Tue., April 21, 2015
Moon Phase:
Waxing Crescent
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Today's
High Tides
Great Kills Harbor
A.M.
P.M.
10:45
11:03
Atlantic Highlands
A.M.
P.M.
10:29
10:47
Sandy Hook,
Fort Hancock
A.M.
P.M.
10:39
10:57
Belmar,
Ocean
A.M.
P.M.
10:04
10:22
Manasquan Inlet,
USCG Station
A.M.
P.M.
10:27
10:45
Atlantic City
A.M.
P.M.
10:15
10:33
Cape May,
Ocean
A.M.
P.M.
10:49
11:07
East Point,
Delaware Bay
A.M.
P.M.
12:07
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More Tides


New Jersey
Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Monday, April 20.

| Hudson River | Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Brielle | Point Pleasant Beach | Seaside Heights | Barnegat Light | Mystic Island | Brigantine | Longport | Ocean City | Sea Isle City | Avalon | Wildwood | Cape May | Last Thursday's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED
EVERY MONDAY AND THURSDAY
Hudson River
The river’s striped bass fishing was slow, and a few smaller stripers swam at Kingston, said Capt. Chuck from Angler Sportfishing Charters. But the migration of large stripers will probably arrive within the next week. The migration, the run of large, mature breeders, arriving to spawn, is one of the best opportunities to land the biggest stripers. He’s fished the migration many years. Chuck ran a striper trip on Raritan Bay from Staten Island today that pelted six stripers to 18 or 20 pounds along eastern Reach Channel on bunker spoons. All kinds of bunker schooled. The bay’s temperature was rising somewhat, and Chuck wouldn’t be surprised if larger stripers arrive in the bay within the next week, too. Angler Sportfishing fishes both the river, from Saugerties, and the bay, from Staten Island, this season.

Keyport
Lots of throwback striped bass turned out action on Raritan Bay, good fishing, and more and more keepers seemed to bite, as water warmed, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep. The angling should keep improving, now that the new moon passed. Twenty to 35 of the shorts, and two to five keepers, were reeled aboard per trip. The bay’s surf anglers banked lots of stripers at places like Cliffwood or Union beaches. Charters are fishing, and join the Short Notice List on Down Deep’s website to be kept informed about open trips. Also see the site’s open-boat page for dates. Another boat was added for trips with Down Deep Sportfishing. The Down Deep Bull is a 42-foot Willis Beal Downeaster, certified for 15 passengers. Charters are available, and open-boat trips will fish daily, on the vessel. The crew will also still run the original Down Deep, a 40-foot Custom Duffy.

Throwback striped bass outnumbered keepers in Raritan Bay, but stripers were around for action, said Capt. Joe from Papa’s Angels Charters. The bay warmed enough for the fish to be caught, and as the water keeps warming, even more will probably be cranked in. Joe saw bunker in the water, and marked good readings of bait. Charters are booked to clam for the stripers this weekend. After today’s rainstorm, space is available for charters or open-boat trips for the bass the rest of the week. Open trips are available daily when no charter is booked and enough anglers want to fish, and telephone to jump aboard.

Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing was pretty good during the weekend, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. Two to three dozen schoolie stripers, mostly 24- to 26-inchers, were landed per trip, and almost as many bites were missed. Keepers were more difficult to come by, and one keeper per trip was bagged. But that’s about to change, because bigger stripers, fish that migrated in, fed nocturnally in the bay, and will begin to eat during daytime, now that the new moon passed, and the water warmed somewhat. The schoolie stripers provided great action, and boded well for striper fishing in the future. Weather looks good for the week, with west wind forecast the whole time. That direction is good for the bay’s fishing. Charters are booked daily during daytime through this weekend. But openings are available for 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. charters, and for an open-boat trip Thursday, during those hours, the “working man” open trip. Telephone to reserve.

Atlantic Highlands
Better bite on Saturday’s striped bass trip on the party boat Fishermen, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the vessel’s website. More keepers were decked than before, and the fishing turned on, once outgoing tide began. As many as three stripers were hooked at once, at times, and the angling was a better pick than on Friday. Friday’s trip was the year’s first to fish aboard, and was covered in the last report here, in an update. On Saturday’s trip, the water was 56 degrees at one area, 4 degrees higher than on Friday. Saturday’s trip’s fishing had its lulls, but the angling lasted until the end of the tide. A 12-pound striper won the pool, and an 11-pounder came in second. A bunch of shorts bit, and the hot hand reeled up about 10 stripers. No report was posted for Sunday, at press time. The Fishermen is sailing for striped bass 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Beginning Friday, trips will also striper fish 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

