Two keeper striped bass were hooked Wednesday on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. That was apparently the first trip that fished since the storm. “Wasn’t sure what we would find,” he said. The trip worked a few areas, and found stripers. The water was surprisingly clear, and as cool as 62 degrees. “Still a small roll on the ocean,” he said. Not much bait was seen. “(But) the bait should return,” he said, and then striper fishing should improve. Charters are fishing, and telephone for next week’s open-boat schedule.
A trip sailed farther for porgies than Capt. Tom wanted on Wednesday afternoon, but that paid off on the party boat Atlantic Star, he said. The angling wasn’t great, but pulled in a mix of keepers and throwbacks, worth the ride. The boat began fishing again, on every twice-daily trip, Tuesday morning, after the storm, and porgies were caught closer to port, at first, on the trip. But the angling fell apart afterward on the outing. Porgy fishing was no good on the next two trips. Then Wednesday afternoon’s trip caught farther from port. The trips with slower catches fished a closer sail away, where porgies bit before the weather. The Atlantic Star is fishing for porgies and blackfish 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. daily, and clams are supplied for bait. The schedule might be changed to one ¾-day trip daily before long to allow for a longer ride. But, once the ocean settles, if the fish begin to bite closer to port, where porgies should bite this time of year, the ½-day trips will continue until two weekends from now, at least. The change in schedule happens every year, as fish migrate farther from shore.
Few porgies seemed to bite locally at Sandy Hook Reef, but they were boated farther away Wednesday, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Blackfish and out-of-season sea bass also chomped farther away. Nothing else was really heard about catches, since the storm. Anglers were mostly yet to resume fishing. Fishing will only become better this season, though. Nobody came back from surf fishing to report results, since the weather. Bait swam the surf, “but like rainfish and spearing,” he said. Stripers, lots, during the storm busted bait in the river along the surface. Fishing for them was good. But the bait and bass disappeared since, though the river was crystal clear.
The following report was posted as an update on Tuesday, and is being posted again, in case anybody missed it: The party boat Fishermen last fished last week on Monday and Tuesday nights, Capt. Ron wrote in a report this week on Monday on the vessel’s website. The northeast blow prevented boating afterward, and both trips landed some good-sized striped bass to 30 pounds. A striper about 40 pounds was lost at the net. Daytime trips will kick back off on Saturday, fishing for stripers and blues from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. They’ll fish with jigs and eels, for now, and mostly blues will probably be tackled, until water becomes colder, “and the fall migration actually starts,” he said. Stripers biting currently are resident fish. Bring a heavier rod and lots of weight for the eeling. Noodle rods won’t cut it this time of year, he said. Daytime trips had been on break since fluke season was closed starting September 27. But nighttime trips kept running, and still are. Those trips are sailing for stripers 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. every Monday through Saturday.
Last Lady Fishing Charters will fish Saturday through Monday, and fishing was docked aboard since the storm, Capt. Ralph said. Individual-reservation trips will fish inshore wrecks October 11 and for sea bass October 27 and blackfish November 16. The blackfish bag limit will be increased to six starting that day, from the current limit of one. An individual-rez trip for cod offshore is sold out October 20. Charters are available daily.
Porgy fishing, on the ocean, was good Wednesday on the party boat Big Mohawk, Capt. Chris said. Lots of big porgies were creamed, and a few cod were decked. That was the first trip aboard since the storm. The day was beautiful on the ocean, and conditions looked good for today’s trip, too, the boat’s Facebook page said. The Big Mohawk is fishing for cod, porgies and winter flounder 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Special trips will sail for sea bass, by reservation, October 22 and 23, the first two days of sea bass season. Another one of the trips might fish the next day, Saturday, October 24, because the first two trips are beginning to fill. Daily, open-boat trips will fish for sea bass immediately after the reservation trips.
Bluefish 12- to 20-pounds were smacked Wednesday on the Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the party boat said. The angling began slowly, a slow pick on the first few drifts, but improved, as the trip continued, and the catch ended up good. All the fish were jigged on Ava 47s, with and without tails, and Krocodiles, and the Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
On the Golden Eagle, fishing for big blues to 18 pounds and false albacore was great Wednesday, a report on the party boat’s website said. That was the first trip since the storm, and wind had begun to calm, and seas had begun to flatten, and trips were expected to continue every day for a while. The Golden Eagle is fishing at 7:30 a.m. daily. A tuna trip was added for October 25, and see the tuna schedule online.
