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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.