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Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Friday, August 22.

| Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Point Pleasant Beach | Toms River | Seaside Heights | Forked River | Barnegat Light | Surf City | Mystic Island | Absecon | Brigantine | Atlantic City | Margate | Longport | Ocean City | Sea Isle City | Wildwood | Cape May | Last Monday's Report |
Many quality fluke are getting boated each trip on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Bucktailers are limiting out or nearly limiting, and fluking was good on a trip Tuesday for throwbacks and keepers to 7 pounds. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will fluke on Friday and Saturday and on Labor Day. Follow the Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page for real-time reports and open-trip dates. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”

Fluking was up and down the last few days on the Down Deep, and when conditions are good, the angling is good for fluke to 8 pounds, Capt. Mario said. When conditions aren’t as good, the fluking isn’t. Ling fishing was good, and a six-angler trip would total 125 or 150 of the fish, not fantastic, but not bad. The ling were medium-sized and large, not jumbo like a couple of months ago. No cod showed up on the last couple of ling trips, and sometimes big winter flounder and a handful of keeper blackfish did. One trip mugged 20 of the flounder, and another would grab three or five, and so on. Charters are fishing, and click here for the open-boat schedule for the next weeks, including open trips for sea bass, while the sea bass bag limit is increased to 15 from September 1 through 6. Three is the current limit, and sea bass season will be closed starting the next day for a time. Or sign up for the Short Notice List on the Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips.

The next charter is slated to fluke on Sunday with Papa’s Angels Charters, but space is available for charters or open-boat trips on Friday and Saturday on 7-hour trips for fluke starting in the mornings, Capt. Joe said. Trips have been landing fluke aboard Raritan Bay at Reach Channel and near Staten Island, covered in recent reports. Open trips are available daily when no charter is booked, and telephone to climb on board.

Anglers fishing from the Keyport bulkhead and Keyport pier were actually into good catches of fluke, lots of throwbacks, but a good number of keepers in between, said Joey from Joey’s Bait Shack. Boaters pitched aboard good fluking on Raritan Bay toward Verrazano Bridge, the islands along the West Bank, and off Mount Loretta on Staten Island. Loads of snapper blues swarmed at Keyport, and bigger blues sometimes bit there. Croakers schooled along the Navy Pier, and no spots showed up this season. Sandy Hook’s surf began to give up small striped bass, not a lot, but the angling was starting, on bunker heads and clams. Crabbing was fantastic, turning out good catches at Keyport and on Shrewsbury River. All baits are stocked, including killies, fresh clams, fresh bunker that arrives daily, eels, sandworms, nightcrawlers and frozen clams, bunker, spearing, finger mullet, smelts and all the different types of squid, like tube squid and 1-pound boxes of squid. The store will be a sponsor for a snapper bluefish tournament for kids on August 30 on the Keyport waterfront, featuring prizes and free hot dogs and beverages. The contest will be held 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and entrants should register before, like at 9 a.m.

Atlantic Highlands
In Raritan Bay, fluke were boated well on one day, and picked on another, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Charter boats were on the flatfish, good-sized, at the mud buoy every day on the ocean. Schools of blues were around, including off the ocean beach. Ling fishing was very good, and not only at the Mudhole. Trips could chase them at different rock piles. Surf anglers beached an occasional striped bass. Boaters trolled stripers at Swash Channel in mornings on the shop’s bunker spoons. The party boat Fishermen caught porgies at night, but no stripers. The trips would jump on stripers if the bass bit in the dark. Snapper bluefishing was good in the bay and back waters. A few croakers and spots were around, but never showed up well this year. Even triggerfish that usually hit at the Shrewsbury Rocks were scarce. The cooler summer seemed to affect the migrations. Crabbing was good, and some of the blueclaws were sizeable by this time of season, after shedding to grow throughout summer.

On trips on the party boat Atlantic Star, fluke were there, Capt. Tom said, and throwbacks were hooked, and now and then a keeper was. Many were a half-inch under keeper size. If the ocean was too cranky, the trips fished Raritan Bay. Monday morning’s trip’s fluking wasn’t so great, and the afternoon’s trip was probably one of the better ones for keepers. Not all anglers could catch them on the outing, for some reason, and maybe the successful anglers worked harder, but that couldn’t be known. Tuesday morning’s trip returned to the same place, but seas were rolly, and the fishing didn’t catch. So the trip fished different spots in the bay, like Reach Channel, usual places, and a few keepers were bagged. The afternoon’s trip returned there, and action wasn’t the same, so the boat was moved around. Every place gave up shorts, some keepers, just not enough. On Wednesday morning, on the first drift, Tom thought the angling was going to turn out well, because of the catches. But the next drift there didn’t produce, and the trip then fished different areas, and mostly throwbacks bit. On Wednesday afternoon’s trip, quite a few throwbacks bit, and some keepers were had, nothing to brag about, Tom said. Some anglers landed two or three shorts, and some landed 20, on the trip. No especially large fluke were bagged during the days, and pool-winning fluke mostly weighed 3 pounds. But a 4-1/2-pounder won on Tuesday morning. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.

Some beauties were heaved aboard the fluke trip Monday on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Joe Andrew, Woodland Park, N.J., won the pool with an 8-pounder. Two contenders weighed 7 pounds and 7-plus pounds, and the high hook bagged four fluke. On Tuesday’s trip, Victor Kuo from Red Bank won the pool with a 10.2-pound fluke, the largest aboard this season, and Kuo’s personal best. “Nice, all-day bite,” Ron said. Wednesday’s fluking was very good aboard, and sizeable sea bass were in the mix. Today’s trip had to work a little, and the ocean’s temperature dropped to 72 degrees from 75.4 yesterday, and a roll from last night’s wind also had an effect. But by the end of the day, one angler and Capt. Ron Sr. limited out. A 6.6-pound fluke won the pool. The Fishermen is fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for croakers, porgies and bottom fish 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. daily except Sundays.

From Twin Lights Marina, Ed and Tony on the Hammerhead boated three keeper fluke and a couple of sea bass at Flynn’s Knoll on Wednesday, while fishing killies, Gulps, squid and snapper blues, Marion wrote in an email. Paul and Becky on the Second Home on Saturday sacked a 22-inch fluke near the range markers on a killie. On Friday, Tracy Amarosa on the Par Tee II walloped a 5-1/2-pound 24-inch fluke on a Gulp with a killie. Twin Lights, located conveniently on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips and dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. The full supply of bait is stocked for inshore and offshore, and the fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.

