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Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Monday, September 22.

| Staten Island | Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Brielle | Point Pleasant Beach | Seaside Heights | Barnegat Light | Brigantine | Sea Isle City | Cape May | Last Thursday's Report |
Staten Island
Angler Sportfishing Charters bluefished at Reach Channel toward Sandy Hook, Capt. Joe said. Mostly cocktail blues were beaten, mostly on trolled bunker spoons, sometimes on cast spoons. One trip landed 20 or 22, and striped bass fishing might begin to pick up in a week or 10 days, in cooling water. A ton of bait, including bunker everywhere, filled the water. If that’s any indication of how striper fishing will be, the angling should be good. Striper charters are being booked.

Been an excellent year for fluke fishing, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. “Many, many big fish,” he said, and fluke season will be closed starting Sunday. The year’s final open-boat trips for fluke are slated for Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Space available includes two spots on Tuesday. Weather looks good for the trips, and the outings should be able to fish the ocean, he said. The angling on the last few trips was picky, because of poor conditions. “Conditions are everything for fluke, or any fish, for that matter,” he said. When fluke season closes, trips will bottom-fish for porgies, blackfish and triggerfish, and will jig for bluefish. Soon, eels will be carried aboard, and each trip will make a few drifts for striped bass with them, to keep an eye on the fishing. Trips will jump all over stripers as soon as the run kicks in. Some stripers were currently around, but angling for them was a little hit and miss. Fall striper and blackfish charters are being booked. The blackfish bag limit will be raised to six starting November 16, from the current limit of one. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”

Capt. Joe from Papa’s Angels Charters spoke with a friend Sunday morning who talked about striped bass, though small, that swam Raritan Bay, Joe said. The same friend reported a good number of fluke that remained in the bay. Some reports speculated that fluke departed for the season, but that seemed untrue. Striped bass charters are being booked for autumn, and open-boat trips for fluke are available daily during this final week of fluke season, when no charter is booked. Telephone to reserve. Trips with Papa’s fluked in either the ocean or bay recently.

Atlantic Highlands
West wind made Raritan Bay a little crummy to fish for fluke on this morning’s trip, so the trip ran down the ocean beach, said Capt. Tom from the party boat Atlantic Star. There was a little ground swell, and Tom thought that might make the fish reluctant to bite. But he was surprised, because fluking was better than he thought it would be, and a few keepers and throwbacks were already tugged in, he said in a phone call aboard at 9:30 a.m., when he gave this report. The fishing was better than at the channels, where the boat fished previously, the last couple of days. A few fluke, not enough, bit on those days aboard, but sizeable ones did. One customer bagged an 8-pounder and a 6-pounder on Sunday morning’s trip, for example. Fluking then was the same at the channels as on the bay. Most of the fish were throwbacks, but some were large. Tom hoped today’s fluking would hold up. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. through Saturday, the final day of fluke season. Afterward, the trips will bottom-fish for porgies and blackfish.

After fluke season looked like it would be dismal in the first 1 ½ months, the fishing turned out productive in the past couple of months, Capt. Ron from the party boat Fishermen wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Quality was the word, because once the fishing got going, a fluke had to be large to be a keeper. He remembered no other season when trips aboard decked so many 5- to 10-pounders “and limits to go along with it,” he said. Three fluke weighed more than 10 pounds this year on the boat, and a 9.4-pounder was currently in the lead in the season-long pool. Open-boat trips have been fishing for fluke once daily, each morning to afternoon, on the boat. Charters are booked this Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and daytime, open trips will no longer sail, until striped bass begin to show up. Then the trips will fish for stripers, and Ron hopes that’s by the third week of October. However, nighttime trips are currently sailing for stripers Mondays through Saturdays with Capt. Dan. Telephone him before coming down for a trip at 908-930-2335.

Anglers bottom-fished and jigged bluefish throughout the past week on the Hyper Striper, Capt. Pete wrote in an email. J.R. Bristow’s party last Monday scored good porgy fishing and a bunch of sizable triggerfish. On Friday, John Polise’s crew jigged great bluefishing on Raritan Bay. On Saturday, Jack Schmidt’s gang jigged excellent bluefishing on the bay. The Marty Metz group on Sunday jigged some blues and then crushed a mess of jumbo porgies.

Tuesday might be the only day possible to fish for fluke, because of weather forecasts, Capt. Ralph from Last Lady Fishing Charters wrote in an email. An individual-reservation trip will sail for the fish that day, and space is available, and another is full on Thursday. If anglers booked for Thursday call first, Ralph will switch them to Tuesday’s trip. That trip will most likely fish a longer time than scheduled, if the trip finds the fish, and Ralph thinks it will. Fluke season will be closed starting Sunday. A trip this past Sunday was the only that sailed in past days, because of weather. The trip was supposed to fish for cod, but weather was too questionable. So the trip fished the Mudhole instead, cranking in probably 10 cod and 50 ling. On the way in, the trip tried to locate fluke, but that didn’t turn out so well.

