Looks like the fall migration of striped bass is beginning to develop well, Capt. Frank from Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. Fishing for them gave up mixed results Friday to Sunday aboard, from great to slow, because of the full moon. On Friday’s trip, the angling began slow and turned on once outgoing tide began. Then 21- to 29-inchers were jigged, terrific action on stripers that blew up on peanut bunker. On Saturday’s trip, the fishing was no good, a disaster, not even producing one bass. The big, full moon absolutely affected that. Stripers blew up on bait but wouldn’t bite a hook. But on Sunday’s trip, the fishing was game on for 2 hours in early morning. Catches included double-headers jigged, and stripers literally banged into the boat. When that slowed, the trip took a ride, eeling larger stripers well. “All in all a very good day,” he said. All the trip’s anglers bagged a bonus tag striper, and larger stripers to 31 inches were mixed in. Trips are full this week, and Frank’s been saying that if anglers wait to book striper trips, they’ll probably miss out. Charters and open-boat trips fill quickly. The next open trips with space available are on Tuesday, October 25, and Thursday, October 27, and telephone to reserve. The Vitamin Sea is a “dedicated” striper boat. New Jersey Fish and Wildlife asked Frank to remind anglers that October 31 is the final day to apply for a striper bonus tag. That enables anglers to bag an additional striper, helps the state research the fish and is free.
One trip daily would begin to fish for porgies and blackfish today on the party boat Atlantic Star, instead of two trips daily previously, Capt. Tom said. That’s an annual change that’s made because fish begin to migrate farther from shore. The trips needed to fish farther from port the past couple of days to escape full-moon current between the channels. The anglers picked at porgies and blackfish. The porgies were mixed sizes, including good-sized, and catches included double-headers of them. A few blackfish were picked. Some of the anglers tried for them who brought green crabs for bait. No crabs are supplied aboard yet, because one is the blackfish bag limit. The limit will be increased later this year. Blackfish didn’t swim at all drops, and the trips targeted porgies. More throwback blackfish bit than keeper blackfish did. The trips will begin to put more emphasis into sea bass fishing beginning Saturday, opening day of sea bass season. The Atlantic Star is fishing for porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
Anglers slugged away at porgies Sunday on the Fishermen, after a picky start, a report said on the party boat’s website. The trip had to bounce around and fish readings, but got it done. Good-sized porgies were snatched up, and all anglers left with dinner. Not many blackfish and winter flounder were mixed in, but Saturday’s trip picked up more blackfish, a half-dozen large flounder and some blowfish, along with porgies, a good mixed bag. That was a beautiful day on the water, although the trip had to bounce around to put together a catch. The Fishermen is fishing for porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for striped bass 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Beginning Wednesday, the daytime trips will fish for striped bass. A good body of stripers was “moving” on the weekend’s full moon, and a couple of areas began to produce stripers. Bring plenty of rubber shads like Tsunamis in white and natural color from 4 inches to, for the bigger bass, 9 inches. Bring spinning rods including a heavier in case eels are fished. Be prepared, and what to expect is never known day to day.
For those who can’t wait for New Jersey’s blackfish bag limit to be increased, Lady M Charters is jumping all over the fish from Brooklyn, N.Y. New York’s blackfish season was opened, and open-boat trips for the tautog sailed Saturday and Sunday aboard, Capt. Steve said. On Saturday’s trip, the boat limited out with eight anglers. Many 3- to 6-pound blackfish were bagged. On Sunday’s trip, conditions were tougher, but the six anglers aboard limited out. Another good day, he said, and the blackfishing’s super.
Giant porgies were shoveled aboard an individual-reservation wreck-fishing trip Sunday with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph said. A bunch of blackfish bit, and anglers kept limits of one. A mess of sea bass were released, and sea bass season will be opened beginning Saturday. Spaces remain for individual-reservation trips for sea bass: three on October 26 and four on October 29. Striped bass charters are available in November, and the fish have arrived.
