Blackfishing limited out Monday and Tuesday with Outcast Charters, Capt. Joe said. The fish weighed up to 9 pounds both days, and the trips had to bounce around to different locations a little, but the angling was good. No striped bass were run across on either trip, but Joe wasn’t saying stripers weren’t around, he said. He just saw none, but if stripers are seen while blackfish trips are traveling, the anglers can stop to fish for the bass. Outcast also fishes from Sewaren, New Jersey.
Blackfishing was good, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Some boaters yesterday caught them well, and some didn’t. But the angling was good all week. Nothing was heard about ling or other bottom fish “yet,” he said. Throwback striped bass and a few keepers swam within 3 miles from shore, where fishing for them is open. Bigger ones held just beyond 3 miles, where the angling is closed. Surf anglers banked stripers, including on clams and worms. Some customers bought eels to fish for them. Sand eels schooled the waters. All baits, including those mentioned, are stocked.
Every day was different for blackfishing, but the fish bit, on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. On Tuesday, lots of throwbacks but a fair number of keepers were swung in. On Wednesday, fewer blackfish, including fewer throwbacks, but bigger keepers were beaten. One angler limited out on the trip, and another bagged five, and some bagged two or three. Some only landed throwbacks, but the fishing was pretty good that day. On one of the trips, one angler who pulled in no keepers, only shorts, didn’t want to move to the part of the boat where more keepers came in. Sometimes the best blackfishing happened at one part of the boat, like the stern or bow. Weather was calm for the fishing this week, though weather might be rougher this weekend. Tom couldn’t know how long the blackfishing will hold up, but the fish were getting boated. Not many anglers joined trips, but anglers should take advantage while the fish could be caught. The Atlantic Star is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Green crabs are supplied for bait, and white leggers are available for sale aboard. A few of the fish were taken on whites on Wednesday’s trip, but green crabs out-fished whites most of the time this week on the boat.
A blackfishing trip Wednesday was already headed home at 11 a.m., and the anglers were limited out, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an e-mail aboard then. The trip crushed the fish. “(And) much bigger tog today,” he said. Charters are sailing, and open-boat trips are available. Telephone to climb aboard. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!” ***Update, Friday, 12/6:*** “Another tog crush,” Frank wrote about Thursday’s blackfishing aboard in an e-mail. The anglers limited out on the fish to 8 ½ pounds by 10:30 a.m., then jigged for striped bass. Stripers bit as quickly as the jigs hit the water, but all were throwbacks. Action was super, though.
With Fisher Price Charters, all trips limited out or nearly limited on blackfish, Capt. Derek said. The fishing was very good, and some better-sized ones to 11 pounds were whaled aboard. Some days gave up better fishing than others, and every day was different, but trips caught each day. The outings fished a little deeper than before. Charters are fishing, and one spot is available on an open-boat trip for blackfish Saturday. Derek didn’t know the schedule for next week’s open trips yet, and will watch the weather. Telephone to jump aboard or to be kept informed about future open trips. Fisher Price will fish until about Christmas.
From Twin Lights Marina, the charter boat Hyper Striper fished for blackfish, Marion from the marina said. That was about all that was heard, and the season was winding down for boaters from the docks. That might be the final fishing news for the year. Twin Lights, conveniently located on Shrewsbury River, with no bridges before Raritan Bay and the ocean, features boat slips, rack storage, a fuel dock, ship’s store supplies, and a complete bait and tackle shop.
Super blackfishing today with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph said, but lots of the fish were small. All the anglers bagged two to four, but many shorts were released. Lots of action. Charters are available daily, and the next individual-reservation trip for blackfish will sail Saturday.
Blackfish, good catches, were slugged on the party boat Big Mohawk, Capt. Chris said. “Just nice, all-around fishing,” he said. “No issues.” Blackfish 8 to 11 pounds won the pools in the past week, including an 11-pounder yesterday. The Big Mohawk is blackfishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Green crabs are supplied for bait, and white leggers are available for sale aboard.
