Outcast Charters was weathered out from bottom-fishing the last two weekends, Capt. Joe said. But one of the trips is expected to sail today, mainly for sea bass. The anglers don’t prefer blackfishing, but might blackfish at the end of the trip. Trips are slated for every weekend in the near future. New York’s sea bass season has been opened since July 15, and New Jersey’s opened on Saturday. Also currently, four blackfish per angler can be bagged from New York, and only one can from Jersey. Outcast also offers charters from Sewaren, New Jersey.
A trip was bottom-fishing today, slamming the biggest kind of porgies, on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank said, when he gave this report in an email sent during the outing. Nice sea bass, and very nice blackfish, he said, were mixed in. Charters and open-boat trips fish aboard, and striped bass fishing is coming up soon on the boat. Blackfish will be targeted when the bag limit is increased to six of the tautog starting November 16, from the current limit of one. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”
Sea bass, super catches, were plowed on the Down Deep, Capt. Mario said. Sea bass season was opened starting Saturday, and the fish weighed up to 4 pounds aboard. Big porgies to 3 pounds were mixed in. Charters are sailing, and see the open-boat schedule of trips for sea bass and other catches on the Down Deep’s website. Sign up for the Short Notice List on the site to be kept informed about open trips. Open trips are eeling for striped bass 5 to 11 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The angling’s been slow but should pick up, because of this week’s cold weather. A ton of blackfish swam, and the crew looks forward to blackfishing starting November 16, when the bag limit is lifted to six of the tautog, from the current limit of one.
Nighttime fishing for striped bass began to “happen” on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. The angling was the best this season on Friday and Saturday night’s trips, and was best on Saturday night’s. The bass from 15 inches to 23 pounds gave up good catches. The fish looked like local stripers that started to feed, not ones that migrated in. The stripers were eeled, and a few anglers limited out and released more. Ron hopes the week’s weather drops water temperatures, amping up striper fishing on daytime trips. Because of the week’s forecasts for some rough weather, telephone Capt. Dan, whose running the nighttime trips, ahead to confirm that those outings will sail, at 908-930-2335. 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.
On the season’s first ¾-day trip for sea bass aboard today, three spots were fished so far, and each gave up a good shot of sea bass, Capt. Tom from the Atlantic Star said in a phone call at 11 a.m. aboard the outing. The fish were mixed sizes, and some were hefty. The spot fished while he gave this report also turned out good-sized porgies and a couple of keeper blackfish. All the porgies were keepers. The trip’s fishing wasn’t great, but picked away so far. The boat previously sailed on two trips daily, and switches to one trip daily, the ¾-day trips, each year around now. That provides a little extra time to reach grounds somewhat farther from port. The vessel began fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish on Saturday, opening day of sea bass season, and previously fished for porgies and blackfish. When the twice daily trips sailed, sea bass bit, but many were throwbacks. Porgies, mixed sizes, including small, hit, and sometimes a blackfish came in. Blackfishing usually improves as water cools. On Sunday morning’s trip, wind blew to 25 and 30 knots, and Tom almost didn’t want to fish. Lots of sea bass, some of them keepers, bit. No porgies showed up on the outing, but some blackfish did. The angling was better than Tom expected, considering the weather. Sunday afternoon’s trip was canceled, because of the wind. The Atlantic Star is fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
The party boats from Belmar were railed for opening day of sea bass season on Saturday, “and no one was disappointed,” Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Many limits of big sea bass were smashed. Big bluefish were on the feed for the boats that fished for them. Anglers could fight all they wanted. In the surf, striped bass fishing was slow, but Bob, a surf caster, hopes that changes soon.
Bluefish, super catches of them to 18 pounds, were drilled on the daytime and nighttime trips Saturday on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s Facebook page said. During daytime, the blues were jigged, and at night, they were caught on bait. Apparently, not all trips sailed in the past week, because of weather, because reports were posted for some of the days, but not others. But false albacore were mixed in on Tuesday’s trip. 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. An overnight tuna trip was supposed to fish Sunday to today.
The anglers limited out on sea bass on Saturday with XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott said. That was opening day of sea bass season, and another sea bass trip is supposed to fish on Tuesday. An overnight tuna trip was weathered that was supposed to fish Sunday to today. Scott hopes striped bass show up soon. He only heard about stripers boated at Montauk, New York.
With Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters, sea bass fishing was excellent on opening day of sea bass season on Saturday, Capt. Pete said. Seas sometimes started to heave, but weren’t bad most of the day. Trips should sail for sea bass today and Tuesday aboard, and weather looks like it’ll start to become rough on Tuesday night. Today’s trip might also fish for blackfish. Maybe striped bass fishing will pick up, because of the blow that’s coming. Pete didn’t really pay attention to striper news in past days, but heard about some boated off Breezy Point, to the north. Bluefishing was good. 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.
