Outcast Charters has been blackfishing, Capt. Joe said. Angling for the tautog to 6 pounds was good aboard last Monday. A trip for blackfish was weathered out on Friday. On Saturday, the angling was good again, and the slipperies weighed up to 7 pounds on the trip. The next one of the trips is set for Wednesday. Wind is supposed to gust to 40 knots on Tuesday, and calm to 15 or 20 on Wednesday. That’s borderline, so Joe will see whether the trip sails. Outcast fishes from both Staten Island, N.Y., and Sewaren, N.J. New Jersey’s blackfish bag limit was increased to six starting on Sunday, from the previous limit of one, essentially the opening of blackfish season there. But New York’s blackfish limit this year is four fish from October 5 through December 14, so the boat’s been blackfishing from New York. Joe did no striped bass fishing recently, because anglers booked blackfish trips. But striper fishing locally seemed to produce on some days. Bluefish were around, if anglers wanted blues. The blues, sizeable or 7 to 10 pounds, kept being seen on blackfish trips. Jigs were dropped down, and blues were hooked, so the boat was moved.
On the Vitamin Sea, striped bass fishing was great on Thursday, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Bigger fish were boated on bunker, trolled bunker spoons and cast top-water plugs on the trip, he said. The fishing was no good on a trip Friday in strong northwest wind that made catching tough. On Saturday, “the bunker bite never developed,” he said, but the trip that day managed to jig throwback stripers and two keepers among them. A trip aboard blackfished on Sunday, when the bag limit was ratcheted up to six of the tautog, from the previous limit of one. The blackfishing was okay, but not great. Still, a bunch of action was claimed on keepers and throwbacks. Experience or knowing when to set the hook plays a big part in blackfishing. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”
Blackfishing was disappointing on Sunday on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. The bag limit was hauled up to six of the tautog that day, from the previous limit of one, and daily trips began focusing on blackfish that day, though still fished for porgies and sea bass, like before. One angler, a regular customer, limited out on blackfish on the trip. But the tautog fishing wasn’t easy, and Tom had expected better, because blackfishing showed signs of being good aboard Saturday. He hopes the fishing bounces back. The trip would fish a spot, and a few blackfish would be angled, and then fish another place, and a few more would, and so on. Saturday’s trip fished a few blackfish spots, and all the anglers limited out on one. A few sea bass and porgies were pitched aboard Saturday’s trip. Today’s weather didn’t look good in the storm, and wind is supposed to blow strongly on Tuesday. If trips are weathered out, Tom expects to give an update about the fishing, when trips resume, that will be posted here. The Atlantic Star is focusing on blackfish, but also sailing for porgies and sea bass, 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
Tremendous life – fish rolling on top, birds working all day – was seen during Saturday’s trip on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Mostly throwback striped bass swam, and they were tough to catch. Anglers who worked hard at the fishing were “rewarded.” Only a handful of keeper stripers were reeled up, and a mess of blues were. The angling was still lots of fun, with plenty of action. The trip had to run and gun the whole time. On some drifts, anglers banged away at catches. On others, nothing was caught. Rubber shads caught best, like previously aboard. Reports from that trip, on Saturday, and another, on Thursday, were the only posted on the boat’s site recently. Ron usually posts daily, so maybe trips on other days didn’t sail recently. On Thursday’s trip, Ron never had to work so hard to catch a few fish, he wrote. The trip worked several areas from Sandy Hook almost to Jones Inlet, a long distance. At every place fished, fish swam, bait schooled and birds worked, but getting the fish to bite was difficult. Some blues and a few throwback stripers were landed, among schooling bunker, along the beach to the south. Then the trip worked north, and fish boiled around the boat. A few stripers were hooked on top-water plugs and shads, “but nothing that would bail us out!” Ron said. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for stripers 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
Was a tough season’s-first day of blackfishing on Sunday with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph said. The bag limit was pulled up to six blackfish that day, from the previous limit of one, and the tautog were reluctant to bite, for whatever reasons. Lots of drops were fished. On Thursday, good-sized striped bass were boated, and no throwbacks showed up. Bigger fish that day, Ralph wrote about the trip in an email. “Only problem – trolled most of them,” he said. Only a few blues, to 14 pounds, were hooked, and all the anglers left with a good amount of fillets. A trip Friday could hardly escape blues. Many big blues were fought, and only three stripers were landed. Space is available on an individual-reservation trip for stripers and blackfish on Tuesday and on individual-reservation trips for blackfish on Thursday and on Sunday, November 30. The blackfish trips will also sail every Sunday, Tuesday and Friday in December. Charters are available daily. ***Update, Monday, 11/17:*** Tuesday’s trip is cancelled because of forecasts for gale winds. ***Update, Tuesday, 11/18:*** Ralph by early in the afternoon Wednesday will make the call about whether Thursday’s trip will sail, “because of the high winds,” he wrote in an email. An individual-reservation trip for blackfish has been added for Monday. ***Update, Wednesday, 11/19:*** The blackfish trip is a go on Thursday, and space is available, Ralph wrote in an email.