XTC Charters has been weathered out, Capt. Scott said. Most trips were supposed to fish for tuna offshore, but were cancelled, because of weather. A trip Saturday tried to sail for bluefish, but turned back, because seas were too rough for the anglers. Tuna fishing was reportedly alright. Lots of yellowfin tuna were chunked at the Fish Tails at Block Canyon at night. That was too far to sail from Belmar, but Hudson Canyon gave up some yellowfin, longfin and bigeye tuna on the chunk.

A trip tried to reach Hudson Canyon to fish for tuna Sunday on the Katie H, but seas pounded the boat, so the trip fished the middle grounds instead, Capt. Mike said. No tuna showed up at the middle grounds, but 50 mahi mahi to 12 pounds were whaled. A friend had reported catching mahi, so the trip ran there. The lobster pot buoys were loaded with the dolphin, and the water was 74 degrees, clear, blue and good looking. Mike guessed that all the east wind lately pushed in the good water. Three overnight tuna trips were weathered out recently aboard. Mike asked the anglers for this trip whether they wanted to attempt to reach the canyon, but if that turned out impossible, did they want to fish the middle grounds? They said yes. Seas were every bit of 4 to 7 feet, and were up to 9 or 10 feet a couple of times, on the way out. Wind calmed later in the day, but too late to sail to the canyon. Mike heard nothing about the Hudson’s fishing, because during the short windows of weather possible to sail to the canyon, nobody he knows made the trip. But tuna surely remained at the Hudson. Forecasts kept calling for seas like 4 to 7 feet or 5 to 8. This week’s forecasts also look like a blowout. Tuna trips to the canyons are slated for Saturday and Sunday to Monday aboard, and Mike hopes the charters get the weather to sail.

Fishing picked at big blues 8 to 12 pounds Sunday on the party boat
Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. Saturday’s trip picked away at the same-sized blues, and sometimes the fishing was fast, and sometimes lulled. By the end, the trip put together a decent catch. Seas were rough on Friday’s trip in 20- to 25-knot winds, and the anglers picked at blues that were all different sizes, from 4 to 18 pounds. Thursday’s trip banged away at 8- to 12-pounders. The Golden Eagle is bluefishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Also see the Golden Eagle’s tuna schedule.

Party boats, large vessels, were almost the only to fish, because of weather, said Eric from The Reel Seat. Some of them steamed far north for tuna at the Fish Tails at Block Canyon, catching well. The trips chunked yellowfin tuna to 80 pounds and a handful of longfin tuna at night. A good population of bigeye tuna seemed mixed in. When smaller boats could sail in short windows of weather, they trolled a bunch of mahi mahi on feathers and jets. They also trolled bonito and a few false albacore on Clark spoons. Boating for fluke on the ocean was kind of picky, and the fish seemed scattered because of the weather. A few were decked, and not much was heard about bottom-fishing, because of weather, and because sea bass season was closed. But bottom-fishing for ling seemed fair. In Manasquan River, fluking remained good. Striped bass were hooked in the river at night along Route 35 Bridge. In the surf, fluke were also slid in, and if anglers put in the time, they landed keepers. The fluke were a by-catch while anglers surf-fished for stripers. Stripers were banked at Sea Girt and Spring Lake on Storm shads and metal-lipped swimmers, mostly at first light, sometimes at dusk. False albacore were fought from the surf here and there, on small tins.

A tough past week, mostly because of weather, Capt. Ryan from the party boat Jamaica II wrote in an email. When conditions were right, fluke fishing aboard was good. But when conditions drifted the boat too fast, or when the ocean swell was too much, the angling was tough. Fluke were sometimes even caught on anchor, though drifting is the usual way to fluke. Still, weather looks better for this week, and the crew expects good fluking during this final week of fluke season. The season will be closed starting Sunday. Customers and their catches this past week included: Carl Worthington, Paterson, an 8-pound fluke and three 4-pounders; Charley Hurley, Sea Bright, a limit of fluke including a 7-pounder; and Craig Wilson, Trenton, a limit of fluke to a 6-pounder. Ed Nolan from Manasquan currently led the monthly pool with a 9.2-pound fluke. The Jamaica II will fish for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily this Tuesday through Saturday. Mudhole wreck-fishing trips will sail 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Sunday and on October 4, 5, 11, 12 and 15, for ling, cod and winter flounder, and telephone to reserve. Trips will fish for tuna, bonito and false albacore on October 8 and 13, and space is limited, and reservations are also required, and telephone for them. That’s the schedule “as we patiently await the opening of sea bass season on October 8,” Ryan said.

Point Pleasant Beach
Five overnight trips to the offshore canyons were cancelled because of the tough stretch of weather with Mushin Sportfishing, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The angling was great when boats could reach the water. An inshore trip trolled and jigged lots of bonito and false albacore on Sunday aboard. The trip attempted cod fishing, but abundant sea bass never gave cod a chance at the bait. Mushin means a relaxed state of readiness. The crew pride themselves on sharing the concept on outdoor adventures.

