Fishing was weathered out throughout the weekend with Outcast Charters, Capt. Joe said. But a trip aboard limited out on sea bass on Thursday, and ling and cod were mixed in. Fishing is available from either Staten Island, N.Y., or Sewaren, N.J., aboard. New Jersey’s sea bass season will essentially be closed starting in July. But New York’s sea bass season will be opened July 15 through the end of the year, with a bag limit of eight of the fish 13 inches or larger. Trips will still be able to fish for sea bass from New York this summer aboard. In New Jersey, two will become the sea bass limit for July, from the current limit of 15. New Jersey’s sea bass season will be closed from August until late October. Trips from Jersey will target fluke and other fish, beginning in July.
***Update, Tuesday, 6/30:*** Seas were somewhat rough, but a trip Saturday trolled striped bass with Angler Sportfishing Charters on spoons, Capt. Chuck said. Each of the four anglers made off with a keeper, and the fish gathered in deeper water, 30 feet and more. Bluefish were also trolled, and all the anglers kept some. The blues weren’t the largest gators, but were 12 pounds, not small. Plus, the trip stopped to fight and release sharks. The sharks were only dogfish, but some weighed 25 pounds, maybe more. Chuck takes advantage of the sharking, when anglers want. A trip that night for stripers cancelled, because of weather, when Chuck gave the option. But boats that sailed for the bass scored well on big ones, and Chuck is now highly recommending the night trips, for hardcore striper anglers. Livelined and chunked bunker is fished. Chuck will now begin combo trips during daytime for fluke, stripers and blues.
Fluke fishing probably could’ve sailed Sunday on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. But he opted to stay docked, because weather was somewhat uncertain. He’d rather lose a trip than take people out in conditions that might not allow him to give the best day possible. No trips fished Friday and Saturday, for the same reason. He’s a little weather conservative, but no sense “crying over spilled milk.” The last fluke trip scored great action, with a dozen keepers out of 70 of the fish landed. Not great, but each day can be different, and different bodies of fluke move in and out. Forecasts look like some great weather is coming. Not much wind is predicted then, so fluking should be good. The better the conditions, the better the fishing. One thing to remember, Frank never inflates reports, he said. “I don’t make catching nine keepers, with a big crowd, sound like a great day with big bags of fillets, and smiling faces,” he said. He reads that too often, and in time, inflated reports catch up with the person reporting. “Sorry for venting, but enough is enough,” he said. Bring Gulps and bucktails that are key to success on fluke trips. Bait is always carried aboard, but dogfish love bait. On Wednesday, four of the six anglers on a trip fished bait. They caught throwback fluke and way more dogfish than preferred. The other two anglers fished Gulps, and nearly limited out. On a trip Thursday, all the anglers fished Gulps, and three dogfish were hooked the entire outing. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will fluke Wednesday through Saturday, the Fourth of July. Many anglers have time off from work, because of the holiday. Spots should be reserved as soon as possible.
Capt. Joe from Papa’s Angels Charters poked out onto Raritan Bay on a non-fishing trip a moment on Saturday, but seas were rough, and wind howled, and he returned the trip back to port. Weather was rough for fishing this weekend, but open-boat trips for fluke are available twice daily throughout this coming week, when no charter is booked. Telephone to climb aboard.
Was a great week of fluke fishing on the Down Deep Bull, said Capt. Mario from Down Deep Sportfishing. That’s one of two boats the company runs, and the fish weighed up to 9 pounds, and high hooks belted seven or eight keepers apiece. Sea bass fishing aboard is booked through Tuesday, the final day of the 15 sea bass bag limit. Two will be the limit afterward, in July. Open-boat trips for fluke will be available on the Bull, starting Wednesday. Open trips for ling and cod will be available on the Down Deep, the company’s other boat, starting that day. Charters are available on both vessels. Join the Short Notice List on Down Deep Sportfishing’s website to be kept informed about special open trips. Also see the site’s open-trips page for available dates.
All the twice-daily fluke trips fished on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. That was despite some forecasts for rough weather, and the trips were fortunate to have sheltered Raritan Bay to fish, he guessed. He wouldn’t have wanted to have fished the ocean, in some of the weather. The boat sometimes drifted a little fast, but conditions were entirely fishable. The fluking was about the same as before, and mostly throwbacks bit, and a few keepers were bagged. Sometimes a keeper was good-sized, up to an 8½-pounder. Two fluke caught weighed more than 6 pounds, and one weighed 5, on Saturday. Sometimes an angler would land 15 or 20 fluke, maybe including a keeper or more, maybe not. All anglers caught at least throwbacks, usually. When conditions were right, action was best. 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.