Blackfishing began aboard Sunday on the party boat Big Mohawk on the ocean, the vessel’s Facebook page said. “We had a really nice day … maybe too nice,” it said. Was a funny bite, and some anglers cashed in, and some didn’t, it said. Some limited out. Today’s trip was expected to get the weather to sail. A rain shower was forecast, “but that’s it,” the page said. This Tuesday might look too windy to sail. The Big Mohawk is blackfishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Boat traffic was unreal, and bluefish were batted aboard, and a couple of striped bass were lost, on Saturday on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. Every time stripers or bunker showed up, countless boats drove into them. Boats were everywhere on Sunday’s trip, too, so fish just didn’t want to bite, the report said. A few blues were beaten, and a striper was lost. No trips were expected to fish aboard today and Tuesday, because of gale winds. The Golden Eagle is fishing for striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and on Striperthons 6 a.m. to 3:30 or 4 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Offshore wreck-fishing trips will sail every Friday night in December for giant sea bass, porgies and cod, and don’t forget to reserve them.
About 15 keeper blackfish and a ton of throwbacks were hooked on Sunday with XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott said. The catch was okay, and some anglers who boated for striped bass in past days said they bagged a few. Some said they struggled. Small boats that zipped around seemed to catch better than large boats did.
Striped bass fishing was excellent on Thursday and Friday on the ocean with Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters, Capt. Pete said. Big stripers were pounded on livelined bunker, rubber shads and Krocodiles. On a trip Saturday, a few stripers were rounded up, but the trip was inundated with bluefish. Blues schooled right off Shark River Inlet, but also north and south. The striper trips fished from north to south of the inlet. On Sunday, a blackfishing trip cleaned up on the tautog, good catches. The bag limit was hauled up to six blackfish that day, from the previous limit of one. The slipperies weighed up to just less than 9 pounds, and some weighed 6 and 7 pounds. Most weighed 3 to 5 pounds, and some of the anglers limited out. One landed double a limit, Pete thought, and all the anglers landed at least two or three keepers. Parker Pete’s might’ve won second or third place in the Jersey Coast Shark Anglers blackfish tournament that day, and Pete was waiting to hear. 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. ***Update, Monday, 11/17:*** Parker Pete’s won second place in the tournament with Ken Russel’s 8.9-pound blackfish, Pete wrote in an email.
Blackfishing was fair to good, Bob from Fishermen’s Den said. One angler clubbed an 8-pound 9-ouncer and a 5-pound 13-ouncer, and another cracked a 6-pound 14-ouncer, and all the fish were boated from the ocean with Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Some good-sized blackfish were bagged on party boats, but the angling was tough on the vessels. Only one party boat sailed for blackfish today from Belmar. Striped bass fishing was good in the surf, and Bob and another angler beached eight, mostly throwbacks, on Sunday night on a trip. They heard about some better-sized stripers from the surf in Ocean County. Weather was mean, and they saw only one other surf caster. Shark River turned out good fishing for winter flounder, better on sunny days, when water temperature rose. ***Update, Tuesday, 11/18:*** Big blackfish were plowed on the party boat trip on Monday, in the hard wind, Bob wrote in an email. Skip Reese from Bordentown limited out on the fish to a 10-pound 8-ouncer and an 8-pound 9-ouncer on the trip. Because of the wind, not many people fished the surf Monday and today. “The fish don’t mind,” he said. Bob’s headed to the surf tonight “to look around,” he said. “Keep warm.”