For Last Lady Fishing Charters, fluke fishing was good on most days, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Lots of 3-pounders and larger were netted, and most were hooked on bucktails with 3-inch Gulps. Individual-reservation trips for fluke were added for the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend, August 30 and 31. The weekly, individual-reservation trip for fluke is full this coming Tuesday. Space is available on all the Tuesday trips in September, and should be booked before they fill. The outings will fish for the summer flounder until fluke season is closed on September 28. Children under 12 sail free on those trips, limited to two per adult host. An individual-reservation trip for sea bass was added for Labor Day, September 1, and 15 will be the bag limit from that day through September 6. Sea bass season will be closed starting the next day for a time, and three is currently the limit. Another one of the trips will sail September 4. An individual-reservation trip will wreck fish on Sunday for ling, winter flounder, sea bass and blackfish, and maybe cod and pollock will show up. All individual-reservation trips for cod are full, but another will be added soon.

Two trips fished for fluke and sea bass on the ocean Saturday and Sunday on the Katie H, Capt. Mike said. Catches were okay, and many of the fluke hooked, a bunch, were throwbacks, and some sea bass were bagged. Anglers included kids on the trips, and anglers who bucktailed caught well. Snapper blues were sometimes livelined, and they crushed good-sized fluke. The water was 73 degrees, and weather was good on Saturday, and somewhat rough on Sunday. An overnight tuna trip is supposed to fish Saturday to Sunday, but might be weathered out. The plan was to fish inshore first, then sail offshore to Hudson Canyon. Nothing was heard about canyon fishing, because inshore tuna fishing’s been producing, so trips sailed there. There bluefin tuna fishing was okay, and even yellowfin tuna showed up. How far from shore? Mike was asked. Can’t tell you, he said, or the location was no secret, but boats would flood the area, if too much word got out. A boat from the dock ran for the inshore tuna Wednesday, making a catch. The Katie H fishes inshore and offshore, but is an offshore specialist, and is now beginning to fish offshore for tuna at the canyons on overnight trips for the season. The 46-foot boat features speed and all the amenities.

Excellent bluefishing was smashed on Wednesday night’s trip on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the vessel said. The trip headed east, and the fishing took some moves to get going. Then acres and acres of blues were found, and the anglers beat up on the 8- to 15-pounders the whole trip. On today’s trip, “we continued fishing north of Shark River Inlet,” the email said. Bluefishing was slow until the afternoon, when 10- to 15-pound blues started to be clubbed. But they were tough to catch, though plenty were read. The Miss Belmar Princess is bluefishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily. ***Attention! Kids sail free!*** To thank patrons, kids 14 and under will sail free aboard weekday trips now through September 5, when a paying adult accompanies the kid. Let the kids have fun before going back to school, the email said.

Fishing picked at 12- to 15-pound blues today on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. On Wednesday’s trip, fishing for 12- to 18-pound blues began well and slowed afterward, but still picked some. Blues 12 to 16 pounds were picked on Tuesday aboard. Readings looked like the fishing should’ve been crazy. Conditions were terrible on Monday aboard, and the lines ran right up the anchor line. Blues 12 to 18 pounds surfaced late in the trip, and readings were fantastic, but only a few were caught. The Golden Eagle is bluefishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every Saturday. Fishing trips/sunset cruises are running 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily on Sundays through Fridays, and reservations are required on those outings. Some of those trips have been sold out, so check with the boat. Also, it’s time to book tuna trips. Twenty-four-hour trips are scheduled for September 28 and October 5 and 19, and space remains, but is filling up. See the Golden Eagle’s tuna trip page online.

Was nothing new to report, but that was good, because fishing was good, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Plenty of fluke and snapper blues were around. Bob in past reports talked about the fluking in both the ocean and Shark River, even if the river’s fluke were lots of throwbacks. Still, some good-sized keepers came from the river this week, he said in the email. Get out and enjoy – summer is passing by, he said. The store’s rental boats are available to fish the river. John Luther checked in a 6-pound 6-ounce fluke this week. In the ocean, plenty of blues, mahi mahi and tuna swam. Some striped bass were beached from the surf. “Keep the faith – fall is coming, and so are the bass,” Bob said.

Point Pleasant Beach
A canyon day troll steamed Monday with Mushin Sportfishing, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The fishing “continued to find,” he said, yellowfin tuna to 75 pounds, longfin tuna to 40 pounds and mahi mahi. Green-plastic lures out-fished ballyhoos that day. One of Mushin’s other captains on another boat during the weekend went 4 for 9 on bigeye tuna, and watched multiple bigeyes cover up trolling spreads for other boats. Nighttime fishing for tuna has “some starts and stops,” Alan said, at the canyons, but daytime trolling is fairly consistent. “It looks like it’s shaping up to be a fall chunking bite,” he said. Charters are fishing, and a few spaces are available on individual-reservation trips for tuna in September, and the calendar for October is being worked on for the individual-reservation trips. Check out Mushin’s redesigned website.

Good fluke fishing on Monday and Tuesday’s daytime trips, and strong bluefishing on both of the nighttime trips, on the party boat Norma-K III, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. That was the most recent report posted at press time, and angling was great right now aboard, he said. During the fluke fishing, morning trips were somewhat tough, because the boat failed to drift, but afternoon trips were “pretty darn good,” he said. Lots of good-sized, 3- to 5-pound fluke chomped, and pool-winners were a little larger, and throwbacks gave up some action, on the afternoon trips. A few small bluefish hit on those trips. On the bluefish trips, catches on Monday night weren’t as numerous as Matt expected, compared with the number marked, but were still good. On Tuesday night, bluefishing was as good as anybody could want, and that lasted the whole trip. The Norma-K III is fluke fishing on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m., and is bluefishing 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

The party boat Gambler fluke fished at rough bottom a little deeper than before on the ocean on Wednesday morning’s trip, Capt. Bob said. A decent catch was hauled, lots of shorts, but a fair number of keepers to 5 pounds, and a few seas bass. The afternoon’s trip tried fishing to the south along the beach, and catches were made there, too: more shorts than keepers, good action on shorts, just not enough keepers. This morning’s trip shoveled in a decent catch, okay – some keeper fluke, good-sized sea bass, a couple of triggerfish, a mahi mahi and small blues – Bob said when he gave this report in a phone call, at the end of the outing. On the last nighttime wreck-fishing trips, last Thursday and Friday, fishing was sort of a slow pick. Better-sized ling, including some big, especially on Friday, were looted. A few winter flounder and a couple of cod were cracked. One angler would pick up 15 ling, and another would end up with a couple. A few squid could probably be jigged, if anglers wanted, but squidding takes up bottom-fishing time. One customer put up 15 squid. On Saturday night’s bluefishing trip, the angling was good. Mostly 8-pound blues, steady catches, were zonked on cut butterfish, while the boat was anchored. The trip moved a couple of times, and fishing was best toward the end. The Gambler’s tuna trips will be launched on September 24. It’s time to book, and click the link for the schedule. The Gambler is fishing for fluke twice daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Nighttime wreck-fishing trips are sailing 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays for cod, pollock, ling, winter flounder and squid. Bluefishing trips are running 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Toms River
Barnegat Bay still harbored fluke near the BI and BB markers, lots of throwbacks, said John from Murphy’s Hook House. The store’s owner’s neighbor’s trip boated 10 keeper fluke at the Tires on the ocean. John jumped on a Point Pleasant Beach boat on a fluke trip on the ocean Wednesday. The 19 anglers landed 10 keeper fluke and a load of throwbacks off Mantoloking to Long Branch. A boat next to his boat docked a mess of bonito from the ocean. The store’s owner told John that bonito schooled Barnegat Ridge. Crabbing was good, and many crabs were throwbacks, but trapping keepers was no problem. John wasn’t asked where the crabs were found, but the store all season reported good crabbing from Good Luck Point to Route 37 Bridge on the bay to the Toms River. That area offered exceptional crabbing this year, some of the state’s best, if not the best. The catches might’ve backed off some compared with earlier this season, but crabs were still there. Snapper blues schooled the bay. 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.

