Fri., April 28, 2017
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Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Thursday, April 27.

| Keyport | Atlantic Highlands | Highlands | Neptune | Belmar | Point Pleasant Beach | Toms River | Forked River | Barnegat Light | Mystic Island | Absecon | Brigantine | Atlantic City | Egg Harbor Township | Longport | Ocean City | Sea Isle City | Cape May | Last Monday's Report |
Striped bass to a 45-pounder, 4 feet long, were slammed Monday from Raritan Bay with the Down Deep Fleet, Capt. Mario said. The angling was slow Wednesday for the first time in some time, because of dirty water from heavy rain, but was excellent otherwise. Trips are fishing with clams and bunker-chunks and are trolling Mojos. Anglers are also casting rubber shads. Open-boat trips are fishing daily, and charters are available. Open, afternoon trips are also fishing at 2 o’clock every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. See Down Deep’s calendar online for available dates. Join the Short Notice List on the site – look for the link underneath the Contact link – to be kept informed about special open trips. Fluke and sea bass trips are being booked. Down Deep runs two 40-feet boats, each accommodating up to 15 passengers.

The anglers limited out on striped bass and released additional keepers on Raritan Bay on Monday on the Vitamin Sea, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The fishing was okay, he said, and the angling was weathered out Tuesday. On Wednesday morning aboard, effects of the storm made fishing tough. But on a trip in the afternoon, with Capt. T.J. at the helm, favorable conditions were found, and the anglers landed 15 keepers, limiting out and releasing the extra. Good dates are still available for charters in mornings and afternoons, and afternoons have fished well consistently. Plenty of stripers are around, and some are moving to spawning grounds, and some are just arriving in the bay. May should be a great month of fishing. “Come on down (and) catch some of these magnificent fish,” he said. One space is available for an open-boat trip Tuesday morning. Spaces are available on the trips on Wednesday and next Thursday afternoons. Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8, are available for charters or open trips in the afternoon.

Atlantic Highlands
Felt good to be back at the helm, Capt. Ron from the Fishermen wrote about today aboard, on the party boat’s website. The vessel was tied up in the weather in past days. A few striped bass were picked on the change of the tide. The trip made a couple of moves, and ended up on a little pile of stripers once the tide began to run. A 70-pound black drum was decked toward the end of the trip. Bill Yurkovic was high hook on his first trip of the season on the boat, landing seven stripers, and winning the pool with a 33-incher. The water was muddy but warmed to 55 degrees. Trips have been fishing for stripers on Raritan Bay, mostly with clams, occasionally with rubber shads and jigs. Ron expects bluefish to begin showing up any day, “and we will keep an eye on that also,” he wrote. The boat is fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 3:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Fishing for striped bass resumed this morning on Raritan Bay on the party boat Atlantic Star, Capt. Tom said at 10 a.m. on the trip in a phone call. No trips fished in the weather the past couple of days. On this morning’s trip, one keeper was landed and a couple of stripers were missed so far, and he was about to move the boat and look around. The afternoon trip will surely fish. Tom didn’t even try to sail Tuesday in the storm. He and crew shaped up to fish Wednesday, but too few anglers showed up at the port to fish in the lingering weather. Trips are fishing for stripers on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m.

Boaters whipped striped bass at Raritan Bay’s shallows on clams, chunks of bunker, cast rubber shads and trolled Mojos, an employee said from Julian’s Bait & Tackle. Shore anglers also banked them from the bay. Large blues just began to show up in the bay. Nothing was heard about blackfish. The full supply of bait is stocked, including fresh clams, fresh bunker and green crabs.

Making the trip from Twin Lights Marina, Roy Wurst, Brian and Jeff trolled and chunked more than 20 striped bass, releasing them, on Friday, Marian wrote in an email. Anthony Pennimede’s crew on Saturday limited out on stripers at “the ‘secret spot’ (where everyone else was),” she wrote. Twin Lights, located on Shrewsbury River near Raritan Bay and the ocean, with no bridges before them, includes a marina with boat slips, dry storage, a fuel dock, and a combined bait and tackle shop and ship’s store. The fuel dock is available 24 hours a day with a credit card. Baits stocked include fresh clams and live bunker when in demand.