For trips on the party boat Golden Eagle, striped bass fishing was good Wednesday, a report on the vessel’s Web site said. Gold, hammered Run Off jigs caught best in past days. Wednesday’s angling began in the morning with “some very hot action on short bass and blues,” the report said. The catches slowed at 11:30 a.m., when current stopped running, so the trip took a ride to look for keeper stripers. Some were found, and the anglers picked them and throwbacks. Tuesday’s fishing caught plenty of action with mostly throwback stripers, some customers landing 20 to 30 apiece. Monday’s angling got into keeper stripers and shorts on a couple of drifts early in the morning, before most boats arrived. At mid-day, shorts turned out action, and later in the afternoon, keepers and shorts did. A 30-pound striper was the pool-winner, and a couple of 15- to 20-pounders were netted. Several 30-inchers were hung, and many an inch short of the 28-inch keeper size were let go. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays and Sundays. Striperthons are fishing 6 a.m. to 3:30 or 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays.
On a trip Wednesday aboard, blackfish bit pretty hard, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. “No big monsters,” he said, “but definitely nice, quality fish.” The ocean warmed somewhat to 47 to 48 degrees, and the day was beautiful on the waters. The blackfishing was typical, and the tautog bit well at some spots, and not at others. On some parts of the boat, catches were lock and load, and on others, nothing chewed. Trips are focusing on blackfishing, since striped bass fishing became tougher. Plenty of dates are available for charters, and some weekend dates are available this month. Even if you don’t have six anglers for a charter, contact Parker Pete’s anyway, and the crew will try to put together a trip. Subscribe to Parker Pete’s e-mailed newsletter to be kept informed about individual-spaces available on charters. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page on the boat’s Web site.
Because of the cold front coming, Bob from Fisherman’s Den and other surf anglers hit the beach with a “sense of urgency,” he wrote in an e-mail Wednesday evening. Will the stripers in the surf stick around? he asked. If they do, will the anglers have the fortitude to keep after them? he asked. After all, the bass were “Twinkie” sized, he said. A good number of small stripers were pasted from the surf at Ocean County on Wednesday. One keeper was heard about. Bob fished Monmouth County’s surf then, seeing no signs of life, including no anglers. Besides the cold, the holidays will soon shrink the number of surf anglers. Bob was off to get tackle ready for his surf fishing today, after he wrote the e-mail last evening. He expected to report about the results after the angling. ***Update, Friday, 12/6:*** Bob’s surf fishing was tough yesterday, he wrote in an e-mail. He fished at Point Pleasant Beach and Mantoloking in the morning and evening, seeing only one small striper beached.
Point Pleasant Beach
Another flat-calm day on the water, Capt. Matt from the party boat Norma-K III wrote about Wednesday’s blackfishing trip aboard, in a report on the vessel’s Web site. Weather was calm this week, but the fishing that day wasn’t great. At each drop, a handful of keepers and a decent number of shorts bit. “No lack of bites,” he said, but most of the tautog were throwbacks this day. The high hook bagged four. Today’s trip was supposed to explore a new area. The Norma-K III is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Green crabs are supplied for bait, and white leggers won’t be available for sale aboard until Saturday. Magic Hour Ling Trips are fishing 3 to 9 p.m. every Saturday.
Mostly ling, and a few blackfish, sea bass and cod, were pitched aboard the party boat Dauntless, Capt. Butch said. Anglers maybe averaged 10 to 20 fish apiece, and the fishing was okay, not great. A couple of cod were sacked each trip. On Wednesday’s trip, the catch included a couple of cod 7 to 10 pounds and a few blackfish 5 and 6 pounds. Trips fished in 100 to 150 feet, usually trying different depths within that range, until a place was found where dog sharks weren’t as abundant as elsewhere. Dogs were still a nuisance, but on some days, they were more abundant deeper, and on others, shallower. The season wasn’t too early to keep an eye out for mackerel. Trips will mix-in mackerel fishing, along with the current bottom-fishing the boat is doing, if the mackerel migration swims within range this season. Butch saw no mackerel, but heard about a couple of gillnetters who docked them, and the fish were jumbos. Butch saw lots of bluefin tuna on trips, and commercial boats caught bluefins farther from shore at Hudson Canyon. Eight or nine giants were brought back, Butch thought. Bluefin tuna was sold at the fish market. The Dauntless is bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.
From the surf, small striped bass were dragged in on jigs with teasers, sometimes on lures like Mambo Minnows, Bombers or Daiwa SP Minnows, said Jeff from Murphy’s Hook House. Boaters hooked stripers, not bailing them, on the ocean, mostly on trolled umbrella rigs with eels, sometimes on jigs. Not much was heard about Barnegat Bay’s striper fishing along the sod banks. A buddy plucked a few blackfish from Point Pleasant Canal on a trip, and lost some in the current. Anglers fish the canal around slack tides, because of ripping current. The canal’s blackfish included many throwbacks.
