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Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Thursday, October 30.

| Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Brielle | Point Pleasant Beach | Toms River | Seaside Heights | Forked River | Barnegat Light | Barnegat | Surf City | Mystic Island | Brigantine | Atlantic City | Ocean City | Sea Isle City | Cape May | Last Monday's Report |
Striped bass were finally socked from Raritan Bay, both from shore and boats, said Joey from Joey’s Bait Shack. Eight of the fish were weighed-in, and a 19-1/2-pounder was largest, and was boated at Reach Channel on the bay on a bunker head. One customer boated and released a 25-pounder on the bay, according to the customer. From shore, many of the bass were throwbacks, but bigger ones were showing up more often than before. They were moving in, Joey said. Bunker, clams and, at night, eels were fished for stripers. Baits stocked include fresh bunker, fresh clams and live eels.

The Vitamin Sea sailed for striped bass on Tuesday, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. Action was good, though most of the fish were throwbacks. “We did find some good livelining under the bunker schools,” he said. Stripers chased bunker in both the ocean and Raritan Bay. Trips are full this Saturday and Sunday, but space is available Friday on an open-boat trip for stripers. Weather doesn’t look good for the weekend anyway, and Friday might be the only opportunity. More open trips are planned, and telephone for the schedule. Open blackfishing will begin on November 16, when the bag limit will be lifted to six of the tautog, from the current limit of one. Like the Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page. Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”

Striped bass fishing started to become good, said Capt. Mario from the
Down Deep. The fish were hooked all different ways, including on livelined and chunked bunker, eels and jigs. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips for stripers are eeling and bunker-chunking at 5 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Sea bass fishing was good like before. Sea bass weighed up to 3 ½ pounds, and porgies up to 4, aboard. Blackfish also hit, and many had to be released, because of the one-blackfish bag limit. Mario can’t wait for the bag limit to be raised to six, starting November 16. Sign up for the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips for stripers, sea bass and blackfish.

Papa’s Angels Charters is supposed to fish for striped bass this weekend, but wind might cancel that, Capt. Joe said. The trips are carrying bunker to chunk and eels to liveline for bait. Diamond jigs are also kept ready, in case stripers that can be jigged appear under birds. This cold front might be good for striper fishing. Open-boat trips are sailing for stripers daily, when no charter is booked, and telephone to jump aboard.

Atlantic Highlands
Striped bass bit, said Jimmy from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. That was in the bay and ocean, on chunked or livelined bunker, clams, eels and sometimes jigs. Stripers also bit in the surf, “as long as it’s blowing,” he said. That didn’t mean only when weather was rough. The fish chewed as long as weather wasn’t too calm, hitting at night on plugs. Bottom-fishing was great for porgies and sea bass, “and everybody gets their (limit of one) blackfish,” he said. Not many bluefish were heard about locally, and blues were boated farther south.

On the party boat Atlantic Star, bottom-fishing was good again today, Capt. Tom said. Forecasts look like the angling will be weathered out Saturday and Sunday, so jump aboard Friday to take advantage of the good catches, he said. The angling was also good on Tuesday and Wednesday. On today’s trip, loads of porgies, terrific-sized, were plundered. But a few sea bass were hung, too. On the previous two days’ trips, fishing for large porgies was also good, and some spots gave up sea bass, and a few blackfish, not a lot, were bagged. Trips tried to get some sea bass for everybody aboard, after they bucketed a healthy catch of porgies. It was just good fishing, and that was the best way to describe, Tom said. The Atlantic Star is fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Things are finally starting to shape up, Capt. Ron from the Fishermen wrote about striped bass fishing in a report on the vessel’s website. On daytime trips, some better-sized were landed on bunker and eels, and smaller bass that swiped jigs gave up just a showing. “Couple of areas are now starting to produce,” he said, and water was 58 to 60 degrees, but should cool, because of the weekend’s cold front. Loads of bait schooled up and down the coast, “and out to the east,” he said. Nighttime trips slugged away at stripers, good angling, when conditions were right. A couple of the fish weighed 20 to 24 pounds last week. A couple of anglers limited out, and lots of shorts gave up action. The Fishermen is fishing for striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. every Monday through Saturday.

From Twin Lights Marina, Greg Hanna on the Annie H limited out on striped bass to 20 pounds while trolling and livelining off Sandy Hook Point, Marion wrote in an email. Ed and Tony on the Hammerhead bagged a striper at Sandy Hook Channel on an eel. 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.

Stripers are biting, Capt. Ralph from Last Lady Fishing Charters wrote in an email. The boat’s engines are being rebuilt, and he expects to start fishing again in two Fridays, November 7. The vessel will cruise 5 knots fasters, “with no smoke,” he said. Limited dates remain for charters and individual-reservation trips in the next month, and book now for prime dates. Individual-reservation trips will fish for stripers November 9 and 11 and for blackfish November 16, 20, 23 and 30. The blackfish bag limit will be hiked to six starting November 16, from the current limit of one. Last Lady will fish into winter, as long as fish remain.