Jumbo sea bass, whopper porgies and cod to 20 pounds were pasted aboard Saturday on the party boat Jamaica II, and the trip was excellent, an email from the vessel said. At one wreck, giant porgies mostly bit. At another, mostly big sea bass did. At both, some cod and pollock chewed. Anglers and their catches included: Carter Washington, Philadelphia, 50 porgies and 14 sea bass; Wes Shourt, Howell, 48 porgies, 15 sea bass, two cod and a pollock; Willard Costa, Camden, 45 porgies, 12 sea bass to 7 pounds and four cod; and Dave Nelson, Trenton, 44 porgies, 15 sea bass and two cod. Sunday’s trip was also going to carry crabs for blackfishing, because the bag limit was going to be hiked to six of the tautog that day, from the previous limit of one. Ten- and 12-hour trips are fishing. Fourteen-hour Marathon Trips are fishing every Saturday. ***Update, Tuesday, 11/18:*** Large sea bass, giant porgies, and a good spread of cod around the boat were pancaked on Sunday’s trip, an email from the vessel said. Numerous anglers limited out on sea bass. Patrons averaged 15 to 40 porgies, the biggest kind. A 31-pound cod won the pool. Most of the trip’s fish were big, so lots of coolers were full. The angling was excellent on the 12-hour trip, and the weekend’s trips were the season’s best bottom-fishing. Sunday’s anglers and their catches included: Bob Plasket, Medford, a limit of sea bass, 37 porgies and two cod; Bob Eagle, Philadelphia, a limit of sea bass, 31 porgies and two cod; Asmut Gruzbowski, Teaneck, a limit of sea bass, 27 porgies and three cod; and Boris Ivanov, Philadelphia, a cooler full of fish, including the pool-winning cod.
Boating for striped bass on the ocean was pretty darn good, said Eric from The Reel Seat. Customers mostly fished for them from off Manasquan Inlet to Island Beach State Park. The fish 15 to 25 pounds were hooked on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. Sometimes the fish to 30 pounds were trolled, and Tony Maja’s No. 4 bunker spoons seemed best for that. Bluefish were sometimes boated to the north, when boaters striper fished. Surf fishing for stripers was pretty consistent at night on high tides at Deal and Island Beach State Park, on Daiwa SP Minnows and Yo-zuri Mag Darters, mostly in dark colors. The fish seemed to swim inside the bar during high water. Sometimes the bass were taken during daytime, when bunker pushed into shore. Then surf casters snagged and livelined the bunker for bait. Blues were tackled from the surf at Sandy Hook to the north. Stripers were tugged in at Manasquan Inlet at times. Hickory shad swam the inlet fairly thick, and sometimes blues were fought from the inlet. Fishing in Point Pleasant Canal kind of slowed. Previously, blackfish and a few stripers were angled there. Blackfishing seemed good on the ocean on Sunday, when the blackfish bag limit was raised to six, from the previous limit of one. Quite a few limits seemed to be bagged, and the tautog seemed spread out everywhere, and were boated at Sea Girt and Sandy Hook reefs. The angling seemed best in 40 to 60 feet. Not much was heard about sea bass, but party boats scored okay on sea bass on the ocean. Anglers didn’t always limit out, but put together solid catches, and also picked away at ling. Some of the party boats sailed for tuna offshore for the final time this year, landing longfin tuna and yellowfin tuna, decent catches. Participation in tuna fishing seemed about finished for the year, unless bluefin tuna show up inshore this season.
Point Pleasant Beach
Lots of bait still schooled close to shore to attract striped bass and bluefish, Capt. Alan from Mushin Sportfishing wrote in an email. A trip Wednesday looked for stripers along the shore. “When we didn’t see what we liked,” he said, the trip steamed to the Mudhole to fish wrecks. The fishing limited out on sizable sea bass to 5 pounds and also swung in big porgies to 4 pounds and cod to 18 pounds. Sea bass are definitely migrating offshore, and cod are migrating inshore. ***Update, Tuesday, 11/18*** Boat traffic was difficult, but a three-angler charter with Mushin landed stripers to 25 pounds and gator blues on Saturday, on the ocean from Manasquan Inlet to Island Beach State Park, Alan wrote in an email. All the fish were hooked on livelined bunker, while the trip fished bunker pods. A trip blackfished on Sunday at rock piles to the north in 35 to 55 feet. The angling was scratchy, but a flurry turned on in the afternoon briefly. Then good-sized blackfish, and sizable sea bass, were sacked. A striper charter is available Saturday, because of a last-minute cancellation.