Surf casters beached throwback striped bass, said Mario from The Dock Outfitters. Lots of the shorts were scattered around, but if anglers put in the time, they’d catch, mostly on metal with a teaser. Clams and bunker worked, but most of the fish were nabbed on Ava, T-Hex and Deadly Dick metal or jigs. Customers kept buying green crabs for blackfish bait, finding the fish including at Barnegat Inlet’s north jetty. Fresh clams, live eels and green crabs, and the assortment of frozen baits are stocked. The Dock Outfitters features an extensive supply of bait and tackle, a dock to fish and crab from and boat rentals for fishing and crabbing. Crabbing and boat rentals are available during the warmer months.
News dried up in past days, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. Ocean boaters talking on the radio kept saying their striped bass trips could be the final for the season. That was all that was heard. Nobody mentioned striper fishing along Barnegat Bay’s sod banks. One blackfish was checked in from Barnegat Inlet’s rocks, but nothing was really reported about blackfishing.
Lots of striped bass were hooked from the ocean, but most were throwbacks, said Vince Sr. from Bobbie’s Boat Rentals. A bunch of blackfish were tugged in along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks and ocean wrecks. Sea bass, big ones, were docked from the ocean. Baits stocked include live spots and green crabs and all the frozen baits. Bobbie’s includes a bait and tackle store, a fuel dock, boat and kayak rentals, and is known for a large bait selection. The boats and kayaks are available during the seasonable months.
Fishing was wrapped up for the season on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light, a report on the vessel’s Web site said. Trips tried and tried for striped bass, “but it’s time to throw in the towel,” it said. The boat owners the Larson family, the captains and the crew wish everybody Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. Here’s the perfect holiday gift: Grab gift certificates for any of the boat’s trips by calling 609-494-2094. Here’s a season recap from the report. “Was a weird fishing year,” it said. Bluefish failed to show up in spring and summer, forcing the boat to fluke fish. That was the first time in 20 years the vessel didn’t bluefish then, and the vessel usually bluefishes the whole fishing year, also striper fishing in fall. The fluking was “decent,” the report said, and was best in late September. Bluefish showed up in fall, and trips went after them, but that was short lived. Then striper fishing was “filled with many ups and downs,” the report said.
Surf casters sometimes eased in striped bass, keepers and throwbacks, said Sue from Surf City Bait & Tackle. The fishing wasn’t great, but first light and dusk gave up the catches. None was heard about from mid-day and nighttime. Ava jigs with teasers, sometimes plugs with teasers, and sometimes bunker caught the fish. No customers talked about blackfish hooked, but green crabs are stocked for blackfish bait. Baits carried also include fresh clams and frozen baits. Fresh bunker is trying to be stocked for the weekend. Visit Surf City Bait & Tackle’s Web site. Keep in touch on Surf City Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page.
Little was heard about striped bass fishing, said Maureen from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. But she heard Scott tell someone that trolling for the fish on the ocean scored okay. She didn’t hear the location, like north of Little Egg Inlet, where the shop reported the fish swimming previously. No other news rolled in about fishing, including for white perch on brackish rivers like the Mullica. But the perching’s kind of a year-round fishery, Maureen said. Fresh, shucked clams, eels and green crabs are stocked.
Click here for a report from Riptide Bait & Tackle.
Boaters sailed south to deck striped bass on the ocean toward Sea Isle City, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. They didn’t catch numbers like some talked about, but the fish were definitely there. Locally, an occasional small pod of stripers swam “right on the 3-mile line,” Dave said. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from the coast, and no stripers were heard about from within 2 miles from shore in weeks. Blackfish bit at ocean wrecks, and a few chewed along Brigantine Bridge and rock piles. Anglers might’ve pressured them there by this time of season, but some of the fish were hooked. Anglers started to fish for white perch on brackish rivers for something to bag. No bloodworms are stocked that could be fished for them, and Dave might need to consider carrying grass shrimp for the perch. Live spots, eels and green crabs are stocked. Fresh clams will be kept on hand, but no fresh bunker available was known about in a while. That was probably because commercial boaters mostly stopped fishing for them, because of lack of demand.