A few more winter flounder were cranked from Shark River on Wednesday, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. The season’s first reported from the shop was landed Tuesday, he mentioned in an update posted on Monday’s report here. No large numbers of flounder were hooked yet, but all were well above legal size. Striped bass were beached from the surf Wednesday, mostly on plugs like Bombers and Daiwa SP Minnows. Bill Massey from Wall fly-rodded one. Party boats from Belmar on Wednesday docked big bluefish, a fair number, and a good-sized striper. “Things (are) looking up,” Bob said.
Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters hopes to fish this weekend, he said. Belmar boats scored bluefish and false albacore, good catches, on the ocean, returning to fishing Wednesday, after the storm. Trips with Parker Pete’s now will fish for ling, cod, winter flounder and porgies on the ocean. Boaters whacked striped bass on the ocean from Captree, Long Island, N.Y., he heard, and Pete hopes the stripers arrive locally soon. They usually show up soon after they do at Captree. Parker Pete’s is all about striper fishing, when the migration arrives. Trips will sea bass, once sea bass season is opened starting October 22, and will blackfish starting November 16, once six of the tautog becomes the bag limit starting November 16, from the current limit of one. Charters are fishing, and telephone about individual spaces with charters who want more anglers. A bunch of those trips will sail. Visit Parker Pete’s website to subscribe to the email blast to be kept informed about the spaces. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page, where it says Join Our Newsletter.
***Update, Friday, 10/9:*** Ling, decent catches, school cod, winter flounder and big porgies are being scooped from deep wrecks in the ocean on the party boat Jamaica II, “when we get reasonable conditions,” Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. “Giant bluefish are annoying, also,” he said. Mudhole Marathon Wreck Trips will sail at 5 a.m. Sunday and October 18. Trips will fish for tuna, false albacore and bonito inshore at 4 a.m. Monday and October 19. A full schedule of sea bass trips will fish, once sea bass season is opened starting October 22. Ten-hour trips will run for them at 7:30 a.m. that day and October 23 and 28. A 12-hour trip will hunt sea bass at 5 a.m. October 25, and 14-hour ones will steam at 3 a.m. October 24 and 31. Three-quarter-day trips will fish for sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. October 26, 27, 29 and 30.
Point Pleasant Beach
Fishing sailed on the party boat Dauntless on Wednesday, the first time in a while, Capt. Butch said. The bottom-angling was a little slow, but he expected that, after seven or eight days of strong, northeast wind, and a riled up ocean. But porgies and ling and a few cod were pitched aboard. Lots of out-of-season sea bass bit, and were big, mostly keeper-sized, and sea bass seemed to move deeper, farther from shore. The angling aboard should become decent today or Friday or so, he thinks, including because plenty of porgies remained to the north. Porgies migrate south this time of year. Porgies were still caught from bays behind Long Island. The trip fished a broad range of depths from 60 to 200 feet. The water was 63 degrees, 10 or 12 degrees cooler than before the storm. The day was beautiful, and a swell remained on the ocean. The water surface wasn’t so dirty, considering the previous weather. The bottom was riled up, Butch could tell, because picking out bottom-fish on the fish finder was difficult. But the fishing should bounce back. The Dauntless is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Trips will target sea bass, once sea bass season is opened starting October 22.
Small blues were banked from the surf Wednesday on mullet, said Dennis from Murphy’s Hook House. No striped bass caught from the surf were heard about, and the surf was dirty at some areas, clean at others, after the storm, but was fishable. Anglers had to fish 6 ounces of weight from the surf that day. Anglers fished the beach again this morning, Dennis said at 7:30 in a phone call, when he gave this report. No catches were reported yet, and the anglers fished 4 or 5 ounces then. No wind blew at the time, and northeast wind was supposed to begin later today. A few blowfish were landed from the Toms River at Island Heights this week. A friend hooked five from Barnegat Bay from a dock at Seaside Heights. Crabbing was still good in the river, and one crabber nabbed three dozen keepers, and only three throwbacks, in 1 ½ hours. A few snapper blues remained in back waters like that, but were migrating away quickly. Blowfish were boated from the bay at the BB marker, farther south, on Tuesday. The bay was dirty but flat. Stripers were plugged at the Route 37 Bridge and Good Luck Point at night on the bay. Stripers were eeled from Point Pleasant Canal, and probably 100 eels were sold Wednesday. One angler bought them to fish for stripers along the bay’s sod banks, and the rest bought them to fish at the canal. In addition to eels, fresh clams are stocked. No fresh bunker were, but the bunker boat was supposed to sail today. The supply of fresh mullet was probably finished for the season, but not necessarily. Mullet could still be around. One angler asked about winter flounder. No flounder were heard about, and in the past, the flatfish began to hit in the Toms River starting around Election Day, in mid-November. Water’s been warmer in recent years, and last year’s first flounder were reported in December, Dennis thought. Warm-water fish have lingered later in the year than in the past, and they might’ve beaten flounder to the hook. But not a lot of anglers tried for flounder, since the bag limit was decreased, and sandworms or bloodworms for bait were scarce in late summer and fall, because of demand, and that could’ve decreased effort, too. But Dennis used to reel in flounder starting in September at Manasquan Inlet and along the boats docked around the inlet. Currently, the flounder limit was two fish 12 inches or larger, and flounder season was March 1 to December 31, but that was better than the previous one-flounder limit and shorter season.