Sea bass charters are booking with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. Weekends are filling, so try to book early. Space is available for individual-reservation trips for sea bass June 6 and 13 and for cod June 21. Sea bass season will be open May 26 through June 18 with a 10-fish bag limit and 12-1/2-inch minimum size. It’ll reopen from July through August, but with a two-fish limit at 12 1/2 inches. It’ll reopen again from October 22 through the end of the year, with a 15-fish limit at 12 1/2. Last Lady will begin fishing in May for the year.

No boats fished locally, really, in the storm in past days, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. But something like that was needed to trigger a change in fishing, and the new moon was also this week. He expects this moon to help cause change, too. His trips jump all over big striped bass when the migration moves to the ocean from bays and rivers this season. Parker Pete’s is known for that. Large bluefish began migrating into bays and rivers from the south. A few stripers were already boated on the ocean this season. He’ll see what’s happening in the ocean now that this blow is passing. The water probably warmed. He hopes for the weather for a charter to sail Saturday, and the group just wants to fish. All the bait and tackle will be aboard for stripers. The anglers can also blackfish on the ocean. Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s anyway about individual spaces available on charters. Trips are booking.

Weather’s clearing, and fishing will kick back off Friday on the Miss Belmar Princess, an email from the party boat said. Trips are running for striped bass and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily, but none sailed all week because of weather. Last chance: Buy three gift certificates for the trips and get one free, an offer only available through April. The offer cannot be combined with other discounts.

Forecasts look “spring like” for the next few days, so trips for striped bass will resume on the Golden Eagle, a report said on the party boat’s website. The boat is fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Point Pleasant Beach
***Update, Friday, 4/28:*** Despite the ocean swell and rough weather in previous days, blackfish bit Thursday on the Norma-K III, a report said on the party boat’s website. “Some nice fish came up,” it said, and a 9-pounder won the pool. A few anglers limited out, “and some with less,” it said. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily through Sunday, the final day of blackfish season. Afterward, the trips will fish for striped bass and blues.

Weather will be beautiful this weekend, and the Gambler will fish for striped bass and blues 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, the party boat’s Facebook page said. Accurate Reels will host two trips 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. this coming Wednesday and on Tuesday, May 23, aboard for anglers to test the company’s gear. Stripers and bluefish will be targeted.

Toms River
Dennis from Murphy’s Hook House released a few striped bass to 22 inches along Route 37 Bridge on Barnegat Bay at the end of the day yesterday on X-Raps, he said. No other boats fished there at the time, but lots of stripers swam the water. He trolled a sizable bluefish near Good Luck Point on the trip, and probably 14 boats fished for the gators there on the bay. He stayed out of the crowd, fishing the outskirts. But anglers in the fleet scored well. They gave thumbs up, and an angler on one of the boats with five anglers said they must’ve landed 300 of the fish. The mouth of the Toms River near there was 58 degrees. Dennis saw shore anglers fishing Good Luck Point but none catching. But in the morning, anglers from shore lit into the blues farther up the river on popper lures. A kid bought a Gibb’s pencil popper in orange and tied into them. The orange is rare but worked. The blues have been tearing around the whole bay. A few winter flounder remained in the bay, like toward the BB and BI markers, but were migrating to the ocean quickly. A couple of token weakfish were picked up from the bay in this area, like near the 40 marker and off Oyster Creek, by boaters from Forked River. Farther north in the bay, a few winter flounder remained toward Mantoloking Bridge and Point Pleasant Canal. But blues were more abundant there, and most flounder migrated to Manasquan River. That was where to find them. The surf was mostly unfishable in the storm the past couple of days. Previously, gator blues were picked from the beach, mostly at Island Beach State Park to Barnegat Inlet. The water had been 50 degrees, a little chilly for blues. The northeast wind probably made the surf 52 now. Crabbing was very good. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard on the Toms.

Forked River
Pretty big blues were boated on Barnegat Bay, said Kyle from Grizz’s Forked River Bait & Tackle. Anglers trolled for them between the BB and BI markers with pony tails. They threw popper lures and Fin-S Fish for the gators at the mouth of Oyster Creek. Schoolie stripers swam the bay near the mouth and also still the creek itself. Nobody reported boating for winter flounder on the bay, and rough weather didn’t help. Bloodworms, fresh clams, killies, nightcrawlers and meal worms are stocked.