Seaside Heights
Small drum showed up in Barnegat Bay along the dock, said Kevin from
The Dock Outfitters. How big? he was asked. He saw an 8- or 9-incher, he said. A couple of blowfish were hooked from the dock Wednesday. Snapper blues schooled around the dock, and some began to grow larger, to cocktail size. Small fluke were hooked along the dock, and crabbing from the dock was decent. The crabbing was better a month ago, but crabs were still running. The shop’s rental-boaters who crabbed totaled three to four dozen keepers in 3 or 4 hours off Good Luck Point on the bay. That area gave up some of the state’s best crabbing this season. In the surf, sharks were fought at night, and a buddy banked a 4-1/2-footer at Island Beach State Park. Kevin’s been landing throwback fluke from the surf, and snapper and cocktail blues tumbled around the surf. Kevin’s been seeing porpoises and whales off the beach, and a seal that kept showing up, with a yellow tag in the tail. Kevin was asked whether the surf was cool or something to attract the seal, because seals are usually seen in colder weather. The surf was warm, he said, and maybe the seal was ill. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, boat and jet ski rentals, a café and a dock for fishing and crabbing.

Forked River
Near the BI and BB markers, and sometimes near Barnegat Lighthouse, Barnegat Bay still held fluke, but the big ones seemed mostly to migrate to the ocean, said Mike from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. Fluke were reeled from the ocean at the Tire Reef. No blowfish seemed to arrive in the bay. Snapper blues ripped around docks, and bigger blues swam the bay. Crabbing was good from docks, and people actually said crabbing was better from docks than boats. Good fishing for bonito and mahi mahi was pounded at Barnegat Ridge North on the ocean. Baits stocked include fresh spearing, killies and all the frozen selection.

Barnegat Light
Lots of action with throwback fluke throughout today’s trip on the
Miss Barnegat Light, a report on the vessel’s website said. But a few keeper fluke, sea bass and blues were bucketed. Some keeper fluke were slapped aboard every drift on Wednesday’s trip, and good-sized sea bass out-numbered fluke this day, and some drifts gave up more action than others. The fishing kind of died on the last two drifts. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

Many customers talked about boating many throwback fluke from Barnegat Bay, but they sometimes bagged keepers, said Ashley from Bobbie’s Boat Rentals. No weakfish and blowfish were heard about from the bay. A bunch of small blues raced around Barnegat Inlet. One angler played two 23- and 25-inch striped bass along the inlet’s rocks. Nothing was heard about blackfish along the rocks. Crabbing was okay, and clamming was good, like clamming usually is in the area. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure. The store is known for bait supply, including live baits. Baits stocked currently include live spots, green crabs, minnows and grass shrimp. The shrimp should be ordered ahead.

Surf City
Catches picked up a little, said Sue from Surf City Bait & Tackle. More tailor or cocktail blues showed up in the surf than before, swiping mullet, bunker or metal. Fluke in the surf were lots of shorts but some keepers. Party boats and private boats scored better on keeper fluke, and also sacked sea bass. Sharks were targeted in the surf, and the usual skates and dogfish bit in the surf. Nobody recently reported catching blackfish and triggerfish along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. But by the number of green crabs sold, Sue knew anglers fished for the blackfish. Snapper and cocktail blues gathered toward the rocks behind Barnegat Lighthouse along the inlet. One hardcore angler reported hooking blowfish in the bay, exciting news to some, because the puffers were a no-show before. More snappers than before schooled the bay. Crabbing plucked bigger crabs than before, but seemed not to find lots. The store’s annual Free Surf Fishing Seminars, held 6 to 7 p.m. every Sunday in the parking lot in summer, are under way. Hosted by Bob Massa, the classes are now being called Sundays with Bob. Bring a lawn chair, and Sue wasn’t asked when the classes will end. But they’re usually wrapped up after Labor Day. Like Surf City Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page. The 60th annual Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic will be held October 6 to November 30.

Mystic Island
In Great Bay, croakers, blowfish, kingfish, some of all these fish, and junk fish were boated, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. Not so many were located off Graveling Point on the bay anymore, since rain about a week ago. Good catches of summer flounder could be made off the Fish Factory, at the clam stakes and along Grassy Channel. That angling could also be good at Little Egg Inlet on incoming tides, while boaters drifted from deep to shallow. Decent flounder fishing was on the take on the ocean at Little Egg Reef, Garden State Reef South and Atlantic Reef, but the right wind was needed for a good drift of the boat. Trips could bag five to fifteen keepers at Garden State South and the A.C. The shop sells a spinner-blade top-and-bottom rig that does a job on the fish. Big Gulps were fished on the rigs, and leaving the rod in the rod holder was most effective. Tuna fishing was best at Lindenkohl Canyon for mostly yellowfins on the chunk. But bigeye tuna could be trolled. Tuna fishing was slow at Wilmington Canyon, and trips needed to head north.

Capt. Dave, the shop’s owner, ran a charter yesterday, and was running another today, and the fishing’s been scooping up a mixed bag of croakers, summer flounder, weakfish and lots of 1-pound blues from the back bay, said Curt from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. The bay reportedly held lots of throwback flounder, a keeper here and there, along the Intracoastal Waterway. The ocean definitely harbored a better keeper ratio. Tons of croakers filled the bay, and they were all different sizes. Anglers worked through them a little for croakers big enough to keep. Weakfish seemed to prefer certain spots a lot more than others, like every year. The mouth of Mullica River was one place, and some of the deep spots along the Intracoastal, from buoys 139 to 170, was another. A mess of small sea bass swam the bay. Boaters could anchor and chum and “have at” a mixture of small fish on the bay. Not many spots were around this year. Curt tried for them a couple of times from the dock with no luck. Last year he could hook a hundred a day. Plenty of peanut bunker 1 ½ to 3 inches, somewhat small, schooled the back waters. Mullet were sparser locally but sometimes around, and were good-sized. The bait population seemed to depend on location. A friend farther north, at a location closer to the ocean, with different types or water like creeks and the bay around, saw lots of all different baitfish, including plenty of mullet. Blackfish, triggerfish and sheepshead probably remained at places like rocks and bridges. No customers talked about targeting them lately, but the fish likely were still around. Triggerfish can also be found along steep sod banks and hard bottom like mussel beds. They don’t just hang around rocks and bridges necessarily. Anglers were known who fish for them around a certain island. Crabbing started becoming pretty good again, after a lull recently that seemed to last since the full moon, the super moon. Shedding seemed to linger longer than usual after the moon, and that can affect crabbing, because crabs won’t eat while shedding. Full and new moons can trigger crabs to shed. Shedder crabs for bait and soft-shell crabs for eating, a good number, are in supply, and the shop raises them. Baits stocked also include live spots, plenty of minnows, eels and green crabs. No live mullet were carried at the moment, because the owner couldn’t find enough to net. But mullet are carried when he can, and anglers can telephone for the status. Bait and supplies are fully ready for Friday to Sunday’s DO/AC Beach N Boat Challenge fishing tournament.