On the party boat Norma-K III, Saturday was another slow day of fluke fishing, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. A few keepers and some shorts were pitched aboard. An ocean swell didn’t help, and things were the same during the previous few days. There wasn’t much to report. But Saturday night’s bluefishing trip was decent, picking away at 8- to 15-pounders. That was slower than on the previous couple of nights, but still good fishing. Some anglers caught better than others, but all seemed to leave with fish. The Norma-K III is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m., and for bluefish from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. When fluke season is closed starting Sunday, the daytime trips will sail for ling and cod 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Seaside Heights
Plenty of baitfish schooled the surf, and days were cooler, and wind direction was favorable for fishing the water, John from The Dock Outfitters wrote in a report on the shop’s website. The fall run of fish could start any moment there. Small striped bass began to bite in the water, on metal, swimmers and clams. Surf fishing was good for plenty of small to medium-sized blues and fluke. Island Beach State Park was the best place to find a keeper fluke, because two fluke at 16 inches is the bag limit there, compared with 18 inches and five fluke in the rest of the state. Fluke season will be closed starting Sunday. Surf casters had a chance at “passing” false albacore, so be ready. Albies usually pop into the surf and depart by chance. From the dock, crabbing was a slow pick. Fewer and fewer keepers were nabbed. Baits stocked include eels, fresh mullet, fresh clams and sandworms. 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.

Barnegat Light
Bluefishing was awesome Sunday on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light, the vessel’s Facebook page said. The blues weighed 1 to 3 pounds, and some bonito were also pasted. A bunch of bonito and some blues were drilled on Saturday aboard. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for blues, bonito and false albacore 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

A ton of bluefish to 16 inches were banked from the surf, despite terrible conditions, during a surf-fishing tournament on Saturday in town, a report on Riptide Bait & Tackle’s website site. A summer flounder was also eased from the beach during the event. The surf was rough and weedy, and wind blew. One angler checked in a 30-inch striped bass from the back bay that he cracked on a plug while trying for blues. Temple Fork Outfitters delivered its 11-foot Gary Loomis Tactical Series surf rods to the shop. Stop in to try the rod that “just might be the hottest rod of the fall,” the report said. The pole has a little more backbone than the 10-foot 6-incher, but is just as light. The shop thinks it’ll be a hit.

Sea Isle City
Annual traveling charters met the migration of fish off Montauk, New York, this weekend aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The trips, the first of the season, targeting false albacore, striped bass and blues, fished Saturday and Sunday, catching well. “It’s Montauk,” he said. “An awesome place, and an awesome time.” The trips, with Dusty Laricks and John Marin, on Saturday landed a dozen false albacore, a dozen striped bass and probably 20 to 25 blues. The albies were fought mostly on Deadly Dicks, and the rest of the fish were mostly hooked on soft-plastic lures. Dinner-plate-sized porgies and jumbo sea bass were also reel in on the plastics. The blues weighed up to 10 or 12 pounds, and were mostly 5 to 10. The stripers were up to 27 inches, none large, but the angling was fun. On Sunday, the anglers whacked a bunch of albies and 3- to 5-pound blues, smaller than on the previous day. Joe also fly-rodded some of the albies. Lots of albies were around, and the trips will fish until the third week of October. Saturday’s weather on the trip, fishing 12 hours, ranged from extremely rough to flat-calm seas, every type of condition. Sunday’s was windier, but the fish held at places relatively sheltered. See Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Joe also offers traveling charters to the Florida Keys in winter, mostly on weekends. They can be a mini, fish-filled vacation. Joe will keep fishing from Sea Isle City between the Montauk trips, and striper fishing from Sea Isle is good on popper flies and lures on the back bay. A mess of 1- to 3-pound blues are schooling from the bay to the near-shore ocean, and the Sea Isle trips are focused on the bass and blues. Joe probably won’t fish for summer flounder during this final week of flounder season. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.

Cape May
Most trips were weathered out with Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters, Capt. Frank said. But a trip fished for summer flounder Sunday aboard the ocean, bagging five at the Old Grounds and four at Cape May Reef. So that was pretty good, he said, and seas were okay, a little bouncy in the morning, calmer later in the day. A flounder trip is slated for Friday, and a tuna trip is set for Sunday. Take advantage of an end-of-season special on a flounder charter. Get a $100 discount, because flounder season will be closed starting Sunday.

Last Thursday's Report
Staten Island

On fluke trips, fishing was on and off, depending on how strongly the wind blew, with Angler Sportfishing Charters, Capt. Chuck said. But the catches were made, including at the West Bank on Raritan Bay and at Ambrose Channel. Trips started to be able to jig bluefish under birds, and Chuck never saw so many bunker schooling before. They were everywhere, and the water will need to cool for striped bass fishing to pick up. On one trip, kids aboard started to become bored with fluking. So the boat was set up to try for stripers with chunked bunker at the West Bank. No stripers bit, but large sharks did, probably up to 30 pounds. The kids had a ball.