Barnegat Light
Barnegat Inlet harbored large bluefish, said Vince Sr. from Bobbie’s Boat Rentals. Surf anglers also tackled them, and striped bass were hooked from the inlet and Barnegat Bay. Boaters also landed stripers sometimes when fishing the ocean near the surf. Blackfishing was good along the inlets rocks and at ocean wrecks, and the season for the fish will close Monday. The rental boats will be available beginning this weekend. Fresh clams and green crabs are stocked. 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.

No boats sailed in past days from Van’s Boat Rentals because of weather including fog, Rob said. But big bluefish have been “out of control” in Barnegat Inlet. Good fishing for them. Schoolie striped bass swam Barnegat Bay off Oyster Creek. A weakfish was yanked from the bay here and there. Boat rentals will become available on Memorial Day weekend, and bait and tackle will start to be sold during the week leading up to then. Currently, slips were available for customers to launch boats for the season. Temporary slips are also available for rent. The fuel dock is open. Van’s rents boats from 9 h.p. to 50 h.p. for fishing, crabbing and pleasure, in-season. Kayaks are rented in-season, and facilities include a bait and tackle shop and a marina with slips, gas and full boat servicing.

Mystic Island
Plenty of big blues were banked at Graveling Point, said Brandon from Scott’s Bait & Tackle. They popped up sporadically. Striped bass, sometimes a keeper, were slid in there sometimes. The keepers were 30 inches. Drum to 20 or 30 pounds were cranked in from Graveling at times. To target the blues, fish bunker. Clams were the “universal” bait, able to hook the blues, stripers and drum. Clams were good bait for the stripers, and bloodworms could also be fished, if anglers wanted to target stripers. Drum are usually caught on clams. Bigger stripers should begin migrating up the coast, including to local waters, in a week or two, after spawning in rivers and bays. They’ll be heading north for summer in the ocean, some of them making the trek through bays. Blackfishing was fairly good on the ocean. He blackfished on foot along Barnegat Inlet’s rocks, landing a couple of small. Blackfish were there, and getting through the small for a keeper was the thing. Fresh clams in the shell, fresh, shucked clams, fresh bunker and bloodworms are stocked.

Fishing for good-sized bluefish gave up fairly consistent catches, said Curt from Absecon Bay Sportsman Center. They weren’t everywhere, but were around. Those who knew where to find them got into them pretty well. A couple of main spots were in the back bay toward Bader Field and in back of the wind mills in Atlantic City. A few were heard about from Great Bay off Graveling Point. If they were there, they should swim Grassy Channel in the bay. Capt. Dave, the shop’s owner, was running a charter today and would probably stop at Grassy on high tide for blues, Curt thought. A few striped bass were around in bays and rivers. An odd 40-pound, spawning female was heard about now and then. The Great Egg Harbor area turned on pretty well for stripers, Curt heard. That was closer to Beesley’s Point and the bridges. Curt hadn’t heard much about 30-inch males that might be expected. A few came from Mullica River. Lots of throwback stripers were around. White perch were kind of scattered in the Mullica. They swam usual haunts but were also upstream, spawning. If anglers get into small perch, they might move and find bigger. Twenty male perch the same size might compete to fertilize eggs at a spot. No big weakfish were reported that enter bays to spawn in spring. One report talked about weaks at Corson’s Inlet at a dock at night. Blackfishing produced decent catches. Keepers came from jetties, bridges and structure like that. Blackfish season closes Monday. All baits are stocked including fresh clams, fresh bunker and green crabs. Boat slips are available for vessels up to 20 feet.

Big bluefish raced all around the surf, said Capt. Andy from Riptide Bait & Tackle. Not a lot of anglers fished the beach, but those who did were into them, on fresh bunker. The lead kept changing in the bluefish division in the Riptide Spring Fishing Derby, underway until May 21. A 12-1/2-pound 37-incher took over first place this afternoon. Karl Stock was in second and third with two 11-pounders. A 28-pound 42-1/2-inch striped bass was weighed-in Tuesday during the storm. Andy knew the location of the catch but wasn’t saying. Another customer landed a good-sized striper on the bay today. Fresh bunker and fresh clams are stocked. The fishing derby awards cash for the heaviest stripers and blues. Entry is $25 and includes a permit to drive Brigantine’s entire front beach, when accompanied by a Brigantine beach-buggy permit. Without the derby permit, not the entire beach can be driven. Riptide’s Yuki Hani 43-Inch Striper Bounty was up to $270. That’s awarded to the entrant who stops in with the year’s first striper 43 inches or larger from Brigantine’s surf. Entry is $5, and the bounty will grow, because all the cash is awarded.