Conditions became good for angling, after the storm, but nobody reported results yet, said George from The Dock Outfitters. Nobody mentioned fishing the surf, and today was the first time the surf cleared, since the weather, he thought. Nobody fished from the dock since the blow. Baits stocked include fresh clams and eels. 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.
Little was heard since the weather, but blowfish still hovered Barnegat Bay near the 40 marker in 5 feet, as far as Kyle knew from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle, he said. He heard nothing different, he added. Striped bass were yet to be heard about this fall. Anglers fished at the bridge along Oyster Creek, the outflow from Forked River Power Plant. Maybe they hooked stripers. Some began to kick around for stripers on Barnegat Bay, and anglers telephoned for eels for the fishing, and eels were stocked this morning. The anglers began trying for the bass, at least. We always say the fishing kicks in by Halloween, he said. Water began to cool quickly, so the time was coming.
Trips are supposed to resume Friday, with an overnighter for tuna at the canyons, on the Super Chic, Capt. Ted said. But the charter might get weathered out, and bluefish trips are slated for Saturday and Sunday, and will probably get the weather to sail. September and October are when the boat concentrates on tuna the most. Ted knew that the party boats Jamaica from Brielle and Voyager from Point Pleasant Beach overnighted for tuna yesterday to today. Results were yet to be heard. Those were surely some of the first tuna trips since the storm.
Miss Barnegat Light is slated to fish next on Friday, for tuna, according to the schedule on the party boat’s website. All trips are fishing for them aboard, for now, and see Miss Barnegat Light’s tuna schedule online.
No anglers were around, since the weather, said Vince Sr. from Bobbie’s Boat Rentals. Anglers with smaller boats pulled the vessels from the water for the storm, and none of the local party boats resumed fishing. They’ll probably start back up this weekend. Anglers on foot fished for blackfish along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks and surf fished, but none was heard from. Striped bass had been reeled from along the inlet’s rocks and Barnegat Bay before the storm. Striper fishing from there to the ocean could begin to amp up for the season anytime. Water was in the mid-60 degrees, he thought, and the angling might take off by the end of the month, at least, he’d think. Bait stocked includes live spots and green crabs and fresh clams. 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 in season.
Tuna trips were supposed to fish on the June Bug last weekend and this weekend, Capt. Lindsay said. Last weekend’s was weathered out, and the storm did no substantial damage to the boat, but caused some maintenance that will be needed to the outriggers. Lindsay will boat the inlet Saturday to see how the weather might’ve shifted sand bar navigation. No boats that fished were known about from Long Beach Island since the storm. This writer told Lindsay about party boats from farther north in the state that were known to sail for tuna on overnighters yesterday to today, though results were yet to be reported. That’s what’s needed, he said: The big boats to fish for tuna. Then whether tuna moved, and where they were located, could be known. A couple of boats two weekends ago, before the storm, found yellowfin tuna, not big, 30 or 35 pounds, but limits. Those were some of the season’s first substantial catches of yellowfins. Long Beach Island seemed not to fare badly from the storm. Dunes at Stone Harbor, farther south, were heard about that now met a 12-foot drop to the beach. That area usually holds an especially long, gradual decline to the water.
Striped bass were eeled or trolled on small umbrella rigs on Mullica River in early mornings, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. Anglers needed to fish for them near the Garden State Parkway Bridge, not at the mouth of the river, he said. That was about the only report since the storm. But weather looks good for the weekend, especially on Sunday. Anglers hoped to see fish like blues or small black drum cranked from Great Bay then. Catch Tsunami, Okuma and Savage Gear Day on Saturday, October 17, at the shop. New Tsunami rods for this year and 2016, Okuma gear and Savage lures will be showcased, and the event will also feature sales, prizes and giveaways.