On the party boat Fishermen, fluke fishing slugged away throughout Friday’s trip, with a lull around the change of tide, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. Nobody limited out, and the high hook pasted three keepers, and a 4-pound fluke was the pool-winner. A charter fished aboard Saturday for the fourteenth year in a row, slugging away at fluke all morning, including throwbacks and a bunch of keepers. A 7-1/4-pound fluke was the pool-winner, and rain and wind that was forecast never happened. Weather was good, until the final hour of the trip. No report was posted for Sunday, and conditions were finally good for the boat’s drift on today’s trip, though “the keepers didn’t know it,” Ron said. The anglers slugged away at throwbacks and some good-sized keepers. The trip tried fishing the ocean at three areas, but that was a bust. Capt. Ron Sr. boated four keepers, and another angler took three. Some big are being caught here and there, and the boat will certainly get its shot at them. Patience, Ron said. To call this good fluking was nonsense. “The fishing is good or great every day,” he said. “The catching and keeping … well …,” he said. The Fishermen is sailing for fluke 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Trips are fishing for stripers 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.
Sea bass fishing was great aboard, an email from Fin-Taz-Tic Sport Fishing said. But sea bass season is essentially closing, because two will become the bag limit for July, from the current limit of 15. The year’s first trip sailed that strictly targeted fluke, and the fish to 6 pounds were reeled up. A limit for the anglers was totaled, when fluke the crew caught were included. The fishing was a steady pick, including throwbacks. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing, and space is available through the weekend.
With Last Lady Fishing Charters, sea bass fishing was super, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Too bad the season will be closed starting Wednesday, he said. Two will become the bag limit, starting that day, the first of July, through July, from the current limit of 15. That’s essentially a closure. After July, sea bass season will be entirely closed, until reopening on October 22 through the end of the year. Individual-reservation trips will fish for ling, sea bass and cod on July 12 and for cod on July 22. Individual-reservation trips will fish for fluke every Tuesday starting July 14, and kids under 12 sail free on those outings, limited to two per adult host.
Blues 6 to 14 pounds were beaten today on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the vessel said. Two to seven kept being hooked at once, and the catch ended up decent. Fishing was tough on Saturday, and the trip returned early. The boat was kept in port from Saturday night through Sunday, because of weather. 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 Saturday. Family Fun Days are sailing 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday and Sunday for fluke, sea bass, blues or whatever bites. The trips enjoy a sunset cruise on the way home.
Fishing picked at blues to 12 pounds today on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. One to five were hooked at once throughout the trip, and the anglers ended up with a decent catch. Before today, that was some weekend of weather, the report said. The Golden Eagle is fishing at 7:30 a.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. Fishing and sunset cruises are sailing at 4:30 p.m. daily, and reservations are required for those outings.
***Update, Tuesday, 6/30:*** Shark River’s fluking was good, when anglers had the weather to fish, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Keepers could be hooked, when anglers had some knowledge about the river and how to fish jigs with Gulps. Killies also caught well on the river, and ocean fluking was good. Keepers hugged the ocean’s rocky bottom, and Gulps also caught well there. Six-inch Gulp grubs in Nuclear Chicken and 5-inch Gulp Swimming Mullets in Glow worked. Striped bass fishing was slow, and stripers were sometimes boated on the ocean off Monmouth Beach on trolled bunker spoons and livelined bunker. Sometimes stripers were beached from the surf in low light on clams or plugs, but surf fishing was slow. Bluefish piled into Shark River and Manasquan inlets at times. Fish hard – good luck, he said. ***Update, Wednesday, 7/1:*** Daemon Ryhein from Levittown brought in a 7-pound 14-ounce fluke from Shark River, and also bagged another fluke, Bob wrote in an email. Get out and get the big one, Bob said.
Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters did fish Wednesday or Thursday, before weather closed in throughout the weekend, Capt. Pete said. Sea bass fishing, on the ocean, was good, and fluke were also taken on the trip. Fluking is picking up on the ocean, and Parker Pete’s will fish for sea bass a couple of more days, while 15 is the bag limit. Then trips will concentrate on fluke, once the sea bass limit is dropped to two for July. Charters are fishing, and individual spaces are available for fluking this Saturday and Sunday. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway, about individual spaces available on charters. Jump on Parker Pete’s website to subscribe to the email blast to be kept informed about the spaces. Look for the place to sign up on the right side of the page, where it says Join Our Newsletter. Fluke trips will include On the Water Seminars, like last year, that teach bucktailing for the big ones. Novices can learn bucktailing, and somewhat experienced bucktailers can hone the skill, in a non-threatening environment. Two of the trips are full on July 7 and 13, so two were added on July 22 and 28, with space available.
Mako Mania, the shark tournament, was rescheduled, because of weather, that the Katie H was supposed to compete in this weekend, Capt. Mike said. He expects the boat to compete on the new dates, July 10 to 12. Sea bass fishing was awesome on a trip aboard the ocean Thursday. Once the sea bass bag limit is dropped to two for July, trips will still be able to bag some of them, but will also fluke fish on the ocean. Mike expects to begin tuna fishing after Mako Mania. Bluefin tuna began to be caught mid-shore that were heard about. The angling didn’t sound hot and heavy, but caught. He’ll see how the angling is himself, when the boat sets out for the fish. Farther from shore, yellowfin tuna were reported caught at the southern canyons. None of the boats from the docks sailed for them. The Katie H will do lots of canyon tuna fishing this summer, too.
***Update, Wednesday, 7/1:*** Picking and scratching good-sized fluke, big sea bass and some ling, in tough conditions on some days, so far this week, Capt. Ryan from the party boat Jamaica II wrote in an email. Wind blew too hard, and current ran too strongly, sometimes. But the fishing was good, when the boat drifted right. Frank Pogue limited out on 3- to 6-pound fluke on Monday’s full-day trip. Bruce Casagrande from Trenton won the monthly pool for June with a 7.2-pound fluke, so was given one year of free fishing aboard. Half-day trips are fishing twice daily at 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and a full-day trip is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every Monday.
When boaters could sail between weather, fluke fishing began to pick up on the ocean, said Dave from The Reel Seat. The fish were decked at Axel Carlson Reef, Sea Girt Reef and inshore of Shrewsbury Rocks. Fluking was pretty good in Manasquan and Shark rivers. Striped bass weren’t boated locally on the ocean anymore this season, really, but were found farther north, like between the channels off Sandy Hook, and in Raritan Bay. Surely smaller stripers were played on Manasquan River at night, but not a lot of anglers seemed to fish for them. Sea bass fishing was okay on the ocean, but the bag limit will be dropped to two in July, from the current limit of 15. Sea bass season will be closed from August until reopening in late October. Ling fishing was alright on some days and not on others. A few cod were mixed in, and some trips that targeted cod did catch the fish. Shark fishing was pretty good at most usual places like the Fingers, Glory Hole and Chicken Canyon. Sharks that customers nailed included a 313-pound mako and a 200-pounder. Bluefin tuna, from throwbacks to 50-pounders, were around at those same places, the Fingers, Glory Hole and Chicken Canyon, and all were trolled. Fishing for tuna at the canyons farther from shore often wasn’t possible in weather recently. But a customer’s trip landed 16 yellowfin tuna, not big, maybe from barely keepers to 35 pounds, just north of Toms Canyon. Lots of mahi mahi and some white marlin were also trolled at the canyons. The shop is gearing up for offshore season. Tackle includes lots of new lures, several new spreader bars and some new dredges for the fishing.
Point Pleasant Beach
Mushin Sportfishing’s bigger boat, a 44-footer, was docked in the last days, along with most other boats, because of weather, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The boat was also docked because shark tournaments were cancelled, because of weather, that the boat was supposed to compete in this weekend. The Mini-Mushin, a 13-footer, kept busy fishing Manasquan River for fluke, blues and striped bass. A couple of the boat’s mates crushed the blues on poppers. Alan on one night jigged the stripers, almost keeper-sized, on Fin-S Fish-type lures on a dropping tide. The 44-footer last fished on Wednesday, on a day-trolling trip to an offshore canyon that missed a couple of bites upon arrival, and went 2 for 4 on yellowfin tuna at the end of the day. A nearby canyon gave up good fishing for bigeye tuna the next morning, on Thursday, before weather shut down trips. One or two spaces are available for one or two of several trips slated to fish offshore in the coming week, and telephone Alan for details: 609-731-3742. Open-boat trips will also fish offshore in July, and charters are available.