Atlantic City
“It’s bangin’!” Noel said from One Stop Bait & Tackle. “It’s triple bangin’, though!” he said. Lots of large bluefish schooled from the surf alongside Absecon Inlet to the back bay, including at Erie and Riverside avenues and in back of the Borgata. Fish fresh bunker for them. Plenty of striped bass, mostly schoolies, swam the surf near the inlet, swiping bloodworms but also lures. Blackfish kept chewing along the jetty-lined inlet’s rocks on green crabs and clams. Practically all waters in Atlantic City gave up fish. “It’s the new spot,” he said. “It’s called the Fish Trap now.” All baits mentioned and more, the full supply, are stocked.

Egg Harbor Township
The mouth of Great Egg Harbor River to the bay to the surf tossed up 10-pound bluefish, said Jim from 24-7 Bait & Tackle. He heard about no striped bass since the blues arrived, except about throwbacks from the river. Many anglers fished for white perch on the river, and plenty can usually be reeled up. Blackfish chomped at bridges and rock piles. Nothing was heard about crabbing yet this season. Patcong Creek, running past the shop, is one of the best places for crabbing. The shop’s rental boats are docked on the creek and can be used for fishing and crabbing from the creek to the Great Egg to the bay. Patcong meets the Great Egg near the river’s confluence with the bay. Baits stocked include bloodworms. Fresh bunker are carried when available, and no fresh clams were on hand in past days. The company also owns 24-7 Bait & Tackle in Marmora. The company also just opened Tight Lines Bait & Tackle in Somers Point.

The Stray Cat will resume blackfishing today on the ocean, after being weathered out in the storm since the weekend, Capt. Mike said. Open-boat trips will blackfish daily through Sunday, the final day of blackfish season, but Saturday’s trip is sold out. The angling’s been good aboard. A 10-pounder was ransacked on the most recent trip, on Sunday, and most of the anglers limited out on the outing. Seas were big that day, too. After Sunday, the trips will wreck-fish on the ocean.

Ocean City
The surf gave up a few catches, finally, said Ed from Fin-Atics. A few small striped bass and some healthy-sized blues were dragged in. A couple of black drum were hauled from the surf last week, but none was known about this week. Clams, bloodworms or chunks of bunker were dunked for the stripers, and the bunker was soaked for the blues. The drum bit clams. Second- or third-hand reports mentioned kingfish from the surf, but that was unconfirmed. The blues swam more abundantly in inlets and the bay. Small stripers hit in the bay along bridges and sod banks. That was mostly on soft-plastic lures or swimming plugs. Blackfish season will be closed beginning Monday, but decent fishing for them was copped along structure like bridges, jetties, docks and piers. Bloodworms, fresh clams in the shell and fresh, shucked clams are stocked. Fresh bunker might be carried for the weekend. Fog kept bunker boats from sailing.

Sea Isle City
Paul Hines and friend Dave smashed bluefish to 16 pounds, lots, on the back bay yesterday aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. The fishing’s been incredible, epic, he said. No trips fished Monday and Tuesday in the weather. On Sunday afternoon Jay VonCzoernig and son Luc whacked the blues to 16 pounds, again, all big, on fly and spinning rods on the bay aboard. Paul Hines and friend Dave were also aboard that morning for more of the same angling. The trips are fishing leadhead jigheads with soft-plastic lures and 1/0 and 2/0 Clouser Minnow flies bounced slowly along bottom in cool water that can slow blues. Joe likes to fish knot-able wire tippets for blues. Sometimes he had to fish wire, because the fish just bit through. They even busted through wire at times. Jump on the fishing quickly, because it won’t last forever. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.