Capt. Dave Showel from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center began his season’s trips for striped bass, caught them and is now chartering for the fish, he said. The trips on Tuesday and Wednesday fished back waters from near the shop to Great Bay and Mullica River. Dave was trying to isolate a pattern, and thinks he’s got it down. Last chance: Book one of the trips Friday, and get a discount. Dave had been offering a discount for the early-season trips, but the angling’s on, so that will end, after Friday. The fishing usually takes off by October 15, and is looking good. The trip Tuesday with three anglers landed 20 stripers, including two keepers 28 inches, and also bagged a slot bass with a bonus tag. The trip Wednesday with Ryan Smith released four stripers 26 inches apiece and lost a couple, a good day. Ryan could’ve bagged one of the slot bass with one of Dave’s bonus tags, but wanted to release them. Live spots and mullets and the new Gulp Nemesis, a bait that seems hot, caught the trips’ bass equally. Plenty of live spots and mullet are stocked. Few of the baitfish are around anymore this season, and they aren’t cheap, but the shop’s got them. Fresh clams should be stocked Friday.
Snapper bluefish sometimes ran the surf, and one surf caster today plucked a couple of kingfish from the beach, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. A boater landed a 27-inch striped bass from back waters yesterday. He had no bonus tag, but if he did, the bass could’ve been bagged. The tag allows an extra striper 24 inches to less than 28 to be bagged. Otherwise, the limit is one striper 28 inches to less than 43, and one 43 inches or larger. A couple of other boaters grabbed stripers from the back on livelined spots. A couple of fishable days finally happened, since the storm. Eels are stocked, and fresh clams will arrive Friday. Two boats sailed for bunker today, and one of the boaters said fresh bunker could be provided to the shop Friday, and Andy will see. If the bunker arrives, he’ll post on Riptide’s Facebook page.
Mostly blackfish were plumbed from the T-jetty to Melrose and Caspian avenues, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. The fishing was good – “on and cracking!” he said – and the T is at the ocean end of Absecon Inlet, and those avenues are along the inlet, lined with jetties. Customers fish the whole area on foot, and triggerfish, bluefish and striped bass also hit there. The storm stirred up the water, and pulled some fish to the inlet from the bay. Baitfish returned to the inlet, showing up everywhere there, after the weather. The anglers fished clams and green crabs. Noel heard that striped bass fishing became the best in 30 years at Montauk, so once they migrate south this fall, fishing for them will probably be on locally, he said. Bloodworms are two dozen for $20 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Minnows are only $8 a pint or $15 a quart. Catch the special on bucktails at $1.79 for 1/8 ounce, $1.85 for ¼ ounce, $1.89 for 3/8 ounce, $2 for either ½ or 5/8 ounce, $2.20 for 1 ounce, $2.29 for 1 ½ ounce, $2.99 for 2 ounce and $3.49 for 3 ounce. The bucktails come in white, pink-and-white, yellow-and-white, chartreuse-and-white and red-and-white.
Egg Harbor Township
Blackfishing began to heat up, said Collin from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. White perch fishing was good in brackish rivers, actually, he said. Little else happened, since the storm. Striped bass were yet to show up, really. Spots weren’t really caught anymore. Triggerfish were gone, no weakfish were around and summer flounder season closed. Nothing was heard about tuna from offshore yet, since the weather. Crabbing was no good, probably finished for the season. The blueclaws seemed to become dormant. Live spots and eels are stocked, and fresh clams and bunker will arrive Friday. The store’s rental boats will probably be available another month. The vessels are used to fish from Patcong Creek, where they’re docked at the shop, to Great Egg Harbor River and the bay. They’re also used for crabbing, when crabbing is on, and Patcong is one of the best crabbing waters. The company also own 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora.
The Stray Cat was motored to the ocean Wednesday, just to look around, Capt. Mike said. That was the first trip on the ocean since the storm, and the water was like pea soup within 4 miles from the coast. “Just murk,” he said. But the water cleared and looked good 8 to 10 miles from shore. Seas were a little choppy, and held a swell, not bad, but maybe 5 feet every 11 seconds, and win blew hard, 20 knots, from northwest. So the trip sailed no farther than that from shore. The wind calmed in early afternoon. The water looked pretty good for fishing, and some of the wrecks showed color on the fish finder, and Mike will give an open-boat trip a shot that will fish Saturday, and might run another next week, if anglers show interest. Catches could include croakers and blues. The water was 65 degrees and clear. Before the storm, it was 74. Lots of life was marked along bottom on the trip. That included out-of-season sea bass, apparently. Lots of baitfish were marked. All of this was beyond 8 miles from the coast. The Stray Cat will jump all over sea bass, on charters and open-boat trips, once sea bass season is opened starting October 22. The trips, Mike said in a recent report, will steam farther from shore, not messing around closer to the coast.