Striped bass fishing broke open a bit, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Bunker swam the ocean at first light the past couple of days, and stripers 30 pounds and larger were boated on the baitfish snagged and livelined. The fish were also trolled, and the fishing should just become better. He’d said the full moon should get stripers “moving,” and that seemed to happen with the moon this weekend. Individual spaces are available on a striper charter Wednesday who wants more anglers. Fishing for large bluefish was excellent and for porgies was good on the ocean. Dates are available for trips for stripers or any available catches. Sea bass season will be opened beginning Saturday. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway about individual spaces available on charters. Sign up for the email blast on Parker Pete’s website to be kept informed about the spaces.
Another good trip for monster blues was ransacked Sunday on the Golden Eagle, a report said on the party boat’s website. The fish, all big, weighed up to 20 pounds, and on today’s trip, bluefishing was slow early in the morning. Then the monsters to 19 pounds started biting, and the trip ended up with a good catch. The fishing was enjoyable, the report said, and a couple of false albacore were mixed in. Bluefishing trips are sailing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. A 31-hour, extended trip for tuna and mahi mahi sailed Wednesday to Thursday, catching mahi and several 50- to 60-pound yellowfin tuna. Tuna began to be seen in the chum slick at night, and that’s when six or seven were hooked, and some were landed. A tuna trip, the season’s final, is slated to sail Sunday for 24 hours.
Now is the time for jumbo bluefish, an email said from the party boat Miss Belmar Princess. The biggest of the season are in, and Saturday’s trip, sailing to just inside the Mudhole, took a while to get a steady bite going in tough conditions, although the ocean was calm and skies were clear. Then shots of five and six on at once were hammered, a good pick. The blues averaged a whopping 17 pounds and weighed up to 20. Sunday’s trip caught a few blues right away. Then the angling took a while to get a pick going. After an hour, two to four hooked at once was held at times, and shots up to six were creamed. The fish were monsters to 20 pounds, and trips are fishing for blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
Trolling for striped bass began to light up on the ocean, hitting quite a few in the upper 30 pounds, said Eric from The Reel Seat. They were boated including off Seaside Park and Asbury Park and at Shrewsbury Rocks. Bunker spoons and Mojos in white clocked them. Surf anglers began to beach striped bass, scoring a few good days at Sandy Hook. Peanut bunker began to move into the water, and the Sandy Hook fishing tapered off since, and the fish seemed to spread south. He’d look for them from Asbury Park to Lavallette, where the catches began to be made. Rubber shads, Daiwa SP Minnows and swimmers hooked them. No bluefish were heard about from the surf, and some were probably banked here and there. Reports sounded like tuna fishing began to pick up at Hudson Canyon. A bunch of longfin tuna and some yellowfin tuna were chunked there at night into morning. Some boaters also trolled the fish during daytime. One is the blackfish bag limit, but fishing for them was great. Lots of the fish to 10 pounds snapped. Many anglers used jigs with green crabs to hook them. Sandy Hook Reef, Shrewsbury Rocks and Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs tossed them up. Party boats tackled large bluefish at Shark River Reef on jigs and chunks. The slammers bit day and night. Porgy fishing was good and seemed best on Raritan Bay. At Point Pleasant Canal, anglers picked away at striped bass on eels and landed plenty on jigs, white shads and white bucktails. Blackfish, lots, a fair number of keepers, were smoked from the canal and Manasquan Inlet. Hickory shad filled the inlet in mornings and evenings.