Fishing was still going off, said Mike from Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Big bluefish swam everywhere surrounding the island, and were especially pounded in the back bay. What caught them was difficult to say, because when the bite was on, anglers hooked up on nearly anything. Many used soft-plastic lures like Bass Assassins and Fin-S Fish. Some striped bass were mixed in, including occasional keepers. Getting past the blues was the biggest difficulty. So the blues and stripers were also angled from the inlets and the surf. For the blues at those places, mullet was most popular bait, for some reason. Bunker and mackerel also sold for them, but customers mostly bought mullet. For the stripers, clams were fished. Many customers bought frozen, salted clams for that, but plenty of fresh clams are stocked, and some bought those. Blackfishing from land was maybe somewhat slower than two weeks ago, but still produced, and boating for blackfish picked up on the ocean. Crabbing was great, and Mike tried to convince people so. Some were skeptical, thinking the season was early.

Cape May
“Kind of a grind today,” Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing’s Facebook page said about blackfishing aboard. But the trip worked several pieces and managed a good catch of 22 keepers to a 13-1/2-pounder. Blackfish season will be closed beginning Monday, and then trips will begin bunker-chunking for striped bass on Delaware Bay, immediately. Drum fishing will start on the bay on May 10 aboard. Charters and open-boat trips sail.

None of the fleet probably fished in the past days’ weather, said Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter last night in a phone call. The boat will blackfish this weekend on the ocean. Charters will run in May for black drum on Delaware Bay and sea bass on the ocean.

Daily trips for blackfish on the ocean last fished Sunday and were weathered out since on the party boat Porgy IV, Capt. Paul said. The trips were expected to resume today, and had some action through Sunday. Several anglers limited out on Saturday and Sunday, and the fishing was alright. G. Mak from Philly on Sunday limited out on the tautog to a 12-1/2-pounder. Paul expected not great blackfishing on today’s trip, after wind roughed up seas, but hoped he was wrong and that the trip locked into a bunch. The boat is blackfishing at 8 a.m. daily through Sunday, the final day of blackfish season. Afterward, trips will take a break until resuming the following Saturday, May 6. Then trips will fish for black drum on Delaware Bay from 2 to 10 p.m. Telephone to reserve the drum trips.

Sounded like fishing was starting, said Nick from Hands Too Bait & Tackle. Some good-sized striped bass were boated on Delaware Bay on bunker chunks. Thirty-inch bluefish swam everywhere. No one spot seemed best, and the blues kept moving, chasing bait. But they schooled at times at places including Delaware Bay, the ocean and off Cape May Point, at the confluence of the bay and ocean. They pushed into the water along jetties at times. Jetties are located along both the bay and ocean in Cape May, where, again, the bay meets the ocean. The blues were also heard about from the back bay farther north. If they roamed there, they probably roamed the local back bay, Nick figured. A few puppy drum were eased from the surf and boated from Delaware Bay. Nick would try for them in the shallows off Coxhall Creek. A few were boated there earlier this season, and drum gathered there in recent years. Good blackfishing was boated at ocean wrecks like at Cape May Reef and was also scored along jetties by anglers on foot. Fresh bunker and clams are stocked. Green crabs, jumbo bloodworms and regular-sized bloods are carried. Bloods were scarce recently, so Nick was glad to see the jumbos.

Last Monday's Report

Super-good striped bass fishing on Raritan Bay aboard, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. On Saturday on the boat, three of the stripers bagged weighed 38, 35 and 32 pounds. “This is pretty good bass fishing,” he wrote. “I’ll leave it at that.” Slowly trolled, large, rubber shads was the way to catch. Chunking bunker began to produce, and trips fish however necessary for the best chance to grab your personal-best striper. Charters and open-boat trips are fishing in mornings and afternoons, and Tuesday’s trips are canceled because of rough forecasts. One space is available on a trip 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday. Spaces are available during those hours Wednesday, May 3, and Thursday, May 4. Book early if you want a spot, or it’ll be gone. Telephone to reserve. The fishing’s been just as good in afternoons as mornings, and better on many days. Catch reports daily, photos and schedules on Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page.

Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing broke wide open, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep Fleet. The fish to 35 pounds were clammed, bunker-chunked and trolled on Mojos aboard. Slammer bluefish will probably arrive in the bay full-force by the end of the week. They currently swam warmer water in the surf. Open-boat trips are fishing daily and charters are available on Down Deep’s two boats, each 40 feet and accommodating up to 15 passengers. See Down Deep’s calendar online for available dates. Join the Short Notice List on the site – look for the link underneath the Contact link – to be kept informed about special open trips. Trips for fluke and sea bass are now being reserved for later this season.

