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Saltwater Fishing Report

Report from Thursday, November 15.

| Keyport | Leonardo | Atlantic Highlands | Long Branch | Neptune | Belmar | Brielle | Point Pleasant Beach | Toms River | Seaside Heights | Forked River | Absecon | Brigantine | Atlantic City | Longport | Ocean City | Sea Isle City | Cape May | Last Monday's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED
EVERY MONDAY AND THURSDAY
Last Monday's Report
Keyport

Multiple trips for striped bass were weathered out each week aboard, and the fishing would normally be easy but was turning out to be a grind, Capt. Frank from the Vitamin Sea wrote in an email. Anglers who only wanted to jig for the fish would only hook throwbacks. Those who were willing to troll would still find a grind but catch stripers around 30 pounds. Nothing easy about this fall, but when the weather enables the trips to sail, we give it 100 percent, he said. Charters are fishing, and open-boat trips will fish for stripers Wednesday and Thursday. Telephone to jump aboard. Keep up with photos and daily reports on Vitamin Sea’s Facebook page.

An angler from a trip yesterday with Manicsportfishing said he’d be happy with two stripers, and the trip bagged two, Manic’s Facebook page said. A photo showed two anglers each holding a striper bagged. The captain wasn’t happy and wanted a few more. But quite a few throwbacks bit. He was glad for that action. A trip Thursday with five anglers limited out on stripers aboard. Not an insane bite, but the trip got it done. The anglers were patient and “held up strong,” it said. An open-boat trip was going to fish for stripers today.

Fishing for striped bass was up and down, good on one day, slow on another, said Capt. Mario from the Down Deep Fleet. Some bigger stripers were around, and trips aboard caught stripers on eels, bunker-chunks and trolled Mojos. Open-boat trips are sailing for stripers at 6 a.m. daily, and charters are available for up to 15 passengers. Sign up for the Short Notice List to be kept informed about open trips for blackfish that will begin Friday. The blackfish bag limit will be increased to five that day from the current limit of one. Both of Down Deep’s boats feature heated cabins, full galleys and plenty of fishing room.

Leonardo

The anglers wanted to fish for blackfish on a trip Sunday with Sour Kraut Sportfishing, Capt. Joe said. The blackfish bag limit becomes five on Friday, an increase from the current limit of one, and Joe looks forward to fishing for them then. The trip limited out and released lots. Sour Kraut is also striper fishing, and Joe heard about many stripers trolled that day on the New York side. That was an afternoon bite, and migrating stripers currently were still angled to the north. Joe doesn’t think fishing for them will end locally anytime soon, so long as severe weather doesn’t chase them.

Atlantic Highlands

On the Fishermen, action on smaller striped bass was much better today, a report said on the party boat’s website. The catch included a couple of keepers and several slots among throwbacks. Plain jigs caught best, because sand eels arrived. Tuesday’s trip is canceled because of forecasts for rain and wind. The next trip will be on Wednesday, and the fishing is slated for 7:30 .a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Blackfishing resumed Sunday on the party boat Atlantic Star after windy weather, Capt. Tom said. The catches were slower than before the weather, tying into the fish at all of the three or four drops fished. A few keepers and mostly throwbacks came in. The water was dirtier than before, maybe a reason. Current also ran strongly. Tom expected today’s trip to sail in fair weather but Tuesday’s trip to be weathered out in a storm. Trips are bottom-fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Neptune

A charter Thursday walloped striped bass to 41 pounds with Last Lady Fishing Charters, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. A photo included looked like four good-sized were bagged. A charter Friday fished in fierce wind and rough seas but nailed stripers to 37 pounds. A photo of that trip showed the anglers also holding four sizable. A trip Sunday with a long-time charter got a late start and missed the bite. But plenty of stripers are in. Individual-reservation trips will fish for blackfish Friday and stripers and blackfish Nov. 20, 24, 27 and 30. The blackfish bag limit will be raised beginning Friday.

Belmar

Boat traffic was heavy, but lots of striped bass swam up and down the coast Sunday, said Capt. Pete from Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters. Some great catches of them were made, on the troll and on livelined bunker. Weather’s been tough, including screaming wind Friday and Sunday. But plenty of stripers are migrating.

Striped bass fishing was going to sail today with Celtic Stoirm Charters, Capt. Mike said beforehand. Huge fleets fished for stripers Sunday off Spring Lake and the Red Church on the ocean. Lots of stripers were angled on the beautiful day on trolled Mojos and spoons, some on livelined bunker. Friday was too windy for fishing. A couple of boats fished Saturday, but wind blew that day, too.