Point Pleasant Beach
“Our last couple trips were decent,” an email from the party boat Gambler said this morning. The boat was slated to fish for tuna on two 24-hour trips Friday to Saturday and Saturday to Sunday, a schedule on the vessel’s website said. “The Gambler had a good canyon trip in fair seas, catching 30 to 70 lb yellowfin tuna,” the email continued. A few longfin tuna 30 to 40 pounds were also cranked in. Two anglers totaled five tuna and two tilefish. Tuna bit best from an hour before daylight until after sunrise. Fishing for tuna looks promising the rest of the month and probably into November, the email said. On a 48-hour trip for tuna Wednesday to Friday aboard, fishing was disappointing, the boat’s Facebook page said. The boat arrived at Hudson Canyon and began to be drifted in 2,000 feet of water off one of the canyon walls. Four tuna were immediately hooked, and two yellowfins, big, were landed. That looked promising, but the boat drifted up the bank of the wall, and no more bit in 2 hours. The boat was returned to the original starting place. “We let that drift go for a long time,” the page said. Some bites and runoffs were copped, “along with a few shark encounters,” it said, and bait was seen, but no tuna were caught. “We stayed put,” it said, hoping for a morning bite, but that never happened. Then the trip trolled, but that grabbed only one knock down. Next, the trip fished for mahi mahi at lobster-pot buoys. Some beautiful mahi, mixed sizes to 20 pounds, were nailed. Wind picked up, so the boat was anchored at good-looking, “lifey” water on the east wall. But tuna fishing never got rolling. Lots of tuna seemed to be swimming the water, but water temperature was about the same everywhere, only changing a tenth of a degree. Tuna seemed spread out because of that. Weather could change that for the better. Tuna gather at larger temperature breaks. See the schedule of tuna trips and reservation info on the boat’s website.
The weekend was beautiful on the ocean, and porgy fishing was slower than on previous days on the Norma-K III, but the fish were picked here and there aboard, a report said on the party boat’s website. A few blackfish were hung, and crabs are carried aboard for blackfish bait. On Friday night’s trip, bluefishing was good for 8- to 15-pounders on the ocean. Saturday night’s trip took a while to get bluefish going, but they eventually bit. The angling was a little slower than on the previous night, but 4- to 15-pounders were axed. Trips are fishing for porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Sea bass season will be opened beginning Saturday. “We will finish out the week with porgies and blackfish!” the report said. Trips are bluefishing 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Nice fall-feeling morning, a report said about Saturday on The Dock Outfitters’ website. Keeper striped bass were reported slid from the surf sometimes lately. They grabbed both bait and lures. Clams caught, and so did popping plugs, swimming lures and metal. The lures each produced, “at the right times.” Some keepers were clubbed at mid-day Wednesday. That was good for anglers who couldn’t get up early or left the beach before dark, the report said. The water temperature was dropping, and that will trigger the fall migration of stripers in the surf. Small blues were also around in the surf. Kingfish were heard about that were nabbed from the surf at Island Beach State Park on small pieces of clam. Bait stocked included fresh clams and bunker, eels and green crabs. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing and, in season, boat rentals and jet-ski rentals.
Charters bluefished Thursday, Saturday and Sunday on the Super Chic on the ocean, Capt. Ted. Slammers 8 to 18 pounds were smashed, very good catches, all on bait in chum slicks. Sea bass trips will fish this weekend aboard, once sea bass season is opened Saturday. Ted heard about a few tuna caught somewhere around Hudson Canyon in past days, not super catches, but catches.
Anglers picked at 20- to 40-pound yellowfin tuna in the morning on a trip Friday to Saturday on the Miss Barnegat Light, the party boat’s Facebook page said. A 200-pound mako shark “(got) a few free meals,” it said. “… It was an encouraging trip considering results so far this season.” A two-day trip for the fishing was headed back out Sunday, and the boat is fishing on tuna trips exclusively throughout the month. Trips will jig for striped bass in November.
Eight big yellowfin tuna, a swordfish and a blue marlin were landed from Hudson Canyon on a trip Saturday to Sunday with Tuna-Tic Sportfishing, Capt. Mike said. A couple of the tuna were chunked at night, but most were chunked in the morning Sunday. The sword was chunked at night, and the marlin was trolled during daytime. So the fishing was good. “Better late than never,” he said about the tuna catches. Tuna fishing had been slower this season.
A trip with two anglers boated for blackfish along Great Bay’s sod banks, one of the anglers wrote in a report posted on Scott’s Bait & Tackle’s website. They found the tautog at every spot fished, from 16 feet of water to 43, landing about 25. None was a keeper, but four were larger than 14 inches, including two just under the 15-inch size limit. Plenty of action all day, just no keepers yet, the angler wrote. Mostly green crabs were fished, but so were salted clams, in the 60- to 62-1/2-degree water. No other boaters were seen fishing, but a few bank anglers were. Keep an eye out for anglers poaching undersized blackfish, the angler wrote. “Have to protect our fish,” he said.