Atlantic Highlands

On the party boat Atlantic Star by 10 a.m. today on Raritan Bay, a keeper striped bass was bagged, a few throwbacks were released and some stripers were missed, Capt. Tom said when he gave this report at that time in a phone call aboard. Some of the fish seemed difficult to hook. Both of Saturday’s trips showed improvement in the angling for the first time this season. On the morning’s trip, a few keepers and a better number of throwbacks than before were hooked. The afternoon’s trip scored a healthy number of keepers and about the same number of throwbacks as in the morning, more throwbacks than before. A good number of anglers jumped aboard Sunday, but unfortunately the fishing was slower. It began okay in the morning, and dropped off. All the bass on trips were clammed, except one was landed on a rubber shad last Monday. A customer was casting a shad on this morning’s trip when Tom gave this report, but the trip’s fish were all clammed so far. Trips are fishing for stripers on two trips daily from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesday looks like a washout in rain and wind, and no trips are expected to sail that day. Tom will see what happens with Wednesday’s weather, and Thursday is supposed to be warm.

Fishing for striped bass on Raritan Bay was much better Saturday on the party boat Fishermen than before, Capt. Ron wrote in a report on the party boat’s website. That was the first decent bite of the season, and the bass in the shallows wanted bait that the trips are currently fishing. On Sunday’s trip, the angling still wasn’t what it should be. A handful of keepers and a bunch of shorts were reeled in. The fish weren’t hitting aggressively and getting instantly hooked. Patience will pay off, as Ron’s said many times before, he said. The boat is fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily and 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.


Boat traffic slowed Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing on Sunday morning’s trip, but 18 of the fish to 39 inches were still landed, Capt. Mike from Tuna-Tic Sportfishing wrote on Tuna-Tic’s Facebook page. Anglers on the afternoon’s trip started catching them right away, cranking in eleven in the first hour, still hooking the fish at 3 p.m., when Mike posted that. They clammed 20-some by later that day, and had just gone on the troll to try for bigger, Mike said in a phone call aboard at the time. The fishing’s been very good, he said. Tuna-Tic fishes the bay for stripers until the fish depart. Then the boat each year is moved to Forked River to sail for stripers on the ocean from Barnegat Inlet. Those are big, mature bass that have left bays and rivers after spawning and are beginning to migrate north in the ocean to spend summer. Tuna-Tic starts shark fishing in June, and sometimes mixes in striper fishing on the way back.


Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters fished Saturday for the first time this year, blackfishing on the ocean, Capt. Pete said. The angling was decent, considering strong current. It picked throwbacks and keepers, including sizable to 6 pounds, most of the trip. Lots of bait was marked, and birds sometimes worked the bait. No striped bass were on the bait, but the ocean’s striper run will happen soon, he thinks. Striper trips, springtime’s main fishing aboard, are booking up. Charters sail, but individual spaces are available with charters who want more anglers. So don’t hesitate to call if you have too few anglers for a charter.

The Katie H is currently docked along Raritan Bay to the north of Belmar for a little seasonal maintenance, and is fishing for the bay’s striped bass with charters in between, Capt. Mike said. A half-day trip with a family trolled the fish on Mojos this past week, and another charter is headed for the bay’s stripers in the next days aboard. The ocean’s striper fishing from Belmar mostly sounded slow, so the boat will be kept near the bay for now. But Mike imagines the fishing from Belmar will kick in soon. The 46-foot Katie H features speed and all the amenities.

No fishing will sail Tuesday and Wednesday on the Miss Belmar Princess because of weather, an email from the party boat said. The crew will keep an eye on Thursday. The boat is running for striped bass and blues, and a trip fished Saturday aboard, doing lots of looking. The whole fleet had tough fishing that day, it said, and the trip read plenty of bait but only a few fish among the bait. Sometimes gannets dove on the bait, and sometimes whales and porpoises were seen. Trips are slated to fish for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Buy three gift certificates for the trips and get one free. The offer is only available through April and cannot be combined with other discounts.