Brown sharks stalked the surf all over, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. Browns are required to be released, and the shop is stocking fresh snapper blues that anglers are chunking for the sharks. Surf fishing for kingfish and spots was slow. Plenty of throwback summer flounder scurried the back bay, but finding a keeper was tough. Andy on a trip couldn’t bag a keeper. Brigantine just approved the annual Riptide Striper Derby that will be kicked off on September 5, lasting until December 23. Entry in the tournament allows Brigantine’s entire front beach to be driven, when entrants also possess a Brigantine beach buggy permit. Some new cash and prizes will be awarded. Click here for more info, including about this weekend’s DO/AC Beach N Boat Challenge, including the basic rules.

Atlantic City
Absecon Inlet’s channel was on fire, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle! Plenty of fish were caught, and plenty of bait schooled. Anglers just needed to fish, and customers fish the nearby inlet on foot. Kingfish, good-sized croakers, summer flounder, snapper blues and blackfish were hooked. Peanut bunker, mullet, butterfish, spearing, minnows and more bait schooled. Green crabs are $4 per dozen or three dozen for $10. Minnows are $8.50 a pint, and bloodworms are two dozen for $20 or $10.75 per dozen. Baits stocked also include fresh bunker, fresh clams, fresh mullet, all the frozen baits, like mackerel, mullet, head-on shrimp and all the different types of squid for flounder fishing, and more, a large supply. A vending machine dispenses bait afterhours. One Stop, at 416 Atlantic Avenue, also owns a shop with the same name at Atlantic City’s Gardner’s Basin that stocks the same baits and also rents rods. Sign up for Friday to Sunday’s DO/AC Beach N Boat Challenge for free, by using the number 5072. Without the number, entry is $20. The tournament will award $1 million if an entrant breaks the New Jersey record for largest summer flounder, and will award exceptionally lucrative prize money for the rest of the heaviest fish caught from Atlantic City. Watch a video about the DO/AC Beach N Boat Challenge shot at the shop, including footage of Noel in the shop and at the counter. One Stop on Facebook.

Back-bay fishing for summer flounder was a little slow, but still catching aboard, said Capt. John from the party boat Keeper. Maybe 60 to 150 throwbacks were caught and released each trip, and a few keepers were bagged. One trip landed no keepers this week. But the bay was relatively cool this summer, from 80 degrees in the back to 74 toward the inlet, the right temperature for flounder. The fish won’t depart, migrating to the ocean, anytime soon. Small sea bass that fill the bay usually start to leave by now, and a gazillion of them flooded the bay. They were fewer than two or three weeks ago, but were even hooked on minnows now, when they usually prefer mackerel fished aboard. Minnows and mackerel are provided, and peanut bunker to liveline sometimes are, when John sees and can net them to keep in the livewell. Gulps that anglers bring always work well on flounder, too. Lots of snapper blues schooled the bay, and one was hooked here and there. The Keeper is fishing for summer flounder twice daily from 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. The trips are only $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for kids, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel.

The Stray Cat fished for summer flounder on the ocean in 80 feet on trips, Capt. Mike said. The boat previously trolled lots of bonito and small blues on the ocean, but anglers lately wanted flounder. Flounder fishing was great, and on one of the trips Wednesday, the nine anglers totaled 15 keepers and bagged a few sea bass, and must’ve tossed back 300 throwback flounder. All anglers left with fish. The number of keeper flounder was dwindling somewhat. The water was 75 degrees and gin clear on the flounder grounds. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips will fish for flounder Monday through Wednesday. Plenty of space is available for Monday and Wednesday, and space is beginning to fill for Tuesday. Mike couldn’t say whether the bonito fishing is holding up, because he hasn’t fished for them in past days. Not a word was heard about tuna caught in a week. Mike saw nobody at the dock who landed them. Water chilled at places like the Lobster Claw, dipping to 71 degrees, from 74 previously. So fishing was dead at areas like that and the Cigar and 28-Mile Wreck. White marlin, fought in 50 fathoms a couple of days ago, were the most recent big-game heard about that were caught.

Ocean City
The party boat Miss Ocean City, a second boat that the company from the party boat Captain Robbins purchased, was supposed to begin fishing today, Capt. Victor said. Trips will fish for summer flounder, sea bass and ling on the ocean 8 a.m. to 12 noon and the back bay for flounder 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays through Fridays and the ocean for flounder, sea bass and ling 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday. The Captain Robbins is under maintenance and will resume fishing when that’s completed.

Lots of summer flounder carpeted the back bay, but not a lot were keepers, said Bill from Fin-Atics. Most keepers seemed to swim the ocean reefs, and other fish like sea bass hugged the reefs. A few striped bass, not a ton, were winged from the bay at night, mostly on lures, but anglers had to know what they were doing. Small bluefish schooled everywhere. Bonito sped around Atlantic City Reef , Atlantic City and Sea Isle ridges, and other places like that in 85 to 100 feet. Small mahi mahi were also there. Nothing was heard about tuna in a few days. But tuna previously were chunked at Lindenkohl Canyon, during daytime at first, then at night. A few were caught at Wilmington Canyon at the time.

Sea Isle City
Rich Linus’s group of three tugged in a bunch of summer flounder, including four keepers to 23 inches or 4 pounds from the ocean aboard Monday, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Flounder swam the bay, too – absolutely, Joe said – and striped bass roamed the bay. Joe was busy with other fishing, but high tides at dusk were ideal for popper fishing for stripers recently on the bay that he does with lures and flies. That angling’s been good this summer. Brendan Kenny and friends on Tuesday jumped on one of the inshore shark trips aboard, catching and releasing a 130-pound dusky shark, a 5-foot hammerhead shark and a brown shark. The trips, catch and release fishing for species including browns, duskies, spinners and blacktips, some of them required to be let go, usually within 10 miles from shore, are a chance to fight big fish without the long trek offshore. The trips fish with either bait or flies. Trips are also fishing offshore, and Joe heard about tuna and mahi mahi found close to shore, in 30 fathoms. The tuna were bluefins but even some yellowfins. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.