Small striped bass were bonked along 9th Street Bridge, mostly on clams, said Justin from Fin-Atics. Few tried for them with bunker, and the shop was trying to stock fresh bunker, but the bait was scarce, because weather kept bunker boats from sailing. Fresh clams were supposed to arrive today. A few stripers were landed along sod banks. Keeper stripers were found in waters near rivers and in rivers. If anglers could liveline spots or other baitfish, that caught the fish better. Lots of blackfish were reported to give up action along 9th Street Bridge and the Longport Bridge. Some were good-sized, too: 18 inches and bigger. One blackfish was the bag limit, but the fish snapped. Green crabs, the blackfish bait, ran out, but more would be stocked. Tons of baby sea bass schooled the bay. The bay’s temperature dropped 14 degrees from the storm. The temp was currently 62 degrees, and had been 58. Wednesday was the first day the surf could be fished, since the storm, really. One angler reported catching a keeper striper from the surf, but that was unconfirmed. Customers bought bloodworms and other baits to try the surf today, so how they fared would be seen.
Sea Isle City
Traveling charters are expected to resume this weekend that fish from Montauk, N.Y., for the migration of striped bass, false albacore and bluefish aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Weather looks okay, and albies and blues were reported caught in past days. Some stripers rolled around, reportedly, and the trips fish each fall. Visit Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Annual traveling charters will fish the Florida Keys from Christmas to Easter, mostly on weekends. Anglers can arrive on a Friday, fish all day Saturday and part of Sunday, return Sunday evening, and be back to work Monday. The trips can be a mini, fish-filled vacation, sailing for a variety of catches, from snook, speckled sea trout and jacks to tarpon, sailfish and blackfin tuna. Nothing was heard about boating from Sea Isle City since the storm. Joe will need to head out and see what’s biting. A friend said the fishing will be like pushing the reset button, after the weather. The fall migration of striped bass and blues could slam the ocean off Sea Isle by late October. That typically begins in early to mid-November. Joe will be all over the fishing. Sea bass trips will sail from Sea Isle aboard, once sea bass season is opened starting October 22, if anglers want and conditions are right. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.
A trip is booked Saturday, and a couple of anglers want to fish Sunday, with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing, though weather might prevent both outings, Capt. Jim said. If the trips sail, they’ll probably fish for croakers, weakfish and blues along the ocean beach front. No trips fished since the storm, but those catches usually school that water through October and the first week of November. Clams would be fished for the croakers, but some anglers like to jig for the blues and weaks. The trips could also wreck-fish for porgies and maybe blackfish. The water was somewhat warm for blackfish, but porgies usually swim wrecks this time of season. Jim saw Hereford Inlet, and the water was brown and full of debris, after the weather. Anglers are telephoning about sea bass trips that will begin once sea bass season is opened starting October 22. A couple of trips are booked for them. Striped bass fishing will begin around then, and striper trips sail no matter the weather, almost. Stripers bite in rough conditions. Fins & Grins fishes every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.
Striped bass fishing usually starts becoming best at the beginning of November locally, Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter said. Charters are starting to book for the angling, so anglers should telephone, if interested. The trips will probably chunk bunker on Delaware Bay, at first. Trolling for stripers usually begins to catch along the ocean beaches in mid-November, from about Stone Harbor to Ocean City. None of the Cape May fleet fished, since the storm, that George knew about. He was in town Sunday, during the blow, and wind blew, and the water was 6 inches from breeching the bulkhead. But the port seemed to fare okay. The water now was 63 degrees, George saw on the news. Tuna trips will sail this season, if the fish show up. Sea bass trips will begin once sea bass season is opened starting October 22. Blackfish trips will be launched once six becomes the bag limit beginning on November 16, from the current limit of one. Telephone if interested in any of this fishing.
The party boat Porgy IV probably will resume fishing once sea bass season is opened starting October 22, Capt. Paul sail. Then trips will sail for them daily. The boat last fished for summer flounder daily, until flounder season was closed.
Surf fishing improved, since the ocean settled, Hands Too Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page said. Blues and throwback stripers were hooked on clams and mullet. A few stripers were eased from the water, Joe from the shop said in a phone call. But stripers were definitely reeled from along bridges and structure like that, he continued. One angler landed a small red drum from the surf. Kingfish, no big numbers, were sometimes yanked from the surf. Blackfish began to bite better along jetties and bridges than before. Boaters ran into a few small weakfish on the ocean off the beaches. Anglers just began to fish, after the storm. Weather looks good for surf fishing this weekend, in northeast wind, not terribly strong, on Saturday, and light west on Sunday.