Striped bass fishing was tough Saturday on the Golden Eagle, a report said on the party boat’s website. Plenty of bait and stripers were read, but catching them was difficult “to say the least,” it said. The anglers fished hard on a rainy, raw day. Tomorrow’s another day, it said. No trips were expected to fish today and Tuesday because of forecasts for 30-knot wind from northeast. The Golden Eagle is scheduled to fish for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.


Wreck-fishing turned up a decent catch of cod Saturday on the party boat Jamaica II on the ocean, especially early in the day, Capt. Ryan wrote in an email. Some better-sized were hung, and the Diaz brothers bagged four cod. One of the fish weighed 29.7 pounds, and the rest weighed 15 to 18. Bob Bohrer sacked two cod 8 and 12 pounds. Chris Molinaro whacked five that totaled 41 pounds. Ray Bryant pasted three to 14 pounds. Brian Borgunn decked three cod to 12 pounds and an 8-pound pollock. A scattering of other fish were boxed around the boat, and not many ling were. See photos on the Jamaica II’s Facebook page. Trips are slated to fish every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday.

Anglers picked away at schoolie striped bass to 20 inches, maybe sometimes 24 inches, in Manasquan Inlet on rubber shads and small, white bucktails, said Eric from The Reel Seat. The fish were also hooked in the surf up and down the beaches on the same sort of tackle. Bluefish 6 to 8 pounds arrived in the inlet. They didn’t show up super consistently, but were fought nearly all day Saturday. Three-inch crocs and the same tackle fished for the stripers hooked them. Winter flounder gave up fantastic fishing, including for big, from Barnegat Bay near Bay Avenue and Point Pleasant Canal to Manasquan River near the hospital and Treasure Island. The fish began to migrate toward the ocean. On the ocean, boating for stripers tapered off in southeast wind. Customers who reported about the fishing knew about nobody who caught them Saturday. Blackfishing on the ocean was fair, good on some days, slower on others. But they were there and seemed to push a little shallower to 40 and 50 feet of water. Clams or soft baits seemed to hook them best, and a few cod were picked on the trips. Farther north, Raritan Bay’s striper fishing was great in 15- and 20-foot shallows from the New Jersey side to the New York side. Trolled, lightweight Mojos in chartreuse and Stretch 25 lures nailed the fish to the mid-30 pounds. The Reel Seat is now open daily for the fishing season.

Point Pleasant Beach

Mushin Sportfishing ran an exploratory trip for tuna Saturday and found good signs that bluefin tuna should swim the water soon or already, Capt. Alan wrote in an email. He didn’t specify the signs, but seemed to mean conditions like water temperature. Blue, 72-degree water likely to hold yellowfin tuna and mako sharks is moving into offshore canyons farther south. Mushin moves the boat to Cape May to fish for tuna and makos to the south beginning in June for a while. That angling has lit up in recent years, and if anglers are looking for early-season tuna, the trips should be booked now. Trips aboard will soon target striped bass on the ocean and keep tilefishing offshore. A recent trip boated golden tiles, covered in a recent report here. An apparent tuna bit off one of the tiles.

Blackfishing improved Saturday and Sunday on the Norma-K III, a report said on the party boat’s website. Some good-sized were plastered, and pool-winning blackfish weighed 6 to 8 pounds. The high hook limited out, some anglers bagged one to three and some only landed throwbacks. Anglers who cast around and worked, scored. Most blackfish were hooked on green crabs, and the greens and clams were carried aboard. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through Sunday, the final day of blackfish season. Beginning Tuesday, the trips will target striped bass and blues.

Seaside Heights

Small striped bass nibbled in the surf, and mixed sizes of bluefish bit in Barnegat Bay, a report said on The Dock Outfitters’ website. A few of the store’s rental boats are now available, if anglers want to get after the blues on them. Crabbing was a pick from the dock, but some keepers were trapped. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing, boat rentals and, in season, jet-ski rentals.

Barnegat Light

The Super Chic will probably begin fishing in mid to late May, Capt. Ted said. Then the boat will sail for bluefish and sea bass on the ocean. He’d like to run a couple of open-boat trips for tilefish offshore around then, like he often does this time of year. The first charter is currently booked for sea bass for May 26, opening day of sea bass season. Big bluefish were fought from the surf on Long Beach Island, Barnegat Inlet and Barnegat Bay. The number landed from the bay seemed lower than last year, but the season could be a little early. Maybe the water needed to warm for them to bite better, and weather’s supposed to become warmer late this week. If the angling’s going to pick up, that ought to do it. Boaters picked away at small striped bass in the bay shallows behind the inlet on cast lures.