Fishing limited out on sea bass on Monday with Outcast Charters, Capt. Joe said. The trip bounced around a lot to make the catch, and a few triggerfish were mixed in. New York’s sea bass season is open, with a bag limit of eight, while New Jersey’s is currently closed. New York’s blackfish season will be opened on October 5, with a bag limit of four, and Outcast will jump on the tautog immediately. One blackfish is currently the Jersey limit. Bottom-fishing, like all of this, is a specialty aboard. Outcast also sails from Sewaren, New Jersey, both so Jersey anglers can fish aboard, and so trips can follow Jersey regs, when that’s an advantage.


The Vitamin Sea was fluke fishing right now, Capt. Frank wrote in an email at 9 a.m. today, and a good catch of keepers and shorts was biting. Open-boat trips will fluke this weekend, and weather looks good. That’s the final full weekend of fluke season, before the season is closed starting on the following Sunday, September 28. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!” Like the Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page.

Weather held back fluke fishing sometimes on the Down Deep, but trips will stick with the angling until fluke season is closed starting September 28, Capt. Mario said. The fishing will include a couple of marathon, open-boat fluke trips. Super news: Striped bass trips will start to fish 5 to 11 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday next week. Daytime trips for stripers will begin after fluke season. Trips are also sailing for ling at the Mudhole. Don’t forget to book sea bass and blackfish trips for the fall. Sea bass season will be opened starting October 18, and six will become the blackfish bag limit starting November 16, from the current limit of one. Charters are fishing, and sign up for the Short Notice List on the Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open-boat trips.

Papa’s Angels Charters last fished for fluke at the West Bank on Raritan Bay and on the ocean Friday and Sunday, Capt. Joe said. That was covered in the last report, and the next open-boat trips or charters are available for fluking Friday through Sunday. Telephone to climb aboard. Charters are now being booked for fall striped bass fishing. Anglers aboard will jig, clam or eel the fish from the bay to the ocean. Water is starting to cool, and that’s what’s needed to draw the migration of stripers south to the local area. Water was 68 degrees at the dock the last time Joe saw, and was 78 a couple of weeks ago.

Bluefish 2 ½ or 3 pounds, good-sized, were fought right from Raritan Bay’s surf locally, on bunker chunks or metal, said Joey from Joey’s Bait Shack. Small striped bass were landed, including on livelined eels, from the bank at Cliffwood Beach. The only stripers heard about from boats were two keepers from the ocean off Sandy Hook. Fluke, pretty good catches, were boated at Ambrose, Sandy Hook and Chapel Hill channels. An 8.3-pound 30-incher was checked in from Ambrose. Fluke didn’t so much come from the bay anymore. False albacore supposedly popped up off Sandy Hook at times. Crabbing was decent. Eels will be stocked starting Friday. So now all baits will be stocked, including fresh bunker and clams that arrive daily, sandworms, killies, eels, nightcrawlers, frozen bunker and clams, and all the frozen fluke baits, including spearing, finger mullet, smelts and the whole variety of squid, like tube squid and 1-pound boxes of squid.

Atlantic Highlands

After a good afternoon of fluking on Sunday, the angling was slower on Monday, on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. That was almost surprising, like the fishing should’ve picked right back up. Tuesday morning’s trip was docked in crummy weather. In the afternoon, conditions were perfect, and quite a few fluke, including a nice catch of keepers, some of them sizable, came in. Wednesday’s fluking was also pretty good, in good weather. Shorts were picked at, and not as many keepers were as Tom would like. The afternoon’s trip fished a little better than the morning’s. On the afternoon’s trip, the boat’s drift was lost a while, when current slowed. But fluke were caught again afterward on the outing. Trips pretty much fished at the channels or along the edges. Heavy rods weren’t needed, because of the current, though heavier were needed previously. But anglers should be prepared with an extra rod, a heavier one, because trips are fishing deeper water, and sometimes currents are stronger around the channels, requiring heavier weights. The Atlantic Star is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.

Fluke were still boated, including at Ambrose Channel, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Quite a few cocktail blues were around, and lots of snapper blues schooled. Blues were everywhere. Striped bass were around, including stripers banked from the surf on bait or plugs. Some could be eeled at Sandy Hook Channel. Porgies were bucketed, and ling were decked offshore. If anybody wanted a limit of one blackfish, the tautog could be bagged. The limit will be increased to six on November 16. Crabs were trapped, even if few people crabbed. That’s a summer deal, he said.

