Fishing limited out on sea bass, including good-sized, on Sunday with Outcast Charters, Capt. Joe said. Porgies in the mix were also bagged, and New York’s sea bass season is open through the end of the year, and New Jersey’s is currently closed. New York’s blackfish season will be opened starting Friday, and Outcast will jump on the tautog. One blackfish is currently the New Jersey bag limit, almost a closed season. Outcast specializes in bottom-fishing, like all of this, and offers trips from Staten Island, New York, and Sewaren, New Jersey.
Small striped bass started to bite for shore anglers along Raritan Bay, said Joey from Joey’s Bait Shack. Fresh clams, fresh bunker and eels were fished for them, and Joey figures that angling for larger stripers will begin to pick up in two weeks, when water cools. Cocktail blues swarmed around the area. Fluke season was closed starting Sunday, and a 12-1/2-pound fluke was the season’s heaviest at the shop. The longest was a 31-1/2-incher that weighed 8.9 pounds. Was a good fluke season for customers. Crabbing slowed. Baits stocked include fresh bunker, fresh clams, eels, sandworms, nightcrawlers and all the frozen baits.
Only throwback fluke bit on a trip Saturday with Joe Ladesig’s group with Papa’s Angels Charters, Capt. Joe said. That was the final day of fluke season, and the trip fished off Sandy Hook with the fleet. Trips now will fish for porgies, and charters are being booked for striped bass and blues for later this fall. Open-boat trips for porgies are available daily when no charter is booked, and telephone to reserve.
A great fluke season ended on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Fluke season was closed starting Sunday, and the season was super aboard, all in all, he said. He thanked anglers who fluked aboard, and congratulated those who socked their first doormat, sometimes multiple doormats, on the trips. The year’s two biggest fluke aboard weighed 10 pounds apiece, and many 9-pounders were bagged on the boat this year. Fluke 5 to 8 pounds were taken on nearly every trip. Sharpies who could bucktail scored better than bait-fishers. Frank cancelled the year’s final two fluke trips on Saturday and Sunday, because the angling wasn’t good. He doesn’t like taking anglers for a boat ride, he said, and every time the Vitamin Sea fishes, “I believe we are going to have a good day,” he said. When he believes the fish aren’t there, he’d rather tell customers, and keep the boat in port. Trips aboard will now fish for striped bass, eeling for them, or jigging for the bass, when birds work bait along the water surface. Bottom-fishing for porgies is on the slow side, and blackfishing isn’t worthwhile, while one is the bag limit. Trips for blackfish will begin on November 16, when the limit is raised to six of the tautog. The blackfish trips will also stop on stripers, when working birds are seen, with stripers underneath. Telephone if interested in striper fishing, and striper and blackfish charters are being booked. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”
Open-boat trips will eel for striped bass 5 to 11 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday on the Down Deep, now that fluke season was closed, Capt. Mario said. Charters are also sailing, and daytime trips for stripers won’t start for another couple of weeks. Daytime trips are available for wreck-fishing for ling, porgies, blackfish, blowfish and triggerfish. Sea bass trips will begin on October 18, opening day of sea bass season, and blackfish trips will start on November 16, when the bag limit will be hiked to six of the tautog, from the current limit of one. Sign up for the Short Notice List on the Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips.
The party boat Atlantic Star began bottom-fishing on Sunday, Capt. Tom said. Trips on the boat fluke fished until fluke season was closed that day. Bottom-fishing was slow in strong current on both of the twice-daily trips that day. The anglers picked at porgies at the channels, fighting the current. The water fished wasn’t deep, but the current ran fast, coming off the new moon, and 8 ounces of weight needed to be fished. Some anglers caught decent who had the feel. Others didn’t, who didn’t have the touch, and the angling was probably better on the afternoon’s trip than on the morning’s. Not all the anglers landed keepers in the morning, but all scored “dinner,” at least, in afternoon, Tom thought, he said. The porgies were mixed sizes, and one blackfish was bagged on the morning’s trip, and none was on the afternoon’s. The Atlantic Star is bottom-fishing for porgies and blackfish on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.
A 9.4-pound fluke won the season-long pool for the fish on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Fluke season was closed starting Sunday, and Tom “The Vet” Kaprosch, Piscataway, heaved aboard the 30.1-incher. He paid his dues, especially early in the season, when the angling was tough, and sometimes fished twice a week aboard. The Fishermen is now fishing for striped bass 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. every Monday through Saturday with Capt. Dan, who can be reached at 908-930-2335. Those trips are currently fishing with eels, and daytime trips for stripers will start to fish daily soon, probably by October 8.