The season’s first striped bass was yet to be checked-in from the surf at Riptide Bait & Tackle, Capt. Andy wrote in a report on the shop’s website. But that will change very soon, he said. Resident stripers were active in the back bay and inlets, biting live bait best. A $25 gift certificate will be awarded to the angler who brings in the season’s first from the surf. The season’s first blue, a 1-pounder, was entered in the shop’s fall surf-fishing derby. First place is worth $300, and second and third are $200 and $100, respectively. Bigger cash prizes will be awarded for the three heaviest stripers in the derby. The $25 entry includes a permit that when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit allows the angler to drive the entire front beach in the town. Not all the beach can be driven otherwise.
Sea Isle City
Darrel Cooper and friends this weekend fished aboard some of the annual traveling charters to Montauk, N.Y., with Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle, Joe said. Saturday’s trip whacked 12 false albacore, a bunch of bluefish and a striped bass. Albie fishing was tougher on Sunday’s trip, catching three and a bunch of blues and a striper. The blues on the trips weighed 3 to 7 pounds. Conditions were rough Saturday morning and calm in the afternoon, and rough later in the day Sunday. The trips will fish the migrations of stripers, blues and albies through this weekend from the historic port, before Joe turns all attention to fishing from Sea Isle the rest of the year. Annual traveling charters also fish the Florida Keys each winter, and see the traveling charters’ page on Jersey Cape’s website. At Sea Isle currently, blues swam the back bay and ocean, and stripers bit in the bay a little. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.
Fins and Feathers Outfitters will fish for striped bass on the ocean or Delaware Bay, wherever the angling’s best, later this season. Trips will also hunt waterfowl at both locations this fall and winter. Trips this past week fished for salmon on upstate New York’s Salmon River from Capt. Jim from Fins’ nearby lodge, he said. The heavy part of the salmon migration seemed to enter the river in past days, including filling up the hatchery Tuesday. The river ran lower than Jim ever saw, at 185 cubic feet per second, because of a drought since last year. The reservoir had to be 6 or 8 feet low or lower. Still, officials seemed to control the river’s flow so that the salmon migration swam up the river this year. The drought also caused the river to run low last fall, and the salmon fishing was tough that year. The angling was somewhat better this year. Some anglers caught currently, and Jim saw four anglers with three salmon apiece leaving the Sportsman’s Pool. Jim’s daughter and son-in-law were standing at the river and saw salmon jumping right beside them. The lodge’s guests will fish for steelheads later this fall through early spring that migrate to the river next. The salmon die in the river this season after spawning. Steelheads also arrive in the river to spawn, but don’t die afterward. They spend fall to spring there and return to Lake Ontario for summer. Back at Avalon, cocktail blues were reportedly banked from shore at Townsend’s Inlet. The next waterfowling locally for Fins will be for brant in November. A season is open for the birds earlier, but Jim’s not seeing many brant yet. Upcoming waterfowling aboard locally will also include duck hunting and goose hunting during the seasons for them. Anglers can even enjoy a combo of striper fishing and duck hunting on the ocean or Delaware Bay over a series of days. Jim will also deer hunt. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures in New Jersey and surrounding states.
Lots of blues and a few weakfish were pitched aboard Saturday with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing, Capt. Jim said. Was a good catch, and the blues were trolled, and trips are continuing to target mixed bags of fish like that. Sea bass season will be opened beginning Saturday, and the striped bass migration will arrive before long. Book striper trips early, because they fill, especially on weekends. Fins fishes every day when there’s demand. Reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.
Check out this 42-pound 50-1/2-inch striped bass that was the season’s first striper weighed at Hands Too Bait & Tackle and was banked from Cape May’s surf.
A trip is supposed to run for sea bass on the Heavy Hitter on the ocean Saturday, Capt. George said. That’s opening day of sea bass season. He knew about a few trips that sailed for tuna, landing a couple. A trip on the boat across the dock took three 30-pounders and some mahi mahi. A buddy’s trip cracked a swordfish at night, one tuna in the morning on the troll, mahi mahi at lobster-pot buoys and a couple of wahoos on the 30-fathom line.