A few striped bass were heard about that were trolled a mile or two from shore, said Justin from Fin-Atics. The fish included good-sized to 30 or 40 pounds, but more of the bass were heard about that swam beyond 3 miles, where striper fishing is closed. Not many stripers were beached from the surf. “A very small pick,” he said. Though bluefin tuna were reported from farther north, none was from locally. One customer launched a boat from Manasquan farther north, fishing for stripers on the ocean, but landed a 200-pound 68-inch bluefin, after a 4-hour fight, on a Van Staal 200 spinning reel, with 30-pound braid. Bluefins close to shore in fall rarely bite a hook, for unknown reasons. The fish was like a catch of a lifetime. Before the tuna was hooked, not many birds working the waters were seen. But several were noticed that changed the pattern they were flying. Then a little bait was noticed in the waters. Then 200-pound tuna busted the surface. Back at the shop, customers bought green crabs for blackfishing. One would think the anglers caught, since they kept buying bait, but no results were reported.
Sea Isle City
Like last week, striped bass fishing was very good on the ocean, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Most were trolled, but jigging for them seemed to improve somewhat. They seemed not to school as “dense” or “compact” as before. Instead, they popped up here and there. One trip might boat two, and another might land 20. The fishing was a matter of right place, right time. But all who tried for them seemed to catch, if they knew what they we’re doing. More stripers than before seemed to swim beyond 3 miles from shore, where fishing for them is closed. No bluefish were heard about. Surf fishing was slow. Blackfishing from shore slowed a lot, and the local party boat came up with slow fishing for them through the weekend, but good blackfishing Monday and Tuesday.
Trips last fished for striped bass through the weekend aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The fishing, on the ocean, was good, covered in the last report, and Joe knew the bass were still caught this week. Catches during the weekend aboard included 50 stripers to 22 pounds and several bluefish to 16 pounds on a trip, and 40 stripers to 16 pounds and several blues to 15 pounds on another. Annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish from Christmas to Easter, mostly on weekends, and reserve now. Anglers can arrive on a Friday, fish all day Saturday and part of Sunday, return on Sunday evening, and be back to work on Monday. The trips can be a mini, fish-filled vacation. See Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.
On the party boat Porgy IV, blackfishing was hit or miss, Capt. Paul said. Yesterday’s trip hit them: better numbers, and bigger fish. Friday’s and Saturday’s trips didn’t catch well in lots of wind and tide. Maybe yesterday’s trip hit the fish because the settling waters made the tautog snap, but the reason couldn’t be known. Kevin DeWalt from Lanoka Harbor limited out on the slipperies to the 7-pound pool-winner that day. Some places fished on trips gave up bites, and others didn’t. The Porgy IV is blackfishing at 8 a.m. daily, and green crabs are supplied for bait.
Striped bass fishing was good on the ocean and at Cape May Rips, Capt. Mario from the Down Deep said. The fish weighed up to 40 pounds, and an open-boat trip will fish for stripers December 10, limited to six passengers. An open trip will wreck-fish December 11, limited to 10 passengers. Sign up for the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s Web site to be kept informed about future trips, including for blackfish and sea bass. Charters are being booked.
Fishing for striped bass was slow Monday on a charter that another captain ran on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. Nine keepers and a bunch of throwbacks were reeled in during a trip that George ran Sunday on the boat, covered in the last report. Stripers previously were trolled on the ocean and bunker-chunked off Cape May Point, and some days produced better than others. Just one striper was heaved aboard a trip Saturday, but it was 30 pounds. Trolling was great Friday, and many boaters limited out and returned early. The Heavy Hitter was supposed to fish for stripers this coming Friday through the weekend. Friday’s forecast already looked rough, so the trip was cancelled. Fishing for blackfish and sea bass is also available, and telephone if interested in any of this fishing.
One boat trip cranked in four keeper striped bass and eight throwbacks from Delaware Bay today, south of Brandywine, on bunker chunks, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. The bay’s striper fishing was pretty good, and so was the ocean’s. A few stripers were boated at Cape May Rips. On the bay, bunker was fished. On the ocean, trolled Stretch plugs and umbrella rigs caught. The bass in the ocean swam from Hereford Inlet to the 3-mile line. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from the coast. Boaters sometimes targeted bluefish farther out in the ocean. The Stretches were also trolled for stripers at the rips, and livelined spots and eels were fished for the bass there. A few stripers started to be found in the surf. Nick banked a throwback at Poverty Beach on Tuesday evening on bunker. One angler bunker-chunked a 30-inch redfish from the beach at North Wildwood. Blackfishing began to drop off at the jetties at different inlets. The tautog will probably bite at the ocean wrecks. Fresh bunker and clams and live eels and spots are stocked.