On the party boat Atlantic Star, striped bass fishing was best on Sunday afternoon’s trip, Capt. Tom said. The trip hadn’t fished 5 minutes, when its biggest striper was bagged. The trip ended up with nine keepers and 15 throwbacks. A couple of anglers bagged two apiece, and most of the trip’s anglers at least landed a throwback. A couple landed two or three throwbacks and no keepers apiece. A couple caught nothing. A striper would be caught, and then the anglers would wait, and another would be caught, and so on. The boat began fishing for stripers on Friday. The fishing was no good on Friday’s trips through Saturday morning’s. On Saturday afternoon’s, two keepers and two throwbacks were totaled. On Sunday morning’s, many stripers were dropped. One angler missed five or six, losing one throwback at the boat. Then the angling was best on Sunday afternoon’s trip, described above. All the stripers were clammed on the trips. No trip was expected to fish today in the storm. The Atlantic Star is fishing for striped bass on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. ***Update, Tuesday, 4/21:*** No trips fished Monday aboard, because of weather, Tom said. Too few anglers showed up to sail on this morning’s trip, and apparently the rainstorm Monday kept more from showing up. But this afternoon’s trip fished, picking stripers. A few keepers were already had, he said, when he gave this report in a phone call during the outing. Probably twice as many throwbacks were tossed back, and a couple of stripers were missed. It’s a pick of fish, he said, but the bass were hooked.

Highlands
With Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing, Saturday was a great trip, Capt. Pete said. More than 30 striped bass, including six keepers to 14 pounds, were plowed aboard from Raritan Bay. They were mostly clammed, and a couple were trolled. Many boats filled the water, but if a trip found stripers and cracked clams overboard to keep the fish behind the boat, stripers were caught. Many stripers filled the bay now, and the back of the bay reached more than 50 degrees. Plenty of bait schooled, and birds worked the water a little. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing.

Neptune
A few cod were belted at the first drop Sunday with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. But the bite lasted a short time, and fishing was no good the rest of the trip. Weather was no problem, though forecasts called for worse. Water was cold, but warmer than on the previous trip, on Wednesday. Fishing will only get better. Fishing was improved on the trip Wednesday, bagging 13 cod and a few pollock and other fish, covered in the last report. An individual-reservation trip will fish inshore wrecks Sunday. Charters are available daily.

Belmar
Fishing was kicked off for the season on Saturday, a beautiful, warm, sunny day with calm seas, on the party boat Golden Eagle, a report on the vessel’s website said. A gang of anglers joined the trip. “I only saw a few short stripers being caught,” the report said. But the water reached 51 degrees in the afternoon, and plenty of bait had migrated to the area, and striper fishing should break open soon. The boat will be docked through Friday for final maintenance to be completed for the season. Trips will fish 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. daily starting Saturday.

Monster striped bass to 35 pounds were plastered Sunday morning on the party boat Miss Belmar Princess, “just north of our inlet,” an email from the vessel said. Three or four were hooked at once, at times, and the trip’s stripers smacked anything thrown at them, from jigs to Krocodile spoons and rubber shads. Only a handful of the stripers hooked were throwbacks, and some of the anglers limited out, including on a bonus-tag striper. The previous day, Saturday’s, trip fished Raritan Bay, but that didn’t produce. A handful of stripers, none keepers, were caught. The Miss Belmar Princess will begin fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily starting Wednesday for stripers and blues.

XTC Sportfishing will probably begin charters in the beginning of May or in the middle of the month, Capt. Scott said. The boat will be hauled from the water a few days this week for seasonal maintenance. He hopes the first charters are for striped bass on the ocean. A friend said a friend trolled a 30-pound striper on the ocean near Manasquan on a spoon in past days. Stripers from Raritan Bay were the only boated that were heard about otherwise. Blackfishing was fairly good, and Scott would like to blackfish before the tautog season is closed after this month. Maybe he’ll do that once the boat is back from the maintenance.

Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters was waiting for one part for the boat before the vessel was ready to sail, he said. He hopes to begin fishing this weekend for the season. If that happens, the boat could fish for cod, but if striped bass fishing breaks open in the ocean, the boat could sail for stripers. If a few warm, calm days like Saturday happened in a row, that could begin the striper angling. But cooler or rougher weather, like on Sunday and today, kept interrupting better weather like Saturday’s. Bunker schooled the ocean, and a few stripers probably swam the ocean. A 40-pound striper was reportedly boated in the back of Raritan Bay, but that was unconfirmed. Striper charters are booking up with Parker Pete’s for this spring. Cod fishing currently was better on some days than others. A few blackfish were picked away at. Pete saw boaters begin plucking winter flounder from Shark River in front of the party boats, while he worked on his boat. That angling seemed to turn on a little, after it was slow previously. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway, about individual spaces available on charters. “We’ll get you out,” he said. 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. ***Update, Monday, 4/20:*** Stripers were heard about that were boated from the ocean just off Shark River Inlet, Pete wrote in an email this afternoon. The migration was on the move.