All the big blues anglers could want were plowed on a trip Sunday with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. The box was full in 3 hours, and two individual-reservation trips for blues and bottom-fish were added for October 9 and 12, because the fishing was so good. A few spaces remain for an individual-reservation trip for cod on October 13.
Fluke season was fair at best, not great, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. That’s my “take,” he said, and fluke season was closed starting Sunday. In Shark River, the number of fluke hooked was high. But “the 18-inch size limit did hurt,” he said, and the number of limits was much fewer than last year. Currently, striped bass were beached from the surf locally on plugs and bait. Small blues patrolled the surf, and party-boat trips sometimes hit especially big blues on the ocean. One of the boats departed yesterday on a special tuna trip. Boats that bottom-fished scooped up ling and healthy numbers of large, out-of-season sea bass. The sea bass had to be released, but seemed a good sign for the opening of sea bass season on October 18. Blackfish drew lots of attention that chomped at inlets and Point Pleasant Canal, now that fluke season was closed.
Weather kept trips docked most of last week, and the year’s final fluke trips were kind of cancelled, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Fluke season was closed starting Sunday, and bluefish, bonito and false albacore are on tap, if anglers want to fish. Sea bass trips will begin on October 18, when sea bass season is opened. Striped bass charters are being booked for later this fall. Pete thanks anglers who fluked aboard this year. Many fluke were throwbacks, but good-sized, to 10 pounds and larger, were clubbed aboard, and the boat had a good season of fluke fishing. The trips included On the Water Seminars, teaching bucktailing for fluke, that were a success, and Pete looks forward to running the trips again next year. 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.
For boaters on the ocean, fluke fishing was no good in the final days of fluke season, said Dave from The Reel Seat. The season was closed starting Sunday, but fluking was okay at Manasquan Inlet during those days. Plenty of striped bass bit in Manasquan River, from the Railroad Bridge to the Route 35 Bridge, in the dark on small plugs, bucktails or lead jigheads with rubber shads. A few stripers, sometimes a keeper, were picked from the surf at Sea Girt and Spring Lake, at dawn and dusk, mostly on swimming lures or popper plugs. Plenty of bluefish, mostly 2- or 3-pounders, bit in the surf on mullet on mullet rigs. Mullet migrated the surf, and Dave heard nothing about peanut bunker in the surf. Boaters trolled blues around the Shrewsbury Rocks. Occasionally a striper was picked up around the rocks, but the ocean was warm for that. Fish like bonito and false albacore had been boated from the ocean before last week’s storm. Anglers would now see how that fishing is, in forecasts for better weather, including for today. Bottom-fishers could scratch out a catch of ling at the Mudhole. Abundant, out-of-season sea bass that bit were a problem. Offshore boaters chunked pretty good catches of yellowfin and longfin tuna at Hudson Canyon on Saturday night. Trolling really wasn’t possible in weeds. Nothing was heard about tuna fishing farther north that produced at Block Canyon previously, because local boaters sailed to the Hudson, closer to port. Shimano pro staffer Roy Leyva will give the shop’s next free seminar at 7 p.m. Thursday. He’ll cover both the Shimano Long Cast Surf System and fishing Cape Cod Canal.
Fishing was slower on Saturday than previously on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light, and frigate mackerel and blues were landed, but not enough, a report on the vessel’s website said. The crew planned to head to an area the next day where big blues were reported caught. Fishing was super for 8- to 12-pound blues aboard that day, Sunday. As many as anglers wanted were reeled in. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for blues, bonito and false albacore 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.
Summer flounder season went out with a whimper, a report on Scott’s Bait & Tackle’s website said. The season was closed starting Sunday, and wind blew the previous couple of weeks, and the storm slammed the coast just before the weekend, and water was stirred up. Flounder tend not to bite until seas settle. Fluke tackle was switched out to striped bass gear at the store, anticipating striper fishing later this fall.
Autumn’s first striped bass from Brigantine’s surf was weighed-in on Saturday at Riptide Bait & Tackle, a report on the shop’s website said. John Murphy checked-in the 11-pound 30-1/2-incher, winning the store’s $50 gift certificate for the first. Bluefish swam all over the surf, “devouring our Riptide fresh mullet,” the report said. Nothing was heard about kingfish from the surf since Thursday’s storm, but a fairly good population of kings hovered the water previously. The annual Riptide Striper Derby is under way until December 23. Entry allows beach-buggy access to Brigantine’s entire length, when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit. Otherwise, not all the beach can be driven. The annual Riptide Striper Bounty, for the season’s first striped bass 43 inches or larger checked-in from Brigantine’s surf, is also under way. Sponsored by Hess Plumbing this season, the bounty reached $460, when last reported here on Thursday. Entry is $5 and required before catching the fish, and the winner takes all the cash. The bounty in spring reached $2,005 when won.