Capt. Matt from the party boat Norma-K III was glad to get back to blackfishing, he wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Daily trips for the tautog were launched on Sunday, because the bag limit was shot up to six that day, from the previous limit of one. The angling was slow on the trip, and the tog picked and scratched at the crab baits. You’d get a good knock once in a while, but the fishing never got going, he said. A few keepers were managed here and there, at each spot, and shorts gave up some action. Many of the shorts were a half-inch to an inch undersized. A 6-pounder, maybe a little bigger, won the pool. “It’s a start!” Matt said. “It can only get better!” Saturday night’s weekly Magic Hour Ling and Cod Trip was good. The high hook belted 30 ling, and most anglers bucketed 15 to 20, and a few caught fewer. A 20-pound cod was clocked “to end the night!” he wrote. The Norma-K III is blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Green crabs are provided, and white leggers are available for sale aboard. Magic Hour Ling and Cod Trips are sailing 3 to 9 p.m. every Saturday.
Large schools of bait swam just out of casting range from the surf, and striped bass were on the bait, a report on The Dock Outfitters’ website said on Saturday. That was the most recent report, and boating for the stripers was banner on Friday. Though that can be frustrating to surf anglers, at least stripers were there. Surf casters hoped the bass would push closer to shore sometime this season. For now, they had to be content with a pick from the beach during daytime. Clams, chunks of bunker and swimming plugs were what to fish from shore, in that order. Nighttime gave up better striper fishing than daytime from the surf. The shop began carrying green crabs for blackfishing, because the bag limit was eased up to six of the tautog starting Sunday, from the previous limit of one. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, boat and jet ski rentals in season, a café and a dock for fishing and crabbing.
Anglers on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light socked striped bass to 30 pounds on Friday on the ocean on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait, a report on the vessel’s website said. Bring snagging hooks, and the livewells are hooked up to keep the bunker in. The crew will try to make bait for anglers on the trips, “but no guarantees,” the report said. “It has to be a group effort.” The crew hopes the fish will turn on to jigs, so bring jigs, too. On Saturday’s trip, 15 good-sized stripers to 20 pounds were bagged. A few anglers limited out, but not everyone caught. Fishing was slow on Sunday’s trip in lots of boat traffic. Three stripers and a blue were decked. Big schools of blues and stripers were heard about from farther north, off Long Island, recently. Anglers hope the current rough weather draws the fish to migrate south to the local area. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for striped bass and blues 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday through Sunday.
A charter limited out on striped bass to 25 pounds Friday on the Super Chic, the boat’s Facebook page said. On Saturday, a charter slapped aboard a decent catch of stripers and a couple of bluefish, “(and) had plenty of bites,” the page said. On Sunday, a charter bashed aboard another decent catch of stripers and one blue. Rough weather was expected now, and the next trip is slated for Thursday.
***Update, Tuesday, 11/18:*** From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier: “Fishing has been very good. Lots of big bluefish and 10- to 20-pound stripers. Snagging bunker and trolling bunker spoons is providing most of the action. The life is spread out all along the coast right now. We’re back in our Barnegat Bay slip at Bob’s Bay Marina in Barnegat. We’re running open-boat 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday through Monday. Three people max. All fish are shared. So far, wind is forecast to blow hard west every one of those days. So it’s time to get our fishing in. West wind means calm seas and good fishing. If you’re reading this close to one of our departure times, give a call. We might still have room. Phone or text is best.”
The migration of striped bass swam the ocean full force to the north in the state, a report on Scott’s Bait & Tackle’s website said on Thursday. The amount of bait in the water was reportedly unbelievable, and anglers hoped good numbers of stripers would arrive locally soon. Bunker pods schooled off Long Beach Island. Customers boated stripers on the ocean on livelined bunker snagged for bait and trolled bunker spoons. Several talked about seeing the fish break the water surface but not biting. Many had little success, but when the timing was right, the catches busted loose. The shop is being readied for a Black Friday sale on Thanksgiving weekend.
Big striped bass, boated on the ocean, won the weekend’s Elks striper tournament, according to a report on Riptide Bait & Tackle’s website. A 55-pound 4-ouncer won first. A 46-pound 3-ouncer won second, and a 43-pound 12-ouncer took third. A 31-pound 12-ouncer won the Calcutta, and no stripers were entered from the surf, so names were picked from a hat to award first through third places and the Calcutta for the surf. The tournament had 80 entries, the most ever, and dates for next year’s tournament are already being decided. Shore anglers tackled some large stripers at Atlantic City today, the shop’s Facebook page said. Boaters bombed good striper fishing on the local ocean on Sunday, it said.
