped the current changed soon. Bluefishing was tough on nighttime trips. Saturday night’s trip anchored at rocks and picked ling and sea bass instead. Matt hoped a few blues popped up once the full moon waned. The Norma-K III is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and for blues 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Striped bass fishing was tough Saturday morning, Capt. Alan from Mushin Sportfishing wrote in an email. A trip sailed all the way to the New York border, but only blues were found. But the angling was much better on a trip that afternoon. Double- and triple-headers were trolled on No. 4 Tony Maja spoons and big plugs. “We couldn’t keep them off the rods at times,” he said, and the charter easily limited out on unders. A photo was included in the email showing stripers 35 to 44 pounds that the outing bagged. On Sunday, Mushin competed in Mako Mania, returning to where a 293-pound mako was boated aboard nine days previously. On Sunday’s trip, “we boated multiple species of sharks,” Mushin’s Facebook page said, but no mako to enter. The water was warmer and cleaner than on the previous trip, and held lots of life, including mackerel and bluefish. Mushin stowed away the striper and bluefish gear for now. Sea bass gear was also stowed away, now that sea bass season was closed beginning today. The boat will fish for tuna at the offshore canyons this week, and hot catches were plowed to the south. Mushin will fish from Cape May for tuna in July to work the canyons. ***Update, Tuesday, 6/21:*** Space is available for an open-boat tuna trip July 2 to 3 that will sail from Cape May.
In the surf, a slow pick of small bluefish and an occasional throwback to keeper striped bass was banked, a report said on The Dock Outfitters’ website. The angling was quiet, and fluke fishing “remains an inlet area bite,” it said, but those fish should push to the surf soon. Barnegat Bay’s crabbing was excellent for this early in the year, including from the dock. The shop’s rental boaters also nabbed the crabs well at Good Luck Point. 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, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals.
Catches of sharks began to become good, and mako sharks began to be bagged in the past week with Tuna-Tic Sportfishing, Capt. Mike said. This should be a good week of the angling, and trips will probably sail for them another week or so. He hopes to begin tuna trips in July, and is waiting for tuna to show up closer to the area. Sea bass trips just ended aboard, because sea bass season was closed beginning today.
On the Miss Barnegat Light, daily fluke trips began Friday, and the start wasn’t bad that day, a report said on the party boat’s website. “We caught some nice keeper fluke and sea bass,” it said, and throwbacks were released. On Saturday’s trip, a few keeper fluke and sea bass were taken, and less action was scored than on the previous day, but the boat drifted much slower Saturday. On Sunday’s trip, the angling was much improved. Today’s trip’s fishing was slow, and the Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Sea bass season was closed beginning today.
Sea bass season ended well Sunday on the Super Chic, Capt. Ted said. A trip caught them great on the boat, and the season closed beginning today. A trip Saturday bluefished a little at Barnegat Inlet aboard, catching okay, not great, but enough to keep the anglers happy. A trip today wanted to fish for blues at the inlet or fish for fluke, he thought, he said before the outing. A couple of bluefish trips and a fluke trip are slated for later in the week. Fluke fishing on the ocean wasn’t bad, actually, for June on a couple of larger boats that began fishing for the summer flounder for the year. Barnegat Bay’s fluking was rather good for a couple of friends who fished on smaller boats this weekend. Striped bass fishing sounded slow on the ocean during the weekend. Lots of bunker schooled, and the water temperature was 65 degrees and up to 67 at some spots.
Capt. Lindsay’s been trying to bring the June Bug to Beach Haven, but weather and seas kept preventing that, he said. The vessel’s at its winter home at Oregon Inlet, N.C., and a window of better conditions was possibly opening up today through Tuesday morning. He brings the boat to Beach Haven, home port, to fish this time of season until fall each year. Tuna catches, yellowfin tuna, Lindsay assumed, were known about from Wilmington Canyon. Bigeye tuna were mixed in, and a bigeye was known to be caught there Saturday. A friend was headed to Spencer and Lindenkohl canyons today, because the friend thought the fish-holding water pushed north to there.
Sharks arrived in Great Bay, a report said that an angler posted on Scott’s Bait & Tackle’s website. Many of the bay’s sharks, arriving when the water warms, are prohibited species, but sand sharks also haunt the bay then. Both can be big, and anglers release the prohibited species. The trip hooked six of the sharks to 7 feet at Grassy Channel at dusk on fresh bunker on barbless hooks while chumming with bunker. The barbless hooks made releasing the fish much easier, and the night was still a little chilly in wind, but the angler can’t wait to do it again.
Drum still bit in the surf, Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle wrote in a report on the shop’s website. Today is the full moon, so he thinks the fish will still be there, and the drum are on the move. The surf was pushing 68 degrees, and brown sharks began to arrive in the water, the shop’s Facebook page said. A customer reported landing two this morning, and browns are prohibited, but anglers release them. A kingfish head or mackerel on an 8/0 hook with wire leader will catch them. One angler beached a throwback striper from the surf yesterday, along with a drum. Most of the surf’s stripers migrated north for summer. No summer flounder were reported from the surf yet, but surely they’ll bite at the cove soon. The Riptide Summer Fishing Tournament is underway for kingfish, flounder and bluefish. Entry is $10 per species, and anglers can enter one, two or all three categories. All the cash is awarded. The Sal’s Pizza Works from Marlton’s Riptide Striper Bounty is up for grabs for the next striper 43 inches or larger weighed-in from Brigantine’s surf. Entry is $5, and all the money is awarded.