Winter flounder fishing picked up in Shark and Manasquan rivers this past week, Bob from Fishermen’s Den wrote in an email. Warmer water got the fish feeding, and some blackfish were nabbed at Shark River Inlet. That seemed a good sign for the coming week. Good reports about striped bass fishing rolled in from Raritan Bay and Barnegat Bay. “Some good fish taken on plugs … plenty of bunker have the fish on the move,” he said. Customers traveled to Delaware River for success on shad. Lots of options for fishing now, he said. ***Update, Tuesday, 4/21:*** The year’s first stripers were weighed-in, Bob wrote in an email. Spinelli Jackson plugged the stripers, a 24-pounder and a 23-pounder, from Raritan Bay’s shore on a Daiwa SP Minnow and released four more. Two of those released were larger than the bass he weighed.

Brielle
On the party boat Jamaica II, anglers picked away at cod and ling, “again,” Capt. Joe wrote in an email. That was on Saturday at wrecks and reefs 20 miles from shore. Bob Bullock from Bergenfield won the pool with a 26-pound cod. He and sons left with cod, pollock and ling. Ed Nolan from Manasquan iced four cod and five ling. The boat will be in the yard this week for bottom-painting and new, high-speed props, and should resume fishing on Wednesday, April 29. Then the same schedule as before will continue: 12-hour wreck-fishing trips for cod and ling every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

The year’s first striped bass trolled from the ocean was checked-in at
The Reel Seat, Dave said. The 27-pounder swiped a bunker spoon off Sea Girt. Lots of bunker schooled the ocean, and surf anglers picked away at small stripers, mostly on clams, but a few on plugs. The year’s first few bluefish, 2-pounders, were hooked from Manasquan River. Nothing was heard about stripers from back waters locally, like the river. Winter flounder fishing became slow locally, was much better a couple of weeks ago. Dave wasn’t asked where the fish might be located now, like whether they migrated to the river from Barnegat Bay, or seemed to reach the ocean. Previously, the flatfish were caught from the bay near Mantoloking Bridge. They migrate from the bay, swimming through Point Pleasant Canal, to the river, to reach the ocean. On the ocean, boaters picked away at cod and a few more ling than before. Blackfish began to bite a little on the trips, but dogfish also started to hit. The Reel Seat is now open seven days a week for the fishing season. A bunch of new tackle is arriving. Catch the store’s next free seminar at 9 a.m. Sunday, on tying flies and teasers with Jerry Fabiano, formerly from RV Lures.

Point Pleasant Beach
Lots of life was found on all wrecks fished Saturday with Mushin Sportfishing, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Smaller cod and pollock, lots, were sifted through to drill keepers, and two dozen solid keepers, to 25 pounds, were smashed. The fish were hooked on bait and jigs, and weather was beautiful. Cod trips were weathered out aboard the two surrounding days, Friday and Sunday. A couple of spaces are available for an open-boat cod trip this Sunday. Mushin means a relaxed state of readiness. The crew pride themselves on sharing the concept on outdoor adventures.

Wow! Capt. Matt from the party boat Norma-K III wrote about Saturday in a report on the vessel’s website. What a day to be on the water, he said. Weather was warm, seas were calm, and cod bit for customers. They picked away at some keepers and shorts, “nothing fast and furious, but enough to keep you interested,” he said. A few were pumped in at almost every drop. A few were also broken off. Fresh clams caught most, and jigs and teasers hooked a few throwbacks. A 15-pound cod was the pool-winner. On Sunday’s trip, weather was somewhat cooler, but the day was another nice one on the water, he said. The ocean was nice, he said, and the anglers picked away at cod, some good-sized, and some shorts, again. Clams took all the fish, and Gary Carvatt, Bridgewater, won the pool with a 25-pounder. Most anglers left the trip with cod, and a few only boated throwbacks. Today’s trip was expected to be weathered out. The Norma-K III is fishing for cod, blackfish and ling 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Seaside Heights
A few throwback striped bass were tugged from the surf at Island Beach State Park, mostly on clams, John from The Dock Outfitters wrote in a report on the shop’s website. Fresh clams, fresh bunker and bloodworms were stocked. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, boat and jet ski rentals, a café and a dock for fishing and crabbing.

Barnegat Light
Fishing on the Super Chic will probably begin in mid-May for the year, Capt. Ted said. That will probably start with bluefishing, and maybe striped bass fishing, if stripers are in. He hopes sea bass will swim inshore, by the time sea bass season is opened, so trips can sail for them. Sea bass season is probably going to begin on May 27. New Jersey is recommending that date, and the federal government, the final authority, usually approves the recommendation. Stripers caught from Raritan Bay were the only heard about so far this season. No bluefish were heard about yet, but some probably began to swim bays. Bays were warm enough.

Mystic Island
Lots of throwback striped bass continued to be reported from Graveling Point, a report on Scott’s Bait & Tackle’s website said. That’s the shore-angling spot at the confluence of Great Bay and Mullica River, and bigger stripers were talked about from up the Mullica. Several drum about 25 pounds were weighed-in, and the number reported caught at Graveling and nearby Pebble Beach, also a shore-angling place, was increasing. The annual $100 gift certificate remained up for grabs for the year’s first angler to stop in with a bluefish from Graveling or Pebble. Blues were expected there soon.