A 9.4-pound fluke took the lead in the season-long pool on Tuesday’s trip on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Tom “The Vet” nailed the fish, just under 30 inches. Fluking started with a good shot of catches on the trip. Weather became rough, including a downpour, afterward a while. Then the bite turned on again. Good fluking continued on Wednesday’s trip, and several anglers bagged four, all quality fish. “Never Quit” Eddie bagged four to a 7.2-pounder. Other impressive catches included Tom “The Vet’s” 5-pounder. Fluking wasn’t easy now, and the fish were on the move, and anglers had to work, Ron said in the day’s report. When the bite kicks in, fish even harder, because it doesn’t last forever, he said. On today’s trip, an 8-pound fluke won the pool, but just not enough were bagged to go around. Jose Mocreia from Old Bridge pasted the 8-pounder. The day’s first fluke was a 6-pounder. Five minutes later, a 6-1/2-pounder took the lead. Next, the 8-pounder was waxed. A 7-pounder was also clubbed on the trip, and another angler heaved in two that weighed more than 5 pounds. Not many throwbacks bit on the trip, and action died as the day went on. The Fishermen is fishing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for striped bass 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. every Monday through Saturday. However the boat is chartered this Saturday morning and the mornings of Tuesday, Thursday and the following Saturday, the final day of fluke season. No open-boat trips will sail those times.


Motoring from Twin Lights Marina, Ed and Tony on the Hammerhead hit five keeper fluke to 25 inches at Flynn’s Knoll on Wednesday on Gulps, killies and squid, Marion wrote in an email. On a previous trip, they docked a 6-pound 25-1/2-incher at Bug Light. Joe and John from Smith’s Tavern boated six keeper fluke at Ambrose Channel on Gulps. Also at Ambrose, Angelo and Brett boxed six keepers to 6 pounds on Gulps and smelts. Twin Lights, located conveniently on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips and dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. The full supply of bait is stocked for inshore and offshore, and the fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.


Conditions were great for fluke fishing at first on the weekly, individual-reservation trip for them Tuesday on the ocean with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Most of the summer flounder were caught then, for an hour or two. Wind changed direction three or four times the rest of the trip, and only a pick of the fish was hooked. The fishing lulled once when the wind died, so a wreck was fished. Two keeper fluke came up right away, and then wind blew again, and the wreck could no longer be fished. Lots of large sea bass bit and had to be released. “… gov’t is totally wrong on this (currently closed sea bass season),” he said. Fluke are there to be caught, when conditions are good. Space is available on the year’s final, weekly individual-reservation trip for fluke on Tuesday, before fluke season is closed on September 28. A marathon one of the trips is full on Friday, September 26, but Ralph will announce if openings become available, and they sometimes do.


Fluke fishing on the ocean was okay, a little slow on Wednesday, but good, and pretty steady, the rest of the week on the party boat Big Mohawk, Capt. Chris said. Some good-sized to 9 or 9 ½ pounds were axed, and many anglers limited out. Trips mostly fished wrecks and rocks, and jigs with Gulps hooked most of the fish. Most of the larger fluke jumped on that, but bait did catch, too. The Big Mohawk is fishing for fluke 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. When fluke season is closed on September 28, that day’s trip will fish for porgies and triggerfish. That’s a Sunday, and afterward, the boat will be dry-docked a week, starting that Monday.

Bluefish were on right away today on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the vessel said. The anglers picked the fish, shots of five and six hooked at once, the whole trip, another great day of the angling aboard, it said. The trip fished on the west side of the Mudhole, and trips have been anchoring and chumming the blues aboard. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.

Anglers banged away at big blues 8 to 12 pounds again today on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. The fishing, for the same sized blues, was also good Wednesday and Monday aboard. No report was posted for Tuesday, maybe because of rough weather. The Golden Eagle is bluefishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Also see the Golden Eagle’s tuna schedule.

It ain’t over till it’s over, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email, and a 14-pound 15-ounce fluke, the season’s largest at the shop, one ounce lighter than 15 pounds, was weighed in today at the store. Frank Kossell from Lewes, Del., bagged the monster. In the surf, striped bass fishing was spotty but not bad, Bob said. One angler checked in a keeper striper he beached from the surf on a Gulp while trying for fluke. Reports rolled in about good striper fishing at night in the surf on Daiwa SP Minnows and Bombers. Bob’s been fishing his favorite striper hole from shore, catching well. Northeast wind is forecast for Friday. “Might be time to get out the clam rod,” he said about striper fishing in the surf. False albacore have been pushing into shore and the inlets.

Wind blew, so a fluke trip on Monday tried fishing close to shore, but that didn’t work out well, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Fluke are swimming deep, starting to migrate farther from shore, holding along “structure.” But if conditions are right, and trips get on the right pile of fluke, the angling is good. Fluke season will be closed starting September 28, and space is available on fluke trips next week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. That Saturday is the final day of the season, and all fish will be divided equally. After fluke season, Parker Pete’s will gear up for striped bass fishing from mid-October through November. Contact Parker Pete’s to lock in a trip. Currently, plenty of bonito and false albacore swam around. Albies shot all along the surface right off Shark River Inlet on Tuesday. Farther off, tons of sea bass schooled, and was unfortunate that sea bass season was closed, because the fishing would’ve been great. 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.