Some good fluke fishing was clubbed last week through Friday on the ocean on the party boat Gambler, Capt. Bob said. Bigger fluke to 5 and 6 pounds were sometimes tackled on most days. But the nor’easter on Saturday made catching anything difficult. The wind calmed on Sunday, though seas were riled up. Some fish were caught aboard that day, but the angling wasn’t that good. However, the fishing seemed to begin bouncing back on this morning’s trip. Some keeper and throwback fluke were hooked, and a decent number of sea bass were. On Thursday night’s wreck-fishing trip, anglers drilled a slow, steady pick of big, “baseball-bat” ling. Bluefishing was poor on Friday night’s trip, so the trip switched to bottom-fishing. At least there was something to fall back on. Bluefish trips had been fishing every Friday and Saturday nights, but now will only sail on Saturday nights. The ling trips will now fish every Thursday and Friday nights. On the bluefish trips, if blues aren’t found within the first hour or so, the fishing will switch to other angling. The trips will be ready for anything. The Gambler is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily. Trips are fishing for ling 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 .m. every Thursday and Friday and for blues every Saturday during those hours.
Good fluking the past few days! Capt. Matt from the Norma-K III wrote Saturday in a report on the party boat’s website. That was the most recent posted, and pool-winning fluke ranged 5 to 8 pounds. The fishing was slow on Saturday morning’s trip, because the boat drifted fast. But fluke are around, no doubt, he said. On nighttime trips, bluefishing remained tough. “The water offshore has been really nasty looking,” he said, but he hoped the weekend’s northeast wind would clean up the ocean, drawing bluefish in. The trips picked at ling and cod at rocks, and are always on the hunt for blues. But if the fish aren’t there, the crew wants the anglers to catching something. The Norma-K III is fishing for fluke 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2 to 6:30 p.m. daily and for blues 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily.
Fluke and sea bass were bagged on most trips from Wednesday through Saturday aboard, a report said on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light’s website. But the angling was on the slow side, and Sunday’s trip was cancelled, because of weather forecasts. The Miss Barnegat Light is fishing for fluke and sea bass 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.
The June Bug was motored to the ocean for half a day Thursday, Capt. Lindsay said. A trip Friday was weathered out, and these were the season’s first trips slated to fish from Beach Haven. The boat arrives at the New Jersey port to start fishing every June through fall, after spending winter in North Carolina. Throwback fluke and sea bass were caught and released, and this was a shakedown cruise. Part of the purpose was to test the latest surround-view sonar installed on the vessel. So the fluke and sea bass were in, and fishing just needed to find the holes that held the keepers. Weather and seas were fantastic that day, though drifting conditions were unusual. The boat drifted in shapes including circles, ovals and even a W or two U’s. Lindsay is trying to put together an offshore trip for tuna on Saturday that will begin that angling aboard from Beach Haven. If an angler is interested in going and wants to telephone, Lindsay will talk.
The surf held kingfish and brown sharks as of Friday, a report on Riptide Bait & Tackle’s website said. Browns must be released, and summer flounder fishing was good on the back bay Friday. The ends of the tops of tides and first two hours of outgoing fished best for them recently. Spearing and 4-inch, chartreuse Gulp Swimming Mullets were best baits for the flatfish. All Gulps caught great, but those mullets seemed most popular. Saturday was a washout in weather, and sun came out on Sunday, but forecasts looked like wind would last some time.
The Stray Cat fished Saturday in the blow on the back bay, Capt. Mike said. Summer flounder and a bunch of sand sharks were angled, plenty of action. The final open-boat trips for sea bass will sail today and Tuesday, before two becomes the bag limit for sea bass for July, from the current limit of fifteen. Open trips on Thursday through Sunday will troll the ocean for bonito, mahi mahi, cobia or whatever fish bites like that. Trips will also flounder fish on the ocean, once the sea bass limit is decreased. Starting July 10, only charters will fish, and no open trips will be available. Many tuna charters are booked, and a $500 discount is currently available on tuna charters. Stray Cat is also fishing for sharks like makos. Closer to shore, lots of brown sharks, required to be released, are swimming, and trips are also available for them.
No trips were able to fish for sea bass on the ocean in the weekend’s weather, said Capt. Victor from the party boats Miss Ocean City and Captain Robbins. Fishing ended up playing throwback summer flounder on the back bay. Trips are expected to fish the ocean for flounder, sea bass and ling on half-day trips Wednesday and Thursday and a full-day trip, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Full-day trips will fish the ocean every Saturday afterward. Half-day trips are expected to fish the bay daily throughout the coming week, except on Saturday.