The Stray Cat got the go-ahead to fish with six anglers, the boat’s Facebook page said. Apparently, the Coast Guard approved, after the vessel was repowered recently. Fluke trips will fish the ocean 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and telephone to jump aboard. Bring Gulps and lunch, and fishing with six anglers will provide lots of room. Apparently, the crew waited for approval for more than six.
Sea Isle City
Inshore sharks are in, and Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle expected to sail for them today, he said before the trip. When the ocean warms enough to draw in the fish each year, the trips fight and release the sharks usually within 10 miles from shore. That’s on conventional tackle, usually on mackerel fillets, but Joe also fishes for them with fly-rods, when anglers want. A chum fly is tossed into a chum slick, and the sharks are surprisingly wary. The presentation needs to be good. The trips are a chance to fight a big catch without the long trek offshore. On Sunday, a couple and their son and daughter reeled in 15 summer flounder, including three keepers, on the back bay aboard. On Saturday, Kevin McCarthy and son landed several flounder including one keeper on the bay and then pushed to the ocean, pumping in a throwback flounder and a 15-inch, keeper sea bass on the boat. The keeper flounder on the trips were all about 20 inches. The flounder on the trips bit a variety of bucktails, minnows and Gulp shrimp, seeming to favor none over another. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.
Lots of throwback summer flounder bit along the Intracostal Waterway on the back bay on a trip this weekend, said Capt. Jim from Fins and Feathers Outfitters. The season seemed a little early for the fishing, and the water was 69 degrees along the Intracoastal and 67 on the ocean near the beach. On Sunday, west wind blew right up the Intracoastal, and would’ve drifted the boat fast for flounder fishing. A 4-hour trip that day tried for kingfish near the surf on the boat instead, because Jim’s buddies beached kings from shore toward 8th Street in Avalon. But a swell remained on the ocean from wind the previous day, preventing the boat from fishing near the shore. Miles of bunker schooled the ocean. A good-sized shark chased one of the schools, disappearing when the boat neared.
A sea bass trip returned early, because one of the anglers became seasick, Saturday on the ocean with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing, Capt. Jim said. That would’ve been the final sea bass trip aboard, before sea bass season closed beginning today. That was too bad, because the fishing looked like it was going to be good. A few summer flounder began to bite at the ocean reef. A boat from one of Jim’s slips sailed there Sunday, and four-good-sized keepers were swung in. So were a handful of keeper sea bass. The back bay only gave up a light pick of keeper flounder, and not many throwbacks, for some reason. Usually the bay produces more than the ocean this time of year. Trips are slated to fish every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.
Caveman Sportfishing was supposed to sail today to Baltimore Canyon for yellowfin tuna, Capt. John wrote in an email. He expected to slam the fish there along the 40- to 50-fathom line. A Gulf Stream eddy with a temperature break held there, and the same fish-attracting conditions formed at Wilmington Canyon. A better-sized bluefin tuna, 65 pounds, was trolled off Delaware. That was after smaller ones, none heavier than 30 pounds, were caught there in 20 fathoms at hills and lumps, 40 miles from South Jersey. Anglers hope larger bluefins show up in the area that sometimes do. The fish didn’t appear so much the past few summers, but maybe they will. During some years, the fishing’s been great for 150- to 200-pounders that were chunked, jigged and trolled. Sometimes as many as 15 were fought in a trip as close to port as 30 miles from Cape May, and all were larger than 80 pounds. John would love the bluefins to appear again, and currently those grounds were only 15 to 20 miles inshore of where the break attracting yellowfins was. Fifteen years ago or so, 150-pound bluefins were mixed with yellowfins at the 30-fathom lumps and hills. Inshore and canyon waters stayed cooler then. Nobody could know whether that will happen again, but John would love to slam the tuna 50 miles away like the fishing did regularly before aboard.
Yellowfin tuna began to be trolled at the offshore canyons that the Cape May fleet fishes, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter. He had told anglers calling about tuna trips to jump aboard when the fish showed up, so some just booked to fish this weekend, and another trip might sail Wednesday for the tuna. Anglers need to take advantage when the fish are in, and the tuna can appear and disappear at different times during the fishing season. Pretty good catches were reported, and the fish were in now. Two friends texted him Sunday, saying they loaded up. A shark trip aboard was canceled Saturday because of rough forecasts. The weather ended up beautiful. Some boaters sailed for summer flounder to the Old Grounds on the ocean Sunday, catching pretty well. Some sailed for sea bass that day, the final day of sea bass season. Some anglers still drum fished on Delaware Bay. A buddy’s trip landed six Saturday night, and headed back Sunday for drum. George waited to hear results.