Lots of sea bass and lots of big porgies were plowed, and fishing was good, on the party boat Big Mohawk, Capt. Chris said. Winter flounder and ling were mixed in. He was pleased, and the Big Mohawk is fishing 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Big bluefish were picked from the ocean Wednesday on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. The trip spent lots of time trying to get stripers to bite. “Saw plenty of readings on bunkers all over the place,” it said. Only a couple of the bass were hooked aboard, but today’s trip will try for stripers again. On Tuesday’s trip, striper fishing was decent. The bass 15 to 35 pounds were clocked on hammered jigs and Krocodiles, sometimes in shots of four or five at once. At other times, “the fishing was a little boring,” the report said. The anglers had to work for stripers, but some were caught. On Monday’s trip, striper fishing was excellent, and almost all anglers limited out on two, and bagged another with a bonus tag. Several anglers limited out on the first drift, and caught and released more stripers afterward. The fish weighed 15 to 35 pounds and bit jigs, Krocs and popper lures. Plenty of big blues were also tackled. The stripers on this trip were the first of the season aboard, and this was an excellent start. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

The fishing wasn’t as good as on the previous day, but striped bass to 27 pounds were decked on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess on Tuesday, an email from the vessel said. That was the most recent email at press time, and plenty of stripers swam in many places, so don’t wait to get them, it said. On the previous day, Monday, the trip wrecked stripers, lots, to 30 pounds. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

On the ocean, striped bass fishing was decent, said Capt. Pete from
Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Big ones were around, and the bass to 38 pounds were clubbed with Parker Pete’s this week, and trips aboard have been livelining bunker for bait. The fishing was good on bunker at first light. Fishing aboard picked at stripers the rest of the day, and the angling usually lit up again in afternoons. Dog sharks started to be a nuisance sometimes, but the striper fishing was generally decent. 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, Friday, 10/31:*** What a week of bottom-fishing on the party boat Jamaica II, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Limits of sea bass and porgies were common, and the fishing was only slower on Tuesday. On the trips, sea bass ranged from throwbacks to 5 ½ pounds, and porgies averaged 1 ½ pounds to 3 ½, huge. Ten- to 12-pound cod won most pools. A few of the anglers with limits were Bob Plasket, Omar Richardson, Wesley Shourt, Huang Seng, Robert Duff, Edgar Vitola, Ralph Molinari, Eric Slonaker and Wayne Nelson. Trips will probably be weathered out this weekend. The Jamaica is fishing on 7-, 10- and 12-hour, open-boat trips for sea bass and porgies. Fourteen-hour trips, reservations required, are fishing for sea bass, porgies and cod every Saturday. Saturday, November 8, is sold out.

Point Pleasant Beach
A quick, half-day trip snagged bunker to liveline for bait to hungry striped bass to 28 pounds on the ocean this morning with Mushin Sportfishing, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. The fish were found in two distinct areas miles apart, “so this is a great sign for the fall run,” he said. Mushin means a relaxed state of readiness. The crew pride themselves on sharing the concept on outdoor adventures.

At every place stopped at on the ocean Wednesday on the party boat Norma-K III, sea bass gave up good life, Capt. Matt wrote in an email. A few porgies also chomped, and anglers did have to pick through throwbacks and dog sharks, but the fishing was decent. Was a beautiful day on the water. The past days were warm aboard, and Tuesday’s trip picked away at sea bass and porgies. Current ran strongly, tough to fish, and 12 ounces of weight needed to be used to reach bottom, to get in the game. Some anglers scored okay, and some had tough fishing. On Monday, the fishing improved a lot, compared with the weekend. Quite a few sea bass and porgies, both big, and a few winter flounder were swung in. The Norma-K III is fishing for sea bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Toms River
Small bluefish and a few keeper striped bass were slid from the local surf, said Mario from Murphy’s Hook House. A 15-pound striper was weighed-in from the surf. Another angler weighed-in a 26-1/4-pound striper boated on the ocean a little to the north on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. Barnegat Bay held lots of throwback striped bass and plenty of blues behind Island Beach State Park and off Cedar Creek. Small swimming plugs, like X-Raps in Glass Ghost color, and small poppers, like Smack-It Junior lures, caught them. Mario had more fun with the fish in the bay than catches in the surf currently. A large body of sizeable, migrating stripers is swimming the ocean to the north, and anglers hope they push south to local waters. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, bought Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River this year, and is running both shops now.