Many boaters fished ocean reefs and wrecks for summer flounder, piling up good numbers of the catches, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Experienced anglers could limit out, and many fished top-and-bottom rigs with a 2- to 4-ounce bucktail on bottom, with bait like mackerel or “meat,” and a 6-inch Gulp grub on the top hook in Pink Shine, white or Electric Chicken. Lots of snapper blues and cocktail blues swam inlets, and were hooked on rigs with bait like spearing and mullet or on small metal. Surf fishing was slow. Bonito schooled the ocean 10 to 15 miles from shore, and small blues and other fish, like skipjacks, were mixed in. Spanish mackerel were yet to be heard about among them. Farther offshore, the different species of tuna were both trolled and chunked at the canyons. Marlin were fought there.

A couple of summer flounder were brought in the other day, said Mike from Canal Side Boat Rentals. Not many keepers were rustled up, but flounder still skittered around the bay. A couple of customers ran across small sea bass in the bay, numbers of them. Mike wouldn’t say a lot of sea bass were around, and all trips seemed to hook at least one or two while flounder fishing, but not many anglers probably targeted them, and flounder hooks could be big for the sea bass. Sea bass rarely meet the 12-1/2-inch keeper size in the bay, and Mike remembers that when he was a kid, and there was no size limit, a 9-incher was large. But one customer recently caught a 13-inch sea bass from the bay. Kids had a blast fighting snapper blues from the canal, usually on Snapper Popper rigs with spearing. Mike’s got a long bamboo pole, and the line is about as long as the pole, and that’s fun for catching the snappers, swinging them in. Snapper fishing’s fun. Crabbing was about the same as before, and one of the rental trips Wednesday returned with two dozen keepers, the best catch in a week. Baits stocked include minnows and frozen herring in three per pack, great-looking spearing, mackerel fillets, whole mackerel, mullet fillets, whole bunker, bunker fillets, salted clams in quarts and pints, bags of fresh-frozen clams, all the different types of squid, like tube squid, trolling squid, strips of unscented and scented squid, green strips, pink strips and more. Frozen, chopped shedder crabs had been stocked but were no longer. Canal Side rents boats for fishing and crabbing and kayaks. ***Get a $5 discount*** on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. Crabs, both live and cooked, are sold for eating, and picnic tables were set out this year to enjoy them. The crabs were currently from Maryland, like previously. The blueclaws were scarce for commercial crabbers in New Jersey this season. The live crabs were currently $28 to $38 per dozen, depending on size and market price. The supplier called the crabs No. 1’s, but they weren’t all that large. The cooked crabs were currently $4 additional per dozen.

Cape May
The Heavy Hitter summer flounder fished Monday and during the weekend on the ocean, Capt. George said. The weekend was covered in the last report, and Monday’s trip was good, not as good as Saturday’s, when the fishing went especially well. On Monday, flounder gave up lots of action, and many were throwbacks, many just undersized. But six or seven keepers were bagged. On some days of the flounder fishing on the ocean, catches are really good. On other days, lots of throwbacks a half-inch to two inches short bite. Trips are also tuna fishing aboard, and tuna currently seemed to be turning on at the canyons on the chunk a few days, turning off a couple of days, then turning back on. The fish are there, and they also seem to be feeding on a morning bite, then at a different time of day, and that keeps changing. A friend got into the tuna late in the day, and was headed back today, saying the fish were on a morning bite now. A few tuna could be caught closer to shore in 30 to 40 fathoms, but George wouldn’t recommend that. Chunking all the way out at the canyons was the way to go. Mahi mahi swam the inshore lumps 20 or 25 miles from shore. Someone said false albacore roamed 20 miles out, George thought. The Heavy Hitter is also triggerfishing at ocean wrecks, and trolling bluefish, basically around 5-Fathom Bank on the ocean.

Summer flounder fishing was weathered out last week on Tuesday and Wednesday aboard, but all the daily trips fished for the flatfish since on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. Flounder were rounded up on every trip, and some days were better than others. A lot of good-sized flounder were pasted on Wednesday’s trip, and a couple of anglers limited out, and some bagged three or four. Some landed no keepers, but that’s flounder fishing. A ton of throwbacks bit on one of the trips the other day. A few decent-sized keepers, but no great number, came in during the outing. Anglers who limited out recently included Burt Lee from Pennsylvania. Rob Rizzo from Boonton reeled up eight keepers, more than a limit, on Wednesday’s trip. He kept no more than his quota, and another angler won the pool that day with a 7-pound flounder. He bagged three, Paul thought. The Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

Ocean summer flounder fishing smoked the fish, hot catches, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Cape May Reef gave up some, but Reef 11 and the Old Grounds fished best for them. Not much was heard about flounder from Delaware Bay, and the fishing there was probably best toward Miah Maul or Fortescue. The bay’s flounder anglers were known to struggle last week, and ended up fishing deep water to manage some. So water around Miah Maul was probably a place to find them. Decent-sized croakers were reported yanked-in near Bug Light on the bay. Blackfish were dinged along the rocks at Brandywine Lighthouse on the bay. The tautog also came from along Cape May Inlet’s jetties. The back bay held flounder, and a couple were keepers here and there. A couple of anglers wrangled up weakfish from Cape May Canal under the bridge the last few days on squid strips. Snapper bluefish schooled all around Cape May Point. Sand tiger and brown sharks, required to be released, haunted the surf at night. Mullet started to be seen in the surf, so anglers might keep an eye out for early season striped bass in the water. Baitfish including lots of peanut bunker filled the back bay and other back waters. Good-sized croakers were banked from the surf at the concrete ship. Flounder might sometimes nip in the surf. On the ocean, bonito and blues zipped around places like 4-Fathom Bank. Mahi mahi and Spanish mackerel might be there. Tuna fishing sounded best at Lindenkohl Canyon on the chunk during daytime. Some were caught, for sure. Minnows, fresh clams, jumbo and regular-sized bloodworms, and green crabs are stocked.