A good spread of sea bass was pitched aboard Saturday, for a decent-sized crowd, on the party boat Jamaica II, Capt. Joe wrote in an email. Even the anglers with rental rods caught well, and that was opening day of sea bass season. A few porgies were mixed in, but not enough yet, he said, and quite a few triggerfish, hefty, were decked. Just some of the few who limited out on sea bass were Ed Nolan from Manasquan, Brian Rhames from Trenton and Billy Watson from Princeton. Open-boat trips for sea bass are sailing 7 hours at 8 a.m. on October 24, 27, 28 and 30, for 10 hours at 7:30 a.m. on October 29 and November 2, 4, 7, 9 and 10, and for 12 hours at 5 a.m. on October 26 and November 11, 14, 16 and 19. Trips for sea bass, reservations required, are sailing for 14 hours at 3 a.m. every Saturday.
Sea bass fishing was spectacular on Saturday, said Eric from The Reel Seat. That was opening day of sea bass season, and all the reefs and usual places seemed to hold the fish. To the north, a good number of porgies were mixed in. Triggerfish were also hooked on sea bass trips. Most of the sea bass were hooked on bait, but a few were jigged. Not many boats fished in relentless wind. But some did, including for sea bass, and some of the party boats, larger vessels, fished for tuna offshore. Longfin tuna fishing was pretty darn good at Hudson Canyon for them, mostly at night on bait. But a few of the fish were jigged at night, and not much was heard about mid-shore fishing for pelagics, because few boats sailed. Close to shore, striped bass fishing was okay on the troll off Island Beach State Park. A handful of the fish were picked farther north off Long Branch and Monmouth Beach. Mostly umbrella rigs with rubber shads were trolled. Sometimes the bass were taken on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait in those northern waters. Bluefishing was good on party boats both day and night, and they seemed to fish at Shark River Reef and the Mudhole. In the surf, a few striped bass were beached here and there. Southerly wind didn’t help surf angling in the past week. The bass were banked on jigs or bucktails with rubber baits, sometimes, usually at night, on lures like Daiwa SP Minnows. Most of the stripers were throwbacks, and sometimes one was a keeper. Stripers also bit in Manasquan River, and blackfishing was great in Point Pleasant Canal.
Point Pleasant Beach
Lots of single-, double- and triple-headers were swung-in on the sea bass trip today on the party boat Norma-K III, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Quite a few small had to be picked through to bag the bigger ones. But by the end of the trip, a good catch was put together, and a few porgies and triggerfish were in the mix. No report was posted Sunday, maybe because weather cancelled fishing. But the daily sea bass trips began on Saturday, opening day of sea bass season. The ocean held somewhat of a ground swell that day, and Matt thought the angling was going to be better. Some anglers caught okay, and some had difficulty. Throwback sea bass were picked through to bag bigger ones. A few triggerfish and blackfish were also boxed. Matt expected sea bass to become more aggressive as the swell calmed, and apparently they did on today’s trip. Weather forecasts look good for Tuesday’s trip. The Norma-K III is fishing for sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and for bluefish 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday.
Ocean temperatures dropped a bit, and small blues were around in the surf, and reports kept increasing about striped bass, shorts to keepers, banked from the surf, John from The Dock Outfitters wrote in a report on the shop’s website. Still, this year looked like one of those when the striper migration arrives later, like when you have to rush to eat Thanksgiving dinner, to get back to big stripers on the feed. When fishing for the elusive bass currently from shore, clams, swimming lures and thin metal were best choices. Patience, because stripers are coming. A few sizeable stripers were boated off the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park on the ocean on trolled Tony Maja’s bunker spoons. Got your rods and reels ready for fall? There’s still time to have them serviced or to simply add a new outfit to the arsenal. Get 25 percent off your choice of a spool of line, when the shop services your reel. Take advantage of 20 percent off selected rods for surf and boat fishing. 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.
Another good day of bluefishing, the party boat Miss Barnegat Light’s Facebook page said about Saturday aboard. A photo of the fish showed the blues were sizeable. On Sunday’s trip, bluefishing was “not the fast-paced action” that the angling gave up on the boat’s trips the past few weeks, it said. That seemed because of conditions. The ocean was sloppy, and a father and son were high hook, totaling 13 blues. Some anglers only landed a few, others one and some none. Tons of blues were marked on the trip. “(But) one minute you’d be fighting a fish, and the next it would get free, as the boat plunged downward,” it said. No real news rolled in about striped bass catches yet. So the boat will keep bluefishing. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.