Seaside Heights
Bunker, a lot, schooled just beyond casting range from the surf this morning, with striped bass on them, in the Ortley Beach area, said Kevin from
The Dock Outfitters. A striped bass was beached from the surf here and there lately, but fishing for them was spotty. The migration remained north, like toward Long Branch and Sandy Hook. But good-sized blues 6 and 8 pounds were fought from the local surf sometimes, on nearly anything, like metal, popper lures and more. A buddy tied into them on a Daiwa SP Minnow lure while trying for stripers. Lots of skates filled the surf. 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.

Forked River
One customer eeled a keeper striped bass along the sod banks on Barnegat Bay at night, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. More customers than before bought eels but also umbrella rigs, for trolling stripers on the ocean, this week. The migration of stripers reportedly started to arrive in the ocean to the north. Eels are stocked, and no fresh clams will be this weekend, because of rough weather. Shad and tube umbrella rigs, bunker spoons, weighted hooks for snagging bunker to liveline, and all the supplies for the striper run are stocked.

Barnegat Light
Many striped bass were docked today at Bobbie’s Boat Rentals, Vince Sr. said. The fish were boated on the ocean and in Barnegat Inlet, mostly on livelined spot. Sea bass fishing was excellent on the ocean. More keeper blackfish were seen at the shop than in a long time. They were bombed at ocean wrecks and along the inlet’s rocks. Bluefish were around, and showed up at the confluence of Oyster Creek and Double Creek channels on Barnegat Bay. Bobbie’s features a complete bait and tackle shop, a fuel dock and, in season, boat and kayak rentals. The boats are used for fishing, crabbing, clamming and pleasure. The store is known for bait supply, including live baits. Baits stocked include live spots, plenty, and green crabs, and fresh clams and bunker.

From an edited email from Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the Hi Flier: “It’s on … This is the ‘tip on a horse’ kind of fishing we’ve all been waiting for. The near-shore striper fishing is all lit up right now. Snagging bunker, jigging and trolling. All sizes of the fish. Early and late hours of the day. Anywhere from Deal to Ortley Beach. Five- to 10-knot, northeast wind forecasted for Friday, so this is a‘hurry up,’ last-minute open-boat. Leaving the dock at 12 noon, and fishing until 6 p.m. Might be possible to leave at 11 a.m., so please be flexible. Currently sailing out of Manasquan Inlet, so we could make the left or the right. Three people max. All fish are shared. Better to call, as I won’t be online much. Also sailing open 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday. Same info as above. Looks like after a hard NE, and then N, on Saturday and Sunday, Monday is supposed to be heavy NW. That usually lays the ocean out, flatter and flatter, as the day goes on. See you onboard!”

Surf City
Surf fishing for striped bass started to pick up, said Sue from Surf City
Bait & Tackle
. The water temperature dropped to 60 degrees, and a 39-pound 9-ounce striper from the surf was entered today in the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic at another shop. No stripers were entered during the first two weeks of the tournament that began on October 6 and runs until November 30. The shop holds a customer appreciation barbecue on the final day of the tournament each year. Stripers must be 34 inches long to enter, and 11 stripers were entered since October 21, nine days ago. So the fishing was picking up, mostly along the island’s north end. Five of the 11 stripers were entered at Surf City Bait & Tackle. A good-sized striper was boated in Barnegat Inlet. Bluefish were dragged from the surf. Kingfish were today. Skates and dog sharks bit in the surf. The store’s striper tournament, for surf anglers, is under way until December 31. Entry is $10, and all entry fees will be paid out for first, second and third prizes. First gets 50 percent, and second gets 30 and third gets 20. New this year will be a Tsunami Air Wave surf-rod, from Folsom Corporation, awarded for fourth place. Stripers must be 28 inches or larger, the legal size, to be entered. Like Surf City Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page.

Mystic Island
The season’s first migrating striped bass began to be caught on the ocean near Shark River, farther north, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. But occasional larger stripers like that were also clobbered locally. A 25-pounder was clammed in Mullica River. A fish that size obviously came from the fall migration, and was silvery, because it came from the ocean. Waters locally were 60 degrees, a little warm for stripers. Stripers were sometimes bagged in Absecon Bay and Absecon Inlet. Six stripers were entered in a local tournament during the weekend. Catches of white perch were heard about from the Mullica. Blackfishing was good along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks. Tuna fishing went well on party boats at Hudson Canyon. Lots of longfin tuna and some yellowfin tuna were boxed. Baits stocked include fresh, shucked clams, eels, green crabs and bloodworms. Fresh bunker might be stocked. The shop started to be readied for the Black Friday sale during Thanksgiving weekend. Customers who purchase more than $100 will be entered in a raffle for a Penn Battalion and Battle rod and reel combo that weekend.