Point Pleasant Beach

For anglers on the party boat Norma-K III, fluke fishing was tough today and Wednesday, Capt. Matt wrote in an email. Just a keeper here and there was managed, and plenty of shorts bit. Those who fished whole squid picked a few more keepers than the rest, he noticed. But on Monday and Tuesday’s trips, anglers picked away at keepers and shorts, and pool-winning fluke weighed 5 to 6 pounds. Bait seemed to catch better than bucktails and Gulps on those trips, “for some reason,” he said. Big, out-of-season sea bass were tossed back. On nighttime trips, bluefishing was excellent. Plenty of 8- to 12-pounders were crushed. Tonight was beautiful, but the bluefishing trip didn’t get out, because of lack of anglers. The Norma-K III is fishing for fluke on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m., and for bluefish from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily. When fluke season is closed starting September 28, the daytime trips will sail for ling and cod 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Toms River

On the Toms River at Island Heights, crabbers still picked away at the blueclaws, nobody beating them up, but catching, said Dennis from Murphy’s Hook House. Snapper blues remained in the river, and lots of bait held in the river. Whether tonight’s cold front causes them to push out will be seen. Tiny fluke 8 to 12 inches swam the river. Most customers headed to the surf. Mostly small blues 2 or 3 pounds, occasionally larger, ran the surf, mostly swiping mullet. A few hit metal, and a token striped bass came from the surf. Scattered false albacore popped into the surf, mostly hooked on Ava A17s. A few were fought on Deadly Dicks, and fluke remained in the surf. The population of the flatfish should peak there soon. Mullet migrated the surf, not consistently, but almost every day. Spearing schooled the surf, and snapper blues 4 to 6 inches were mixed with the albies in the surf. Fluke could still be found in Barnegat Bay around the BI and BB markers. One angler picked up three on Wednesday. Blowfishing improved a little around the BI and BB, actually. Blowfishers could put a catch together. A few customers boated for fluke on the ocean, like at the Tire Reef, and the catches were decent. Not many boated the ocean, and most customers fished the surf, trying for blues. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, bought Go Fish Bait & Tackle this year, and is running both shops now.

Seaside Heights

Lots of blowfish hovered along the dock, said Kevin from The Dock Outfitters. How big? he was asked. “They’re getting some shoulders,” he said, probably 3 or 4 inches. Snapper blues schooled around the dock, and the usual small fluke and small sea bass were hooked there. Crabbing was mediocre at best. In the surf, striped bass started to “move in” on mullet migrating. Keepers were sometimes heard about, and Kevin eeled a 26-inch, throwback striper from the surf at Point Pleasant Beach on Wednesday night. A bunch of cocktail blues tumbled the surf. Throwback fluke gathered in the surf, not as many as before, but they were around. 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.

Forked River

Barnegat Bay’s fluke fishing was good at Double Creek Channel, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. Blowfishing became good at Double Creek and at Meyer’s Hole in the bay. Reports talked about a hundred and a hundred-and-fifty totaled at Meyer’s in 6 to 7 feet in a trip. Weakfish were landed from the bay here and there in early mornings and before dark on Spros with Gulps. No striped bass caught were talked about yet. No blackfish were heard about from along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. Lots of small sea bass swam the inlet. On the ocean, plenty of fluke were boated at the Tires and in 55 feet off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park.

Surf City

The surf ripped today, but cocktail blues swam all over the water lately, said Sue from Surf City Bait & Tackle. They were banked on mullet or metal, like an Ava jig. Croakers were snatched from the surf, and fluke, mostly throwbacks, sometimes a keeper, were landed from shore from both Barnegat and Beach Haven inlets. Throwback striped bass were confirmed plugged from the surf. Unconfirmed reports said a couple of keepers came from the surf. A keeper was boated from the ocean. Like Surf City Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page.

Mystic Island

Ocean fishing was still good for summer flounder at Little Egg Reef and Garden State Reef South, said Chris from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. Triggerfish were around toward the Rutgers cans, closer to shore from Little Egg. Lots of out-of-season sea bass, and bluefish, were around in the ocean. Sharks bit now and then, and one chopped in half an angler’s 17-inch flounder. In the bay, a few blowfish swam, and schoolie fish like porgies and other catches gathered. Not much was heard about catches off Graveling Point. Schoolie striped bass like 20 inches were sometimes hooked in Mullica River. No details were really heard, but anglers occasionally showed photos of the stripers. Crabs were still trapped. For offshore anglers, tuna held north of Hudson Canyon, the last time reports rolled in. Whether tuna now bit closer to locally, like at Lindenkohl Canyon, wasn’t reported, and seas were sporty. But lots of yellowfin tuna were boated far north. Baits stocked include minnows, fresh, shucked clams, green crabs and 500 eels that were just delivered. No grass shrimp are on hand, and weather was still warm to keep them alive.