Last Monday's Report

Fishing for fluke remained good, depending on conditions and the angler’s skill, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. He was away on a Bermuda cruise, but returned, and the vacations are finished for now. Somebody should remind his wife that he’s a poor angler on a fixed income, he joked. They also spent a week in Atlantic City and another in Aruba this summer. Charters are resuming, and the next open-boat trips for fluke are slated for Thursday through Saturday, and weather forecasts look good. Fluke season’s been excellent aboard, and a 10-pounder was currently the year’s biggest. Multiple 7-, 8- and 9-pounders were axed, and so were many 4-, 5- and 6-pounders. Anglers who knew how to jig and work the whole trip usually limited out. The harder anglers worked, the better the results. Frank will travel far to reach the best fluking, and sometimes traveled more than 20 miles. Calls are starting to come in for charters this autumn for striped bass and blackfish. Trips have even been booked for next year. Frank suggests anglers lock in dates now, instead of settling for whatever’s left. Last fall’s striper fishing was the best in 20 years. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”

High hooks socked seven or eight keeper fluke apiece, and fluking was good, on the Down Deep, Capt. Mario said. The anglers kept no more than their limits, and ling fishing was also good aboard. A few cod, winter flounder and blackfish were mixed in during ling trips sometimes. Charters are fishing, and click here for the open-boat schedule for the next weeks, including open trips for sea bass, while the sea bass bag limit is increased to 15 from September 1 through 6. Three is the current limit, and sea bass season will be closed starting the next day for a time. Or sign up for the Short Notice List on the Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips.

Several keeper fluke were bagged, and throwbacks were let go, on an open-boat trip on the Staten Island side of Raritan Bay on Saturday with Papa’s Angels Charters, Capt. Joe said. Wind blew against tide, hampering the boat’s drift, at first on the outing, and better conditions and fishing were found on the Staten Island side during the final couple of hours. A couple of keeper fluke were bagged, and throwbacks were released, at Reach Channel on the bay on a charter Thursday. Both trips fished with spearing and squid. Open-boat trips for fluke are available twice daily, in the morning and afternoon, when no charter is booked, and telephone to climb aboard.

Atlantic Highlands

Wind blew against tide four days in a row on fluke trips on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. That hampers the boat’s drift and therefore fluking, and wind blew even harder on Sunday’s trip, almost impossible for the boat to drift. But the boat was power-drifted, Ron working the throttles all day, “to catch what we did,” he said. Some good-sized fluke came up, including a 6.4-pounder. A few anglers totaled three keepers apiece, good-sized, and a bunch of throwbacks. But not enough keepers were hooked to go around. A charter fluked aboard Saturday in the lousy conditions, but managed to catch a good bunch of keepers and tons of throwbacks. A fluke larger than 7 pounds won the pool, and Ron got to take a cast, landing a 7.4-pounder that he released. Capt. Ron Sr. played chef aboard that day, managing to limit out on fluke, between flipping burgers. On nighttime trips, porgies and croakers are getting bucketed now. The Fishermen is fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for croakers, porgies and bottom fish 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. daily except Sundays.

The party boat Atlantic Star is catching fluke, better on some trips than others, and throwbacks certainly outnumber keepers, Capt. Tom said. But every trip picked at keepers, and fluke were in, and the angling depended on conditions. All trips fished Raritan Bay recently, at places like along the Navy Pier, sometimes at Reach Channel. A few more keepers were lifted aboard than usual on Sunday afternoon’s trip, in somewhat better conditions. Sometimes anglers on trips landed 15, 20 or 25 throwbacks apiece. Sometimes the boat drifted fast, and heavy weights had to be fished. Eight ounces had to be dunked on Friday afternoon in strong wind. Conditions weren’t as bad on Saturday. Sometimes the boat drifted slowly on trips. Fluke currently were found in places where they weren’t last year. More throwbacks were currently around than earlier in the season. But every trip sailed aboard lately, and again, the fish were there, and each trip’s conditions affected results. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.


Good fluking in the past week on the Hyper Striper, Capt. Pete wrote in an email. That included with charters led by Bob Centamore, Robert Keilson, Wally Clouse and Lou Petrocelli. The fish weighed up to 6 pounds, and see some of the photos on Hyper Striper’s Facebook page. Visit Hyper Striper’s website. The boat is also sailing for tuna and is booking striped bass charters for fall.


Capt. Ralph from Last Lady Fishing Charters was away for a wedding, returning Sunday evening, but his crew told him fluking was the best all summer, Ralph said. Charters are sailing, and individual-reservation trips are fluke fishing every Tuesday, and kids under 12 sail free, limited to two per adult host, on those individual-rez trips. Ralph will add a marathon individual-reservation trip for fluke on the final day Last Lady isn’t chartered before fluke season is closed on September 28. An individual-reservation trip for cod is set for September 11, and all other individual-rez trips for cod are currently full. Spaces remain for an individual-reservation trip that will wreck-fish on August 24. Space is available for a special, individual-reservation trip for sea bass that will run on September 4, during the only week when 15 is the bag limit, before sea bass season is closed afterward for a time.


Great weekend of fluke fishing, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Plenty of large were seen at the shop, and Jin Park from Edison’s 11-pound 12-ouncer was biggest. He whaled the fish on the ocean on a Belmar party boat on a 6-inch, chartreuse Gulp grub. Fluke seemed stacked up in the ocean at usual rough bottom north of Shark River Inlet, and at reefs south of the inlet. Rivers held plenty of fluke, but fewer keepers than the ocean did. Snapper blues swarmed rivers, and remember that 15 is the bag limit, because wardens are watching. The shop’s rental boats are available to fish Shark River. Small striped bass started to show up in the surf, but that wasn’t a viable fishery yet, really. Bob hears that plenty of mullet are schooling back waters. When they migrate to the ocean in a month or so, some good striper fishing should be seen from the beach. On the ocean, lots of mahi mahi were boated, and a 15-pounder was weighed-in.

Anglers picked at large bluefish 12 to 18 pounds Sunday on the party boat Golden Eagle, okay fishing at first, slowing down next, picking back up later, a report on the vessel’s website said. The same-sized blues were clubbed on Saturday’s trip, and lots were seen and marked, “but they didn’t bite like they should,” the report said, maybe because of boat traffic. Bluefishing was good aboard the weekly nighttime trip on Saturday. Blues 10 to 14 pounds were picked on Friday’s daytime trip, and mahi mahi and cod were also whacked. Afternoon trips slid in fluke and sea bass in past days. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every Saturday. Fishing trips/sunset cruises are running 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. daily on Sundays through Fridays, and reservations are required on those outings. Some of those trips have been sold out, so check with the boat. Also, it’s time to book tuna trips. Twenty-four-hour trips are scheduled for September 28 and October 5 and 19, and space remains, but is filling up. See the Golden Eagle’s tuna trip page online.

Big blues were bombed throughout the weekend, good fishing, on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the vessel said. The 12- to 19-pounders were clobbered on the ocean to the north. On today’s trip, the angling was somewhat slower, and plenty were marked, but because of the “conditions, they just didn’t want to bite,” it said. But big blues, the same size as previously, were picked. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. daily.