Boating for striped bass lit up on Saturday, said Capt. Andy from
Riptide Bait & Tackle. Two 40-1/2-pounders were weighed-in from
two different boat trips that day, covered in the last report. One was trolled on the ocean on a parachute jig, and the other was eeled on the back bay. The bay trip also eeled a 29-incher. The two bay bass were Bud Mondau’s first-ever stripers, subdued on Joe Rogers’ boat the Sea Hunt. Another trip eeled three stripers to 15 pounds on the bay. Livelined eels seemed to catch the bay’s stripers better than livelined spots did, but some were whacked on spots. One angler waxed a 32-incher and a 34-incher on spots. A 44- or 45-pound striper was known about from Absecon Inlet. Surf fishing was dead until Wednesday. A 44-pound 50-inch striper, weighed at another shop, was beached from the surf that day on Brigantine’s north end. That was sacked on bunker, Andy believed. Kingfish were picked off in the surf now and then, but kingfishing was slow. Fresh bunker and clams and live eels and spots are stocked. Live green crabs will arrive Friday. The annual Riptide Striper Bounty was up to $970. Sponsored by Hess Plumbing, the bounty awards the total entry fees to the angler who enters the season’s first striped bass 43 inches or larger from Brigantine’s surf. Entry is $5 and required before catching the fish. 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 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.

Atlantic City
Keeper blackfish, lots, were pulled from Absecon Inlet today, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. The tautog were good-sized lately, along the jetties that line the inlet, located near the shop. Customers fish there on foot, and a 44.9-pound 50-inch striped bass was weighed-in from the surf, and was landed on fresh bunker. A 20-pound 35-inch striper was heaved from the surf. Other stripers were bagged from the surf and inlet, and the inlet’s channel was lit up with fish now. Things were popping, he said. Green crabs are $4 per dozen or three dozen for $10, and eels are $1.25 apiece. Baits stocked, a large supply, also include fresh bunker and clams. Friend One Stop on Facebook.

Ocean City
A small crowd fished Wednesday on the party boat Miss Ocean City on the ocean, and all the anglers limited out on sea bass, Capt. Victor said. The sea bass measured up to 18 inches, and bluefish were also caught, a good day, he said. Open-boat trips are fishing every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount.

A few throwback striped bass, a few almost keepers, were managed along the surf jetties on soft-plastic and top-water lures, said Justin from Fin-Atics. Small blues popped into the surf sometimes, and were mostly taken on bunker, and a couple of customers banked the blues, mostly 10 inches, this week. A few blackfish bit along the jetties, but not many fish were eased from the surf. Stripers that migrated south reportedly arrived in the ocean farther north in the state. But the back bay locally turned out quite a few decent-sized stripers. They were close to keeper-sized or keepers, mostly beaten at night. But they were also angled during daytime. Soft-plastic lures, bunker and clams caught them. Eels worked on the bass, both during daytime and nighttime, though sometimes eels work best at night. Blackfish, lots, gathered along the Longport Pier and the 9th Street Bridge. Coming up with a keeper was hit and miss, and the tautog mostly bit during higher water or the last of incoming tides and the first of outgoing. Nothing was heard about sea bass from the ocean, and boaters seemed hardly to attempt to sail the ocean, because of wind in past weeks.

Sea Isle City
Pretty good striped bass fishing was smoked, mostly from the back bay, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Most there were probably popper-plugged, and high tides and slack high fished best with the top-waters. But the fish were also popper-plugged throughout incoming and outgoing tides. Some of the bigger stripers, though, were smashed on livelined eels or spots in the bay’s deeper holes, mostly in evening, and even in the dark. Stripers started to be found along bridges at night on soft-plastic lures. No stripers were heard about from the ocean yet, but when boaters looked for them, they located 1- to 3-pound blues. Small blues schooled Townsend’s Inlet, and were mostly hooked on mullet. Sea bass were boated on the inshore ocean. But the better-sized sea bass, and the numbers of keepers, seemed to come from 15 miles from shore and beyond. Blackfishing was excellent, both for shore anglers, like on the Avalon side of Townsend’s Inlet, and the ocean, like at
the wrecks 5 miles out. Some good-sized were snatched up. The shop’s
***South Jersey Striper Slam*** will be held November 7 to 9. The tournament will be open to boaters and anglers on foot who fish from Great Egg Harbor Inlet to Cape May Inlet, from the back bay to the ocean. Winners will win all the cash from the entry fee, and Calcuttas will be included. An awards ceremony will be hosted at Shoobies Restaurant, with sandwiches, sides and soda.

Popper fishing for striped bass has been good on the back bay, said
Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service, affiliated with Sea Isle
Bait & Tackle
. The fishing, with lures and flies, is a specialty aboard. This cold front blowing through should make the ocean’s striper fishing begin locally. Joe recently wrapped up annual traveling charters to Montauk that fished the migration of false albacore, stripers and blues, to turn all attention to the run of stripers and blues on the ocean off Sea Isle. He said then that the angling usually begins off Sea Isle by the beginning of November. Those trips, fishing in November and December, should be booked now. Everybody telephones for the fishing when the stripers arrive. Is also a good idea to book traveling charters to the Florida Keys, fishing from Christmas to Easter. See Jersey Cape’s traveling charters Web page. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.