Striped bass weather is moving in, Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle wrote in a report on the shop’s website. The colder weather should drop the water temperature in the next week. Surf fishing for stripers was a little slow, but blues and occasional kingfish should keep shore anglers busy. Back-bay fishing was fantastic for stripers. The fish were boated on livelined spots or eels. The annual Riptide Striper Derby is under way until December 23, awarding prizes, and allowing beach-buggy access to Brigantine’s entire length, when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit. Otherwise, not all the beach can be driven. The annual Riptide Striper Bounty was up to $765 and growing, when last reported here, on Thursday. Sponsored by Hess Plumbing, the bounty awards all the cash for the season’s first striped bass 43 inches or larger checked-in from Brigantine’s surf. Entry is $5 and required before catching the fish. The Brigantine Elks Fall Striper Classic will be held November 14 to 16. Proceeds from the tournament, for boaters and surf anglers, will benefit the Elks’ veterans programs.
The Stray Cat fished Friday and Saturday, and the anglers reeled up sea bass, weakfish croakers, triggerfish and blues, Capt. Mike said. They each left with coolers full of fish, and Saturday was opening day of sea bass season. Open-boat trips will target sea bass today, Tuesday and probably Friday. Space is available, including on Tuesday. Weather will keep the boat docked Wednesday. On Saturday, the anglers averaged five to 10 sea bass bagged apiece, and bagged a variety of the other fish. The trips fished in 80 feet, 20 miles from shore. The water was 67.5 degrees, and Mike expects the temp to drop like a stone from the colder weather since Sunday. Friday was breezy, but seas were light. Saturday was calm in the morning, and choppy on the way back to port. Not much of a swell developed from the offshore hurricane. Blackfish charters should be booked, if anglers want to fish on a Saturday. The best dates are filling, and only a couple of Saturdays remain in December. Blackfishing will begin aboard on November 16, when the bag limit is raised to six of the tautog, from the current limit of one.
On the party boat Miss Ocean City, sea bass fishing was decent, not great, but okay on Saturday, Capt. Victor said. That was opening day of sea bass season, and quite a few triggerfish and some porgies, blues and mackerel were also cranked in. Overall, the angling was great. The Miss Ocean City is fishing 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Sea Isle City
Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle will turn all attention to fishing from Sea Isle City now, he said. The trips are fishing for striped bass that are smacking popper lures and flies on the back bay. The migration of stripers and blues in the ocean off Sea Isle begins in early November during some years, and as early as now during others, usually peaking sometime between the weeks before and after Thanksgiving. Trips for that angling should be booked without delay, and usually last into December. Currently, stripers were also beached from the surf. Joe this weekend wrapped up annual traveling trips to Montauk, New York, to fish the migration of false albacore, stripers and blues. Those trips are usually charters, but Joe fished Montauk on a busman’s holiday on Saturday with his wife. They targeted albies, landing 16, including ten on fly rods, and six on spinning rods. Blues were mixed in, and more blues could’ve been beaten if targeted. Stripers could’ve also been nailed if targeted. The next traveling charters will be annual trips to the Florida Keys in winter. Fishing mostly on weekends, the trips can be like a mini, fish-filled vacation. A large variety of fish can be fished for, from speckled seat trout and redfish to tarpon and sailfish. See Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.
For Fins and Feathers Outfitters, the year’s first striped bass trip is slated to fish on November 10, Capt. Jim said. Trips in the fall usually fish for stripers on Delaware Bay aboard, but could also fish at the Cape May Rips or on the ocean, depending on where the bite’s best. Trips aboard will also duck and goose hunt on the bay in fall and winter, like every year. Anglers can even enjoy a combo of striper fishing and duck hunting over a series of days on the bay. Jim hunted deer in Maryland in past days, for the opening of the muzzle loader season there. Four does were bagged, and three bucks were seen but let go, because they weren’t as large as wanted. Canadian geese flocked all over Maryland’s eastern shore, starting Friday night, a good sign for Jim’s goose hunts. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures. That includes salmon and steelhead fishing on upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s lodge, and fly –fishing for trout on Pennsylvania’s trout streams like the Yellow Breeches.
***Update, Tuesday, 10/21:*** No trips fished in the wind, said Capt. Frank from Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters. But anglers telephoned who might want to fish for striped bass on Saturday. That trip would probably fish the Cape May Rips first, casting rubber swim baits or hard-plastic crank baits. If fresh bunker is available for bait, the trip might also fish the bunker chunks at the mouth of Delaware Bay for stripers. Sea bass fishing is sailing aboard, since sea bass season was opened on Saturday. Frank would like to sail for tuna still this season. Good water for tuna is at Poorman’s Canyon, and trips just need the weather to sail there. One charter was weathered out from swordfishing, and would still like to sail for swords, if weather breaks. Frank would like to shark fish still this season, before weather closes in.