Southern New Jersey Fishing Report – April 19, 2018
During this past week our area saw an uptick on the numbers of Striped Bass landed from the backwaters and off the beaches. The word from the shops was consistent from Point Pleasant to Cape May on Striped Bass off the beach, though most were in the range of 18 to 24 inches. A local shop in Cape May weighed in a Bass at almost 30 pounds being caught from a bunker chunk off the beach. As we approach May, a more consistent run should develop on the Striped Bass front. The White Perch bite was red hot from the mainland points of Beach Haven West southward to the Mullica River. Anglers have been catching enough for dinner in a few hours timespan. Blackfish have been biting well when boats can make it out as we have been blasted with some rather strong winds. Our bay waters are hovering around the mid-50’s and this upcoming weekend’s forecast looks like warmer weather which should further help the fishing front materialize. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think the bluefish will be here by the end of next week, or at least I hope as most are chomping at the bit to nail them on back-bay top waters.
Here is this week’s rundown:
Fisherman’s Supply in Point Pleasant reported similar results as last week, except there are some bigger Stripers moving into the area. Most fish have been caught on 4- to 6-inch soft plastic paddle tail or swim shad lures. The Route 35 and 70 Bridges have been producing steady Stripers in the evening. The shop said a lot of anglers have been targeting bass in the Raritan as the bite was red hot this week. There are some Winter Flounder around with some anglers banging fish to 17 inches around the Point Pleasant Canal, but you need to put in your time to get your 2-fish limit. The local headboats have been targeting Ling, Cod, and Tog on the inshore reefs. There hasn’t been any word on Bluefish yet, but this bite could start happening any day.
Norma K III in Point Pleasant Beach had good blackfishing this past week with some anglers getting their four fish limits. Most anglers had between 1 and 3 keepers and the pool winners have been ranging from 5 to 7 pounds. The boat has both Green Crabs and Clams on board and is selling every day from 730 to 230PM.
The MIMI VI out of Point Pleasant has been running some Open Boat trips for Cod and Blackfish at some of Capt. Ken’s choice snags. The boat will be running both full charters and Open boats in the coming weeks. Capt. Ken said it’s best to call the boat to check on availability.
Grumpy’s Bait & Tackle in Seaside Park had a few anglers stop in the shop and mention short striped bass were taking baits off the surf. There have been some fish around and most have ranged from 18 to 24 inches, but this should improve as the temperatures begin to rise. The Manasquan River continued to produce short Striped Bass around the bridges. The backwater bay temperatures are beginning to elevate, so the Bluefish should be here soon. The shop did get some Fresh Bunker and they are loaded with Bloodworms and salted Clams.
Super Chic in Barnegat Light will start running trips by the start of the Sea Bass season which is slated for May 15th. Capt. Ted said the boat has some openings, so give the them a call.
Creekside Outfitters in Waretown had some good reports from anglers fishing the Oyster Creek outflow with from both land anglers and boat anglers. Boats drifting and jigging soft plastics such as the pink and white Bass Kandy Delights, 4-inch Paddle tail shads, and bloodworms are picking up striped bass 18 to 27 inches and weakfish to 6 pounds. The weakfish have been biting sporadically throughout the day but are a little better early or late in the day. It can get crowded in there, so be respectful and work together, so everybody catches fish. There have been some Blue Crab reports this week with anglers checking out their traps and finding 4 to 6 keepers in them after a few hours of soaking. The shop hasn’t received any reports of bluefish yet, but it should be any day now with 53- to 55-degree temperatures in Barnegat Bay.
Tony’s Bait & Tackle in Manahawkin mentioned that the white perch bite is heating up on Mill Creek in Beach Haven West. Anglers are doing a good bite of catching using live grass shrimp and some catching with small live minnows. Some of these fish are loaded with roe, so only take what you’re going to eat. There have been a good number of consistent Striped Bass reports coming from Long Beach Island bridges. The key has been using small soft plastics worked slow in the current during start of the outgoing. The Dock Road area of West Creek is also coming alive with consistent small bass being pulled over the bulkhead on bloodworms and small soft plastics.
Riptide Bait & Tackle in Brigantine reported some positive news with Striped Bass to 22 inches hitting fresh baits. Although the action has been sporadic with the wacky weather, the beach action should increase as the ocean temperatures trickle upward. There has been some small Striped Bass caught along some of the thoroughfares and cuts between islands in the backwaters. The shop still has the $50 Gift Card for the 1st keeper Striper caught in Brigantine waters.
Fin-Atics in Ocean City reported that striped bass have been the dominant catch in the back bays of Ocean City and near the mouth of the Great Egg and Tuckahoe Rivers. Most of the fish have been hitting white or pink soft plastics along with bloodworms. There have been some Tautog starting to show around the inlet jetties and bridges, and they are mostly taking green crabs or clam. White perch have been biting bloodworms and grass shrimp near Jeffers Landing.
The Cape May area had some bigger striped bass to 28 pounds caught off the beach on bunker chunks and the jetties around the Ferry terminal have been producing shorts on soft plastics. Tautog fishing has been pretty good when boats can make it out and some of the reef sites are producing consistent action on green crabs.
South Jersey Fishing Forecast
The best bet for this weekend will be to target striped bass in the backwaters, especially around mouths of tidal creeks and bridges for most of South Jersey. Soft plastics, 4 to 6 inches, colored white or pink should do the trick in most cases. Depending on the weather, it may not be a bad idea to try a little surfcasting and try for some migrating striped bass with fresh clam or bunker chunk. There are some Weakfish around, but you need to be where the water is warm. These can easily be targeted using live sandworms, bloodworms, or Fin-S Fish in the pink and white colors. Boat fisherman will have an advantage as they can move around and see the bottom. Most of the time these spring weakies will show up as blobs or echoes close to the bottom on the sonar. I recommend dropping a soft plastic or bait down if you see these marks near warmer areas in the bay. If your more interested in keeping, then jump on a headboat or private vessel and head offshore to nail cod, ling, and blackfish. The bites on these tasty fish have been pretty good, though it’s been tough getting out with the winds. Good luck, be safe, and tight lines!
2 on “Southern New Jersey Fishing Report – April 19, 2018”
MILLARD E JOHNSON
thanks for this site I hope to do a lot more fishing with the info. I am finding here .
With all the run off from recent rain the water is murky and the bite is hard to come by . I can only hope the weather changes and we get some good fishing days in . I have been fishing up and down the coast from Tuckerton to Fortescue with only sporadic catches here and there .Yes the perch are there and so are the stripers but the catch is off I think because of the water being so discolored from all the run off from the rain .
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