No trip fished Friday on the Miss Belmar Princess because of weather, emails said from the party boat. On Saturday, strong wind blew, drifting the boat too fast, and striped bass fishing was difficult aboard. A 28-pound striper won the pool. On Sunday’s trip, weather was better, but the fishing was tough. A few stripers were caught, a few were lost and a 34-pound striper won the pool. On today’s trip, “we had some action” at times, an email said, and some big stripers were bagged aboard. A 36-pound striper won the pool, and most of the trip’s stripers were clocked on livelined bunker that were snagged for bait. Plenty of bunker have been schooling, and trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Wind stronger than 40 knots gusted on Saturday’s trip, and a couple of striped bass were reeled in, but the wind blew too much, drifting the Golden Eagle off the fish too quickly, a report said on the party boat’s website. On Sunday’s trip in better weather, big stripers were slugged, just not enough. Lots were seen chasing bait, but the bass didn’t really want to bite. Plenty of bunker are schooling. If you want stripers, now’s the time to fish for them, because lots are around. Trips are fishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Boaters today walloped great fishing for striped bass, mostly 20- to 35-pounders, on the ocean, Bob from Fisherman’s Den wrote in an email. Most of the bass were trolled or were hooked on livelined bunker that were snagged for bait on the trips. The fishing is good, and please only keep the stripers you can consume, Bob asked. The big fish are breeders, he said. For the most part, none of those big stripers swam into the surf. But surf anglers played plenty of smaller stripers, mostly throwbacks. Many shore anglers banked blackfish and winter flounder well. Bob didn’t say where, but maybe he meant blackfish along Shark River Inlet and flounder on Shark River. The store is now a dealer for St. Croix rods. That’s in addition to rods from Lamiglas, Shimano, G. Loomis and Tsunami that the store was already a dealer for.

Brielle

Boating for striped bass on the ocean was good all-around fishing the past couple of days, said Eric from The Reel Seat. The fish, plenty of 20- and 30-pounders, but now some that weighed in the teens, were mostly socked from off Deal to off Manasquan Inlet on trolled bunker spoons and Mojos, a few on bunker snagged and then livelined for bait. The increasing number that weighed in the teens should mean that jigging for stripers with Ava’s will pick up. Eric knew about anglers who began to limit out today already, he said at 8:30 a.m. when he gave this report. The fishing’s been a morning bite. Surf-fishing for stripers was kind of tough. If anglers fished in the morning or before light, some picked a few small, not a lot of keepers, on Daiwa SP Minnows, needlefish lures and Tsunami sand eels. Not fantastic, but some fish were around. Not a lot of bluefish were heard about from anywhere, a few here and there, nothing consistent. Blackfishing was good in 50 feet of water on the ocean on jigs with green crabs. Plenty of blackfish remained in Point Pleasant Canal, and jigs with the crabs were also what to fish there. Fishing for sea bass and porgies seemed to be winding down mid-shore. The fish seemed to be migrating deeper.

Point Pleasant Beach

With Mushin Sportfishing on Sunday on the ocean, under striped bass 24 to 35 pounds were consistently hooked all morning on livelined bunker that were snagged for bait, Mushin’s Facebook page said. The fish bit even when the sun rose high. The anglers limited out by 8 a.m. and released a bunch of additional afterward, looking for overs. No overs showed up, but was a great day.

Anglers picked away at decent-sized sea bass and a few porgies yesterday and today on the Norma-K III on the ocean, a report said on the party boat’s website. Smaller ones just had to be picked through. A cod was also boxed, and trips are fishing for sea bass and porgies 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. Beginning Friday, the trips will sail for blackfish. The bag limit will be kicked up that day to five from the current limit of one.

Seaside Heights

More keeper striped bass than before were banked from the surf each day, and the angling was improving, a report said on The Dock Outfitters’ website today. Ocean boaters were already catching big stripers. So the run is on, and get out there and fish! the report said. A report Saturday on the site said the surf-fishing remained spotty, but a few keepers came in, and the size of the stripers seemed bigger than the fish previously in the water. On Friday, the few bigger stripers from the surf were zapped on cut bunker, and smaller but larger numbers were hit on lures. 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, and, in season, boat and jet-ski rentals.

Barnegat Light

Four striped bass to 30 pounds were decked on the Super Chic on Sunday on the ocean on livelined bunker, Capt. Ted said. A trip finally had the weather to sail, after previous trips were weathered out aboard. Migrating stripers were around, and Ted wouldn’t say there were a lot, but there were some. Plenty still seemed to hold farther north off Long Island. The trip never fished farther from shore than a mile, and the ocean was 54 ½ degrees there. The water was 58 degrees two Sundays ago. The temperature dropped in this last blow. Boats that trolled for stripers on Sunday worked along the 3-mile line. That water might’ve been a different temperature. Barnegat Bay’s temperature plummeted. Ted saw 45- to 46-degree water there on the trip. The next striper fishing is supposed to sail Thursday aboard.

Striped bass were angled Saturday on the ocean on the party boat Miss Barnegat Light. “Caught some fish today,” the vessel’s Facebook page said about the trip. Most of the bass were hooked on bunker snagged for bait and then livelined. A bunch of the stripers were lost, too. Got to let the fish eat the bunker, it said. On Sunday’s trip, the fishing was slower. Still waiting for more stripers to migrate south to the local area, the page said. Trips are fishing for stripers 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. One of the trips was also going to fish today, Veterans’ Day.