Sea Isle City
Back-bay summer flounder fishing improved, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service. No trips fished aboard during the weekend, because of weather. But a trip with a group aboard Friday totaled 10 keeper flounder among 50 flounder landed on the bay. Highlights included two and three anglers hooked up at once sometimes, two flounder hooked on one rig once, and one angler who landed a keeper, and landed another on the next cast, within a minute. Water quality was fantastic, clear, healthy looking. Forecasts had called for rough weather that day, but the weather wasn’t. Joe also began fishing the ocean for flounder and other catches, and that angling was improving. Two trips did that on Thursday. The first, on that morning, fished both the bay and the ocean, and no keepers were landed, but flounder, sea bass and out-of-season blackfish were reeled in. A trip that afternoon boated flounder to 4 pounds on the ocean. Trips will keep flounder fishing, and high tides in evenings are ideal for popper fishing for striped bass on the bay in the next days. That angling’s been good aboard, on Skitter Pop lures and crease flies that Joe ties with a bigger cup to throw more water. The fish smash the hooks along the surface, visual and exciting, and that’s a specialty on the boat this time of year. Inshore shark fishing, usually within 10 miles from shore, is also good on the boat, another trip that sails with Jersey Cape this season. Sharks like browns and duskies, required to be let go, are released on bait or flies. The trips are an opportunity to fight big fish without the long trek offshore. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.
Summer flounder fishing really picked up in the back bay, along the Intracoastal Waterway, said Capt. Jim from Fins and Feathers Outfitters. The fishing aboard landed more keepers than before, and flounder fishing reportedly improved on the ocean, at reefs, too, and Jim plans to try that angling this week. He was on the ocean before seas turned rough starting Thursday in wind, and the ocean before the weather was blue and clear, looking tropical. His season’s first trip that will troll for fish like mahi mahi, wahoos and maybe even bluefin tuna is set for July 11, and the ocean seemed set to begin producing fish like that. Speaking of flounder again: Delaware Bay’s flounder fishing should be improving by now at places like Flounder Alley and toward Miah Maul, Jim would think, and he also runs those trips. The boat is trailered to wherever’s nearest the fishing for that, and otherwise sails from the slip at Avalon. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including duck and goose hunting, during the waterfowl seasons.
Thirty-four sharks were landed in six trips, in the week before weather canceled fishing aboard this weekend, said Capt. Jim from Fins & Grins Sport Fishing. The fish included sand tiger and brown sharks on Delaware Bay and mako sharks on the ocean. Fishing was good at both places, and the bay sharking was like big-game fishing close to the coast, and those trips are half the price of ocean sharking. Some of the bay’s sharks landed weighed 200 to 400 pounds, and sand tigers and browns are required to be released. Fins tagged them for NOAA and released them. The boat fishes for all species available. Summer flounder fishing was fair at ocean reefs, was beginning, apparently. Bluefish showed up at the ocean shoals. Crabbing was excellent on the back bay, and trips for that are also available. If croakers are in during the crabbing, customers can fish for them on the crabbing trips, too. Croakers gathered around surf jetties currently. Fins fishes every day, and reservations aren’t required but suggested. Telephone for availability.
They’re here. Bluefin and yellowfin tuna arrived at the inshore lumps, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter. Anglers wait for this fishing, because the angling’s nearer to the coast than tuna fishing usually is. George couldn’t know how long the fish would stay, but they were here now. Bluefins 50 to 150 pounds and “some nice yellowfins,” he said, were caught. Mahi mahi were also boated in the waters. The fishing is 40 miles or farther from Cape May, at places like 19-Fathom Lump, 40 miles from the port, Massey’s Canyon, 40 or 42 miles from there, or the Hot Dog, 60 miles from the town. The fish currently swam in 20 to 30 fathoms. No trips fished aboard this weekend, because of weather. Closer to shore, summer flounder were decked from the ocean. Many were hooked that were just under the 18-inch size limit. A trip would land five or six keepers, or two, or maybe a dozen, among a bunch of throwbacks like that. Flounder fishing on the ocean, where the Heavy Hitter usually fishes for them, usually doesn’t become best until mid-July or so, when the water has warmed. The water was warming, though. Warm-water fish like triggerfish began to bite. Small bluefish hit at 5-Fathom Bank, where trips aboard troll for them. Telephone if interested in any of this fishing.