Brigantine
The year’s first keeper striped bass from Brigantine’s surf was weighed-in Sunday at Riptide Bait & Tackle, a report on the shop’s website said. Anthony Daversa won the shop’s $50 gift certificate for the 23-pound 38-3/4-incher. Another $50 certificate is up for grabs for the year’s first boater to check-in a keeper. Several throwback stripers were reported banked from the surf, and a 35-pound drum was released from the beach.

Longport
Open-boat trips will blackfish Wednesday and Friday on the Stray Cat, weather permitting, Capt. Mike said. Afterward, mostly charters will be booked for the fishing season. Charters include special trips for tuna and wahoos, including a 12-hour one, and a 16-hour one that fishes the canyons in a day. For the current blackfishing, Mike’s crab hotels have been packed with crabs for bait, mostly green crabs, and a few calicoes, white leggers and hermits. Crabs have been scarce on many boats and at stores, because water has been cold for suppliers to the north, who usually provide them. The ocean locally was 47 to 48 degrees. Looking ahead, a marathon trip will fish deep-water wrecks for summer flounder and sea bass 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Fourth of July.

Ocean City
The party boats Captain Robbins and Miss Ocean City will be splashed in mid-May, Capt. Victor hopes, he said. The boats are undergoing spring maintenance, and fishing aboard will probably begin with summer flounder fishing on the back bay on the Miss Ocean City starting May 22, when flounder season will probably be opened, and sea bass fishing on the ocean starting May 27, when sea bass season will probably be opened. The federal government will need to give final approval to those opening dates, but usually does.

Sea Isle City
***Update, Tuesday, 4/21:*** A few weakfish showed up in the back bay, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. He heard about a couple caught, and didn’t know the size. But large weaks migrate to bays this time of year to spawn. The arrival was about a week late, and the migration of bluefish to the bay was impending. Joe knew about none appearing yet. Striped bass, mostly schoolies, were around in the bay. They swim the bay year-round, and he’s already fishing for them. He’ll soon sail for all three species, and the bay will light up with fishing for them, some of the year’s best angling. All three of the fish can often be caught in a trip for a time in spring. Joe at first during the season fishes for all with soft-plastic lures worked slowly along bottom, because of cool water. Outgoing tides in afternoons can fish best, because the water is warmer then. But Joe might clam for the stripers on a couple of trips this weekend. Summer flounder will migrate to the bay soon, too. Then all four species, called a grand slam, can be caught in a trip. Catching three of the species is called a slam. Flounder are out of season, and the season is yet to be announced, but will probably be opened in late May. Until then, the flatfish are released. In other news, a few stripers were beached from the surf, not hot and heavy, Joe said, but the bass began to bite. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.

Avalon
Capt. Jim from Fins and Feathers Outfitters tried for striped bass on the back bay on Saturday night, but none bit, he said. The tide fished was perfect, from 2 hours before the tide until 1 ½ hours after, and the water looked like a pond, perfect conditions, until wind picked up, when the tide changed. Rat-L-Traps and Fin-S Fish were fished along the sod banks from Stone Harbor and Avalon to the Townsend’s Inlet Bridge. A couple of good spots were fished, and fish marked were scattered, three or four together at a time. No big schools of them, and not much bait, was marked. Bunker were rumored to swim the area, but none was seen. The trip returned to port at midnight. Jim talked with someone who stopped at the Avalon jetty on the ocean late one morning this weekend. The person met a couple of anglers at the jetty who said they picked up a few throwback stripers from the surf at the jetty early that morning. The person, who hadn’t intended to fish, then grabbed a rod from his vehicle, giving the angling a shot, but nothing bit. Early morning apparently needed be fished to catch there, at the time. Fins and Feathers will fish for drum on Delaware Bay in May. Trips will striper fish on the ocean or bay aboard this season, if stripers give up a fishery there. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including saltwater fishing from the ocean to Delaware Bay and the back bay, duck and goose hunting on Delaware Bay and in nearby 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.

Wildwood
Fins & Grins Sport Fishing blackfished Saturday, and catches were slow, and a bunch of dogfish bit, and wind blew against tide the whole trip, terrible conditions, Capt. Jim said. A handful of blackfish were had, and the dogs bit the bottom out of the boat. Wind canceled fishing aboard Sunday. Weather looks rough for trips until later this week. When trips resume, they can sail for blackfish or striped bass, whichever anglers prefer. Stripers could even be targeted in the back bay. The passing of the new moon will trigger some stripers to depart rivers. When stripers are within range in the ocean or Delaware Bay, the boat will sail for them.