Cape May
The season’s first striped bass fishing will be weathered out this weekend on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. Wind will keep boats from sailing on both Saturday and Sunday, and most charter boats from Cape May had seemed to plan to begin striper fishing this weekend. But striper trips will now begin on the Heavy Hitter, and telephone if interested. Sea bass trips are also available, and blackfishing aboard will begin on November 16, when the bag limit is raised to six of the tautog, from the current limit of one.

Fishing was already cancelled, because of weather forecasts, this weekend with Melanie Anne Sport Fishing Charters, Capt. Frank said. The boat was going to begin striper fishing for the season during the weekend, and a 40-pounder was heard about that was caught on Delaware Bay at 60-Foot Slough. A 40-incher from the bay was also reported. No fish, not even blues, swam Cape May Rips. Dead, he said. Water was 60 degrees this week, and with the cold front now, Frank hopes the water drops to 58. That could be good for striper fishing. More striper trips are booked for next week, and the boat will compete in Utsch’s Marina’s striper tournament at the end of next week. Sea bass trips are available, and blackfish trips will begin on November 16, when the bag limit will be increased to six of the tautog, from the current limit of one.

A bunch of fish were scooped aboard Tuesday on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. The fishing got off to a slow start, but scored alright, lots of action, in the afternoon, and all anglers left with fish. Sea bass, a few big blues 6 to 8 pounds, and a few triggerfish were bagged. The blues were larger than usual, and usually were 1 to 2 pounds lately. A small crowd joined Wednesday’s trip, and a couple of the anglers limited out on sea bass. The trip landed sea bass – some of the anglers bagging more than others – a few triggerfish and a few small blues, “had some fish,” he said. The fishing hasn’t been great, but was probably better than last year, and some fish are around. Paul heard nothing about striped bass showing up, and expects to keep bottom-fishing. During some years, the boat switches to stripers, if the striper migration moves in. The Porgy IV is wreck-fishing for sea bass at 8 a.m. daily.

A couple of striped bass were boated on Delaware Bay, said Nick from
Hands Too Bait & Tackle. They were chunked on bunker, and one came from the Cock and Balls. A few were cracked at mid-bay, like at 20-Foot Slough. Lots of stripers remained in the back bay, nipped while boaters chummed and fished with clam or bunker during daytime, and while working soft-plastic lures and popper plugs along the sod banks and bridges at night or early in morning. Stripers started to be seen from the surf, and Nick, a surf angler, would dunk clams or bunker for them. Blackfishing was good along jetties. Sea bass fishing was reportedly good on the ocean in deep water. Fresh clams and bunker and live spots, eels and green crabs are stocked.

Last Monday's Report

Striped bass are finally here! Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. Come and get them, he said, and striper fishing was off to a good start aboard. Though many of the fish were throwbacks that bit underneath birds, bigger stripers bit eels. When jigging the fish under birds, boat traffic “plays a big part,” he said. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will fish for stripers this Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Weather looks great for Tuesday. “Get your dose of Vitamin Sea!”

Open-boat trips for striped bass will now be available daily, when no charter is booked, said Capt. Joe from Papa’s Angels Charters. Telephone to jump aboard, and the season’s first striper charters are currently booked for Saturday and next week on Tuesday, November 4.

Atlantic Highlands

Fishing was weathered out Wednesday and Thursday on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said. Bottom-fishing was good aboard on Tuesday. Then the weather turned, and trips resumed Friday. Weather was worse than forecast that day, and seas were somewhat bouncy. So the trip fished closer to shore than before, and the angling wasn’t as good as previously. Weather was better on Saturday, and that trip fished farther from shore. Porgies and sea bass were picked at, and the fish were mixed sizes, and the anglers worked through smaller ones to bag keepers. A couple of blackfish were bagged. On Sunday’s trip, wind blew severely, so the boat fished inshore. The angling was tough, not as good as on Saturday, at all, maybe because the trip fished closer to shore, but maybe also because of the wind. Weather was supposed to become calmer today and Tuesday. Today’s trip, Tom said in a phone call aboard the outing at 10:30 a.m., met stronger wind than expected. The boat was moved from the first spot fished, because wind wasn’t conducive to fishing that place. At the second place, when he talked on the phone, the fishing picked away at good-sized porgies. The catches weren’t fast and furious, but gave up a somewhat steady pick, and a throwback blackfish was released. He hoped some keeper blackfish would now turn up. Wind still blew, but the angling was comfortable at the spot. The Atlantic Star is fishing for sea bass, porgies and blackfish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.