A charter failed to show up on Sunday on the Stray Cat, Capt. Mike said. The trip was supposed to blackfish, and the bag limit was tossed up to six of the tautog that day, from the previous limit of one. Another trip was supposed to blackfish today, if the storm didn’t prevent that, and fishing for the slipperies has been good. Striped bass moved in along the ocean from Atlantic City to Great Egg Harbor Inlet on Sunday morning. A few of the bass 21 to 30 inches and some 3- to 6-pound blues were boated under lots of working birds. Charters are fishing, and the next open-boat trips will fish for blackfish on Friday and Sunday and next week on Tuesday. An open trip will blackfish 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Thanksgiving Day, and the fare will only be $29.95.
Lots of sea bass hit, and some anglers limited out on them, on Saturday on the ocean on the party boat Miss Ocean City, Capt. Victor said. A 5-pound bluefish won the pool. No trip fished on Sunday, but the blackfish bag limit was lifted to six of the tautog that day, from the previous limit of one. Trips will now fish for sea bass and blackfish. Open-boat trips are fishing for sea bass and blackfish 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Wednesday and every Friday through Sunday. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount.
Sea Isle City
Striped bass fishing became really good on the ocean, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. He and his wife trolled stripers to 38 inches and blues 10 to 15 pounds on the ocean Saturday on umbrella rigs with rubber shads. Mike Spaeder and son fished aboard Sunday, and stripers blitzed. The fish weighed up to 35 and 40 pounds, and catches included a 30-pounder, a 28-pounder, some 20-pounders and a bunch that weighed in the teens. At first, the trip’s stripers, including the biggest, were clobbered on cast Sassy Shads and Bass Assassins along the surface. When the action dropped off, stripers were trolled on the trip. The stripers were huge, and could’ve also been fly-rodded, and Joe also fly-fishes. No bluefish bit on that trip. The fish on the trips fed on adult bunker. This was a usual time of year for the migration to arrive. Seas were super rough on Saturday morning in wind, and Joe’s trip that day fished later, when seas were calmer. Large boats fished in the rough seas earlier in the day, and most limited out in an hour. Sunday’s seas were beautiful, though forecasts called for wind that never blew. Stripers remained in the back bay, like before, and Joe had been going to fish there, if rough seas had prevented the ocean trips. The bay’s stripers are smaller, younger stripers, yet to migrate, living there year-round. Remember to book now for annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys that fish from Christmas to Easter. See Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.
Boaters, including friends, trolled striped bass along the ocean Saturday and Sunday, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter. A couple of charter boats caught them well, and stripers were also chunked on bunker on Delaware Bay. Wind against tide made seas brutal Saturday on the bay. So a few stripers seemed to be moving in, and some trips struggled to catch them, but some scored well. Was a matter of right place, right time. One boat from the dock limited out on nine stripers, with bonus tags, by 9 a.m. on the ocean. No bluefish mixed in were heard about from anywhere. Anglers had wanted to sea bass fish on the ocean on Saturday on the Heavy Hitter, but weather was too windy. Sea bassing’s been good, when trips have sailed 30 miles from shore. A buddy nailed a good catch in past days. Howard Bly and crew blackfished at Wildwood Reef on the Heavy Hitter on Sunday, when the bag limit was increased to six of the tautog, from the previous limit of one. Many throwbacks 11 or 13 inches bit, and five and six blackfish were hooked at once. Ten or 11 keepers, including a couple of 5-pounders, were cranked in. One or two of the keepers were sizable, and the rest were 15 or 16 inches. Many blackfish bit that were just under 15 inches, the legal size. The angling sounded similar on other boats. Blackfish bit on the trip from the time the lines were dropped into the water, until the trip departed, except during a lull around slack tide. On the way back to port, so much bait, apparently bunker, schooled close to shore.
Trolling for striped bass was good on the ocean the past couple of days, said Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters. Trips limited out on the fish, big ones 20 to 30 pounds, close to shore. Melanie Anne trolled them from Avalon to Wildwood, and striper fishing was okay, not great, on Delaware Bay toward the mouth, not farther up, on bunker chunks. Boating for blackfish and sea bass both were good on the ocean. Shore anglers were lined up to fish for blackfish along the jetties, since the bag limit was pitched up to six starting on Sunday, from the previous limit of one. A buddy loaded up on sea bass and blackfish boated on the ocean, and then caught stripers close to shore on the way home, a terrific trip.