Cape May
Kevin Driscoll’s charter togged on southern Delaware Bay on Saturday on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. Many throwbacks and six or seven keepers were swung aboard. All the blackfish were caught on clams, and no green crabs were available from stores. Water was too cold for suppliers to trap the crabs. Most suppliers are from farther north, and the bay on the trip was in the high 40 degrees to low 50s. The Heavy Hitter did no fishing Sunday, and none of the fleet did, in sustained wind that probably blew 20 or 25 knots. Fishing aboard is supposed to tog this weekend. Other boats landed cod 30 miles from shore. Lots of the cod were just undersized or 18 or 20 inches, and a few keepers were mixed in. Charters are booking up to fish for drum on Delaware Bay in May on the Heavy Hitter. A tackle shop said a few drum were banked from shore at Reed’s Beach on the bay. Drum surely swam the bay, but never bite for boaters until the bay reaches a certain temperature. The shop said a few small stripers were banked at the mouth of Bidwell Creek. The Heavy Hitter will sail for stripers if the fish can be boated within range of Cape May this season.

Last Thursday's Report
Keyport

Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing seemed to improve daily, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email Wednesday. “Good bite today,” he said about the day’s trip aboard. Twenty-one stripers, including two keepers, were landed. The anglers had other bites, many, “but were unable to take advantage,” he said. The migration of larger stripers can’t be far, considering the abundant baitfish in the water. “The season is beginning to shape up nicely,” he said, and space is available on open-boat trips Friday and Tuesday. Charters are booked on every other day through two weekends from now, April 25 to 26. But evening trips will be available soon, and telephone for the schedule.

Shore anglers released lots of throwback striped bass and bagged a few keepers from Raritan Bay, like at Cliffwood Beach, said Joey from Joey’s Bait Shack. Clams were best bait, and bunker grabbed a few, and bunker schooled the bay. Boaters tied into stripers a couple of hundred yards off the beaches. Nothing was heard about winter flounder, and flounder weren’t mixed in with the stripers. Nobody really targeted flounder, because buying bait wasn’t worthwhile in the two-fish bag limit. Nothing was reported about blackfish. Bloodworms, sandworms, fresh clams and fresh bunker are stocked.

Atlantic Highlands

On the party boat Fishermen, fishing will be launched starting Friday for the year, with striped bass trips 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, Capt. Ron said. Clams will be fished, and once water becomes warmer, and bigger stripers move in, bunker will be fished. But trips will fish with jigs or whatever’s necessary. Beginning the next Friday, April 24, trips will also striper fish 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays. ***Update, Saturday, 4/18:*** The year’s first fishing sailed aboard Friday, picking at throwback stripers a while, and Tom Krako bagged a keeper, his first of the season, winning the pool, Ron wrote in a report on the boat’s website. The trip at first made a quick drop in deeper water. Gannets worked the water, and lots of bait schooled. The water was 49 degrees, and nothing bit. The trip moved to shallower water, finding a few marks, and the stripers were hooked, all on outgoing tide. The water was 51 to 52 degrees there. Sure felt good to be back at the helm and catch, Ron said, and weather looked great for today’s trip.

The party boat Atlantic Star will begin striped bass fishing on Friday on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m., Capt. Tom said. Clams will be the bait, and stripers that can be jigged are rarely seen for some time yet this season. The boat began fishing for the year with winter flounder trips last weekend. But the angling was no good. One of the trips fished Sunday morning, and only skates bit. A few anglers showed up to fish for a trip that afternoon, but Tom was honest about the fishing, and the anglers opted not to sail.

Highlands

Striped bass fishing was a little slow on Raritan Bay during the week, but the fish were landed aboard with Fin-Taz-Tic Sportfishing, Capt. Pete said. Stripers were marked with Fin-Taz-Tic, and the water was loaded with bait, and gannets dove on bunker. When the water reaches a certain temperature, stripers will bite better. The bay was 47 degrees, and one trip aboard saw gannets feeding all over bunker. Stripers had to be underneath, anglers thought, and the trip fished clams at the birds. But no stripers hit, and no trip sailed yesterday, Wednesday. Pete wasn’t going to take anglers fishing if the chances of catching weren’t better, unless anglers wanted to go regardless. But the boat will fish every day, starting next week. Pete hopes the angling kicks in this week, because of warmer weather. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing for stripers. Few winter flounder bit, so Fin-Taz-Tic didn’t fish for them.

Boaters lit into throwback striped bass and a few keepers on Raritan Bay, said Wayne from Twin Lights Marina. The fishing was beginning to amp up, and the water should warm in warm weather this weekend, and that should help. The bass were lethargic in cold water. Pods of bunker schooled all over, and the stripers were clammed, and customers began to buy the shop’s fresh clams. Things were starting to happen, he said. Stripers didn’t really feed on bunker yet, because of low water temperature. Customers began to launch boats for the season. 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, including, when in demand, live bunker. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card.

Neptune

Fishing was better on Wednesday for Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. A charter bagged 13 cod, three pollock, a ling and a blackfish. Space is available for an individual-reservation trip that will wreck-fish Sunday.