Ten to 15-pound bluefish shoved into Brigantine’s surf the past couple of days, a report said on Riptide Bait & Tackle’s website. Almost anything hooked the fish, including plugs, jigs and even clams. But bunker caught best. Use a wire leader, because the slammers will bite through fishing line.

Atlantic City

It’s on like Donkey Kong! said Noel from One Stop Bait & Tackle. Big bluefish and small striped bass swarmed thick from the surf to the back bay. That was the surf next to Absecon Inlet. Off Erie Avenue was a place tossing up the fish in the bay recently. Plenty of blackfish chomped along the jetty-lined inlet, and he was weighing-in two when he gave this report this afternoon. Sometimes kingfish were nabbed in the same surf, and a customer grabbed a dozen or so in a trip. Four or five blowfish were known about from the surf there. Something about this whole area holds fish this time of year. Customers fish all these waters on foot. For the blues, they cast fresh bunker or frozen mackerel or herring. For the stripers, they soaked bloodworms. The worms also hooked the kings and blowfish. The blackfish smacked green crabs and clams. All these baits and more, the full supply, are stocked.


The Stray Cat blackfished Saturday on the ocean, “and it was rough,” Capt. Mike said. “Big seas.” Current ripped, difficult for anchoring. But the tautog chewed their heads off beginning at 10 a.m., when a wreck was fished that began to produce. Most of the anglers limited out, and a 10-pounder was the biggest of the tog. Some quality came in. No trip fished Sunday, because of rougher forecasts, but weather and seas ended up better that day. Open-boat trips are blackfishing daily when weather’s fit, until blackfish season is closed beginning next Monday. The next are expected to sail Wednesday to Friday and on Sunday. Saturday’s trip is full. Beginning in May, trips will fish wrecks for whatever bites. The ocean was 52 degrees on the fishing grounds Saturday. Bunker schooled beginning at 4 ½ or 5 miles from shore. A few striped bass seemed to swim beyond 3 miles from shore, where striper fishing is closed.

Sea Isle City

Fishing for big bluefish was ridiculous on the back bay aboard, very good, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. On Thursday Joe, his wife and Joe’s friend Capt. Chris Goldmark beat the blues to 16 pounds on flies and lead jigheads with soft-plastic lures. On Friday Doug Gillespie aboard smashed the blues to 18 pounds on the jigs. On Saturday morning Sean Mackin’s family jigged the blues to 14 pounds and, if Joe remembered, an out-of-season summer flounder or two that were released. In the afternoon Paul Hines and friend Dave tackled the blues to 18 pounds on flies and the jigs. Hines and buddy returned Sunday morning and jigged the blues to 16 pounds the whole trip. “Fishing’s good, man,” Joe said! When the jigs were fished in shallower water, they were retrieved just fast enough to keep off bottom. In deeper water, the presentation was slowed and was more of a jigging motion. Tackle is fished relatively slowly in cool water this time of year for the blues. The bay was 58 to 64 degrees, and the fish begin to bite top-water popper lures and flies when the water’s a little warmer, usually a little into May. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.

Cape May

The year’s first fishing sailed Sunday, for blackfish, on the Heavy Hitter, Capt. George said. The anglers, Kevin Driscoll’s party, caught pretty well, lots of throwbacks a half-inch or an inch undersized, but worked through them for keepers. The trip, fishing not far from shore on the ocean in foggy weather, bounced around to a couple of pieces. Next, another piece gave up the tautog well. Blackfish season will be closed beginning next Monday. Black drum trips will fish Delaware Bay probably beginning after Mothers’ Day, May 14. Sea bass trips will fish the ocean when sea bass season is opened beginning May 26. Telephone if interested in any of this fishing.

Several trips blackfished this past week with Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing on the ocean, limiting out on the tautog to 11 pounds, Capt. Tom said. Charters and open-boat trips fish, and trips for striped bass will bunker-chunk Delaware Bay in May. Trips will also fish for black drum on the bay in May.