Some of the year’s best fluking, on the ocean, was smashed with Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters, Capt. Pete said. That included on a trip Friday, when the angling was excellent. The catch included two 9-pounders and plenty of 4- to 6-pounders. Many of the fish were cookie-cutter sized, and anglers had to work for them with bucktails, but the angling was super. The way it should be, he said. Fluking was also good aboard Saturday on a trip that targeted big ones for The Friendly Sons of Shillelagh Fluke Tournament. A 7-pounder was biggest aboard, and the size was beautiful again, many of the fluke weighing 3 to 5 pounds, and the trip pretty much limited out. The bites came in spurts, and Pete pitched aboard three keepers in 10 minutes, for instance, and then the angling would slow a little. One of the anglers limited out, and three of that angler’s fluke weighed 5 pounds. Gulps in Nuclear Chicken and Pink Shine fished best on the trips, and experienced bucktailers are limiting out with no problems. The trips are fishing rough bottom, and the angling was also phenomenal on a trip last Monday aboard, covered in a previous report. Fluking was a bit of a grind this Sunday aboard, and wind forced the outing to push back near the beach. Smaller fluke gave up action, and better-sized ones were mixed in, and the angling ended up catching well, and a 7-pounder was largest. Trips are grinding away, banging out good-sized fluke, and this is the time to get after them, and Pete didn’t always say that this season. Parker Pete’s this season hosted On the Water Seminars to teach bucktailing for fluke. Three of the trips sailed, and because response was good, two more of the trips were added for last Wednesday and this Wednesday, and one or two might be slated for September, if the angling holds up. Last week’s was weathered out, but two or three spaces remain for this week’s. A charter could even book for the fishing, if anglers want. An email about the seminars said: “Are you tired of reading reports of people catching big (fluke)? Do you usually ‘drag’ bait and hope for the big one? Are you being out-fished when you go out fluking? Are you ready to get hooked on bucktailing in a non-threatening way?” The trips are inexpensive, and email Pete for more info. Also, 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.


Action was wild, and nets were flying, at times on Saturday morning’s trip for fluke on the ocean on the party boat Jamaica II, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. The trip was “on some nice fluke,” he said, and Dave Toochen from Philadelphia won the pool, and took the lead in the monthly pool, with a 9.8-pound fluke, and limited out. Dale Isaacs from Manchester landed twice his limit of large fluke, keeping no more than his quota. Tons of throwbacks also bit, and some large sea bass were cranked up. “Most caught, a few watched, but many took some meat home,” Ryan wrote. “… get ‘em while it’s hot!” The Jamaica II is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday.

Manasquan River’s fluke fishing was a pick, and throwbacks dominated, but sometimes keepers were bagged, said Eric from The Reel Seat. The bigger fluke were mostly hung on livelined peanut bunker or snapper blues. Sometimes Gulps caught them, like before, but the live bait worked better. Striped bass fishing was good on the river at bridges on small plugs, and bluefish were around in the river. Ocean fluke fishing was good, sort of breaking open two weekends ago. The catches were made including at Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs. One customer docked a 9-pounder from Sea Girt Reef on the Jamaica II. Ling fishing was good, consistent, on the ocean, like in previous weeks. Sizeable sea bass were hooked among them, and squid were jigged on nighttime trips for ling. Bonito fishing was very good at Manasquan and Barnegat ridges, and quite a few chicken mahi mahi swam the water. The bonito were trolled on Nos. 1 and 2 Clark spoons, feathers and jets, and were chunked on spearing, or spearing was tossed into the water, and hooked spearing were flat-lined in the slick. A little farther from shore, tons of small bluefin tuna 15 or 20 pounds, good catches, were trolled at Little Italy and the Monster Ledge, on the same lures that the bonito were. Farther out, plenty of bluefins swam, and yellowfin tuna were mixed in, toward 30 fathoms or in the Atlantic Princess wreck vicinity. Mahi were “that much bigger” there, he said. In those areas, most of the tuna were trolled, but some were jigged or popper-plugged. Farther still, Hudson Canyon’s fishing broke wide open, on the troll again, instead of chunking during daytime like before. Quite a few bigeye tuna, and some yellowfin tuna, were trolled. Not much was heard about marlin, but that didn’t mean marlin weren’t around. Anglers concentrated on tuna, and a few tuna, not many, were chunked overnight. Many of the trolled tuna were taken on ballyhoos on Joe Shute skirts or spreader bars.

Seaside Heights

For surf anglers, fluke and blues were the main targets during daytime, and brown sharks were at night, John from The Dock Outfitters wrote in a report on the shop’s website. Browns must be released, and some regular customers banked good-sized fluke from the surf at Island Beach State Park, though the anglers were “tight-lipped.” Gulps rigged all different ways grabbed the fluke, but so did killies with squid, the tried and true fluke set-up. Those were the two choices to fish. On Barnegat Bay, snapper blues kept kids busy fishing from the dock, while parents crabbed from the dock. Crabbing was yet to bounce back from “record” catches before the full moon, but that could change any day. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, boat and jet ski rentals, a café and a dock for fishing and crabbing.

Barnegat Light

Each drift on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light scooped up mostly throwback fluke the last couple of days, the vessel’s Facebook page said. A few drifts looked like fishing for keepers was going to bust loose, but mostly throwbacks would start being hooked again. Multiple keepers, the page said, were swung in during those better drifts. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

On the Super Chic, fishing for bonito was good on Sunday, like it was on the previous weekend, Capt. Ted said. On the trip, small blues and a couple of skipjacks were mixed in, and Clark spoons were trolled. Fluke fishing, on the ocean, was up and down. Fluke were there, but conditions weren’t always ideal for the angling in past days. The boat drifted too quickly on Thursday. Conditions weren’t bad on a trip Friday, and the boat didn’t drift much on Saturday. Fluke were landed, but Ted wished the fishing was better then. Trips will fish next on Wednesday through Sunday, mostly for fluke. Ted was unsure what Thursday’s trip will fish for. A trip is supposed to bluefish Saturday night. Bluefishing was also up and down, and sometimes big blues were pasted from the ocean, both during daytime and nighttime, after small blues were previously. Nighttime seemed a little better for big ones recently. The year’s first canyon tuna trip is currently booked for September 12 or 13 aboard. Boats from the docks didn’t catch many tuna at the canyons Friday and Saturday. Weather was windy much of last week, and none of the boats sailed for tuna Tuesday to Thursday that Ted knew about. Not much was heard from the docks about bluefin tuna caught closer to shore in past days. A handful of the fish were found, spotty fishing, not like before.