The fun begins – no more good night’s sleep – and it’s time to fish, Bob from Fishermen’s Den, a surf angler, wrote in an email. Good reports came in about striped bass landed from the surf, boats and back-waters. The fish were moving in, and many of the bass were 20-pounders, and smaller were mixed in. That looked good for the future of the population. In other news, sea bass fishing was great, and big bluefish were battled, for ocean boaters. From Shark River, “we saw more flounder,” he said. He previously reported that winter flounder started to be reeled from the river. Sometimes kingfish were nabbed from the river. Bob hopes good weather happens, now that anglers have something to fish for. “Good fishing, everyone,” he said. ***Update, Tuesday, 7/27:*** Big stripers on the boats, some in the surf, Bob wrote in an email on Monday. Jared Cook’s two stripers to 35 pounds, and Adam Mednick’s two 30- and 35-pounders, were trolled on white bunker spoons. “Get out and fish,” Bob said. “They’re on the move.” ***Another Update, Tuesday, 10/28:*** So many big stripers were weighed-in, that the scale needed to be cooled down! Bob wrote in an email this morning. “A little humor,” he said, but 18 stripers 18 to 29 pounds were weighed-in on Monday, all from boats. None from the surf were weighed-in.

A half-dozen striped bass were trolled Friday afternoon on the ocean on shad umbrella rigs with XTC Sportfishing, Capt. Scott said. A trip Sunday fished the ocean a short time in the morning, because the anglers had to leave, because of work or something. One striper, among four bites, was nailed on livelined bunker. Stripers were caught in the fleet afterward. On Friday’s trip, the stripers weighed 10 to 18 pounds. On Sunday’s, the striper weighed 22 or 23 pounds. No bunker were seen on Friday’s outing, and the baitfish showed up on Saturday. Millions of bunker schooled on Sunday from Asbury Park to Long Branch. XTC sea bassed on Tuesday, limiting out. A charter today was scheduled to overnight offshore for tuna, but might be weathered out, because of wind. If so, the anglers will striper fish today and Tuesday.

Good striped bass fishing turned on starting Friday through the weekend, after last week’s blow, on the ocean, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Almost all the fish aboard were hooked on livelined bunker, and tons of bunker filled the water. Pete thinks the baitfish got pushed out from Raritan Bay, because of the storm. Parker Pete’s also trolled the bass, and the stripers could be trolled and jigged at some places. The stripers weighed up to 20 and 25 pounds, and bigger were mixed in. Pete hopes the fall run is kicking in. The ocean was 58 to 62 degrees, and seemed to cool daily. 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.

Thirty striped bass to 30 pounds were already bagged, and stripers were still being caught, on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess this afternoon, shortly before an email from the boat was sent with this report. The captain reportedly said the trip wrecked the fish, and more details would be sent, after the trip returned, the email said. The stripers were found in the afternoon, and stripers are here! the email said. The Miss Belmar Princess is fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Conditions looked right to try for striped bass Friday on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website site. Bait schooled, birds worked the water, and stripers were marked and seen splashing, but proved difficult to catch. But the good news was that the crew thinks striper fishing could begin any day aboard. On Saturday’s trip, bluefishing was decent. The anglers had to work for the 6- to 15-pounders, “(but) if you turned the handle all day,” it said, you ended up with plenty. All were hooked on jigs. No report was posted on the site since Saturday, at press time, and maybe fishing aboard was cancelled Sunday, because of strong wind. The Golden Eagle is fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.


Fishing for sea bass was good on Saturday and Sunday on the party boat Jamaica II, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Though weather was windy on Sunday, the fishing was best that day. A bunch of the anglers limited out on jumbo sea bass, and Ed Wayans won the pool with a 10-pound cod, that day. Porgies were in the mix on the trip, but fishing for them was difficult in the wind. Omar Richardson limited out on sea bass to 4 ½ pounds that day. The trip’s anglers who limited also included Ed Bradlee from Trenton, Art Riggs from Freehold, Carter Washington from Philly and Connor Williams from Camden. A bunch of other anglers also limited that day. Open-boat trips for sea bass are sailing for 7 hours at 8 a.m. today, Tuesday and Thursday, for 10 hours at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Sunday and November 4, 7, 9 and 10, and for 12 hours on November 11, 14, 16 and 19. Trips for sea bass, reservations required, are sailing for 14 hours at 3 a.m. every Saturday. ***Update, Tuesday, 10/28:*** Fishing was very good for sea bass and porgies on Monday’s trip, Ryan wrote in an email. Too many anglers limited out on sea bass to list, but Wayne Nelson from Trenton wanted his name mentioned as one of them, Ryan said. No customers limited on porgies, but the porgies were big. Fifteen or 20 would fill a small cooler. Ed Steadman from Paterson won the pool with a 12-pound cod.