Belmar

Winter flounder were finally tied into from Shark River – “finally (got) up from a long winter nap,” Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Bulkhead anglers cranked in a fair number of the fish to 18 inches. “Get down, before they move out,” he said. Flounder should migrate to the ocean before long. Striped bass were beached from the surf north of Shark River Inlet, on clams and worms. A good number were also banked from Raritan Bay’s shore. Bunker schooled the ocean off Belmar, so large numbers of migrating stripers and blues couldn’t be far behind. On boats on the ocean, cod and pollock dominated catches. Sometimes blackfish snapped on the trips.

The party boat Golden Eagle will fish Saturday and Sunday for the first time this season, Capt. Rich said. The trips will try for striped bass, but if stripers fail to show, the fishing will sail for whatever can be decked, like ling or cod. The ocean was cold, and fishing was slower to begin this year. But lots of bait schooled, a good sign, he said. Striper fishing could take off in a moment. That could be within two weeks, or on Saturday. After the weekend, the boat will be docked to wrap up seasonal maintenance, and daily trips will fish beginning the following Saturday, April 25. The Golden Eagle sails 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m.

Weather on Friday will keep the party boat Miss Belmar Princess docked, an email from the vessel said. But trips will fish for striped bass this weekend, and daily trips will fish for stripers beginning the following Friday, April 24. Many improvements were made to the boat this off-season, including new heating, air-conditioning, cushioned seating, lighting and paint. If you thought the boat looked good before, wait until you see it now, the email said.

Toms River

Fishing for small striped bass was great on the Toms River, on both the north and south sides, said Dennis from Murphy’s Hook House. Mostly bloodworms hooked them, but some were plugged after dark. Anglers heard the bass popping at night. White perch fishing improved a little in the river, giving up a few here and there. Winter flounder were nonexistent in the river, pretty much, and fishing for them never materialized in the river this year, really. Flounder fishing was good on Barnegat Bay near Mantoloking Bridge. Paul Enright led the shop’s free flounder tournament with a 2.56-pounder boated there. The tournament had 121 entrants, and Enright’s been bailing the flatfish there on sandworms while chumming. Farther south in the bay, the water was 55 degrees from Route 37 Bridge to Long Point, at the mouth of the Toms. Dennis read the temp when he splashed his boat for the season. The water was clear, and he could see 3 feet down. He trolled a half-hour, and had one bite at the bridge. But fishing, for striped bass, has been turning on later, at night, at the bridge, on plugs. Anglers heard fish popping there in the dark, whether that was stripers or bunker. Dennis saw no bunker during his trip, and the water was cold for bunker to school along the surface. Once the water reaches 60 degrees, the baitfish become active. Water was turning over at the bridge, and the season was early for that. But debris from bottom floated or suspended around. Ospreys were around, and an osprey was seen snatching up a bunker a few days ago. From the surf, a few throwback striped bass were beached during the weekend. Dennis knew about no keepers first-hand, but knew a few keepers came from the beach this season. He wouldn’t be surprised to see the year’s first bluefish in the bay within a week. Rumors, none confirmed, circulated about blues occasionally seen in the state.

Forked River

Oyster Creek turned out small striped bass, and winter flounder, like before, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. Most anglers there fished bloodworms, and some used clams. No bluefish or weakfish were heard about yet. Bloodworms and salted clams are stocked. Grizz will decide whether to stock fresh clams this weekend. The shop has been moved to a new location at 103 Lacey Road in Forked River.

Barnegat Light

Bluefishing will kick off the season on May 22 on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light, Karen said. The boat is in the shipyard for seasonal maintenance.

Surf City

A few throwback striped bass were reported from Long Beach Island’s surf, both from the north end and the south, said Sue from Surf City Bait & Tackle. Many telephoned, saying they’d fish the surf this weekend, so more reports should roll in. Scarce news was partly because of scarce anglers. Clams were fished for the bass, and nobody mentioned blackfishing in past days. Green crabs were unable to be obtained for blackfishing, because of cold. But anglers fish clams for blackfish, including when crabs are unavailable. Fresh clams will be stocked Friday, and bloodworms are on hand. Winter flounder were supposedly angled along Route 72 Bridge at Dutchman’s Brauhaus, but that was unconfirmed, and customers were yet to flounder fish.

Mystic Island

A 25-pound drum was dragged to shore at Graveling Point today, said Brian from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. That was the year’s first drum known about at the shop, and the first reported on this site this season. Lots of throwback striped bass were banked at Graveling and nearby Pebble Beach. Anglers today landed multiples apiece. The year’s first keeper striper from Graveling was weighed-in Monday, covered in the last report here. Stripers in the area began to bite clams better than before. They still bit bloodworms, and bloodworms are the favored bait early in the season. Stripers can digest the worms during slow metabolism in cold water. But clams become the better bait as water warms. Bloods still beat the stripers, but clams took the larger ones, and drum will bite clams. Small stripers were also caught up Mullica River. They also began to be reeled from West Creek, north of Tuckerton. So stripers spread to both Great Bay and the waters along the bay toward Tuckerton this week. Graveling and Pebble are at the confluence of Great Bay and the Mullica. White perch fishing was great along Mullica River. The perch were sizable, and no particular location was talked about. The perch were also nabbed in West Creek. Now was the time when the year’s first bluefish could arrive, and the annual $100 gift certificate to the store will be awarded to the angler who checks-in the year’s first blue from Graveling or Pebble. Anglers almost hoped blues wouldn’t arrive this coming weekend, because stripers can begin to depart from Graveling and Pebble, when blues arrive. But the bluefish migration should be impending. Bloodworms and live grass shrimp are stocked. Fresh clams, both shucked and in the shell, will be on hand. A rep from Tsunami will be at the shop 8 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday. The rep can be asked questions about the company’s tackle, and all Tsunami products will be discounted 10 percent during the event. Tsunami products can also be ordered for a 10-percent discount, if the product isn’t available at the shop at the time. A free gift will be awarded to anybody purchasing a Tsunami rod during that time.