Croakers and blues were pitched aboard from the ocean on the party boat Miss Ocean City, Capt. Victor said. Summer flounder fishing wasn’t very good on the final days of flounder season that was closed starting Sunday. Trips will be docked for maintenance a moment and will probably begin again on Wednesday or Thursday. Then trips will fish for blues and croakers 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily on the ocean. The boat might fish for striped bass later this fall on the back bay. The Captain Robbins, the company’s other party boat, might begin to fish this week. When that vessel’s fishing begins, the trips will sail for ling on the ocean.
Sea Isle City
Some of the traveling charters to Montauk fished this weekend aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The angling, fishing the migration of false albacore, striped bass and blues, was great. The trip Saturday, with Peter Rotelli and buddy, beat a dozen albies. Striped bass to 18 pounds and blues to 15 pounds were fought aboard, and porgies and sea bass were landed. Peter fly-rodded, and the buddy fished with jigs. The albies were hooked on metal, and when the buddy jigged, he fished with soft-plastic lures. When the porgies and sea bass bit, the hooks were fished along bottom for the bass and blues. The porgies and sea bass were a by-catch, weren’t targeted. But sometimes the bass, blues and albies blitzed along the surface, and most stripers were caught then. The trip Sunday, also with Peter and buddy, also tugged in albies, stripers and blues. Probably 10 albies were subdued, and a bunch of blues were. The stripers were smaller on average than on the previous day. Albies were the most abundant fish on the trips, and were the main target. Lots of bay anchovies schooled, and weather was great. The annual trips will fish until the third week of October, and if you ever wanted to fish the run from the legendary port, Joe is going. Afterward, he’ll home-in on the migration of stripers and blues from Sea Isle City in November and December, and those trips should be booked now. Joe also offers annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys in winter. See Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Joe is also chartering from Sea Isle currently, including popper-plug and –fly fishing for stripers that should continue to be good on the back bay, like it’s been. That angling should last through October, and bluefish are also schooling the ocean at Sea Isle. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.
Fishing was scrubbed Saturday because of wind with Fins and Feathers Outfitters, Capt. Jim said. He visited the Decoy and Gunning Show in Tuckerton during the weekend, and bought a layout boat for sea duck hunting. Jim guided a junior hunt with kids recently that bagged a couple of mallards. He’s also been guiding goose hunting recently, and goose season was closed on Saturday, but will be opened again this year. Trips being booked include striped bass fishing and duck hunting on Delaware Bay, and November is filling up. A couple of Casts and Blasts, a combo of striper fishing and duck hunting on the bay over a series of days, are already booked. Jim will head to upstate New York’s Salmon River for salmon fishing this weekend from his lodge. The lodge hosts anglers who can either fish the run on their own, or Jim can obtain guides for them. He can also show guests how to fish for the salmon, and the anglers can fish on their own afterward. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures that also includes fly-fishing for trout on Pennsylvania’s streams like the Yellow Breeches.
A charter triggerfished, cranking up a good catch of them, including some big, on Sunday on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. The anglers, Tom Ebbecke from Newfield’s Accresce Nursery and crew, also reeled up blues, out-of-season, 8- or 9-inch sea bass and small porgies. The weather and ocean were beautiful, after last week’s rough weather. George knew about nobody who fished for summer flounder in the final days of flounder season that was closed starting Sunday, because of weather. He knew about trips that sailed for tuna on Sunday, and waited to hear results. Striped bass charters are being booked for later this fall, and telephone if interested.
Anglers fished for summer flounder on Saturday, the final day of flounder season, on the ocean with Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters, Capt. Frank said. Three keepers and five throwbacks were swung in, and a bunch of croakers were caught. A few out-of-season sea bass were tossed back. Cape May Reef was fished first, and then the Old Grounds was, and the croakers bit at the Old Grounds. A trip Sunday sailed for tuna all the way offshore, not inshore, trolling two yellowfin tuna. Another tuna trip is slated for Tuesday. Striped bass charters are starting to be booked that will begin in late October. Sea bass trips will begin on October 18, opening day of sea bass season. Blackfishing will begin aboard on November 16, when six of the tautog becomes the bag limit, compared with one blackfish currently. Melanie Anne always has a good tog season, he said.