Atlantic City

Anglers on foot, at Absecon Inlet and along the surf, pumped in kingfish, croakers, blues and sometimes blackfish and summer flounder, said Jeremy from One Stop Bait & Tackle. Both locations are near the shop, and the inlet is lined with jetties. A few striped bass they angled were reported. There weren’t many, but the bass began to bite. Green crabs are $4 per dozen or three dozen for $10. Minnows are $8.50 a pint, and bloodworms on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are two dozen for $20. Otherwise, the worms are $10.75 per dozen. Baits stocked also include fresh bunker, fresh clams, fresh mullet, all the frozen baits, like mackerel, mullet, head-on shrimp and all the different types of squid for flounder fishing, and more, a large supply. A vending machine dispenses bait afterhours. Friend One Stop on Facebook.


Trips will fish, for summer flounder, this weekend on the party boat Keeper, and Capt. John will call it a season afterward, he says. He always ends trips around now, and flounder season will be closed on September 28, on the following Sunday. But flounder still bit in the back bay on the boat. Lots of small flounder filled the water, but a few keepers remained. A few small blues bit, and small sea bass, not as many as before, hit. John thanks anglers who fished aboard for a great season, and trips will resume when flounder season is reopened next year. The Keeper will fish for summer flounder 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 12 noon Sunday. The trips are only $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $15 for kids, because the fishing is near port, and the pontoon boat is economical on fuel.


In all the northeast wind, summer flounder were reluctant to bite in the ocean, said Capt. Mike from the Stray Cat. The boat fished for them in 75 or 80 feet, like before, and the fluke were reported to move a little deeper, but they weren’t biting. Still, they were there, and sea bass began to migrate offshore to the grounds. Sea bass season will be opened starting October 18, and open-boat trips are slated to fish for them that day and on October 19 and 20. Charters and open-boat trips are currently fishing for species in season.

Ocean City

The party boat Miss Ocean City fished all week, Capt. Victor said. The fishing was a little slow on Wednesday, but good catches of blues and croakers were plowed from the ocean on trips. Dwayne McDonald from Pennsylvania won the pool with a 5-1/2-pound summer flounder on Tuesday. The Miss Ocean City is fishing for croakers, summer flounder and blues 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily on the ocean.

Small summer flounder, a decent population, blanketed the back bay, said Justin from Fin-Atics. Blues 5 inches schooled the bay, and bigger blues, 15 or 18 inches, began to be reported from Great Egg Harbor and Corson’s inlets and the surf. Blackfish were reeled from along jetties and the 9th Street Bridge on green crabs. Many were small, but some were 15 or 18 inches. Small striped bass were played along bridges at night. Small schools of mullet schooled the surf that had stripers either “on” them or underneath them, he said. Hardly any were keepers, but they weren’t bad sized, up to 26 inches. Small kingfish and no spots swam the surf. No news came from ocean boaters, because of a swell.

Sea Isle City

Lots of blues swarmed, pretty much all around the island, but definitely best at Townsend’s Inlet, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The fish were mostly 1- to 2-pounders, fought from shore on mullet. But if anglers wanted to fish with lures, metal like Kastmasters socked them. A 4.6-pound weakfish was also hooked at the inlet on mullet. A few striped bass and summer flounder were mixed in. From the ocean surf, occasional stripers were picked, mostly along jetties in evenings, on popper lures, sometimes on soft-plastic lures, like Bass Assassins. Chunked mullet or bunker sometimes grabbed the bass during daytime. Stripers were popper-plugged on the back bay in evenings. A few flounder remained in the bay. They were small, but sometimes keepers were bagged, if anglers put in time. A few trips managed to boat the ocean for flounder, when weather was calm enough. Somewhat fewer bit than a couple of weeks ago, but the fish were there. Two trips fished the Cigar on the ocean, each trolling a couple of bonito and a couple of mahi mahi.

Conditions finally became decent, and summer flounder, good catches, were boated Wednesday on the ocean, Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle Bait & Tackle, knew, he said. Great tides, high at dusk, are happening this coming week for popper-plug fishing for striped bass on the back bay. That angling’s been terrific and should continue to be through October, and is a specialty aboard, also on popper flies. On the trips, Joe poles his flats boat in the shallows, like in a tropical destination, but right here in South Jersey. The fish explode on the poppers along the water surface. Annual traveling charters to Montauk, to fish the migration of stripers, blues and false albacore on the ocean, will kick off this weekend with Joe. The fishing can be epic from the legendary port, and if you ever wanted to be there, Joe is going. That angling lasts into October, and he’ll still fish from Sea Isle, between the Montauk trips, during that time. After Montauk, he’ll chase the bass and blues on the ocean from Sea Isle, when the migration slides south. He also runs annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys in winter from Christmas to Easter. That can be for a large variety of catches, from redfish and speckled sea trout to tarpon and sailfish. Mostly fishing on weekends, the traveling charters can be like a mini vacation. See Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.