Absecon

Fishing kept improving a little, said Capt. Dave from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. Fishing for small striped bass, and white perch, kept picking up on Mullica and Great Egg Harbor rivers, as water warmed. Water was still cold, though. The Mullica at Hay Road and Jeffers Landing Road were hot spots. A few keeper stripers were known about, and lots of shorts were played. If anglers fished with bloodworms, they practically couldn’t help but catch. Graveling Point, at the confluence of the Mullica and Great Bay, gave up the year’s first keeper striped bass, and lots of throwbacks, this week. Mostly shore anglers fished, and few boaters did, so far this year. Boaters seemed to wait for weather to warm, and maybe more will boat this weekend. If boaters would get out, reports would probably pick up, and good fishing is probably available to them. Not much was heard about blackfishing, mostly because green crabs were unavailable from suppliers in New York and New England, where most come from, because of cold. How blackfishing was, couldn’t be said. Bloodworms and fresh clams are stocked. Bunker schooled, but demand for the fresh baitfish wasn’t enough for many suppliers to pursue them. Dave knew he wouldn’t sell many, if the menhaden were stocked.

Brigantine

John Fox released a throwback striped bass from the surf at the south end jetty today, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. That was the only news about a surf catch, and other anglers headed to fish the beach today, so Andy hoped they’d run into fish. Good-looking bloodworms were stocked today, and fresh clams are carried. Fresh bunker will arrive Friday, “which is a good sign,” Andy said. The Riptide Striper Bounty was up to $1,465. Sponsored by Hess Plumbing, the bounty is awarded to the angler who checks-in the season’s first striper 43 inches or larger from Brigantine’s surf. The bounty wasn’t won during fall, so is being rolled over to spring. That happened last year, too, and the bounty was won that spring. The angler must be entered before the catch, and entry is $5. All entry fees are awarded, so the bounty will build. Two $50 gift certificates will be awarded, one to the angler who stops by with the year’s first keeper striper from Brigantine’s surf, and the other for the first boater who brings in the first. The Fish for Life Tournament, a Brigantine surf-fishing contest, from Tom LaPera’s real-estate team, is under way until May 21. Entry is $20, and proceeds are reportedly donated to the South Jersey Cancer Fund. Trophies are awarded for the three heaviest stripers, and none was entered yet. Entry, available at Riptide, includes a permit to drive Brigantine’s middle beach until the final day of the tournament, when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit. Without the permit, driving the middle is prohibited. The tournament essentially enables entrants, with the Brigantine permit, to drive the island’s entire surf. ***Update, Thursday, 4/16:*** Another angler beached two stripers 24 to 26 inches in the surf today, Riptide’s Facebook page said. A photo of one of the fish was included in the post, and the post said the angler came back to pick up more clams for bait. “Will this be the breakout?” the page asked. ***Update, Saturday, 4/18:*** Stripers began to bite in the surf, Andy wrote on Riptide’s Facebook page. He posted photos of him and a friend, each with a throwback, and another friend with a 30-pound drum from the beach Friday on the page.

Atlantic City

Shore anglers tugged in striped bass, good-sized, but lots of smaller or 24- or 26-inchers, blues and blackfish from the surf and Absecon Inlet, said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. Warmer water was just needed, and the fishing will pick up. Striper fishing has been some of the best anywhere for the anglers at the inlet in recent springs. Numerous stripers, and especially large ones, were drilled, and they seemed to pour out of the rivers, after spawning, and shoot through the inlet, migrating to the ocean. That should happen in the warmer water in the next month. Currently, fishing can be best on high tides in evenings, and those tides will coincide with that time in the next days. Bunker swam around, and birds worked the water all over. The anglers are fishing bloodworms and fresh clams and bunker. The jetty-lined inlet and the surf are located near the shop. Baits stocked include all of those mentioned, and the bloods are on sale for two dozen for $20 every Tuesday and Wednesday. Fresh bunker are $2 apiece or three for $5 daily. Noel is trying to obtain green crabs to stock Friday. The crabs are scarce.