Ocean striped bass fishing was good to the north in past days, said Eric from The Reel Seat. Many stripers were hooked off Deal, early in the morning, many of the fish on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. The fish, up to 30 pounds, many in the 20 pounds, were also trolled. Eric wasn’t asked whether they were jigged. In the surf, quite a few stripers were beached at Sandy Hook, mostly in early morning and at night, many on bucktails. A few stripers, including mid-20-pounders, were banked at Long Branch on Sunday morning on snagged bunker. But surf anglers picked away at stripers from Sandy Hook to Island Beach State Park, mostly at night, on plugs like Daiwa SP Minnows and Yo-Zuri Mag Darters. A few bluefish, not a lot, came from the surf. Bluefishing was good, consistent, on boats on the ocean for 10- and 12-pounders. Sea bass fishing was also good, when boaters fished places not pressured. Some real jumbos were in the mix to the north. Triggerfish also bit during sea bassing. Lots of blackfish were hooked along Point Pleasant Canal. Anglers at the canal picked away at striped bass. Party boats fished for tuna at Hudson Canyon, docking quite a few longfin tuna, some yellowfin tuna and a bigeye tuna here and there. Swordfishing seemed to pick up on the trips, and no smaller boats really fished for tuna, because of weather.

Point Pleasant Beach

The season’s first striped bass charter sailed Sunday aboard, pasting a solid catch of the fish to 25 pounds on bunker snagged for bait and then livelined, Capt. Alan from Mushin Sportfishing wrote in an email. Then wind blew strongly, making it impossible “to stay with the bunker schools,” he said, and the trip had to troll. But this looks like the striper migration is under way. A trip Saturday bottom-fished, nailing solid sea bass catches in bumpy seas.

A few keeper sea bass and some throwbacks were rounded up at every place fished Saturday and Sunday on the party boat Norma-K III, Capt. Matt wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. But the fishing was tough. At many places fished, and quite a few had to be, readings were great, from the bottom up to 40 feet. Matt hopes the angling improves in the next day or two, and plans to fish a different area today. The ocean was fairly warm. On Friday and Saturday nights’ trips, lots of blues 8 to 15 pounds were pummeled. 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.

Seaside Heights

The reason striped bass were reluctant to move to the local surf, from the north, was anybody’s guess, John from The Dock Outfitters wrote in a report on the shop’s website. That had to do with schools of bunker that swam north of Manasquan Inlet, he was sure. “Once again, boats are playing the snag-and-drop game, and taking some nice, 20-pound-class fish,” he said. A few small blues ran the surf, and anglers were thankful for them, because at least something bit along the beach. Anglers could only wait for stripers to migrate to the local surf. A couple of big ones were clammed from shore at Island Beach State Park last week, and one topped 27 pounds. “Now that’s what I’m talking about,” he said. Clams aren’t the only way to look for the fish. Swimming plugs and metal could also connect with stripers, if presented correctly and in the right location at the right time. 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

The Super Chic sea bassed on the ocean the last two weekends, Capt. Ted said. The fishing was good, and was best on the first weekend, opening weekend of sea bass season. By this weekend, the angling took more effort, after sea bass were fished for throughout the week. Catches included limits on opening weekend, and the anglers this weekend averaged 10 keepers apiece. Weather was extremely windy on Sunday, and not bad on Saturday, and seas weren’t rough that day. Something about the current seemed to affect the fish on Saturday. The boat is supposed to begin fishing for striped bass this weekend. Ted didn’t hear much about stripers caught locally, and not many were entered in a local tournament this weekend. A trip for tuna is supposed to fish overnight Thursday to Friday. A bluefish trip might sail this week.

A few striped bass were jigged from the ocean this past week, but not enough to target them, a report on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light’s website said. The crew knows that many customers are waiting for the jigging to begin. The boat could switch to stripers any moment, “so stay tuned,” the report said. Bluefishing was great aboard Saturday and Sunday, once again, it said. The angling was great previously. On Sunday’s trip, the fishing wasn’t as good as before, because of 30-knot winds. Tons of the fish were marked. But on Saturday’s trip, the angling was super. On both days, blues 8 to 14 pounds were axed. The Miss Barnegat Light is bluefishing 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.

Mystic Island

Water temperatures hovered in the low 60s, so striped bass fishing was yet to start, a report on Scott’s Bait & Tackle’s website said on Friday. “Still here waiting for the fall season … to kick in,” it said. A few reports said throwback stripes and blues were fought on Mullica River. For boaters to reach sea bass fishing at ocean reefs and wrecks, seas needed to settle, the report said at the time.