***Update, Tuesday, 8/19:*** From an email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier: “Some very interesting fishing going on right now. Just came out of a good stretch of trips. Every visit out to the inlet jetty we are connecting with stripers and blues on live grass shrimp. The bass are mostly 20 to 24 inches. Very few will measure the 28 inches necessary to make it in the cooler but they scream line on the 10 pound spinning outfits we use. Also in the mix are houndfish and blackfish. Houndfish are 3 to 4 foot long needlefish that put on quite a display when hooked. They tailwalk and greyhound just like a billfish. We anchor up and chum with the shrimp into the jetty and drift back our shrimp baited hooks with no weights or terminal tackle other than a small swivel and occasionally a bobber. The tide is perfect the next couple of afternoons so I will be running open boat trips for this or Barnegat Ridge, whichever you guys want to do. I am also shrimping 3 to 4 pound weakfish in the bay. Not just once but 5 out of 6 trips now. I struck out yesterday (Mon) morning but got a big one that same afternoon. Catching a lot of 17 to 18 inch fluke while targeting the weakies and a few too many sand sharks. Going all the way down to the 6 pound rods for this action. Barnegat Ridge is all lit up with bonita and mahi mahi right now. Besides the usual small chicken dolphin there are 10 to 20 pound bulls mixed in this year! Lots of sandeels and squid in the bellies of the bonita and mahi. Flatlined cedar plugs are the hottest lure for us right now. They are crushing everything in tight to the boat. I am running Open Boat trips tomorrow, Wed Aug 20 and Thurs Aug 21. Noon to 6 PM. We could run to the Ridge or shrimp the inlet jetty and then shrimp the weakies in the bay. Whatever you guys want to do. The forecast is mint, the wind will be 5 to 10 knots out of the east with no threat of storms. … 3 people max. All fish are shared. The boat is always available for charter on these dates, as well. Beyond that, the only other two days I have available in August are this Saturday, Aug 23 and next Tues, Aug 26. I have both morning and afternoon trips available this Saturday. Tues would be Noon to 6. Charter or Open Boat.”

Mystic Island

Great Bay turned out great catches of croakers and some blowfish, a report on Scott’s Bait & Tackle’s website said. Best places were off Graveling Point and behind Holgate. The bay held lots of small summer flounder, and bigger flounder were located in deeper holes off the Fish Factory and in Little Egg Inlet. Brown sharks, required to be released, stalked Grassy Channel in the bay. On the ocean, Garden State Reef was “booming” with flounder, the report said. Not much was heard about flounder from Little Egg Reef in the ocean. One trip pulled a 4-1/2-pound 22-1/2-inch flounder from there.


Some sizeable summer flounder were still checked in from the back bay at Riptide Bait & Tackle, a report on the shop’s website said. One angler boated a 5-pounder near a sod bank and a channel marker, saying snapper blues schooled the area. Another angler bagged a 4-1/2-pounder, and both fish were boated near the island’s north end. Fishing for keepers seemed decent there. In the surf, brown sharks were targeted. Browns must be released, and the angling was best in morning or at night. The DO/AC Beach N Boat Challenge, the fishing tournament set for Friday to Sunday, will include Brigantine, as well as Atlantic City, the two places fish entered can be caught. Anglers must register by Tuesday “to get into the bonus money,” the report said. Use Riptide’s number 5077 to enter free.


Blue, clear water “rolled out,” affecting some fishing, but rolled back in now, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat. Bonito became scattered that gave up great angling before, and tuna fishing struck out on a trip Friday inshore. Trolling for the fish was dead. But summer flounder fishing remained ridiculously good in 80 feet in the ocean. Sizeable flounder, lots, chomped, and 4-1/2- to 6-pounders won pools on the boat’s last three trips. Except for flounder, was a tough weekend of fishing. But bonito and tuna catches could bounce right back. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trip will sail on Wednesday.

Ocean City

The party boat Miss Ocean City is running a limited fishing schedule for the moment, and telephone the vessel for the slate, Capt. Victor said. The schedule for the Captain Robbins, the company’s other party boat, will be announced at a later date.

Sea Isle City

Twenty-one keeper summer flounder, averaging 5 pounds, were crushed on the ocean Sunday with Ace Brickman and friends aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The fishing was like the good old days, but better, he said. The fish included an 8-1/2-pounder, a couple of 7’s and a bunch of 6’s. The five anglers also landed throwbacks on the 6-hour trip. On Saturday aboard, Corey Holland and friends wanted to catch mahi mahi and troll the inshore ocean. A small mahi, four bonito and some false albacore and blues were tackled. The trip had to move to get away from the blues, small, but lots. On Friday morning, Mike Roth and friends released dusky sharks to 60 pounds and a brown shark on one of the inshore shark trips aboard. The trips, usually within 10 miles from shore, are a chance to fight big fish without the long trek offshore, and usually last until Labor Day weekend. In the afternoon, Dave Smith and sons boated three keeper flounder to 4 pounds and lots of throwbacks on the ocean. Ideal tides, high in the evening, are coming back around for striped bass fishing on the back bay on popper lures and flies, another specialty aboard. Jersey Cape is also fishing offshore for tuna and big game, and no specific reports were heard, but tuna fishing remained good, Joe knew. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.


A group of six from Harrisburg fished Delaware Bay on Saturday with Fins and Feathers Outfitters, Capt. Jim said. They tugged in 40 or 50 summer flounder, including one keeper, a small cobia and small blues. The trip fished the stakes near Fortescue and toward Miah Maul, and seas were flat calm. After the anglers departed, Jim headed back on the bay with a friend that day, and they fished 60-Foot Slough and the mouth of Cape May Canal. Not much was doing in the area, and two throwback flounder were released. No boats were seen at 60-Foot and the mouth of the canal, but boats were seen toward the Punk Grounds, the 19 buoy and 14-Foot Light. Jim had planned to fish the Old Grounds on the ocean for flounder on a trip with two anglers on Sunday. But the anglers seemed to want to fish Wildwood Reef on the ocean, because they heard flounder fishing was good there, so the trip fished there. Seventy-five flounder, including one keeper, and a good-sized triggerfish were landed, and jacks were reeled in at a buoy. The ocean looked beautiful and crystal clear, and wind picked up a little that day. But the two days were great, Jim said, and both trips fished for the flounder with Gulps and minnows on double-hooked rigs. Gulps definitely caught better. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including duck and goose hunting, during the waterfowl seasons. Anglers can even enjoy a combo of duck hunting and striped bass fishing on Delaware Bay over a series of days in autumn. Fins also offers salmon and steelhead fishing on upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s lodge. The salmon fishing can begin around Labor Day, but the first trip is booked for the first days of October, when the angling should be peaking. Fins also fly-fishes for trout on Pennsylvania’s streams like the Yellow Breeches.

Cape May

Summer flounder fishing is good, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter. The conditions have to be right, and lots of the fish are throwbacks, but a charter on the ocean Saturday beat a bunch of keepers, among lots of throwbacks, with Anthony Berenato from Hammonton’s Mohawk Farms. The keepers were 18 to 22 inches, and George was supposed to sail on another flounder trip today. He was supposed to join a tuna trip today on a friend’s boat, but as good as tuna fishing was last week, the angling became dead in past days, so the tuna trip was nixed. Tuna fishing was dynamite at the canyons last week, on the chunk during daytime. But just like the angling suddenly slowed, it could come on again. Small bluefish could be fought from the ocean, and triggerfish could be pumped from the wrecks.