Sea Isle City

Definitely seeing more life, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Schools of bunker and herring swam the ocean. Big schools of bunker ran the back bay. Weather was warming. Things looked good. Striped bass were fought on the bay, mostly in evenings and at night, mostly on soft-plastic lures like Fin-S Fish or Bass Assassins, either along the sod banks or under lights, like at bridges. A few were caught on bait, but probably more will be soon. Stripers were scattered in the surf, and a couple caught were known about. Few anglers fished the surf, and more of the fish would probably be discovered, if more fished. Bluefish arriving in Townsend’s Inlet were reported a couple of times, and Mike knew blues did show up there. That is the year’s first confirmed bluefish report on this site this season. He also knew blues entered Manasquan Inlet, farther north, yesterday. No weakfish or summer flounder were reported to arrive locally, but Mike bets they will by next Thursday’s report. Bloodworms, fresh clams, eels and all the frozen bait is stocked. Fresh bunker’s been stocked on weekends, and Mike’s trying to stock them this weekend.

Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle will fish for striped bass on the back bay this evening, he said. He landed his season’s first on Sunday, covered in the last report. Fishing was beginning to happen in the bay, and will unfold rapidly. Nothing might be caught on one tide, and on the next, catches might explode for the season. Stripers will bite, and the migrations of bluefish and weakfish will invade the bay any time now. Joe last year had hooked his season’s first weak by this time of month. Weekends are booking up, and if anglers have a date they prefer for a charter, especially on weekends, they should reserve sooner than later. This is also time for special after-work trips, from afternoons to evenings, because fish turn on during the warmer, latter part of the day in spring. Summer flounder will migrate to the bay soon, too. A grand slam, a catch of all four species popular to anglers in the bay, is not uncommon this season. This is some of the best angling of the year. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s blog.

Avalon

Striped bass were heard about that began to be clutched from Raritan Bay, said Capt. Jim from Fins and Feathers Outfitters. But he’ll probably search for stripers on Delaware Bay this weekend. He knew about stripers slid from Delaware Bay’s shore, and he’ll probably boat the bay for stripers off the Villas and at Cape May Channel. If the bass bit for surf anglers, they might school the bay at those two areas. Charters aboard will fish for drum on the bay in May. A buddy said the stripers from Raritan Bay were boated from the back of that bay. Jim had tentatively been scheduled to fish for steelheads on upstate New York’s Salmon River from his lodge in the next days. But the river ran extremely high, because of snow melt. That will subside, and the year’s best steelheading is usually soon on the river. Fins and Feathers offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including saltwater fishing from the ocean to Delaware Bay and the back bays, duck and goose hunting on Delaware Bay and in nearby states, salmon and steelhead fishing on Salmon River from the lodge, and fly-fishing for trout on Pennsylvania’s trout streams, like the Yellow Breeches. When charters fish or hunt Delaware Bay, the boat is trailered to be launched at wherever’s nearest the angling or waterfowling.

Wildwood

The ocean warmed somewhat, reaching 50 degrees, so open-boat trips will sail for blackfish on the ocean 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday to Sunday with Fins & Grins Sport Fishing, Capt. Jim said. Reservations aren’t required but recommended, and telephone for availability. Warm weather is supposed to continue, and if a group, like with four anglers or more, wants to sail for striped bass on Delaware Bay instead, that’s possible. Open-boat rates would be charged, and Jim spoke with a couple of people who ran trips that caught a few stripers in the bay, and spoke with one who ran a trip and caught none. The stripers boated were in the upper bay, Jim said for this report. He mentioned stripers reported from the flats off Egg Island Point, in the previous report. Reports were heard about stripers caught from the bay’s surf, but he didn’t know whether that was true. Rumors begin to be heard this time of year.

Cape May

Trips blackfished Saturday through Monday on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. The ocean was cold, and some small blackfish bit, and not many keepers did. Three anglers bagged three blackfish apiece on Monday’s trip, and on Sunday’s trip, one angler limited out. But many anglers bagged none. One angler went 3 for 25 on keepers, had a lot of action. But others had not a lot. The angling was very slow at some places. Sounded like a few small cod could be boated farther from shore. But blackfish wouldn’t be angled, if there was fished. The Porgy IV will stick with blackfishing, sailing for the tautog at 8 a.m. daily. Blackfish season is only opened this month, and the trips are a chance for anglers to hook the tog and to fish, at least.

Beach anglers eased in a steady pick of striped bass, pretty good catches, from Delaware Bay in town, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. He saw no keepers, but keepers might’ve been bagged. Bloodworms and clams caught, and he fished that surf Wednesday in the rainstorm. We banked a couple, he said, on bloodworms. Stripers surely were landed on Delaware River, too. Nothing was heard about boaters striper fishing. A few blackfish were reported wrangled along surf jetties. They seemed to begin biting. No bluefish or weakfish were reported yet this season. Bunker schooled around, and spearing popped into the ocean surf. Nick saw the spearing. Fresh clams, both in the shell and shucked, and bloodworms are stocked. Nick’s working on carrying green crabs.