A 40-1/2-pound 49-1/2-inch striped bass was boated on the ocean off Brigantine and checked-in Saturday at Riptide Bait & Tackle, a report on the store’s website said. What’s more, another 40-1/2-pounder, this one 47 inches, was weighed-in from the back bay later that day. The striper from the ocean, the season’s first large striper at the store, was taken on a charter on a parachute jig, and was the only striper bagged on the trip. Fish were marked, and there was bird play, on the trip. The striper from the bay was eeled, and private anglers boated it, and also another striper that was 29 inches, on the trip. The 29-incher almost looked like bait, compared with the bigger bass. A bunch of other keepers were boated during the weekend, the report said. Because of that, the shop thinks stripers should start to be banked from the surf. When boaters fished live bait for stripers, eels seemed to out-fish spots, usually. The annual Riptide Striper Bounty was up to $910 and “growing by the minute,” the report said. Sponsored by Hess Plumbing, the bounty awards the total entry fees to the angler who enters the season’s first striped bass 43 inches or larger from Brigantine’s surf. Entry is $5 and required before catching the fish. 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 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.


About 20 keeper sea bass, five triggerfish and some 2-pound, snapper blues were pitched aboard Saturday on the Stray Cat, Capt. Mike said. So the fishing was pretty good, he said, and the half-day trip fished relatively close to shore, in 80 feet. Boats that sailed farther out, or 20 or 25 miles from shore, apparently scored sea bass well this weekend. That was in 140 feet at places like 28-Mile Wreck, the Offshore Reef and the Triple Wrecks. Trips for striped bass and blackfish are coming up next. The striper trips will sail when the migration hits South Jersey, and the blackfish trips will begin on November 16, when the bag limit is raised to six of the tautog from the current limit of one. A blackfishing trip on Black Friday filled up, and reserve the trips soon. A couple of Saturdays remain in December for charters. Open-boat trips will blackfish on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Stray Cat was supposed to start being painted today, and the next trip is slated for next week on Tuesday, November 4, Election Day.

Ocean City

Two banner days of fishing were pounded on the ocean Saturday and Sunday on the party boat Miss Ocean City, Capt. Victor said. On Saturday, with 17 anglers, sea bass, triggerfish, blues and porgies were decked. On Sunday, the 10 anglers averaged five to seven keeper sea bass apiece, Victor thought, some porgies and a load of blues, in stiff seas. Open-boat trips are fishing every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount.

Sea Isle City

Striped bass were jigged and popper-plugged on the back bay this weekend aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Bass Assassins were fished on the jigs, and he prefers Rapala Skitter Pops for lures for the popper fishing. When his trips fly-rod the bass, they fish a Crease fly he ties with a larger cup to throw more water. The bay was 59 or 60 degrees, cooling a lot this season. Surf anglers landed stripers, often on popper lures and swimming lures, sometimes on bait like mullet, bunker or clams. But lure fishing caught best. The migration of large striped bass in the ocean usually begins at the beginning of November locally. Boating for those fish was the best in five years last year, though wasn’t as good at a few towns to the south. Trips aboard should be booked now that will fish the run of the large stripers and big blues on the ocean. When the fish arrive, everybody starts calling. Jersey Cape also wreck-fished on the ocean this weekend, pumping in sea bass, triggerfish and blackfish, only 3 or 4 miles from shore. Friends who sailed farther out, on all-day trips, loaded up on bottom-fish like that. Looking ahead, annual traveling charters to the Florida Keys will fish from Christmas to Easter, mostly on weekends. The trips can be a mini, fish-filled vacation. A variety of species can be targeted, from speckled sea 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 season’s first striped bass fishing is slated for November 10, Capt. Jim said. That will be a Cast and Blast Trip, a combo of striper fishing and duck hunting over a series of days, on Delaware Bay. Fins fishes for stripers from the bay to the Cape May Rips to the ocean in fall, depending on where the catches are best. Anglers will also just striper fish, not also duck hunt, aboard this season, of course. But the combo trips are offered. Jim just wrapped up duck hunting in southern Pennsylvania, because the early season was closed there this weekend. The hunting was terrific for wood ducks and mallards. Duck and goose seasons remain open in the state’s northern zone, and Jim will guide trips for that in the next days. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including saltwater fishing on Delaware Bay, the back bays and the ocean. Trips also include duck and goose hunting on Delaware Bay and in surrounding states, salmon and steelhead fishing on upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s lodge, and fly-fishing for trout on Pennsylvania’s streams like the Yellow Breeches.

Cape May

On the Heavy Hitter, the season’s first striped bass charter is slated for Saturday, Capt. George said. Striper trips aboard usually fish Delaware Bay with bunker chunks at first. But they could fish the Cape May Rips, if the bass show up there. Bucktails or livelined eels or spots are fished at the rips. Sometimes stripers school the ocean in fall, and the trips fish there, if so. But the bay fishing’s been best in recent years. Some boats fished for sea bass on the ocean this weekend, George thought, but no results were heard. Wind blew fiercely on Sunday, but Saturday’s weather was better.