Brigantine

***Update, Tuesday, 11/13:*** This 46-1/2-pound striped bass trolled on the ocean north of Wreck Inlet, this 49-pound 3-ouncer trolled south of the inlet and these two 29-pounders that were trolled were weighed yesterday at Riptide Bait & Tackle. No location was mentioned for where the 29-pounders were boated.

Atlantic City

***Update, Tuesday, 11/13:*** A 41-1/2-pound striper, a 30.6-pounder and a 28-pounder were trolled from the ocean off Atlantic City yesterday on Mojos and weighed at One Stop Bait & Tackle, the store’s Facebook page said.

Longport

Bottom-fishing was pretty good Sunday on the Stray Cat, Capt. Mike said. Lots of sea bass, some porgies and a couple of big bluefish were pitched aboard from the ocean in 120 feet of water. None of the anglers limited out on sea bass, but they came close. Lots of bird play was seen on the sea bass grounds, and Mike believed bluefin tuna were there, feeding on bluefish. The final open-boat sea bass trip for now was expected to sail today. Tuesday will be a washout. Open trips for blackfish will be launched Friday, when the bag limit is increased to five from the current limit of one. Friday through Sunday are sold out. Monday will be the next open trip for blackfish with spaces available. Spaces are available for an open trip for blackfish on Black Friday, Nov. 23. Another is sold out on Thanksgiving morning. Open trips will run for blackfish until open trips fish for stripers Nov. 27, 29 and 30. Spaces are available for that angling. Any open trips are limited to 12 anglers this time of year. The local ocean began to look alive and ready for the striper migration to arrive. All kinds of baitfish including big pods of bunker began to be seen, with birds pecking at the bait. Looked good, Mike said. The ocean was 59 degrees on the sea bass grounds and 57 close to shore.

Ocean City

Here they come! This 47-pound striped bass was weighed at Fin-Atics and was jigged this morning at the Sea Isle Lump. That is the season’s first migrating striper reported off South Jersey on this website.

Sea Isle City

Sea Isle Bait & Tackle’s Facebook page shared a photo today of a 50-pound striped bass weighed yesterday at a Cape May tackle shop. That shop’s photo caption said “Hereford Inlet” for the location of the catch. Whether that meant the fish was hooked in the ocean on a trip from the inlet or was hooked in the inlet itself is unknown.

Mike O’Hara fished the back bay yesterday aboard, landing three throwback striped bass on livelined spots, said Capt. Joe Hughes from Jersey Cape Guide Service and Sea Isle Bait & Tackle. Several other stripers also bit, and the fishing was fun. Joe was probably going to fish for sea bass today on the ocean. He was unsure whether false albacore still swam the local ocean, but was going to be prepared to fish for them, too. Trips aboard usually fish the migrations of large striped bass and big bluefish on the ocean beginning around Thanksgiving. The holiday is early this year, so he’ll see if the fish move in. They could show up any time now. Annual traveling charters will fish the Florida Keys from Christmas to Easter, and see the traveling charters webpage on Jersey Cape’s website. Keep up with Joe’s fishing on Jersey Cape’s Blog.

Avalon

Capt. Jim from Fins and Feathers Outfitters hopes to fish for migrating striped bass by Thanksgiving on the ocean, he said. The population usually arrives by then, and he might be in Avalon a few days earlier to get his duck boats on the water. He’s going to hunt geese in Maryland on Saturday, opening day of goose season there. Geese seemed mostly in Canada still. But you’ve got to hunt opening day, he said. He guides hunting for ducks and geese from Maryland to New York State, including in New Jersey, following the migrations. Jim visited his lodge in upstate New York, and 8 inches of snow fell there Saturday. He tried to deer hunt that day, but the snow was a white-out. He couldn’t see halfway to his plot of deer food 300 yards away. At the lodge, rain fell Friday, the snow fell Saturday, and weather was extremely cold and windy Sunday. Guests fish for steelheads on nearby Salmon River from late fall through winter. They also snowmobile, and snowmobile trails open beginning Dec. 5, he thought. A discount is available for the lodge, but only on Airbnb.

Cape May

Capt. George from the Heavy Hitter sailed on a friend’s boat from Atlantic City that went 2 for 2 on striped bass Sunday on the ocean, he said. The Heavy Hitter is docked at Atlantic City to fish the migration of stripers, and is supposed to begin that angling this coming weekend. That location’s been closer than Cape May to the best fishing for stripers in recent autumns. The trip trolled north to Seaside Heights and back. George knew a couple of other anglers who boated for stripers in the area that day, one boating two, the other boating one. He also knew about trips that hooked none that day. On Thursday, George fished for stripers farther north out of Belmar on another friend’s boat. Four unders and one 44-inch over, good-sized, were taken on that outing, a couple of miles from Shark River Inlet. Mojos hooked the fish on that trip, and George for this report wasn’t asked what the previous trip caught on, on Sunday. Strong wind blew on Friday and Saturday, preventing fishing.