Summer flounder were still decked from the back bay, surprising for the time of year, said Mike from Canal Side Boat Rentals. The water was still warm, and a boat yesterday reeled in throwback flounder, no keepers. Not many trips fish in the middle of the week this time of season, but some of the boats were headed out today. Striped bass were sometimes angled from the bay, though the season was early for that. On one trip on the bay, the wife was crabbing, when she told the husband a large fish was bothering the bait. He looked, and the fish was a striper. He slipped a piece of bunker onto a hook, and boated a 29-inch striper. Clam is the common bait for the stripers. A few small sea bass, none keeper-sized, remained in the bay. Sea bass season is closed anyway. Snapper blues schooled around, and so did peanut bunker. Crabbing never really kicked in on the bay this year. But crabs were still trapped, and a trip last week nabbed a dozen keepers on the bay. In the surf, a few anglers, not many, looked for stripers, though this was early for that. They did occasionally bank a striper or a blue, not many. One customer bought spearing to fish for flounder on the ocean at Reef 11. Flounder in the ocean seemed to push far from shore, in 80 feet. The angler fished there, scoring well in 80 feet, on spearing. Cape May Reef was another place trips sailed for flounder on the ocean. Spearing used to be less popular in southern New Jersey, more popular in the northern state. Spearing might’ve been popular early in the season in South Jersey in the past, but minnows seemed the more popular bait the rest of the season, when minnows can become more available each year. But spearing now was popular throughout the season locally. Spearing are stocked, and so are plenty of minnows. Canal Side rents boats for fishing and crabbing and kayaks. ***Get a $5 discount*** on a rental boat if you mention Fishing Reports Now. Baits stocked include minnows and frozen herring in three per pack, Canadian spearing, mackerel fillets, whole mackerel, mullet fillets, whole bunker, bunker fillets, salted clams in quarts and pints, bags of fresh-frozen clams, all the different types of squid, like tube squid, trolling squid, strips of unscented and scented squid, green strips, pink strips and more. Crabs, both live and cooked, are sold for eating, and picnic tables were set out this year to enjoy them. The crabs have been from Maryland, because the blueclaws have been scarce for commercial crabbers in New Jersey this season. The crabs might be available this weekend for the final time this year at the shop. Crab prices last week ranged from $15 to $35 per dozen, and the price depends on market price and size of the blueclaws. Cooked crabs are $4 additional per dozen.

Cape May

Weather was rough or windy in the past week, and the weekend included rain and wind, but trips sailed for summer flounder every day on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. Trips resumed Thursday after last week’s storm, and the angling picked a few flounder, better on some days than others. Good-sized, and a couple of limits, were sometimes landed. Some anglers hooked no keepers, too. On Tuesday’s trip, Sam Citron from Wildwood Crest limited out, and several customers scored no keepers. On Wednesday’s, Charles Field from Morton, Pa., bagged two flounder to a 6-1/2-pounder. Tom McKenney from New Castle, Del., won the pool with an 8-1/2-pound flounder, his largest ever, on Sunday’s trip, but not many keepers bit that day. Keith Danis from New Rochelle, N.J., limited out on Friday or Saturday, a day with nasty weather. The fishing wasn’t the action like before the storm. But flounder were around, and the angling was a chance to bag them. The Porgy IV is fishing for summer flounder at 8 a.m. daily.

Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters was supposed to fish today and Saturday, in weather that finally improved, Capt. Frank said. Take advantage of an end-of-season special on a flounder charter. Get a $100 discount, because flounder season will be closed starting September 28. The boat is also tuna fishing.

After slower angling around last week’s storm, fishing sounded like it started to pick up again, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Summer flounder fishing went well, even in Cape May Inlet. The flatfish were boated on the ocean off Wildwood close to shore, but also farther out, at Reef 11 and the Old Grounds, when trips had the seas to reach those two spots. That angling was good, and good catches of flounder were also heard about from Delaware Bay toward Miah Maul, from a couple of trips. Kingfish, weakfish and croakers should school the channel off Cape May Point, like they usually do. Good catches of croakers were banked along the Higbee’s Beach jetty. A few striped bass began to be found in the surf, because of mullet that migrated to the water. A couple of keepers were bagged when northeast wind blew in the bait. Bluefishing could be good in the surf for snappers to 1- or 2-pounders or tailors. Blackfish chomped along the ocean jetties. In the back bay, mullet, peanut bunker and spearing made striper fishing good along the bridges. A 28-1/2-inch striper and a 24-inch weakfish were bagged along the bridges. For offshore boaters, tuna fishing sounded a little off, but white marlin fishing was productive for a couple of trips at Wilmington Canyon. When tuna were taken, they were mostly hooked at night. Fresh peanut bunker are stocked, and Nick hopes to stock fresh mullet again, as soon as possible. Minnows, green crabs, sand fleas, bloodworms and fresh clams are carried.